People on the Move
Executive Appointments Announced for Cully, Beck, Economou, Thomas, Hinojosa, Wynne, Porter, and Yang
- By Kristal Kuykendall
THE Journal welcomes submissions about new hires and promotions among ed tech industry executives and K–12 public school administrators in the United States. Contributed news items will be published regularly on THEJournal.com; the archives can be accessed at any time at THEJournal.com/articles/list/people-on-the-move.
To submit news about new leadership and management changes at K–12 ed tech companies and at nonprofits in the K–12 ed tech space, complete the form at bit.ly/EdTechPeopleNews. To submit news about new hires and promotions among K–12 public schools administration, complete the form at bit.ly/K12AdminNews. News releases should be emailed to [email protected].
Instructure Names Two New SVPs to Accelerate Growth
Instructure, the maker of Canvas, has named two new executives to help drive the growth of the Instructure Learning Platform, the company said in a news release.
Former KeyBanc Capital Markets investment banker Brian Cully was named senior vice president of corporate development, and former Salesforce.org executive Justin Beck was named senior vice president of North America sales, Instructure said.
In the role of senior vice president of corporate development, Cully will drive strategy for mergers, acquisitions, and integration, reporting to Chief Strategy Officer Mitch Benson, Instructure said. He replaces Steve Workman, who has retired.
Cully holds a master's degree in accounting and a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting from the Ohio State University, and he is a CFA charter holder.
As senior vice president of North America sales, Beck will lead sales for both K–12 and higher education, reporting to Chief Revenue Officer Frank Maylett, Instructure said. Beck replaces Chris Benwell, who recently stepped into the role of senior vice president of global sales.
Beck is a frequent ed tech author and presenter at industry conferences, Instructure said. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated with honors.
Learn more at Instructure.com.
Randi Economou is Capstone’s New CEO
Children’s publisher and K–5 digital literacy provider Capstone has a new CEO: Randi Economou.
Economou fills the CEO role that principal and owner Bob Coughlan held on an interim basis over the past year and a half, according to a news release.
Previously, Economou served as Area Vice President of the West at Renaissance, where she led the growth strategy and execution and helped her division achieve over $180 million in yearly annual revenue, Capstone said. Prior to her time at Renaissance, Economou held a variety of leadership positions within TeachMaster Technologies, PLATO Learning, and myON. She also is a former high school teacher of English Language Arts and Leadership.
Economou holds a Master of Secondary Education with an endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language from Grand Canyon University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Northwest Nazarene University.
Learn more at CapstonePub.com.
Trisha Thomas Named President of Literacy at Reading Horizons
Reading Horizons has promoted Trisha Thomas from Chief Revenue Officer to President, the company said in a news release.
Thomas joined Reading Horizons in 2020 as Chief Revenue Officer; her career spans 25 years of K–12 ed tech experience including executive leadership positions at Illustrative Mathematics, first as Vice President of Professional Services and then as Chief Customer Officer. Previously, she served in key marketing leadership positions for Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, eInstruction/Turning Technologies, and Discovery Education.
Thomas holds an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing from the University of Maryland and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School.
Learn more at ReadingHorizons.com.
Michael Hinojosa Joins Engage2learn as Chief Impact Officer
Professional development provider Engage2learn has hired Michael Hinojosa, Ed.D., as its new Chief Impact Officer, where he is charged with working with school leaders around the country to “develop and implement sustainable systems of innovation designed to engage and support educators on an individual level,” according to a news release.
Hinojosa has worked in education for 43 years, 27 of which were as superintendent at six districts, including Dallas Independent School District and Atlanta’s Cobb County School District.
In his new role as Chief Impact Officer, Hinojosa will lead Engage2learn’s efforts to provide progressive professional development resources that enable school districts to better retain educators and district leaders, the company said, noting that 25% of superintendents across the country left their jobs in the last year.
During his tenure as superintendent at Dallas ISD, Hinojosa “launched a multi-year effort to integrate evidence-based, tech-enabled coaching across the district — even to operations employees,” Engage2learn said in its announcement. Now, Dallas ISD is “one of the nation’s highest-performing urban school districts, with more than 10 percent of seniors graduating high school in 2021 with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree … (which) demonstrates how customized, evidence-based professional development can directly impact student outcomes and organizational culture.”
Learn more at Engage2learn.org.
Caroline Wynne Named VP of Engagement at MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute has hired Caroline Wynne as Vice President of Engagement to lead marketing strategies and brand awareness, the company said in a news release.
She will oversee the organization's marketing plans and activities that promote its initiatives, which include the visual instructional ST Math program, the MathMINDs initiative, which brings math out of the classroom, as well as future research and development projects, according to the announcement.
Most recently, Wynne led the marketing team at Lexia Learning; previously, as a marketing leader at Voyager Sopris and Performance Matters, she “launched new ed tech products, acted as a brand steward, implemented impactful thought leadership programs, and managed customer communications,” MIND said.
Wynne holds a Bachelor of Arts in business marketing from Queens University of Charlotte.
Learn more at MindResearch.org.
Follett School Solutions Taps Chris Porter as CEO of Software
Textbook distributor and digital learning materials provider Follett School Solutions has named Chris Porter as CEO of Software, a role previously held by Paul Ilse, who will remain involved as Chairman of the Board of Directors, the company said in a news release.
Porter’s role will include leading the team behind Follett’s asset-management software, which is specifically built for schools and libraries and used by thousands of schools around the globe. Its software line-up also includes solutions for tracking, storing, and analyzing academic data, as well as digital learning tools.
Porter most recently served as CEO of Apex Learning, which experienced “unprecedented growth” during his tenure, Follett said. Previously, he served in executive leadership positions at PowerSchool, Pearson, and Apple; Follett said Porter was “instrumental in the early growth of PowerSchool, which was founded by his brother, Greg.”
Porter holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and an executive leadership credential from Stanford University.
Learn more at FollettLearning.com.
Jim Yang Joins ParentSquare as Chief Marketing Officer
Unified communications provider ParentSquare has named Jim Yang as its new chief marketing officer, the company said in a news release.
A B2B marketer for over 25 years, Yang most recently served as senior vice president and vice president of marketing with SaaS companies in K–12 education and other sectors, ParentSquare said. He holds an M.S. in Engineering Management from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University.
ParentSquare said Yang’s appointment will enable the company to “accelerate its marketing and sales strategies to promote stronger awareness, drive new business, and highlight clients’ successful journeys that build loyalty and advocacy.”
Learn more at ParentSquare.com.