The Innovation Zones are supported by an experienced team of facilitators who collaboratively work with participants to coordinate and support:
Agenda development and implementation of regularly scheduled statewide professional learning on CBL practices and system design considerations for all participants.
Agenda development and implementation for the SDZ’s regularly scheduled state-wide and regional meetings.
Production of meetings and communication of work progress (e.g. website, newsletters, e-mail).
Research that involves data collection, analysis and reporting to inform the design/build of reimagined assessment for learning and accreditation systems.
Application and selection process for cohort participants.
Facilitators also oversee the work of contracted consultants and help connect districts with resources within the SRSN as needed.
Mike Fulton brings a wealth of experience in developing thoughtful, sustainable change processes that support students in being life ready. From building and district level instructional improvement designs, to changes in state level policy and practice, his approach is to engage all stakeholder voices around creation of shared vision that leads to improved outcomes for every child. His pragmatic, field-based insights on strategic planning for student success and designing up competency-based approaches to learning are grounded in over 36 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, and consultant. These experiences include working to ensure students master priority standards in ways that lead to college, career, and workplace readiness, successful implementation of standards-based grading/reporting, and designing assessment for learning practices that empower students to take control of their learning.
Mike is a graduate of the Springfield, Missouri public schools and Southwest Missouri State University (B.S.Ed.). During high school and college he jointly created and operated a timber stand improvement business with his father and brothers. This and other life experiences, including having a special needs brother, helped shape an innovator's mindset combined with a deep commitment to public education. Mike has graduate degrees from Illinois State University (M.S.Ed.) and St. Louis University (Ed.D).
Mike taught in the Bloomington (IL) Public Schools and the School District of Clayton (MO). He then served as an administrator in the Pattonville (MO) School District for 23 years, working the last 11 years as Superintendent. That tenure was followed by three years of service as Superintendent of the Shawnee Mission (KS) School District. During his time in Pattonville, Mike helped lead numerous statewide initiatives, was Missouri’s Superintendent of the Year (2016), served on the Governing Board for the American Association of School Administrators, and served as president of the Missouri/Kansas Superintendent Forum.
He and his wife Katy, a retired actuary, have four children, all of whom are Pattonville H.S. graduates, and whose professional pursuits range from wealth management to computer science research, public health, and health care.
Dr. Pam Hedgpeth has a passion for education and has focused on training and supporting school leaders since her retirement from PK-12 public education. She loved her work as a twenty-eight-year public school educator and sees her current work as Executive Director of GOCSD a way to “give back” to a profession she loves.
She is a former superintendent of the Republic R-III Schools and prior to this position she held the titles of assistant superintendent, elementary principal and elementary teacher. Dr. Hedgpeth serves on staff at the National Center for Education and the Economy and engages in international research that focuses on a system approach for designing high performing education entities. Through this role she works with and supports school leaders across the nation in designing world class educational systems.
She was an integral part in developing the educational leadership doctorate program at Southwest Baptist University. She has served on several statewide committees for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She was also a former President of the Southwest Missouri Superintendent’s Association, founding member of the Republic Community Foundation, former member of Springfield’s Mayor’s Commission on Children, Greene County Library Foundation Board, Missouri Methodist Foundation Board and Ozark Empire Fair Foundation Board.
Pam lives in Clever, Missouri on a farm with her husband Kent (a coach and former teacher). They have two daughters Josey McPhail and Molly Eulinger, both who are Missouri educators.
Dr. Charles Pearson is an educational consultant, author and public speaker. His educational career spans 35 years of engagement in urban education. His experience includes 21-years as a classroom teacher and 14 years as an administrator. He has served as a Curriculum Coordinator, Principal, Assistant Superintendent, and retired as the Superintendent of Schools for the Normandy Schools Collaborative. Dr. Pearson's commitment to issues of educational equity led to his work with African American Academic Achievement during his career and became the focus of his dissertation--"Factors that Contribute to the Success of African American Academic Achievement Initiatives in the State of Missouri."
As Superintendent of Schools in the Normandy Schools Collaborative, Dr. Pearson led the district to become the first district in the state to transition to the “EleMiddle” Model, eliminating the middle school and converting all elementary schools to 1-8 schools.In 2008, Charles founded Innovative Education Solutions, LLC. IES offered specialized professional development in Instructional Leadership, Cultural Proficiency, Effective Communication Strategies, and Parental Engagement that supports "Learning-at-Home."
Charles is currently an Adjunct Professor at Maryville University in St. Louis.
Charles and his wife Betty (a former elementary teacher and reading specialist) live in St. Louis, MO. They have three adult children—Tonya, Christopher, and Adam-- and several amazing grandchildren.
Dr. Tucker is in his ninth year as Superintendent of the Liberty Public Schools in Liberty, Missouri. Under his leadership, the district embarked on a facility master planning process that resulted in the passage of a $49 million no-tax increase bond issue with 82% voter approval. In 2017 Liberty Public Schools was accepted into the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. League districts pioneer innovative learning and leadership practices that lead to improved outcomes for students and that help prepare them for learning for life. In addition, Dr. Tucker was identified as a “20 to Watch” educator for 2016-2017 by the National School Boards Association. In 2019, Dr. Tucker was named the 2019 Missouri Superintendent of the Year.
Prior to arriving in Liberty, Dr. Tucker served as Superintendent, High School Principal, Teacher, and Coach in the Logan-Rogersville School District in Rogersville, Missouri. His first position in school administration was in the Dallas County School District in Buffalo, Missouri, where he served as a High School Assistant Principal.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Evangel University, Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Southwest Baptist University, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University.
Although born in Missouri, Dr. Tucker spent 12 years overseas with stays in France, Togo, and Burkina Faso. He has been married to Rebecca for 23 years and they have two children Madison, a 12th grader, and Jonas, a 9th grader.