Gisèle Huff, Chair
Dr. Gisèle Huff is the executive director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation in San Francisco.
She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Learning Accelerator and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of iNACOL. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Education Reimagined and a member of the Advisory Board for Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy. She served as a member of the advisory committee for the National Charter School Research Project at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, and of the Executive Committee of the Digital Learning Council. She was a founding member and served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center for Education Reform, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the State Policy Network.
Beth Rabbitt, CEO
Beth Rabbitt is CEO of The Learning Accelerator. An expert in blended and personalized learning, Beth brings deep experience in education entrepreneurship, talent development, consulting, and finance. Her previous work as a Partner at TLA focused on leading the organization’s strategy for developing human capital supports and for researching blended learning models nationally.
Prior to joining TLA, Beth was a Doctoral Resident and the Director of Human Capital at Touchstone Education (now part of Matchbook Learning), a blended learning charter management organization. Previously, Beth was also an Associate Partner at the NewSchools Venture Fund, a consultant to and Summer Associate with Education Resource Strategies, and the founding Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard Innovation Lab. Beth serves as an advisor to several education organizations, is a Trustee of Scholar Academies, a national school turnaround organization, and a board leader for UNOW, an early childhood education center. She earned her A.B. from Dartmouth College and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard as a member of the University’s first-ever cohort of Ed.L.D. students.
Marina Ballantyne Walne
Dr. Walne is currently CEO of EduStart LLC, a consulting practice specializing in start-up education and philanthropy ventures. Most recently she was Vice President for Education at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Walne was Executive Director of the Institute for Public School Initiatives at The University of Texas (U.T.) System, an organization dedicated to improving college readiness, access, and success that worked directly with 220 school districts in Texas to implement about $80 million in grant funded initiatives. She has over 35 years of experience in education, including Director of Admissions at Rice University, Founding Head of The John Cooper School, Women’s Athletic Director at St. John’s School, and policy consultant to the Texas Governor’s Business Council working on early childhood, science, reading, teacher quality, and charter school initiatives.
Through her consulting business that she started in 1995, Dr. Walne assisted the American Productivity and Quality Center in the development of its education initiatives, six organizations creating new schools including U.T. Austin’s elementary charter school, and U.T. System’s development of TRACK, online learning modules aligned with the Texas high school standards. She was a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education from Dec 2001- Dec 2004, working with the Senior Advisor and the Senior Counselor to Secretary Rod Paige on special projects including revising the No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School Award Program. Dr. Walne holds a B.A. degree with distinction from Stanford University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in education administration from Stanford University. She is a graduate of the American Leadership Forum Houston Chapter and has served on numerous nonprofit boards in Texas.
Scott Ellis was the founding CEO of The Learning Accelerator and is a national expert in catalyzing blended learning at scale. He has more than 20 years of experience as an executive and consultant in technology and nonprofits, and deep expertise in strategy, operations, finance, measurement of impact, and management coaching. Scott currently leads TLA’s work on tools for competency-based education, incubating efforts to develop open source tools and enablers of scale.
Previously, Scott served as the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the New Teacher Center (NTC), a large national education nonprofit that works with school districts to develop and implement intensive instructional mentoring programs for new teachers. He has also served on the board of directors for Reading Partners (an education nonprofit that runs reading tutoring programs for children) and the Spondylitis Association of America (a medical organization) and provided consulting support to dozens of others.
In his career before NTC, Scott spent nearly eight years at Hewlett Packard and managed an internal analytical consulting organization whose role was to help the various HP businesses make better data-driven decisions. Before joining HP, Scott was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, a strategy consulting firm. He has an MBA from Stanford and an undergraduate degree in government and economics from Harvard.
Cary Matsuoka is Superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Superintendent Matsuoka has been a lifelong learner in both formal and informal settings. He studied nutrition science at UC Davis and also received his teaching credential there. He earned his master’s degree in educational administration from San Jose State University. Along the way, he taught himself computer science and cabinetmaking, mostly by tinkering and learning-by-doing. He has a passion and talent for design and has applied those skills to the design of creative learning spaces in schools and the structure of school organizational systems.
In addition, Superintendent Matsuoka is a lifelong educator. He spent 17 years as a teacher, mostly in a high school setting and 20 years in administrative leadership roles. He taught chemistry, physics, and AP computer science at Saratoga High School in the Silicon Valley area. After he went into administration, he served as a high school assistant principal, district coordinator, high school principal, and finally superintendent. He has over ten years of experience as a superintendent in two districts: Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District and Milpitas Unified School District, and recently was named superintendent for Santa Barbara Unified School District.
Al Motley is Chief Technology Officer of Matchbook Learning, a nonprofit charter management organization. Mr. Motley oversees the company’s and schools' IT hardware, software and instructional technology design and implementation needs. Al leads the identification and deployment of new tools and platforms to achieve the organization’s academic mission. He also develops systems, supports, and trainings to maximize staff and student daily technology use to support all academic goals. Over the past few years Al has lead the work at Matchbook to build a next generation competency based platform called Spark. This platform allows organizations to deliver personalized instruction, content and classroom workflows in a scalable framework. Prior to joining Matchbook Learning, Al served the same capacity for Touchstone Education, a leading blended charter management organization based in Newark, NJ.
Prior to Touchstone, Al was the Director of Information Technology at Mastery Charter Schools, a turnaround charter management organization in Philadelphia, PA. He was also a Vice President at Monarch Consulting, which provides technology solutions for small business, education and nonprofits. Al is also a Pahara Institute NextGen Leader.
Al got his start in education technology from Pennsylvania State University, while working as a computer lab consultant at PSU's Center For Academic Computing. As a student working for the university he identified early on the need for technology to support the academic needs of a student and faculty in order to accelerate learning.
Joe Wolf is founder of The Learning Accelerator. He is also an investor and entrepreneur focused on providing deserving kids with superior educational and life opportunities. In addition to his involvement with TLA, Joe is on the Leadership Council at NewSchools Venture Fund, is on the board of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Learning, is on the National Board and head of the Innovation Committee for Summer Search (a leadership development program focused on low-income youth), and is on the advisory board of New Classrooms (formerly School of One).
Joe was formerly a Partner at RS Investments (formerly Robertson Stevens Asset Management) from 2001-2012. At RS, Joe co-managed a team that grew from 100MM in assets to over 12B. His responsibilities included investment and portfolio management, strategic development, sales and marketing, and business management. Prior to RS, he worked at Goldman Sachs & Company in both the equities division and the strategic consulting group. Joe holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.