Leadership Team

ACCEL Schools is led by a visionary team with a proven track record of driving educational innovation on a large scale and across socio-economic and geographic lines.

Ron Packard Ron Packard Chief Executive Officer

Ron Packard is the CEO and Founder of Pansophic Learning, a global technology based education company. Packard is a well known educator, entrepreneur and visionary as well as the author of the highly regarded and (...)

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Maria Szalay Chief Operating Officer

Maria Szalay brings over 20 years of strategy, operations, and development capability to her role. She has held key positions at a variety of educational and consulting organizations. Maria Szalay, Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer, (...)

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Eric Waller Chief Technology Officer

An experienced CTO and CIO with extensive background in management, architecture, software engineering, information technology, and systems engineering developing commercial products, business applications, scientific applications, and data center operations. Drives product and technology vision delivering (...)

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  • Ron Packard
    Ron Packard Chief Executive Officer

    Ron Packard is the CEO and Founder of Pansophic Learning, a global technology based education company. Packard is a well known educator, entrepreneur and visionary as well as the author of the highly regarded and reviewed book Education Transformation. Packard was previously the long time CEO and Founder of K12 Inc. He oversaw the growth of K12 from just an idea to almost one billion in revenue, making it one of the largest education companies in the world. During his tenure, revenue compounded at near 80%. Before K12, Packard was the Vice President of Knowledge Universe and CEO of Knowledge Schools, one of the nation’s largest early childhood education companies. He was also instrumental in the successful investments in Learn Now, Children's School USA, Leapfrog, TEC, and Children's Discovery Center. Packard also worked for McKinsey & Company and for Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitions. Packard has received the Education Industry Association's James P. Boyle Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, as well as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the IT Services & Solutions category in Greater Washington. The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business named him a Distinguished Alumni, and he also received an Outstanding Leadership Award from the United States Distance Learning Association. He sits on the Digital Learning Council. Packard previously served on the Department of Defense's Education Advisory Committee. Packard has been featured on nationwide radio and television shows and magazines, including Bloomberg TV, Forbes, and the Washington Post to name a few. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, both with honors. ACCEL: A pioneer in education, Ron Packard is an educator, entrepreneur, and visionary, as well as the author of the highly regarded book, “Education Transformation.”

  • Maria Szalay Chief Operating Officer

    Maria Szalay brings over 20 years of strategy, operations, and development capability to her role. She has held key positions at a variety of educational and consulting organizations. Maria Szalay, Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer, brings over 20 years of strategy, operations and development capability to Pansophic Learning. Ms. Szalay joined K¹² in 2000 and was instrumental in growing K1 2 from a pre-revenue startup to a $900 million public company. In this time, she served in a variety of roles including product management, product development, operations, strategy, and corporate development. Prior to joining K¹², Ms. Szalay served as practice director at Operon Partners, an e-business consulting firm. At Operon Partners, Ms. Szalay led consulting teams assisting clients with turnkey eBusiness strategy, product management and business transformation consulting services. She worked directly in client organizations developing business plans to obtain funding, and also assisted with the implementation of online initiatives, with specialized expertise in integrating these solutions with their brick-and-mortar business. Prior to joining Operon Partners, she worked at Telecom New Zealand rolling out the company's Online Solutions business, where she was instrumental not only in developing the online strategy and implementation plan for Telecom Broadband, but also in executing to the implementation plan. Prior to that, Ms. Szalay worked for eight years as a management consultant at KPMG, assisting clients with systems implementations, product marketing and placement initiatives, including new product and service launches. Ms. Szalay started her career at Shearson Lehman. She holds a BS/BA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an MBA from American University.

  • Eric Waller Chief Technology Officer

    An experienced CTO and CIO with extensive background in management, architecture, software engineering, information technology, and systems engineering developing commercial products, business applications, scientific applications, and data center operations. Drives product and technology vision delivering rich user experiences through scalable architectures for commercial enterprise and consumer products.

Brandon Krueger Chief Marketing Officer

Brandon brings over 12 years of education industry marketing experience to Pansophic Learning. Previously, Brandon had been the Chief Marketing Officer at Delta Career Education Corporation for over 3 years and the Senior Vice President (...)

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Allison Cleveland Allison Cleveland EVP, Online Schools

Alison is an accomplished senior executive with over fifteen years of experience in the education industry. Deep operational and academic expertise in running public and private schools at scale. Experience spans operations, academics, marketing, human (...)

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Steve Goetzinger Controller & SVP, Finance

Steve Goetzinger, Senior Vice President, Finance & Controller, Finance & Accounting, has a broad experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management. Steve is a hands-on manager with expertise in small to mid-size high-growth (...)

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  • Brandon Krueger Chief Marketing Officer

    Brandon brings over 12 years of education industry marketing experience to Pansophic Learning. Previously, Brandon had been the Chief Marketing Officer at Delta Career Education Corporation for over 3 years and the Senior Vice President of Marketing at K12 Inc. for over 9 years. Prior to joining K12, he held various operational roles at America Online, American Express and Arthur Andersen LLP. Brandon began his career as a Certified Public Accountant. Brandon holds a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics with Concentrations in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Allison Cleveland
    Allison Cleveland EVP, Online Schools

    Alison is an accomplished senior executive with over fifteen years of experience in the education industry. Deep operational and academic expertise in running public and private schools at scale. Experience spans operations, academics, marketing, human resources, compliance, and business development in complex regulatory environments. Committed to expanding educational opportunities for students across the globe by innovating, replicating, and scaling proven solutions to increase access to high quality academic programs. Able to lead large teams through complex change management processes by using effective communication and consensus building skills.

  • Steve Goetzinger Controller & SVP, Finance

    Steve Goetzinger, Senior Vice President, Finance & Controller, Finance & Accounting, has a broad experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management. Steve is a hands-on manager with expertise in small to mid-size high-growth companies. He has vast experience in education, software technology, service and manufacturing industries. Steve’s specialties are Financial and SEC reporting, GAAP accounting, IPO, mergers and acquisitions, financial analysis, technical research, accounting software implementation, taxation, risk management and equity administration.

Chris Ryan General Counsel & SVP, Corporate Development

Chris Ryan, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, brings over 25 years of public, private and government legal experience to Pansophic Learning. Mr. Ryan previously served for 10 years as Senior Vice (...)

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Emily Schmidt SVP, Operations

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Dr. Natalee Long SVP, ACCEL Schools Operations

Dr. Natalee Long joined ACCEL Schools in 2015 with over 15 years of classroom teaching and K-12 school leadership experience. As Senior Vice President of Operations at ACCEL Schools, Ms. Long leads a team of (...)

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  • Chris Ryan General Counsel & SVP, Corporate Development

    Chris Ryan, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, brings over 25 years of public, private and government legal experience to Pansophic Learning. Mr. Ryan previously served for 10 years as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of K12 Inc. where he managed critical legal initiatives and M&A transactions during company’s growth through IPO to $900M in revenue. Prior to K12, Mr. Ryan served as General Counsel of Everest Software, Inc., a business management software company, as Deputy General Counsel at CareerBuilder, Inc., one of the largest online recruiting companies in the country, as Assistant General Counsel at Best Software, Inc., a leading accounting and human resources software company, and as a Branch Chief at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2008, he received the prestigious “In-House Counsel of the Year” award by the Association of Corporate Counsel – National Capital Region. Mr. Ryan earned a JD from American University, an MBA in Information Systems and Marketing from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BA in Political Science from Wake Forest University.

  • Emily Schmidt SVP, Operations

  • Dr. Natalee Long SVP, ACCEL Schools Operations

    Dr. Natalee Long joined ACCEL Schools in 2015 with over 15 years of classroom teaching and K-12 school leadership experience. As Senior Vice President of Operations at ACCEL Schools, Ms. Long leads a team of Regional Vice Presidents that oversees leadership development, instructional programming, operations, and strategic planning for over 45 public charter schools. Ms. Long is a licensed Ohio School Superintendent. She earned a M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lee University, a M.Ed. in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University and will complete a Doctorate in Education in 2020 from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Chad Carr EVP, ACCEL Schools Academic Improvement

Dr. Chad Carr is the creator of the Blitz™ Academic Model and oversees academics at over 40 public charter schools in Ohio. Under his leadership the past five years, schools have seen an average growth (...)

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Sue Furick VP, Academics

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Michael Smith VP, Financial Planning & Analysis

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  • Dr. Chad Carr EVP, ACCEL Schools Academic Improvement

    Dr. Chad Carr is the creator of the Blitz™ Academic Model and oversees academics at over 40 public charter schools in Ohio. Under his leadership the past five years, schools have seen an average growth of 15 Performance Index points. Dr. Carr joined ACCEL Schools in 2015 with over 20 years of experience as a K-12 educator, coach, principal, and superintendent of schools in Ohio and Kentucky. Prior to joining ACCEL Schools, Dr. Carr served as Executive Vice President of Mosaica Education, where he turned-around failing charter schools in Ohio. His turnaround achievements include Columbus Preparatory Academy which became the top-performing school in the state of Ohio under his principalship from 2011 to 2018. Dr. Carr holds a Ph.D. in Education from Morehead State University and three Master’s degrees in Education, Curriculum & Instruction, and Administration from the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University.

  • Sue Furick VP, Academics

  • Michael Smith VP, Financial Planning & Analysis

Rasha Shammout VP Accounting

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  • Rasha Shammout VP Accounting