Education PartnershipsOur Education Partnerships team is dedicated to building long-lasting, supportive, and engaged partnerships with educators and those who work with us to make our mission a reality. With 40 years of expertise in the fields of education and child advocacy, we’ve developed a team of passionate professionals who truly understand the challenges faced by schools and districts. We’re committed to working with our clients by providing high-quality, research-based programs and ongoing support that promote our vision of safe children thriving in a peaceful world. Join our growing team! Visit our Careers page to learn about our current openings. Kelly Merkling Director of Education Partnerships × Kelly Merkling Director of Education Partnerships Kelly Merkling brings over 20 years of client management and sales experience to her role as director of education partnerships. She provides strategic leadership and development to the sales and partnership staff at Committee for Children. Before joining Committee for Children in 2017, Kelly worked in the software, ecommerce, online advertising, and education industries. Serving as the director of industry strategy at Apollo Education Group, she created educational partnerships with industry leaders and national associations focusing on workforce development. She also worked as director of implementation and strategy, supporting Fortune 500 partnerships in developing strategic plans to support the needs of working learners. Kelly graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in business management and human resources management. Amy Walker National Education Partnerships Senior Manager × Amy Walker National Education Partnerships Senior Manager Amy Walker has more than 15 years of experience consulting on social-emotional learning, violence prevention, bullying prevention, and child abuse prevention, while working with hundreds of school districts around the country and presenting at dozens of conferences in the US and abroad. As a previous member of our international team, she led sales and training for our partner agencies in Australia and the UK. Amy has been with Committee for Children since 2002. She previously worked in education and technology sales, international business, and preschool and elementary school classrooms—also teaching at a university in Argentina. Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in international cultural studies from Western Washington University. Lisa Wright Education Account Manager, West Coast × Lisa Wright Education Account Manager, West Coast Before joining Committee for Children in November 2017 to manage our West Coast accounts, Lisa Wright was a teacher trainer with Peace Corps Indonesia, where she designed and coordinated youth development programs focused on diversity, health, secondary education, and leadership skills for elementary through high school students. Lisa also worked with Sofia Blake, wife of US Ambassador Robert O. Blake Jr., on cultural training for her university program in Indonesia. She has volunteered as a tutor for elementary students and brings more than seven years of marketing, client relations, and consulting experience to Committee for Children. Lisa has intimate knowledge of international development and experience working with and leading youth empowerment programs. Lisa received a bachelor of arts in communications with a specialization in public relations from Michigan State University. She speaks four languages: Mandarin Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Malaysian, and English. Jennifer Sanderlin Senior Education Partnerships Manager, South × Jennifer Sanderlin Senior Education Partnerships Manager, South As senior partnerships manager for the southern US since 2013, Jennifer Sanderlin is an integral part of the client success team and a strong resource for clients planning and sustaining their Second Step program implementation. She works with leaders at school, district, and state levels on SEL support, strategies, and funding opportunities. She also currently manages and creates our live and on-demand webinars to help clients stay connected no matter where they are. Previously, Jennifer was an early childhood classroom teacher, a multisite nonprofit director, and a statewide after-school program trainer. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Washington. She appreciates the opportunity at Committee for Children to make a positive impact on the world every day. Kyra Rhoads Education Account Manager, South × Kyra Rhoads Education Account Manager, South Kyra Rhoads joined Committee for Children in 2017 with over 15 years of experience working with a diverse range of nonprofit agencies—including healthcare, education, and youth-outreach programs—in both management and volunteer capacities. As account manager for the southern US, she considers client relations, strategic planning, and sales and marketing to be her primary skills. Kyra graduated with a bachelor of science in business and economics from George Fox University and studied nonprofit management at the Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the US Chamber of Commerce. Yvette Braddock, MEd Senior Education Partnerships Manager, Central × Yvette Braddock, MEd Senior Education Partnerships Manager, Central As a senior partnership manager for Committee for Children, Yvette Braddock is passionate about children and building social awareness programs that contribute to positive and productive futures. Before coming here in 2015, she spent nearly 12 years in the education field and three years in the consultative field, bringing to Committee for Children a wealth of experience. Yvette served as an assistant director for an after-school program, assistant preschool/kindergarten teacher, and most recently, a behavior analyst supporting high school students with IEP goals. Yvette graduated from the University of Washington, where she received her bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in special education with an emphasis in behavioral analysis. As an Assyrian born in Baghdad, Iraq, her first language is Assyrian. Zach Sherman Educational Account Manager, Central × Zach Sherman Educational Account Manager, Central Zach Sherman has worked at Committee for Children since 2013, supporting educators and administrators and managing our accounts in the central US states. He has also helped to improve the help section on SecondStep.org, making it quick and easy for users to find answers to their questions and use our programs more effectively. After attending college, he moved to Seattle and worked in the fast-paced customer service departments of tech startups including Zulily and Blue Nile. He then took part in an internship at a Seattle-based nonprofit called The Borgen Project, where he applied skills learned in college to help spur grassroots political activism around the country. This was his first taste of nonprofit work and served as motivation for joining Committee for Children. Zach received a dual-major degree in economics and international political economy from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Kate Tovias Senior Education Partnerships Manager, Northeast × Kate Tovias Senior Education Partnerships Manager, Northeast Kate Tovias brings a teacher’s perspective to her work with districts, schools, and organizations throughout the northeast US. Prior to joining Committee for Children in 2014, she was an academic intervention specialist and long-time elementary and middle school teacher. Kate has two bachelor’s degrees: one from Seattle University in psychology and one from Central Washington University in elementary education. She is also certified in leadership and management from Cornell University. Chad Parke Education Account Manager, Northeast × Chad Parke Education Account Manager, Northeast With more than 18 years of experience dealing with the IT needs of school districts during his time in the telecommunications and IT industry, in 2017 Chad Parke brought us a unique perspective on the challenges many school districts face using technology. Concerned for the difficulties that today’s youth face in both school and their daily lives, Chad finds satisfaction in introducing and talking about the Second Step curriculum with educators in the northeastern US. He’s proud to have a positive impact on students’ lives and fully believes that social-emotional learning is the key to their success. Majella McNeese Education Partnerships Operations Manager × Majella McNeese Education Partnerships Operations Manager Before joining Committee for Children in 2016, Majella McNeese was already familiar with the Second Step program, which she taught to fourth, fifth, and sixth graders during her combined 10 years of experience as an elementary and middle school teacher. As an operations manager, she heads up our request for proposal (RFP) process, is on the Second Step Leadership Institute facilitation team, and helps with online tutorials for training administrators on our Child Protection and Bullying Prevention Units. Majella is a graduate of Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education with a focus on primary education. International Engagement International Partnerships Manager Carolyn Hubbard identifies opportunities to increase our reach around the world by building and sustaining partnerships and initiatives with education publishers and youth-serving organizations. She works with our partners on their cultural and structural adaptations and outreach efforts. Carolyn Hubbard International Partnerships Manager × Carolyn Hubbard International Partnerships Manager Carolyn joined Committee for Children in 2012, bringing a global mindset and over 15 years of experience to our team. Her previous work includes publishing, bilingual education, and international nonprofit management, as well as writing and editing travel guides. At Committee for Children, Carolyn engages with publishers, not-for-profit organizations, government departments, and research organizations to expand our reach and impact in various countries. Since joining Committee for Children, Carolyn has developed successful partnerships in Australia, China, Estonia, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. She has spearheaded promotional campaigns to international schools and presented at global conferences, all with a steadfast commitment to our goal of expanding our reach around the globe. Carolyn holds an undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University, a Multiple Subject teaching credential from Mills College, and a MicroMasters from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and lived in five countries.