Our Staff

WestEd staff have expertise in many different components of data for decision making. If you are not sure who the best person is to contact for your needs based on his or her bio or if you have general questions regarding the WestEd Data for Decisions Initiative, please contact us at DDI@wested.org.


Candice Bocala

Senior Research Associate
Learning Innovations


Candice Bocala is a Research Associate at Learning Innovations at WestEd. She contributes to projects about teacher and principal effectiveness, professional development, and data use in education. She serves as a researcher and technical assistance provider for the Regional Educational Laboratory, Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI). Her current work includes studying the connection between teacher evaluation systems and professional development, as well as developing workshops and coaching strategies to support school-based educators to use data for inquiry and improvement. She also provides assistance to the Regional Resource Center Program’s (RRCP) Information Research Cadre, which disseminates resources in special education policy and practice to federal and state agencies, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Data Center, which works with state agencies to ensure high-quality data systems.She has served as an adjunct instructor at American University and at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previously, Candice taught elementary school in Washington, DC. She holds a BA from Cornell University, an MA from Stanford University, an MAT from American University, and an EdD from Harvard University.

Learn more about Candice Bocala by visiting her profile on WestEd.org.


Lori Van Houten

Director of Analytic Support
Regional Educational Laboratory West


Lori Van Houten is the Director of Analytic Support for the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West).

In this capacity, Van Houten collaborates with REL West staff to provide analytic support and technical assistance at the state, district, and school levels to ensure effective use of data and research findings to inform policy and practice.

Van Houten also provides technical assistance to schools and groups of educators in data-driven decision-making. Such expertise led to her coauthoring the WestEd publication, Developing an Effective School Plan: An Activity-Based Guide to Understanding Your School and Improving Student Outcomes.

Learn more about Lori Van Houten by visiting her profile on WestEd.org.


Natalie Lacireno-Paquet

Senior Program/Research Associate
Learning Innovations


WestEd’s Natalie Lacireno-Paquet conducts research and evaluation projects geared toward program improvement.A Senior Program/Research Associate for Learning Innovations at WestEd, Lacireno-Paquet is evaluating the implementation and impact of 22 Community Learning Centres (CLCs) in English language schools throughout the province of Quebec, as well as the work of the CLC technical support team.
Lacireno-Paquet also is developing an internal Quality Review process for a network of charter schools, School for Academics and Technologies. As part of this work, she has developed a process using a set of interrelated data collection tools that diverse school teams will use to provide feedback to schools undergoing the review. Her work will help improve the effectiveness of these schools for high school dropouts.

In addition to her evaluation work, Lacireno-Paquet conducts research as part of the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands, working in partnership with the Education Development Center and American Institutes for Research. Her work on the key features of Response-to-Intervention initiatives in the Northeast and Islands region will help states considering or implementing these types of initiatives to address requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and to help schools meet accountability targets.

Learn more about Natalie Lacireno-Pacquet by visiting her profile on WestEd.org.


Ryan C. Miskell

Research Associate


Ryan C. Miskell is a Research Associate in the Learning Innovations program at WestEd. He provides technical assistance and statistical analysis for various projects. His work involves federal, state, and district level monitoring, policy analysis, and program evaluation to inform educational policy and program decisions.

Prior to joining WestEd in 2015, Miskell was a Research Associate with the Oklahoma Center for Education Policy and a teacher with Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma. He received a B.A. in political science from American University, an M.Ed. in education administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in education leadership and policy studies from the University of Oklahoma.


Bob Rosenfeld

WestEd Curriculum and Assessment Training Program


Robert Rosenfeld helps build the capacity of districts, schools, and those who work with them to plan, design, implement, and monitor research-based, comprehensive curricula and assessment systems.

Rosenfeld’s team of trainers help districts throughout the United States blend research-based instructional strategies with data-management technology to create Common Core aligned curricula and assessment systems.

As part of this work, Rosenfeld and his team work with teachers to analyze data from benchmark and formative assessments for the purpose of identifying strategies focused on re-teach or enrichment activities for individual students. Through this job-embedded professional development, educators are learning how to prepare themselves and their students for the demands, and opportunities, presented by the Common Core.

Learn more about Bob Rosenfeld by visiting his profile on WestEd.org.


Nancy Gerzon

Senior Research Associate
Learning Innovations


Nancy Gerzon’s work supports education leaders to improve policy and develop systemic approaches to using data to support increased student learning.For over ten years she has led professional development and leadership coaching to support schools and districts to implement inquiry teams, professional learning communities, and data teams. She has trained school-based literacy and math coaches to support teachers to implement classroom formative assessment practices, including supporting teachers to gather and use evidence during the learning process, and using daily classroom data to guide instructional change.

Gerzon recently served as the subject matter expert for the Rhode Island Formative Assessment Project, a full-year online formative assessment course that has been implemented in Rhode Island K-12 public schools.

Her work helping schools make sense of how to navigate the myriad expectations for data-use have led her to develop a professional development guide for districts on successful data use practices, entitled Leading a Culture of Data Use. The materials are designed for education leaders to facilitate professional learning related to leading data use in schools, supporting content-based professional learning, and developing effective collaborative team practices that focus on improving teaching and learning.

Learn more about Nancy Gerzon by visiting her profile on WestEd.org.

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Kellie Kim

Senior Research Associate


Kellie Kim helps build the capacity of policymakers, administrators, and practitioners at federal, state, and local levels to use research findings to inform practice and policy. With particular specialization in analyzing and using extant data to answer key policy and instructional questions, Kim supports states and districts to answer key policy and program questions to improve student outcomes.

Kim is currently leading Technical Analytic Support for the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia (REL Appalachia). In this capacity, she collaborates with REL Appalachia staff to provide analytic support and technical assistance to educators in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia to ensure effective use of data and rigorous research findings for instructional and policy decision making.

She also supports the IDEA Data Center through WestEd’s partnership with Westat to provide technical assistance to build capacity within states for collecting, reporting, and analyzing high quality IDEA data.


Ellen Mandinach



Ellen B. Mandinach is one of the country’s leading experts in understanding data-driven decision making in education settings.

Mandinach has been working in school, district, and state data-driven decision making for the past decade. She directed an assessment of the Arizona Educational Learning and Assessment System. She has also directed large studies for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other funding sources.

Mandinach wrote an award-winning proposal for the Institute of Education Sciences to examine the impact of professional development on data-driven decision making on teacher practice and student performance. She has also authored a number of publications for academic journals, organizational reports, and has also co-authored and edited a number of books.

Learn more about Ellen Mandinach by visiting her profile on WestEd.org.


Susan Mundry

Program Director
Learning Innovations


Susan Mundry has been helping new teachers, principals, and administrators become more effective leaders in science and mathematics for over 20 years.

She co-directs the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership, providing professional development and support for education leaders nationwide. She is also leading a research study examining the distribution of highly qualified teachers in New York and Maine for the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands.

Mundry has contributed to numerous publications and helped implement programs in teacher development. She coauthored the best-selling book, Designing Effective Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics; as well as the toolkit Teachers as Learners, a videotape collection of 18 professional development programs, a guidebook, and web site activities that illustrate diverse strategies for teacher learning in science and mathematics.

Learn more about Susan Mundry by visiting her profile on WestEd.org.