Nancy Smith helps state, regional, and national education organizations improve the development and use of statewide longitudinal data systems. Nancy specializes in developing data governance programs for intra- and interagency data sharing, analysis and reporting across the early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education sectors, and she provides professional development training on data governance, privacy, analysis and reporting. Nancy conducts needs assessment surveys and focus groups concerning data capacity, strategic planning, data system management processes and procedures, and communication activities. She has developed data governance program documents and professional development materials on data systems, governance, and use for many clients.
Laurie Azaria Klausner is a metrics-driven, hands-on leader with the ability to turn strategic initiative into positive business impact. At Certica, Laurie leads all aspects of marketing with a focus on growing the Certica brand as the leader in K-12 assessments and analytics. Prior to Certica, Laurie was VP, Worldwide Marketing and Business Development at Entuity, a network analytics company, where she was responsible for all marketing related activities, including the development and management of integrated, closed-loop demand generation programs with a significant focus on digital marketing. Prior to Entuity, Laurie held several other senior management positions in marketing at technology focused companies. Laurie earned a BA from Tulane University and a MS in Marketing Analytics from Bentley University.
“We had a vision of being able to learn from student performance year-to-year in order to tweak our curriculum and to aid our teachers’ professional development, but we didn’t have good access to our data to make educational and curricular decisions. With Videri, data that had been buried in our SIS, or even in various file folders, is now on the dashboard with just a click or two.”
– Melissa Kummerer, project manager at Regents School of Austin, Texas
The dashboards, scorecards and watch lists provide insights into student performance that otherwise would take much longer to realize or run the risk of going unnoticed. These visualizations accelerate our teachers’ and leaders’ ability to make data-driven decisions that help our students succeed.”
– Jonathan Hulbert, director of Accountability and School Transformation at East Central Independent School District, Texas
“The CASE Benchmark Assessments have provided teachers with actionable data they can use to immediately intervene and accelerate student success. Coupled with the power of professional learning communities (PLCs), the data is an invaluable resource that provides teachers with the information they need to break down barriers to student learning. After the first year of using the CASE Benchmarks and the CASE Item Bank, some of our schools saw double digit growth in test scores!”
– Jeff McCoy, associate superintendent for Academics at Greenville County Schools, South Carolina
“Over the past three years, Fleming County Schools has moved from a school district in state assistance to one of the top districts in Kentucky. Our success is attributed to our students, teachers and staff. But we could not have experienced this success without a standardized curriculum and the CASE Benchmarks, the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal. Furthermore, we have worked closely with the CASE team to move student achievement to the highest levels. This is truly a partnership of distinction.”
–Brian Creasman, Superintendent, Fleming County Schools, Kentucky
Saysha Carter, M.Ed., Ed.S.
Saysha Carter is an Implementation Manager for the CASE Benchmark Assessments. Ms. Carter has a 30-year career in school districts and with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She served as Chief Officer of Student Learning at Pender County Schools (NC) and was the Director of Exceptional Children at Edenton-Chowan Public Schools (NC). At the state level, Ms. Carter was a Transformation Coach working with principals and teachers. She also served as an educational consultant and mentor, and as a trainer for differentiating instruction, literacy and co-teaching.
Meredith Park, Ph.D.
Meredith Park is a Professional Development Specialist. Dr. Park has more than 20 years of experience in instructional leadership, school improvement, strategic planning, curriculum and instruction, data and accountability, educational research, and policy design. Dr. Park served as an Instructional Coach, Coordinator of Benchmark Assessments, Director of Federal Programs, and Director of Professional Development at DeSoto County School District (MS) and taught in various Mississippi districts. For the past three years, she served as Assistant Superintendent of Academic Education for Germantown Municipal School District (TN).
Todd Wirt, Ed.D.
Vice President, Professional Development
Todd Wirt is the Vice President of Professional Development. Dr. Wirt has been building teaching cultures, developing leaders, and improving student achievement for 20 years. He is the former Superintendent of Orange County Schools (NC) where he created a culture of data use resulting in improved student outcomes and the successful implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Dr. Wirt also served as the Assistant Superintendent of Academics at Wake County Schools (NC), where he developed intentional processes for scaling professional development. He has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal and principal in North Carolina districts. In 2016 Dr. Wirt was named the North Carolina Outstanding Young Educator by the North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Vice President, Assessment Development
Senior Director, Product Management
Lou Ann Little
Senior Director, Finance & Operations
Vice President, Assessment Services
Carl Harris, Ed.D.
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Vice President, Client Services
Senior Director, Product Development
Senior Director, Product Development
Vice President, Human Resources
Jamie Lapensee joined Certica Solutions in 2016 and with over 20 years’ experience in the field, oversees all aspects of human resource management at the company. Prior to joining Certica, Jamie served as regional HR director at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Over the course of 12 years, during which the city of Boston undertook the nation’s largest urban transportation development project, Jamie held numerous HR roles at both the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Jamie holds an BA in Liberal Studies from Endicott College and an MBA with concentrations in Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Analytics from Simmons College.
Vice President, Assessment Sales
Cindy Hollar leads the company’s assessment sales team, after joining Certica in 2019 through the acquisition of TE21. Prior to Certica, she was the CEO of TE21, provider of the CASE Benchmark Assessments. Cindy co-founded TE21 in 1999 as a training company and later, inspired by her own daughter’s success overcoming reading difficulties and her many years’ experience in education, refocused the direction of the company to specialize in providing high-quality content, software programs and professional development to help schools improve the educational outcomes of students. Early in her career, Cindy worked as an elementary school teacher before making a shift to IBM, where she held numerous senior roles in corporate training, sales and sales management. In addition to 13 years at IBM, Cindy was the vice president of Product Development for The Martin Corporation, an educational software development company. Cindy hold a BA in Elementary Education from Milsaps College.
Chief Financial Officer
Ken Hale has more than 30 years of financial and operations management experience, focusing primarily on the technology and communications industries with both public and private companies. Prior to joining Certica, Ken served as CFO and head of operations for IMN, a digital marketing provider, where he was responsible for financial management and IT operations. Before IMN, Ken served as CFO and treasurer at GlassHouse, a leading global provider of data center consulting, technology integration and managed services. Ken was also CFO at AptSoft/Wheelhouse Corporation and NaviSite; and held senior management positions at Ernst & Young. Ken holds an AB in Biochemistry from Colgate University and an MBA from Northeastern University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and was an instructor of Auditing and Taxation at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.
Vice President, Business Operations
Rodney Green has 25 years of software industry experience in a range of business, finance, marketing and operational functions. Prior to joining Certica, Rodney was vice president of operations and corporate development at digital marketing provider IMN. Throughout his tenure at IMN, Rodney led various administrative and functional areas including, business development, marketing, finance, HR and legal. In 2008, Rodney managed a fundraising effort for IMN culminating in an equity buyout by North Bridge Growth Equity. Prior to IMN, he was involved in several start-up and early stage companies including Engage, one of the operating companies of CMGI, where he helped grow the company from pre-revenue to a successful IPO. Rodney also held various business development and account management positions for Epsilon, now owned by Alliance Data. Rodney holds an BA in Economics and Political Science from Colgate University and an MBA from Boston University.
Chief Product Officer
Shane Foster joined Certica Solutions in 2016 and leads the company’s product team, overseeing product strategy, product engineering and product management. Shane has over 20 years’ experience in software and product development with companies ranging from start-ups to large public corporations. Prior to joining Certica, Shane was vice president of Product Strategy at Academic Benchmarks, which Certica acquired in 2016. Before Academic Benchmarks, Shane was the senior manager of Cloud Solutions at Worldpay (formerly Vantiv), a payment processor that provides payment technologies to over 1,400 financial institutions and processes nearly 16 billion payment transactions annually. Prior to Worldpay, Shane was director of Product Development at IVANS and also spent his early career at BWC Systems, later acquired by IVANS, as a software engineer. Shane holds a BS in Computer Science & Information Systems from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University.
Executive Vice President, Assessments
Sarah Bassett joined Certica Solutions in 2005 and leads the company’s assessment business team. She has held numerous roles at Certica, including heading Sales, Marketing and Client Services. She has more than 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing, customer management and professional services with IT and enterprise software providers. Prior to Certica, Sarah led product marketing at enterprise portal provider Corechange, now owned by OpenText. She was executive director of marketing for business intelligence products at Ascential and collaborated on that company’s spin-off from Informix. At Informix and Ardent Software, Sarah was director of strategy and planning for worldwide professional services. In the 1990s she was a member of the early team at QDB Solutions where she held senior marketing and business development positions, and at QDB’s acquirer, data warehousing pioneer Prism Solutions. Sarah holds a BA in English and an MS in Public Relations from Boston University.
Founder and Executive Vice President, Business Integration
Jeffrey Averick founded Certica Solutions in 2000 and leads the company’s business integration initiatives and assessment content development teams. Jeff was instrumental in the development and district adoption of Certica’s flagship K-12 compliance application, Certify, and built a first-class SaaS technology and content products group. Prior to founding Certica, Jeff was president and CEO of QDB Solutions, a pioneer in data quality management software. Having executed the acquisition of QDB by data warehousing leader Prism Solutions, Jeff provided strategic counsel to emerging technology firms, including several in the information management sector. In the early 1990s, Jeff was vice president of product development at BGS Systems, a provider of capacity management systems. Jeff holds a BS in Mathematics from Haverford College and an MS in Computer Science and Mathematics from Boston University.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mark Rankovic is an experienced technology business executive who took the helm at Certica in 2006, transforming Certica from a data management consultancy into an innovative edtech company. Since 2011, Mark and team have executed six strategic acquisitions, laying the foundation for the edtech market’s first Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Certica Connect. Mark has built and led software companies for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Certica, Mark was president and CEO of Kubi Software and orchestrated its acquisition by Pragmatech. Prior to Kubi, he was vice president, Worldwide Field Operations at Alphablox, managing the integration when the company was acquired by IBM. In the 1990s, Mark was vice president of worldwide professional services and vice president of the Asia Pacific region at Prism Solutions, a pioneer in data warehousing; and was founder and managing director of Object Software, prior to its acquisition by Prism. Mark holds a BSc (Hons) in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
Vice President, Services
Mike Agostino leads Certica’s Services organization, overseeing a range of support, onboarding, implementation and integration services for both education agency and edtech vendor clients. Mike has spent more than 20 years with leading information technology and enterprise system providers, as well as edtech innovators. Prior to joining Certica, Mike was vice president of Customer Success for Intellify Learning, a provider of education analytics. Mike spent three years at Follett Corporation leading Services & Operations, first for the company’s Aspen student information system division, and then as vice president, Professional Services, for the company’s portfolio of K-12 technology platforms. Mike has held several leadership positions in IBM’s data management divisions, including roles with Data Warehouse Solutions and Global Education & Certification. Mike holds a BA in Operations Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA from Bentley University.