Biographical Statements for Performance and Practice Committee Members

Michael Amolins

Michael Amolins is in his 11th year in education and is currently the Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Federal Programs for the Harrisburg School District in Harrisburg, SD, and serves as an Assistant Professor of Education at Augustana University. Through his passion for learning, he has spearheaded numerous instructional, enrichment, and mentorship programs at all grade levels, consistently placing an emphasis on student-led and student-centered educational strategies. With a background in pharmaceutical and biomedical research, Dr. Amolins has made a concerted effort to merge his passions for science and education to create unique learning opportunities for teachers and learners across the Midwest, including service on various standards, assessment, curriculum, and administrative committees with the South Dakota Department of Education, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the STARBASE South Dakota Board of Directors, the Washington Pavilion Community Learning Center, Sanford Research, and the Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE) cohort. In 2013, he was presented with the Midwest Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching by the American Chemical Society and in 2019 was selected as the South Dakota Curriculum Director of the year. Dr. Amolins holds a BA in Chemistry, Music, and Math from Augustana College, a MS in Medicinal Chemistry from The University of Kansas, and an Ed.D. in Education Curriculum & Instruction from The University of South Dakota. 

Crista Anderson

Crista Anderson is the Principal and acting Superintendent of Dixon School District located on the Flathead Reservation in rural western Montana. Prior to her five years in district administration, Crista served as a Missoula County Public School District regional instructional coach supporting Professional Learning Communities and individual teachers as they worked toward meeting professional goals. As part of the district curriculum team during the time of Common Core and Smarter Balanced Assessment implementation, she developed a passion for developing systems of support to prepare educators to increase student achievement for all students.    

Tara Battistoni

Tara Battistoni is the Supervisor of Research, Development, and Student Testing for Waterbury Public Schools in Waterbury, Connecticut.  She has held the position for sixteen years.  Prior to that Ms. Battistoni worked as a Research Analyst for two higher education institutions, the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She holds a Master of Science degree in Measurement and Statistics, a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, and a Certificate in Program Evaluation, all from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.  Ms. Battistoni is a member of the Connecticut Accountability Advisory Committee, the Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Advisory Committee, and the American Educational Research Association.  She has been a presenter for the College Board at the New England Regional Forum and the Connecticut Department of Education at the Performance Matters Forum.  Ms. Battistoni also holds a volunteer role with Phi Mu fraternity as a member of the National Assessment and Evaluation Committee.   

Todd Bloomquist

Dr. Todd Bloomquist serves as the Director of School Improvement for the Grants Pass School District in Grants Pass, Oregon. He has been working in public schools since 1991 as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director. Dr. Bloomquist has been a member of the Oregon State Assessment Advisory group since 2004 and has served on a number of state committees, including the Oregon legislative workgroup around the implementation of the Smarter Balanced state assessment. Dr. Bloomquist also teaches as an adjunct faculty member for Southern Oregon University in the School of Education. 

Susan Brookhart

Susan M. Brookhart is Professor Emerita in the School of Education at Duquesne University and an independent educational consultant and author based in Los Angeles, California. 

Dr. Brookhart was the 2007-2009 Editor of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practiceand is currently an Associate Editor of Applied Measurement in Education. She is author or co-author of eighteen books and over 100 articles and book chapters on classroom assessment, teacher professional development, and evaluation. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and on several national advisory panels. She has been named the 2014 Jason Millman Scholar by the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE) and is the recipient of the 2015 Samuel J. Messick Memorial Lecture Award from ETS/TOEFL. 

Dr. Brookhart’s research interests include the role of both formative and summative classroom assessment in student motivation and achievement, the connection between classroom assessment and large-scale assessment, and grading. Dr. Brookhart received her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from The Ohio State University, after teaching in both elementary and middle schools. She was a full-time faculty member at Duquesne University from 1989 through 2003, most recently as Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership. 

Gregory Cizek

Gregory J. Cizek is Guy B. Phillips Distinguished Professor of Educational Measurement and Evaluation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His specializations include test validity, standard setting, and formative assessment. He is the recipient of the 2006 AERA Division D award for Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology and the 2007 recipient of the National Council on Measurement in Education award for Outstanding Dissemination of Educational Measurement Concepts. He served from 2007–2009 and 2017-present as an appointed member of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Cizek received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He has served as a local school board member and he began his career as an elementary school teacher for five years in Michigan. 

Dan Durrwachter

Dan Durrwachter is the Assistant Superintendent at Peru Community Schools in the state of Indiana. He has teaching experience in middle school science and a multitude of high school science classes. He also spent time as an elementary administrator and most recently in the district role. He also has spent the last two years working with the state of Indiana in the transition to the new state assessments. He also has a b=Bachelor’s Degree in Bible and Science Education from Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, Pa and a Masters of Arts in Education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. 

Tanya Golden

Tanya Golden is celebrating 16 years as an elementary general education teacher for the ABC Unified School District.  Ms. Golden has instructed new teachers as a Master Teacher,  Teacher Leader for English Language Arts, SBAC Testing Coordinator, and written curriculum for district-wide use in English Language Arts. She served as a committee member of the Statewide Special Education Task Force for California, American Federation of Teachers Ambassador for SBAC, and currently serves on the CDE Assessment Workgroup committee. She is also an active member of her union: Executive Vice President, Negotiation Team, Teacher Leader Facilitator, Partnership Liaison, CFT Standing Committee Chairperson, and Secretary for the EC/TK-12 Council of the California Federation of Teacher. 

Janine Infantino Goldsnider

Janine Infantino-Goldsnider is a certified teacher with multiple endorsements covering pre-kindergarten to 8th grade.  She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education/Science at Central Connecticut State University and a Master of Arts Degree at Saint Joseph College in West Harford, Connecticut where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  Her professional teaching experience includes teaching at the Early Childhood Learning Center in Manchester, Connecticut, and a basic skills reading teacher at the Webster Hill School in West Hartford, Connecticut.  For the past 16 years Janine has been a fourth grade teacher at the George Hersey Robertson School in Coventry, Connecticut.  While there she was a cooperating teaching for student teachers from Southern Connecticut State University, Eastern State University as well as UCONN.  She is currently a mentor teacher and scores papers for TEAM.  She also holds the position of Grade Level Coordinator for her team of six fourth grade teachers and has coordinated an after school Expanding Horizon reading program and homework club.  Janine acted as a building representative for her district’s union and is currently part of the CREC NGSS Consortium to help develop and write assessments for the new NGSS Science curriculum. 

Brian Gong

Brian Gong has been involved in state and national efforts to support improved student learning through better assessment and accountability policy and practices for over 30 years.   During that time Brian has been extensively engaged in how to support design and development of assessment and accountability systems with a focus on validity.  That work has been broadly reflected in work on such aspects as the nature of claims, design of content/domain-specific test blueprints that will support sufficient evidence to support claims, design of performance and portfolio assessments, means to support accurate scoring of complex student responses, and guides for design and evaluation of assessment systems, such as alignment methodologies, and in specific support of assessments suitable for students with significant cognitive disabilities.  Brian has worked supporting states implementing their accountability systems in practical ways, from design (e.g., NGSS claims and blueprints) through producing documentation that will be approved through federal Peer Review (e.g., alignment studies).  Brian is a Senior Associate at the Center for Assessment, a non-profit consulting organization based in Dover, NH that provides technical support to states and other organizations around assessment and accountability.  He is a member of several technical advisory committees (TACs), including the TAC for Smarter Balanced.  Prior to co-founding the Center for Assessment, Brian served as the Associate Commissioner for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in the Kentucky Department of Education, and a Senior Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service. 

Kandi Greaves

Kandi Greaves is a teacher of 26 years in the state of Vermont. She spent two years teaching middle school special education, then spent the majority of her years teaching middle school math in a regular education classroom grades 6-8.  For three years, she moved into a district role as a math coach before returning to a middle school math classroom teaching position. In those three years she worked closely with classroom teachers to utilize the tests and results to their fullest potential.  Now she is back in a classroom utilizing her experience as a math coach to improve student performance. 

Susan Green

Susan is currently the Director of Assessment, Evaluation and Planning Department in the San Juan Unified School District.  For the past 25 years, she has been an educator working as a middle school math teacher, curriculum specialist, vice-principal and district assessment coordinator before becoming the Director of Assessment in 2014.  She has a Master of Education in Educational Management from the University of La Verne and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Susan is on the executive board serves as the President of the California Educational Research Association (CERA). 

Mike Nelson

A graduate of Coeur d’Alene Public Schools, Dr. Mike Nelson works with district educators to administer current and relevant assessments and regularly reports progress toward district and state goals. Idaho’s Milken National Educator from 2005, Mike is also responsible for our district’s assessment program and related professional development and works with our Technology and Special Education departments to continuously build student awareness and motivation. He holds six degrees from the University of Idaho in Spanish, broadcast journalism, curriculum, technology, administration and holds a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership. 

Jim O’Neill

Jim is currently a fifth-year as Curriculum Director of Butte School District in Montana. Previous to this position, he served as principal of Margaret Leary Elementary School for 12 years. He began his educational career as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in Fallon, NV and Butte, MT. In his current position, he works as the K-12 Curriculum Director, the Technology Director, Title I Director, and 21st Century Community Learning Grant Director.

Jennifer Paul

Jennifer began her career in education as a middle school and high school teacher of English, Spanish, and English as a Second Language. Her strong interest in the needs of English Learners eventually led her to the Michigan Department of Education where she managed the development and administration of the state’s English language proficiency assessment. In recent years, Jennifer’s work has included serving as co-chair of the Smarter Balanced workgroup focused on accessibility and ensuring all of Michigan’s assessments include necessary tools, supports, and accommodations now and in the future.

Steve Seal

Steve Seal is an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). He currently teaches 5th grade at Eshelman Ave School in Lomita, CA. Steve has been active in the CA Teachers Association (CTA) and was the Vice Chair of the Assessment and Testing Committee In CTA State Council for many years. He has also been involved in SBAC and Union collaborations over the past 6 years. He is active in many educational organizations and continues to represent teachers interests on a variety of issues.  

Bill Spear

William Speer is the Director of the UNLV Mathematics Learning Center. He has served on the Mathematics and Statistics Advisory Committee for the College Board, served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington, DC based Triangle Coalition of Business, Government, and Education and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of WestEd’s Far West and Southwest Educational Laboratories and the Board of the International Group for Mathematical Creativity and Giftedness. He is a Founding Member of the Research Council on Mathematics Learning and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He has been the Nevada SBAC Higher Education Representative since 2010 and has led State-level informational meetings on Smarter Balanced mission/implementation. 

Melissa Speetjens

Melissa Speetjens is Principal of Waimea Canyon Middle School (WCMS) on the island of Kauai in Hawaii (2019 recognition for Outstanding School Design by the State of Hawaii.)  Having served in the Hawaii public education system for the past 22 years, her positions have included teacher, middle school Math Curriculum Coordinator, Vice Principal, and Principal. Academic grounding includes undergraduate work at UCLA, teaching credentials at Goddard College in Vermont, and a Masters in Administration from the University of Hawaii. Assessment work has included the full range of committees for the Hawaii State Assessment in math as well as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Committees. Currently, Melissa serves on the SNE instructional resource development team and the State of Hawaii Math Task Force. 

Toni Wheeler

Toni Wheeler is the state Alternate Assessment Coordinator at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington State. In addition to overseeing the state alternate assessment, Toni also collaborates on accessibility and accommodations for Washington state assessments. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on literacy from Lesley University. In her nearly 20 years in education, Toni has worked as a middle school resource room teacher, a second grade general educator, a K-5 self-contained resource room teacher, and state alternate assessment coordinator in two states. She currently serves as a steering committee member for the Assessing Special Education Students (ASES) state collaborative.