About Us

Michael Glover

Founder and Managing Director
Michael started his career in 1978 working in the educational community providing financial services to educators. After moving to Dallas in 1980, he quickly attained regional, divisional and national sales leadership positions. In 1990, Michael branched to educational technology working with curriculum, assessment and data management companies in leadership capacities.

School Technology & Educational Program Services, LLC was formed in 2000 as an educational consulting firm to better assist companies in their strategic sales and marketing efforts. Additionally, he works closely with many superintendent and school board associations around the country as a liaison for their corporate partner programs.

Michael studied at Tennessee Technological University where he was collegiate baseball All–American and currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Eric Reeves

Founder and Managing Director
Eric spent ten years in the North Carolina State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s technology committee, served as chair of Human Services Appropriations and on the Education Oversight Committee. Prior to the Senate, Eric served on the Raleigh City Council for two terms and has spent most of his professional life focused on public policy issues.

In addition to public policy, Eric served as the General Counsel and Director of Public Affairs for SchoolDude.com, the nations largest provider of online facility management software tools for schools.

Eric’s interest in SchoolDude is directly related to school infrastructure needs and learning environment issues. Eric also advises and consults with government oriented technology companies and nonprofit organizations on issues ranging from criminal justice, curriculum, assessment, student management, and, health and human services.

Eric received his undergraduate degrees from Duke University and his law degree from Wake Forest University. As a 2002 Eisenhower Fellow, Eric studied EU internet economy competition strategies.

Rene V. Martinez

Rene Martinez was born and raised in Dallas, Texas being first generation Mexican American. He was educated in the Dallas Public Schools and attended Southern Methodist University receiving his B.A. in Latin American Studies, Spanish, and History. He did post-graduate work at SMU in Public Administration and received his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M at Commerce.

Martinez has been involved in public education, both as a community advocate and educator for the past 43 years. He was one of the original Tri-Ethnic Committee Chairs, appointed by U.S. District Judge William M. Taylor, to help monitor the School Desegregation Court Order in 1971. He later was the Co-Chair of the Dallas Alliance Task Force that developed the 1976 School Desegregation Court Order for the Court and Dallas Independent School District.

As Education Director for the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, he was instrumental in developing and implementing the White House recognized Adopt-a-School Program and Leadership Dallas. He also coordinated the implementation of the Magnet School Program, creating Townview and the Arts Magnet at Booker T. Washington at Dallas ISD.

He has been an administrator, manager, college instructor, and entrepreneur. He has served on over 50 boards and commissions including MALDEF, Tejano Democrats, the United Way of Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Concilio. He was also appointed by various mayors to serve as the Vice Chairman of the City of Dallas Planning and Zoning Commission and Vice President of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Board. In 2006, he was appointed by LULAC to serve as a delegate representing the DFW area on the Instituto de Mexicanos del Exterior, (Institute of Mexicans Abroad), an initiative of the Mexican Government.

Martinez is currently an adjunct professor at the Dallas County Community College District teaching undergraduate courses in Human Development, English as a Second Language, and a Teacher Assistant Program for aspiring teacher aides. He has taught at SMU and TAMUC both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, enabling students to better understand the changing demographics and learning how to engage parents and the community in public education.

Dr. Joe A. Hairston

A visionary and progressive leader, Dr. Joe A. Hairston has served since 2000 as Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, the nation’s 26th largest school system. In his first year, Dr. Hairston Charted a direction for the school system through the Blueprint for Progress, which presents key strategies and concrete performance indicators. Dr. Hairston’s results-based leadership has yielded a growing list of achievements including increased academic rigor for all students, greater student participation and success in Advanced Placement, and greater accountability and resource conservation. He is renowned for his use of technology to support classroom instruction, prepare students for new career opportunities, and increase the efficiency of school system operations.

Under Dr. Hairston’s leadership, Baltimore County Public Schools has been recognized by Education Week for having the fourth highest overall graduation rate among the nation’s largest school districts and by the Schott Foundation for having the third highest graduation rte for African American males among large school districts. The Washington Post has named 13 BCPS high schools – more than half of the county’s traditional and magnet high schools – among the top seven precent in the nation. Twelve BCPS schools have been named National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools.

Dr. Hairston’s latest achievement is the formation of a groundbreaking partnership of major defense contractors and area universities and software developers to explore new ways to use virtual environments and other technology in classrooms. The group’s first project, a virtual learning environment in a Baltimore County high school has received praise from National Public Radio, eSchool News, CNBC, and the International Society for Technology in Education.

For his achievements, Dr. Hairston has been honored with dozens of local, national, and international awards, including the 2006 Graduate Alumni Achievement Award from the Virginia Tech Graduate School and Alumni Association. Additional recognitions have included: International Society for Technology in Education Outstanding Leadership Award; eSchool News Top 10 Tech-Savvy Superintendents Award; Education Technology Think Tank Technology to Empower Community Champion Leadership Award; Maryland Instructional Computer Coordinators Association Outstanding Technology Leader in Education Award, and Washington Post Outstanding Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

Dr. Lizzy Asbury

Dr. Lizzy Asbury has served students in Texas public education since 1996. She began her career as a middle school History teacher in Denton, Texas. Dr. Asbury has served in multiple roles throughout her professional walk as an educator. During her time as a teacher, she also coached High School swimming and taught multiple History subjects at that level. She has worked in rural, suburban, and urban districts mostly in the DFW Metroplex. Her central office roles vary from Executive Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning to Division Director of Secondary Schools. Dr. Asbury was also a Director of Human Resources for Secondary Schools and Central Administration which rounded out her goal of serving in multiple seats at the central office level. Her final stop before TransCend4 was Director of Administrative Services at the Region 10 Education Service Center in the Dallas area. The team that she led was responsible for over 145 ISD’s, charters, and private school administrators. Primarily, Dr. Asbury was a link between the school superintendents and the service center to provide support for any and all district initiatives dealing with leadership.
The various positions and years of experience at the campus and district level have only prepared Dr. Asbury for this journey as CEO.
Lizzy earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas. She also earned her Masters in Educational Administration from UNT and her Bachelors of Arts in History from Texas Tech University. Dr. Asbury has presented at various state and national conferences during her career to promote sound educational transformation. She is also involved in research with two other colleagues who share her passion for investigating techniques and solutions to help students learn at a higher level.

Dr. Gabe Soumakian

Dr. Gabe Soumakian earned his doctorate at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Educational Leadership focusing on technology staff development and change leadership. He has taught at the doctoral level at APU on organizational change and building communities, as well as, courses for teacher and administrator preparation for using instructional technology. He has been actively involved and presented at numerous leadership organizations, including ACSA, AASA, CSBA, CALSA, Partnership for the 21st Century, TICAL on topics of Personnel, 21stCentury Learning, eLearning Summit, Personalized Learning Summit, and Linked Learning Convening.

Most recently, Dr. Soumakian serves on the CoSN Superintendent’s Advisory Council, Future Ready Leaders Panel of Visionary Educators in August, and EdSurge CDE “Tech for Schools” Summit in August. Dr. Soumakian was recognized as one of ten Superintendent who was accepted as a Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) Fellow in conjunction with EdElements. Dr. Soumakian was a feature speaker on High School Redesign at the Model School Conference this summer in Atlanta.

Dr. Soumakian has over thirty-eight years of experience in education, including 14 years of service at Loyola and St. John Bosco as a high school teacher and a coach. His public education experience has been primarily serving as a High School Principal and as an Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in Burbank USD prior to serving as Superintendent in the Oxnard Union High School District.

Dr. John E. Sawyer

Experience
• Superintendent of HCDE 2002-2014
• Superintendent of La Porte ISD 1994-2002
• Assistant superintendent for business and finance in Fort Worth ISD
• Assistant superintendent for business in Alvin ISD
• Principal and business manager at Santa Fe ISD
• Classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal
Achievements
• Member of many professional organizations (i.e., TASBO, TASA, ASCD, AASA, etc.)
• Member of the La Porte-Bayshore Chamber of Commerce
• Former adjunct professor for the University of Houston, School of Education
• Formerly on the Board of Directors for the La Porte Chamber of Commerce, and the
Board for Boys and Girls Harbor
• Former member of the La Porte Rotary Club
Honors
• Oberholtzer Award — University of Houston, 1987
• National Superintendent’s Workshop, Columbia University, 1994
• Texas Superintendent’s Academy, Lamar University, 1997

Dr. Wayne Blanton

Dr. Wayne Blanton was the Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association, a position he held since 1985. Prior to that, Dr. Blanton served as Assistant Director for 10 years. During his 40 years of representing school boards, he has worked closely with local, state, and federal education officials and legislators to promote public education throughout the state of Florida.

Dr. Blanton has written extensively on education issues and finance for numerous publications, and has been a vocal supporter of our schools, having given hundreds of presentations before school boards, PTA groups, legislative committees, and business groups. He is an active member of his community having served as local and state president of the Florida Association for Retarded Citizens, United Cerebral Palsy of Florida, and President of the FSU College of Education Alumni Association. He is a veteran of Vietnam and the proud father of two children who attended public schools and Florida State University.

He received his Ph.D. from Florida State University, his Masters Degree from Florida A & M University, and his undergraduate degree from Florida State University. He has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Florida State University College of Education, and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Flagler College.

Betty Burks

Betty has more than 30 years of experience in public education. She has served as a teacher, principal, and administrator in large urban, suburban and rural districts throughout Texas. Betty’s last position in a Texas public school system was Deputy Superintendent for teaching and learning in San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). Before joining SAISD, Betty served as Associate Executive Director of Instructional Support and Leadership Development for the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). She is an independent specializing in leadership development and strategic planning for results-oriented organizations.
With a wide range of experience in curriculum, instruction and professional learning at all levels, Betty has shared her knowledge through presentations at national and state conferences. Well known for her expertise in leadership development of campus and district administrators, she was awarded the 2011 Excellence in Educational Leadership by the University Council for Educational Administration.

Dr. Don Tylinski

Dr. Donald Tylinski brings with him over 35 years of experience in education. Dr. Tylinski served as Superintendent of Schools for the Seneca Valley School District in Pittsburgh, PA. Under his leadership, the district was recognized for drastically improving it’s ranking for academic achievement in all of Western Pennsylvania. Additionally, Dr. Tylinski led two other school districts to many accolades including recognition as being National Blue Ribbon Schools and top 100 schools in the nation.

During his tenures, Dr. Tylinski has been the recipient of numerous awards with most notable being Superintendent of the Year for Innovation in Instruction and Use of Technology and Superintendent of the Year for Instructional Leadership. Dr. Tylinski holds a Doctorate in Education as well as certifications in Guidance, Secondary and Elementary administration. He also earned a BS in General Science and Elementary Education.

Sheri Sides

Sheri Sides applies 30 years of educational experience to her work as a trainer and consultant. Her experience assists districts and organizations throughout the country in developing leaders, improving climate, and long-rang planning.

Sheri retired from public education in 2009 where she served as teacher, counselor, director, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and superintendent. Her last position before retirement was as Deputy Superintendent at Allen ISD.

In addition to working with High STEPS, LLC, Sheri facilitates strategic planning, leadership training, and teacher selection.

Dr. Jenny Preston

Dr. Jenny Preston has served Texas school districts for the past 30+ years as teacher, principal, central office administrator, with the last 11 years of her career as superintendent of schools.

Upon retirement from public education in 2006, she has been involved in several endeavors benefitting school districts. She works with school boards as a superintendent search consultant, facilitates strategic planning, leadership training, and school board training throughout the state.

Dr. Preston received her undergraduate degree and two master degrees from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. She earned her doctorate from University of North Texas in 2003 and has taught classes for the university in educational administration.

Dr. Bob Watkins

Bob Watkins is the Director of the Kansas/Missouri Superintendents Leadership Forum which is a professional development program for approximately 90 Superintendents from the two states. Since retiring as Superintendent from the Independence, MO school district he has conducted over one hundred Superintendent searches from Missouri School Districts. He spent thirty-four years in public education as a Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent searches for Missouri School Districts. He spent thirty-four years in public education as a Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, high school Principal and taught school finance for the University of Missouri-Kansas City for over ten years. He has also worked with Boards of Education as a facilitator and consultant.