Nate Davis, Executive Chairman of K¹², is a seasoned leader of transformational telecommunications, media and software development companies, with a record of improving operations, launching innovative new products and strengthening relationships with legislative and regulatory authorities. Mr. Davis, who joined the K¹² board of directors in 2009, was named chairman of the board in June 2012 and in January 2013 assumed his current responsibilities, overseeing all operational and corporate functions of the company with a focus on excellence in academic, operational and financial performance.
Mr. Davis joined the company from the position of managing director of RANND Advisory Group, a consulting group advising venture capital, media, and technology-based firms. He previously served as chief executive officer and president of XM Satellite Radio and a member of the company’s board of directors, where he strengthened operations and financial performance and led the company through its merger with Sirius Satellite Radio.
From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Davis was president and chief operating officer, and board member of XO Communications Inc. Mr. Davis has also held senior executive positions at Nextel Communications (EVP, network and technical services), MCI Telecommunications (chief financial officer and various other management positions) and MCI Metro (president and chief operating officer).
Mr. Davis currently serves on the board of directors for Unisys and the board of trustees for RLJ lodging trust.
Mr. Davis received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in engineering computer science at the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of K¹², was previously a vice president of Knowledge Universe, and CEO of Knowledge Schools, which provides high-quality childhood education in community and employer-sponsored centers, and invests in, incubates, and operates several charter school companies. Previously, Mr. Packard worked for McKinsey & Company, as well as for Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Packard holds a BA in economics and mechanical engineering with honors from the University of California, Berkeley. As a Hughes Scholar, he spent his undergraduate summers writing an image-processing language. He holds an MBA with honors from The University of Chicago, and he is a chartered financial analyst.
Mr. Packard was the 2007 recipient of the Education Industry Association’s James P. Boyle Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, bestowed to individuals whose achievements in the for-profit education industry serve as a guidepost for others starting and building entrepreneurial education endeavors. In 2008, he won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the IT Services & Solutions category in Greater Washington for his outstanding leadership in building and leading a dynamic and growing business. He was also the recipient of the Distinguished Entrepreneurial Award from Chicago Booth in 2009 for his achievements in public service, entrepreneurship, finance, and corporate leadership. In 2010, he won the USDLA Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership in the field of distance learning.
He previously served on the Department of Defense Educational Advisory Committee; is currently Chairman of the Board of Middlebury Interactive Languages, LLC; and is a member of the Digital Learning Council.
Mr. Packard has been profiled in many media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, FOX News Business Channel, Forbes Magazine, Investors Business Daily, Washington Business Journal, and SmartCEO Magazine.
Timothy L. Murray, President and Chief Operating Officer, joined K¹² in April 2012. He is an accomplished executive with decades of experience working for successful public and private companies. Most recently, Mr. Murray served as chief executive officer of Pulsepoint, Inc., a digital media technology company formed by the merger of ContextWeb, a top-rated advertising exchange, and Datran Media. He joined ContextWeb in March of 2010 and served as the company's CEO. Prior to ContextWeb, Mr. Murray was chief operating officer of Dialogic Inc., overseeing the daily operations of all aspects of sales, customer service and support, engineering, marketing, manufacturing, quality initiatives, and human resources. Dialogic acquired Cantata Technologies, where Mr. Murray was CEO. Mr. Murray began his career at AT&T in 1980 and over the next twenty years was promoted to positions of increasing responsibilities, including in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and product management. He left AT&T in 2001 after serving as executive vice president business service operations. Mr. Murray received a B.S. and M.S. in management and industrial engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
James Rhyu, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, joined K¹² in June 2013. Mr. Rhyu has more than 20 years of financial management experience in various global industries.
Prior to joining K¹², Mr. Rhyu served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Match.com, a subsidiary of publicly traded IAC/InterActiveCorp. In those roles, he was responsible for overseeing a broad range of functions, including human resources, legal, information technology and operations, certain international operations and product development.
Prior to his roles at Match.com, Mr. Rhyu was a Senior Vice President of Finance at Dow Jones & Company, where he ran the global financial function. Previously, Mr. Rhyu served for three years as the Corporate Controller of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its predecessor company, XM Satellite Radio, as well as serving in the same role for Graftech International. Mr. Rhyu also spent six years with Ernst & Young LLP in the United States and South America.
Mr. Rhyu holds a BS from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the London Business School.
Bruce Davis, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Business Development, ran his own strategy consultancy in the education industry prior to joining K¹². His clients included premier organizations such as Laureate Education Inc.; Discovery Communications; Pearson Publishing; Sylvan Learning Systems; Educate, Inc.; AICPA; and USAID. Mr. Davis has also been chief executive officer of Medasorb Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company, and Mindsurf Networks, a wireless educational system provider. He has extensive operational experience and was chief operating officer of Prometric, the leader in computer test administration worldwide. Prior to that, he was a senior consultant with Deloitte and Touche's Information Systems Strategy group where he managed their IT practice in Egypt. He maintains special regional expertise in Central Asia and the Middle East. Mr. Davis holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BS in computer science from Loyola College.
Celia Stokes, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, brings more than 20 years of branding and marketing experience to K¹². Ms. Stokes came to K¹² from Independence Air where, as vice president of marketing, she presided over all aspects of the largest and fastest brand launch in aviation history. The brand achieved a #1 ranking out of all US airlines in customer satisfaction. Before joining Independence Air, she consulted to organizations such as Fox TV, PBS, National Gallery of Art, J. Walter Thompson, and ADP on subjects ranging from brand strategy and new revenue stream development to packaging and content acquisition. Prior to that, Ms. Stokes was the vice president of marketing for TELE-TV, a joint venture of Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), Pacific Telesis, and NyNex (now Verizon), where she not only managed the marketing launch for the wireless cable initiative, but also oversaw one of the largest video-on-demand pilots in the country. Ms. Stokes developed the foundations for her career at an Ogilvy & Mather Direct company, where she was responsible for business development and marketing strategy for clients such as Ciba-Geigy, Cellular One, and U.S. Robotics. She holds a BA in economics from the University of Virginia.
Allison Cleveland, Executive Vice President of School Management and Services, joined K¹² in October 2002. During her time at K¹², Ms. Cleveland has been instrumental in building the managed public school line of business. Most recently, she has served as the Senior Vice President of School Services, overseeing academic and operational services in the managed public schools. Prior to that, Ms. Cleveland was the Regional Vice President of the Southern Region, responsible for schools in the Southeast portion of the United States. In her early years at K¹², Ms. Cleveland worked in support of new school start-up and school operations, where she was responsible for the successful launch of K¹² Virtual Academies throughout the country.
Ms. Cleveland began her career at Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture), where she focused on clients in the telecommunications industry and government. Ms. Cleveland holds a BSE in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, cum laude, from Duke University and an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University.
Howard D. Polsky, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, has a unique combination of legal and public policy experience. As vice president and general counsel of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, he managed a wide range of legal matters including antitrust, telecommunications, employment, commercial contracts and transactions, litigation management, mergers and acquisitions, foreign joint ventures, intellectual property, and corporate governance and compliance. From 1992–2000, Mr. Polsky was at COMSAT and held both legal and government relations positions. He spent four years on the senior management team as vice president of federal policy and regulation. In that capacity, he developed critical corporate policy initiatives and advocated extensively before the FCC, Congress, and the executive branch, and also within intergovernmental organizations. Regulatory risk assessment and communications with institutional investors on policy matters was also his responsibility. For the prior nine years, Mr. Polsky was a partner at Wiley, Rein & Fielding where he represented a variety of U.S. and international communications clients in administrative and judicial proceedings. He began his legal career at the FCC and Kirkland & Ellis. He received his JD from Indiana University and was an editor of the Indiana Law Review, a BA from Lehigh University, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Polsky is admitted to practice in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia (corporate counsel), and the District of Columbia. Mr. Polsky has recently been appointed as a board member for the Lehigh University Advisory Council to the College of Arts and Sciences.
Maria Szalay, Executive Vice President of Product Development, brings over 19 years of strategy and development capability to K¹². Ms. Szalay joined K¹² in 2000, and has served in a variety of roles including product management, operations, strategy, and corporate development. Prior to joining K¹², Ms. Szalay served as practice director at Operon Partners, an e-business consulting firm. At Operon Partners, Ms. Szalay led consulting teams assisting clients with turnkey eBusiness strategy, product management and business transformation consulting services. She worked directly in client organizations developing business plans to obtain funding, and also assisted with the implementation of online initiatives, with specialized expertise in integrating these solutions with their brick-and-mortar business. Prior to joining Operon Partners, she worked at Telecom New Zealand rolling out the company's online solutions business, where she was instrumental not only in developing the online strategy and implementation plan for telecom broadband, but also in executing to the implementation plan. Prior to that, Ms. Szalay worked for eight years as a management consultant at KPMG, assisting clients with systems implementations, product marketing and placement initiatives, including new product and service launches. Ms. Szalay started her career at Shearson Lehman. She holds a BS/BA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an MBA from American University.
James Donley, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, joined us in July 2012. From 2006 until his present role, Mr. Donley served as CIO at Ciena Corp, a telecommunication solutions provider, a role which included managing the acquisition of the Metro Ethernet division of Nortel. Prior to his Ciena position, Mr. Donley was CIO beginning in 2000 at Acterna (now JDSU), a test and measurement solutions provider in the telecommunication industry. Mr. Donley previously served the automotive industry—spending 10 years in numerous roles within Ford including responsibility for IT worldwide for its two largest manufacturing divisions and foreign assignments in the Czech Republic and France, and 5 years with Chrysler in computer integrated manufacturing. Mr. Donley’s early years included working for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center on the space shuttle program. Mr. Donley holds a BS in computer science from Wayne State University in Detroit as well as an MS in administration from Central Michigan University.
Bryan W. Flood, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, joined K¹² in 2002. Mr. Flood previously served as a public affairs strategist, consultant, and spokesman for corporations, interest groups, and senatorial, gubernatorial, and presidential campaigns. As vice president at the MPGH Agency—a Virginia-based public affairs consulting firm—he advised clients ranging from high tech start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, including several leading education companies. Mr. Flood helped clients like MCI, The Learning Company, and Achievement Technologies win complex public policy and opinion battles by designing and managing advocacy campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. While serving at MPGH in 1999, Mr. Flood helped direct a sweeping review of the military recruitment process for the United States Department of Defense. Mr. Flood was chief spokesman for Michigan Governor John Engler's successful reelection campaign in 1994, and he was national spokesman for United States Senator Lamar Alexander's presidential campaign in 1995–1996. Mr. Flood holds a BA in public policy from New College of Florida.
John Holdren, Senior Vice President of Content and Curriculum, came to K¹² from the Core Knowledge Foundation, one of the country's most trusted and respected education centers, where he was vice president and director of research and publications. Mr. Holdren (along with E. D. Hirsch, Jr.) oversaw development of the Core Knowledge Sequence and co-edited the Core Knowledge Series of resource books. He taught literature and writing at the University of Virginia and Harvard University, as well as high school English at an independent school in Charlottesville, Virginia. Mr. Holdren holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA in English and American Literature from the University of Virginia.
Margaret Jorgensen, PhD., Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, an expert in the use of educational assessments as a powerful instructional tool, joined K¹² in February 2013 as chief academic officer (CAO). As CAO, Dr. Jorgensen is helping lead K¹²’s ongoing efforts to develop state of the art curriculum, technology, learning systems and teacher support; to improve performance for all students, including advanced learners but especially among the growing population of academically at-risk students in its network of managed public schools; and to innovate with assessments that not only more accurately reflect student progress but also can be used to improve learning and accountability.
A recognized industry innovator and an inventor with a patent for an innovative multiple choice assessment technique, Dr. Jorgensen joined K¹² from the position of CEO of Measure2Learn, which she founded in 2006 to develop technology products combining assessment and instruction and to provide psychometric consulting services to companies and educational institutions. Prior to K¹², Dr. Jorgensen served as managing director at Battelle for Kids, a non-profit enterprise focusing on several aspects of educational reform, including teacher effectiveness and strategies to transform low-performing schools.
As senior vice president and before that vice president, product development, psychometrics and research for Harcourt Assessment, Inc., Dr. Jorgensen led the development of a series of innovative education and assessment products and was responsible for expanding expertise in assessment across the company’s business units. Previously, she was Assistant Vice President for Development, ACT, Inc., where she supervised test development programs, a Senior Examiner for the Educational Testing Service, supporting the state-by-state roll-out of the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the Southern Regional Education Board, and an assistant professor at Emory University.
Dr. Jorgensen, who earned her Ph.D. in Measurement, Evaluation and Statistical Analysis at the University of Chicago, a master of science degree in school psychology at Miami University, an MBA at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BA in political science at Wellesley College, is the author of two books and nearly two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters.
Valerie Maddy, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at K12 Inc., brings more than 20 years of global leadership and innovation in the full range of human resources disciplines.
At K¹², Ms. Maddy is leading the development and implementation of new systems, processes, policies and programs aimed at maximizing every employee’s contribution to student academic success. As part of that effort, she is working with business teams to drive alignment, clarity and competitive advantage across the company and plan, acquire, develop and retain the talent required to achieve organizational goals.
Prior to joining K¹², Ms. Maddy was vice president, global human resources operations for Ciena Corporation, a global leader in next-generation network infrastructure, where she introduced reliable automation to HR systems, significantly increasing efficiency levels, and led the HR due diligence efforts and integration activities of eight acquisitions. Before rising to this position, Ms. Maddy served in a number of leadership roles at Ciena in the areas of global total rewards and global risk management.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Maddy held leadership roles in human resources and finance at Crown Vantage, a specialty paper manufacturer and distributor. Prior to that, Valerie served in human resources and auditing roles at SAFECO and American General, both providers of financial and insurance services.
Ms. Maddy is a graduate of Humboldt State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration. She holds a certificate in global benefits management, a designation from Fellow Life Management Institute, and is also a certified employee benefits specialist and certified internal auditor.
Peter Stewart, Senior Vice President of School Development, works with parents, teachers, community groups, school districts, school boards, departments of education, and policy makers across the United States and internationally to start new high-tech schools that use the K¹² academic program. In the past 7 years, he has helped develop large-scale, public e-learning programs in 16 states that currently serve over 100,000 courses annually. Prior to working for K¹², Mr. Stewart was a head of school, a teacher, a school principal, and a curriculum director with ten years experience working in urban, rural, and international schools. He holds a BA in English from Williams College and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.