Prior to her current role as president of Mayerson Academy, Jillian held leadership positions across the education sector, including work in philanthropy, public television, service agencies, higher education and the K—12 system. In her work at KnowledgeWorks Foundation, where she served as Vice President of Organizational Learning and Innovation, she led the development of a highly regarded and internationally distributed future trends publication, consulted and advised hundreds of organizations to construct future-oriented organizational visions and strategies, developed state collaborations to transform education, and created a vibrant teacher-to-teacher learning community. In her former roles, Jillian led teams to create widely distributed multimedia educational products and services, and received national recognition for the design and implementation of an organizational learning system and has taught student from primary through graduate school.
Karen is an experienced psychologist with more than 20 years of distinguished service to children, adolescents and their families. She is an experienced facilitator who has designed and led highly regarded professional learning experiences for parents, teachers and clinicians, and is a sought-after expert in online coaching. Karen is passionate about the potential of nonprofit organizations and has served as a consultant to develop nonprofit leaders’ capacity in strategic planning, efficiency management and team building.
As Senior Director of Organizational and Community Development, Joe provides strategic consulting and leadership with topics such as organizational development and culture, professional learning, program development, and diversity, equity and inclusion. He works with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) on the implementation of “I am CPS,” a districtwide organizational culture transformation initiative. Prior to joining Mayerson Academy, Joe worked in several roles for Teach For America, including as Senior Managing Director for Teach For America’s Arkansas region, Chief of Staff for Regional Operations and Founding Executive Director for Teach For America – Delaware. He discovered his passion for education as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher and head basketball coach in Philadelphia. Joe received his undergraduate degree from Xavier University’s Philosophy, Politics and the Public honors program and earned his M.Ed in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sonia joined the Mayerson Academy staff in 2007 as the literacy professional development specialist, bringing a rich background in literacy education, curriculum development and teacher in-service professional learning. She began her career in the Los Angeles Unified School District (7–9) where she was recognized as a Teacher of the Year and became a secondary language arts coach working with teachers in 17 high schools. Sonia has held teaching and leadership roles with Jefferson County Schools, Kentucky, Kentucky Department of Education and Campbell County Schools, and served as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Mason City Schools, Ohio. She worked as a consultant with Battelle for Kids and was a member of the national faculty of Modern Red School House, providing curriculum support and literacy training for teachers across the country.
Kelly is an experienced educator with more that 15 years as an national and international educator. Kelly’s passion for K-20 (online and face-to-face) education as well as professional learning for experienced educators has helped to build education pipelines from cradle through career. Her passion for building into the whole person has led her to creating innovative, real-world application learning environments where schools are creating immediate positive results within their community.
Lynn Ochs, Senior Director of Education Programs, is a widely acknowledged leader in the field of education technology, having won numerous awards throughout her career. Most recently she served as the Vice President of Learning Architecture Services, helping design professional learning and support services, marketing, and sales strategy for an innovative digital learning company. Through this experience and her many leadership roles in school districts and regional service centers, Lynn has designed and delivered professional development to thousands of educators across the country. Beginning her career as a classroom teacher, Lynn is passionate about developing and facilitating the delivery of innovative solutions that impact educators and deliver positive results for students.
Dara O’Loughlin piloted the Technologist In Residence program in 2000, bringing one-on-one technology training and integration skills to Cincinnati Public School teachers. Dara has skillfully and patiently worked with hundreds of teachers to assist in their understanding of technology, and expanded her role as a Technologist In Residence in order to support the ever-evolving technological needs in schools. Dara joined Mayerson Academy in 2015 to provide support for teachers and students using Happify as part of the Thriving Learning Communities program. Dara is enthusiastic about supporting a program that she believes has the potential to transform communities and empower individuals.
Carly joined the Mayerson Academy in July 2016 as Senior Project Manager. In her current role as Director of Strategic Initiatives, she provides leadership and support to innovative initiatives like Strong Cincinnati and NKU Strong. Carly’s experience is grounded in Knowledge management, design, and organizational learning in the collective impact field. Prior to joining Mayerson Academy, she worked for StriveTogether where she built a strategy and team focused on turning quantitative and qualitative data from education reform initiatives across the country into actionable stories and tools. Carly received her undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati in Urban Planning. As a long-time tutor at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, she is passionate about the ability for education to change the lives of individuals and communities..
For over a decade, Marissa has been dedicated to educational equity, focusing on strong classroom culture both internationally and stateside. Prior to joining Mayerson Academy, Marissa’s experiences included serving as a middle school English language arts teacher and English as a foreign language teacher in Hangzhou, China, as well as coaching and mentoring beginning teachers. Through these varied experiences, Marissa discovered her passion. Strong professional development and positive classroom cultures positively impact equity for all students. Currently, she is applying lessons learned from both classroom and coaching settings to her role as the Thriving Learning Communities Program Manager.
Lisa joined Mayerson Academy in February 2014 as manager of strategic projects. In her current role managing communications and design, Lisa contributes to the trajectory of the organization by orchestrating internal and external communications, managing various initiative components and designing visual pieces that support the work. Lisa’s work allows for intra-organizational collaboration as well as cross-organizational co-creation. Prior to joining Mayerson Academy, Lisa contributed to an education-focused social enterprise. She was a key contributor to a multi-year, state-based approach to systems thinking for education transformation. She attended the University of Cincinnati, Hillsborough Community College, and recently acquired project management certification from Xavier University.
Gwen manages and implements the Positive School Culture Initiative in which she leads teams of educators to build school cultures that support and advance learning. She and her team conduct comprehensive audits to help schools’ teams articulate and understand both strengths and areas of opportunity. Based on this data, Gwen and her team provide strategic training and support designed to improve performance. She and her team have worked with nearly 60 schools across the Cincinnati Public School district. Gwen is a CPS graduate and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Hampton University. She also earned her M.Ed. with certification in administration and supervision from the University of Cincinnati. Having received several commendations from CPS, she was the recipient of the James N. Jacobs “Excellence in Education” award and was recognized the following year as “Outstanding Principal.”
Debra Pendley received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Marshall University. Her graduate studies include kindergarten certification from the University of Cincinnati, Reading Recovery Training from Ohio State University and a Master of Arts in Literacy from Walden University. Debra served as a classroom teacher, school-wide lead teacher and as a district-wide lead teacher in the role of a school improvement coach during her service with Cincinnati Public Schools.
Beth joined Mayerson Academy in October 2012 after a 30-year career with Cincinnati Public Schools. During her career, Beth served as an intervention specialist, speech-language pathologist, consulting teacher and student services manager. As part of her work, she planned and presented many training sessions focused on service delivery as well as legal compliance regarding the education of students with disabilities. At Mayerson Academy, Beth oversees all learning management services. She also consults with school and district leaders regarding the design and delivery of customized professional development reflecting a variety of different topics.
Before joining the Mayerson staff, Kimberely proudly retired from Cincinnati Public Schools after 33 years of service. Her tenure began in June 1979 in the Special Education department where she was a junior stenographer. Over time, Kim received many promotions. She ended her career as the executive secretary to the assistant superintendent. Other positions held during her tenure with the district included secretary to the superintendent, senior lead secretary and acting coordinator of the Customer Help Center. Embracing thoughtful leadership, a dedicated work ethic and careful attention to detail, Kimberely managed several software programs including the Development Assessment Center (DAC) and served as the webmaster for the Office of School Management and Performance.
Andrea is Mayerson Academy’s newest Client Services Specialist. Prior to joining the Mayerson Academy, she worked with other nonprofit organizations committed to serving underprivileged and vulnerable youth. She understands the importance of collaborative partnerships through customer care as an administrative professional. She provides our staff and educators with excellent customer service and customer satisfaction to provide “WOW” experiences through every interaction, every time, hoping to make every day the very best day it can be!
Patrick is experienced in the world of not for profits having served more than 13 years in various roles including direct services, development, human resources and finance. He earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Northern Kentucky University in 2015 where he learned skills specific to not for profit organizations including budgeting, grant writing, organizational development, policy and management. He comes to us from a local not for profit that is geared toward ending homelessness where he served as the Finance Coordinator.
Milynn Hoffman, CPA serves as Mayerson Academy’s Director of Finance and Human Resources. She is an accomplished professional with over 20 years of experience in demanding leadership assignments in accounting services. She has served clients both in the public and private sectors in numerous industries ranging from sports training to real estate development to non-profit organizations. Milynn has significant experience in auditing, general accounting services, tax preparation, budgeting and payroll. She enjoys creating the infrastructure and processes to streamline and enhance financial, accounting and operational systems. As a strong leader she has successfully built relationships, established interaction among diverse communities and created a high level of trust with those whom she interacts.
Carol’s expertise is drawn from 30 years’ experience in human resources. Carol served as a support specialist and later as personnel analyst in charge of Teacher Records with Cincinnati Public Schools. She joined Mayerson Academy in February 2007. When Carol is not assisting educators with any service questions they may have, she manages a wide variety of operational tasks critical to deliver excellent learning experiences.
Chair, Mayerson Company
Treasurer, RBC Capital Markets
Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
President/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce
Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools
President, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers
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