Profile

Ansley Abraham
Director, SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program

Ansley Abraham joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 1985 as a research associate and became the founding director of the State Doctoral Scholars Program in 1993. Under Ansley’s direction, the Doctoral Scholars Program has developed into a nationally recognized program for producing minority Ph.D.s who seek faculty careers. The program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring — the largest gathering of minority Ph.D.

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Jason Adair
Program Director, Literacy and Mathematics

Jason Adair is the program director for Literacy and Mathematics in the instructional programs division. He leads a team of content coaches as they develop and deliver high quality professional development to teachers, instructional coaches, and school and district leaders. Jason joined SREB’s school improvement team in 2011, bringing more than 10 years of experience in the public education sector. He was a middle school and high school mathematics teacher and instructional coach in Florida for eight years before leading K-12 mathematics in Gaston County, North Carolina.

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Lessie Anderson
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Lessie Anderson is a school improvement instructional coach. She joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2016 as a Mathematics Design Collaborative consultant. Prior to SREB, she was an instructional coach with NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning. She has also served as an education consultant at North Carolina State University, a face-to-face and virtual high school math teacher, and adjunct instructor at the local community college.

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Kim Anderson
Senior Policy Researcher

Kim leads SREB’s studies on key policy topics such as federal legislation and the implementation of state initiatives. Kim joined SREB in 2012 and directed the Benchmarking Readiness Standards project for six years. Prior to joining SREB, Kim provided research and technical assistance to state education agency leaders as a senior analyst with the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Alice Anne Bailey
Director, Go Alliance

As director of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Go Alliance, Alice Anne Bailey helps states develop and implement policies, support programs and communications techniques to increase the number of students who would be the first in their families to attend college. She also directs the Go Alliance Academy, which provides rigorous professional development and education for in-service and pre-service school counselors and educators. At SREB, she has managed many multi-state education projects and authored numerous reports that range from middle grades to adult education.

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Bob Belle
Associate Director, SREB-State Scholars Program and AGEP, SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program

Robert (Bob) Belle joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2002 as the director for the SREB Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Doctoral Scholars Program. Prior to joining SREB, he served as the director of the Office of Federal TRIO Programs for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. While at the department, he also served as the acting deputy secretary of education in the Office of Postsecondary Education. Bob has over 55 years in education, which include teaching across education levels (elementary to collegiate).

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Shawn Bender
School Improvement Leadership Coach

Shawn Bender is a school improvement leadership coach at SREB, where he works with principals, assistant principals, and instructional leaders to better the conditions for teaching and learning within districts and schools. He joined SREB in 2018, bringing more than 17 years of experience in the public education sector. He was an elementary school teacher in New York and Georgia for four years before transforming teaching practices as principal at Perkerson Elementary school in Atlanta.

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James Berto
Research Associate, Advanced Career

Jim Berto joined the Southern Region Education Board in 2005 as project manager for the Delaware Curriculum and Instructional Review project. Since then, Jim has held several positions, including administrative specialist, TAV coordinator, pathway designer, and research associate.  Currently, Jim provides research and marketing support for SREB’s Advanced Career (AC) initiative. Prior to SREB, Jim was a school career and technical education (CTE) director, systemwide CTE coordinator and marketing teacher with Atlanta Public Schools.

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Cheryl Blanco
Vice President, Postsecondary Education

Cheryl Blanco has served as vice president for postsecondary education at the Southern Regional Education Board since 2008. She leads SREB’s postsecondary policy initiatives, including the work of the Commission on College Affordability in the South and the Commission on Community Colleges. She has written and overseen publications on several postsecondary issues.