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CCSSO Hires Two Technical Experts to Direct the Council’s Strategic Work

Leaders Hired in CCSSO’s Education Workforce & Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Strategic Initiatives

CCSSO has hired new Strategic Initiative Directors to lead two of the Council's four state-driven initiatives. Sylvia Gillpatrick has been named director of the Standards, Assessment, and Accountability strategic initiative; and Janice Poda has been named director of the of the Education Workforce strategic initiative.

"Sylvia and Janice bring extensive state education agency leadership and technical expertise to the Council. They will provide a valuable resource to states as they grapple with issues as diverse as implementing the common core state standards and evaluating teacher effectiveness. We are thrilled to have them on board." said CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit

Sylvia Gillpatrick has worked as a project director for the implementation of the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS), Delaware's statewide, computer adaptive, comprehensive assessment system. She previously served in similar roles working on other statewide efforts including both alternate and English Language Proficiency assessments. Over the last 12 years Sylvia has worked in the K-12 education sector as an independent consultant, working for a school performance software company and in the education division of a Fortune 500 company. Prior to specializing in K-12 education, Sylvia was an organizational design consultant and information technology project manager in the public sector and has over 15 years of experience in the planning, analysis, design and development of complex information systems. She has also spent a number of years developing strategic human resources plans including implementing evaluations and compensation/bonus, and benefits programs. She graduated with a BS in psychology from UCLA, where she interned with pioneers in the study of autism. She then held several positions working with directly with families and children in a residential treatment center, as a social worker and conducting Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) throughout the state.

Janice Poda has served as the deputy state superintendent of education for administration, and chief of staff at the South Carolina Department of Education. During four years of her service as deputy superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education's Division of Educator Quality & Leadership, Editorial Projects in Education's Quality Counts ranked South Carolina as #1 and #2 (two consecutive years each) in the US for the state's efforts to improve teacher quality. In that role, she oversaw educator certification, a statewide evaluation system for teachers, leaders, and other school personnel, program approval, the state's teacher of the year program, and federal Title II programs. She has broad and deep experience in educator human resources issues. She also worked as Executive Director of the South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment (now known as the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA)) at Winthrop University. While Assistant Superintendent for Personnel in Greenwood School District 50, Poda assisted with the aftermath of a school shooting and a chartered bus accident. She began her career teaching social studies and children with learning disabilities, and has worked at the district level in testing, research, and evaluation. She is currently a member of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) redesign team and interim board, and has served on the Unit Accreditation Board for NCATE.

For more information about the Council's strategic work, visit