Meet Our Board of Trustees
Mr. Fidel Agbor, Board Treasurer
Fidel has 7 years of experience developing and executing growth strategies for companies across multiple industries including healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation. He has led several product launches, operational improvement initiatives, and M&A evaluations. Currently Fidel is a Global Business Manager at J.M. Huber Corporation where he manages a $135M line of business.
Previously he has served as a board member for Decatur Cooperative Ministry. He received his MBA from Dartmouth College and his BBA from the University of Georgia.
Mr. Kevin Denney
Kevin holds a BA in History from Presbyterian College, a teaching certification with gifted education concentration from Georgia State University, and an MEd from Kennesaw State University. He has taught for 31 years at various schools in North Georgia; 13 years as a middle school teacher and the last 18 as a high school teacher.
He has taught IB History since 2004 and Theory of Knowledge since 2017. Kevin has been both the DP & CP Coordinator at South Forsyth High School since 2008 and the President of the IB Georgia Association of World Schools since 2008. He has also been an IB Educator Network volunteer (IBEN) since 2011 and in that capacity has served on both IB consulting and visiting teams.
Dr. Valeda Dent
Valeda is currently the Inaugural Vice Provost, Libraries and Museum at Emory University. She was previously Acting Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President, Student Success & Learning Innovation at Hunter College in New York City. Prior to that, she served as University Librarian, Dean, and full professor at St. John’s University in New York. She holds an M.S.W. and M.I.L.S. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Information Science from the Palmer School at Long Island University.
A lifelong researcher with over 30 peer-reviewed articles, books, and book chapters, her primary research interests include the impact of chronic poverty on rural development; rural libraries in Africa and related literacy and reading habits; ethnographic approaches to understanding the user experience; and pervasive technologies. She has published a number of books, including one of the most comprehensive books on rural African libraries - Rural Community Libraries in Africa: Challenges and Impacts - with co-authors Dr. Geoff Goodman and Dr. Michael Kevane. Valeda is the co-founder of the non-profit Rural Village Libraries Research Network and her work in Africa has been published in a wide variety of academic journals and presented internationally. Her ongoing collaboration with Dr. Goodman explores the overlooked impact of early childhood learning interventions on rural preschoolers’ learning and school readiness skills. She and her husband, Dr. Goodman, were both previously awarded Fulbright Fellowships which allowed them to spend eight months working in two rural villages in Uganda and teaching at Uganda Martyrs University. She (whose mother is a first cousin to Coretta Scott King) and Dr. Goodman also dedicate personal and professional time to advancing racial equity and social justice.
Valeda has had the privilege of serving as an administrator and a faculty member at a number of institutions, including Rutgers University, King’s College London, and Oxford University. Her information management and library experience includes scholarly communications, large-scale facility improvement, data-supported decision-making, promotion and tenure actions, design thinking, and fiscal planning. She also serves on the Board of the Global Village Project in Decatur.
A former marathoner, Valeda now practices and teaches yoga in her spare time. Her family currently lives in Atlanta's beautiful Druid Hills neighborhood.
Dr. Robert W. Gaines II
Robert joined the GA Partnership for Excellence in Education staff in 2018. His background is in teaching and research. Rooted in his experiences as an English composition instructor, his research interests include college readiness, education history, and the intersection of religion and education policy.
Robert holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in English from Penn State University, and a B.A. in English Literature from Morehouse College.
Mr. Geoffrey Gavin, Board Vice Chair
Geoffrey is an attorney with the Jones Day law firm in Atlanta. Geoffrey has been practicing in the area of intellectual property law for over 20 years and advises clients on foundational IP matters, including patent litigation, and strategic IP counseling.
He is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Alabama School of Law. Geoffrey has served on the CASIE Board since 2015.
Mr. Kevin Glass
As the Head of the Atlanta International School, Kevin is committed to developing students who will courageously lead and shape our world for the better. He has held school leadership and teaching positions in South and West Africa, Central and North America, and Central Asia. Before AIS, Kevin served as Director of the Tashkent International School in Uzbekistan.
Kevin serves on various Boards, including the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), the Academy for International School Heads (AISH), the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE), Horizons Atlanta, the Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools (AAAIS) and the Buckhead Coalition.
Mr. Phil Mazzara
Philip G. Mazzara has led comprehensive advancement programs and capital campaigns for a wide range of non-profit organizations during his 45-year career. He has served as president of three hospital foundations and chief development officer for two academic medical centers, a technology university and a liberal arts college. Additionally, he has served as chief development officer for two Atlanta-based international NGOs, The Carter Center and CARE USA.
A graduate of Lynchburg (VA) College, he has a great and long-standing interest in World War I. For the past several years, he served The Doughboy Foundation, first as its chief development officer, then as President & CEO, and he helped lead the $50 million campaign to build the U.S. National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC, which opened to the public in April, 2021. He continues with the Doughboy Foundation, serving on its Board of Directors and as President Emeritus.
Mr. Mark Meltzer
Mark Meltzer is executive vice president of Hope-Beckham Inc. public relations. He joined the company after a career as one of the most respected and influential business journalists in metro Atlanta. Mark was Executive Editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle for more than 20 years, during which he helped shape the editorial content of one of the nation’s largest business journals. Since 2020 he is a partner with GPR Global.
Mark is a member of the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Press Club and co-chaired the nonprofit’s Finance and Operations Committee, as well as being a former club president, treasurer and programs chair. He’s been a member of the Rotary Club of Buckhead for 15 years and for three years served on its board of directors.
Mark has co-authored 10 books on personal finance with nationally syndicated consumer advocate Clark Howard. Three of his books made the New York Times Best Sellers List, and one reached No. 1.
Mark has lived in Atlanta for 35 years. He previously worked as a reporter for the Marietta Daily Journal and the Gwinnett Daily News.
Dr. Raquel Rimpola
Dr. Raquel Rimpola is the Chief of Assessment and Accreditation for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) where she manages a diverse, multimillion-dollar portfolio including complex programs to promote quality education for military connected students in schools located in eleven foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. She also has served as a teacher, school principal, adjunct professor, and Director in school systems in the Metro Atlanta area.
Twice detailed at the Pentagon, Raquel has supported major DoD initiatives to counter extremist activities and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility across DoD.
Raquel received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University, master’s degree in Secondary Mathematics at Mercer University, and bachelor’ degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Santo Tomas.
Dr. Michal Robinson
Michal Grant Robinson has over 40 years experience in education with a focus on teaching and learning through classroom practices. She has served as a classroom teacher, science department chair, and supervisory chair of mathematics and science in several Alabama high schools. She is currently an education specialist at the Alabama State Department of Education with responsibilities for science content, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, course codes, Alabama Administrative Code, and general curriculum. Her background is in science/science education and Instructional Leadership.
She obtained National Board Certification in Adolescent/Young Adult Science. Michal is vice-president of Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education and member of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Council. She is a member of the Council for State Science Supervisors where she has co-authored a STEM Teaching Tool 87, Identifying local environmental justice phenomena for science and engineering investigations; and serves with the National Science Teaching Association on the Committee on Coordination and Supervision of Science Education and the Science Safety Advisory Board. She advocates for and coordinates with the International Baccalaureate schools in Alabama to assure that test fees are paid for low-income students.
As an advocate for Mental Health, Michal works locally and on the state level with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as treasurer of the local NAMI-Shelby County, Alabama affiliate, secretary of NAMI-Alabama and with education and programs in the state, specifically for students. Michal holds an Ed.D. and administration certification in Instructional Leadership.
Mr. Iwan Streichenberger, Board Chair
Iwan earned his Master in Management from ESCP Europe and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University Business School in 2014. He is an entrepreneur, investor, operator, and consultant, focusing on Education and Technology, and their fast-changing and growing intersection. With 25 years of experience, Iwan has worked with top-tier consulting firms, large multinationals, private equity firms, and innovative start-ups, such as Vivendi Universal, Promethean, Houghton Mifflin, Pearson, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boston Consulting Group, and more.
Iwan has worked and lived throughout the world, including France, South Africa, and the in Massachusetts, California, and Georgia in the United States of America. He speaks French and English fluently. Iwan enjoys spending time with his wife and two children as well as mountain biking, skiing, sailing, and golf.
Dr. Cheryl Granade Sullivan
Her liberal arts education at Agnes Scott College launched Cheryl Granade Sullivan into a life of learning and adventure. She went on to complete graduate degrees, including the first Ph.D. in Educational Leadership awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory University. The research for her degree won a national dissertation award.
In addition to heading her own consulting practice for 37 years, she has taught as a visiting faculty member at several universities, including The University of Texas at Austin. Her numerous publications include How to Mentor in the Midst of Change. Work and fun have led her to travel to all seven continents and the fifty states of the US.
Ms. Pascale Viala
Pascale is currently Head of the Secondary School Library at the Atlanta International School. Originally from France, she moved to Atlanta with her family in 2006 to follow her husband's career and embraced IB international education through her three sons' schooling at AIS.
After 17 years of diverse experiences with Unilever in Europe, ranging from Chemical Engineer in R&D to Plant Operations Manager or Facilities Director, she decided to depart from corporate life and went back to graduate school to become a library and information technology teacher. Change management and continuous improvement are at the heart of her lifelong learning approach.
Mr. Patrick Wallace
Patrick currently serves as the Program Specialist for World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives with the Georgia Department of Education, where he supports a variety of programs including the Georgia Seal of Biliteracy, the International Skills Diploma Seal, and the Georgia Dual Language Immersion Initiative.
He is a veteran German teacher of 22 years and a two-time Teacher of the Year, recipient of the SCOLT Leadership Award, and a published author.
Ms. Emily Willingham, Board Secretary
Native Atlantan Emily Willingham, (BA, English, Wake Forest University; MAT, English, University of Vermont) has championed education through myriad engagements: 12th grade English teacher, Virginia public schools; freshman composition and literature professor, Georgia Tech; information technology instructor, Auckland, New Zealand; ‘Literary & Education Expert,’ Jiangxi Institute of Finance and Economics, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China; Education Consultant, Bellerive Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland and Nairobi, Kenya; Trustee, Atlanta International School (AIS); investigator and primary author, “Living Languages at AIS,” recommending the launch of AIS’s Early Learning Center offering total immersion for 3 and 4-year-olds in four languages. Emily joined CASIE’s board in 2012.
Mr. John Woodward
John Woodward is the Vice President of Global Commerce at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, one of the oldest and largest chambers of commerce in the United States. He assists foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) contemplating entry or expansion in the US market. In almost 20 years in economic development, Mr. Woodward has assisted hundreds of companies to relocate or expand, ranging from US headquarters, operations or manufacturing for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Adidas, “K” Line, Hamburg Sud, Voestalpine, Sany, Dongwon, Elekta, Dekra, Interroll to small/medium enterprises (SMEs) just entering the US with a sales office.
Before his role at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Mr. Woodward was Director of Economic Development for the City of Richmond (Virginia). Previously, Mr. Woodward worked in commercial real estate at the New York headquarters of Cushman & Wakefield, and as a foreign exchange trader in Washington, DC, with Ruesch International.
Mr. Woodward earned a BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. He also completed programs at the Université de Strasbourg and Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) near Paris. He lives in Atlanta’s Westside with his wife and daughter.
Dr. Monique Seefried, Founder Emerita
Born a French citizen in Tunisia, Monique became a US citizen in 1985. She grew up in Austria, France, and Italy and holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. She is fluent in English, French, German, and Italian and spent the last 40 years working in the museum world and education.
In 1999, she became the Founding Executive Director of CASIE and led the organization until 2004. Since stepping back from its daily leadership, she has served on CASIE's board of trustees and in 2016 became the board chair. From 2003 until 2009, she served as Chairman of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors. In 2014, she was appointed by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to the US World War I Centennial Commission.