Chris Adams, Director
Chris Adams is a partner with Francisco Partners, a leading technology-focused private equity firm, where he focuses on investments in software and information services businesses. Previously, he worked at American Securities Capital, where he executed private equity transactions in a variety of industries. Prior to that, he was with Bain & Company as a strategy consultant. Adams currently serves on the board of directors of four private for-profit technology and information companies. Over the past seven years, Adams has worked with GreatSchools in various financial advisory capacities. He earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his BS in computer engineering from Georgia Tech, with summa cum laude honors.
Peter Cunningham, Director
Peter Cunningham is the Executive Director of Education Post, a Chicago-based non-profit communications organization promoting efforts to improve public education. Previously, Peter was President of Cunningham Communications, a Chicago-based communications company serving public, private and non-profit sector clients. He is also affiliated with Whiteboard Advisors, a DC-based education policy and research firm. He recently served as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach in the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration’s first term. Prior to that he worked with Arne Duncan when he was CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. For several years Peter was affiliated with the political consulting firm Axelrod and Associates, and also served for five years in the administration of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Peter serves on the board of Great Schools, a national non-profit that helps parents choose schools, Englewood Montessori Charter School in Chicago, and Manufacturing Renaissance, a Chicago-based non-profit seeking to restore manufacturing through workforce development strategies. A native New Yorker, Peter began his career as a journalist with small weekly newspapers in New York. He earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia and a B.A. in Philosophy from Duke. He is married to an artist, Jackie Kazarian and they have two adult children who are proud graduates of the Chicago Public Schools.
Ann Fuell, Chair
Ann Fuell’s work as a board member for the Almaden Country School in Northern California has allowed her to see the importance of strong school leadership and the crucial role of the Board in strategic planning. Following a move overseas in 2008, Ann was elected to serve on the Board of Governors at the International School of Amsterdam, expanding her understanding of international education, the International Baccalaureate Program, and teachers unions. She has worked in program management and consulted for KPMG Consulting and KPMG’s Center for Leadership Development. She holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education, with a specialization in Student Personnel Administration from New York University. Her family, with elementary and middle school children, returned to the US in 2010.
Dr. Karen Hill-Scott, Director
Dr. Karen Hill-Scott is a nationally recognized child development expert for early education systems and a consultant for children’s media and television content. A former UCLA professor of urban planning, Dr. Hill-Scott brings a multi-faceted approach to improving the lives of young children. Previous to her positions at UCLA, she chaired the California School Readiness Master Plan and co-founded Crystal Stairs, California’s largest child development agency. While she continues to teach for the UCLA Anderson School of Management executive training programs, she also Chairs the Board of Crystal Stairs, serves on the boards of the Foundation for Child Development and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation of Southern California. Dr. Hill-Scott received her Ed.D. in Child Development from UCLA where she was a Danforth Fellow, a Chancellor’s Fellow, Outstanding Graduate Student of Year, and was named the Tom Bradley Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award in 2007.
Bill Jackson, Founder and Director
Bill Jackson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GreatSchools, an independent, non-profit organization that helps parents be champions of their children’s education. A former teacher in China and the U.S., Bill also spent time as a high-tech entrepreneur. He later felt the need to harness digital media to engage parents in their children’s education by founding GreatSchools. Under his leadership, GreatSchools has become the premier source of education and parenting information on PreK-12th schools for parents nationally. He’s deeply involved in the education of his own children, always seeking out the best new technology applications to help his children learn and serving as a member of the Parent Association at his children’s school. He also serves on the board of directors of the Mandarin Institute and the Yale-China Association. Bill holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University and is a graduate of the San Francisco Coro Fellows Program. As a high school student, Bill was the president of the Scientific Society at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Larry Kane, Director
Larry Kane is a partner in the emerging company practice group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. He represents both emerging and public companies in several areas, including formation and structuring, financing, partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and private and public offerings of securities. For the past 20 years, Kane has also served as volunteer coach of the wrestling team at Galileo Academy of Science, where he has led hundreds of wrestlers to both athletic and academic success. He also serves on the San Francisco Library Commission. Mr. Kane serves on the board of Aim High, the San Francisco School Alliance, and Pivot Education, and he counsels pro bono a number of community groups and organizations, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Kane earned his JD from the Columbia University School of Law and his BA from Columbia University.
Leanna Landsmann, Director
Leanna Landsmann was president of Time for Kids, a magazine reaching more than 4.2 million students nationwide. Before joining Time, she was editor and publisher of Instructor, the nation’s leading magazine for teachers, and director of Harcourt Brace Children’s Books. She founded Leanna Landsmann Inc. (LLI), a company that helped corporations and organizations contribute successfully to schools. She was founding volunteer director of New York City’s Principal for a Day and founding board member of PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning). She writes “A+ Advice for Parents,” a weekly column syndicated by United Features. She helped launch the Canandaigua New York Lake Watershed Alliance Education Program. She is co-chair of the Scripps Florida Council in Jupiter, Florida. The council is dedicated to supporting basic research in disease prevention and cures at the Scripps Research Institute, the world’s leading not-for-profit biotechnology center. Landsmann started her career as a teacher in West Africa.
Gilman Louie, Director
Gilman Louie is a partner of Alsop Louie Partners, a venture capital fund. He is the founder and former CEO of In-Q-Tel, a strategic venture fund created to help enhance national security by connecting the CIA and U.S. intelligence community with entrepreneurial companies. Gilman built a career as a pioneer in the interactive entertainment industry having developed the Falcon F-16 flight simulator as well as being the visionary who licensed Tetris, the world’s most popular computer game, for the U.S. market. Gilman was also founder of Spectrum Holobyte which ultimately was acquired by Hasbro Corporation, where he served as chief creative officer of Hasbro Interactive. Gilman has a keen interest in education, serving on the boards of NewSchools.org, the Mandarin Institute and the Chinese American International School in San Francisco. He is also a former president of The San Francisco School Volunteers. Gilman has completed two advanced business programs at Harvard Business School and earned his BS in Business Administration from San Francisco State University.
Clesont Mitchell, Director
Clesont Mitchell has spent over 25 years in the field of parent involvement and education. He believes that, through true collaborations at all levels; we can help all our children succeed. He has fostered the idea of parent partnerships to better reflect the true ideal of working together to help our children succeed. Mitchell has served as president of LaGuardia High School of Music and Art Parents Association, president of the Council of Specialized High Schools, president of the Manhattan Federation of Parent Associations, and vice president and chairman of the executive board of United Parents Associations of NYC, Inc. He has also worked as the program coordinator and outreach director of the New York Urban League’s Citywide Parent Engagement in School Leadership Teams. Mitchell has served on the Parent Advisory Panel for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition. He is currently a member of the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) and the National Coalition for Parents of English Language Learners (NCPELL) and serves on the boards of GreatSchools and Citizens for Effective Schools.
Michael Schmier, Vice Chair
Michael Schmier is currently VP & GM of Content and Services at Samsung Electronics America. Schmier has extensive experience in developing, marketing and managing Internet, mobile and software products at start up and venture-funded companies. His previous executive roles include VP/GM, Products and Marketing at BabyCenter (sold to Johnson & Johnson, Inc.), and VP, Product Marketing and Business Development at Merced Systems (sold to NICE Systems). He has also held executive roles at Thuuz Sports, Focus, Inc. and The Advisory Board Company. Schmier received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.