Leader Bios

AEA PreK-12 TIG Bios

Chair: Leigh M. Tolley, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor, Secondary Education in the Department of Educational Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI) in the College of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She earned her B.S. in English and her M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education, English from the University of Pennsylvania, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University. Her primary research interests, based in her own experiences as a high school English teacher, are instructional and assessment practices in K-12 education to improve student learning (i.e., formative assessment), particularly their use and teachers’ perceptions of their efficacy at the secondary level. Her other research interests include: K-12 pre-service and in-service teacher training, learning, and reflective practice; mixed methods approaches in educational research and evaluation; the role of context in teaching, research, and evaluation; and the nature of exemplary evaluations.

Chair-elect: Sheila Arens, Ph.D. is Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance at McREL International. Dr. Arens holds a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and a doctorate in inquiry methodology with emphases in program evaluation and educational policy studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. Sheila has extensive knowledge of research design, instrument development, program and policy analysis, and program evaluation theory. A common thread throughout her work is an interest in warranted claims and validity; her theoretical writings focus on the intersection of validity and context, stressing the importance of gaining a deep understanding of the space in which interventions are implemented or education is enacted to the complicated process of issuing valid claims.

Past Chair: Caroline R.H. Wiley, Ph.D. is a senior research scientist in the Validity Investigations in Education and the Workplace program at the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO). She holds a doctorate degree in educational psychology, with a minor in program evaluation, research and methodology, from the University of Arizona. She has over 17 years of experience in educational research revolving around educational policy, program evaluation in largely K-12 settings, assessment research, and classroom practices. 

Program Chair: George Chitiyo, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Research and Evaluation at Tennessee Tech University. He teaches courses in research methods, statistics, and program evaluation. His research interests include the psychosocial aspects of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa as well as economics of health and higher education both in the US and in Southern Africa. He is involved in designing and implementing evaluation initiatives of several educational programs and interventions in PreK-12 and higher education settings. 

Program Chairs-Elect:

Lisa M. Jones, Ph.D. is a Managing Researcher with McREL International. Dr. Jones holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (with a minor in Educational Psychology) from the University of Minnesota. She has over two decades of experience evaluating educational programs across K-12 and higher education. Her research and evaluation interests include school-based mental health programs, cultural equity and mental wellness, educator and leader development, education policy, STEM, and organizational learning.

David Osman, Ph.D. is a Quantitative Research Scientist for Gibson Consulting. His team's work focuses on supporting educators and funders in continuous improvement efforts, program evaluation, and applied educational research. David earned his doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Educational Psychology. Before working at Gibson, David was the Director of Research and Evaluation in Round Rock ISD, a large public school district in Austin, Texas where he explored issues such as educational equity, academic achievement, school discipline, and educators’ data literacy. He has also served as a consultant for PreK-12 public schools on literacy initiatives for the College of Education at UT-Austin and is a former special education teacher, social studies teacher, and instructional coach. 

Past Program Chair: Kate LaVelle, Ph.D. is a Research Associate at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She received her PhD in applied developmental psychology from Claremont Graduate University. She has over twelve years of evaluation experience in the contexts of K-12 education, out of school time, early childhood, mental health, child welfare, and higher education. In her practice, she enjoys building evaluation capacity within organizations, engaging with program and community stakeholders, and helping program staff and leadership find ways to incorporate evaluation findings into program improvement efforts. She has worked as both an internal evaluator at non-profit organizations and as an external evaluator in university-based evaluation centers at the University of Minnesota and Louisiana State University. Her interests include child and family resilience, social-emotional learning, and behavioral health.

Webmaster: Mya L. Martin-Glenn, Ph.D.


Sofia Bahena, Ed.D. is an assistant professor of education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research interests include K-12 education policy, college access, program evaluation, and scale development. Dr. Bahena has experience working with English/Spanish bilingual communities, parents and families, and conducting both quantitative and qualitative analyses. She holds a B.A. in business administration and sociology from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and an Ed.M. in human development and psychology and Ed.D. in cultures, communities, and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Chad Green, PMP has been an internal evaluator at Loudoun County Public Schools in northern Virginia since 2005. He is also a co-founder of the Educational Research and Evaluation Network, a regional collaborative of school district researchers and evaluators in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. He holds two master’s degrees: one in public administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and another in second language studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He formerly served as a TEFL Volunteer in the Peace Corps (1994-96, Latvia).

Amanda Klein, Ed.D. is the owner of Structured Solutions Educational Consulting, LLC and a Senior Research Associate at the Ohio State University College of Social Work. She brings extensive first-hand experience with students, families, school leaders, and district offices to her work supporting schools, districts, and non-profit organizations with measuring engagement. In addition to her experience as a teacher, community school coordinator, and district support staff, Amanda Klein has spent numerous years building data collection and tracking systems and conducting trainings on data usage in engagement and attendance. Dr. Klein holds two degrees from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate of Education from Vanderbilt University.

Chin-Wen “Jean” Lee, Ph.D. serves as a program developer and evaluator at Beyond Inclusion Educational Services where she pursues equity and excellence in education through interdisciplinary studies. She has experience in curriculum re-design and new course creation that integrate inclusive practices, STEAM education, multicultural education, and technology into undergraduate, graduate, and enrichment programs. Jean’s energy is fueled every day by her commitment to reaching beyond geographic and institutional boundaries to connect with exceptional learners, their families, and their teachers.

Kiel McQueen, Ph.D. is a Senior Researcher with Basis Policy Research. He specializes in designing and conducting mixed-methods evaluations of educational programs and interventions. His research focuses on professional learning initiatives aimed at improving teacher retention and effectiveness. Dr. McQueen is a former teacher, instructional coach, and evaluation and assessment specialist. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from Arizona State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College.

Michael Mitchell, M.S. (Ph.D. candidate with expected degree December 2020 in the Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation program at the University of South Florida), is a high school science teacher working on his dissertation establishing the extent of authentic Socioscientific Issues instruction at various educational levels and using the Model for Collaborative Evaluations to evaluate effectiveness of SSI instruction. He has extensive experience in program and personnel evaluation as well as meta-evaluation. At the high school level, he promotes a view of science education to be one of flexibility so when issues like SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks occur that cause COVID-19, teachers can adjust teaching to incorporate study of these issues from multiple perspectives including combining science, sociology, and economics into the learning environment.  

Kelly Murphy, Ph.D.