Meet the Associates
The challenges faced by school leaders today cannot be overcome alone, and support from the best services available is essential. At Ray.Taylor and Associates we help you make better use of your education dollars by giving you access to on-demand service from highly-experienced professionals. With our expert guidance, you will plan, set, and achieve your own personalized goals in a cost-effective way. The team at Ray.Taylor and Associates will provide you with the skills and services that fit your individual needs.
The support of Ray.Taylor and Associates includes access to a full-scale, highly-skilled group of professionals. The team assigned to each project will be custom-matched to your specific goals and requirements, with the added benefit of having the support and insight from the all of the associates. The collective knowledge and experience amassed by our associates spans many fields, and you can be sure that you will be in the hands of an energetic, skilled, innovative and results-driven professional through every step. Contact Ray.Taylor and Associates today, and let’s discuss what we can do for you.
Rossi Ray-Taylor is the President and CEO of Ray.Taylor and Associates, a private consultancy that provides program evaluation services, planning, professional development, administrative and management counsel to a national client base. She is the former Executive Director of the Minority Student Achievement Network, a national coalition of 25 suburban school districts committed to eliminating the gap in achievement among students.
Rossi Ray-Taylor has been featured speaker for a number of national audiences including the Annenberg Conference on High School Achievement Gap at Brown University and the American Youth Policy Forum conference for policy makers on Capitol Hill along with numerous other national conferences and has provided staff development and consulting services to several school districts. Her articles about lessons learned about eliminating the achievement gap and challenges of high achieving school districts appear in The School Administrator (January 2005) and Journal of Staff Development (Spring 2006). Dr. Ray-Taylor was Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools and prior to that Deputy Superintendent for Lansing Public Schools. Her professional background includes curriculum development, program evaluation, testing system design and validation, school turnaround management.
Rossi Ray-Taylor is a proven innovative educator with a long track record in the academic, business and research sides of education.
Dr. Ray-Taylor holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Michigan State University. Her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Psychology with a specialty in learning and cognition and in measurement and evaluation is also from Michigan State.
Mr. Rick O’Neill has expertise in the areas of leadership coaching and training, strategic planning, group facilitation, editing, school improvement planning, teacher evaluation and coaching, teambuilding, school building staffing, and school building level administration for elementary and middle schools. Mr. O’Neill has central office and building administrative experience and skill in school redesign and start up.
Mr. O’Neill’s career includes serving as an elementary and middle school principal, the president of the Ann Arbor Administrators’ Association, and chairperson of the Selection Committee for District Planning Services Consultants. He has also worked extensively with the demographics committee for Ann Arbor Public Schools.
A graduate of University of Michigan, Mr. O’Neill has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education.
Paula Allen-Meares, Ph.D. served from 2009-2015 as Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Vice President of the University of Illinois. She is currently the John Corbally Presidential Professor in the College of Medicine. She holds certificates in management and leadership from the Universities of Michigan and Harvard, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She also holds faculty appointments on both the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign campuses, and is Dean and Professor Emerita and the Norma Radin Collegiate Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Michigan. She has written over 150 articles/books/commentaries. Her research focuses on promoting better educational and health outcomes for inner city youth and other populations. She has received external funding from federal and foundation sources. She is an elected member of the National Academies of Science. Dr. Paula Allen-Meares is the President and CEO of Paula Allen-Meares & Associates, LLC.
Ms. Laprisha Berry Vaughn has over 15 years of management and leadership experience in the non profit sector. She has extensive experience and knowledge in research, from project management to data collection and analysis. Ms. Berry-Vaughn obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in both Public Health and Social Work. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Social Work at Wayne State University. Ms. Berry- Vaughn’s research interests are related to the Social Work Grand Challenge of closing the health gap. Specifically, she is interested in process and summative research examining the role of partnerships in developing, testing, implementing and sustaining evidence-based, community-level interventions that reduce health disparities.
Ira J. Washington, PhD. received his Ph. D. from Michigan State University in 1992 in Educational Psychology with a specialization in measurement, evaluation and research design. His cognate areas were statistics, and learning and cognition. He has expertise in the areas of test construction, counseling, inferential and non-parametric statistics, survey design and statistical analysis. Dr. Washington has long term experience with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, Microsoft Access (QBO), Statistical Analysis System(mainframe and personal computer), and knowledge of Apple and MS Windows based hardware and software. Dr. Washington also holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with teacher certification in secondary social studies, as well as a Masters of Education degree with certification in secondary guidance and counseling from the University of Louisville.
Dr. John Norwood is the former assistant superintendent for Saginaw schools, a former middle school principal, with experience as a high school, adult education and alternative school administrator. Dr. Norwood holds a Ph.D. in education with a major in administration from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Bowling Green State University.
Mr. Marshall Taylor serves as media coordinator, content writer, and editor at Ray.Taylor and Associates. These duties include the creation and management of all video content produced by and for Ray.Taylor and Associates, and generating and editing content for social media. Mr. Taylor is skilled in all areas of video production, from scripting to shooting to post-production, and makes up half of Ray.Taylor and Associates’ video production team. Marshall Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University, where he dual-majored in English and Communication.
Mr. Mathis Taylor is a Research and Design Assistant at Ray.Taylor and Associates. Mr. Taylor is also technology manager for Ray.Taylor and Associates. Mr. Taylor’s experience includes survey data compilation and summary, online research, graphic design and Illustration. Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saginaw Valley State University, with a major in art and a minor in sociology.
Ms. Amber Tselios, prior to her out-of-state move, worked for RTA as a content writer, editor, and creative designer. She now maintains a position with RTA as a marketing consultant. Her areas of expertise include content writing, editing, email marketing, search engine optimization, social media, blogging, photography, photo and video creation and more. Ms. Tselios holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Western Michigan University, and certificates in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University’s online education program, and in Inbound Marketing from HubSpot Academy.
Ray.Taylor and Associates has launched a new position of Clinical Fellow. These fellowships select experienced educators looking to expand their clinical experience by applying research to schools and educational systems.
Our 2013-14 Clinical Fellow is Monta Stevenson. Ms. Stevenson has more than 10 years of experience in K-12 education instruction, mentoring, leadership and administration. Ms. Stevenson’s fellowship focuses on program evaluation and school transformation.
We remember John W. Porter, PhD of Counsel to Ray.Taylor and Associates.
Nationally recognized educator John W. Porter lent his extensive experience and skills to building strong schools for all children. Dr. Porter’s distinguished career included serving for a decade as Michigan State Superintendent of Public Instruction, President of Eastern Michigan University, Interim Superintendent for Detroit Schools, President and CEO of the Urban Education Alliance, Inc. and as a teacher and counselor. His most recent work included whole-school transformation and ninth grade academies. Dr. Porter’s evidence-based and results-driven leadership will be missed. RTA is honored to have called John Porter a mentor and advisor. He is dearly missed.