The Innovation ProjectSparking Dialogue & Designs to Develop Optimal K-12 Learning Environments
The Innovation Project (TIP)
Sparking Dialogue and Designs to Develop Optimal K-12 Learning Environments
The pandemic has uncovered many inequitable flaws in our nation’s schools. The purpose of The Innovation Project (TIP) is to foster an academic discussion about the current educational climate and explore flexible and more optimal K-12 educational learning environments.
Our mission is to explore innovative approaches to restructuring/ remodeling K-12 schools that are equitable, flexible to meet the potential within each child.
“You cannot predict the future, but you can create it.”
– Peter Drucker
Members | Outstanding Education & Industry Leaders
Vicki Denmark, Ph.D.
As the Chief Architect for the Innovation Lab, Dr. Denmark, oversees the design and development of solutions and resources for educational institutions to improve organizationally and most importantly, for students. She serves as the subject matter expert for products, content, and solutions and identifies new opportunities that lead to eventual innovative solutions for institutions. Essentially, Vicki ensures the Cognia network of institutions has a variety of quality resources to use for their continuous improvement journeys. She has provided workshops, made presentations, and worked with K-12 schools around the world; learning about schools in their unique contexts is a passion of hers.
Prior to joining Cognia in 2010, Dr. Denmark served in leadership roles in large public-school districts in Georgia. She began her 38 years in education as a classroom teacher, and then progressed in her career as an assistant principal, principal, area superintendent, and assistant superintendent. During her career, she served as a full-time university professor where she taught master’s and doctoral level courses to aspiring educational leaders. Vicki has co-authored a book mentoring first-year teachers and several research-based journal articles and has served on national and state-wide boards that focus on middle level education. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University.
Phyllis Harrington, Ph.D.
President, New York State Council of Schools Superintendents & Superintendent of Oceanside UFSD
Dr. Harrington has been a superintendent of schools since June of 2004. Currently she serves the Oceanside UFSD where she has been since 2013. She received her doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from Hofstra University in 1991. Prior to assuming the Superintendency she served as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Elementary School Principal, Assistant Principal and Director of Special Education in a number of school districts on Long Island. Her 42 year experience in education began as a speech-language pathologist . Dr. Harrington is an active member of the New York State Council of School Superintendents and currently serves as their President. She is also very involved in local community organizations such as Kiwanis and Rotary. Dr. Harrington has enjoyed work at the collegiate level including the teaching of educational administration classes and especially enjoys serving on doctoral committees.
Carole Soule McCammon, MAT, PMP
Carole Soule McCammon, MAT, PMP serves as Director Client Services for Cognia. She holds a B.A. (English) from the University of Michigan, and MAT (English) from Salem State University in Massachusetts. Her entry point into education was teaching at-risk youth in the greater Boston area, after which time she continued her career as a public high school English teacher. In her time with Cognia (formerly Measured Progress) she has served as an ELA Content Specialist in assessment development/design, and also as a Project Manager and Senior Program Manager in client services. In her local community, Carole was elected and served a two-year term on the Dover School Board in Dover, NH where she helped bring recess to the middle school and voted in favor of funding the new high school building project.
Gina Riley, Ph.D.
Hunter College (CUNY)
Gina Riley, Ph.D. is a Clinical Professor and Program Leader of the Adolescent Special Education Program at CUNY – Hunter College. Dr. Riley has over fifteen years experience working with teens diagnosed with learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders. She is also a seasoned academic, with years of teaching, research, and supervisory experience within the fields of special education, psychology, school psychology, and mental health counseling. In addition, Dr. Riley has extensive experience in online education and distance learning at the college/university level. She is known internationally for her work in the fields of homeschooling, unschooling, and self-directed learning. Her books include Unschooling: Exploring Learning Beyond The Classroom (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and The Homeschooling Starter Guide (Rockridge Press, 2021).
Josephine Salvador, Ed.D.
State University of New York (SUNY)
Josephine Salvador, EdD, serves as the Executive Director of the New York State Master Teacher Program (NYSMTP). She earned a BA from The George Washington University, MA from University of Maryland College Park, and EdD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral research focused on the effects of peer observation on teachers and teaching in a K-12 school community. The NYSMTP is a statewide educational initiative backed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and designed to create a network of outstanding STEM teachers dedicated to high quality professional development. Under her leadership, the statewide network based at nine SUNY campuses has grown to include over 1400 teachers, grades K-12. Dr. Salvador began her teaching career 30 years ago as a kindergarten assistant. Since then, she has held school supervisory roles and leadership positions in state and national educational organizations.
Jerusalem Rivera-Wilson, Ph.D.
AATLAS, School of Education
For over 30 years, Jerry has been involved in some facet related to the profession of teaching. Currently, she is the Director of Continuing Education for the Academy for the Advancement of Teaching, Leadership, and Schools in the School of Education at the University at Albany. She joined the School of Education in 1996 and served as the Senior Faculty Associate and Director of Clinical Training and Field Experiences. In addition to the oversight of the clinical component for the Master of Science and Secondary Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Programs, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in educational psychology, assessment, and secondary education. Her research interests include progressive education, pre-service and in-service professional development, and alternative assessment practices. Jerry is very active at the state level as an executive board member of the New York State Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE).
Laura Wernick, FAIA, REFP, LEED AP
HMFH Architects, Inc.
Ms. Wernick leads HMFH’s educational planning efforts, with 35 years of experience at the firm overseeing the design on a range of projects. She is extremely active in the national dialogue on architecture and education, and
is a frequent speaker and contributor at local and national industry events on educational facility and school design including the Boston Society of Architects, the Association for Learning Environments, and the American Institute of Architects. In 2014, she was awarded the Boston Society of Architects Women in Design Award of Excellence. In 2015, she was made a Fellow of the AIA.
Currently, Ms. Wernick is the Project Director for the Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, MA, where she led the team in turning challenges such as growing enrollment and integrating previously isolated vocational programs into an opportunity to create innovative spaces unique to the school’s culture of immersive, hands-on learning. She directed the design of the new Dover High School & Regional Career Technical Center in Dover, NH, a facility that seamlessly blends traditional academic and vocational-technical education spaces together in a single learning community.
A Recognized Educational Facilities Planner (REFP), Ms. Wernick pairs planning and design expertise to create environments that can adapt to changing pedagogy and help students flourish. Working closely with communities, she facilitates a broad and engaging visioning process forward-looking models of education with opportunities for hands-on, project based learning. She is instrumental to the process of gathering and integrating feedback from the community and key stakeholders to ensure HMFH’s designs reflect the diverse needs of the communities they serve.
Jennifer Wolfe, NBCT
2021 NYS Teacher of the Year
Jennifer Wolfe, 2021 New York State Teacher of the Year, has been teaching social studies for 24 years at Oceanside High School in Oceanside, NY. Currently she teaches Pre-AP World History to 9th graders. She is the first teacher in the district to earn National Board Certification. Wolfe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Earlham College in 1991, a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1996 and an honorary doctorate in 2000 from Clarkson University. Wolfe was named the NYS
Council for Social Studies HS Teacher of the Year in 2005, received Fulbright-Hays Scholarships in 2000 and 2004, and was selected for the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program in 2004. Wolfe attended the 2015 US Department of Education’s Teach to Lead Boston Summit and later hosted her own USDOE Leadership Lab at Adelphi University.
She co-created the Long Island Teacher Leadership Powered by Teach to Lead Conference in 2017 bringing together educators to work with national, state, and local leaders. From 2015-2018, Wolfe was the Improvement Lead on the Network to Transform Teaching Grant awarded to Oceanside from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. One of the grant projects was the subject of an article published in the August 2016 edition of Learning Forward’s JSD: Bridging Silos: Novices Partner with Veteran Teachers on the Path to Board Certification. Wolfe presents at state and national conferences and is featured on TeachingChannel.org. Director of the LI National Board Network, Wolfe helps teachers achieve the profession’s highest certification.
Materials & Resources