Board of Directors

“What about students who never would be exposed to coding?
It has to be a core subject and it has to be done in elementary school.”

Ari Ioannides, Founder and Board President

The mission of BootUp Professional Development is to give teachers and educators the resources they need to provide exceptional coding education to all elementary students. Our Board has a relentless focus on student success and is deeply committed to equitable access, teacher confidence and coding for all.

Ari Loanides - Founder and Board President

Ari Ioannides

Founder and Board President

Ari Ioannides has more than 35 years experience solving computer problems. He started programming in high school as part of a public school pilot program in which students taught each other programming. An alumnus of Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology, Ari supplemented his formal education with technical certifications from Apple, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Novell, Microsoft, HP, Cisco, and 3Com. He took his first information technology position at Sears in 1979 as the company’s youngest mainframe computer operator. In 1988 Ari founded what is now Emerald Data Solutions where he has helped organizations like BellSouth, Ernst & Young and Turner Broadcasting deploy and operate fast and reliable computer systems. Ari pioneered hardware and software designs for the first “on demand” digital music-playing system used in professional sports. His team also designed and implemented Georgia’s first online student performance reporting system. In 2000, Ari developed board management technology for Marietta City Schools in Georgia and formally launched BoardDocs® nationally in 2002. As the Chief Software Architect, he has enhanced the governance process of more than 2,000 local governing bodies.

Ari serves as Vice Chair for Recycle Utah and previously served on the board of the Park City Education Foundation. Ari has been a guest speaker at the International City/County Management Association, the National School Boards Association and the American Association of School Administrators. He has authored numerous articles and white papers and has been published in leading industry journals, including Network Computing.

Ari founded BootUp to ensure all elementary students have an opportunity to benefit from the problem-solving skills and creativity coding teaches. He believes coding needs to be a core subject, beginning in elementary school, for all students to be exposed.

Ember Conley

Child Champion, Change Agent, and Resiliency Expert

Dr. Ember Conley has served students for over 24 years as a coach, middle school math teacher, high school principal, elementary principal, assessment director, deputy superintendent, and superintendent. She was awarded the Arizona School Administrators Outstanding Dissertation in 2010 for her research in the learning styles of Native American Students. She currently serves on the Executive Board for the Horace Mann League and ASCD Legislative Committee. Additionally she is the Past President of the Utah Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (UASCD) and has served on the National ASCD Nominations and Policy and Advocacy Committees and AASA Governing Board. She received her Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University, her elementary teaching certificate from Fort Lewis College, her Masters of Art in K-12 Administration and Policy from University Colorado-Denver, and her Education Doctorate in Curriculum and Leadership from Argosy University – Phoenix.

Lien Diaz

Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership, Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech

Lien Diaz is the Director of Educational Innovation and Leadership of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. Her role includes building teaching and leadership capacity to expand access to computing education across the state of Georgia and around the nation. Her work elevates the importance of increasing engagement with female students, economically disadvantaged students, and students of color into rigorous high school computing courses and streamlining opportunities into post-secondary computing, STEM, and Tech jobs. In its first year, the Constellations Center has doubled the number of schools in Atlanta Public Schools offering AP CS courses and more than tripled the number of students enrolled in them. Prior to her appointment at the Constellations Center, she spent 11 years at College Board and was a co-PI for Using Computational Thinking to Model a New Course and the Collaborative Research – Broadening Participation in CS: AP CS Principles Phase II projects, both funded by the National Science Foundation. She is one of the primary architects of the AP Computer Science Principles course and a leading national expert in educational diversity, inclusion, and equity.

David Evans

Chief Relationship & Development Officer, Q Financial Design Workshops, LLC

David Evans, Chartered Advisor in PhilanthropyⓇ, helps nonprofit organizations cultivate meaningful relationships within their communities. He founded Leverage Trust to elevate fundraising in an area where most nonprofits struggle: sustainable programs for planned giving. He is intentional about restoring trust within communities and removing obstacles that discourage members of diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds from working toward a unifying goal – participating in the pride of their local community. The joy gained from contributing as valued citizens is manifested when families share their time, talents and treasures with their local community organizations.

This work began in 1987, when David consulted as “acting coach” in the video version of Dr. Stephen Covey’s book: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Powerful Lessons in Personal Change,1989.  Dr. Covey’s message, “seek first to understand, then be understood” and the concept of the “Paradigm Shift” helped David adjust his focus toward helping every individual identify the education and resources needed to realize their potential.

In 1989, David experienced his first personal paradigm shift, earning one of three spots on Aetna Life’s Bench Strength management program. He utilized his media background to help boost agent productivity 800% in 27 months, deploying new, innovative computer-based CRM systems that automated agent contact with existing customers, increasing sales across product lines.

In 1995, a group of high school dropouts at a nonprofit client challenged him to “stick around and see what it’s like to live in our world!” He pivoted and immediately began evaluating expectations vs. outcomes for the students. Equipped with discouraging metrics, David sought the help of Seattle partners including Boeing, Starbucks, Nordstrom and the Seattle Community Colleges, leading the agency in formulation of a school-to-work readiness curriculum.

Currently, David is a 15-year elected public school Governing Board member. He serves as a Director on state and national education boards. He is Co-Chair of a Maricopa Community College Advisory Council where he “seeks first to understand” the persistence and preparation Higher Education demands of students and the critical need for articulation between educators. This knowledge helps him influence K-12 education policies and practices that will better prepare students for the rigors of relevant, work-based education and service back to the community.

David is enthusiastic about offering students and educators the opportunity to build a foundation of collaboration, creativity and problem solving through coding. He envisions that as BootUpPD initiatives scale, K-12 educators will have no other option than to upgrade their curriculum in response to a nation of more engaged, self-directed students.

Allison Miller - BootUp PD Board of Directors

Allison Miller

Senior Improvement Coach, Ed Direction

Allison E. Miller currently serves as an improvement coach at Ed Direction, working directly with education leaders to improve teaching and learning at scale. In addition, Allison oversees content development for Ed Direction’s work with Turnaround Schools in the state of Utah. With over a decade of classroom teaching experience at the elementary level, Allison is passionate about education and the role that teachers play in improving student achievement for all learners, regardless of their level of ability. Her experience in the classroom gives her a unique perspective when working with schools and districts across the country. Allison uses her knowledge of research and pedagogy to help teachers implement changes that lead to improvements in instruction and learning.

Prior to working with Ed Direction, Allison served in a variety of capacities at public and private schools in South Carolina and Georgia. She has worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and program director at the elementary level, as well as an educational consultant for students with learning disabilities. In addition, Allison has written and implemented curricula for two visual arts programs. Allison is certified in Art Education, holds a license as a Reading Specialist, and is trained in both the Orton-Gillingham and Wilson teaching approaches.

Allison earned her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where her focus of study was Language and Literacy. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education from Anderson University. Allison co-authored Collaborative School Improvement: Eight Practices for District-School Partnerships to Transform Teaching and Learning (2012, Harvard Education Press). She chaired Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Language and Literacy student organization and currently serves as an advisor on the Dyslexia Steering Committee for the Ty and Karen Hall Charitable Foundation. Allison is excited to serve on BootUp’s Board of Directors and shares the organization’s mission to ensure that teachers are prepared and empowered to implement coding programs to ensure all students have equitable access to 21st-century skills.

Todd Ullah, Ed.D

Vice President, National Education Foundation

Dr. Todd Ullah has been educational leader from science teacher to director of science and technology for the Los Angeles Unified School District. His energy is focused on advancing leadership and closing opportunity gaps in education opportunities around the world. He earned his doctorate at UCLA focusing on charter schools as systemic change in Los Angeles. He has been recognized for school improvement, parent engagement, college readiness, science education, and technology efforts in his many years of public service. Most recently, he is a consultant in the education technology industry and is the Vice President for STEM Education at the National Education Foundation, where works closely with the STEM+ Academy Directors to implement and maintain academies at over 20 districts across the US and in India.

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