OESE: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Biography of
Office of School Turnaround Staff

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OST Leadership

Scott Sargrad

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy,
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

This position serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and School Turnaround in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It leads the Office of School Turnaround, which administers the $4.5 billion School Improvement Grants program and coordinates the Department’s school turnaround efforts.

OST Staff

Kimberly Light

Kimberly is a senior program officer and team lead in the Office of School Turnaround, where she is responsible for a state monitoring team and the technical assistance working group. She previously served as team lead for health, mental health, environmental health, and physical education programs in the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and led a variety of grant programs and projects related to school health and safety, including grants to integrate schools and mental health systems, a recognition program to identify effective models on college campuses, and a regional centers program that provided training and technical assistance to states and school districts. She also taught English in Japan and worked as a counselor for several community-based organizations serving disabled youth and adults. Kim has a BS in Rehabilitation Education from Penn State University and a MA in Human Resource Development from George Mason University, and lives in Virginia with her husband and teenage son.

Molly Scotch Budman

Molly serves as a program officer in the Office of School Turnaround, where she serves as state contact and works on internal capacity and monitoring/grantmaking initiatives. Molly previously served as a reading specialist in Stamford, Connecticut, at a school that received a School Improvement Grant. She also taught high school English in Manchester, New Hampshire. As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, Molly majored in secondary education and English and developed an interest in transforming high school students into passionate readers, thinkers, and writers. She also holds a master’s degree as a reading specialist from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is delighted to be working with the OST team!

Janine Rudder

As a program officer with the Office of School Turnaround, Janine assists state educational agencies with their turnaround efforts and works on technical assistance and monitoring initiatives. She has also supported districts and states in the development and implementation of their educator evaluation systems as a program officer for the Teacher Incentive Fund Program. As a Master Educator with the District of Columbia Public Schools, Janine assessed the quality of classroom teachers’ instruction using the district’s Teaching and Learning Framework and provided tailored professional development to teachers based on their needs.  She also volunteered with the Ministry of Education in Belize, where she conducted professional development workshops for educators.  Prior to that, Janine taught middle school students with mild to moderate learning challenges in Oakland, California. She holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Christopher Tate

Christopher is on detail with the Office of School Turnaround from Federal Student Aid (FSA) at the U.S. Department of Education. While at FSA, Christopher managed projects related to implementing policy through the products students and schools use in applying for and processing student aid. Prior to joining the Department, Christopher co-developed a nonprofit that advocates for children in the court system because of parental abuse and neglect and spent several years working in and with the federal TRIO programs. Having been a TRIO student himself, he recognizes the valuable impact access to a quality education and advocacy can have for low-income students. Christopher holds a B.A. in Business Development and Leadership from Westminster College where he graduated with honors and served as the first openly gay president of the student body. He also holds a master’s degree from Brandeis University in Sustainable International Development where he received a fellowship to further his studies because of his interest in, and commitment to, addressing the effects of poverty in the United States through education and advocacy.

Sara Waly

Sara is a program officer in the Office of School Turnaround, where she serves as a state contact and also works on technical assistance and internal capacity initiatives.  Prior to joining the Department, Sara served in state government on policy development and implementation related to teacher and principal preparation, licensure, recruitment and retention, and evaluation.  Previously, Sara taught 6th grade writing in Gary, Indiana, 7/8 grade reading, writing and social studies at a bilingual charter school in Phoenix, Arizona, and served as a special education teacher’s aide in Germantown, Wisconsin.  As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sara majored in international studies and journalism and studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador.  She holds a Master in Teaching from Dominican University and a Master of Public Policy in Education from Vanderbilt University.  She is thrilled to be working with the OST team to support states in implementing their ambitious plans to transform their lowest-performing schools.

Christine Weeter

Christina is a program officer in the Office of School Turnaround where she serves as a state contact and works on technical assistance and internal capacity initiatives. She also supports the School Turnaround AmeriCorps, School Turnaround Learning Community, and Peer to Peer initiatives. She previously worked on discretionary grants for high schools with a special interest in dropout prevention and recovery, rural education, and wrap-around supports to prepare students to graduate high school with clear pathways to college and career. Prior to joining the Department, Christina worked in the non-government sector on education policy and finance, program evaluation, professional development curriculum, and provided direct service to youth with severe emotional and behavior disorders, many of whom had experienced abuse and neglect. A Kentucky native, Christina has also worked, studied, and volunteered in seven different countries in Latin America, Europe, and the Caribbean, and enjoys volunteering with Atlas Corps and its cadre of international Fellows. Christina earned a M.Ed. in Education Administration and a M.S.W. with a focus on program planning, evaluation, policy, and community organizing from Boston University. She earned her B.A. in psychology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Kentucky.

David Yi

David serves as a program officer and the internal capacity workgroup leader at the Office of School Turnaround. Prior to joining the Department, David was an elementary and middle school ESL teacher in Washington, DC where he also served as middle school staff coordinator. In college, he volunteered as a language tutor to foreign exchange students and also worked as a campus recruiter for Teach For America. An avid traveler, David has studied in Madrid, Spain and worked in Sydney, Australia for the Australian Minister for Defense. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, David has a BA in Political Science and a BS in Social Studies Education from Boston University and a MA in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages from American University.

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Last Modified: 03/28/2014