Dr. J. Douglas Willms is a Professor at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the founder and CEO of the Learning Bar. He is the President of the International Academy of Education, a Member of the US National Academy of Education, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He recently held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development for 14 years.
Dr. Willms has published over 200 research articles and monographs pertaining to youth literacy, children’s health, the accountability of schooling systems, and the assessment of national reforms. He developed the Educational Prosperity framework over the course of his career, which is used by jurisdictions in their capacity-building efforts and the development of educational policy. The model has been adopted by the OECD for PISA for Development, an initiative aimed at building capacity for low- and middle-income countries to monitor progress towards nationally-set targets for improvement. Dr. Willms and his colleagues have developed the questionnaires and the analysis plan for this international study.
Colette Wasson is the Chief Executive Officer of The Learning Bar, a senior executive responsible for the strategic success of the company, the execution of the strategy and the achievement of the vision “Giving all children the opportunity to thrive”.
Colette brings over 20 years of business and management experience working with large private and public sector organizations on strategic business and information technology initiatives. Colette has a solid reputation for delivering results.
With a degree in Computer Science, Colette’s early career focused on large software development and implementation projects. Colette attained an MBA to complement her computer science degree and for the past 20 years, has been leading strategic business initiatives with small and large organizations.
Colette has a passion for the well-being and success of all children; she understands the importance of evidence-based policy and planning in education to ensure that children reach their full potential.
Beth Fairbairn is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of TLB, a senior executive responsible for handling the day to day operations of the company. Ms. Fairbairn has worked with Dr. Willms as his Research Program Manager at the Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) for many years managing grant-funded and contracted research programs; and also as Vice President of KSI Research International. Ms. Fairbairn has led successful implementations of the Early Years Evaluation tools nationally in Canada, and internationally in China, Australia, Uruguay, and Dominican Republic. Ms. Fairbairn has an Arts degree (English -’93), a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA -’97) degree, and a Masters Certificate in Project Management (2009).
Robert leads the Business Development and Marketing division, focused on discerning customer needs and finding the appropriate school improvement solutions. With a background in education and business, he understands the requirement of delivering exceptional products while structuring mutually beneficial arrangements; something that is compulsory in today’s tough fiscal climate. A keen handyman, in his spare time Robert can be found running on the trail system in Fredericton, playing golf and tennis, engaging in a game of chess (of which he is an avid player), and spending time with family.
Danielle leads a responsive research group, and is well experienced in providing a strong supporting role in provincial and state-level initiatives. Danielle and her research group are equipped to assist the ASM team, often behind the scenes. Danielle frequently prepares responses to questions about the survey measures, underlying statistical methods, or other research techniques that periodically arise from various stakeholders. She provides information about any aspect of the data or findings, conducting statistical analyses, preparing reports based on the findings for meetings, or generally assisting where needed when questions arise.
Fred is the Chief Technology Officer of The Learning Bar. Bringing over thirty years of technology experience, ranging from satellite operations, military and aerospace, as well as both enterprise and internet software, on projects ranging from small to multi-billion-dollar, Fred applies a broad knowledge of software architecture, technology, and development processes to lead TLB’s technology team, and to drive a technology vision which solves real problems, and brings real value.
Ethan is responsible for the output and activities of OurSCHOOL’s application development and support team. This team is tasked with producing all programming-related deliverables, general network and system maintenance, and providing technical support to clients. On provincial and state implementations as well as other larger district initiatives, he has worked directly with the client where any technical consultation is required.
Nicki manages the marketing team at The Learning Bar. She brings over 20 years international experience in the management and implementation of marketing and communication plans and strategic analysis. She is responsible for ensuring the vision and messaging of the company is represented clearly in our internal and external communications at the highest standards.
Christine completed her dual honours degree in Psychology and Criminology at Saint Mary’s University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Personality Psychology from the University of Manitoba. Prior to attending graduate school, Christine taught elementary school children in South Korea, ages 4 – 13, for two years, focusing on English as an additional language. This amazing experience served to strengthen her respect and admiration for teachers and solidified her passion for improving the life chances for all children. Christine has also been fortunate enough to work with children with special needs, in addition to a number of SLP’s, OT’s, PT’s and SP’s, while working with the Halifax Regional School Board and the Calgary Board of Education.
Charles oversees the organizational and completion of OurSCHOOL product delivery tasks. Charles also is responsible for the reliability and performance of The Learning Bar network and applications. With more than 15 years experience in IT with responsibilities that varied from programming roles to production system support roles, Charles has a very strong knowledge of the development and product delivery cycles.
Nerrin provides project management advice and is responsible for the scoping and planning of large scale implementations, and supports ongoing product and service delivery across all phases for stakeholders. With 13 years of experience in project management and leadership across the aviation, mining and telecommunications industries, Nerrin brings operational performance knowledge and best practice skills to the business.
Claire leads the Product Delivery team for the Early Years Evaluation (EYE). This team supports EYE clients both during and following their EYE implementations: from setting up their sessions in the EYE online data entry system, to producing all client deliverables once their evaluations are complete. This team also works closely with the EYE Account Success Management team and the EYE Application Development team to drive improvements to EYE user experience based on client feedback and ongoing educational research. Claire brings both an education and a research background to the EYE team, having completed a B.A. (Contemporary Studies) and a B.Ed. (Junior/Intermediate Math and Social Sciences) in 2012, and an M.A. (Sociology) in 2014.
Sui-Linn is Co-Director of The Learning Bar’s Australian operation. Sui-Linn brings to the company her expertise in education and passion for equity and student voice. Her experience with the NSW Department of Education as a head teacher and senior education officer, working with school principals and leaders in school improvement is applied in her role, leading the team to provide excellence in service delivery. Sui-Linn has a deep appreciation for the work of schools in transforming the lives of children and young people.
Katie is the Confident Learners Project Coordinator, working with the project team to deliver an exceptional program that bolsters the success of children making the critical transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. With over a decade of experience applying research insights to public and private products and services, Katie brings a level head and holistic approach to program delivery. Katie holds a BPhil in Interdisciplinary Leadership (’04), an MPhil in Policy Studies (’06), and a Masters Certificate in Project Management (‘08) from the University of New Brunswick.
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