Amy Jo coordinates projects spanning cradle to career as the Director of the Center for P-20 Engagement. She leads a highly accomplished, enthusiastic, committed staff in grants, projects and activities that research early childhood program effectiveness, deliver migrant education services, address STEM shortages, improve high school to college transition and promote lifelong learning. Amy Jo's experience in state educational policy and program delivery includes serving as an assistant superintendent for Illinois State Board of Education and regional superintendent in Lee and Ogle counties. Her degrees from NIU include an M.S.Ed. in secondary education and an Ed.D. with an Illinois Superintendent's license. Amy Jo believes that building systems to drive lifelong learning is at the foundation of true educational excellence and the Center for P-20 Engagement is a leader in that work across the state.
Kristin is the director of NIU STEAM. She leads efforts to support interdisciplinary STEAM education and technology integration through regional and statewide professional development programs and annual events such as the STEAMing It Up Conference. Kristin also works with state partners to support educators as they use data, technology and open educational resources to support student success. For over 15 years, Kristin has enjoyed helping in-service and pre-service teachers become fearless with technology while they explore innovative ways to impact student learning. She is a former industrial engineer with a M.S. in engineering and an Ed.D. in instructional technology from NIU.
Susana DasNeves is the director of Illinois Migrant Education Services at NIU and serves as principal investigator for the Migrant Education Program contract and Rochelle local program. Her responsibilities focus on the coordination of services to support the seven local Migrant Education Program grantees from the Illinois State Board of Education. Prior to her director position, she served in the NIU Center for P-20 Engagement as the Parent University coordinator to meet the needs of Latino parents in the DeKalb/Sycamore area. She also developed a College Prep Boot Camp to assist parents and students with the transition to post-secondary education. Susana has experience as a bilingual counselor, academic advisor and administrator in student and academic affairs at the university and community college levels.
Through the years, she has developed partnerships with colleagues and community organizations to provide all students, including undocumented students, a smooth transition to four-year institutions. She is an advocate for access to education for all students and has presented at state and national conferences on the importance of college readiness for students and parents. At NIU, she has served on various committees and the Presidential Task Force for the Support of Undocumented Students, and as faculty advisor to several student organizations. In 2010, she joined the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education (ILACHE) executive board. Susana holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from the Universidad de Monterrey (México), a Master of Science in guidance counseling from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is pursuing a doctoral degree in adult education at NIU.
Pettee Borissova is a graduate of NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Department of Engineering Technology where she received her bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial management. She has extensive experience in customer relations and program management. Pettee also serves as the director of the National Safety Education Center at NIU, a non-profit organization authorized by OSHA to deliver occupational safety and health training to public and private sector workers, supervisors and employers. As the former STEM Outreach Program Coordinator of NIU’s Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development division, she managed the operations of over 500 STEM summer campers and over 5000 school program participants on an annual basis. Borissova was the program manager for the largest STEM festival in the Midwest – STEM Fest - planning the coordination and logistics for over 200 exhibitors, 800 volunteers and 7000 visitors from around the country.
Senior Director of Learning Partnerships
Jason Klein is the Senior Director of Learning Partnerships at Northern Illinois University (NIU). This role includes work in both the NIU College of Education and the NIU Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development. In this role, Jason co-facilitates the Illinois P-20 Network and coordinates partnerships with school districts, community colleges and other organizations for both degree programs and other professional learning. Additionally, at NIU, Jason has worked as a member of the P-20 Research and Data Collaborative and with the Illinois Interactive Report Cards office. Prior to working at NIU, Jason served for nearly 25 years in demographically diverse Illinois public school districts as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent. His instructional focus has been on transforming learning opportunities for all students so that they benefit from differentiated and challenging authentic problem-based learning. Jason has focused on implementing democratic models of school improvement informed by modern principles of project management, and he has been a leader in using technology to innovate assessment and instruction. Jason has a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master's degree and Ph.D. in educational administration from Illinois State University, and an Ed.S. in educational administration from NIU.
Director of Illinois MTSS Network (IL MTSS-N)
Lori Hensold has over thirty years’ experience serving public and private schools in Illinois as a teacher, Educational Diagnostician, Area-wide Instructional Leader, MTSS Coordinator, and School Improvement Coach. She currently serves as Director of the Illinois MTSS Network. Lori’s expertise includes instructional design, MTSS, and coaching systems level change. She enjoys developing and facilitating in-person and virtual professional learning opportunities and has presented at multiple conferences including Sharing a Vision Conference on Early Childhood, the Illinois ESSA/Multilingual Conference, the MTSS Innovations National Conference, IAASE, the Illinois Special Education Directors Conference and was a session chair at the History of Education Society 60th Annual Meeting. She is trained in Adaptive Schools Facilitation, CHOICES Coaching, and won the Vermilion County Golden Ruler Award for outstanding educators.
Lori earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of Illinois and a Master of Education degree in Instructional Design from Western Governors University. She holds Illinois Professional Teaching licenses in Early Childhood and Elementary General Education and is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She graduated from the Illinois Learning Forward “PD re-Ignite” Academy and currently serves on the Illinois Learning Forward Board as Secretary. She is a doctoral candidate in the Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.