Our Team

Meet the Associates  

The challenges faced by school leaders today cannot be overcome alone, and support from the best services available is essential. At Ray.Taylor and Associates we help you make better use of your education dollars by giving you access to on-demand service from highly-experienced professionals. With our expert guidance, you will plan, set, and achieve your own personalized goals in a cost-effective way. The team at Ray.Taylor and Associates will provide you with the skills and services that fit your individual needs.

The support of Ray.Taylor and Associates includes access to a full-scale, highly-skilled group of professionals. The team assigned to each project will be custom-matched to your specific goals and requirements, with the added benefit of having the support and insight from the all of the associates. The collective knowledge and experience amassed by our associates spans many fields, and you can be sure that you will be in the hands of an energetic, skilled, innovative and results-driven professional through every step. Contact Ray.Taylor and Associates today, and let’s discuss what we can do for you.

rossiRossi Ray-Taylor, Ph.D., President and CEO

Rossi Ray-Taylor is the President and CEO of Ray.Taylor and Associates, a private consultancy that provides program evaluation services, planning, professional development, administrative and management counsel to a national client base. She is the former Executive Director of the Minority Student Achievement Network, a national coalition of 25 suburban school districts committed to eliminating the gap in achievement among students.

Rossi Ray-Taylor has been featured speaker for a number of national audiences including the Annenberg Conference on High School Achievement Gap at Brown University and the American Youth Policy Forum conference for policy makers on Capitol Hill along with numerous other national conferences and has provided staff development and consulting services to several school districts. Her articles about lessons learned about eliminating the achievement gap and challenges of high achieving school districts appear in The School Administrator (January 2005) and Journal of Staff Development (Spring 2006). Dr. Ray-Taylor was Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools and prior to that Deputy Superintendent for Lansing Public Schools. Her professional background includes curriculum development, program evaluation, testing system design and validation, school turnaround management.

Rossi Ray-Taylor is a proven innovative educator with a long track record in the academic, business and research sides of education.

Dr. Ray-Taylor holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Michigan State University. Her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Psychology with a specialty in learning and cognition and in measurement and evaluation is also from Michigan State.

photo-naEllen Daniel, M.A.

Ms. Ellen Daniel’s areas of expertise includes adolescent literacy training, achievement gap strategies, writing for publication, editing, diversity issues in schools, school reform/school turnaround, teambuilding, school district demographic planning, governance and policy development and human resource management.

Ms. Daniel’s career includes being the former board president and vice-president for Ann Arbor Public Schools; she is a member of the district Middle School Review Committee, the Regional Alliance of Healthy Schools leadership team, the District High School Boundary Committee and was selected as Scarlett Middle School Teacher of the Year 2007-2008.

Ms. Daniel has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York and a Master of Arts with Teacher Certification from the University of Michigan.

celestine_hartCelestine Hart, M.B.A.

Ms. Celestine Hart has experience in the areas of supervision, risk management, and policy writing and procurement in the public and private sectors. Ms. Hart’s educational credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Packaging and a Master of Business Administration degree from Michigan State University.

noraNora Martin, Ph.D.

Dr. Nora Martin has experience in the areas of survey research, data analysis and statistics, writing for publication, editing, learning disabilities, and methodology for teaching students with special needs, ways to motivate youngsters, stress prevention and parental/family involvement. She has particular expertise in methods for motivating reluctant learners, brain research as it relates to learning, test taking skills, learning styles, diversity concerns and development workshops which foster positive human relations.

Dr. Martin is a Professor Emeritus and the Eastern Michigan University Coordinator for the Comer Schools School Development Program. She is also a member of the National Faculty for Yale University. Dr. Martin holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Rick-2Patrick (Rick) O’Neill, M.A.

Mr. Rick O’Neill has expertise in the areas of leadership coaching and training, strategic planning, group facilitation, editing, school improvement planning, teacher evaluation and coaching, teambuilding, school building staffing, and school building level administration for elementary and middle schools. Mr. O’Neill has central office and building administrative experience and skill in school redesign and start up.

Mr. O’Neill’s career includes serving as an elementary and middle school principal, the president of the Ann Arbor Administrators’ Association, and chairperson of the Selection Committee for District Planning Services Consultants. He has also worked extensively with the demographics committee for Ann Arbor Public Schools.

A graduate of University of Michigan, Mr. O’Neill has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education. 

photo-naMirah Carmichael, M.A.

Ms. Mirah Carmichael has expertise in the areas of program evaluation, survey research, data analysis and statistics, crisis management, conflict resolution, leadership coaching and training, professional development planning and design, group facilitation, curriculum design and alignment, curriculum audits, diversity issues in schools, teacher training and coaching, teacher evaluation, teambuilding, school equity audits, and process mapping/process engineering.

In addition to her work with Ray.Taylor and Associates, she holds the position of Diversity Coordinator with Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Educational program and New Trier High School (IL) working to revise and develop culturally responsive curriculum and methods of instruction. She consults on issues related to cultural competency across the district.

Ms. Carmichael has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and a Master of Education degree in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University.

courtneynewCourtney Cogburn, Ph.D.

Dr. Courtney Cogburn’s research integrates principles and methodologies across psychology, stress physiology and social epidemiology to investigate relationships between stress, health disparities, social and psychological functioning across the life course. Dr. Cogburn is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University. Her areas of expertise are survey research, data analysis and statistics, and grant writing. Dr. Cogburn received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology and Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan.

photo-naTiffany Griffin, Ph.D.

Dr. Tiffany Griffin received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2009, where she was a NSF Predoctoral Fellow and recipient of the 2008 Innovations in Social Research Dissertation Fellowship. Dr. Griffin’s work has addressed health and education disparities in the US, Brazil, and South Africa through the lens of inter- and intra group processes. Dr. Griffin possesses expertise in the areas of experimental research, survey design and research, data analysis and statistics, writing for publication, and editing. Dr. Griffin has published research on various issues related to Black adolescents and college students including motivation, gender and racial discrimination, and how Black students connect their sense of self to the academic context. She recently completed an AAAS/American Psychological Association Congressional Fellowship in Senator Bingaman’s office. Her portfolio included health (e.g., US-Mexico border health, FDA), food/nutrition (e.g., domestic food security, school-based nutrition, SNAP [food stamps]), and vulnerable populations (e.g., TANF [welfare]). Prior to her Congressional Fellowship, Dr. Griffin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, worked for the National Poverty Center, and engaged in consulting and service activities focused on ameliorating inequality.

ellenmeaderEllen Meader, Ph.D.

Dr. Ellen Meader is a seasoned administrator in higher education whose combined professional and educational experiences include using data in strategic planning, decision-making, program evaluation, and assessment of outcomes. In addition to her work with Ray.Taylor and Associates, she currently acts as the Program Manager in the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan, where she conducts research studies, assists with the creation of marketing materials, and assesses and evaluates program effectiveness. Dr. Meader has extensive experience in data-analysis in her former positions as Senior Research and Planning Analyst with the University of Michigan, as a consultant for the Pell Institute Retention Initiative, and in her numerous administrative positions in higher education. She obtained her Master of Education degree in Student Development from the University of Florida, and her Ph.D. with a specialization in Higher Education Administration from the University of Michigan.

laprishaberryvaughnLaprisha Berry-Vaughn, M.P.H. and M.S.W.

Ms. Laprisha Berry-Vaughn has over ten years of management and leadership experience, as well as extensive experience and knowledge in research, from project management to data collection and analysis. Ms. Berry-Vaughn obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Michigan State University and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in both Public Health and Social Work.

photo-naAdrian Lottie, Ph.D.

Dr. Adrian Lottie is an associate professor of political science and public administration at Eastern Michigan, specializing in program evaluation. Dr. Lottie holds a Ph.D. in Political Science specializing in public policy analysis and economic policy from Wayne State University.

Diane McMillan, M.A.

Ms. Diane McMillan is the recently retired Associate Director for the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. She now serves as the Graduation Town digital learning community coordinator for MASSP and as a private educational consultant. Ms. McMillan has extensive experience in professional development, designing professional development programs for school personnel, and offering technical assistance in the areas of leadership, school change, school reform, and online learning. She is a certified NASSP Breaking Ranks II trainer for Michigan, and has received training in the Education Trust Opportunity Audit process. Diane was a successful high school principal at Ottawa Hills High School and assistant principal at Lansing Everett High School.

photo-naJohn Norwood, Ph.D.

Dr. John Norwood is the former assistant superintendent for Saginaw schools, a former middle school principal, with experience as a high school, adult education and alternative school administrator. Dr. Norwood holds a Ph.D. in education with a major in administration from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Bowling Green State University.

photo-naRon Collins, M.A.

Mr. Ron Collins is a recently retired principal with extensive experience as an elementary and middle school administrator. Mr. Collins’ expertise includes principal leadership and academic coaching, leadership training, planning and school turnaround management and facilitation for schools throughout Michigan.

drsharronjenkinsnormanSharron Jenkins-Norman, Ed.D.

Dr. Sharron Jenkins-Norman is an educational consultant with over 20 years of administrative experience in curriculum, instruction, leadership, and school improvement. She is a transformational leader and change agent recognized for research-based school improvement, implementing processes for successful pedagogical practices for student achievement, and developing administrators and teachers. Dr. Jenkins-Norman has extensive experience in many levels of school administration, including elementary principal in Fort Wayne, Indiana, deputy superintendent in the Lansing School District, and former superintendent of Buena Vista School District. Dr. Jenkins-Norman holds two Master of Science degrees in Administration and in Elementary Education from Indiana University, and Doctor of Education degree with a specialization in Educational Administration from the University of Akron.

marshallMarshall Taylor

Mr. Marshall Taylor serves as media coordinator, content writer, and editor at Ray.Taylor and Associates. These duties include the creation and management of all video content produced by and for Ray.Taylor and Associates, and generating and editing content for social media. Mr. Taylor is skilled in all areas of video production, from scripting to shooting to post-production, and makes up half of Ray.Taylor and Associates’ video production team. Marshall Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University, where he dual-majored in English and Communication.

photo-naMathis Taylor

Mr. Mathis Taylor is a Research and Design Assistant at Ray.Taylor and Associates. Mr. Taylor is also technology manager for Ray.Taylor and Associates. Mr. Taylor’s experience includes survey data compilation and summary, online research, graphic design and Illustration. Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saginaw Valley State University, with a major in art and a minor in sociology.

amberAmber Tselios

Ms. Amber Tselios serves as a content writer, editor, and creative designer at Ray.Taylor and Associates where she writes and edits text, designs many of RTA’s publications (such as print ads, e-newsletters, infographics, etc.), and manages social media. Additionally, Ms. Tselios makes up half of the Ray.Taylor and Associates’ video production team. Her experience includes, but is not limited to, script-writing, directing, non-linear editing and animation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Western Michigan University.

Clinical Fellowship

Ray.Taylor and Associates has launched a new position of Clinical Fellow. These fellowships select experienced educators looking to expand their clinical experience by applying research to schools and educational systems.

montaMonta Stevenson

Our 2013-14 Clinical Fellow is Monta Stevenson. Ms. Stevenson has more than 10 years of experience in K-12 education instruction, mentoring, leadership and administration. Ms. Stevenson’s fellowship focuses on program evaluation and school transformation.

In Remembrance

We remember John W. Porter, PhD of Counsel to Ray.Taylor and Associates.

Nationally recognized educator John W. Porter lent his extensive experience and skills to building strong schools for all children. Dr. Porter’s distinguished career included serving for a decade as Michigan State Superintendent of Public Instruction, President of Eastern Michigan University, Interim Superintendent for Detroit Schools, President and CEO of the Urban Education Alliance, Inc. and as a teacher and counselor. His most recent work included whole-school transformation and ninth grade academies. Dr. Porter’s evidence-based and results-driven leadership will be missed. RTA is honored to have called John Porter a mentor and advisor. He is dearly missed.