Lynne has served as President and Executive Director of Great Minds since its founding in 2007. In nine years Lynne has made Great Minds an influential advocate for the liberal arts and sciences and a noted provider of CCSS-based curriculum tools. Research at Great Minds has launched widespread public discussions over the narrowing of the curriculum.
Lynne was deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 2001–2005, overseeing all agency operations. NEH is an independent agency of the federal government that funds scholarly and public projects in the humanities. Lynne was the architect of “Picturing America,” the most successful public humanities project in NEH history. The project put more than 75,000 sets of fine art images and teaching guides into libraries, K-12 classrooms, and Head Start centers. In 2005 Lynne led the first post-conflict United States government delegation to Afghanistan to deal with issues of cultural reconstruction. In 2004, she represented the United States at UNESCO meetings in Australia and Japan, where she helped to negotiate guidelines for cross-border higher education.
From 1993–2001 Lynne was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where she wrote Exhibitionism: Art in an Era of Intolerance (Ivan R. Dee, 2000), a book examining the evolution of art institutions and art education. Lynne served as a research assistant to NEH Chairman Lynne Cheney from 1990-1993. Lynne has written on contemporary cultural and educational issues for numerous national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Inside Higher Education, and NRO.com’s The Corner. She has appeared on CNN, FoxNews, CNBC, C-SPAN, and NPR and speaks to scholarly and public audiences. She serves on the advisory board for the Pioneer Institute’s Center for School Reform. Her degree in art history is from Northwestern University.
Former Vice President, New York State United Teachers
Maria Neira, an elementary school bilingual teacher who rose through the ranks of union leadership to become a nationally recognized expert on educational issues, was a vice president of New York State United Teachers, representing more than 600,000 members.
Ms. Neira oversaw the statewide union’s initiatives involving educational policy matters. She was NYSUT’s front-line advocate to the Board of Regents and State Education Department.
She also served as a vice president on the New York State AFL-CIO Executive Council, the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO’s Workforce Development Institute and the Coalition for Labor Union Women. She was nominated by President Obama to the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She was also nominated to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Advisory Council. She is a member of the New York State Workforce Investment Board, the Greater Capital Region United Way Board of Directors, Capital District’s 100 Hispanic Women, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Education Fund. She directs NYSUT’s fund-raising as a statewide flagship sponsor for American Cancer Society programs, including the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual walks.
Neira has been honored by many groups, including the United Federation of Teachers Hispanic Affairs Committee, the Hispanic Latino Cultural Center, Long Island Latino Teachers Association, the Schenectady Hispanic Heritage Committee and the Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY. Neira also received the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations and an educational leadership award from the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2007.
Neira previously served as assistant to the president on education issues for the UFT, NYSUT’s affiliate in New York City public schools, where she helped develop strategic plans for education reform. She also served as director of the UFT’s Special Educator Support Program.
Neira began her teaching career in New York City in 1977 and served as a fourth-grade bilingual teacher at the Bilingual Bicultural Mini-school in Manhattan.
Neira, a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York, has served on many state committees, including the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board and the State Committee of Practitioners. She is also a member of several professional organizations. She is married to Richard Neira.
Director of Programs at the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education
The National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE) is an intense inquiry-based program of study designed exclusively for experienced, high-performing teachers from charters, districts and faith based schools. Its goals are to 1) strengthen teachers' classroom instruction; 2) increase their capacity to influence and support their peers and schools; 3) extend their stay in the classroom. The program serves to challenge, develop and re-energize teachers right when many of them begin looking "beyond" the classroom (years 3-10 of teaching).
Previously, he was the founding head master of The Brooklyn Latin School (TBLS), a selective, public school on the border of the Bushwick and Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn. TBLS offers a liberal arts curriculum combined with an emphasis on the classics. All students take four years of Latin and are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. One hundred percent of TBLS graduates have been accepted into a post-secondary program. In 2013, TBLS was ranked as the #1 high school in New York City and New York State by the US News and World Report. Mr. Griffiths also briefly served as the principal of the Harlem Village Academy High School in the Fall of 2013.
Before starting TBLS, Mr. Griffiths was a teacher at Delaware Valley High School in Milford, PA. He earned a bachelor's in history from Princeton University and a master's in educational administration from Temple University. He was a member of the fifth cohort of New Leaders, a national principal leadership program. He and his wife, Christine, live in Brooklyn, New York with their son, Alston.
Distinguished Presidential Scholar and Executive Director of the Center on K-12 Assessment and Performance Management at ETS
Prior to his current appointment at ETS, Dr. Forgione served with distinction from 1999-2009 as the Superintendent of Schools for the Austin Independent School District (Texas). He was the recipient of the Richard Green National Educator of the Year award in 2008 and Austinite of the Year by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2009.
From 1996 until 1999, Dr. Forgione was U.S. Commissioner of Educational Statistics with the National Center for Educational Statistics/Department of Education, and from 1991 to 1996, he served as Delaware State Superintendent for Public Instruction. In 1991, he headed the U.S. Department of Education’s National Education Goals Panel.
Additionally, Dr. Forgione has held positions with the Connecticut State Department of Education, the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at The Ohio State University, the Syracuse Research Corporation, Maryland State Department of Education, and Stanford University. Dr. Forgione has also served as a consultant to, or member of, numerous educational organizations and initiatives, including the Council of Chief State School Officers; National Center for Education and the Economy; National Council for Measurement in Education; the College Board; RAND Corporation; U.S. Department of Defense; Council for Basic Education; American Educational Research; the National Governors Association; the National Science Foundation; and the Board of Directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Dr. Forgione has a doctorate in administration and policy analysis from Stanford University, a master’s in urban history from Stanford, a master’s in educational administration from Loyola College, and a bachelor’s in theology and a bachelor’s in philosophy from St. Mary’s Seminary and University.
Co-Founder and Board Member of Tripod Learning
Steve co-founded Tripod Learning, an education testing company that focuses on the Chinese market. As with any new venture, it is an endeavor with great promise as well as daunting challenges. Steve comes to Tripod Learning having been the COO at Princeton Review K12 Division (subsequently Core K12 Education), a division that specialized in formative assessment for the education industry. The major markets included the large complex districts in California, New York, Texas, and Florida. Before that, he was the Senior Vice President at Pearson Education School Group, focusing on learning technology, content management, and strategic technology partnerships. He has extensive experience in technology, product development, and operations, having led senior business and engineering roles at McGraw-Hill, Digital Equipment Corp (Subsequently HP), Lockheed, and the US Navy Naval Underwater Warfare Center.
Steve received a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BA in psychology from the University of Rochester. He completed graduate studies at Columbia Business School and the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut.
Steve has resided in three continents: He spent his wonder years in Libya, the recent years in Shanghai, and the majority of time in the best place in the world--the United States.
Chi Kim serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Pure Edge, Inc. a private operating foundation dedicated to bringing educators and scholars strategies to achieve success through focus.
Serving as Superintendent, Chi led Ross School District in Marin County, California. Under her leadership, the district received several honors including California Distinguished School, Civic Learning Award of Distinction recognized for enhanced academics coupled with community interaction, California Business for Excellence in Education Honor Roll School.
Kim led the successful implementation of fully integrated technology across grade levels that includes one to one devices, robotics, computer coding classes, Fabrication Lab - Maker Space, 3D animation, app creation, and game modding. The district was also the first to fully adopt Eureka Math grades K-8 as its core curriculum combined with an online blended supplemental program to bring the benefits of rigorous content and individualized instruction. Deeper knowledge attainment through integration of content has become the hallmark of the district.
Kim was trained by the National Institute for School Leadership, Washington DC as well as Teachers College, Columbia University's Reading and Writing Project, Institute for Learning, Pittsburgh, PA, The Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership through Technology, and Leadership for Diversity through the Association of California School Administrators. She is also co-founder of the Teaching Garden Program that was adopted by the American Heart Association as one of its heart health initiatives to combat childhood obesity. She is the recipient of the eSchool News 2014 Tech Savvy Superintendent Award, California Distinguished School Award, People for Parks Honoree, Global Citizen Award, PTA Golden Oak Award, PTA Honorary Service Award, and PTA Continuing Service Award, Malibu Times Dolphin Award, and Citizenship Award for Environmental Advocacy. She is also a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow.
She received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.Ed. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been an educator for 27 years beginning her career working in the infant development program at UCLA before becoming an elementary school teacher then administrator in Inglewood, California in a Title I school, then a principal for twelve years and superintendent in California public schools. She was also a former program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the College Ready team. She is the mother of three school-aged daughters.