Joan Della Valle and Sherrye Dotson
Joan and Sherrye have worked together for over 30 years, providing personalized inservice, professional development, keynotes, graduate courses and workshops. Together they have visited schools on almost every continent and work both in person and online. They are the authors of "Synergy and Synthesis for Teaching in the 21st Century: A Model for Moving into Inquiry and Problem Based Learning Without Stress."
Meet the staff
Sherrye Dotson, M.S., President
Sherrye Dotson is often referred to as “a change agent.” She began her career as a classroom teacher in Texas. Sherrye spent 15 years teaching math at the middle school and high school level and later served 19 years as an assistant superintendent, associate superintendent and as a deputy superintendent. Sherrye and Joan Co-authored the book Synergy and Synthesis for Teaching in the 21st Century. Sherrye in addition to serving as President of Core21 and a senior consultant is an adjunct professor for SUNY Buffalo State teaching graduate level curriculum and leadership courses.
Joan Della Valle, Ed.D., Vice President
Joan DellaValle brings over 40 years of public education service to the Core 21 team. She began her career in the New York City public schools and spent 20 years on staff: first as a teacher and then as a curriculum director for the 28 schools in her district. For the next 20 years she held the position of Elementary School Principal in a suburban school located on Long Island, New York, where she provided leadership for both the school the district. Joan has also worked in several colleges and universities teaching graduate level courses in curriculum and leadership. Currently, Joan serves as Vice President of Core21, is a senior consultant and adjunct professor for SUNY Buffalo State.
Patrice Roberts, Ed.D., Senior Consultant
Patrice H. Roberts is a teacher, co-author of both a staff development textbook and a science monograph, certified learning-styles trainer, experienced educational consultant, registered New Jersey provider of professional development, qualified on-site instructional coach and adjunct graduate-level professor. She was a middle school teacher, basketball coach and the coordinator of the staff development program for a consortium of schools in New Jersey. She now works as an adjunct professor for SUNY Buffalo State specializing in research design and community relations.
Wanda Dean, Ph.D., Senior Consultant
Wanda Dean, a life long resident of Mississippi, began her work in education as a teacher for students with disabilities. She then held the following positions: Director of Special Education Services, Primary Assistant Principal, Elementary Principal, Middle School Principal, and Director of Curriculum and Instruction. She has also served as an adjunct assistant professor in the Educational Leadership Department and the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Mississippi. She currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor for the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Meredith Harbord, Ed.D., Senior Consultant and Technology Advisor
Meredith Harbord has been in education for over 30 years as a teacher, an administrator and curriculum writer. She has taught Art and Design in a wide range of different educational systems including the Australian, the English, and the American International Schools . After spending 15 years in Brunei, Darussalam and the Sultanate of Oman, her focus is on the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. She has trained kindergarten and elementary teachers from all over Australia through Curtin University in “Early Childhood Art for the Classroom teacher” based on developmental creativity for Montessori teachers. Currently she is working as an adjunct professor teaching graduate level education courses for SUNY Buffalo State.
Concetta Russo, Ed.D., Consultant
Currently, Concetta Russo Connie is the Director of Reading at the Journey Prep School and she specializes in all areas of learning disabilities. She sits on multiple boards as an advisor and was a full-time assistant professor at Seton Hall University and St. John's University. Connie was the of Director of Special Education for the Massapequa Public Schools on Long Island for 19 years. During that time period she developed many innovative programs for children with autism and learning disabilities. Concetta is the author of RTI Guide: Making it Work, Strategies=Solutions.
Lezley Lewis, Ph.D., J.D., Consultant
Lezley Lewis is our resident expert in all areas of second language acquisition. She currently serves as Executive Director of Professional Learning and Innovation in a large urban school district in Texas. She has lead special programming serving culturally and linguistically diverse students as well as being an expert in all elements of leadership, curriculum design and evaluation. She has authored many books on this subject and can often be found teaching graduate courses at local universities.
Caitlin Lewis Elam, M. Ed., Consultant
Caitlin Lewis Elam is currently serving as an assistant principal in Texas. Her wide range of skills include dual language program design and implementation. She is bilingual and has worked with parents to bring the school and community together for the purpose of enriching children's lives. She is an expert in curriculum design, Problem Based Learning and all areas of dual language acquisition.
Marilyn Hamot Ryan, M.S., Consultant
Marilyn Hamot Ryan has 37 years of public school teaching experience, including 15 years as the District Coordinator of Gifted Programming in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. She is an academic coach, staff development provider, national, state, and local conference presenter and round table participant. Her area of expertise is gifted education, talent development and creativity. She currently is an adjunct professor for the International Graduate Program for Educators at State University, Buffalo State.