About 2017-11-13T20:04:03+00:00

Challenging the Status Quo

Known for disrupting traditional education’s method of teacher preparation in multiple settings prior to being named the Dean of Texas Tech University’s College of Education in 2012, Scott Ridley and the team of leaders at Texas Tech hit the challenge head on and made waves by launching the TechTeach across Texas program.

Simultaneously, resourceful College of Education at leading-edge universities were also challenging the status quo of teacher preparation while philanthropic funders were looking for innovative approaches that would ensure teachers were ready for the classroom day one.  

The cutting edge research and real-world application coming from Texas Tech’s College of Education caught everyone’s eye resulting in a 7 million dollar grant to launch US PREP, the only university based center for educational transformation in the nation.

Texas Tech University & Lubbock ISD were the first to implement the partnership quickly followed by a coalition including the University of North Texas Dallas & Dallas ISD, the University of Houston & Houston ISD, Southeastern Louisiana University & Ascension, St. Charles & Tangipahoa Parishes, Jackson State University & Jackson Public Schools and the most recent partner, the University of Memphis & Shelby County Schools.

Today, the coalition of stellar faculty and staff from each partner university and engaged district partners alongside the committed and talented leaders from US PREP are changing the face of education in our nation.

“I believe the historical lack of deep and authentic university-school partnerships has been the cause of some of today’s challenges in American education. Now we have the opportunity to demonstrate how alignment can be a solution. We rise or fall together.”

Dr. Scott Ridley

Our Team


Executive Director
As Executive Director, Sarah oversees all operations of US PREP. She works closely with the US PREP staff and university partners to set the vision.


Executive Director

Sarah Beal received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Innovation. Her research area is teacher educator effectiveness. After completing her undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies and Spanish from St Mary’s College in California, Sarah earned her teaching certification through ASU’s first Professional Development School. Sarah spent ten years as a classroom teacher and an instructional coach, and earned her Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in mathematics. Over the last six years, Sarah held several positions at Arizona State University. Sarah was involved in every phase of the reform process from designing the key features of the iTeachAZ Program to leading the change and scaling process with faculty. She has served as an iTeachAZ Site Coordinator and as an iTeachAZ Program Specialist. While in these roles, Sarah assisted with the development of the year-long student teaching residency, the iTeachAZ Performance Assessment process, the mentor selection and training process, the course reform process, the iTeachAZ Program Review process, as well as the iTeachAZ data suite consisting of a mobile application, data dashboard, and professional learning library. Sarah designed and implemented a structure called “Program Alignment Teams” which fostered a culture of collaboration, accountability, and professional development amongst all the teacher educators at ASU.


Regional Transformation Support Specialist
As a Regional Transformation Support Specialist, Shelly works directly with university partners to support all aspects of transformation. Shelly works with the deans and leadership teams to create and implement strategic plans for improvement.


Regional Transformation Support Specialist

Michelle R. Franco-Westacott is a Regional Transformation Specialist for U.S. PREP National Center. Michelle has extensive background in the field of educational leadership and brings this wide-ranging background experience and expertise to her role within U.S. PREP. Michelle is deeply committed to positively impacting the transformation of teacher preparation programming, on behalf of ALL children, across the United States.

Michelle’s 30 years of experience in the field of education include:

  • Classroom Teacher Leader (17 years),
  • Instructional Coach and Professional Developer (4 years),
  • K-8 Administrator (3 years),
  • iTeachAZ Coordinator and Clinical Instructor, Arizona State University (2.5 years)
  • Management Research Analyst Principal, Arizona State University (3 years)
  • Regional Transformation Specialist, U.S. PREP National Center (Current)

In her role as a Regional Transformation Specialist, Michelle supports multiple universities as they strive to transform their teacher preparation programming. This support is frequent and ‘heavy-touch’ and includes the provision of professional development support for leadership and faculty as well as explicit consulting with university leadership teams as they work to achieve program transformation, at scale. Additionally, Michelle has taken the lead in managing a number of special projects for the Center. Included is the development and implementation support of a Program Review Process (an internal, formative assessment process used to measure the integrity of program delivery) and, the development, training, and support for the administration of a student perception survey (SPS). During the clinical placement, the SPS is administered by all teacher candidates (TCs) to all of their PK-12th grade students in partner districts. The SPS results are used by TCs to develop goals and implement strategies with the intent of improving their teaching and their relationships with their students.  Furthermore, Michelle has joined other U.S. PREP Center colleagues, and university partners in developing proposals and presenting at national conferences.

Michelle received her Master's Degree from State University of New York, Brockport and subsequently through additional advanced studies in Educational Leadership, acquired certification as a Supervisor and an Administrator.

Finally, Michelle sustains the following certifications:

  • State of New York K - 8 Teaching Certificate
  • State of Arizona K - 6 Teaching Certificate
  • State of Arizona K - 8 Supervisory Certificate
  • State of Arizona K - 8 Administrative Certificate
  • *Endorsements: State of Arizona SEI, and Early Childhood
  • TAP Certified Evaluator
  • TPI Certified Inspector


Regional Transformation Support Specialist
As a Regional Transformation Support Specialist, Lynda works directly with university partners to support all aspects of transformation. Lynda works with the deans and leadership teams to create and implement strategic plans for improvement.


Regional Transformation Support Specialist

Lynda Scott recently joined US PREP as the Communications & Outreach Specialist.  She was a Clinical Assistant Professor and a Site Coordinator at Arizona State University in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.  She has her Bachelor of Arts in Education and earned her Masters in Administration and Supervision and principal certification in 2013. She has experience as an 8th grade ELA teacher, 4th grade teacher and instructional coach. Lynda recently planned and implemented a Technology Infusion Project at ASU that promoted the infusion of technology in the iTeachAZ Avondale Senior Year Residency. She was presented the 2016 AzTEA Innovation Award for Teacher (Pre-Service Faculty) of the Year for her work with technology infusion in denteacher preparation. Lynda has also served on faculty teams to help align curriculum and best practices in the iTeachAZ program with SEED and ELL Grant initiatives.

Lynda is currently in the doctoral program at ASU—researching the use of educational technology in teacher preparation. She has presented at conferences for various organizations— including Arizona Technology in Education Association and International Society for Technology in Education. Lynda was awarded Westside Impact Teacher of the Year and was presented with the Dr. Cathy Stafford Passion and Commitment Award for Desert Thunder during her time as a Master Teacher in the Avondale School District.


Design Based Research Leader
As a Design Based Research leader, Raymond provides coaching and support to the Design Based Research Coaches. Raymond oversees the coursework reform process and supports universities with examining the impact of the coursework on teacher candidate development.


Design Based Research Leader

Raymond Flores is an assistant professor of mathematics education in the Department of Teacher Education. Since the fall of 2013, he has served as an anchor for undergraduate mathematics education at the College of Education. In addition, he is currently co-leading Design-Based Research efforts associated with USPREP National Center with Dr. Jian Wang. Prior to coming to Texas Tech, he was program chair of the middle/secondary mathematics education program at Wichita State University, 2011-2013.

Please see link below:


Also, for TTU folks, the link for all faculty is given below by clicking their names



Design Based Research Leader
As a Design Based Research leader, Jian provides coaching and support to the Design Based Research Coaches. Jian oversees the coursework reform process and supports universities with examining the impact of the coursework on teacher candidate development.


Design Based Research Leader

Jian Wang received his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy, Michigan State University. He is currently Professor, Helen DeVitt Jones Chair in Teacher Education, and Chair of Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Texas Tech University. His research interests include (1) teacher learning and education, (2) teacher mentoring, (3) relationship between reform-minded teaching, contexts of curriculum, and teaching organizations, and (4) comparative study about student’ mathematics learning under the influence of teaching and non-teaching contexts. He published qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method studies, literature reviews, and conceptual analyses in the above fields, which appeared in the academic journals, such as Review of Educational Research, Educational Researcher, Education Research Review, Teachers’ College Record, Journal of Teacher Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Research in the Teaching of English, and Journal of Curriculum Studies. He served as a co-editor of Journal of Teacher Education and a co-program chair for the AREA SIG: Research on Teacher Induction. His co-edited book, Past, Present, and Future Research on Teacher Induction: An Anthology for Researchers, Policy Makers, and Practitioners, synthesize comprehensively the research in the field of teacher induction. He received the Spencer Research Grant examining the relationship between teachers’ mathematics knowledge, teaching, and student learning in China. He worked for the cross-national curriculum research project of TIMSS and the cross-national research project, Learning from Mentor, at the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. He is a Co-PI at the US PREP National Center working to transform teacher preparation in different institutions using design based research.

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