Kate Walsh Pic

Kate Walsh (@nctqkate)

Kate Walsh has served as the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality since 2003, leading work to ensure that every child has equal access to effective teachers. At NCTQ, Walsh has spearheaded efforts to instill greater transparency and higher standards among those institutions that exert influence and authority over teachers. Notably, she launched the first-ever review and rankings of the nation's teacher preparation programs. Previously, Walsh worked at The Abell Foundation in Baltimore, the Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Core Knowledge Foundation. Among her accomplishments, she: started and ran a boarding school located in Kenya, East Africa, in order to educate at-risk boys from Baltimore; founded one of the nation's premier STEM programs, yielding numerous Intel Talent Search winners for Baltimore City; and, started the first alternative certification program for teachers in Maryland. A long-time resident of Baltimore, Walsh has also served on the Maryland State School Board.

Kate tweets @nctqkate

Kathleen Bolles

Director of Finance
Kathleen joined NCTQ in 2005. She has a BS in Business Administration from Towson University and is a Quickbooks ProAdvisor. She handles the organization's Financial and HR functions.

Sarah Brody

Chief of Staff
Sarah Brody serves as NCTQ's chief of staff after having worked at Charter Board Partners as the nonprofit's Director of Development and External Affairs. Prior to that, she managed fundraising and assisted with state policy work for NCTQ from 2009-2013. Sarah began her career as a Teach For America corps member, teaching high school English in the School District of Philadelphia and then at Mastery Charter School. Sarah holds an MS in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in English and history from Emory University.

Graham Drake

Director, Teacher Preparation Strategies
Graham joined NCTQ in 2011 following the completion of a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Kentucky where he concentrated on education policy. He gained experience working in Washington during an internship at the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Graham has previous classroom experience following the attainment of a BA and MA in Secondary Social Studies Education which were also earned at the University of Kentucky.

Eric Duncan

Director of Communications
Eric's background includes time in the Office of the Secretary, US Department of Education, advancing the educator-facing P-12 initiatives of then Secretary John B. King. In addition to supporting the Secretary's Teach to Lead Initiative to promote teacher leadership, he led the Department's work to support national efforts to diversify the teaching profession through policy initiatives and highlighting promising national practices. Eric was a high school Social Studies teacher at Crim Open Campus High School in Atlanta GA and a middle school English teacher at KIPP DC AIM Academy in Washington DC. He has a BA from Emory University and a JD from Wake Forest School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in Georgia.

Nicole Gerber

Communications Associate and State Policy Analyst
Nicole joined the NCTQ team with nine years of teaching experience at the secondary level. She has taught history, economics, English literature, and government in North Carolina, West Africa, and DC. Nicole holds a BA in Government and International Politics from George Mason University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science.

Karen Gray

Executive Assistant to the President
Karen Gray comes to NCTQ with a richly varied professional background, including over 15 years in private practice as a life coach. She is an ordained Interfaith Minister, and continues to lead ceremonies and worship services, and to answer pastoral care calls. She's also a jazz vocalist who has led hundreds of performances, including at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, and countless private and public events. In a previous life, she worked in Organization Development for Goldman Sachs and Accenture. Karen holds a BA in General Liberal Arts from George Washington University and an MBA in Organizational Behavior from Columbia University.

Sarah Heaton

Managing Director, District Policy and Practice
Prior to joining NCTQ, Sarah worked for Baltimore City Schools where she designed and implemented district teacher compensation, evaluation, and preparation policies. Before that, she taught high school English in west Baltimore. Her professional interests include teacher support and development, performance management, assessment and evaluation. She has a BA in English and History from Oberlin College and holds a Maryland Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate earned through the Johns Hopkins University MAT program.

Hannah Jarmolowski

District and State Policy Analyst
Hannah started her career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching 7th grade reading at YES Prep in Houston, Texas. After originally coming to NCTQ as a fellow, she transitioned to her current role as District and State Policy Analyst in 2017. Hannah holds a Ed.M in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Public Policy from Vanderbilt University.

Samuel Lubell

Senior Writer
Samuel Lubell joined NCTQ in October 2016 as the Senior Writer. He has over 20 years of experience as a policy analyst, writer, and researcher in education. Samuel has written reports, articles, blogs, briefs, and other content for a variety of education organizations while at Widmeyer, CommunicationWorks, and GMMB. Having taught traditional, alternative, and special education in public, private, and religious schools, Samuel can draw on a variety of classroom experiences. He holds Master's degrees in teaching and in History from Columbia University and took Ph.D.-level classes in education policy at the University of Maryland.

Amber Moorer

Director, District Initiatives
Amber is a former guidance counselor and K-12 research consultant for school districts and nonprofit organizations. She holds an Ed.M. in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in English and Psychology from Columbia University.

Kency Nittler

Manager, Teacher Trends
Kency manages NCTQ's Teacher Contract Database and serves as the lead data analyst for district projects. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from American University where she focused on statistical analysis and education policy and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from UCLA.

Laura Pomerance

Senior Analyst, Teacher Preparation Strategies
Laura Pomerance taught middle school and high school physics and biology for five years before joining NCTQ. She has also worked in science education policy for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as a legislative assistant in the Maryland State Legislature, and in Congress. She holds a M.Ed in secondary education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BA in physics and biology from Swarthmore College.

Hannah Putman

Director of Research
Hannah comes to NCTQ following four years conducting education research with Westat, a social science research company. Her projects included work on informal science education and teacher incentive programs. Prior to Westat, Hannah taught seventh and ninth grade English for three years in the Bronx, New York, as a Teach For America corps member. Hannah holds BA's in English and Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, an MS in Teaching from Pace University, and an MPP from the George Washington University with a focus on education policy and evaluation.

Rob Rickenbrode

Senior Managing Director, Teacher Preparation Strategies
Robert Rickenbrode served as the Chief Academic Officer and mathematics/computer science teacher for the Cesar Chavez Charter Schools in DC for nine years prior to joining NCTQ. Before that, he worked in the San Juan School District in Utah and for seven years was a member of the 'Ndahoo'aah Summer Program at Monument Valley High School. He is on the board of the Bryant Woods Montessori School in Maryland. He holds a MA in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University and a BS in economics from the California Institute of Technology.

Elizabeth Ross

Managing Director, State Policy
Elizabeth has dedicated her professional life to ensuring that all students have access to an excellent education. She began her career as a third grade teacher at Simon Elementary School in Washington, D.C. and most recently worked at the U.S. Department of Education on initiatives including: ESEA flexibility, Excellent Educators for All, and regulations and guidance under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Elizabeth holds a B.A. from Georgetown University, where she studied English Literature and Government; an M.A.T. from American University; a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law, where she was a public interest scholar; and an Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she was a Zuckerman Fellow.

Catherine Worth

State Policy Analyst
Catherine began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member, teaching middle school math in Dallas, Texas. She has also worked as a Policy & Advocacy Fellow with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and as an education program evaluator with ImpactED Philadelphia. Catherine holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Southern Methodist University and an M.S.Ed in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.