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 also serves on the board 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.
Melissa Steel King, Director
Melissa Steel King is an Associate Partner at Bellwether on the Policy and Thought Leadership team, where her work has focused on teacher preparation and training, personalized learning, and program evaluation. Previously, Melissa worked at SUNY Albany’s Center for Human Services Research (CHSR), where her projects included evaluation of the Albany school district’s federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, facilitation of school improvement planning with Albany High School, and data management and evaluation for The Albany Promise. Prior to joining CHSR, Melissa conducted effectiveness research on pre-k through 12 curricula in the Research and Validation Department at Scholastic Inc., and worked as a trainer and evaluator for a social and ethical awareness program in Boston public schools. Melissa’s work has included research and analysis related to pre-k through 12 literacy instruction and intervention, children’s social and emotional development, quality of implementation of instructional programs, and school improvement. Melissa holds a BA from Williams College and a MBA in elementary education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her doctorate in education in human development and psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
My Le Nguyen, Director
My Le Nguyen is the Managing Partner of Lyden Capital, where she leads investments in technology companies in the lower middle market. Prior to Lyden Capital, My Le led a variety of investments at Francisco Partners, a global private equity firm. Previously, My Le was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley where she completed transactions across the Internet and software sectors. Across her career, My Le has completed $3 billion in transactions across the technology, healthcare, and business services sectors. My Le serves as a strategic partner to company management teams, advising on matters across finance, technology, operations and strategy. She has been as a director on the boards of numerous companies, including Avangate, EF Johnson, eSolutions, GXS, NexTech, Qualtrax, and WatchGuard. My Le earned a BA in Economics from Stanford University (with Distinction and Phi Beta Kappa honors) and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
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.
Anthony Walker, Director
Anthony Walker is currently an Analyst at Citadel LLC where he manages a portfolio of investments in the Industrial sector. Anthony joined Citadel, one of the largest asset management funds in the world, in 2015. Prior to joining Citadel, Anthony spent three years at Ariel Investments where he served as Vice President, Research and was a member of the Investment Committee. He joined Ariel’s research department in July 2012 and was responsible for covering the energy and industrial services sectors. Previously, Anthony spent five years in research at Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers where he began as an analyst. Following three years of top-tier analyst rankings within the firm, Barclays promoted him in 2010 to assistant vice president of equity research in the oil service and drilling group. Anthony earned his BA at Columbia University (NY) where he double concentrated in economics and political science and received his MBA from the University of Chicago. Anthony is active in the Chicago community serving as a mentor for the Link Unlimited Scholars program (Chicago’s oldest college and career success program focused on minority youth) and teaching a financial literacy class at Dewey School of Excellence on Chicago’s south-side.