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.

Phil Chase

Lead Consultant, Marketing and Communications

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


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.

Jessica Cuthbertson, NBCT


Jessica (she/hers) has over 15 years of teaching experience in Colorado K-12 schools. While most of her teaching focuses on middle school ELA, she enjoys supporting students of all ages and abilities. Jessica believes literacy is a powerful tool for social justice, equity, and advocacy. She recently has taken a break from the classroom to homeschool her son, an English language learning originally from Ethiopia. Jessica earned her M.Ed from University of Colorado at Denver and was a magna cum laude graduate in communication and sociology from Regis University.

Lauren Hill, NBCT


Lauren (she/hers) is a veteran middle school ELA teacher in Lexington, KY. She has also taught high school and in a correctional setting, served as an instructional coach, and worked as the Teacher Leadership Coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Education. Lauren served for several years as program director of Classroom Teachers Enacting Positive Solutions (CTEPS), providing coaching and project-based learning to emerging teacher leaders in Kentucky. Lauren is a graduate of Barnard College and Vanderbilt University.

Sherrill Knezel


Sherrill (she/hers) is a graphic recorder, illustrator, and art educator in Wauwatosa, WI. She uses her expertise in visual literacy, visual expression, and graphic recording to help students, educators, and organizations tell the heart of their story through images and text. Sherrill leads visual literacy workshops empowering people to use visuals to increase connection, clarity, and collaboration and has contributed articles, blogs, and award-winning visuals to EdWeek, the Milwaukee Independent, and other outlets. She is also founder of Meaningful Marks LLC, focused on using visuals and graphic recording to support nonprofits, educators, and corporate clients in conversations on racism, inclusion, and creating generative change in their communities.

Kristoffer Kohl, NBCT


Kris (he/his) is a sixth grade teacher and PBIS and MTSS coach in Southern California. He previously led a variety of initiatives at CTQ designed to elevate and spread the expertise of accomplished teachers in districts and states across the country. As part of CTQ’s global endeavors, Kristoffer worked with educators from several high-achieving nations to develop a series of recommendations for how public education might evolve in the US to meet the demands of the 21st century. He runs a household circus in Irvine, CA with his wife Meredith and two children, Holden and Evelyn.

LaKeytria (Tria) Grant

Lead Consultant

Tria co-leads implementation efforts with our K12 and higher education partners, assisting with development of personalized learning systems that support competency-based learning for educators throughout their careers. In addition to her consulting work, Tria directs CarolinaCAP, an alternative certification pathway addressing diverse teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention in SC public school systems. Previously, Tria has served as a classroom teacher and interventionist, as well as supporting induction, mentoring, and other educator effectiveness initiatives at the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) and South Carolina Department of Education. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University, and an M.Ed in Instructional Design from Western Governors University.

Jon Eckert

Lead Consultant, Research

Jon is the Copple Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. His research includes teaching effectiveness, teacher compensation, and collective leadership development. His publications include Capitol Hill white papers, peer-reviewed journal articles, pieces for Education Week and the Kappan, and Leading together: Teachers and administrators improving student outcomes and The novice advantage: Fearless practice for every teacher. He served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education in both the Bush and Obama administrations, was a teacher outside of Chicago and Nashville for 12 years, and earned a doctorate in educational leadership, policy, and organizations from Vanderbilt University, Peabody College.