BOOST CONFERENCE ADVISORY BOARD
We are pleased to announce the Advisory Board for the BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Conference members. The Advisory Board members share a passion and commitment to meet the needs of the constituencies we serve. The goal for this meaningful and all-inclusive conference is to bring together key stakeholders in the field to share promising practices for the encouragement and development of quality programs and to create change in the communities we serve. While our Board guides the strategic planning process, they bring their own particular skill set and expertise to provide leadership to the overall event.
Kathy Bihr, Ph.D., Executive Director
Tiger Woods Learning Center, Anaheim, CA
Dr. Katherine Bihr is the Vice President and Executive Director of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. Her responsibilities include providing direction to the personnel, programs and operations of the Tiger Woods Learning Center.
Prior to joining TWLC, she was the Principal of Vista View Middle School in Fountain Valley, CA. While there the school received recognition as a California Distinguished School, and Katherine was recognized for her leadership by the Council for Special Education. Additionally, Katherine served on the Superintendent’s Cabinet in the Ocean View School District providing guidance in the areas of physical education and the visual/performing arts.
Dr. Bihr serves on the board of directors for the El Viento Foundation which provides education and enrichment opportunities for at-risk students from grades 4-12; and Project Tomorrow which supports the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in K-12 schools and communities. In addition, Katherine sits on the Department of Education Leadership Council for the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Bihr has presented twice at the United States Department of Education and was an invited panelist in an International Education Forum at the United States Department of Education in November of 2008, focused on Fostering Global Responsibility and Leadership.
Her undergraduate degree in kinesiology was completed at Long Beach State University and she holds a Masters of Educational Administration from Azusa Pacific University. Katherine received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education.
The Tiger Woods Learning Center provides career exploration and college preparation programs to high potential, low opportunity youth and families. During the school day, elementary students and their classroom teachers embark on a one-week indepth study of science. While students become marine biologists and forensic scientists, classroom teachers are provided instruction in developing and delivering hands-on science lessons and the effective use of technology in the classroom. After school junior high and high school students participate in hands-on career exploration activities that help bridge the gap between school and the real world. Outreach programming is also available for families to help them navigate the college application and financial aid processes – helping parent and child understand that going to college is not only affordable, but attainable. In 2008 the Tiger Woods Learning Center was recognized at the state level by the Association of California School Administrators as a Partner in Educational Excellence for its unique programs offered to young people ages 9-18.
Matt D’Arrigo, Executive Director
A Reason to Survive (ARTS), San Diego, CA
Matt D'Arrigo was born in Boston, Massachusetts, graduated from Portsmouth Abbey School in 1990 and went on to study Fine Art from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, graduating in 1995 with a Major in Fine Arts and a Minor in Philosophy.
After his freshman year at Spring Hill, his mother and sister were both diagnosed with cancer within months of each other. Matt took the next year off from school and helped care for them. During that year, Matt relied heavily on his art and love of music to get him through the tough times. It was so healing and therapeutic to him, that he vowed to one day start an organization that would provide free art programs to children facing challenges in life.
Matt moved to San Diego in 1998 and landed a job managing a scene shop for Pacific Event Productions. He spent three years gaining valuable business and management experience before he decided to make the leap and start his organization. In 2001, with $5,000 and a book on how to start a non-profit, he began the journey to start ARTS (A Reason To Survive).
Matt and ARTS have been featured in over 45 media stories both locally and nationally. Matt has been recognized as "One of San Diego's brightest leaders under the age of 40" by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine with their "Forty Under 40" Award. Most recently, Matt was featured in San Diego Magazine's "50 People to Watch in 2008" issue and received the 2008 Safeco Insurance Community Hero Award. He was also profiled in the recently published book by Darius Graham "Being the Difference: True Stories of Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the World."
Always seeking to better himself as a leader, Matt has also been extensively involved with the Fieldstone Foundation's leadership training program. He graduated from their Executive Leadership course and participates in their Leadership Network Coaching Program which provides mentorship and guidance from a peer non-profit coach. He was a coachee and is now a leadership coach himself, giving back by coaching up-and-coming non-profit leaders. In addition, Matt was most recently selected as one of two San Diego non-profit leaders for a fellowship to the prestigious Harvard Business School's "Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management" during the summer of 2008.
Matt currently lives in Point Loma with his wife Hulya and kids Tessa and Andrew.
Patrick Duhon, Director of Expanded Learning
Providence Public Schools /Providence After School Alliance, Providence, RI
As a founding director of the Providence After School Alliance (PASA), Patrick led the development and implementation of the nationally recognized "AfterZone" model, a "campus" of middle school experiences which over a dozen cities nationwide have used as part of their own public/private OST models. Patrick currently work in a joint position with PASA and the Providence Public Schools to bridge school-day and after-school learning as one of two grantees nationally of the Mott Foundation's "New Day for Learning" initiative.
Before joining PASA, Patrick directed the launch of the local City Year AmeriCorps national service program in Seattle. Patrick has a strong background in citywide systems gained through his work with the King County Department of Transportation in Seattle where he managed community relations and public involvement in politically charged transit and regional planning projects. Patrick has also directed higher education service-learning programs, taught at the high school and college levels, and led and collaborated on several community, social justice and faith-based initiatives in New York City and Cleveland, OH. He holds a BA in International Studies from The Ohio State University and an MS in Urban Studies from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. A native of Akron, Ohio, Patrick currently lives with his wife and two children in Cranston, RI.
Rich Dutra St. John, Founder
Challenge Day, Concord, CA
A former high school teacher and championship wrestling coach, Rich has worked with teens and families since 1978. As a licensed family therapist and drug intervention specialist, he was recruited to open and direct two different adolescent treatment facilities in Northern California, most notably the Thunder Road Adolescent Recovery Center in Oakland where he served as the founding clinical director. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty member at Cal State East Bay University.
A gifted facilitator and counselor, Rich is viewed as an expert in working with youth and families. With a shared vision that every child could someday live in a world where they feel safe loved and celebrated, Rich and his wife Yvonne combined their collective passion and experience to co-found the Challenge Day Program in 1987. Their work has positively affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of youth and adults in 39 states and 6 Canadian Provinces. Rich now serves as a Challenge Day Leader and a lifetime Board Member.
Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., Professor
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Micheal Flaherty, Co-Founder & President
Walden Media, Burlington, MA
Micheal Flaherty is Co-Founder and President of Walden Media, a Production Company, which focuses on films that entertain and educate. Through Walden, he has developed educational materials and programs that insight enthusiasm in the classroom and connect learning to entertainment.
Prior to founding Walden Media in 2001, Flaherty designed innovative curricula in the Boston Public School System, which captured national attention from The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe. He designed the curriculum and taught for the Steppingstone Magnet Program for students in the worst public school cluster in Boston. As a result of his curriculum, the percentage of minority students in the troubled school district who gained admissions to Boston’s elite exam schools increased by more than 1000%.
As an author, Flaherty has been published in National Review, The Boston Business Journal and American Spectator. He also worked as a speechwriter for William Bulger, former President of the Massachusetts Senate, and Tom Reilly, the Massachusetts Attorney General. Flaherty is a graduate of Tufts University. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.
Andi Fletcher, Chief Consultant
Center for Collaborative Solutions, Sacramento, CA
Dr. Andi Fletcher is a nationally recognized leader in afterschool program and policy development. In additional to designing, directing and developing one of the most outstanding programs in the country, she initiated California’s first afterschool legislation, which has resulted in $550 million in funding for programs serving close to a million children and young people.
As a consultant, coach and mentor, she has worked closely with 180 programs and led six national, statewide and regional learning communities. Over 20,000 people have attended her workshops and keynote speeches at more than 150 conferences. Her books and articles are among the most widely used in the United States. A Guide to Developing Exemplary Practices in Afterschool Programs, Lessons in Leadership and Expand and Excel: Taking your Program to the Next Level can be purchased at Amazon.com or AfterschoolSolutions.org. Her most recent book, Changing Lives, Saving Lives, is available at AfterschoolSolutions.org.
Jodi Grant, Executive Director
Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC
Since 2005, Jodi Grant has been Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.
In America today, 15.1 million children take care of themselves after the school day ends, including almost four million middle school students in grades six to eight. Just 8.4 million children are in afterschool programs, but the parents of another 18 million children say their kids would participate if a program were available. The Afterschool Alliance seeks to educate the public, the media and policy makers about the enormous potential of quality afterschool programs and how programs across the country are inspiring children and creating opportunities for them to succeed academically, socially and professionally. The Afterschool Alliance serves as a national voice for afterschool and provides resources and materials to more than 26,000 afterschool programs. It organizes national and local afterschool events, including the organization’s signature event, Lights On Afterschool; conducts research on the need and support for afterschool; creates tools for afterschool practitioners; and connects afterschool leaders to national, state and local opinion leaders.
As Executive Director, Grant oversees all aspects of the Afterschool Alliance’s work – setting its goals and strategies for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, working with the field to help programs tap into federal funding streams, and supervising research to help national, state and local afterschool advocates and providers support, create and expand quality afterschool programs.
Prior to joining the Afterschool Alliance, Grant served as Director of Work and Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families. In that position, she worked to protect and expand the Family & Medical Leave Act, and was a member of the team that successfully defended the law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, she worked on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the Senate Budget Committee and as Staff Director for a Senate Committee. Her legislative accomplishments include expanded support for the child tax credit, the Child Health Insurance Program, and class size reduction. She also served as liaison to the National Governors’ Association, where she worked closely with Republican and Democratic governors.
Grant graduated from Yale University with honors in 1990 and was elected senior class president. She received her law degree from Harvard University, where she was elected class president (first marshall). As a student, she volunteered at an afterschool program. She currently serves as: a Trustee of the America’s Promise Alliance, an Advisory Board Member of Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” campaign, and as Co-Chair of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry’s Student Development Advisory Committee. Grant, her husband and two children live in Bethesda, Maryland. Grant is an avid cyclist.
Elaine Leibsohn, Partner
Leibsohn & Associates, Washington, DC
Elaine Leibsohn is Managing Partner of Leibsohn & Associates, a full service consulting firm. Mrs. Leibsohn began her career in the finance sector working for Morgan Stanley and Groupama Asset Management. Since leaving Wall Street, Mrs. Leibsohn has worked for a variety of companies, with community relations/strategic partnerships focus, including America’s Promise Alliance, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Ritz Carlton, Boys & Girls Clubs and Second Genesis. She has been a featured speaker at numerous national conferences, including the National Middle School Association, the National Youth Leadership Council, Youth Service America, Operation Hope, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs. Leibsohn is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She currently sits on the advisory boards of The Ritz Carlton’s Community Footprints department, College & Career Connections, Creative States with Sir Ken Robinson and the National Service-learning Partnership.
Technical Assistance Manager
San Antonio, TX
Shawn C. Petty joins Edvance Research as the Technical Assistance Manager to oversee the development of educational training courses, coordinate the efforts of consultants, and to monitor the progress of support to the Texas Education Agency for the Texas ACE / 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. In addition, he assists the Executive Vice President for Emerging Practices in monitoring educational trends and highlighting innovative practices that are transforming the industry.
Petty entered the out-of-school-time and education industry after a decade of experience in the corporate world. He has held a variety of executive roles within the Walt Disney Company and the Target Corporation. His first foray into out-of-school-time was as a Program Coordinator for Harris County Department of Education’s Cooperative for Afterschool Enrichment where he provided assistance to multiple Texas ACE Programs and other out-of-school-time initiatives.
Petty has been a Project Director for Texas ACE serving the Klein Independent School District, a past President and Secretary of the South East Texas Afterschool Association, and an active member of the National Afterschool Association and its state affiliate. Known for his encouragement of the use of Web 2.0 tools in education, Petty is a frequent presenter on the national stage.
Petty holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from BYU-Hawaii and recently graduated with his Masters of Political Management from George Washington University.
Tia Quinn, Executive Director
BOOST Collaborative, San Diego, CA
For more than 22 years, Tia Quinn has worked at all levels of programming in the field of after school, supporting out-of-school time programs throughout the nation via training, technical assistance, quality assurance, and program development.
Tia fell in love with after school programs in 1992 while working in Hartford, CT as an art teacher and later the Program Director in the Asylum Hill community. Tia spent the first part of her west coast experience working at an after school program and later as a Program Director, overseeing programming at 65 before and after school programs through Harmonium Children's Services, one of the largest after school providers in California. Tia also served for 5 years as the Co-Lead for Region 9 Technical Assistance Center, After School Programs at the San Diego County Office of Education. In this capacity, she supported over 600 after school program sites in San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, serving over 100,000 students annually. While in this role, Tia managed numerous regional and statewide committees and after school initiatives.
In the regional lead capacity, Tia and her team were the 2005 recipients of the California School Board Association's Golden Bell Award for Partnerships and Collaboratives as well as the Cities, Counties, and Schools (CCS) Partnership Award 2005. Additionally, Tia is the recipient of the 2001 Director of the Year, awarded by Mentor San Diego; and the California School-Age Consortium's 2006 Award of Excellence, Program Administrator of the Year. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Collaborative Solutions, Sacramento, CA and believes in the CCS mission to help others discover innovative and effective ways to achieve shared goals. Most recently, Tia is a member of Entrepreneur's Organizations' Accelerator program and is eagerly pursuing her mission to take her ideas and company to the next level.
As an Out-of-School Time Consultant, Tia presents customized workshops and staff development seminars at numerous local, state and national conferences. Tia works closely with school district administrators, CEO's, non-profit agencies, program directors, supervisors, and line staff to increase student retention, promote academic achievement, and overall student success through quality, engaging staff development opportunities.
Tia is currently the Founder and CEO of the BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Collaborative, a purpose-driven organization supporting global out-of-school time professionals through state-of-the-art professional development opportunities, program and resource development, and community partnership advancement. BOOST advocates for quality out-of-school time programming, offers opportunities to share promising practices, and provides a variety of training and consulting services.
Tia is also the founder of the annual BOOST Conference in Palm Springs, California, the nation's largest conference for after school and out-of-school time educators, convening all levels of key stakeholders to initiate change and inspire successful programming. The BOOST conference includes over 150 workshops, 100 Exhibitors, Film Festival, 5-mile Tour de BOOST charity bike ride, Town Hall meetings, Master Classes, networking opportunities and special events.
Tia is passionate about creating positive change for today's youth as well as the people, communities, and partners supporting them in the out-of-school time hours. She loves her driving her golf cart around San Diego and seeking new travel adventures with friends.
Kathy Spangler, Vice President, U.S. Programs
Save the Children, Washington, DC
Kathy J. Spangler, CAE, CPRP, Ph.D. (hon) serves as Vice President, US Programs for Save the Children where she oversees the domestic commitment to creating immediate and lasting change for children in need. Save the Children, US Programs is focused on improving educational outcomes for children living in poverty through early childhood development, literacy, physical activity and nutrition. Additionally, Save the Children is the pre-eminent organization dedicated to protecting children during emergencies and disasters and focuses on preparedness and response efforts.
Previously, at America’s Promise Alliance, Ms. Spangler served in a variety of executive level positions including, Chief Development Officer; Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Partnerships & Programs from 2007 – 2010.
Ms. Spangler served as the founding Director of National Partnerships for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Spangler’s twenty years of dedicated service at the NRPA created a lasting impact the field of parks and recreation in the areas of healthy lifestyles, youth development, environmental stewardship and quality sports.
Spangler is a recognized leader in health promotion and was responsible for writing and directing two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreements, two National Institutes of Health programs and multiple grants from the corporations and foundations. She served as national spokesperson for physical activity and nutrition working with federal agencies and Congress on environmental policy changes promoting healthy lifestyles and livable communities.
Spangler received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1979, and was recognized as Alumni of the Year in 1998 and received an honorary doctorate in 2003. She is a past –president of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and has served on the Executive Committee for the United States Tennis Association.
Yvonne St. John Dutra, Founder
Challenge Day, Concord, CA
Working with teens and adults, for over 26 years in a variety of settings, Yvonne has been instrumental in designing and implementing over 17 different nationally recognized prevention and intervention programs for teenagers.
Yvonne's earliest experiences varied from doing classroom presentations and school assemblies, to media programs on gender roles and eating disorders. She later focused her attention on working with at risk youth, addiction and social oppression issues.
A gifted speaker, program designer, trainer, and educator, Yvonne has received many honors and won numerous awards for her work with teens and families. In 2003, Yvonne was selected to receive the Contra Costa County Woman of The Year Award. In August 2005 Yvonne and her husband Rich were recognized as "Champions of Forgiveness" by the World Wide Forgiveness Alliance.
As parents of four daughters, Yvonne and Rich co-founded the award winning Challenge Day Program in 1987. In addition to leading Challenge Day Programs, Challenger Trainings, Mentorship Programs, Next Step and Living the Change Community Workshops, Yvonne is currently serving as a Challenge Day Leader, and a lifetime Board member.
Adora Svitak, 13-year old Author and Teacher
Adora Svitak, Seattle, WA
Thirteen-year-old Adora Svitak has been called a “tiny literary giant” by Diane Sawyer, and with good reason; a prolific author, she’s written over 400 short stories and published two books, Flying Fingers (a short story collection) and Dancing Fingers (a poetry collection she co-authored with her sister, Adrianna). Her titles include not only published author but also advocate, activist, and the world’s youngest teacher. Her love for learning and teaching is evident; she explores new technologies and advocates for education innovation around the world through her award-winning video conferences. In recognition of Adora's outstanding work for public education, the NEA, or National Education Association, awarded her its highest honor—the NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education.
To raise awareness and get kids and adults involved in issues like world hunger, literacy, girls' rights and youth voice, Adora has delivered more than 400 presentations and speeches around the world. Her TEDTalk, titled "What Adults Can Learn From Kids," was widely watched and discussed. She was also one of the first in the United States to organize an all youth TEDx (independently organized TED event), TEDxRedmond, with her fellow student leaders.