Our Staff

The dedicated Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) project staff believes all students can learn and should be given opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do. Get to know more about our leadership team and key staff members who work hard to promote learning and improved outcomes for all students.

Project Leadership

  • Meagan Karvonen

  • Russell Swinburne Romine

  • Karen Erickson

  • Neal Kingston

  • Meagan Karvonen, Director of ALTAS

    Dr. Karvonen has worked on various aspects of alternate assessments for more than a decade. She began conducting research on alternate assessments in 2000, as evaluator for a federally funded model demonstration project designed to help teachers improve the quality of alternate assessments. More recent projects include developing methodologies for investigating opportunity to learn, fairness, content progressions, and growth within alternate assessments. Before joining the Dynamic Learning Maps project, Karvonen partnered with more than 12 states on their operational alternate assessments, conducting studies on topics ranging from alignment to standard setting to participation criteria. She is especially interested in validity research and the implications of policy for students with significant cognitive disabilities and their teachers.

  • Russell Swinburne Romine, Associate Director of ATLAS

    Dr. Swinburne Romine earned his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota where he also taught classes in learning, cognition, and educational measurement. His research interests are in the areas of intersection between developmental psycholinguistics and large-scale assessment of reading comprehension. He conducts research in support of DLM test development in areas of validity, accessibility and text complexity.

  • Karen Erickson, Associate Director of Professional Development

    Dr. Erickson is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the David E. and Dolores J. Yoder distinguished professor of literacy and disability studies in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Erickson provides the project with expertise in literacy instruction and assessment for students with significant disabilities, as well as expertise in universal design for learning, assistive technology, augmentative communication, and large-scale professional development efforts.

  • Neal Kingston, Senior Advisor

    Dr. Kingston is the director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute and a professor in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Kansas. He has worked in large-scale assessment for 39 years in roles including psychometrician, test developer, and systems developer. He has managed all aspects of the educational testing process for both general and alternate assessments, including as an executive director at Educational Testing Service, associate commissioner for curriculum and assessment at the Kentucky Department of Education, senior vice president at Measured Progress, vice president and general manager at CTB/McGraw-Hill, and director of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas. Kingston has published and presented more than 200 articles, papers, and book chapters on assessment.​

  • Sue Bechard

  • Michael Muenks

  • Amy Clark

  • Brooke Nash

  • Sue Bechard, Senior Advisor

    Dr. Bechard has focused her career on promoting inclusive educational assessment and instructional practices through design and implementation of comprehensive alternate assessment systems in more than 18 states. Her research focuses on the development, validation, alignment, and consequences of assessments for students with disabilities.

  • Michael Muenks, Associate Director of Implementation

    Mr. Muenks supervises DLM staff across a variety of teams. Prior to joining the Dynamic Learning Maps team, Muenks worked in the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), leading implementation of the full assessment and curriculum program for the department, including DLM assessments. Muenks has also previously served on the governing board of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; in the educational publishing field; in other positions at DESE; and as a middle school principal and a middle school mathematics and reading teacher in Missouri. Muenks received a master’s degree in education administration from Lincoln University.

  • Amy Clark, Associate Director of Operational Research

    Dr. Amy Clark leads researchers and psychometricians who conduct studies and produce technical documentation in support of the ATLAS research agenda. She began her career as a classroom teacher and developed an interest in teachers' use of assessment results for improving student outcomes. Clark received both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Kansas, specializing in research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics with a minor in curriculum studies. Clark brings more than 12 years of experience working to improve outcomes for struggling learners and their teachers. Her research interests include assessment validation, score reporting, and operationalizing diagnostic assessment systems. She has coauthored more than 75 books, chapters, technical reports, journal articles, and conference papers on applied educational measurement topics.

  • Brooke Nash, Associate Director of Psychometrics

    Dr. Brooke Nash brings more than 12 years of experience in the assessment industry, both operationally and in conducting research to help inform operational assessment programs. She earned her doctoral degree in educational psychology and research from the University of Kansas, specializing in research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics with a minor in special education. Prior to returning to KU, she spent several years working as a psychometrician and lead psychometrician at an assessment company, specializing in assessments in the higher education field. Nash leads teams of psychometricians who conduct the psychometric and statistical work for multiple large-scale assessments as well as contributes to various research and development projects within the center. Her research interests include formative assessment, scoring models for technology-enabled assessments, implementation of diagnostic assessment platforms, and assessment of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Key Staff

  • Christa Reida

  • Tammy Mayer

  • Jonathan Schuster

  • Ronda Layman

  • Aletra Johnson

  • Christa Reida, Project Manager Lead

    Ms. Reida previously worked with the Inclusive Large Scale Standards and Assessment Group (ILSSA) at the University of Kentucky for seven years. While at ILSSA, she worked to develop, administer, and score alternate assessments. Before entering the alternate assessment field, Reida worked as a middle school and high school teacher in science, math, and physical education in Kansas and then in California. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Pittsburg State University.

  • Tammy Mayer, Project Manager

    Tammy Mayer has worked in the field of special education for over 25 years as a special education teacher and a state education agency policymaker for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. As North Dakota’s Deputy Director of Assessment, she led the state in the implementation of the DLM Alternate Assessment System, as well as activities regarding North Dakota’s standard assessment, accessibility, accommodations, special education, personalized learning, and innovative education. Mayer earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary/special education, a master’s degree in special education from Minot State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of North Dakota.

  • Jonathan Schuster, ELA Research Lead

    Dr. Schuster earned his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Kansas. His research interests include the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension and psycholinguistics with a specific focus on reading development. His current interests have concentrated on the impact of text complexity on reading comprehension and acquisition of critical skills involved in writing development. He currently helps to develop the content of the ELA learning map neighborhood to be used in the DLM alternate assessment.

  • Ronda Layman, Project Manager

    Ms. Layman is a retired special education teacher, having spent her career as a program coordinator, special education teacher, and speech pathologist in Rockingham County in North Carolina. Most recently a state consultant for students with significant cognitive and multiple disabilities and for assistive technology, Layman worked closely with the Public Schools of North Carolina’s Accountability Services Division on the state’s alternate assessment, NCEXTEND1. She earned her M.Ed. in speech language pathology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

  • Aletra Johnson, Project Manager

    Ms. Johnson is a Research Project Manager for ATLAS and has a bachelor’s degree in management. She previously worked as a technical writer, quality assurance specialist, trainer, and on the software release implementation team for a large banking solutions company. Ms. Johnson has over 20 years of customer service experience which eventually led her to work for the service desk at Agile Technology Solutions (ATS). During her time with ATS, she worked with various teams including training and documentation, business analysis, quality assurance, test operations, and leading small technical projects while supervising daily operations for the service desk.

  • Nancy Keating

  • Alson Cole

  • Susan LeFeber

  • Alicia Cuttle

  • Nancy Keating, Project Manager

    Ms. Keating served the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 2007 to 2015, the last three years of which she spent leading the state in implementing Dynamic Learning Maps assessments. Keating has more than 13 years experience working for a national Fortune 500 company in the education sector, including work as a project manager leading an international team in solving complex technological issues. She has previously worked for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with children from family backgrounds of severe abuse and neglect, as well as with the Peoria (Ill.) Public Library in providing resources for patrons with disabilities.

  • Alson Cole, Project Manager

    Mr. Cole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Georgetown College and a second Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Midway University. He also has a Master of Education degree from Xavier University with an emphasis in educational administration. He began his career in education as a classroom teacher but has spent the past decade working in the alternate assessment field. He worked for the ILSSA group at the University of Kentucky and then for ACERI Partners, LLC as an educational consultant, creating trainings for teachers and scorers, while also providing instructional content guidance in English Language Arts, mathematics, and science. He also has experience as both an item writer and reviewer.

  • Susan LeFeber, Project Manager

    Ms. LeFeber is a Research Project Manager for ATLAS and has prior experience in this field. As a Program/Project Manager, she oversaw state contracts for licensure and certification as well as K–12 large-scale general and alternate assessment programs. LeFeber also holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

  • Alicia Cuttle, Project Manager

    Ms. Cuttle previously worked for Measured Progress based in Dover, New Hampshire for just over 16 years. She oversaw a portfolio of large-scale alternate assessment programs, leading teams to ensure effective implementation, administration, training, and scoring and reporting. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. She is passionate about working to improve outcomes for students and teachers. As a Rotarian and community volunteer for local schools, she manages a program to improve literacy.

Consortium activities are facilitated by the Accessible Teaching Learning & Assessment Systems (ATLAS) in partnership with the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies. The technical advisory committee provides advice and guidance to the Consortium on technical aspects of the DLM Alternate Assessment system; it is comprised of experts from a wide range of assessment fields.

Project Leadership

  • Meagan Karvonen

  • Karen Erickson

  • Meagan Karvonen, Director of ATLAS

    Dr. Karvonen has worked on various aspects of alternate assessments for more than a decade. She began conducting research on alternate assessments in 2000, as evaluator for a federally funded model demonstration project designed to help teachers improve the quality of alternate assessments. More recent projects include developing methodologies for investigating opportunity to learn, fairness, content progressions, and growth within alternate assessments. Before joining the Dynamic Learning Maps project, Karvonen partnered with more than 12 states on their operational alternate assessments, conducting studies on topics ranging from alignment to standard setting to participation criteria. She is especially interested in validity research and the implications of policy for students with significant cognitive disabilities and their teachers.

  • Karen Erickson, Associate Director of Professional Development

    Dr. Erickson is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the David E. and Dolores J. Yoder distinguished professor of literacy and disability studies in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Erickson provides the project with expertise in literacy instruction and assessment for students with significant disabilities, as well as expertise in universal design for learning, assistive technology, augmentative communication, and large-scale professional development efforts.

  • Russell Swinburne Romine

  • Neal Kingston

  • Russell Swinburne Romine, Associate Director of ATLAS

    Dr. Swinburne Romine earned his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota where he also taught classes in learning, cognition, and educational measurement. His research interests are in the areas of intersection between developmental psycholinguistics and large-scale assessment of reading comprehension. He conducts research in support of DLM test development in areas of validity, accessibility and text complexity.

  • Neal Kingston, Senior Advisor

    Dr. Kingston is the director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute and a professor of research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics at the University of Kansas. He has worked in large-scale assessment for 36 years in roles including psychometrician, test developer, and systems developer. He has managed all aspects of the educational testing process for both general and alternate assessments, including as an executive director at Educational Testing Service, associate commissioner for curriculum and assessment at the Kentucky Department of Education, senior vice president at Measured Progress, vice president and general manager at CTB/McGraw-Hill, and director of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas. Kingston has published and presented more than 160 articles, papers, and book chapters on assessment.

  • Sue Bechard

  • Michael Muenks

  • Sue Bechard, Senior Advisor

    Dr. Bechard has focused her career on promoting inclusive educational assessment and instructional practices through design and implementation of comprehensive alternate assessment systems in more than 18 states. Her research focuses on the development, validation, alignment, and consequences of assessments for students with disabilities.

  • Michael Muenks, Associate Director of Implementation

    Mr. Muenks supervises DLM staff across a variety of teams. Prior to joining the Dynamic Learning Maps team, Muenks worked in the Missouri Department of Elementary andSecondary Education (DESE), leading implementation of the full assessment and curriculum program for the department, including DLM assessments. Muenks has also previously served on the governing board of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; in the educational publishing field; in other positions at DESE; and as a middle school principal and a middle school mathematics and reading teacher in Missouri. Muenks received a master’s degree in education administration from Lincoln University.

  • Amy Clark

  • Brooke Nash

  • Amy Clark, Associate Director of Psychometrics

    Dr. Amy Clark leads researchers and psychometricians who conduct studies and produce technical documentation in support of the ATLAS research agenda. She began her career as a classroom teacher and developed an interest in teachers' use of assessment results for improving student outcomes. Clark received both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Kansas, specializing in research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics with a minor in curriculum studies. Clark brings more than 12 years of experience working to improve outcomes for struggling learners and their teachers. Her research interests include assessment validation, score reporting, and operationalizing diagnostic assessment systems. She has coauthored more than 75 books, chapters, technical reports, journal articles, and conference papers on applied educational measurement topics.

  • Brooke Nash, Associate Director of Professional Learning

    Dr. Brooke Nash brings more than 12 years of experience in the assessment industry, both operationally and in conducting research to help inform operational assessment programs. She earned her doctoral degree in educational psychology and research from the University of Kansas, specializing in research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics with a minor in special education. Prior to returning to KU, she spent several years working as a psychometrician and lead psychometrician at an assessment company, specializing in assessments in the higher education field. Nash leads teams of psychometricians who conduct the psychometric and statistical work for multiple large-scale assessments as well as contributes to various research and development projects within the center. Her research interests include formative assessment, scoring models for technology-enabled assessments, implementation of diagnostic assessment platforms, and assessment of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Key Staff

  • Christa Reida

  • Jonathan Schuster

  • Christa Reida, Project Manager Lead

    Ms. Reida previously worked with the Inclusive Large Scale Standards and Assessment Group (ILSSA) at the University of Kentucky for seven years. While at ILSAA, she worked to develop, administer, and score alternate assessments. Before entering the alternate assessment field, Reida worked as a middle school and high school teacher in science, math, and physical education first in California and then in Kansas. She holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Pittsburg State University.

  • Jonathan Schuster, ELA Research Lead

    Dr. Schuster earned his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Kansas. His research interests include the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension and psycholinguistics with a specific focus on reading development. His current interests have concentrated on the impact of text complexity on reading comprehension and acquisition of critical skills involved in writing development. He currently helps to develop the content of the ELA learning map neighborhood to be used in the DLM alternate assessment.

  • Nancy Keating

  • Ronda Layman

  • Nancy Keating, Project Manager

    Ms. Keating served the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 2007 to 2015, the last three years of which she spent leading the state in implementing Dynamic Learning Maps assessments. Keating has more than 13 years’ experience working for a national Fortune 500 company in the education sector, including work as a project manager leading an international team in solving complex technological issues. She has previously worked for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with children from family backgrounds of severe abuse and neglect, as well as with the Peoria (Ill.) Public Library in providing resources for patrons with disabilities.

  • Ronda Layman, Project Manager

    Ms. Layman is a retired special education teacher, having spent her career as a program coordinator, special education teacher, and speech pathologist in Rockingham County in North Carolina. Most recently a state consultant for students with significant cognitive and multiple disabilities and for assistive technology, Layman worked closely with the Public Schools of North Carolina’s Accountability Services Division on the state’s alternate assessment, NCEXTEND1. She earned her M.Ed. in speech language pathology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

  • Tammy Mayer

  • Aletra Johnson

  • Tammy Mayer, Project Manager

    Tammy Mayer has worked in the field of special education for over 25 years as a special education teacher and a state education agency policymaker for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. As North Dakota’s Deputy Director of Assessment, she led the state in the implementation of the DLM Alternate Assessment System, as well as activities regarding North Dakota’s standard assessment, accessibility, accommodations, special education, personalized learning, and innovative education. Mayer earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary/special education, a master’s degree in special education from Minot State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of North Dakota.

  • Aletra Johnson, Project Manager

    Ms. Johnson is a Research Project Manager for ATLAS and has a bachelor’s degree in management. She previously worked as a technical writer, quality assurance specialist, trainer, and on the software release implementation team for a large banking solutions company. Ms. Johnson has over 20 years of customer service experience which eventually led her to work for the service desk at Agile Technology Solutions (ATS). During her time with ATS, she worked with various teams including training and documentation, business analysis, quality assurance, test operations, and leading small technical projects while supervising daily operations for the service desk.

  • Alson Cole

  • Susan LeFeber

  • Alson Cole, Project Manager

    Mr. Cole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Georgetown College and a second Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Midway University. He also has a Master of Education degree from Xavier University with an emphasis in educational administration. He began his career in education as a classroom teacher but has spent the past decade working in the alternate assessment field. He worked for the ILSSA group at the University of Kentucky and then for ACERI Partners, LLC as an educational consultant, creating trainings for teachers and scorers, while also providing instructional content guidance in English Language Arts, mathematics, and science. He also has experience as both an item writer and reviewer.

  • Susan LeFeber, Project Manager

    Ms. LeFeber is a Research Project Manager for ATLAS and has prior experience in this field. As a Program/Project Manager, she oversaw state contracts for licensure and certification as well as K-12 large-scale general and alternate assessment programs. LeFeber also holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

  • Alicia Cuttle

  • Alicia Cuttle, Project Manager

    Ms. Cuttle previously worked for Measured Progress based in Dover, New Hampshire for just over 16 years. She oversaw a portfolio of large-scale alternate assessment programs, leading teams to ensure effective implementation, administration, training, and scoring and reporting. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. She is passionate about working to improve outcomes for students and teachers. As a Rotarian and community volunteer for local schools, she manages a program to improve literacy.

Consortium activities are facilitated by the Accessible Teaching Learning & Assessment Systems (ATLAS) in partnership with the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies. The technical advisory committee provides advice and guidance to the Consortium on technical aspects of the DLM Alternate Assessment system; it is comprised of experts from a wide range of assessment fields.

Project Leadership

  • Meagan Karvonen

  • Meagan Karvonen, Director of ATLAS

    Dr. Karvonen has worked on various aspects of alternate assessments for more than a decade. She began conducting research on alternate assessments in 2000, as evaluator for a federally funded model demonstration project designed to help teachers improve the quality of alternate assessments. More recent projects include developing methodologies for investigating opportunity to learn, fairness, content progressions, and growth within alternate assessments. Before joining the Dynamic Learning Maps project, Karvonen partnered with more than 12 states on their operational alternate assessments, conducting studies on topics ranging from alignment to standard setting to participation criteria. She is especially interested in validity research and the implications of policy for students with significant cognitive disabilities and their teachers.

  • Karen Erickson

  • Karen Erickson, Associate Director of Professional Development

    Dr. Erickson is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the David E. and Dolores J. Yoder distinguished professor of literacy and disability studies in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Erickson provides the project with expertise in literacy instruction and assessment for students with significant disabilities, as well as expertise in universal design for learning, assistive technology, augmentative communication, and large-scale professional development efforts.

  • Russell Swinburne Romine

  • Russell Swinburne Romine, Associate Director of ATLAS

    Dr. Swinburne Romine earned his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota where he also taught classes in learning, cognition, and educational measurement. His research interests are in the areas of intersection between developmental psycholinguistics and large-scale assessment of reading comprehension. He conducts research in support of DLM test development in areas of validity, accessibility and text complexity.

  • Neal Kingston

  • Neal Kingston, Senior Advisor

    Dr. Kingston is the director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute and a professor of research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics at the University of Kansas. He has worked in large-scale assessment for 36 years in roles including psychometrician, test developer, and systems developer. He has managed all aspects of the educational testing process for both general and alternate assessments, including as an executive director at Educational Testing Service, associate commissioner for curriculum and assessment at the Kentucky Department of Education, senior vice president at Measured Progress, vice president and general manager at CTB/McGraw-Hill, and director of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas. Kingston has published and presented more than 160 articles, papers, and book chapters on assessment.

  • Sue Bechard

  • Sue Bechard, Senior Advisor

    Dr. Bechard has focused her career on promoting inclusive educational assessment and instructional practices through design and implementation of comprehensive alternate assessment systems in more than 18 states. Her research focuses on the development, validation, alignment, and consequences of assessments for students with disabilities.

  • Michael Muenks

  • Michael Muenks, Associate Director of Implementation

    Mr. Muenks supervises DLM staff across a variety of teams. Prior to joining the Dynamic Learning Maps team, Muenks worked in the Missouri Department of Elementary andSecondary Education (DESE), leading implementation of the full assessment and curriculum program for the department, including DLM assessments. Muenks has also previously served on the governing board of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; in the educational publishing field; in other positions at DESE; and as a middle school principal and a middle school mathematics and reading teacher in Missouri. Muenks received a master’s degree in education administration from Lincoln University.

  • Amy Clark

  • Amy Clark, Associate Director of Operational Research

    Dr. Amy Clark leads researchers and psychometricians who conduct studies and produce technical documentation in support of the ATLAS research agenda. She began her career as a classroom teacher and developed an interest in teachers' use of assessment results for improving student outcomes. Clark received both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Kansas, specializing in research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics with a minor in curriculum studies. Clark brings more than 12 years of experience working to improve outcomes for struggling learners and their teachers. Her research interests include assessment validation, score reporting, and operationalizing diagnostic assessment systems. She has coauthored more than 75 books, chapters, technical reports, journal articles, and conference papers on applied educational measurement topics.

  • Brooke Nash

  • Brooke Nash, Associate Director of Psychometrics

    Dr. Brooke Nash brings more than 12 years of experience in the assessment industry, both operationally and in conducting research to help inform operational assessment programs. She earned her doctoral degree in educational psychology and research from the University of Kansas, specializing in research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics with a minor in special education. Prior to returning to KU, she spent several years working as a psychometrician and lead psychometrician at an assessment company, specializing in assessments in the higher education field. Nash leads teams of psychometricians who conduct the psychometric and statistical work for multiple large-scale assessments as well as contributes to various research and development projects within the center. Her research interests include formative assessment, scoring models for technology-enabled assessments, implementation of diagnostic assessment platforms, and assessment of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Key Staff

  • Christa Reida

  • Christa Reida, Project Manager Lead

    Ms. Reida previously worked with the Inclusive Large Scale Standards and Assessment Group (ILSSA) at the University of Kentucky for seven years. While at ILSAA, she worked to develop, administer, and score alternate assessments. Before entering the alternate assessment field, Reida worked as a middle school and high school teacher in science, math, and physical education first in California and then in Kansas. She holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Pittsburg State University.

  • Jonathan Schuster

  • Jonathan Schuster, ELA Research Lead

    Dr. Schuster earned his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Kansas. His research interests include the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension and psycholinguistics with a specific focus on reading development. His current interests have concentrated on the impact of text complexity on reading comprehension and acquisition of critical skills involved in writing development. He currently helps to develop the content of the ELA learning map neighborhood to be used in the DLM alternate assessment.

  • Ronda Layman

  • Ronda Layman, Project Manager

    Ms. Layman is a retired special education teacher, having spent her career as a program coordinator, special education teacher, and speech pathologist in Rockingham County in North Carolina. Most recently a state consultant for students with significant cognitive and multiple disabilities and for assistive technology, Layman worked closely with the Public Schools of North Carolina’s Accountability Services Division on the state’s alternate assessment, NCEXTEND1. She earned her M.Ed. in speech language pathology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

  • Nancy Keating

  • Nancy Keating, Project Manager

    Ms. Keating served the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 2007 to 2015, the last three years of which she spent leading the state in implementing Dynamic Learning Maps assessments. Keating has more than 13 years’ experience working for a national Fortune 500 company in the education sector, including work as a project manager leading an international team in solving complex technological issues. She has previously worked for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services with children from family backgrounds of severe abuse and neglect, as well as with the Peoria (Ill.) Public Library in providing resources for patrons with disabilities.

  • Tammy Mayer

  • Tammy Mayer, Project Manager

    Tammy Mayer has worked in the field of special education for over 25 years as a special education teacher and a state education agency policymaker for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. As North Dakota’s Deputy Director of Assessment, she led the state in the implementation of the DLM Alternate Assessment System, as well as activities regarding North Dakota’s standard assessment, accessibility, accommodations, special education, personalized learning, and innovative education. Mayer earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary/special education, a master’s degree in special education from Minot State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of North Dakota.

  • Alson Cole

  • Alson Cole, Project Manager

    Mr. Cole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Georgetown College and a second Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Midway University. He also has a Master of Education degree from Xavier University with an emphasis in educational administration. He began his career in education as a classroom teacher but has spent the past decade working in the alternate assessment field. He worked for the ILSSA group at the University of Kentucky and then for ACERI Partners, LLC as an educational consultant, creating trainings for teachers and scorers, while also providing instructional content guidance in English Language Arts, mathematics, and science. He also has experience as both an item writer and reviewer.

  • Alicia Cuttle

  • Alicia Cuttle, Project Manager

    Ms. Cuttle previously worked for Measured Progress based in Dover, New Hampshire for just over 16 years. She oversaw a portfolio of large-scale alternate assessment programs, leading teams to ensure effective implementation, administration, training, and scoring and reporting. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. She is passionate about working to improve outcomes for students and teachers. As a Rotarian and community volunteer for local schools, she manages a program to improve literacy.

  • Susan LeFeber

  • Susan LeFeber, Project Manager

    Ms. LeFeber is a Research Project Manager for ATLAS and has prior experience in this field. As a Program/Project Manager, she oversaw state contracts for licensure and certification as well as K-12 large-scale general and alternate assessment programs. LeFeber also holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

  • Aletra Johnson

  • Aletra Johnson, Project Manager

    Ms. Johnson is a Research Project Manager for ATLAS and has a bachelor’s degree in management. She previously worked as a technical writer, quality assurance specialist, trainer, and on the software release implementation team for a large banking solutions company. Ms. Johnson has over 20 years of customer service experience which eventually led her to work for the service desk at Agile Technology Solutions (ATS). During her time with ATS, she worked with various teams including training and documentation, business analysis, quality assurance, test operations, and leading small technical projects while supervising daily operations for the service desk.

The technical advisory committee is comprised of experts in areas of assessment ranging from standard setting and validity in large-scale assessments, to accessibility in alternative assessments, to cognitive diagnostic modeling. Learn more about the members of the DLM technical advisory committee at the link above.