The DreamBox Learning Advisory Board

Dr. Francis Skip Fennell

Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell

Professor of Education, McDaniel College
Past President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Dr. Fennell is the L. Stanley Bowlsbey professor of education and Graduate and Professional Studies at McDaniel College in Maryland, where he directs the Brookhill Foundation supported Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Teacher Leaders Project. A mathematics educator who has experience as a classroom teacher, principal, and supervisor of instruction, he is a past president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), the Research Council for Mathematics Learning (RCML), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Widely published in professional journals and textbooks related to PreK–8 mathematics education, Dr. Fennell has also played key leadership roles for the Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction. He served as a writer for the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000), the Curriculum Focal Points (NCTM, 2006) and for the Common Core State Standards (CCSSO, 2010). He also served on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (2006-­‐2008). Dr. Fennell served as a member of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Commission (2012-2013) and was recently appointed to the inaugural CAEP Board of Directors. He is also currently serving as the mathematics advisor for the PBS television shows Peg + CAT and the soon to be released (October, 2014) Odd Squad.

Dr. Fennell has received numerous honors and awards, including Maryland’s Outstanding Mathematics Educator, McDaniel College’s Professor of the Year, the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, the CASE – Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year – Maryland (1997), the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators’ Distinguished Outstanding Teacher Educator, and, more recently, the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Dr. Catherine Twomey Fosnot

Dr. Catherine Fosnot

New Perspectives Online, New Perspectives Assessment, and New Perspectives on Learning

Cathy Fosnot is Professor Emerita of Childhood Education and the Founding Director of Mathematics in the City, a nationally recognized center for professional development at the City College of New York. She has authored numerous books and articles on mathematics education, including most recently the Contexts for Learning Mathematics series and the Young Mathematicians at Work series. She currently serves as the senior content consultant for the award-winning internet math environment, DreamBox Learning, and is the CEO of New Perspectives on Learning, and the President of New Perspectives on Assessment and New Perspectives Online.

Julie Young

Julie Young

Global Personalized Academics

Julie Young is the CEO of Global Personalized Academics (GPA), an organization that provides virtual and classroom learning to help students across the globe transform the way they learn. She guides GPA to provide a global learning ecosystem with virtual and classroom-based quality education so no student will be left behind, regardless of where they live.

Prior to joining GPA, Young was founding president and CEO of the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the world’s first virtual statewide school district. Young helped grow the organization from 77 students in Florida to more than 2 million students worldwide. Young’s three decades of experience in education, her lifelong love of teaching, and her interest in technology and personalized learning have led to her role as a trusted consultant and advisor to business, education, and policy leaders across the nation.

Her background as a school teacher, trainer, and principal, coupled with her awareness of the potential for blended learning to raise achievement, evolved into a joint effort to launch the first statewide online high school in 1997 and her position as the Founder/President and CEO of FLVS. Under her leadership, FLVS became the nation’s largest and most influential K–12 public online school district.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, and her selection as one of the Top 30 Influencers in Ed Tech by Technology & Learning. In 2013, Young received the Women Who Mean Business award from the Orlando Business Journal. She was featured in the nation’s Top 50 Innovative Leaders in the Converge 2011 Yearbook, and was the subject of a cover story in Florida Trend Magazine. In 2003, she was inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Hall of Fame. Her passion and desire to see students succeed is the motivating factor behind all that she does.

Young graduated with a MEd from the University of South Florida following her undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky.

Crystal Brown

Crystal Brown

Chief Communications Officer
University of Maryland

Crystal Brown, a seasoned communications leader, currently serves as the chief communications officer for the University of Maryland.  She has more than 15 years of experience leading award-winning communications campaigns for some of the nation’s leading education-focused corporations, non-profit organizations and foundations.  As chief communications officer for UMD, Brown is responsible for the development of communications strategies that enhance the university’s reputation locally, nationally and internationally.  She serves as the university’s spokesperson and oversees the central communications office, including reputation management, media relations, social media, public affairs and strategic communications initiatives. 

Previously, Brown held the position of senior vice president for the PK-12 education practice at Widmeyer Communications agency, overseeing the firm’s largest education clients, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Brown also served as senior vice president of E-Luminate Group, a marketing and strategic communications firm specializing in education technology and education policy. During her 10 year tenure, she successfully raised the national profile of many companies and advocacy organizations, including the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Dell Computer, LeapFrog, Blackboard, NEA Member Benefits, the Institute for Museums & Library Services, 3M, and the National Council on the Aging. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Communications Skills. 

Crystal currently serves as the chairperson of the Board of Directors for the National Education Association Foundation, is a member of the Advisory Board for DreamBox Learning and a member of the Executive Committee for Association of Public and Land-grant University’s Council on Strategic Communications.  She is also a member of PRSA and a recent recipient of the PRSA Toth Award for public relations campaign of the year. In her leisure time, Crystal enjoys running, reading, interior design and is actively involved in the Columbia, Maryland Chapter of Jack and Jill and the Columbia, Maryland Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.  She resides in Fulton, Maryland with her husband and two children. 

Crystal Brown

Gina Burkhardt

Education and Organizational Consultant

Burkhardt’s expertise includes business development, organizational and leadership development, system design and change, education and workforce reform and improvement, evaluation, policy and the application of research to policy and practice.

Gina Burkhardt currently is an independent education and organization consultant.  Previously she served as President and CEO of Jobs for the Future, a national not-for-profit organization with offices in Boston, MA and Oakland, CA. JFF creates solutions that catalyze change in education and workforce delivery systems to ensure that all underprepared young people and workers have the skills and credentials needed to succeed. 

Prior to joining JFF, Burkhardt was the executive vice president of AIR, one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. AIR, a not-for-profit organization, conducts and applies research in the areas of education, health, international development, and work and training to improve people’s lives and well-being, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged. As director of AIR’s Education program from 2010 through 2014, Burkhardt was responsible for over 500 employees and a $100 million annual budget.

In 2004, as CEO, she led the transformation of the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory to Learning Point Associates, a highly successful nonprofit education research and consulting organization serving states, districts, foundations, corporations, and the federal government. Learning Point Associates merged with AIR in August 2010.

A lifelong educator, Burkhardt began her career as a middle school mathematics and science teacher in upstate New York. Since then, she has held positions in higher education, managed school reform projects at the regional educational laboratories, and consulted nationally and internationally on education policy and practice as well as education system design. Burkhardt completed her doctoral coursework in educational psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed coursework in the Executive Education Program at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has authored publications, including a book on organizational change, and has given multiple presentations on 21st century learning environments, data-driven decision making, organizational change theory, and the application of effective research and development in education. She currently holds and has held several professional appointments, including serving as a board member for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes Education Week, Knowledge Alliance, and Manufacturing Renaissance.