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New Leadership Tandem Named for CAST

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

CAST’s Board of Directors today named Lisa Poller and Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann as Co-Presidents of the nonprofit education research organization as it enters its 30th year. The appointment follows a national search of external and internal candidates. Both candidates have a long record of success at CAST.

“Of the dozens of candidates we considered, Lisa and Gabbie were unanimously selected by the Board as having the best experience as well as a deep understanding of CAST’s mission and collaborative work culture,” says Board Chair Stephen P. Crosby. “We expect them to provide exceptional leadership as CAST continues to seek solutions to education’s biggest challenges.”

“The Board has shown great wisdom in selecting Gabbie and Lisa to lead CAST in the coming years,” says David H. Rose, one of CAST’s founders. “Their combined years of experience will help CAST continue to extend the boundaries of educational design for the benefit of all learners.”

“With these capable Co-Presidents, CAST is in good hands,” says Ada Sullivan, who has served as CAST’s President since January 2005. (Sullivan will remain with CAST to head up a new unit focused on developing products and services that support UDL implementation.) “I have great confidence that Lisa and Gabbie together will find new and creative strategies to keep CAST at the forefront of education research and development.”

Poller, who joined the organization in 1997 as Associate Director of Development, has played a key leadership role in growing CAST from a small and primarily local organization to a recognized leader in education innovation with substantial federal, state, and national foundation support.

Dr. Rappolt-Schlichtmann, who began as a writing and research consultant in 1999, became a CAST Research Scientist in 2007 and Director of Research in 2011. She holds a doctorate from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she also teaches, and leads a number of federally sponsored research projects. She is a leading authority on universal design for learning (UDL), a framework for developing educational goals, assessments, methods, and materials that optimize opportunities to learn for all individuals.

The change follows a decade of growth for CAST under Sullivan’s leadership during which the organization has established a solid financial footing while also expanding its staff and programs.

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