Joan and Sherrye

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 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 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. 

Meredith Harbord, Ed.D., Senior Consultant and Technology Advisor

Meredith 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. Meredith and her co-author Sara Khan have a book coming out in October, 2019; Design Thinking for Schools; Ethical Dilemmas. The publisher, John Catt Educational Ltd, will be releasing two versions—one for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (MYP.) and one using Common Core Standards and the Core 21 PBL model. Concurrently, she is working as an adjunct professor teaching graduate level education courses for SUNY Buffalo State.

Wanda Dean, Ph.D., Senior Consultant

Wanda, 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. Wanda has just been named Distinguished Alumni for the College of Education, Mississippi State University.

Patrice Roberts, Ed.D., Senior Consultant

 Patrice 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.

Mike Albritton, Ed.D., Consultant

Mike has held many positions in the field of education. He has worked as an Elementary Principal, an Assistant Principal and as an Academic Dean coordinating and developing new programs for students. His work has been in parochial and private schools, and has also been a volunteer in schools for the disadvantaged. His most recent position was Administrator and Director of Student Services in a large urban district. He is an expert in data analysis and his work is always focussed on student outcomes.

Carol Ann Alderman, Ph.D., Consultant

Dr. Carol Alderman began her career in education as a high school biology teacher in Mississippi, after working as a clinical medical technologist for five years.  During that period she was recognized by the National Association of Biology Teachers as Mississippi’s Outstanding Biology Teacher, by Tandy Technology as one of the top 100 U.S. teachers of math, science and technology, and by the National Science Foundation as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.  She has held administrative positions both at the school and district level, including Executive Director of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. Currently she consults with school leaders and teachers to collect and translate data into action to improve teaching and learning.  Carol Ann has taught graduate level courses in curriculum and leadership and currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the International Graduate Program for Educators for SUNY Buffalo State.

Carol Carter, Consultant

Carol is an expert in science. She began as a classroom teacher, and eventually specialized in science and mathematics. She has held the position of Science and Mathematic and Coordinator for several school districts, both urban and suburban. Her training skills were noticed and she became the Regional Lead Consultant for Full Options Science Systems (FOSS.) She is now working for the Carolina Biological Company as a trainer for Building Blocks of Science 3D and Smithsonian Science for the Classroom. 

Caitlin Lewis Elam, M. Ed., Consultant

Caitlin 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.

Lezley Lewis, Ph.D., J.D., Consultant

Lezley is an 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 many special programs serving culturally and linguistically diverse students. In addition, she is a specialist in gifted education and is 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. 

Concetta Russo, Ed.D., Consultant

Connie 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.

Marilyn Hamot Ryan, M.S., Consultant

Marilyn has many 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.