Our Board

Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) board of trustees is comprised of individuals who, based on their knowledge and experience, make valuable contributions to our overall conduct. EPE’s current trustees are K-12 and media community members that have demonstrated passion and expertise that aligns with our nonprofit mission. The board regularly meets to review EPE’s practices and reviews the performance of its portfolio of sub-brands, Education Week, EdWeek Top School Jobs, and EdWeek Market Brief. Each member’s unique voice guides strategy and provides oversight and accountability for our organization’s actions.

Board of Trustees
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Conflict-of-Interest Policy for Board of Trustees
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Trustee Disclosure Statement
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Aggie Alvez, Vice Chair

Aggie Alvez is a seasoned communications, marketing, and community engagement consultant with more than 30 years experience working in leadership positions in the corporate, public education, and nonprofit sectors. She served as Vice President of Marketing for Discovery Education and led strategic communications and community engagement for both the Houston Independent School District in Texas and Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland.

In an earlier role in Montgomery County Public Schools, Alvez oversaw compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws and diversity initiatives. Prior to that, she served as director of public affairs for a nonprofit organization, Street Law, Inc., adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School in the Street Law prison program, a television news writer and field producer, and a high school social studies teacher.

Alvez is active in the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Awards program and has served on the ABA’s Public Service Committee. She is on the board of Identity, Inc., an organization serving Latino youth and their families; consults with the Shared Humanity Project on its national plan to end poverty; and volunteers teaching ESL to adults.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Alvez earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore and was admitted to the Maryland Bar.

Peter Cohen

Peter Cohen is a recently retired senior executive who has held leadership positions across multiple education businesses spanning Pre K through adult learning. He now serves as a board member to four PreK-12 grade education companies, and as a Senior Advisor for Boston Consulting Group.

From 2017 until 2022, Cohen was the President of University of Phoenix, one of the largest adult-serving online universities in the country, where he focused on their commitment to improved graduation rates and increased career services for their adult students. Prior to that, from 2013 to 2017, he was the Group President for North America at McGraw-Hill Education. There, Cohen led the learning services and curriculum for both K-12 and higher education, following their purchase by Apollo Global Management. He was previously the CEO for Pearson’s K-12 curriculum and charter school business from 2008 to 2013, where he led the expansion of digital curriculum and services. Cohen began his education career at Sylvan Learning, the leading tutoring business in the USA, where he was the President and CEO for Sylvan and Educate Inc. from 1996 to 2008.

Before serving in leadership roles in the education industry, Cohen was a senior executive at multiple consumer service businesses, ranging from start-ups to large-scale chains.

He earned a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Redlands, Johnston College.

Susan Enfield, Chair

Susan Enfield serves as the Superintendent for the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada. Previously, Enfield spent 10 years as the Superintendent of Highline Public Schools in Burien, Wash. Under Dr. Enfield’s leadership, Highline implemented a bold strategic plan committed to ensuring that students graduate bilingual, biliterate with the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for the future they choose.

A former high school English, journalism, and English-Language Learner (ELL) teacher, Enfield served as Chief Academic Officer and then as Interim Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before coming to Highline in 2012. She previously held leadership positions in Evergreen Public Schools (Vancouver, Wash.), Portland Public Schools, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Enfield is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned master’s degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also holds a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard’s Urban Superintendents Program.

Jess Gartner

Jess Gartner is the CEO & Founder of Allovue, an education technology company that empowers K-12 educators to strategically and equitably allocate financial resources. She has raised $13 million in venture capital for Allovue, which supports school districts across the nation to budget, manage, and evaluate spending. It has been credited with birthing the EdFinTech industry and hosts the annual Future of Education Finance Summit.

Gartner has been featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Education, Baltimore Sun’s Women to Watch, The Tech Edvocate’s Trailblazers in Edtech, and Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. She was recognized as a Maryland SmartCEO Innovator of the Year and received the Johns Hopkins Outstanding Alumni Award and the Maryland TEDCO Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Before founding Allovue, Gartner studied education policy at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude. She received her M.A. in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. She serves on the boards of Access Art MD, Teach for America, and the National Advisory Council of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

John M. Geddes

John Geddes was managing editor for Bloomberg Politics, directing the news service’s 2016 election coverage. He was a Shorenstein fellow in 2014 at the Harvard Kennedy School

Geddes retired as managing editor of the New York Times in 2013, after serving in that role for nearly a decade. Previously, he served there as deputy managing editor and as a business/financial editor. Before joining the Times in 1994, John was the chief executive officer of BIS Strategic Decisions, a market research company acquired by Friday Holdings, an investment partnership in which he was a principal

From 1976 to 1993, Geddes worked in the newspaper industry. After starting out as a reporter at the Ansonia Evening Sentinel, Ansonia, Conn., he worked as a reporter for the AP/Dow Jones News Service in New York and later in Bonn. He joined the Times as an economics correspondent in Bonn. Later, Geddes moved to the Wall Street Journal, where he held a number of positions: German bureau chief; deputy managing editor and then managing editor, Wall Street Journal/Europe; and news editor, assistant managing editor, senior editor, and national news editor for the Wall Street Journal.

Geddes has a master’s degree in business journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Rhode Island. He is married to Jyll Holzman, a former senior vice president for advertising at the New York Times. They live in New York City.

John H. Jackson

Dr. John H. Jackson is President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. In this role, he leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all students regardless of race or gender. Dr. Jackson joined the Schott Foundation after serving in several senior-level positions, including National Director of Education and Chief Policy Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 2000-2007. In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Jackson to serve as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Jackson has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Race, Gender, and Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. Earlier in his career, he conducted extensive research at the Harvard Civil Rights Project on civil rights and opportunity gap issues.

Jackson has been elected or appointed to serve on many boards and commissions. These include the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Directors, Nellie Mae Education Foundation Board of Directors, Harvard University Board of Alumni, Association of Black Foundation Executives, and American Bar Association At-Risk Commission. He also served on the Obama-Biden transition team as a member of the President’s 13-member Education Policy Transition Work Group.

A native of the Southside of Chicago and product of the public school system, Dr. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Master of Education in Education Policy from the University of Illinois’ College of Education, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois’ College of Law. He also earned a Master of Education and Doctorate of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Al Kauffman

Al Kauffman is a Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. He teaches courses on constitutional law, education, voting, and state and federal procedure.

Before becoming a professor, Kauffman was an attorney in private practice and senior litigating attorney for Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). In those capacities he led cases on Texas school finance, higher education, standardized testing, and voting rights. He has also served as a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

In 2010, Texas Lawyer selected Kauffman as one of “The 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century.” He has also received awards from education and Latino organizations around the country.

Edward J. O’Connell

Edward O’Connell is a retired partner of Cooley LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s M&A department from 2014 to 2017. Previously, O’Connell had been a partner at Dow Lohnes LLP (which merged with Cooley in 2014), where he had practiced since 1983 and served on the firm’s Board of Directors and as head of the business transactions/M&A group.

During his 35 years as a business lawyer, O’Connell’s practice covered a wide variety of M&A, transactional, corporate, financing and securities law matters, with a special focus on higher education institutions and media, communications, and entertainment companies. He also worked on innovative joint ventures between non-profit and for-profit entities in the postsecondary education sector. In addition to representing public and private companies, higher education institutions, and investment banks, O’Connell represented private equity and venture capital companies in connection with fund formation and investments in the education, media, communications, and Internet industries.

O’Connell is a graduate of Yale College (B.A. 1977) and the Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude, 1983). He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Tax Court, and the other primary federal courts in the District of Columbia. He is a long-time member of the American Bar Association and the Federal Communications Bar Association, and he is a former member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). A member of the Songwriters Association of Washington, O’Connell is also an award-winning songwriter.

Jeff Perkins

Jeff Perkins leads the Washington, D.C., office of executive search and consulting firm Stanton Chase. As Managing Director, he serves clients in aerospace, technology, digital, and media, with a primary focus on C-suite and board searches.

Throughout his career, Perkins has held leadership positions in North America and Europe for major media, digital, and technology organizations, including: SpaceX, NPR, News Corporation, Nielsen, and Time Warner. In these roles, he guided diverse teams in human resources, executive search and compensation, culture development, and organizational transformation.

Perkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Wabash College, a Master of Science in organization development from American University, and an MBA from Georgetown University. He serves on the Boards of Trustees for Wabash College and Education Week.

Joseph Tovares, Secretary

Joseph Tovares is the Chief Content and Engagement Officer at WMHT Telecommunications in New York’s Hudson Valley. He oversees programming, broadcast and digital production, and production services.

Tovares is an award-winning producer and executive producer of non-fiction media. His latest work is titled Legal Lens, a project that teamed Harvard Law Students and filmmaker to produce five short films on human rights. The project’s co-executive producer, Martha Minow, is former dean of the Harvard Law School. The films were published by the Boston Globe in November of 2019 and screened as part of the GlobeDocs film series.

Previously, he served as the Sr. Vice President & Chief Content Officer at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. At CPB, Tovares oversaw a portfolio valued at more than 100 million dollars per year and comprised of television, radio, and journalism content projects. Prior to CPB he worked as a producer and executive producer on dozens of media projects. Among his long-form documentaries is Zoot Suit Riots, a film on the youth culture of 1940s Los Angeles and the anti-Mexican riots of the same period. The film is considered part of the Latino documentary canon.

Tovares is a frequent speaker at industry events and has presented at conferences and meetings in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. A a native of San Antonio, he lives in the Boston area.

Jerry Weast, Advisor

Jerry D. Weast is a 35-year veteran of education leadership. Dr. Weast led Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools—16th largest school district in the nation—to achieve both the highest graduation rate among the nation’s largest school districts for four consecutive years and the highest academic performance ever in MCPS. He achieved this at a time when the non-English speaking student population more than doubled and enrollment tipped toward low socioeconomic demographics.

During Dr. Weast’s tenure, Montgomery County Public Schools was a 2010 winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for management excellence and a 2010 finalist for the Broad Prize in Urban Education. His groundbreaking approaches to improving public education are the subjects of case studies by the Harvard Business School, The Pew Foundation, the Foundation for Child Development, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Panasonic Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Weast has published in professional journals including Phi Delta Kappan and has authored a chapter on the Achievement Gap for the book Improving the Odds for America’s Children: Future Directions for Policy and Practice, acknowledging the 40th anniversary of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Dr. Weast was named superintendent of the year in two states. He has twice been awarded North Carolina’s highest honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, for his work on behalf of the state’s children. He was recognized by the Yale School of Child Development for his support of initiatives in early learning and has received the C. Jackson Grayson Award for managerial excellence, as well as awards from the Schott Foundation and the American Educational Research Association for leadership in developing strategies leading to improved student achievement across all racial and socioeconomic groups. Weast has been named a Washingtonian of the Year and is a recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators, the organization’s highest honor.

Weast has served on the boards of policy, educational, business, and community organizations including the Peabody College (Vanderbilt University) National Ed.D. Advisory Board and the Junior Achievement Worldwide Education Group; and as a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development. Currently he is a board member of the Institute for Educational Leadership, and he also serves on the National Education Foundation Senior Fellows Advisory Group, the Opportunity to Learn Advisory Board (Schott Foundation for Public Education), the National Advisory Board of the P3 Leadership Institute at the University of Washington, and advisory boards of America Achieves, TeachersConnect, and the Principal’s Exchange through its partnership with THINK Together.

In furtherance of his work in educational leadership development, Dr. Weast is founder and president of the Partnership for Deliberate Excellence, LLC, through which he is working with school districts and foundations across the country to improve the quality of public education. He has presented extensively in the U.S. and internationally, including at the European Council of International Schools and through Fulbright-funded travel to Northern Ireland to consult on school integration. He has twice been invited to the People’s Republic of China, has spoken to educators in Near and Middle Eastern countries, and was a guest of Japan’s Ministry of Education, speaking on the topic of school reform. Weast holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Oklahoma State University, where he was named to the College of Education Hall of Fame.

Christine Willig

Christine Willig serves as CEO of Illuminate Education, the leading provider of formative assessment, analytics, and data visualization solutions for K-12 education. Serving more than 12 million students around the country, Illuminate Education is committed to increasing the power of teaching and the delight of learning. Willig was appointed CEO of Illuminate after serving as CEO of Key Data Systems (KDS), one of five leading companies in K-12 education that merged to form the all new Illuminate Education in 2018. While at Key Data Systems, she was responsible for the company’s strategic direction and operations, helping position it as a leading assessment content and services provider in K-12.

Prior to KDS, Willig served as President of McGraw-Hill Education K-12, where she was responsible for transforming the company’s business during one of the most significant market shifts in all of education. Her appointment to President stemmed from her success in serving as Senior Vice President of Product, leading all product development and managing an extensive portfolio of PreK-12 curriculum and instructional materials—print and digital. Previously, Christine held several executive positions in education technology, including CEO of Math Solutions, which she led through a successful acquisition by Scholastic, and President of the company that launched CODIE-awarding winning netTrekker.

Throughout her career, the products and services under Willig’s leadership have earned numerous awards and recognitions, but most importantly have earned the respect of educators around the country. Widely recognized as one of the leading minds across education technology, content, and services, she is a frequent keynote speaker and author, and was bestowed the Lamplighter Visionary Award from the Association of American Publishers in 2015. A lifelong learner dedicated to education, Willig earned her degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Jim Zielinski, Treasurer

James D. Zielinski was CEO of Zielinski Financial Advisors, LLC before retiring in January 2021. He founded this consultancy in 2006 to serve privately owned business to business media companies.

Prior to that, Zielinski was Chief Financial Officer of Hanley Wood, LLC, a media firm providing critical information to the residential and commercial construction industries. In addition, he had a long career in commercial and investment banking with Chase Manhattan Bank, and Bankers Trust Company in New York.

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Zielinski earned a master’s degree from Columbia Business School. He is also a US Army veteran.

The Trustees of Editorial Projects in Education owe a duty of loyalty to the organization, which requires that in serving EPE they act, not in their personal interests or in the interests of others, but rather solely in the interests of EPE. Trustees must have undivided allegiance to EPE’s mission and may not use their positions as Trustees, information they have about EPE, or EPE’s property in a manner that allows them to secure a pecuniary benefit for themselves or their relatives. The conduct of personal business between any Trustee and EPE is prohibited.

Business transactions between a Trustee and EPE in which a Trustee has an interest shall not be prohibited, but they shall be subject to close scrutiny. Such proposed transactions shall be reviewed carefully to determine that they are in the best interests of EPE and that they will not lead to a conflict of interest. For the purposes of this policy, a Trustee has an interest in a proposed transaction if he/she has a financial interest in it or holds a position as trustee, director, general manager, or principal officer in any such organization.

Trustees are expected to make full disclosure to the best of their knowledge of any dual interest in a proposed transaction by submitting a report to the President or other officer designated by the Board to handle such matters, supplying any reasons why the transaction might not be in the best interest of EPE. In matters requiring prior approval of the Board of Trustees, the Chairman or other officer shall forward copies of this disclosure report to the Board before its approval.

A Trustee with a dual interest in a proposed transaction shall not vote on the matter and, depending upon the circumstances, may be excluded from any discussion of the matter.

A Trustee shall not use inside information of EPE for his/her personal benefit. Nor shall a Trustee use such inside information or his/her position as a Trustee to the detriment of EPE, including participation with outside organizations or businesses. Inside information is information obtained through the Trustee’s position that has not become public information.

Each Trustee has a duty to place the interests of EPE foremost in any dealings involving the organization and has a continuing responsibility to comply with the requirements of this Policy. On an annual basis, each Trustee is required to complete a Trustee Disclosure Statement.

Please initial in the space at the end of Item A or complete Item B, whichever is appropriate; complete Item C; and sign and date the statement and return it to the board chair.

A. I am not aware of any relationship or interest or situation involving my family or myself which might result in, or give the appearance of being, a conflict of interest between such family member or me on one hand and EPE on the other. ______

B. The following are relationships, interests, or situations involving me or a member of my family that I consider might result in or appear to be an actual, apparent, or potential conflict of interest between such family members or myself on one hand and EPE on the other.

  • For-profit corporate directorships or employment:
  • Non-profit trusteeships or employment:
  • Memberships in the following organizations:
  • Contracts, business activities, and investments with or in the following organizations:
  • Other relationships and activities:

C. My primary business or occupation is: ______________________________________
I have read and understand EPE’s conflict-of-interest policy and agree to be bound by it. I will promptly inform the board chair of EPE of any material change that develops in the information contained in the foregoing statement.

Type/print Name ____________________________
Signature ______________________
Date __________________

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