Profile

Rebecca Holt
Research Associate

Rebecca Holt works with SREB program directors and coaches to manage data collection for school improvement initiatives. She joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2010. Rebecca has experience in program development, coordination, writing, editing, researching, reporting and database management with nonprofit agencies, including Habitat for Humanity, the Marcus Institute and Partnership Against Domestic Violence. Rebecca holds a master’s in sociology from Georgia Southern University.

Profile

Denise Houghton
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Denise Houghton is a school improvement instructional coach at SREB, where she provides ongoing coaching, feedback and professional development to teachers as they work to improve their practice. She joined SREB in July 2021, bringing 24 years of experience in the public education system. Her experience includes serving various Arkansas school districts as a literacy instructional coach for over 18 years.

Profile

Elisa Jaden
Program Coordinator, Education Technology and Multistate Cooperative Programs

Elisa Jaden facilitates the Academic Common Market, the Regional Contract program, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and the Education Technology Cooperative. In this role, she tracks developments in state- and national-level policy related to state authorization, governance, program approval, accreditation, and licensure or related areas; then analyzes the potential impact of those developments and changes to provides intelligence to the regional SARA director, regional compact leaders, and relevant state and institutional authorities and personnel.

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Diane James
Senior Editor

Diane James

Diane James joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2012 and brings more than 20 years of experience in journalism and education. Diane is responsible for editing publications, case studies, research briefs and brochures, and writing and editing newsletters that are provided to local and national education policymakers, principals and teachers. Prior to SREB, Diane was a writer and editor for CNN. She has held other reporting and writing positions in radio, television and print.

Profile

Veronica Johnson
Communications Specialist, Postsecondary

Veronica Johnson manages communication for the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring and a portfolio of other postsecondary programs and services. Veronica joined the Southern Regional Education Board’s communications team in 2017 as the digital communications specialist, where she managed SREB.org content, social media and analytics. Veronica joined SREB in 2014 as the administrative assistant/research associate for the Learning-Centered Leadership Program.

Profile

George Johnson
School Improvement Leadership Coach

George Johnson is a school improvement leadership coach for the Southern Regional Educational Board and its High Schools That Work program, where he brings 37 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in New Jersey public schools. George has worked in numerous states as a trainer for the Learning Design Collaborative. He is the lead editor for the SREB Literacy Ready transitional readiness course, and he is the lead literacy expert for the writing of the eighth and ninth grade version of High School Ready.

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Natalee Jones
Policy Analyst

Natalee Jones joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2021 as a policy analyst working on high school, higher education, and the workforce. Natalee comes to SREB bringing experience in diversity and inclusion, congressional affairs, and data strategy through different fellowship and internship opportunities.

Natalee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Policy from Georgia State University.

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Jasmine Jones
Administrative Assistant, School Improvement

Jasmine Jones joined SREB in 2017 as an administrative assistant for school improvement, where she coordinates training dates and schedules with contracting schools and districts and SREB consultants. She also conducts online research related to college and career readiness and manages staff webinars.

Prior to SREB, Jasmine worked as a manager for MeetingAdvice, where she coordinated weekly training programs for The Home Depot and built and maintained registration websites.

Profile

Kristi July
School Improvement Leadership Coach

Kristi July joined SREB in 2021, bringing more than 16 years of experience in the public education sector. She was a Signature Academy coordinator for four years with Mobile County Public Schools leading the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the district’s academy model to prepare all students to be college and career-ready. Later she served as a high school assistant principal.

Kristi holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Spring Hill College and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of South Alabama. 

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Donn Kirkwood
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Donn Kirkwood is a school improvement instructional coach. He joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2014 as a literacy consultant for the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) program, where he brings more than three years of experience using LDC in the classroom. At SREB, Donn has led LDC training in seven states to improve teacher instruction and student outcomes. Before SREB, he was a middle school teacher for six years and was recognized in 2013 as K-8 Outstanding Educator of the Year for North Carolina.

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Debra LaMothe
School Improvement Leadership Coach

Debra LaMothe is a school improvement coach for SREB, where she works with career and technical education teachers and school administrators across the country to improve college and career readiness. She brings many years of CTE education experience as a teacher, administrator and consultant. In her former role as a district CTE Supervisor, Debra supported teachers and administrators with curriculum, work-based learning, instructional technology, and postsecondary alignment and credentialing.

Debra received her doctorate from Oakland University in Michigan.

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Stevie L. Lawrence II
Vice President, Postsecondary Education

Stevie L. Lawrence II joined Southern Regional Education Board in September 2019 as vice president for postsecondary education. In this role, he will lead SREB’s postsecondary programs, such as the Academic Common Market, Doctoral Scholars Program, education data services and state authorization reciprocity agreements. He will also be charged with developing additional initiatives to support postsecondary state offices and institutions.

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John Michael Lee Jr.
Vice President, Development and Policy Research

John Michael Lee Jr. joined SREB in August 2019 as vice president for development and policy research. In this role, he will lead a new office within SREB focused on development to raise funds for SREB to expand its services and explore new opportunities for supporting our states. Additionally, he will lead the policy analysis office responsible for K-20 and workforce research and the informational technology office.

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Rodriquez Leonard
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Rodriquez Leonard joined SREB in 2021, bringing 16 years of experience in public education. He was an English language arts teacher with the Birmingham City Schools district.  He also worked as a master teacher, school improvement grant coordinator, and freshman academy coordinator.  

Rodriquez holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Montevallo and a Master of Arts in English language arts – secondary education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.