Lyle Kirtman- President & Senior Management Consultant

Lyle Kirtman has been a management consultant for more than 35 years, specializing in leadership development, strategic planning, organizational development, high performance team development, conflict resolution, and executive coaching.  Mr. Kirtman has consulted with more than 700 organizations in the educational, non-profit, corporate, and government arenas. He has written four books on leadership in education.  His books include: Leadership and Teams: The Missing Piece of the Educational Reform Puzzle (Pearson), Leadership: Key Competencies for Whole System Change (co-written with Michael Fullan) (Solution Tree), Coherent School Leadership: Forging Clarity from Complexity (co-written with Michael Fullan) (ASCD - August 2019 release date) and Stop the Endless Debates Time to Move to Action: Aligning Policy to Best Practices  (co-written with David Driscoll) (release date TBD). 

Mr. Kirtman serves as a coach to more than twenty-five CEOs of for-profit and non-profit organizations.  He has developed several Executive Leadership Groups that meet regularly to learn about leading organizations in today’s challenging environment.  He has consulted with more than 250 school districts, the Massachusetts Municipal Association (serving the cities and towns in Mass.), Channel 5 - TV, The Governor's Task Force on Education and Technology in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the Department of Education. the Executive Offices of Human Services and Economic Affairs, Massachusetts General Hospital, UMass Medical School, Farm Aid, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Massachusetts Council of Family Servicing Agencies, La Alianza Hispana Inc., and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Homeland Security, and many others.

Beth Saunders - Operations Manager

Beth Saunders has worked with FMS since 2011 and has become an integral member of the FMS team.  She is the main point of contact for all clients and consultants.  Recently, FMS has been developing and leading workshops for administrative assistants and support staff. Beth has been leading this work in school districts.

Beth graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Speech Communication.  She also completed a continuing education program in Business Accounting and Software. 

John Pierce - Senior Consultant

Mr. Pierce has always considered himself an agent for organizational change and school improvement. His interest and continuing training has been directed at the development of a strong conceptual understanding of systems thinking and strategic planning to advance public education.

Mr. Pierce has over thirty-five years of effective leadership and advocacy in five diverse school communities; experienced leadership with administration search teams; skilled in staff evaluation, supervision and professional development; strong command of organizational change and development; competent in the comprehensive dimensions of school leadership for public schools with training and experience in leadership coaching and capacity building.

His experience in education includes teaching in high school and college level and as principal of four diverse high schools. He was most recently doing Leadership Coaching for the MA Department of Education and is a Certified Facilitator for the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL).

Mr. Pierce holds a B.S. in Education from University of Massachusetts and M. S. degree in Psychology with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Secondary School Administration from Northeastern University.

Jeff Ikler - Consultant

Jeff Ikler is currently the Director of Quetico Leadership Coaching and Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping school and business leaders develop sustained changes in their leadership and management practices. His approach to coaching blends highly reflective question strategies with challenging requests – all designed to help clients develop desired changes in their work and personal lives.

Prior to the above, Jeff worked for Pearson Inc. or Pearson subsidiaries for 32 years in various editorial, marketing, and leadership capacities. He finished his career at Pearson by authoring its multi-dimensional Leadership Development program for school administrators, working closely with authors Lyle Kirtman and Michael Fullan.

Prior to his career at Pearson, Jeff taught high school history in Maywood and Batavia, Illinois for seven years.  He holds a Masters in the Teaching of History from the University of Illinois.

Robin Coursen, Consultant

Robin brings over 30 years of experience to our team in facilitation and collaborative process with federal, state, local and tribal stakeholders. With a master’s degree in Environmental Science, she worked in multiple programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and collaborated with multiple other government agencies and stakeholders; even serving in three international roles. She uses her training and exceptional skills in facilitation, collaboration, mediation and process to accomplish consensus, results, and outcomes for all parties involved. In her multi-faceted work with the EPA,  she worked often with teams within and outside of the agency to determine barriers of team development, improve communications, turn conflict into creativity, and lead teams to develop workplans with Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Time Bounded (SMART) goals. In 2015-2017 she was called upon by the EPA to represent the United States in a U.S. Agency for International Development collaborative project in Southeast Asian. Five Mekong nations, EPA, and the European Union collaboratively developed “Guidelines for Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment in the Mekong Region” through the leadership of PactWorld. Robin advised on guideline development, facilitated, presented, trained, and presented online seminars.

See for education and highlights of Robin’s successes.

LinkedIn Robin Rohn Coursen, LLC.

Debon Lewis, Consultant

Debon Lewis is the founder and CEO of Transformative Growth Partners, an educational consulting firm.  He is an educational leader and social entrepreneur.  He has over twelve years’ experience in managing projects, training, and teaching students and educators.  He has been an award winning Middle School Teacher, Academic Dean, Founding and Turnaround Principal, Principal in Residence as well as a Leadership Fellow.  In each position, Debon has led diverse groups of educators to achieve transformative results, grow their practices, while maintaining a focus on increasing student outcomes.  He has organized academic programs as well as managed and coordinated the budgets for these programs.  One budget he helped manage had a total operating expenditure of over $3,800,000.  He has designed courses that emphasized critical thinking skills; created school-wide programs to support black male achievement; established "fair but firm" discipline structures; and created programs that trained students in life skills.  

Debon successfully led Bridgeport Academy to the highest performance gains for black and Hispanic students in Connecticut (2008) and orchestrated the turnaround of KIPP AMP Academy from serious need of improvement to an "A" rated NYCDOE rating within 2 years.  He has trained middle school teachers on an engagement-based teaching approach, and provided foundational strategies for strengthening student relationships and overall learning process.  

Debon's work includes facilitating workshops on diversity, race, and privilege in America, and has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of youth initiatives particularly black male achievement programs. 

Debon holds a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from National Louis University; completed coursework in instructional, organizational, and operational leadership in the KIPP School Leadership Program at Stanford University; holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Africana Studies (Cum Laude) from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has also completed a general course in government and seminar in political theory, comparative political development & democratization at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  A native of Jamaica, WI, Debon developed his will to achieve and experienced educational among inequity first hand while growing up in Brownville and East New York communities of Brooklyn, New York.  Debon remains driven by his passion to help others achieve transformative outcomes and lead successful, happy, and self-sufficient lives.  

Leslie Codianne- Consultant

Leslie is an independent educational consultant who brings over 40 years of school leadership experience to her work.  

Ms. Codianne has vast experience in pre-k through post secondary education, including experience as a superintendent , associate superintendent for special education and student support services, high school assistant principal and classroom teacher.  Following undergraduate work at the University of Connecticut, she received her Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut University and a Master's Degree in Special Education/Generic Consulting (Inclusion Specialization) from Framingham State University in Massachusetts.  

Currently, Ms Codianne is an Educational Field Supervisor for student teachers at Santa Clara University.  Prior to Ms. Codianne retirement, she served as superintendent for Monterey Penninsula Unified School District.  During this time, Ms. Codianne developed and implemented a Leadership Academy for 25 Elementary and Secondary school administrators and districts educational service staff.  The Leadership Academy met on a monthly basis and administrators participated in specially designed professional development training.  Training topics focused on knowledge and implementation of: Common Core, and budget development for local California. 

Craig Hardimon- Consultant

Craig brings over 35 years of educational leadership experience, fostering inclusive school cultures and cultivating respectful community relationships.  During his career, Craig has served as a special educator, an assistant principal, a principal, and a human resources director supporting students, educators, and families in both urban and suburban settings.  As an educational leader, Craig has developed professional development opportunities that have advanced professional learning among administrators, teachers, and service providers, improving their professional knowledge, competency, skills and effectiveness.


Recognizing that unresolved issues can impede progress and mutual understanding, Craig has helped organizations facilitate a wide range of difficult conversations, recognizing that communication, valuing individual contributions, and developing and maintaining respect for each stakeholder drives positive resolutions and outcomes.


Craig holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Art from Ripon College, a Master’s Degree in Education (Special Education: Severe and Profound) from Howard University, a Master’s Degree in Education (Special Education: Moderate) from the University of Massachusetts: Amherst, Administrative licensure from Lesley University, and formally trained as a mediator through Mediation Works, Inc.

Lynne Celli - Consultant

Dr. Lynne M. Celli has devoted her career to education at all levels spanning more than 30 years. She earned her Ph.D. from Boston College in Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration, an M.Ed. from Boston College in Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration, and a BA from Clark University in Sociology/Education. She has been a teacher, professor, principal, superintendent of schools, and chair of a graduate program. Dr. Celli currently is the Associate Dean of Graduate Education Programs at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Her primary research interests are connected to the intersection between high quality teaching strategies and student learning styles. Dr. Celli has authored a variety of books and articles. Focus includes learning styles, building bridges from PreK-PhD, and the 21stcentury professoriate. She presents regularly at international and national conferences.

Sharon D. Stewart - Consultant

With nearly four decades of experience in education, most recently as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services for the three school districts of Boxford, Middleton, and Topsfield Public Schools in MA, Sharon developed and honed her leadership skills and enjoyed a long and gratifying career.  Sharon worked across a spectrum of special education programs and settings and is one of those rare professionals who successfully navigated the multitude of inherent and unusual challenges associated with established and leading school communities through the changes necessary to provide successful special education programs for thousands of students over the span of her career.   

Sharon is highly regarded for a leadership style that is innovative, direct, collaborative and strategic.  She is quickly able to identify the strengths of others and is able to develop and motivate educators to perform at the highest levels.  She has trained and shaped the skills of countless teachers, and has provided counsel to many educators which has propelled them to achieve their career goals.  Sharon is widely respected as a leader in the field of special education and has mentored, both formally and informally, many educational managers who are now true leaders within their own districts.  Through her inspirational leadership, she both challenges and empowers educators in their growth and development.

Sharon earned her Bachelors of Science degree at Boston College and her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at the then Lesley College, now Lesley University, in Cambridge, MA.  She began her career in special education in the early years of the field in MA and has been a leader in forging the changes needed over her nearly four-decade long career, to ensure those students for whom learning is not an easy path, had true access to a high quality education.  Selected highlights of her work as an education leader include establishing, teaching in and running new educational programs and schools for various disability populations through the Shore Educational Collaborative, based in Chelsea, MA, continually increasing areas of responsibility and scope of expertise until she was in charge of all their special education programs. 

Robert Richardson - Consultant

Rob Richardson is a senior strategist, educator and business leader with a career as the head of major non-profit, philanthropic, and educational programs and organizations.

Most recently, he is working with OECD to prepare Hungarian higher education regents to develop strategic partnerships with business.  Previous college experience includes designing the Title IX Compliance Report for Bunker Hill Community College and acting as Co-principal Investigator at Quinsigamond Community College to build a minority student pipeline for Advanced Manufacturing in the state. He has played consulting and leadership roles at Achieve, Inc., the Committee for Economic Development and Change the Equation, and each national non-profit organization launched and supported by CEOs to propel state and local education improvement.

From 2001-2011, Rob served as the East Coast Education Manager for Intel Corporation.  He provided strategic direction to Intel’s investments in K-12 schools and higher education to help improve programs in math, science, and engineering, particularly for women and under-represented minorities.  Previously, Rob was the founder and president of the French River Education Center for nine years providing professional development for teachers in 10 school districts.

Selected Achievements:

  • Consulted with local and state education leadership teams to develop new strategic plans, anchor principal evaluation processes on a rubric of best practices, and build communication and accountability systems. 

  • Raised the standard for science and math programs on the foundation of private and public partnerships by developing programs that have achieved success and renown. More than 2 million students in 50 states have completed one program and another became the official standard of the state Department of Education in 7 states.

  • Guided business leaders in making $750 million in annual strategic donations to STEM-related philanthropy by co-authoring a rubric tool and coordinating training efforts.

  • Achieved recognition from the White House by leading 24 companies in a year-long initiative to grow 5 K-12 programs, effectively reaching 134 new sites and over 40,000 students nationwide.

Rob received a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Valerie Spriggs - Consultant

Valerie Spriggs brings over 30 years of school leadership experience to her work as an educational consultant.  Beginning her career as an elementary teacher, she has served as assistant principal, principal, executive director of professional development, and superintendent of schools.  Her most recent leadership role was Superintendent of Schools for the Dover Sherborn Public Schools (2008-2013).  While Superintendent, Dover Sherborn Public Schools was ranked #1 nationally by Newsweek. 

Other roles that Valerie has held include being a member of the Cambridge Administrative Design team for Controlled Choice Policy, based on SES, facilitated the implementation of dual immersion Spanish English school, Amigos School and co-Administered Project SEAS, a highly acclaimed program at the Florida Institute of Oceanography.  She received her Masters of Education, Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction focus on Bilingual Education from the University of South Florida.

Patricia Aubin - Consultant

Patricia A. Aubin has enjoyed a long and rewarding 37 year career in education.  She worked as a teacher of English and served as the Director of English Language Arts for the Watertown Schools for 21 years  She was the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Belmont Public Schools for 15 years and retired from the Belmont Public Schools as Superintendent in 2009.

As an Assistant Superintendent in Belmont, MA Patricia lead over 25 administrative searches for new leaders.

Dr. Aubin has been a speaker at meetings of professional organizations, consulted with a book publisher, worked on and chaired program evaluations for schools of education for the Department of Education and was an adjunct professor at Boston College.

Since retirement Dr. Aubin has consulted on program evaluations and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Jackson Walnut Park Consortium.  She looks forward to other opportunities that allow her to make a contribution to the profession.

Dr. Aubin earned her doctorate at Boston University, her Master of Arts in English and a Certificate of Advanced Graduated Studies in Reading from Boston College, and her Bachelor Arts in English at Salve Regina College. 

Luis Cruz- Consultant

Dr. Luis F. Cruz has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and has achieved notable recognition as a leader who vehemently strives to ensure organizations realize that all students can and must be successful in schools.  A recipient of the Hispanic Border Leadership Institute’s fellowship for Doctoral Studies (a fellowship focused on funding doctoral studies for those identified as leaders in the Latino community), Dr. Cruz graduated from the University of California at Riverside with a Ph.D in Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies in 2009.  In addition to earning his Doctoral Degree from the University of California at Riverside, Dr. Cruz earned a Masters Degree in Education from Claremont Graduate University.  

Dr. Luis F. Cruz has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and has achieved notable recognition as a leader who vehemently strives to ensure organizations realize that all students can and must be successful in schools.  Dr. Cruz has been the recipient of awards such as the new teacher of the year, teacher of the year, administrator of the year and various other community leadership acknowledgements. In 2007, Dr. Cruz led a collective effort to secure a grant of $250,000 for Baldwin Park High School from the California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP) for the purpose of effectively utilizing “Courageous Leadership” in an effort to promote a more equitable and effective organization.

Dr. Cruz is currently the founder and president of Cruz and Associates Consulting, a growing consortium of successful educators and leaders who are dedicated to teaching educators in schools and districts around the country how to best ensure all students learn. He has also gained notoriety as a passionate and motivating public speaker, trainer and educational consultant in the United States.  His combination of enthusiasm, humor, practical application and sincere zest for student achievement has catapulted him to become one of the most sought after “rising stars” in the profession. 

Peter Holland - Consultant

Peter B. Holland brings over 35 years of school leadership experience to his work as an educational consultant.   Beginning his career as a high school science teacher in Maryland, he has served as a department chair, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. His most recent leadership role was Superintendent of the Belmont Public Schools (1988-2008) that resulted in the high school library being named in his honor.

Other roles that Peter has held include Coach in the New Superintendent Induction Program; Regional Assistance Director for the Central Massachusetts District and School Assistance Center (DSAC) as part of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Schools that supports Level 3 and 4 schools and districts; instructor of graduate courses at Boston College and Emmanuel College; and research associate at Harvard working with Ted Sizer and Tony Bryk.

He holds a doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University, an MS in Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a BA in physics from Catholic University.

Peter has a particular interest in leadership issues, building collaborative teams, strategic planning, and increasing superintendent/school committee effectiveness.

James Polzin, Consultant

Dr James Polzin has spent 45 years in education as a teacher, administrator and consultant serving at both K-12 and university levels. He retired (2005) from Hinsdale High School District 86 where he was Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources after serving as administrator, 28 years, and teacher,7 years, in three Illinois public school districts. Each of the districts in which Dr Polzin served was distinctly different in student population and community SES. As a recognized leader in administration Dr Polzin has taught over 60 Administrator Academies for the Illinois State Board of Education and was elected as Illinois’ first Assistant Principal of the Year and also chaired NASSP's National Committee on the Assistant Principalship.

At the university level, he has designed and taught undergraduate through doctoral level courses in leadership, administration, supervision and instruction for over 25 years for 5 universities, the most recent being Effective Leadership for Johns Hopkins University.  As visiting instructor at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, he created and led their Chicago Area Student Teaching Cohort for 13 years.  As a founding partner in Mid-America Recruiting Services (MARS) he has also provided ongoing consulting services to the educational placement offices of 12 Midwestern universities and consulted in school superintendent searches.

Dr Polzin has consult with over 50 Chicago area school districts and 25 national school districts through his creation of Polzin Consulting and Development LLC, Mid-America Recruiting Services, Learn Tech Solutions LLC, and his association with Silver, Strong & Associates and Pearson Publication.

Dr Polzin earned his doctorate at Northern Illinois University 1990 with his dissertation: Empowering Patterns within Secondary School Administrative Configurations. He also holds a CAS in Curriculum and Supervision from Northern Illinois University, a Masters of Education in Secondary Education: Social Studies from DePaul University, Chicago.  His Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with Honors is from Eastern Illinois University.

William Garr - Consultant

William Garr CHE has been a visionary leader and consultant combining strong financial skills with knowledgeable strategic program and leadership development. He is a creative problem solver who has an ability to build consensus with disparate groups both as a CEO, and as a management consultant. His background blends a unique mixture of health care, housing, disabilities, education, substance abuse and mental health experiences into a leadership approach that emphasizes vision with accountability, strong infrastructure, team building, and improved communications among staff, clients and the community. He has consulted to over 100 private non-profit and public entities in 14 states in organizational and leadership development and transition, strategic planning, Board development and establishing innovative affiliations.In addition to serving as the Special Education Administrator in Marlboro and North Andover and an executive director of the SNEC Educational Collaborative, Mr. Garr has also served as V.P. for Behavioral Health at Dimock Community Health Center, managed a consulting division of a major regional accounting firm, and was the CEO for Metrowest Mental Health, a subsidiary of MetroWest Medical Center. Most recently, he completed a major turnaround as the President/Chief Executive Officer of Newton Community Service Center, the premier child, youth and family agency in the Newton and Waltham Area. Bill has a Masters from Tufts University, and Advanced Certificate in Training Adult Learners from B.U. Bill is a Board Certified Healthcare Executive with the American College of Health Care Executives.

Bill’s accomplishments include:

  • Led strategic financial and program turnarounds and leadership transitions as both an Interim CEO and Interim CFO to over 30 human service, arts and health care organizations;

  • Facilitated dynamic strategic plans for dozens of education and human service organization.

    • Completed a merger with the largest multicultural mental health center in Boston.

  • Created data driven systems to support innovative mental health and substance abuse programs in a large Health Care Center increasing revenues by 30% with a level of quality praised by JCAHO.

  • Principal and consultant for a start up human services I/T company, Managed Support Systems, installing client management systems around the country.

  • Completed over 30 presentations nationwide for audiences as large as 700 attendees

  • Completed a major assessment of the premier Latino agency in Boston for the United Way of Mass Bay

  • Developed two major provider networks in Missouri

  • Facilitated 7 mergers for non-profit organizations in various parts of the country

  • Worked with a local venture capital company in developing a unique business plan for a start-up human service agency;

  • Developed new billing system for large mental health center

  • Facilitated strategic plans for dozens of non-profits ranging in size from $500,000 to 45 million dollars.

  • Significantly expanded the operations of Align to Achieve, a national company providing network supports to text book publishers for the inclusion of State educational frameworks.

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