Leadership Team Bios
Bruce Buterbaugh assumed his current role as Chief Financial Officer in 2002. He has worked for CCSSO since 1988, when he was hired as the Council's business manager. In 1994, Buterbaugh became director of administration and finance.
Prior to joining the Council, Buterbaugh was the audit manager for Ben A. Kendall, CPA, for four years. While there, he was responsible for auditing various organizations, including 501(c)(3) and (c)(6) not-for-profit organizations, a school district, and a manufacturing company. He first worked on the Council's annual audit with Kendall during a summer internship in 1983.
Buterbaugh is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Greater Washington Society of Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Buterbaugh holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Shippensburg University, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1986. He lives in Virginia with his wife and son, and enjoys hunting and fishing.
Kate Dando, Director of Communications
Kate joined CCSSO in September of 2010 as the Director of Communications. In this role she is responsible for developing and implementing the Council's strategic communications plan. She and her team manage internal and external communications efforts for the Council. Her team also works closely with the communications directors in each state education agency to provide resources and support to them as they communicate throughout their states about education reform efforts.
Prior to joining CCSSO, Kate spent six years as a strategic communications advisor at the law firm Holland & Knight LLP. While at Holland & Knight, Kate worked with trade associations, communities, Indian tribes, non-profit and for-profit organizations to develop and implement comprehensive communications and government relations strategies. Prior to working at Holland & Knight Kate spent three years in the office of U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell from Colorado as his press secretary and deputy press secretary. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Melissa Johnston joined the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2003 and assumed her current role as Deputy Executive Director in January 2013. Johnston oversees the implementation of the Council's strategic plan and the direction and leadership of the following programmatic initiative areas: Education Workforce; Education Data and Information Systems; the Innovation Lab Network; Standards, Assessment, and Accountability. Additionally, she manages the Council's Information Systems and Technology, Meeting Services, and Strategic Partnerships groups.
From March 2010-December 2012 Johnston served as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the implementation of the Council's strategic plan. Prior to that position, she served as the Council's Director of Strategy and Implementation. Melissa began her career with CCSSO assisting chiefs and other state policymakers to develop, augment, and implement policies and programs that effectively prepare, support, and sustain education leaders.
Johnston previously worked for Reading Is Fundamental and the Public Education Network in grants management, program development, and technical assistance capacities. She also worked directly with the national professional development program at the National Association of School Psychologists.
Johnston has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and Black World Studies from Miami University and a Masters in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, with a concentration in policy analysis and nonprofit management. She lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband Mark and their two children, Chloe and Timothy.
Carissa Moffat Miller, Deputy Executive Director
Carissa Moffat Miller joined CCSSO as the Deputy Executive Director in February 2013. Prior to joining CCSSO, Miller served as the Deputy Superintendent of the 21st Century Classroom Division at the Idaho State Department of Education. In this role she oversaw all assessment, accountability, content, and school choice programs. As the Deputy, Miller led the writing and negotiating Idaho's ESEA waiver and deployment of a statewide growth model. From 2003-2005, she worked for the Idaho State Board of Education overseeing assessment and accountability during the initial implementation and deployment of statewide online testing.
Miller also has a strong background in higher education having spent four years conducting research and evaluation on federal grants at Boise State University and more than a decade working in student affairs at Marymount University (VA), the University of Wyoming and the College of Southern Idaho.
Miller has served in numerous leadership positions, including being elected and serving as the co-chair of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Executive Committee from July 2011 to February 2013, as an elected member of the Smarter Balanced executive committee from October 2010 to June 2011, as the chair of the Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC), past chair of the Northwest Regional Advisory Council, and as a member of the Boise State University Institutional Review Board.
Miller received a doctorate in education with an emphasis in quantitative research from the University of Idaho. She received a master's degree in sociology with a concentration in statistics from the University of Wyoming and bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Miller lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Clark and two daughters, Sydney and Kendley.
Scott Norton joined CCSSO as Strategic Initiative Director for Standards, Assessment, and Accountability in July of 2012. In this role, he works with states to implement the Common Core State Standards and assessments and to create and implement new student-focused accountability systems. The team is also responsible for the State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS), the National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA), and collaborative work with the assessment consortia.
Scott previously served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Office of Standards, Assessments, and Accountability at the Louisiana Department of Education. His responsibilities included the implementation of content standards and development of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum as well as the state's transition to full implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Scott holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Louisiana State University.
Tressa Oliver, Director of Human Resources
Tressa joined the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2007 and assumed her current role as Human Resources Director in January 2013. As Human Resources Director, Tressa is responsible for directing and carrying out policies relating to all phases of personnel activity. This includes recruiting, interviewing, and selecting employees to fill vacant positions, planning and conducting new employee orientation programs to foster positive attitudes toward company goals, and conducting wage surveys within relevant labor markets to determine competitive wage rates.
Prior to her current role, Tressa served as the Human Resources Manager, where she designed, planned, and implemented human resources programs and policies for staffing, compensation, benefits, employee relations, training, and health and safety. Tressa has over nine years in human resource management. Before joining the Council, she worked in the staffing industry as a Human Resources Generalist. There she was responsible for designing and administering human resources policies and procedures for the agency functional areas, and prepared internal employee communications regarding compensation, benefits, and company policies.
Tressa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Organizational Development from Bowie State University and a Masters in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland University College.
Janice Poda is the Strategic Initiative Director for the Education Workforce where she leads the work of assisting states with developing and implementing coherent and comprehensive systems of educator effectiveness. Recently, Janice and the Education Workforce team assisted with the creation of an action plan for states to transform educator preparation and entry into the profession. The action plan is described in a document titled Our Responsibility, Our Promise which was released in December 2012.
Previously, Janice served as the Deputy State Superintendent of Education for Administration and Chief of Staff at the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). She has extensive experience in educator human capital issues. For four consecutive years of her service as Deputy Superintendent of the SCDE's Division of Educator Quality & Leadership, Quality Counts ranked South Carolina as #1 or #2 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, Part A programs.
Prior to her time at the South Carolina Department of Education, Janice was the Executive Director of the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA)) at Winthrop University. At the district level, Janice worked as assistant superintendent for personnel, director of testing and research, and director of teacher evaluation. She began her career teaching social studies and children with learning disabilities In South Carolina and Georgia. She is currently a member of the Council of Accreditation of Educator Programs' (CAEP) interim board.Poda earned a PhD in Elementary Education and Education Administration from the University of South Carolina, an MEd in Learning Disabilities from the University of Georgia, and a BA in Social Studies Education from the University of South Carolina. She has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education at the University of South Carolina, the Award for Excellence for Educational Leadership from the Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University, and the William B. Harley Lifetime Achievement Award by the SC Association of School Administrators.