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 operates programs and advances policies to improve achievement by public school students in West Virginia.
In her role as President, Dr. Courts is leading the Alliance to implement strategies that expand the organizational footprint and effectiveness. These include hosting the organization’s first education summit, co-sponsored by the Governor, which convened business, community and education leaders from across the state. Dr. Courts also initiated statewide EDTalks, an education-based speaker series that promotes innovative discussion and big ideas about connecting education, jobs and West Virginia’s future. The Alliance also provided technical assistance to the Governor’s STEM Council to engage the public, education organizations, business and industry to find innovative methods of preparing our students to fill the impending workforce needs of the state. In addition, she worked to help support an expansion of the AmeriCorps program which nearly doubled the number of AmeriCorps members impacting students across the state.
Prior to coming to the Alliance, she served for three years as Assistant State Superintendent at the West Virginia Department of Education. In that work, she developed and implemented major policy directives, worked collaboratively with the governor's office and legislature, and coordinated programs to improve the educational outcomes of the state's two hundred and eighty thousand students.
Dr. Courts serves on the Board of Directors of the WV Children’s Home Society, is a member of the Remake Learning Council, and serves as an appointed member of the Education Commission of the States. She is both internationally and locally experienced, having taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for approximately six years throughout Asia (Japan, China and briefly Korea) and at Marshall University. She completed her doctoral degree at West Virginia University with a degree in Education Administration in 2002.
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.
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, Financial Literacy 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 daughter, Julia.
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.
Director of Development
Mr. Derek Vance joined the Education Alliance in 2016 as Director of Development. In addition to managing the Alliance’s fundraising efforts, Derek works closely with the organization’s leadership to develop and implement strategies to position The Education Alliance for continued success.
Derek completed his undergraduate education at Brown University, where he studied public policy and religion. Derek is a seventh generation West Virginian, currently residing in Charleston.