The Team

President & Co-Founder

Dr. Mark Lynd
President and Co-Founder

Mark

Mark began his career in education in 1983 when he taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a secondary school in the Central African Republic. Since that time, he has worked as a teacher trainer, instructional materials specialist, project manager, program evaluator and education policy specialist in Africa, the Pacific and the US. He served as a long-term resident technical assistant in Namibia, where he advised the Ministry of Education on in-service teacher training activities, and in Guinea/Conakry, where he developed and managed a national level teacher training program for USAID. He also developed and directed a non-profit organization promoting participatory research in western Massachusetts. Mark holds a Doctor of Education and a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Senior Management Team

Candace Debnam
Executive Director

Candace Picture

Candace Debnam is an international development professional with experience managing business proposals for large development contracts and grants for private sector development, health, agriculture, energy, education, and community development projects overseas. Candace has experience developing business development strategies, as well as organizing new business initiatives for projects funded by USAID, MCC and multilateral funding organizations. Prior to joining School-to-School International, Candace supported a variety of business development and education initiatives at IntraHealth, SNV, FHI 360, and AED. She holds a BA in English Literature and Political Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and MSc in Management from University College Dublin.

Kristina Solum
Director of Programs

Kristina

Kristina Solum has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of international education, beginning as an ESL teacher for refugees. Kristina was a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa and has since worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, project manager, community development specialist, and education researcher on projects in more than 10 countries. She is currently pursuing her PhD in International Education at George Mason University with a focus on early grade reading gains achieved through teacher professional development. She continues to teach education courses as an adjunct instructor and is a member of several research teams both in U.S. and Africa. Kristina holds a BA in Sociology from Whitworth University and an MA in Intercultural Studies and TESOL from Wheaton College.

Dr. Hetal Thukral
Director of Research

Hetal

Hetal has over 12 years of experience in implementing international education programs from the US and abroad, with a focus on program evaluation and improvement at the federal and local levels. She has experience working on USAID-funded projects in India and Pakistan, and on an African Development Bank-funded project in Guyana. Domestically, Hetal has experience working at the district-level supporting research and policy development for the Howard County Public School System in Maryland.

In these roles, Hetal has built and applied rich technical skills in program evaluation and analysis. As a Harvard Strategic Data Fellow with the Howard County School System, she led efforts to use data to improve outcomes for students and teachers (http://www.strategicdataproject.org/). She has experience managing education evaluation and research projects from beginning to end, including needs assessment, literature reviews, data collection and cleaning, data analysis and reporting. In this capacity, she has designed and administered quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, including surveys, structured and semi-structured interviews, student assessments, observations and data mining. She also has strong technical skills in analyzing quantitative data using SPSS, Excel, and Tableau; analyzing qualitative data using Excel and SPSS; and conducting web and academic literature reviews. She has authored and co-authored research and evaluation reports to international and national stakeholders, including state and local officials in developing countries and in the US, funding organizations, teachers, parents and students.

Hetal holds a Doctorate in Education Policy with a Special Certificate in Measurement and Statistics from the University of Maryland College Park and a Masters in International Education from the George Washington University. She is fluent in Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati.

Maureen Schroeder-Sanai
Operations Director

Maureen (Mo) Schroeder-Sanai’s career in international development began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho, Southern Africa in the mid-90s. Since that time she has primarily worked for international development organizations, including five years based overseas in Tanzania and Kenya. Mo has experience managing multi-million dollar, donor-funded projects in a variety of sectors such as health, rule of law, agriculture, environment and agriculture. She holds a BA in Geography from San Francisco State University and a MA in International Development from Clark University.

Beth Odenwald
Deputy Director of Programs

Beth

Beth is a Washington, D.C. native and her passion for international affairs was indeed sparked by growing up in the nation’s capital. Her interests in global issues of health and education were advanced through stints at the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute where she supported outreach and training efforts which helped inform the public and prepare future foreign service officers. Beth also brings a corporate sector perspective around efficiency and management, combined with an acumen for all things related to finances and data, stemming from her time as a Program Assistant at T. Rowe Price.

Since 2011, Beth has managed several of STS’s impact evaluations including conducting STS’s Early Grade Reading Assessments in Tanzania and Pakistan – reaching over 21,000 learners. When not adventuring, Beth likes to try out new restaurants around Washington, DC and practice agility with her Portuguese Water Dog.

Beth holds degrees from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in French Language and International Studies and an MPH in Global Health from the George Washington University.

[+] Technical/Research Experts

Celeste Carano
Research Associate

Celeste is a Research Associate on STS’s research team. Prior to joining STS, Celeste worked with More Than Me, an NGO working in girls education in Liberia, where she supported their program development and fundraising strategy, and at Teach For All, where she worked on expanding their network into new countries. She also has experience working on the evaluation of a chain of low cost private schools in Kenya and of a principal leadership training program in the US. She holds a Masters in Global Human Development from Georgetown University and a Bachelors in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Randy Tarnowski
Junior Research Associate

Randy

Prior to joining STS, Randy held a diverse range of research and program management positions in international education. As an administrator at the Korean-American Educational Commission, he oversaw the Fulbright Research Program in Seoul in order to foster cross-national partnerships through knowledge exchange. Randy later served as Program Manager for WorldTeach and as a Teaching Fellow for the Center for Asia Leadership, where he managed teacher quality and education capacity building programs in over 17 countries.

On the research side, Randy is trained in quantitative and qualitative research methods and data visualization. He has applied this training with the Foundation for Students Rising Above, as well as with Harvard’s Research Schools International on a mixed-methods project studying the relationship between social networks and growth mindset among UK high school students.

A strong believer in the accessibility of education research, he strives to utilize data visualization tools to tell meaningful stories to policymakers and teachers alike. Randy’s written work can be found in Hard Questions on Global Educational Change (Teachers College Press, 2016) and in The Routledge Handbook for Global Child Welfare (Routledge, 2016). Randy holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Bachelor’s degrees in International and Cultural Studies and Communication from the University of Tampa.

[+] Programs (US)

[+] Programs (Field)

[+] Business Development

[+] Finance & Operations