Image of Allison Alter

Allison Alter

Learning Experience Designer


Allison (she/her) is committed to fostering collaborative partnerships that support learners, invest in educators and bolster educational systems. With over eighteen years of experience in the field of education, she has served as a public high school teacher and department chair, an instructional designer for higher education, and a curriculum writer for the Colorado Department of Education. She holds a Master of Education degree with a specialization in Curriculum & Instruction, equipping her with the knowledge and experience to facilitate impactful change within educational spheres.


Mariah Najmuddin Estrada

Communications Lead


Mariah (she/her/ella) is an expert storyteller and community builder. She is passionate about equity in education and creating opportunities for dialogue. In addition to her five years as a middle school Spanish teacher, Mariah has over a decade of experience in education and communications. Prior to her work at Mira Education, she was a Senior Communications Specialist for a consulting firm in Houston and served as the founding Social Media Manager for The RISE Center for Liberation. Mariah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Houston  as well as her certificate in Digital Marketing from Rice University.


Iesha Williams

Project Implementation Lead


Iesha (she/her) is a fourth-generation educator who is a strong advocate for the success of all students and teachers. She holds three degrees including a Master of Education from Concordia University-Texas with a Principal Certification. During her time in the classroom, she served as a high school AP English teacher and an adjunct English instructor at a community college. She has designed and delivered professional development, written district level curriculum, and coached a humanities department through two academic years. Prior to joining Mira Education, Iesha served as an Implementation Manager for a nonprofit ed tech company, serving as advisor and thought partner to districts and schools using new approaches to support instruction.


Regina Ciphrah

Lead Consultant


Regina is a scholar, scientist, educator, poet, and entrepreneur. An alumna of the University of South Carolina, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 2002, Master of Teaching degree in Secondary Science Education in 2003, and PhD in Integrative Biology in 2013. Her professional experiences as an educator span over 20 years and include employment as a public school teacher, professional development facilitator, program and organizational evaluator, state education agency program coordinator, teacher education faculty member, and higher education administrator. Regina’s current work fosters traditional face-to-face and online learning communities, maximizes continuous improvement assessment strategies, facilitates professional learning and coaching supports, and enhances STEM education capacity. Her scholarship in culturally-sustaining STEM pedagogy is fueled by the desire for the reclamation and promotion of historical and current STEM enterprise participation of traditionally underrepresented cultures and individuals. While she is passionate about her work, Regina finds additional balance and joy in life through loving relationships with her husband, family, and furbaby; gardening; preparing whole foods; performing poetry she writes; and playing card, board and party games.


DeAnna Scofield-Amdouni

Finance & Accounting Lead


DeAnna (she/her) leads financial operations for Mira Education. She has 17 years’ experience in accounting and finance, with 11 of those dedicated to the nonprofit sector. DeAnna previously worked in labor and employment law as well as tax preparation and auditing for an international CPA firm. A lifelong learner, she is committed to staying on top of the latest accounting guidelines and regulations through continuing education and professional development to help lead efficient and compliant accounting processes for our team. In her spare time, DeAnna loves traveling, karaoke, cooking, and DIY home projects.


Phil Chase

Lead Consultant, Marketing and Communications

pchase@teachingquality.org.


Phil began his career teaching middle- and high-school students in New York and Michigan. His background in K-12 instruction spans teaching Spanish, English as a Second Language, geography, computers, and design technology. After teaching for 12 years, he worked for 15 years in the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). In addition, Phil served as an adjunct professor for three years at the Aquinas College School of Education, one of Michigan’s educator preparation institutions. Phil holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Secondary Education from Calvin University, a Master of Arts from Teachers College Columbia University, and a Master in the Art of Teaching from Aquinas College.


Ernie Rambo, NBCT

Consultant


Ernie taught students and led educators in Clark County, NV middle school classrooms for 29 years. She currently supports teachers and teacher leadership as the program coordinator for the Nevada National Board Professional Learning Institute: Empowering Teachers as Leaders and Learners. Ernie facilitates virtual learning communities with the National Education Association’s Micro-Credential Certification Bank and supports educators’ professional learning at CTQ. Outside of the education field, she enjoys distance running and serves on the board for the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Association of Women. Ernie is a Southern Nevada Writing Project and a Southern Nevada Science Project fellow, a member of the Jameson Fellowship 2020 cohort as well as a four-time organizer for the ECET2SW Conference sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Jill Nelson

Treasurer


Jill Nelson (she/her) is a finance and human resources leader, whose passion is to further an organization’s mission through thoughtful stewardship of its assets, both financial and human capital.

Jill is the Chief of Finance and Operations for Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc., the leading provider of homeless youth services in the DC Region. Through the holistic integration of its Pillars of Opportunity, Sasha Bruce provides safe homes, life skills, and workforce development to meet the unique needs of homeless youth. As CFO, Jill leads the finance, operations, and human resources departments.

Previously, as CFO of Education Week, the nation’s premier publication about K-12 education, Jill was an integral member of the senior leadership team that transformed Ed Week from a traditional print publisher to a much more entrepreneurial digital media company.  In this role, she helped shepherd the launch of several new products, including EdWeek Market Brief, Education Week’s business intelligence service.  During her 15 year tenure, she built a strategic human resources department that serves Education Week’s diverse staff of 100, supporting its highly engaged staff and high-performance culture resulting.

Prior to Education Week, Jill was the Vice President, Finance and Administration, of a technology start-up, where she played a key role in raising $10 million in private equity, corporate, and bank financing, and participated in successful merger negotiations with Immersion Corp, a publicly held company.

Jill has an MBA from Babson College and a BA from Gettysburg College.


Carol Kelley

Vice Chair


Carol L. Kelley (she/her) currently serves as superintendent of Princeton Public Schools, which is a PreK – 12 school system with 3,900 students (Princeton, NJ). Prior to joining PPS, Carol L. Kelley spent six years as the superintendent of Oak Park Elementary School District 97 (Oak Park, IL) and three years as the superintendent of schools for the Branchburg Township School District in New Jersey. She has also help teaching and administrator positions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Her career is guided by a deep commitment to equity-centered systems change to address racial, economic, and academic disparities in education. With key stakeholders she created a vision for Oak Park Elementary School District 97, creating positive learning environments that are equitable, inclusive, and focused on the whole child. This vision guided her work to improve the systems, structures, and processes to support staff development and student success.

Considered a thought-leader and speaker for several organizations, and she has received recognition for her professional work and contribution to education from various organizations and groups, including the prestigious “Governor’s Teacher” award from the state of New Jersey.

She received her bachelor’s degree in System Engineering and doctorate in Education from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Currently she resides in Montgomery Township, NJ and she is the proud mom of two sons, Jordan and Austin.


Almi Abeyta

Almudena (Almi) Abeyta (she/her/ella) has spent 25 years working to improve teaching and learning for students in urban education. Almi grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a proud product of public schools.

Prior to her appointment as Superintendent of Chelsea Public Schools, she worked as an assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in several districts: Somerville Public Schools (2017-2019), Santa Fe Public Schools (2012-2017), and Boston Public Schools (2009-2012). In 2015, she was awarded the first Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Latina Administrator of the Year award.

Almi was the principal of the Donald McKay K-8 School (McKay) in Boston Public Schools from 2004-2008. She led the McKay to improvement by focusing on data to improve instruction. Her work is documented in Data Wise in Action: Schools Using Data to Improve Instruction. After four years of leading her school, the McKay was recognized by the Mauricio Gastón Institute, an institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, as an exemplar for educating Latino students. In 2007, El Planeta, the largest circulated Spanish newspaper in Massachusetts and New England, named her among the 100 Most Influential People in the state’s Hispanic Community. Before becoming a principal, Almi taught kindergarten.

Almi completed her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts.