Jessy strives to create practical resources to help program staff promote positive development for all youth.
Jessica Newman provides research, evaluation, and technical assistance support to promote continuous improvement across a variety of national, state, and local afterschool and expanded learning initiatives with a focus on youth development and social and emotional learning (SEL) in out-of-school time (OST) settings. She specializes in the development and dissemination of research-to-practice tools that support the implementation of high-quality programming for both in- and out-of-school time initiatives. She is co-author of the fourth edition of the popular afterschool resource, Beyond the Bell®: A Toolkit for Creating High-Quality Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs and is currently leading the development of an online Beyond the Bell Toolkit. Newman also serves as the coordinator for multiple projects including Beyond the Bell and a statewide needs assessment of the Oregon 21st Century Community Learning Center program. She currently serves as the project manager for an evaluation of the School’s Out New York program operated by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. The goal of this project is to understand how well the initiative serving middle school youth across the city has been implemented as well as its effectiveness in improving the social and emotional outcomes of young people to better support their success in school and life. Newman has provided evaluation consultation to large, national youth-serving and intermediary organizations such as YMCA of the USA and Every Hour Counts. She has authored multiple briefs, tools, and chapters on topics related to social and emotional learning.
Prior to joining AIR, Newman served as the senior research specialist at the University of Illinois, Chicago in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). She played a strategic role in the development and dissemination of Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs (Preschool and Elementary School Edition), a review of nationally available, universal social and emotional learning programs (2013) and she also conducted a review of policies and student learning standards across the United States to determine the extent to which social and emotional learning was promoted.
Jaime loves to see young people happily engaged in projects that support but do not replicate school-day learning.
Jaime S. Singer is a senior technical assistance consultant at AIR, where she works on projects for afterschool and expanded learning programs. She designs and implements state and national learning opportunities for the field of afterschool, provides technical assistance to afterschool practitioners on systemic support, and participates in afterschool policy meetings.
Singer has expertise in developing, implementing, and managing projects related to continuous quality improvement. She currently co-manages a Continuous Quality Improvement Process as part of the Chicago Public Schools Community Schools Initiative (CSI) evaluation. As part of this work, she collaborates with the CSI team to support Chicago community schools in working through the process and developing action plans for continuous improvement. Singer also works with the Oregon Department of Education to pilot a process to determine the needed supports for 21st CCLC programs to improve. Singer previously worked on several federal and state 21st Century Community Learning Centers contracts, including acting as assistant project director for the 21st CCLC Lessons Learned Guide project, technical assistance and professional development lead for the Illinois 21st CCLC program, and as a site visitor for the 21st CCLC national monitoring contract.
Singer has presented at national, regional, and statewide conferences on topics such as developing and implementing project-based learning activities in afterschool programs, evaluation, and using data for continuous program improvement. She is co-author of the fourth edition of the seminal afterschool resource, Beyond the Bell®: A Toolkit for Creating High-Quality Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs (4th Ed.), a resource for afterschool program leaders and staff. Previously, she worked as a consultant for afterschool programs in need of training, coaching, and guidance.
Fausto sees many possibilities when working with youth: they are the future and will change the world!
Fausto A. López is a bilingual, Spanish speaking, technical assistance consultant working on afterschool and expanded learning initiatives at AIR. He provides technical assistance, training, and professional development to diverse audiences in the education and out-of-school time sectors. López works with new and emerging afterschool systems to design resources and tools that support afterschool programs in the development, implementation, and evaluation of program offerings. He works diligently to secure funding to build the portfolio for afterschool and expanded learning initiatives with meaningful work that contributes to the out-of-school time field. López specializes in U.S. Department of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education Act initiatives (21st Century Community Learning Centers, Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programming, and Upward Bound).
López’s current projects include co-managing a coaching initiative as part of the Chicago Public Schools Community Schools evaluation, leading co-interpretation data planning sessions as part of the New York City School Renewal Assessment project, facilitating focus groups for the Schools Out New York City initiative, and providing technical assistance to the New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Oregon statewide evaluation. In the past, López served as the project lead on the development of an expanded learning guide and training model for afterschool programs in Latin America (Mexico and Argentina) and contributed to the Beyond the Bell-4th edition.
He also has extensive experience in strategic planning that integrates direct service and program administration in continuous program improvement processes. López is trained in NVivo qualitative data analysis software, interview and focus group facilitation, protocol, and coding. He is a nationally recognized presenter on relevant education and afterschool topics (e.g., youth development, social emotional learning, college and career readiness) and facilitates national, regional, and statewide educational workshops that bring the most up-to-date research to the field in existing and relatable formats.
Janet is driven to find innovative ways to support program staff.
Janet U. Levings is a research associate focused on afterschool and expanded learning training and technical assistance initiatives. As a facilitator for New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) programs, Levings uses Beyond the Bell tools to develop and facilitate workshops for frontline staff working in afterschool and expanded learning programs in the areas of curriculum development, recruitment and retention. Janet also worked for four years as a coach for the Milwaukee Public Schools afterschool programs. In this role Janet used Beyond the Bell tools as she worked with 52 urban afterschool programs to improve academic enrichment programming and to increase connections to school day stakeholders. Janet also aligned tools from Beyond the Bell to each states' afterschool quality standards in an effort to support the implementation of afterschool best practices across the country. She completed the Post-Baccalaureate Early Childhood Education program at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and she holds a B.S. in business from Marquette University.
Amanda loves to see how out-of-school time programs change the lives of youth in a positive way.
Amanda DeFrancisco is an administrative associate at AIR. She manages all sales and support for Beyond the Bell and coordinates the annual Beyond the Bell Training of Trainers. She is a trained site visitor on multiple projects including AIR's STEM Interest and Engagement Study, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Oregon 21st Century Community Learning Centers Continuous Quality Improvement Process. She provides logistics support for the Texas Comprehensive Center, technical support for Upward Bound, and administrative support for the social and emotional learning, climate, and afterschool group at AIR.
Naomi is dedicated to connecting youth with high quality resources that provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences.
Naomi Jacobs has been involved in out-of-school (OST) time and expanded learning program management and evaluations on a local, regional, and national level for the past seven years. She has designed and facilitated professional development, training, and coaching with a focus on continuous quality improvement to school day teachers and OST educators. Naomi has experience in creating site evaluation plans aligned with programmatic goals and has implemented a variety of data collection approaches. She also currently manages social media strategy for Beyond the Bell. Prior to working at AIR, Naomi managed a citywide OST program that partnered with over 30 community-based organizations, the public school department, and local government. She has a M.A. from Brown University in Urban Education Policy and a dual B.A. from the University of Virginia in Psychology and African-American Studies.
Deb celebrates the afterschool field as a valued profession with diverse expertise.
Dr. Deborah Moroney is a principal researcher at AIR, and director of the social and emotional learning and school climate practice area. Her research and practice experience is in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), social and emotional learning, and youth development in afterschool and expanded learning settings. Dr. Moroney is the architect of a collaborative method for the design of dual purpose (improvement and demonstration) evaluation frameworks for national multi-site programs including the Achievement Gap programs at the YMCA of the USA and for Every Hour Counts. Additionally, Dr. Moroney has led several statewide and districtwide afterschool needs assessments and evaluations. Presently, Dr. Moroney serves as the principal investigator of the implementation and outcome study for School's Out New York City and she is the co-principal investigator of the STEM Interest and Engagement study, funded by the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Moroney’s work demonstrates a value in bridging research and practice. She has authored practitioner and organizational guides using both research findings and practitioner input. Recently, Dr. Moroney was the STEM content-area expert for the STEM Lessons Learned Guide funded by the U.S. Department of Education and a co-author of the fourth edition of the seminal afterschool resource, Beyond the Bell®: A Toolkit for Creating High-Quality Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Moroney was a clinical faculty member in educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Youth Development Graduate Program, and worked as an organizational development consultant to agencies and youth-serving organizations.
Felice believes that words matter and helps Beyond the Bell promote and amplify their message about the importance of creating and sustaining high-quality after school and expanded learning programs.
Felice Trirogoff is a communications specialist at American Institutes for Research (AIR), where her primary responsibilities include reviewing, editing, proofreading, and writing deliverables and public information materials. She works closely with Texas Comprehensive Center staff on projects such as the Advanced Career Initiative, Reward School Case Studies, Educator Evaluation and Support Systems, and Educator Equity in Texas. By joining the Beyond the Bell team, Felice brings her creativity and enthusiasm to ensuring that after school leaders are able to effectively design, implement, evaluate and improve their programs. Her previous work experience includes creating compelling and persuasive communications content for Stand for Children – Texas as the marketing and communications director as well as planning, coordinating, and executing educator conferences for the Texas Education Agency. She is a former high school English teacher with the School District of Philadelphia through the Teach for America program. Felice holds a B.S. in public relations and an M.A. in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. She also has a master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.