Our team of dynamic trainers proudly supports your District’s history-making efforts to implement an inclusive Black History curriculum. To meet your needs, the Black History 365 (BH365) professional development has been designed to be delivered either face-to-face, online or a blend of the two. The four-hour training will equip teachers with the skills and tools required to successfully implement the BH365 curriculum.
The BH365 professional development team is committed to providing the highest quality learning experience for your staff members. It will be a learning experience that is in line with our belief that now is the time and we are the people. This belief inspires us to mark our work with excellence.
Dr. Lisa DeVeaux
International Director of Professional Development
Lisa DeVeaux served as a teacher, principal and learning community executive director in the 11th largest district in the country for 33 years. As an elementary and high school principal, she designed and implemented Professional Learning Community (PLC) protocols that significantly increased teacher engagement and student achievement. The PLC cycles and protocols she developed continue to sustain the work of numerous campus leaders.
During her four years as the executive director responsible for 37 elementary schools, she recognized the role principals played in the equity and access equation. To support their work, she designed and delivered professional development that improved the leadership practices of the principals in her learning community.
As a certified coach, Lisa utilizes her expertise to support leaders and teams in effectively identifying school improvement leverage points. Focused on utilizing existing campus tools, she guides the design process to achieve organizational goals.
Lisa received her doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin’s Cooperative Superintendency Program. Her work entitled: Principal Leadership: Implementing RtI in Urban High Schools fills a research gap that supports student achievement efforts at the high school level.
As a founder of School House Excellence, Lisa is committed to ensuring leaders have access to expertly designed training and coaching services that produce results.
Director of Professional Development
Dr. Brian DeVeaux served as an educator for 34 years in the 11th largest district in the country. During that time, Brian served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, associate principal, and principal. While serving in those roles, he was instrumental in leading effective instructional programs.
As the principal of a historically underperforming Improvement Required high school, he increased the academic rigor and created a culture of excellence. His leadership allowed the school to build strong teams and create a robust school improvement plan which resulted in a consistent Met Standard rating.
Brian’s ability to develop effective instructional programs and build campus cultures that recognize the power educators have to change life’s circumstances is a rare commodity. As a result of these skills, Brian was recruited to serve as a specialist for The University of Texas at Arlington where he observes, coaches, and provides feedback to candidates in their Principal program.
Currently, he is the Vice President of Marketing for School House Excellence where he continues his quest to add value to students’ education. There is a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt that resonates with him:
“ We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future”.
Charlene Burroughs, M.Ed.
Operations Director Professional Development
Charlene Burroughs is the Vice President of School House Excellence. An expert training designer, Charlene was a career educator who worked most of her professional life in the twelfth largest school district in the United States. Before leaving the classroom, she served children of the district for 22 years. Always aware of trends and innovations impacting teaching and learning, Charlene successfully taught kindergarten through eighth grades.
After retiring from the school district in 2011, Charlene worked six years as a departmental trainer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She continued writing and delivering training until she answered a call to use her skills and her love of teaching and learning to start School House Excellence.
Jason Khaleed Hayes
Director of Virtual Learning Development and Digital Innovation
Jason Khaleed Hayes is a historian and fourteen-year education veteran who has taught English, history, speech communication, and entrepreneurship to students ranging from elementary to adult professionals in West Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. During his extensive travels, Jason has had the opportunity to work with private and public sector entities to increase their abilities to streamline operations and connect with their customers and students. Moreover, he has conducted research on educational topics such as the effects of teacher attire on students’ perceptions of teacher credibility and published articles on how African American barbershops play a vital role in the education of African American males.
The Art of Teaching is the synthesis of Mr. Hayes’ application of Sun Tzu’s classic book The Art of War to the various classrooms he has taught. Drawing on extensive interviews with numerous teachers from around the globe and his valuable learning experiences as an educator, instructional coach, and business consultant, he compiled this unique teacher’s guide that transcends culture, language, and national borders.
Dr. Michele Hancock
Director of Elementary/Middle School Curriculum & Instruction
Dr. Hancock is the Professor of Practice in Education and Director of the Accelerated Certification for Teachers (ACT) Program at Carthage College, where she developed, launched, and leads the Urban Teacher Preparation Program. Dr. Hancock has devoted her career to address inequities in the U.S. educational school system. She joined the Carthage administration and faculty in 2014 and, during the same year, launched her private business, MH Educational Consulting, LLC that provides a series of professional development workshops to school districts, charter and parochial schools, and community organizations to help close access and opportunity gaps of underserved populations.
Dr. Hancock was an elementary and middle school classroom teacher for twenty-five years. In addition to her role as a classroom teacher, she served as an instructional leader in the areas of reading, curriculum design, and coaching and mentoring peers in teacher education and school administration. She also served numerous years in school administration as a vice-principal of curriculum and instruction in a middle school, as an elementary school principal, in various school central office district roles, and eventually served as Kenosha Unified School District school superintendent.
During her tenure in K-12 education, Dr. Hancock received many awards highlighting her dedication to students, families, and marginalized communities. A few were 2014 Phi Delta Kappa Distinguished Leadership in Education Award, 2012 eSchool News Superintendent Tech Savvy Award, 2010 National Principals Leadership Institute Change Leader Award, and 2008 St. John Fisher College Most Notable Dissertation Scholarship Award.
Professor Michele Hancock received her Ed.D. in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, N.Y), Education Administration license from Oswego State University (Oswego, N.Y.), her M.Ed. from National Louis University (Evanston, Illinois), and her B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois, (Urbana, IL).
Dr. Andrea B. Nelson
Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction
Dr. Andrea B. Nelson currently serves as the Executive Director of Professional Learning for From The Heart International Educational Services. She has a track record of being a transformational leader in urban school districts with over 25 + years of experience as an elementary, reading coach, curriculum/ professional development specialist, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent of instruction. The schools that she has led have consistently defied the low bar of expectation set for urban youth. Whenever approached with the task of transforming a low performing school, she immediately addresses the culture of low expectation by creating a climate for change and student expectation reset. Her standard of excellence with the belief that every child can learn at his/her core addresses all personnel in the building from maintenance teams to her leadership team. Increasing cultural sensitivity, addressing systemic social barriers, affirming each child as an individual, and applying a disciplined approach to research-based pedagogy have been the keys to her success.
Dr. Nelson is a third-generation educator with degrees from North Carolina Central University (BA), Louisiana Tech University (MA), and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (EdD). Her research and dissertation on school leadership competence and quality form the basis of her outlook and approach to transforming education institutions and achieving extraordinary results.
Barbara Spencer Dunn
Historian Professional Development /ASALH
Barbara Spencer Dunn (wife, mother, author, lay historian, scholar/activist), a native of Texas, is a servant whose legacy of service is exemplified as an advocate for youth and families not only in the Washington Metropolitan Area since 1974, but throughout the nation. Mrs. Dunn is a descendant of enslaved persons on the Monte Verdi Plantation in Rusk County Texas, the most complete record of any antebellum slave plantation in the State of Texas. As an Executive Council member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the Founders of Black History Month, she presently serves as the Vice President for Membership, Co-Chair of both the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site and the National Heritage Sites Research Committee guiding on behalf of ASALH a partnership between ASALH and the National Park Service. A graduate of Bowie State University, was selected as the alumni to unveil the historic marker acknowledging BSU as the oldest institution of higher learning in the State of Maryland while serving as a Governor appointed Commissioner on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC). Her 2011 release, Before and Beyond the Niagara Movement: As the Youth See It was evaluated and approved by Prince George’s County Maryland Public Schools as a supplemental resource for filling in the missing pieces of American history with the African American historical account and the book was featured in the Journal of African American History, the oldest Journal by and about African Americans. Mrs. Dunn recruited and engaged a group of scholars/historians to develop and publish the first study guide for Dr. Woodson’s seminal work, The Mis-Education of the Negro, a free download on ASALH’s website, making this text available to youth as early as 8th grade and providing teachers, parents, mentors, and lovers of history access to an interpretative document for this important work by Dr. Woodson.
Southwest Regional Director of Professional Development
Connie Isabell is a career educator who has a passion for educating children in non-conventional ways. Mrs. Isabell has a Masters of Art Degree in History from Stephen F. Austin State University as well as an Administrative Certification. Her career has covered various levels of educational leadership including high school and college history teacher; elementary, middle and high school principal; Director of Professional Learning and Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Isabell has transformed low performing schools into exemplar schools by maintaining high expectations for all. She currently serves as Deputy Superintendent of Leadership and School Improvement.
Early in her career, her zeal to accelerate the academics of African American children led her to establish a non-profit organization called Scholastic Targeted Educational Programs, Inc. that specialized in boosting experiences for African American students in afterschool and summer enrichment programs. Operation S.T.E.P. focused on authentic learning through travel and first-hand experiences. Growing out of this organization was the African American History Bowl competition that has been successful for twenty plus years in educating children and their community in knowledge of their history and culture. The annual bowl competitions have expanded to three unique Texas cities and also includes an annual Hispanic Heritage Bowl. Connie’s goal is to bring these unique competitions to state and national youth and communities. Mrs. Isabell believes that by working with FTH International Educational Services these efforts will be enhanced as we prepare 21st century citizens for success in the global market.
Coordinator of Online PD and Innovation
Bestselling Author and creator of The Manhood Model© dedicates his life to assuring the success of young men “AT RISK” and others who are but don’t know it. His mission is transforming today’s young men into tomorrow’s leaders and he trains adult men nationally on how to actually make this dream a reality!
He developed his key insights into the lives of young people from being on the frontlines and working with youth and education systems across the country. Referred to by audiences as an exceptional communicator, paralleled with a former career as a high school teacher and coach, he’s earned the reputation as one who knows first hand how to effectively reach today’s young men.
James Agbara Bryson
Coordinator of Professional Development
James Agbara Bryson is an award-winning educator, author, and national trainer.
Mr. Bryson has a Bachelor and a Master’s Degree in Social Science. He is the founder of the New Millennium Institute and its Life Skills and Job Readiness Bootcamp and Illinois Central College’s, Harvesting Dreams African American Male Retention Program. His Harvesting Dreams program received a City Proclamation from Peoria’s Mayor, Jim Ardis. Mr. Bryson is also an inductee of Peoria’s African American Hall of Fame.
Mr. Bryson maintains training and workshops to numerous organizations, colleges, businesses and corporations. He recently presented at three Central Illinois HR Conference hosted by the SHRM Chapters of Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Peoria, Springfield, ATD Central Illinois Chapter, and AAIM Employers' Association. Mr. Bryson was a facilitator at the Greater Peoria Economic Council’s Big Table event and Illinois Central College’s Essential Skills Kickoff training. He is also an Implicit Bias trainer for Illinois Central College’s Police Academy and has trained over 100 police and community members.
He made presentations to the Illinois Association of Career & Technical Education conference, the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Youth Symposium in Chicago, IL, National TRIO Day at ISU, Teaching Academic Survival Skills, (TASS) conference, Fort Lauderdale, and teacher training for Peoria School District as well as workshops and trainings for Unity Point Healthcare and OSF. Mr. Bryson also has his Life Skills, College and Career Readiness Boot Camps in three local high schools as well as conducting staff trainings and workshops for the ELITE program.
He continues to serve on several committees such as: Greater Peoria Workforce Alliance, Peoria Area Diversity in Employment Action Team, (PADEAT,) Central Illinois Re-Entry Taskforce, and is a member of Heart of Illinois Human Resource Council, Illinois Association of Career & Technical Education (IACTE), National Association of Workforce Professionals and Illinois Diversity Council and received the 2017 Pride of Peoria Award.
Gloria J. Davis
Coordinator of Professional – Midwest
Gloria J. Davis has an extensive background in education. Her professional career spans over 46 years primarily in the area of administration. She has served as Superintendent of Schools for the past 16 years in primarily urban and multi-cultural school districts, such as Decatur, Illinois and Dodge City, Kansas where academic achievement and graduation rates increased with an improved, systematic curriculum. She was also responsible for leading the education reform initiative as Superintendent of Schools for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice. She was asked to except this position based on her experience as a change agent when the Juvenile Justice School district was under a Federal Consent Decree for a lack of quality education. Ms. Davis has served as an elementary teacher, elementary and middle school principal and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in University City, Missouri, which is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, Mo where she is from originally. Her background as a Superintendent of Schools who has a thorough knowledge of quality instruction has allowed her to dramatically improve academic success for students while providing guidance for staff to enhance their skills in providing excellent education for all students. Ms. Davis has endeavored to promote the philosophy that all children can and will learn regardless of their circumstances when given the ingredients of high expectations, care and the adult belief that they are capable of achieving success. She has been able to display this philosophy in her presentations and workshops throughout the years to fellow educators. Her most recent presentations on the “School To Prison Pipeline” and “How To Achieve and Maintain the Superintendency” are examples of presentations that have been well received by audiences.
Ms. Davis is a graduate of Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Illinois where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. She also attended Washington University, St. Louis Missouri where she received her Masters of Arts Degree in Education Administration. She also completed courses at the doctorate level in Education Leadership at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Davis has been active in the education community and proved guidance while serving on the Advisory Board of the National Superintendents Roundtable and Chairperson of the Superintendents Commission of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. She has received numerous awards for her education work over the years from organizations such as the NAACP Award for Most Influential African American Women In Decatur Illinois; Illinois Association of School Administrators – Excellence in Education Award; and Illinois State Board of Education – Administrator of Excellence Award.
Julia A. Puckett
Coordinator of Professional Development -Southeast
Julia A. Puckett is a native of Ilion, New York who has resided for the past 22 years in North Carolina. She earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and an M.S. from High Point University. She is a National Board-Certified Teacher and a licensed and practicing assistant principal at the high school level. Ms. Puckett has taught as an Exceptional Children’s teacher and has been an instructional facilitator at both the district and school level. She aspires to write books for children and young adults that reach out to help them connect with their world and to discover ways of being successful in it. Ms. Puckett believes that in order to teach a young person they need to know you genuinely care about them, and that because you care you will work to get the very best out of them. A young person needs to have teachers that are passionate about the subject(s) they teach. By sharing that passion with their students teachers can energize their minds and create a curiosity that will drive them to have a true desire to learn for the sake of knowledge, rather than simply because they have to.
Earl A. Jones
Earl A. Jones is the Executive Pastor at Oasis Church at Lakeview in Rowlett, Texas. Mr. Jones spent 38 years in the 11th largest district in the country. During that he served as principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels. His accomplishments lead to his selection as Executive Director for the Carter Feeder Pattern. In this role, he was responsible for supporting principals with implementing the District Theory of Action.
Mr. Jones received his Master’s and Bachelors’ degrees from Kansas State University. He has completed course work toward his PhD at the University of North Texas. Mr. Jones currently serves as the Board President for the Turner Twelve and has been on the board since the Turner Twelve was founded. Serving on this board has been one of his most rewarding service opportunities.
Dr. Maritza F. Garcia
Dr. Maritza F. Garcia is a retired educator with a wealth of knowledge in various aspects of the educational field. During her career she proudly served as a teacher, campus and central office administrator in highly diverse school districts. Her professional development design and delivery expertise extends to teachers, administrators and parents. Maritza has employed the Trainer of Trainers model in large, small, urban and suburban school districts. Dr. Garcia earned a Doctorate in Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. She also holds Superintendent Certification. Dr. Garcia has been a professor for private and public universities and continues her professional involvement in the field to remain current in educational discourse.
Ms. Vickie Mitchell has dedicated her life to educating and influencing the lives of young people. She earned a B.S. degree from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas and a Master of Science and Administrative Certification from Texas Woman’s University located in Denton, Texas. Ms. Mitchell taught at the elementary and middle school levels for ten years. She served as a campus administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in the Dallas Independent School District. Afterwards, she became an Area Superintendent/Senior Executive Director in the Dallas ISD for numerous years where she supervised campus principals in leading their campuses to academic excellence. She retired after 37 years of service.
For the past six years, Ms. Mitchell has served as a Professional Service Provider with Texas Education Agency to support low performing campuses with school improvement efforts. As a result of her work, the schools under her tutelage made significant academic progress.
Andrae Rhyne is a creative educational leader who excels in growing leaders and teacher leaders. He has thirty four years in public education and served as a teacher, elementary principal, high school principal, curriculum director manager of the Dallas ISD Alternative Teacher Certification Program and manager of the Leadership Initiative for Teachers (LIFT), a principal’s certification program, Project Director for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs and Director of State and Federal Programs. He attended Southern Methodist University where he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music.
Andrae has many notable achievements. He was featured entertainer in Washington D.C. at the Congressional Black Caucus, Board of Directors of the Public Opera of Dallas and Board of Directors of the Texas Secondary School Principals Association. Among his most cherished is the Neiman March Downtown Renaissance Award, given to a select group of community leaders who shaped the rebirth of Downtown Dallas. Andrae was recently nominated to apply for the Global Forum in Education and Learning.
Andrae is passionate about excellence and is actively pursuing certification in Data Visualization using Microsoft Excel. He lives in Dallas where he is an active church organist and a devoted son to his parents.
Gabriella Williams holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree from Texas A&M University Commerce as well as a Master of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She served as an elementary teacher, assistant principal and principal in one of the largest urban Districts in the country. During her tenure as principal, she was successful in transforming a school rated Unacceptable to an Exemplary rating. She created a culture of excellence that continues to this day. After 37 years of service, Gabriella retired and joined the Texas Education Agency where she supported campuses with school improvement efforts. Specifically, her work centered around collaborating with principals to strengthen structures, procedures, and protocols to optimize school success. As a member of the Professional Service Provider Cadre with the Texas Education Agency, seven of the nine schools she supported achieved Acceptable ratings with four of them earning Distinctions from the state.
Currently, Ms. Williams is a Language Arts Facilitator for a Charter school. Additionally, Gabriella serves as a School House Excellence Professional Learning Community Facilitator trainer.
Dr. Marjorie Williams
Dr. Marjorie Williams (lovingly known as Dr. Marj) became Hickman Mills School District’s Superintendent of Schools in July 2000, and immediately took an active role in education, community issues and organizations in the Greater Kansas City area. Prior to Hickman Mills, she worked in the Kansas City, Missouri School District, Columbia (Mo) and Ferguson Florissant School Districts. She has also served in Higher Education as an Adjunct Professor with Baker, Ottawa and Kansas State University.
After 37 years in the field and retiring as Superintendent of Schools in 2012, Williams founded The Marste Group, LLC, a consulting firm, serving school districts and businesses throughout the United States. The firm specializes in providing organizational management services; grant writing, constructing and implementing educational programming, strategic planning, mentoring and evaluation services.
Dr. Marj has and currently serves on various Community and Civic Boards. She has received notable recognitions throughout the country, most recently being recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for her work in Philanthropy and named by Ingram’s Magazine as “One of the 50 People You Need To Know In The State of Missouri”, She is Co-Founder of the Sisters’ Circle GKC, which promotes Philanthropy among African American Women supporting the African American Community. Additionally, Dr. Marj is a founding member of Societas Docta, Incorporated GKC. Their mission is to provide assistance by mentoring and providing scholarships to African American Women pursuing Doctorate Degrees. Her passion for children continues to be evidenced through her service as a member of the Jackson County (Mo) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, the Derrick Thomas/Neil Smith Third and Long Foundation, Crittenton, Local Investment Neighborhood Commission, Teach for America, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, The Black Archives of Mid America, The Kauffman Fellows, The Faith and Education Initiative and The Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City.
She continuously works as an advocate and educator, providing assistance and awareness to the needs of educating the community in the areas of voter rights, laws and legislation affecting communities of color, the need for more women of color to be represented on Boards and Commissions and affordable housing and health care for everyone.
Dr. Marj can be heard on the “PTK (Parents, Teachers, Kids) Report with Dr. Marj” weekly on KPRT 1590am/106.1fm. Additionally, she can be seen on the “Dr. Marj Show” and “On That Note with Mike, India and Dr. Marj” on the Internet and via Facebook.
Vernon C. BlanD
BH365 Trainer-Southeast Region
Vernon C. Bland a retired Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the United States Army. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Paul Quinn, College, Dallas, TX and a Masters of Management degree from the University of Phoenix. He has done post graduate work at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, where he was certified as a Military Equal Opportunity (EO) Counselor.
As the National Training Manager for the Block Drug Company, he was charged with the development and execution of Block’s national training programs. As a result of Vernon’s training initiatives, he was transferred to Dallas, TX where he successfully trained and managed the Southwest Regional sales team.
Mr. Bland desire to inspire greatness in the next generation led him to serve as a Board Member: Foster Kidd Foundation, and Cardinal Ritter College Prep; Served on Role Model and Speaker Programs: St. Louis Public School District, Paul Quinn College, Frisco Independent School District, and Dr. Emmett Conrad Leadership Program. He is also a Charter Member 100 Black Men, Metropolitan Saint Louis.
Gloria Hart Jackson
BH365 Trainer-Southeast Region
Gloria Hart-Jackson began teaching Substance Abuse Counseling courses at Eastfield in 1994 as an adjunct instructor. She became a full-time faculty member, teaching both Social Work and Substance Abuse Counseling courses, in 1995.
She served as program coordinator of the Social Work and Substance Abuse Counseling programs from 1997 to 2014, helping to elevate their recognition to national levels and structure all courses to also be offered in online formats.
Ms. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi and a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in sociology with a specialization in addiction studies and counseling from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She has done postgraduate work at Texas A&M University-Commerce, the University of North Texas and the Oxford University Roundtable in Oxford, England.
Honors include recognition by the Johnnie Ruth Clark Southern Regional Council of Black American Affairs in 2001; receiving the Weslene Wiley Inspirational Award for Education Services by the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) in 2005; and being listed in Who’s Who Among America's Teachers and Educators in its 2007-2008 edition. She also served as a co-host for HBO’s 2007 town hall meeting at Eastfield College screening its new DVD production “Addiction in America”; it was HBO’s first location in the nation to screen the new DVD. She was selected to appear in Who’s Who in America, 2011.
Ms. Jackson is a member of the Texas Drug Demand Reduction Advisory Committee, the South Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center Consortium, the National Addiction Studies and Standards Collaborative Committee and the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals.
She holds credentials as a licensed chemical dependency counselor (LCDC), Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) and human services-board certified practitioner (HS-BCP).