Advisory Board

Daniel J. Cohen, Ph.D.

Dan is the Director of the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and an Asso­ciate Professor in the Depart­ment of History and Art History at George Mason Univer­sity. The sponsor of more than two dozen digital history projects, CHNM has received major awards and grants for its ground­breaking work in using digital media and computer tech­nology to democ­ra­tize history. Dan has devel­oped soft­ware for scholars, teachers, and students, including the popular Zotero research tool. He has published arti­cles and book chap­ters on the history of math­e­matics and reli­gion, the teaching of history, and the future of history in a digital age. His books include Digital History: A Guide to Gath­ering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (2005). Dan received his B.A. from Princeton Univer­sity, his M.T.S. from Harvard Univer­sity, and his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Gary M. Diamond

Gary is the Director of Educan Consul­tants (Ontario) Ltd. , a private educa­tion consor­tium that provides support services to schools, school districts, inter­na­tional schools, and senior admin­is­tra­tors. Prior to founding Educan, he served in various lead­er­ship roles within the Ontario Ministry of Educa­tion. Before that, he worked for over two decades as a secondary teacher, depart­ment head, and prin­cipal in Ontario’s public and private schools. An expert in curriculum devel­op­ment, orga­ni­za­tional change, and student assess­ment, Gary has worked with inter­na­tional schools in China, Hong Kong, Mongolia, India, Malaysia, Singa­pore, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, and various Euro­pean coun­tries. A teacher of History, English, and Economics, Gary earned a B.Ed. and M.A. from the Univer­sity of Toronto.

Tracey K. Friedlander

A passionate children’s advo­cate, Tracey is a busi­ness and pro bono legal consul­tant with substan­tial expe­ri­ence advising nonprofit orga­ni­za­tions with respect to strategic plan­ning, oper­a­tions, fundraising, marketing, finance, personnel, and gover­nance. She previ­ously served as General Counsel and Vice Pres­i­dent of Star­Band Commu­ni­ca­tions Inc. and Asso­ciate General Counsel and Vice Pres­i­dent of Teligent, Inc. Tracey earned her B.A. in Polit­ical Science and Spanish from Dick­inson College and her J.D. from the Amer­ican Univer­sity Wash­ington College of Law.

Jay P. Greene, Ph.D.

Jay is Endowed Chair and Head of the Depart­ment of Educa­tion Reform at the Univer­sity of Arkansas. He is the author of Educa­tion Myths: What Special-​​Interest Groups Want You to Believe About Our Schools – and Why It Isn’t So (2005). His arti­cles have appeared in policy jour­nals such as The Public Interest and Educa­tion Next , in acad­emic jour­nals such as The George­town Public Policy Review and The British Journal of Polit­ical Science , and in major news­pa­pers such as the Wall Street Journal and Wash­ington Post . He has been a professor of govern­ment at the Univer­sity of Texas at Austin and the Univer­sity of Houston. He received his B.A. from Tufts Univer­sity and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Ned Johnson

Ned is the founder and pres­i­dent of Prep­Mat­ters, Inc. , and one of the most sought-​​after tutors in the Wash­ington, D.C. metro­pol­itan area. Co-​​author of Conquering the SAT: How Parents Can Help Teens Over­come the Pres­sure and Succeed (2006), Ned has devoted well over 20,000 hours to stan­dard­ized test prepa­ra­tion, serving students of all ages and abil­i­ties from the D.C. area as well as those who have trav­eled from Penn­syl­vania, Delaware, New York, the New England states, England, and Belgium. In addi­tion to his time with clients, he over­sees instructor hiring and training, curriculum devel­op­ment, and busi­nesss manage­ment. Ned received his B.A. from Williams College in Economics and Polit­ical Science.

Wendy Schaetzel Lesko

Wendy is the founder of the , a non-​​partisan orga­ni­za­tion that encour­ages young people to speak up and pursue lasting solu­tions to prob­lems they care deeply about. She also founded Students Prac­ticing and Respecting Knowl­edge (SPARK), a volunteer-​​run program that provides free one-​​on-​​one tutoring to public school students. A grad­uate of Rollins College, Wendy has presented over 1,000 keynote speeches and work­shops in more than 30 states to audi­ences of all ages. Her books include Maximum Youth Involve­ment: The Complete Game­plan for Commu­nity Action (2003) and Youth! The 26% Solu­tion (1998).

Phillip E. Nelson, Ph.D., C.S.C.

In his 25 years of govern­ment service and subse­quent work as an inde­pen­dent consul­tant, Phil has amassed exten­sive expe­ri­ence and exper­tise in managing orga­ni­za­tional change, team building, training, and coaching. A grad­uate of the United States Mili­tary Academy in West Point, Phil served in the Army in Korea and Vietnam and rose to the rank of Captain, Airborne Infantry. After receiving his Ph.D.focusing on Orga­ni­za­tion Devel­op­ment from the Univer­sity of Wisconsin, Phil worked in the U.S. Office of Personnel Manage­ment Depart­ment of Training, where he devel­oped several and taught 16 government-​​wide advanced manage­ment courses, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, where he helped to imple­ment major new infor­ma­tion systems. He is an active member of the Chesa­peake Bay Orga­ni­za­tion Devel­op­ment Network, Mensa, and the World Future Society.

Linda Kern Pelzman, Ph.D.

Linda is the founder of Wonder Kids, an educa­tional orga­ni­za­tion whose mission is to encourage children’s natural sense of wonder. Through hands-​​on art, science, and outdoor team building activ­i­ties, Wonder Kids offers a unique summer enrich­ment expe­ri­ence for students entering kinder­garten through eighth grade. Linda received two M.A.’s and a Ph.D. from Harvard Univer­sity, where she also earned six Certifi­cates for Distinc­tion in Teaching. After a Fulbright Doctoral Fellow­ship to the Univer­sity of Paris, she taught in the St. John’s College “Great Books Program” in Annapolis and Santa Fe as well as in the George Wash­ington Univer­sity Honors Program and Rutgers Univer­sity. In recent years she also has been a math specialist at two Mont­gomery County (Mary­land) private schools.

Jimmy Rhee

Jimmy is the founder of Smart­Coach, a unique new program for chil­dren with ADHD that inte­grates coaching tech­niques, behavior modi­fi­ca­tion exer­cises, and martial arts and fitness move­ments. He has over 20 years of entre­pre­neurial expe­ri­ence in enter­prise creation and growth manage­ment, including as CEO of Clev­er­learn, an Internet soft­ware company special­izing in online language learning, and Global Tech­nology Systems Consor­tium, Inc. (GTSC), a full service IT consulting firm. A 5th degree black belt, at one time Jimmy was Chief Instructor for the world-​​renowned Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do Insti­tute. He received his B.S. from the Univer­sity of Mary­land and M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

Eugene H. Ridberg, Ph.D.

A clin­ical psychol­o­gist, Gene has been in private prac­tice in Mont­gomery County (Mary­land) for more than three decades, with a specialty in working with ADHD and LD chil­dren and adoles­cents. He previ­ously served for 16 years as the Director of Psycho­log­ical Services at the renowned Kings­bury Center, providing diag­nostic testing and therapy for indi­vid­uals with learning differ­ences and consulting with various private schools. Gene received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Univer­sity of Wisconsin.

Candace Sahm

Candace is the founder of ADHD Coaching for LIFE, LLC and the founder and director of Posi­tive Learning Expe­ri­ences, LLC (PLE), a highly regarded tutoring center known for its ADHD exper­tise, coaching approach to tutoring, and SAT/​ACT prep courses. Dynamic and inno­v­a­tive, Candace is an expe­ri­enced ADHD coach and educator, and a tire­less advo­cate for raising aware­ness about ADHD and its impact on people’s lives. Over the years she has taught in various public and private schools in Mont­gomery County (Mary­land). Candace earned her B.S. in Special Educa­tion from the Univer­sity of Mary­land and her M.A. in Education/​Human Devel­op­ment from The George Wash­ington University.

Steven M. Schwartz, M.D.

Steve is the Asso­ciate Dean for Infor­matics at the George­town Univer­sity School of Medi­cine , where he formerly served as the Director of Predoc­toral Educa­tion in the Depart­ment of Family Medi­cine. He has received awards for his teaching and given presen­ta­tions and lectures at profes­sional confer­ences throughout the country. Steve also is in private prac­tice with Potomac Physi­cian Asso­ciates in Kens­ington, Mary­land, where he provides primary care to newborns, chil­dren, and adults. Recog­nized as a Wash­ing­tonian 2008 Top Doctor, Steve’s special inter­ests include alter­na­tive, inte­gra­tive, and sports medi­cine. He received his under­grad­uate degree from Wesleyan Univer­sity and his M.D. from Tufts Univer­sity School of Medicine.

William R. Stixrud, Ph.D.

A clin­ical neuropsy­chol­o­gist in private prac­tice since 1985, Bill is the Director of The Stixrud Group . He special­izes in the eval­u­a­tion of chil­dren, adoles­cents, and adults with learning diffi­cul­ties, and he regu­larly lectures and leads work­shops with respect to such topics as the neuropsy­chology of learning, learning differ­ences, atten­tion and exec­u­tive func­tioning, stress, sleep, and self-​​regulation, emotional and social devel­op­ment in chil­dren and adoles­cents, and adoles­cent brain devel­op­ment. Prior to entering private prac­tice, Bill served as a staff neuropsy­chol­o­gist at the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) and George­town Univer­sity School of Medi­cine (GUSM). He has been an adjunct faculty member at CNMC since 1986, and he also holds faculty appoint­ments at GUSM and the George Wash­ington Univer­sity School of Medi­cine. The recip­ient of many awards and acad­emic honors, Bill earned his B.A. and M.Ed. from the Univer­sity of Wash­ington and his Ph.D. from the Univer­sity of Minnesota.

Mahlon R. Straszheim, Ph.D.

Mahlon is a Professor of Economics at the Univer­sity of Mary­land in College Park. In his over three decades at Mary­land, he has served as Asso­ciate Provost, the chair of the Depart­ment of Economics (from 1988 to 2005), and on numerous Univer­sity commit­tees. With research inter­ests in urban economics, trans­porta­tion economics, local labor markets, and regional models of the State of Mary­land and its sub-​​regions, Mahlon served as an advisor to Mary­land Gover­nors Schaefer and Glen­dening (from 1992 to 1998) and has provided quar­terly economic fore­casts to the Mary­land Comp­troller since 1992. He has frequently appeared before commit­tees of the Mary­land General Assembly as well as other public and private sector groups. Mahlon received his A.B. from Purdue Univer­sity and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Rich Wein­feld

A long-​​time advo­cate for quality educa­tion for all students, Rich is the Managing Member of Wein­feld Educa­tion Group, LLC . Twenty of his thirty years with the Mont­gomery County (Mary­land) Public School System were spent in a variety of lead­er­ship roles in special educa­tion, including serving as the County’s first full-​​time coor­di­nator of programs for students who are simul­ta­ne­ously gifted and learning disabled. An instructor at Johns Hopkins Univer­sity, Rich has been selected to present at numerous national confer­ences. His books include Smart Kids with Learning Diffi­cul­ties: Over­coming Obsta­cles and Real­izing Poten­tial (2006) and Helping Boys Succeed in School (2006). In addi­tion to his advo­cacy work, Rich does exten­sive parent and staff training and consults with schools about appro­priate program­ming for all students. He received his B.A. from Amer­ican Univer­sity and M.A. from Trinity College.

Jerry Whiddon

Jerry is a free­lance artist who has worked in profes­sional theatre in Wash­ington, D.C. and New York City for almost four decades. He was co-​​founder and Artistic Director of Street 70 Theatre from 1970 until 1978, when he co-​​founded the Round House Theatre , for which he served as Producing Artistic Director from 1985 through 2005. Under Jerry’s lead­er­ship Round House grew into a major award-​​winning artistic force – with a keen focus on both perfor­mance and educa­tion as central to its mission. Since 2005 he has continued his acting and directing work – on stage, in film, on TV, and as a speech/​presentation coach in the corpo­rate and polit­ical sectors. Over the years Jerry has had the oppor­tu­nity to work as a director, actor, and teacher with many outstanding artists, and he has taught exten­sively throughout the D.C. area and East Coast.