Meet American College of Education’s Leadership Team
Board of Trustees
James D. Spaniolo, JD
Chairman of the Board
Higher Education Advisor to the Governor at State of Michigan
James D. Spaniolo served almost a decade as the seventh president of the University of Texas at Arlington, retiring in 2013. During his presidency, enrollment increased by 34% to more than 33,800 total, annual research expenditures more than tripled to $71.4 million, and private giving more than tripled to over $20 million annually. President Spaniolo initiated and completed more than $400 million in campus construction, including a major engineering research complex and a 20-acre mixed-use development, the centerpiece of which is a 7,000-seat College Park Center.
Mr. Spaniolo’s career has encompassed leadership roles as a communications lawyer and executive, senior officer of a national philanthropic foundation, as well as a dean and university president. Most recently, he served as the President and CEO of the North Texas Commission, a public/private, non-partisan partnership of businesses, municipalities and higher education institutions, which promotes and advocates for the vitality of the North Texas Region, including 13 counties and 7.4 million residents.
Mr. Spaniolo earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Michigan State University, his law degree from The University of Michigan Law School, and a master’s degree in public administration from The University of Michigan Institute of Public Policy Studies (now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy).
Deborah Jewell-Sherman, EdD
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Dr. Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, co-directed Harvard’s Urban Superintendent Program and now guides students in the University’s Doctor of Education Leadership program. Prior to joining Harvard, Dr. Jewell-Sherman worked with the Richmond, Virginia, public schools, serving as Superintendent from 2002-2008. Under her leadership the Richmond Public Schools became recognized nationally as a “Flagship” district. Previously, she served as an elementary school principal and taught English, mathematics, and computer science. Dr. Jewell-Sherman has both an EdD and an MA from Harvard, both in Administration, Planning and Social Policy, an MA from Kean College in Educational Administration, and a BS from New York University in Elementary Education.
Don McAdams, PhD
Chairman and Founder, Center for the Reform of School Systems
Dr. McAdams founded the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS), a not-for-profit Texas corporation, which provides governance training and advisory services for urban school boards. He is a nationally recognized authority on school district governance and is a frequent speaker and widely published author on school reform in America. Dr. McAdams served for 12 years as a member of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board of Education, serving twice as board president.
Teachers College Press published his first book, Fighting to Save Our Urban Schools... and Winning! Lessons from Houston in 2000 and his second book, What School Boards Can Do: Reform Governance for Urban Schools in January 2006. His latest book, co-authored by Dan Katzir, The Redesign of Urban School Districts: Case Studies in Urban School Governance, 1990-2011, was published by Harvard University Press in 2013.
Dr. McAdams earned his B.A. from Columbia Union College in Maryland and his M.A. and PhD from Duke University. Dr. McAdams has been a research professor at the University of Houston; President of McAdams, Faillace & Associates, Inc; Executive Vice President of the American Productivity and Quality Center; and President of the Texas Independent College Fund. From 1975-1984, he was President of Southwestern Adventist College. Earlier, he was associate professor of history and acting chairman of the Department of History at Andrews University.
Rod Paige, EdD
Former U.S. Secretary of Education
Dr. Rod Paige earned his B.S. from Jackson State University and his MA and EdD from Indiana University. During his tenure as U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Paige was a stalwart supporter of improving the way that students learn on all levels and setting standards of achievement. Dr. Paige made history by becoming the first school superintendent to be named Secretary of Education. While serving as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the seventh largest school district in the U.S., he was honored as National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Paige served for a decade as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas, where he worked to ensure that future educators receive the training and expertise necessary to succeed in the classroom. He also established the University’s Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related to instruction and management in urban school systems. Dr. Paige speaks frequently to educators across the country and emphasizes, “Civilizations rise and fall depending on the quality of education.”
Nursing Advisory Board
Director of Integrated Care for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix
Fran Roberts holds her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Colorado (1994) with post-master’s degree, nurse practitioner certification (1996). She is currently a professor of Gerontology/Geriatrics and Integrated Care for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and president and CEO of the Fran Roberts Group. She served as the executive director for the Arizona State Board of Nursing from 1987-1995 and is on the American Hospital Association’s Council on Governance.
Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer, Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Kathy is the senior vice president and chief experience officer for Presbyterian Healthcare Services, where she provides leadership for customer experience, patient safety, quality, performance management and nursing at a system level, participating in strategy development and implementation.
Kathy is the vice chair of the Healthy Neighborhoods Albuquerque collaborative and also acts as a board member for the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence (NMCNE); the American Excess Insurance Exchange, RRG; Premier’s Member Quality Improvement Committee; the Albuquerque Community Foundation; the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation; and Future Focused Education, a local, nonprofit charter school network. In addition, Kathy was appointed to the Journal of Nursing Administration Editorial Board in 2018 after serving as a peer reviewer for five years. She previously received the University of New Mexico College of Nursing Partnership Award (2015); the New Mexico Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award (2011); induction into the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management’s Hall of Fame (2011); and the 2006 NMCNE Nurse Executive of the Year Award. She was selected for the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Executive Fellow 2000-2003.
Kathy earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from West Texas A&M University, her MBA from the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management and her doctorate in nursing practice and organizational leadership from the University of New Mexico College of Nursing. She also holds Nurse Executive advanced certification.
Chief Executive Officer of HomeCare Association of Louisiana
Warren Hebert joined the HomeCare Association of Louisiana as CEO in 1998 and has been an assistant professor of nursing at Loyola University New Orleans since 2016. Warren also hosts the Family Caregiving radio program/podcast, which boasts an estimated daily listenership of 30,000. Inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 2018, Warren has been a home health nurse since 1985. He’s spearheaded the educational content of over 50 home health conferences across the south since 1998. In addition, he has chaired state and national boards and was on the editorial advisory board for Home Healthcare Nurse journal. Warren co-founded the nationwide Certificate for OASIS-Clinical exam in 2004, which has now tested over 25,000 home health OASIS experts. His innovative model of sharing revenue has now given back over $1 million to fellow state associations. Warren earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing, his master’s degree in health care systems management and his Doctor of Nursing Practice in executive leadership from Loyola University of New Orleans.
Senior Associate Dean of Education Innovation and Chair of the Undergraduate Nursing Programs at University of Texas at Arlington
Beth Mancini is the senior associate dean for education innovation and chair for the undergraduate nursing programs at the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to moving to an academic role in 2004, Dr. Mancini was the senior vice president for nursing administration and chief nursing officer at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas, a position she held for 18 years. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a fellow in the National League for Nursing's Academy of Nurse Educators, and a fellow of the American Heart Association. A sought-after public speaker, Beth received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Rhode Island College, a master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD in Public and Urban Affairs from the University of Texas at Arlington.
President & CEO of Informed Practice International, Inc
Dr. Nelson is president and CEO of Informed Practice International, Inc., a consulting firm offering services to improve the quality, regulatory, accreditation and fiscal position of hospitals and health care systems, as well as colleges of nursing.
Dr. Nelson has held leadership positions in nursing and hospital administration, academia, research, associations, policy analysis & development, and clinical practice (pediatrics). Previous positions include academic dean of the University of Phoenix School of Nursing, vice president for quality at Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee and chief programs officer at the American Nurses Association, in addition to several others. She has also held faculty appointments and visiting lectureships at several universities, served on various for-profit and non-profit boards, national advisory groups for the Agency for Healthcare Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and invitational summits of the Institute of Medicine and The Joint Commission.
Dr. Nelson received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Delaware, Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida, and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Instructor at Benedictine University, Sacred Heart University and University of Phoenix
Therese Shipps is a part-time instructor for Benedictine University, Sacred Heart University and University of Phoenix and has worked in higher education for more than 40 years. She has spent the last two decades focused on graduate education, helping develop curricula for multiple courses and acting as a member and team leader for accreditation visits for the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education. Her previous titles include director of the University of Maine School of Nursing and chair for the Maine State Board of Nursing in addition to faculty positions with Salem State College, Boston University and Grand Canyon University. Therese got her start as a nurse in the Army Nurse Corps and worked in a number of clinical capacities, including staff nurse, head nurse and clinical specialist, before transitioning into education. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Saint Anselm College and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston University.
Dr. Shawntel Landry joined American College of Education in 2009, becoming interim president in 2013 and president in 2017. An advocate for student-first approaches to scalable operations and programming, Landry developed the college’s first yearly Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) report, led the college through development of a new mission, vision, and strategic plan, began programming in other disciplines, and guided the college to become the first company in Indiana that is both a Certified B-Corp and a Benefit Corporation.
During her tenure, she has reorganized all departments for operational efficiency, growing the staff and faculty while increasing operating margins and revenue per employee. Currently, American College of Education has five state-level non-profit partnerships, one national non-profit partnership, and just under 800 school district or charter school partnerships, reaching and impacting over 1 million educators in high need areas of the country. Under her leadership, American College of Education has reached its highest historical enrollment and won national and state awards for workplace flexibility and employee satisfaction, while running a 200+ organization with employees that span 34 states.
Prior to her current role, Landry worked for the college in program development and coordination, curriculum and assessment, and institutional effectiveness and assessment capacities as a senior vice president, along with assistant/associate provost levels. In these roles, Landry concentrated in growing high-quality programs and multiple degree levels, which resulted in program inventory growth over 400% and state pass rates in licensure programs meeting or exceeding state averages.
Landry has worked in K-12 classrooms and K-8 curriculum development, later working as a curriculum writer, editor, and director for Voyager Learning. In that capacity, Landry drove new scalable and technologically enhanced processes which drove efficiencies and cost-savings while enhancing curriculum products. She has worked directly with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on research about national and international mathematics standards and the impact to U.S. test scores while she was working at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Shawntel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Gifted Education with a minor in Instructional Technology from University of Louisiana-Lafayette. In addition, she holds a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Texas Christian University. She has completed post-graduate coursework at Southern Methodist University and University of Connecticut along with executive leadership professional development at Harvard University and The Wharton School. She has lifetime teaching certifications in elementary education and gifted education in both Louisiana and Texas.
Vice President, Human Resources and B Corp Benefits Officer
KK Byland is the vice president of human resources and B Corp benefits officer. With a people-first mindset, Byland has set the tone for the college’s organizational culture, leading the development and implementation of paid parental leave, tuition assistance and remote working. She ensures ACE is compliant with employment legislation and refines processes to nurture employee engagement and growth as part of her leadership of the human resources office.
Byland successfully led ACE through the B Corp certification process, which evaluates companies based on their social and environmental impact. ACE was the first Benefit Corporation and certified B Corp in the state of Indiana. As part of that designation, Byland has led multiple service initiatives and cemented nonprofit partnerships with School Tools, Treasures 4 Teachers, Kids in Need, Kappa Delta Pi, A Gift for Teaching, World Vision and Teachers’ Treasures to reach students in need. She also serves on the board of directors for Teachers’ Treasures, helping set direction for the organization through strategic planning and budgeting.
She received her master’s degree in human resources management and services from Indiana Wesleyan University and her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching from Ball State University. Byland also took part in Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2017 Women in Education Leadership, a program designed to help educational leaders learn how to navigate competing demands and constituencies.
Jill Geer, MA
Chief Marketing Officer
Jill Geer became Chief Marketing Officer on January 2, 2019. From 2000 to 2018, Geer was an executive with Indianapolis-based USA Track & Field. Her career at USATF began as director of communications. As chief public affairs officer from 2009-2016 and chief marketing officer from 2016-2018, she was responsible for executive oversight of USATF’s marketing, communications, branding, promotional and community outreach initiatives. Throughout her tenure, she served as the organization’s spokesperson, crisis management lead, and advisor to the CEO and board of directors.
Among the first to introduce electronic news distribution in the U.S. Olympic and national governing body family, Geer has been featured in PR Week, Sports Business Journal and espnW. In her marketing role, she secured more than $8 million in sponsor revenue, while communications efforts placed USATF athletes and storylines in every major U.S. newspaper; prominent national mainstream magazines ranging from Vogue to People to Men’s Fitness; nightly news telecasts; and network late-night and morning shows. Press officer functions took her to more than 18 countries and six Summer Olympic Games. Prior to USATF, Geer worked for Knight Ridder-Tribune in Washington, D.C. She had previous stints as a sports writer and transportation news writer and editor.
An NCAA scholarship athlete in track and cross country, Geer earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in U.S. intellectual history from the University of Arkansas, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.
Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
Stephanie Hinshaw is the senior vice president of academic affairs. In her current role, she oversees all the functions of the academic activities for the college, including academic departments, curriculum production services, student-facing publications, the library, and state licensing approvals.
As an advocate for student-first approaches and processes, Hinshaw’s ethos revolves around monitoring and converting student feedback into actionable changes and eliminating barriers to continuing education.
Hinshaw has worked in the higher education sector for 18 years and joined American College of Education in 2014, where she ascended the ranks, serving as senior director of registration and student services, senior director of student operations, and assistant provost and vice president of student operations. Previously, Hinshaw worked as the director of admissions operations for Orbis Education, where she spearheaded admissions efforts for their accelerated online nursing programs and co-led the development of a centralized nursing admissions model.
Before that, she served as an instructor, director of admissions, corporate director of admissions and marketing, and vice president of admissions for Medtech College, where she grew the college to 12 campuses during her tenure. Hinshaw also served as the high school marketing specialist and assistant director for high school marketing for Harrison College, and as an adjunct faculty member at Axia College, a division of the University of Phoenix.
She received her MBA in marketing from Butler University and a bachelor’s in journalism and public relations from Indiana University. Hinshaw attended Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2017 Women in Education Leadership conference, a program designed to help senior-level administrators shore up their leadership skills to advance education initiatives. Building on that interactive program, Hinshaw is pursuing a doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University.
Chief Financial Officer
Bryce H. Peterson joined American College of Education in June of 2018, as Chief Financial Officer responsible for ACE’s finance and compliance strategies and operations.
Prior to joining ACE, Peterson was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Universal Technical Institute (NYSE: UTI) responsible for UTI’s finance, IT and compliance strategies and operations. While at UTI, Peterson led the successful early adoption of ASC 606 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers); architected and implemented the company’s Financial Improvement Plan; implemented multiple, industry-leading technology solutions that significantly reduced operating costs; streamlined compliance operations and improved compliance metrics; and was recognized by Microsoft and the Phoenix Business Journal as a leader in technology innovation. Before joining UTI, Peterson was a Manager at KPMG, LLP, where he served international clients in multiple industries.
Peterson is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Arizona and received a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University. Peterson is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has published multiple articles on accounting, compliance, and technology innovation in the Journal of Accountancy, The Internal Auditor, and Books 24x7. Peterson currently serves on an advisory board at Brigham Young University and previously served on advisory boards at Pearson Education and Arizona’s Children Association. Peterson speaks Thai fluently and is actively involved in community service and faith-based initiatives.
Kiko Suarez, Phd
Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Administration
A native of Spain, U.S. citizen since 2016, and a resident of Indiana, Dr. Kiko Suarez’s 25-year career includes a unique blend of international experience in strategic planning and innovation, social impact, marketing and communications.
Prior to joining ACE in January 2019, he was the chief impact officer of United Way of Central Indiana, where he was instrumental in setting the vision for the next 10 years of the organization. From 2009-2016, Dr. Suarez served as lead executive for communications and innovation at Lumina Foundation. He also directed the foundation’s work in social impact investing and evaluation. Prior to 2009, he served as a corporate affairs and marketing executive for NextPhase Wireless and CEMEX. Dr. Suarez’s extensive background also includes 15 years at DuPont, where he rose from the ranks of the information technology team to global online leader.
Dr. Suarez earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oviedo (Spain), where he also earned secondary degrees in management of telecommunications and new media. He holds a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University.
Among his many publications and speeches, Dr. Suarez gave a TED talk titled “Eight dimensions of wise design that could change everything.”