Thomas Kelsh is a respected educational researcher with a special focus on translating research to practice. He has directed numerous studies of national and state-level education reform while also providing executive oversight to the NYS Center for School Safety. Dr. Kelsh is a certified school and district administrator as well as classroom teacher. He formerly served as a lead researcher for the New York State Education Department Office of Higher Education. He is a former Peace Corp Volunteer having served in Chile with the Ministry of Education.
Statewide Systems of Technical Assistance and Support For Title I Low-Performing Districts and Schools
Preschool Special Education Program Quality and Child Performance Indicators
Special Education Preservice Research
Career and Technical Education Policy Analyses
Adult Literacy Program Evaluation
Early Reading First and Reading First Program Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Youth At-Risk Prevention and Intervention Evaluation Data-Driven Decision-Making Technical Assistance and Training
Research and Evaluation
Quantitative and Qualitative Instrument Design and Analysis
Program Self-Assessment Systems for Continuous Improvement
Analysis of National, State, and Local Data
Ed.D. (1988), Curriculum & Instruction, State University of New York at Albany
M.S. (1983), Educational Psychology, State University of New York at Albany
B.S. (1979), Educational Psychology, Bloomsburg University
Project Director, New York State Center for School Safety
As Director, Tina Tierney is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NYS Center for School Safety (NYSCFSS). She oversees all aspects of the Center’s services and deliverables including: VADIR/DASA training; school site visits; technical assistance with school safety planning; review and development of Incident Reduction Plans (IRPs); school climate assessment; and professional learning opportunities. Tina has worked collaboratively with team members on regional, statewide, and international evaluation projects as well as statewide professional development projects designed to provide a safe, supportive learning environment for students. Ms. Tierney’s project experience also includes the design and implementation of professional development to improve outcomes for students with disabilities, capacity
building of districts and schools, and use of research-based practices. Prior to joining Measurement Incorporated, Ms. Tierney worked in community-based programs designed to improve services for children in foster care, and to assist adults with mental health and substance abuse issues succeed in their community.
Experience in K-20 Education
HIV and STD Prevention Programs for Youth in Illinois professional development program designed to:
Promote a safe and supportive learning environment for students
Promote policies and programs to decrease bullying and sexual harassment
Promote parent engagement in schools
Foster school connectedness for students and staff
Evaluation of the Homeless Education Programming for McKinney-Vento Grantee Districts in New York State
Evaluation of Safe Schools/Healthy Students
School climate survey assessments
Evaluation of evidence-based interventions
Documenting outcomes of community collaborations
Evaluation of Civics Education
Maryland Environmental Literacy Evaluation
Preschool Special Education Quality Indicators and Program Evaluation
Parent Involvement Studies: Local and Statewide
New York State Professional Learning Center for the RSE-TASC
Qualitative and Quantitative Data Collection, Analyses, and Interpretation
Federal Accountability Reporting
BA in Psychology from Siena College
Senior Staff Developer, New York State Center for School Safety
As Senior Staff Developer, Mark Concordia is responsible for resource development and content delivery for the NYS Center for School Safety (NYSCFSS). Mark Concordia, an expert within the field of Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management and is a Certified Threat Manager (CTM) through the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. Mark is an integral part all aspects of the Center’s training program development and instruction including behavioral threat assessment and threat management program development and implementation; school site visits; technical assistance with school safety planning; review and development of Incident Reduction Plans (IRPs); school climate assessment; and professional learning opportunities. Mark is also recognized violence prevention expect with over 20 years of law enforcement experience, with a 15-year+ specialty in targeted violence prevention. He is also a recognized counterterrorism expert, having spent 13 years of his law enforcement career with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Prior to joining Measurement Incorporated, Mark worked as an Associate Professor, Training Manager for AT-RISK International, Certified FBI Instructor, and New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services Instructor. He is credited with building, training, and managing Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management protocols for higher education, K-12 districts, community-wide threat advisory teams, and police threat response units. Mark is a member of the National Center for School Safety Cadre of Experts and serves on the ASIS School Safety Committee.
Experience in K-12 Education and Beyond
Through Mark's expertise, commitment to public safety, and his collaborative multidisciplinary approach, he has produced a positive national and regional impact on K-12 targeted violence mitigation and emergency response plans, policies, and procedures. Mark's influence spans the private and public sector, including:
National and international trainer and consultant for both the private and public sectors
Forming the Rochester Threat Advisory Committee (ROCTAC) with Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter. ROCTAC is a cross-systems community-based resource for mitigating high-risk threat cases with a nexus to targeted violence.
Developing student and adult behavioral intervention and threat management training, programs, protocols, and assessment guides
Training on best practices for Schools and Community Threat Assessment and Management teams
Developing school resource officer and school security specialists threat response training, protocols, and documentation
Providing behavioral threat assessment expert opinion for the Monroe County Bar Association Extreme Risk Order (Red Flag law) awareness and guidance initiative
Developing and conducting threat assessment training for the Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training
MS International Studies, St. John Fisher College
Jim Dillon is a highly experienced, certified school administrator and teacher with a broad background in staff development, curriculum and instruction, and special education. This grounding in practice forms the core of his expertise in providing targeted, technical assistance that meets the needs of educators. Jim has conducted numerous workshops and been an invited presenter at regional, state, and national conferences. He has contributed articles to various national publications and websites.
Principal of the Year (2007), Greater Capital District Principal Center, NY
Authored The Peaceful School Bus (published by Hazelden) that is implemented in schools across the country to reduce and prevent bullying on the school bus
Authored No Place for Bullying and Reframing Bullying Prevention (published by Corwin) to provide the tools to inspire the cultural shift necessary to combat menacing behavior in schools
Administrative Leadership Award, Character Education Program, Sage College, NY
Educating the Whole Child for the 21st Century Award, NYS ASCD
Instruction, behavior management, leadership and supervision
Trained in Cooperative Learning, Adaptive Schools, and Coaching/Mentoring School Leaders
M.S. (1978), Special Education, University at Albany
B.A. (1974), English Education, University at Albany Certified
Olweus Bully Prevention Program Trainer
Kathy Oboyski- Butler serves as a member of the NYS Center for School Safety team. She conducts professional development in the areas of school climate and safety, provides on-site and on-line VADIR/DASA training, leads site visits in Persistently Dangerous schools, and organizes targeted technical assistance for schools and administrators. Kathy brings over thirty years of experience in public education as a teacher, curriculum specialist, staff developer, administrator, and assistant superintendent in urban and suburban schools. In addition to her work with state-wide professional development seminars, Kathy was also an adjunct a Sage Graduate School for over ten years.
Professional Development design, delivery, and evaluation
NYSED data entry and review
Building strong leadership teams in schools
Curriculum and Instruction design and delivery
Creating and maintaining effective Data Teams
Addressing the needs of adult learners
C.A.S. School Building and District Leadership, College of Saint Rose, Albany
M.S. Ed. Special Education, College of Saint Rose, Albany
B.S. Elementary Education, College of Saint Rose, Albany
Willie Freeman has decades of experience helping districts and schools create and maintain safe learning environments. A former New York City police officer, Willie has successfully assisted large urban districts in designing and evaluating school safety plans, performing facility audits, and initiating community-based violence prevention programming.
Directed and coordinated large-scale personnel and security officers in daily operations and investigations.
Directed enforcement of compliance with standards, codes, city ordinances, state law, federal law and court orders.
Determined organizational goals and objectives to prevent and reduce crime in order to promote high-quality learning environments.
Developed and implemented methods for monitoring emergency response, crisis management, and other special concerns for a large school district and/or organization.
Evaluated efficiency and effectiveness of investigative operations and objectives.
Act as a liaison and coordinate activities between local, state, and federal agencies.
Conducted reviews, evaluate security operations, and generate reports for federal, state, and local officials.
Developed presentations to share with stakeholders—parents and community members—at community forums to improve police and community relations.
Managed a multi-million dollar budget.
Conducted a strategic data analysis, utilize data to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) goals, and implement progress monitoring and benchmarks to assess progress.
Conducted presentations for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education re: REMS Grantees, Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools
Developed District-Wide/Local Building Emergency Plans for Schools
Conducted Security Risk Assessments for Schools
As the Project Assistant for the New York State Center for School Safety, Dawn is responsible for helping to plan and coordinate statewide training events, and providing day to day operational support. Her support tasks include maintaining correspondence with stakeholders, assisting with the implementation of professional development and technical assistance programs, and collecting evaluation data as part of the Center’s continuous improvement process. Dawn is committed to providing the highest level of professional support. Her recent prior experience includes working on appeals processing and account review for the New York State of Health (NYSOH) – New York State’s response to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
M.B.A. University at Albany, State University of New York