Dr. Amelia Courts has extensive leadership experience in the education sector and a record of success in collaborating with business and community organizations to positively impact statewide initiatives. Since 2013 she has served as the President/CEO of The Education Alliance which advocates for a quality education for all West Virginia students. Under her leadership, the Alliance has been a leader in advancing STEM initiatives including the Governor’s STEM Council, STEM Network Schools, and Computer Science education.
Dr. Courts is passionate about developing our state’s human capital by investing in West Virginia students. By working collaboratively with the Board of Directors and a dedicated team, she developed The Education Alliance programs to serve more than 176,000 students over the past five years and leverage $6.7 million dollars during that time for students. Program data shows that 70% of students showed academic improvement and 49% increased career readiness. Recent initiatives, such as the “portrait” of a WV Ready Graduate, outline the knowledge and skills high school graduates need to be successful. The WV Ready Summer Internship Program brings that vision to life by providing a 4 week, paid summer internship opportunity for rising high school juniors and seniors within West Virginia businesses.
Prior to coming to the Alliance, Amelia served as Assistant State Superintendent at the West Virginia Department of Education. Dr. Courts is both internationally and locally experienced, having taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for approximately six years in Japan and China, and at Marshall University. She speaks fluent Japanese and Chinese. Amelia completed her doctoral degree in Education Administration at West Virginia University.
Dr. Courts serves as an Emeritus Member of the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Children’s Home Society and is active in her local church youth program. She is a Commissioner for Education Commission of the States and a member of the Remake Learning Council, and the Public Education Collaborative.
Ms. Beth Winkler Bowden is a Program Coordinator for The Education Alliance. Beth joined The Education Alliance in September 2016 and serves as the coordinator of the Alliance’s STEMersion program and social media activities. She also assists with stregthening the organization's efforts to build strong professional learning communities throughout all programming.
Beth received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree as a Literacy Specialist from Marshall University. Prior to joining the Education Alliance, Beth served as a School Support Specialist for RESA 3, and also has experience working in Kanawha County and Cabell County as a Reading Specialist.
Beth is a native West Virginian, born and raised in Logan County. She currently resides in Charleston with her husband Craig and their son Trent.
STEM Works VISTA Leader
Mr. Quinten Burton is the STEM Works VISTA Leader for The Education Alliance. Quinten Joined The Education Alliance in August 2016 where he was an AmeriCorps on the Frontline Mentor, STEM Education VISTA, and STEM Works VISTA Leader. He is helping support all of the VISTAs The Education Alliance has and working on the Blended Learning Project.
Prior to joining The Education Alliance, Quinten has spent five years with the Bob Burdette Center, a nonprofit after school program, where he interacted with students, cooked food and did STEM projects with the students. Quinten has also worked at the West Virginia Baptist Camp at Cowen as an assistant in the kitchen for three years.
Quinten is a native West Virginian, born and raised in Charleston, where he currently resides.
Director of Partnership and Advocacy
Ms. Gretchen D. Frankenberry is the Director of Partnership and Advocacy for the Education Alliance. Gretchen joined The Education Alliance in May 2016 where she develops and implements school, business, and community partnerships and oversees the Alliance’s advocacy activities. She also administers the Born Leaning Academy, WV Ready Graduate Initiative, and Partners in Education Program.
Prior to joining the Education Alliance, Gretchen spent over seven years at the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts where she created and advised on education and workforce policy issues. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Advisory Council of WV and the Governor's STEM Initiative. Gretchen received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.
Although she grew up in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee, Gretchen has strong family roots that drew her back to West Virginia. She resides in Charleston with her husband, Ryan and their children, Julia and Thatcher.
Mrs. Caroline S. Goodall joined The Education Alliance in October 2010. Caroline’s background includes both the non-profit sector and corporate America. She has 20 years of experience with INROADS/West Virginia, Inc., a non-profit career-development organization for minority students, as the Manager of Administrative Services. Caroline also worked for over nine years with Chesapeake Energy Corporation (formerly Columbia Natural Resources) in the Geology and Geophysics Department.
Caroline is a native West Virginian and currently resides in St. Albans. She has a son and daughter-in-law, James and Suzanne, who reside in Mebane, NC.
Director of Federal Programs & Communications
Ms. Emily Schoen Pratt is the Director of Federal Programs & Communications for The Education Alliance. Emily joined The Education Alliance in July 2010 as the dropout prevention and career readiness Program Director. In her current role, Emily administers the AmeriCorps on the Frontline and STEM Works programs. She also, promotes the organization's mission to provide mentoring programs and advocate for policy changes that will improve student achievement in West Virginia.
Emily completed her Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance and Masters of Science in Adult and Technical Education from Marshall University. Emily also earned a certification in Leadership for National Service Executives from the University of Washington. Prior to joining The Education Alliance, Emily served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Volunteer West Virginia, where she managed and promoted the statewide Business Volunteer Council. She has also been an adjunct faculty member and Greek advisor for Marshall University.
Emily is a native West Virginian, currently residing in Charleston with her husband Jeff.