About The Curriculum Institute
The Curriculum Institute is a non-profit research and education body dedicated to connecting today’s leading research on effective education with best practices, leaders, and teachers in real schools. Our programs are underwritten by Institute sponsors.
Membership to the Institute
Membership is available to any interested educator, researcher, or education-related business partner.
Members receive regular updates regarding the most recent research in education, have access to the Curriculum Institute membership lists for communication, and may receive discounts and other benefits from Institute partners. Members also receive discounted registration to the annual Curriculum Institute Conference.
For more information on becoming a member of the Curriculum Institute, click here.
Who we are
Board of Directors
Kevin Baird, Chairman
Kevin Baird began his career as a technology teacher, working with adult and alternative degree students to improve career readiness skills. Later representing Native American governments, he created education policy, presented to state and federal lawmakers, and helped to secure critical funding for education and health programs for rural populations. He is the founder and former Executive Director of several non-profit organizations focused on education, health care and the arts.
A leader in educational publishing, Mr. Baird served as Vice President with Renaissance Learning, publishers of Accelerated Reader, and as Vice President with Achieve3000, publishers of KidBiz3000 and TeenBiz3000, before building a successful media joint venture with the Chinese government. In those capacities, he led hundreds of educational consultants worldwide, has worked with schools on every continent excluding Antarctica, and has participated in some of the largest research studies in education ever conducted in reading, mathematics, and effective school leadership.
Today, Mr. Baird serves in a variety of education related posts through EdLead, his education fund and support organization. Kevin holds degrees in Sociology and Anthropology, holds an MBA in Global Management, is a Beinecke National Scholar, a Wingspread Scholar, and a member of the Secretary’s Circle of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a founder of the Curriculum Institute and a regular speaker and consultant working with schools and districts to create effective school management systems and processes. Mr. Baird lives with his spouse and three children outside of Chicago.
Michael Rush, Executive Director
Michael Rush has served schools for more than 30 years as both a teacher and consultant. He has worked closely with expert educators, including Heidi Hayes Jacobs. He has traveled extensively helping school leaders better understand the operational curricula within their schools. Mr. Rush is experienced in Understanding by Design, Differentiated Instruction, and Project-Based Learning.
Peg Portscheller, past Educator of the Year and Superintendent of the Year, brings real-world experience to leading curriculum improvement initiatives. For 15 years, she served on the board of the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) and is currently a consultant with Focused Leadership Solutions. She has worked with Doug Reeves as the Chief Learning Officer for the Leadership and Learning Center, and has served as a union leader, teacher, and school administrator.
Peg offers educators pragmatic and “doable” strategies for getting teachers, unions, and school leaders moving.
Jaclyn Levy - Vice President, Speaker Services & Administration
Jaclyn Levy is passionate about making education a place where kids learn AND have fun. She especially loves the creativity of Middle School students and taught Summer School for 5 years while living in Texas. Through her varied business background, Ms. Levy has honed her customer service skills and aims to always provide excellent support to those she professionally serves. In her current position, Ms. Levy works with VIPs as well as national consultants and speakers from across the country, ensuring they experience the best possible association with the Institute.
Lindsay Ammons – Vice President, Institute Services
Krystal Williams – Customer Service Manager
Cathy Gilbert – Director, Speaker Services
Domingo Chavarria – Accounting Services Coordinator