Meet The Team

Dr. Wendy Oliver


After Dr. Wendy Oliver’s national recognition and leadership experience founding The State of Tennessee nationally recognized online learning program, e4TN, she began working deeper in research and implementation of blended and online learning environments throughout the world. The natural tie of online learning and assessment led Dr. Oliver to publish work on teacher effectiveness in the online environment, such as, Investigating Whether a Value-Added Teaching Effectiveness Model Designed for Traditional Classrooms Can be Used to Measure Online Teaching Quality, and her experience in digital leadership provided the opportunity to publish in Lessons learned from virtual schools: Experiences and recommendations from the field. Dr. Oliver’s experience in digital learning and her expertise in assessment and evaluation have led to her current interests in assessment and blended learning. Wendy Oliver is poised to become one of the nation’s preeminent voices in online and blended learning, as her Blended & Online Learning Practice Frameworks were unveiled in 2014, and her self-assessment Blended Practice Profile and Online Practice Profile diagnostic softwares allow teachers to measure their strengths and weaknesses in blended pedagogy to determine a personalized path for growth. Most recently, Oliver co-guest edited a special edition of The Journal of Online Learning and Research that focused on professional development in online and blended learning in K-12 education.

Amy McGrath


Amy is an outside of the box thinker and leader in education who is dedicated to educational reform. As a Principal at FLVS, Amy created and ran the Innovation Schoolhouse, which was charged with developing and scaling up educational technology and innovation. Amy leveraged this work as the Innovation Principal to direct a breakthrough model of learning that was nationally recognized and won two prestigious Next Generation Learning Challenge awards.

Barbra Thoeming


Barbra Thoeming has administrator expertise in blended and online learning. Her career began as an elementary and high school classroom teacher. In 2007, she was named Osceola County School District's Teacher of the Year in recognition of her passion for teaching and learning. After attaining an advanced degree in Leadership, Barbra was appointed Assistant Principal of a diverse, high risk high school and later served as a Principal of a middle school. Her leadership experience was integral in implementing the Continuous Improvement Model in Henry County, TN. In addition, to her traditional school experience, she also worked as an Instructional Manager at Florida Virtual School providing leadership to approximately 168 instructors. When Metro Nashville Public Schools sought a leader to launch their first online public school, Barbra was recruited to make it happen. In addition to Barbra's leadership skills, she has also held key positions in the educational technology software industry and currently serves as the Executive Director of Education Strategy at Thrivist. Barbra is passionate about advancing student's choice in learning and has dedicated the better part of her career to supporting those initiatives.

Dr. Allison Powell


Dr. Allison Powell is the Senior Learning Strategist for BloomBoard where she assists states and districts in re-thinking professional development and licensing. She is the former Vice President for New Learning Models of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) which provides expertise and leadership in K-12 Blended, Online, and Competency-based Learning. Allison taught in face-to-face, online, and blended K-8 environments. She helped build the Clark County School District's Virtual High School and an online professional development program for the Nevada school district. She has served as a board member for several organizations and universities. She completed her doctorate from Pepperdine University in educational technology.

Dr. Elaine Carson

Research Consultant

Elaine is currently consults as a research analyst for projects in blended learning and other areas of educational research for Xperience Education. She served in Curriculum Relations at Tennessee’s e-learning initiative, e4Tennessee, where she was responsible for online standards alignment and program support. Carson’s educational roots are in the physics classroom where she taught for 15 years. Her master’s degree in science from the University of Warsaw, Poland, prepared her for a role in the development of online algebra 2, physical science and physics courses. Carson has completed her Ed.D through the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where her dissertation topic was a study of self-directed learning in secondary online students.

Dr. Keith Brewer


Dr. Keith D. Brewer has served as a practitioner in education for 38 years. He has been a teacher, principal, adjunct professor and administrator for higher education, superintendent, and deputy commissioner of education for Tennessee. Recently retired after being a superintendent for 21 years, Dr. Brewer is the owner and CEO of DBC Education Consulting Services. His company focuses on school law, school finance, school and district leadership, and the planning and implementation of technology in schools. Dr. Brewer received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Tennessee. He earned his doctorate from Vanderbilt University in School Leadership with a concentration in School Administration and Supervision.

Dr. Lavinia Dickerson


Dr. Dickerson is a Student Achievement School Improvement Specialist with an accomplished career providing direction and executive leadership for education non-profits, school districts and government organizations, with an emphasis on breaking the achievement gap advancing prepared to successfully transition into postsecondary and vocational career pathways.

Dr. Paula Love


Known in the industry as the Matchmaker of Funding or the Funding Doctor, these phrases truly capture the essence of Dr. Paula Love. She is a renowned funding expert with decades of experience delivering grant strategies for for-­‐‑profit and nonprofit organizations, state and local educational agencies, schools, and institutions of higher learning. Without a doubt, Dr. Love knows funding from every perspective, from the classroom to the boardroom. Her nearly 40-­‐‑year career has earned her great respect as a highly successful funding guru, but it is a little known fact that this work actually began at an early age. Young seven-­‐‑year-­‐‑ old Paula rallied a community, raising so much money for cystic fibrosis that she made the front-­‐‑page headlines in a prominent newspaper. Her desire for funding continued into her high school years, where she led her classmates to raise the bar in fundraising. And that passion for helping others continues today, bringing funding resources to companies, classrooms and organizations. Dr. Love is a highly skilled funding consultant with a wealth of insight to offer to every company and organization she assists, helping improve processes and efficiencies while uncovering new opportunities for financial growth.

Mia Peterson


Mia Peterson is’s Communication and Outreach Specialist, where she works to promote awareness for educator-led instructional material reviews. Mia is the former membership director with iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, and prior to iNACOL, worked in Denver Public Schools. At the district, she led an operations team, supported a portfolio of innovation grants, and helped to prioritize access to personalized learning models for all students. Mia earned an MBA from Regis University and a BA from Drake University.

Margie Johnson


Margie Johnson has 20 years of experience in K-12 education and has served in a variety of roles, including middle school teacher, instructional technology coordinator, and director of professional development. In addition, she has extensive experience in online learning as an adjunct professor for 13 years with the University of Phoenix and her dissertation topic on asynchronous teacher professional learning. A highlight of her career was when she guest lectured for the University of Cambridge, UK, Postdoc Masterclass, where she shared her expertise in using data for fostering collaborative conversations.