Leadership

Mark Claypool, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mark Claypool believes that all children can advance academically, behaviorally and socially if they are given the right tools in the right environment. While working as a social worker and education administrator for more than 20 years, Mark became frustrated by the decreasing resources for children with learning differences. He founded Educational Services of America in 1999. Today, the company serves more than 10,000 students who are at risk of dropping out of school or who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Asperger's syndrome or other learning/behavioral disabilities.
Allison O'Neill, Chief Operating Officer, Ombudsman Educational Services
Allison O’Neill is responsible for operations of Ombudsman Educational Services and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs. She previously served as COO of Ombudsman. Under her leadership, Ombudsman grew from 65 programs in eight states to 141 programs in 20 states, the number of students increased to 12,000 a year and Ombudsman became the first organization of its kind in the country to earn district/system level accreditation by AdvancED, the world’s largest education community. Allison joined Ombudsman as a certified teacher in 1997 and served as regional manager, director of center operations and senior vice president of operations.
Gail Henderson, Chief Operating Officer, Spectrum Center Schools and Programs
Gail Henderson provides oversight, leadership and direction for all academic and behavioral programs to ensure high rates of student growth and achievement. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer of ESA’s Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, where she managed multiple school district partnerships, and designed and implemented evidence-based programs for students with special needs. As CIO, Gail developed ESA’s instructional framework, which includes aligning systems, processes, professional development and progress monitoring of all classrooms to ensure fidelity of practices. Gail has more than 30 years of experience, including leadership in special education and juvenile justice alternative education.
Bryan Skelton, Educational Services of America Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Bryan Skelton directs the company's financial planning and reporting, investor relations, capital formation, risk management and management information systems functions. He has more than 15 years of experience in finance and accounting, including special expertise in financial modeling, project financing and acquisitions.
Kevin Mitchell, Vice President, Finance and Development
Kevin Mitchell has expertise in financial analysis, forecasting, and mergers and acquisitions. He has a background in public accounting and is skilled in creating deal specific financial models and analyses to capitalize on acquisitions and growth opportunities. Kevin is responsible for forecasting performance across both divisions of ESA and serves key roles in banking relations, mergers and acquisitions. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Nashville.
John McLaughlin, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Director of Research and Analytics
John McLaughlin has committed his professional life to ensuring that all children have access to education that meets their needs. A former high school administrator and tenured professor, John is also an expert on education policy at the federal, state and local levels. As director of research and analytics, he designs and executes empirical investigations related to the academic performance of both divisions of ESA.
Karen LeFever, Ed.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer
An experienced educator and administrator, Karen LeFever directs the company's new business development strategy. She has special expertise in leading the development of partnerships that connect public school and school district achievement concerns with innovative services and programs that benefit students, school districts and communities.
Shirley W. Hanback, Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Shirley Hanback has more than 30 years of experience in human resource management. She leads the company's HR department and is responsible for strategic human capital planning, development and execution of relevant and impactful policies and programs, talent acquisition and development, compensation, benefits, employee relations and legal compliance.
Donald B. Whitfield, Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer
Don Whitfield has more than three decades of experience in both public accounting and private industry. He is responsible for the oversight of all accounting functions, including the establishment of accounting policies and procedures, financial reporting, audit relations, tax compliance and treasury management.
Alan Watson, Executive Vice President, and Chief Information Officer
Alan Watson is a skilled technical leader with nearly 20 years of experience in information technology infrastructure and implementation. He leads the company's IT team and is responsible for development and continuous improvement of software, information systems, technical operations, infrastructure and internal technology solutions.
Cate Lewandowski, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Cate Lewandowski is an experienced marketing, public relations and media professional. She has managed international and national marketing and communications programs for a variety of corporate, consumer and educational organizations and is responsible for the company's advertising, marketing and media communications.