Profile

Elisa Jaden
Program Specialist, Student Access and Success

Elisa Jaden leads SREB’s regional tuition reciprocity programs: the Academic Common Market and the Regional Contract Program. She also serves as director for the SREB region to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). In this role she follows state and federal higher education regulations and policy related to state authorization and program approval. Elisa works with the S-SARA Regional Steering Committee to inform and clarify policy changes made at the national level.

Profile

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

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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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.

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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.

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. 

Profile

Andrea Kiely
Program Specialist, Postsecondary

Andrea Kiely

Andrea Kiely is a member of the Postsecondary team for the Southern Regional Education Board. She works as program specialist for the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program where she researches and advocates for faculty diversity in higher education. Andrea earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Alabama and her Master of Education in higher education administration from the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

Profile

Donn Kirkwood
Senior School Improvement Leadership Coach

Donn Kirkwood joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2014 as a literacy coach for the Literacy Design Collaborative program, through which he helped teachers and leaders in seven states use LDC practices and backward design techniques to develop exemplary curricula, improve instruction and increase student outcomes.

Profile

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.

Profile

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.

Profile

Connie Lester
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Connie Lester joined SREB’s office of School Improvement as a leadership coach in April 2012. Prior to SREB, she spent 27 years as an English language arts teacher, department chair and high school writing portfolio cluster leader in Kentucky schools. After leaving the classroom, Connie became a member of Kentucky’s Highly Skilled Educator Program, where she provided schoolwide instructional and leadership support to struggling schools.

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Kimberly Livengood
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Kimberly Livengood joined SREB as a school improvement instructional coach in July 2019, bringing more than 25 years of teaching experience at the high school level in North Carolina and Tennessee. She began her work with SREB as a math consultant. She earned her National Board Certification, her certification in Teaching the Gifted, and her endorsement to teach AP Calculus while teaching in North Carolina.

Kim holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in North Carolina.

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Susan Lounsbury
Director, Education Data Services

Susan Campbell Lounsbury joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2014 as the director of education data services. She has more than 25 years of experience in higher education policy and practice. Susan is responsible for coordinating the collection of data for the SREB State Data Exchange. She analyzes data and produces publications, such as the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, Featured Facts, and Indicators Report.

Profile

Connie Luper
School Improvement Senior Leadership Coach

Connie Luper joined SREB’s office of School Improvement in 2016. As a senior leadership coach, she brings more than 31 years of experience working on issues of education practice in the public education sector. In this role, Connie helps schools develop rigorous career pathways and CTE programs and blend them with a rigorous academic core. She also leads trainings for teachers and principals in literacy, numeracy, project-based learning and instructional leadership. Connie is currently supporting career academy development efforts in large districts in Alabama and Georgia.

Profile

Gaye Martin
School Improvement Instructional Coach

Gaye Hutton Martin joined SREB in 2018 as a school improvement instructional coach for the Teaching to Lead program, bringing over 30 years of experience in public education and corporate training and development. Prior to SREB, she was a career and technical education coordinator in Tennessee where she managed a new CTE teacher prep program, using SREB’s Teaching to Lead program, for a large, urban school district.