Public Education Foundation (PEF) has named Dr. Keith White as director of Research and Effectiveness and Keri Randolph as STEM Innovation Hub director of Learning. Dr. White will be tasked with leading PEF’s efforts to gather, analyze, and present data in order to develop strategies for increasing student achievement. Ms. Randolph will work to bring STEM techniques and best practices to educators for the Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub, managed by PEF.
“Data drives everything we do,” said Dan Challener, oresident of PEF. “It was important to find someone who not only understands educational data, but can make it useful to teachers and administrators so they can build effective strategies to help students reach their potential. Keith has a unique combination of skills that will be a great asset to PEF and Hamilton County.”
Dr. White agrees about the importance of data, stating, “Data helps make better decisions, and the decisions made in public education are high-stakes. I’m looking forward to working with the other staff members at PEF to bring the power of data and research to the classroom.”
Dr. White comes to PEF from Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission where he served as an education analyst. Before becoming involved with Kentucky’s state-wide education assessment and accountability efforts, Dr. White served as the director of Evaluation and Assessment at Tufts University School of Medicine and as the evaluator for Rhode Island’s federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs grant. A Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus, his interests include mixed-methods evaluation and the application of developmental psychology to testing and assessment. He resides in Chattanooga with his wife and two daughters.
Speaking about Ms. Randolph, Dan Challener said, “We knew that in order to make the goals of the STEM Innovation Hub a reality, we needed to engage educators from a wide geographic area so the tools and techniques of STEM education reach as many students as possible. Keri is an ideal mentor and coach for teachers throughout Southeast Tennessee, and I’m excited about the possibilities for our region’s students.”
“The opportunity to work with teachers to help improve instruction in science, technology, engineering and math is so exciting. The STEM Innovation Hub will help our students succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace – it’s an important time for our community and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” said Ms. Randolph.
A former master teacher for the STEM teacher preparation program, UTeaChattanooga, Ms. Randolph has a heart for science, students and public education. Before moving to Tennessee, she was a finalist for North Carolina Teacher of the Year as a high school science teacher. Ms. Randolph also helped train educators while teaching science methods courses at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State. Outside of the classroom, she served on the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission which helped design the teacher evaluation instrument for the state. Ms. Randolph is National Board certified in adolescent and young adult science. She holds a degree in biochemistry from Agnes Scott College, as well as a masters in science education from East Carolina University. Her husband, Brian Purvis, is a middle school science teacher, and her son, Sam, is sure to be a STEM enthusiast.
For more information about PEF, visit pefchattanooga.org