Lowell Milken

Chairman and Founder
Lowell Milken's lifelong commitment to strengthening K–12 education has led to some of the country's most innovative means to dramatically advance educator effectiveness.

Dr. Candice McQueen

Chief Executive Officer
NIET CEO Dr. Candice McQueen leads a vision-setting and strategic planning process to improve teaching and learning through a focus on human capital.

Dr. Joshua Barnett

President and Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Joshua Barnett is president and chief operating officer for NIET, responsible for the organization's partnerships and services. Barnett also serves as the principal investigator for NIET's federal projects.

Dr. Patrice Pujol

Senior Executive-in-Residence
Dr. Patrice Pujol serves as senior executive-in-residence at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). In this role, she is responsible for the advancement of NIET's strategic plan and business development activities.

Kristan Van Hook

Chief Policy Officer
As chief policy officer at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Kristan Van Hook develops and implements strategies to build support for NIET's education initiatives, with a focus on increasing teacher and school leader effectiveness.

Sara Gast

Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Strategic Communications
Sara Gast joined NIET in February 2019 as the chief of staff and executive director of strategic communications. In this role, she serves as an advisor to the CEO, collaborates with and supports colleagues throughout the organization and leads NIET's communications efforts.

Laura Encalade

Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation
Laura Encalade currently serves as the senior vice president of strategy and innovation for NIET. In this role she supports strategic planning efforts, partnership opportunities and the development of new services and technologies for the organization.

Molly Sears

Chief Financial Officer
As chief financial officer, Molly provides leadership, management, and oversight for all fiscal activities related to the operations of NIET.

Vicky Condalary

Vice President of Services
Before serving as vice president of services, Vicky was executive director of the LA BOLD Project, assistant director of school services and was the project director for TAP Connect, a SEED grant in partnership with Texas Tech and five independent area school districts.

Dr. Ann Shaw

Executive Director of Training and East Team Leader
Dr. Ann Shaw has over 25 years teaching experience and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Throughout her career Shaw has served as a regional master teacher for SC TAP, master teacher, instructional coach and teacher.

Laura Roussel

Director of School Services and National and Special Project Team Leader
As the director of school services as well as national and special project team leader for NIET, Laura Roussel works at large on special projects that leverage educator effectiveness and school improvement efforts with partnering districts across the nation.

Stephanie Mosqueda

Director of Learning Technology Services and Texas Team Leader
Stephanie Mosqueda oversees NIET's web-based tools, as well as content and technical assistance support for partners.

Teddy W. Broussard

Senior Trainer
In his recent years with NIET, Teddy Broussard has served as senior program specialist, project director, assistant director of school services, director of training and senior trainer. 

Jana Rausch

Director of Communications
As director of communications, Jana Rausch has established more than 15 years of experience working with Lowell Milken’s groundbreaking education initiatives spanning K-12 to higher education.

Dr. Davita Lancelin

LA BOLD Project Director
Dr. Davita Lancelin currently supports Louisiana districts and schools through the LA BOLD Teacher Incentive Fund Grant.

Julee Broscoff

Julee Broscoff has served in public education for 32 years as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal, Reading First director, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and superintendent of Slaton ISD, Texas.

Bobby Cox

Bobby Cox is responsible for expanding the reach of NIET's work, relationships, and partnerships in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. Bobby joins NIET after serving Warren County Schools, Tennessee, for 29 years − including eight as superintendent.

Dr. Randy Speck

Randy Speck joined as executive in residence in 2019 with the goal of expanding the reach of NIET’s work, relationships, and results throughout the Midwest.

Sheila Talamo

Senior Program Specialist
Sheila Talamo coordinates a variety of NIET support and training services provided to multiple Louisiana district and school partners.

Payton Parker

Senior Director of Grant Management and Business Operations
Payton Parker assists project directors in their oversight, coordination, and management of the on-site activities related to federal projects.

Shelby Buono

Director of Strategic Projects
Shelby Buono serves as the director of strategic projects at NIET, where she leads and supports a variety of internal and external projects.

Shelia Banks

Senior Program Specialist
Before joining NIET, Shelia Banks successfully grew traditional and charter schools as TAP director and executive mater teacher for Orleans Parish Schools.

Julie Barbee

Senior Program Specialist
As a senior program specialist for NIET, Julie is part of the LA BOLD team supporting schools and districts within Louisiana.

Jill Crain

Senior Program Specialist
Jill joins NIET with 23 years of educational experience, and currently supports Indiana partners.

Patti Cruz

Executive Program Specialist and West Team Leader
Patti started with NIET in 2009 when she joined ASU Prep Academy as a TAP master teacher. She then went on to support the AZ Ready for Rigor Grant.

Erin Foster

Senior Program Specialist
Erin Foster primarily provides support for NIET's Indiana partner schools, capitalizing on her drive to influence positive change for students through her zeal for working with educational leaders.

Theresa D. Hamilton

Senior Program Specialist
Theresa Hamilton provides support to East Feliciana and Madison Parish School Systems as a senior program specialist.

Jennifer Hazelwood

Senior Program Specialist
Jennifer Hazelwood, a current NIET senior program specialist, worked in Jefferson Parish for 22 years before coming to NIET.

Pilar Holtrop

Senior Program Specialist
Pilar Holtrop serves schools and districts in Arizona and special projects, and brings two decades of experience with NIET's work in the state.

Jodi Leckbee Chan

Senior Program Specialist
Jodi Leckbee Chan has worked as a project director for the SEED 1 and SEED 2 grant projects, an executive master teacher, and senior program specialist with schools in Texas and across the U.S. for going on 12 years.

Claire Murray

Senior Program Specialist
As an English Language Arts teacher and response to intervention coordinator, Murray empowered students to find their voices and celebrate learning. She has served as a mentor teacher, master teacher, and regional master teacher for SC TAP.

Jen Oliver

Executive Program Specialist and Midwest Team Leader
Jen Oliver provides on-site training, support, and in-depth coaching to district and school leaders, teacher leaders, classroom teachers and university faculty. 

Lindsey Parker

Senior Program Specialist
Lindsey Parker works closely with the TAP efforts in Louisiana in both Madison and Caddo Parishes, focused on increasing educator effectiveness and improving student achievement growth.

Keely Potter

Senior Program Specialist
Keely Potter brings her background as an educator and a director at the Tennessee Department of Education to NIET, where she primarily supports schools in the state.

Tanjela Sims

Senior Program Specialist
Tanjela Sims boldly embraces a growth mindset, positivity and a "can-do" spirit as a senior program specialist.

Amber Simpson

Senior Program Specialist
Senior Program Specialist Amber Simpson spent much of her 20 years in education as a teacher leader before coming to NIET.

Natalie Szakacs

Executive Program Specialist and Tennessee Team Leader
Natalie Szakacs works with district and school partners to increase their impact on instructional excellence and student achievement.

Laura Tew

Senior Program Specialist
As a senior program specialist, Laura supports schools across the southern states and remotely, everywhere.

Devon Willis-Jones

Senior Program Specialist
Devon Willis-Jones' dedication to the education profession spans over 15 years. Prior to her NIET role, Devon served as principal of Jeanerette Elementary School in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, for seven years.

Dr. Tanée Hudgens

Director of Research
As director of research at NIET, Dr. Tanée Hudgens is responsible for establishing, managing, and overseeing research and evaluation initiatives within the organization.

Dr. Jessica Hall

Senior Research Associate
Jessica brings her expertise as a researcher and former English teacher to her work at NIET.

Dr. Trevor Leutscher

Senior Research Associate
Dr. Trevor Leutscher's work at NIET involves conducting studies to evaluate and improve NIET's programs.

Dr. Handrea Logis

Senior Research Associate
Dr. Handrea Logis supports all aspects of the NIET research activities, such as monitoring data collection efforts for the SEED grants, performing quantitative analysis to evaluate the impact of NIET's initiatives, as well as providing data and research support for various projects.

Amanda Warwick

Policy Associate
Amanda Warwick supports NIET's policy efforts at the federal and state levels.

Michael Hegarty

Special Events Manager
Michael has been with NIET since 2016 after serving for five years as the director of communications and outreach for the Arizona State University "Ready-for-Rigor Project."

Hannah Rush

Digital Communications and Content Manager
Hannah Rush contributes to the organization's internal and external communications outreach products, including training materials, social media, newsletters, and more.

Matt Connor

As controller, Matt Connor assists in financial and accounting functions of NIET with the goal of helping the organization meet its mission.

Christina Faas

Grant Specialist
Christina Faas supports the senior director of grant management and business operations in the oversight and management of NIET's sponsored projects as well as NIET's grant management practices, policies, and procedures.

Paulette Rowell

Senior Support Manager
As senior support manager for learning Technology Services, Paulette Rowell provides technical assistance support for multiple web-based platforms that integrate NIET best practices.

Janice Mann

Executive Assistant to the CEO
Janice Mann, executive assistant to CEO Dr. Candice McQueen, comes to NIET with 45 years of service from the Tennessee Department of Education.

Robbin Boudreaux

Administrative Assistant
Robbin Boudreaux supports NIET Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Patrice Pujol and assists other senior staff and program assistants.