Skip Navigation
archived information
Skip Navigation

Governing Board

About the Governing Board

The REL Midwest Governing Board comprises a diverse group of stakeholders from across the Midwest region who represent the interests of states, districts, rural locations and populations, regional service agencies, professional organizations, and students in economically disadvantaged areas. The Governing Board oversees and guides the programmatic work of REL Midwest.

Members of the Governing Board

Illinois state image


  • Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education
  • Brenda Dixon, Ph.D., Research and Evaluation Officer, Illinois State Board of Education
  • Jason Helfer, Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Illinois State Board of Education
  • Jason Leahy, Ph.D., Executive Director, Illinois Principals Association
  • Kim Nelson, Executive Director of Early Childhood, Rockford Public School District
Indiana state image


  • Cole Dietrich, Director of Title Grants and Support, Indiana Department of Education
  • John Hill, Ed.D., Former Executive Director, National Rural Education Association
  • Katie Jenner, Ed.D., Secretary of Education, Indiana Department of Education
  • Brian Murphy, Chief of Staff, Indiana Department of Education
Iowa state image


  • Ann Lebo, Ed.D., Director, Iowa Department of Education
  • Kay Schmalen, Science and Technology Consultant, Central Rivers Area Education Agency
  • Amy Williamson, Deputy Director, Iowa Department of Education
Michigan state image


  • Leah Breen, Director, Office of Educator Excellence, Michigan Department of Education
  • Sue Carnell, Ph.D., Chief of Staff, Michigan Department of Education
  • Tina Kerr, Ph.D., Executive Director, Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators
  • Jason Mellema, Superintendent, Ingham Intermediate School District
  • Michael F. Rice, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michigan Department of Education
Minnesota state image


  • Stephanie Graff, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Educational Opportunity, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Deb Henton, Ed.D., Executive Director, Minnesota Association of School Administrators
  • Greg Keith, Director of School Support, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Heather Mueller, Ed.D., Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Paula Palmer, Director of Career and College Success, Minnesota Department of Education
Ohio state image


  • Heather Boughton, Director, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Advanced Analytics, Ohio Department of Education
  • Paolo DeMaria, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ohio Department of Education
Wisconsin state image


  • John Ashley, Executive Director, Wisconsin Association of School Boards
  • Andreal Davis, Culturally Responsive Practices Coordinator, Wisconsin Response to Intervention Center
  • Madeline Hafner, Ph.D., Executive Director of the MSAN Consortium, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Latoya Holiday, Special Assistant to the State Superintendent, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Jill Underly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction