"The additions to AIR’s staff builds upon an announcement in May that the
Washington, D.C. organization was merging with New American Schools"
Bridging the Gap Between Science and Reality: AIR Adds
Five School District Reform Experts
September 15, 2004

Washington, D.C. — The American Institutes for Research is pleased to announce
that five nationally recognized leaders in school district reform have joined AIR as part
of a major expansion of the non-profit organization’s efforts to provide assistance to
education officials at the state and local level.

Joining AIR are: Steven Adamowski, former school superintendent in Cincinnati;
Anthony Cavanna, who served as superintendent of school districts in New York and
New Jersey;
Libia Socorro Gil, an award-winning former superintendent in Chula Vista,
Calif.; Joseph Olchefske, the former superintendent of schools in Seattle, Wash.; and
Maria Santory Guasp, former superintendent in New York City Schools and a senior
official for districts in California. Collectively, they will devote their efforts to working
directly with school districts undertaking reform efforts.

“For more than five decades, AIR has striven to make a difference,” said Sol Pelavin,
president and CEO of the non-profit behavioral and social science research
organization. “We have long excelled in education research. The addition of these
individuals offers the perfect blend of experience and knowledge as we serve the
needs of school officials who want methods that work in their classrooms.”

A recognized leader in educational research and development, AIR is merging that
knowledge with the direct experiences and expertise of district reform leaders to form
a potent force in the effort to bring about real and sustainable change.

Steven Adamowski was superintendent and chief executive officer for the Cincinnati
Public Schools. During his tenure, he led a systemic redesign that resulted in
significant gains in student achievement and a decentralized system of governance
and choice. He has implemented nationally recognized breakthrough systems for
school accountability, student based funding and teacher evaluation/compensation
and has had successful experience restructuring high schools, improving early literacy
and redesigning low performing schools. Prior to Cincinnati, Adamowski served as
associate secretary of education for the Delaware State Department of Education.
Adamowski was also superintendent of schools in districts in St. Louis, Chatham, N.J.,
and Norwich, Conn. At the University of Missouri, where he has served as an assistant
professor for educational leadership and policy studies, Adamowski focused his
teaching and research on the preparation of superintendents and principals. He has a
Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Saint Louis University, a CAS from Harvard
Graduate School of Education, an M.A. from Trinity College, and a B.S. from Southern
Connecticut State College.

Anthony Cavanna has served as superintendent of schools in Fort Lee, N.J.,
Plainview-Old Bethpage, N.Y. and Rahway, N.J. He served as a deputy superintendent
of schools in New York City and a principal of one of the city’s most successful magnet
schools. As superintendent of schools in troubled urban and suburban school districts
he worked with school communities to reach new levels of student achievement,
teacher professionalism and community involvement.  In Community School District
Two in New York City, he was part of a dynamic central office team which transformed
a diverse, troubled inner city district into a much replicated model for school reform.  
Cavanna also was the founding principal of the Mott Hall School, a magnet school that
attracted students from one of the most poorly achieving and overcrowded school
districts in New York City.  Achievement level measures have ranked Mott Hall at the
top of the list of schools in New York City consistently since its inception. Cavanna
began his teaching career in the South Bronx.  He has an Ed.D. and a P.D. in Urban
Education, Leadership and Policy from Fordham University and an M.S. and B.A. from
City University of New York.

Libia Socorro Gil served as superintendent of schools for the Chula Vista, Calif.,
school district, the largest K-6 district in the state of California with more than 24,000
students, 2,400 employees and 39 schools. She received the prestigious Harold W.
McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education in 2002 in recognition of her leadership in providing
academic opportunities for all students. During her tenure, the district was awarded an
A+ rating from Standard and Poor’s for implementing an excellent capital program as
well as efficient management with the lowest centralized administrative costs in the
region. Numerous school change models were implemented successfully, in addition
to operating six charter schools in partnership with foundations and private entities.
Prior to joining Chula Vista, Gil served as assistant superintendent of Curriculum and
Instruction in the Seattle, Wash., Public School District, after being a teacher and
principal in K-12 schools in California. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of
Washington, and an M.A. and B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles.

Joseph Olchefske has been a strategy consultant to urban school systems after
serving as the superintendent of schools in Seattle until last year. During his five-year
tenure as superintendent, Olchefske led the transformation of the Seattle Public
Schools into a performance driven, standards-based school district and dramatically
expanded the district’s teacher professional development program, focusing on
literacy, science, and cultural competency. Olchefske also established a levy-funded
technology plan which has provided Internet access to every classroom, a workstation
on every teacher’s desk and a 5:1 student: computer ratio district-wide. He joined the
district in 1995 as its chief financial officer, during which he developed the Weighted
Student Formula, an innovative method of funding schools within the district. Prior to
that, Olchefske was the managing director of the Public Finance Department of Piper
Jaffray Inc. He has an M.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. from the University of

Maria Santory Guasp has served as assistant superintendent for Chula Vista, Calif.,
school district since 2001. Prior to that, Guasp was superintendent of schools for the
Community School District 9 in Bronx, New York, which included 36 schools and
32,000 students. During her tenure, she was recognized for middle school reform
efforts that resulted in the establishment of small learning communities, schools within
schools and school choice. She also served as chief executive for Instructional and
Student Support Programs and was responsible for K-12 citywide instructional and
professional development programs including bilingual education, special education,
and the chancellor’s district for the City of New York. She has an M.S. and P.D. in
Educational Administration from Long Island University, an M.S. in Bilingual and Urban
Education from Long Island University and a B.A. in Elementary Education from
Universidad Interamericana, Puerto Rico.

The additions to AIR’s staff builds upon an announcement in May that the
Washington, D.C. organization was merging with New American Schools
, a K-
12 consulting practice providing professional services to school districts, state
departments of education, charter authorizers, foundations and education service

AIR, founded in 1946, is a recognized leader in the behavioral and social sciences. It
is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization engaged in domestic and international
research, development, evaluation, analysis, product development, training and
technical assistance and assessment.
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
American Institutes for Research
(Merged with right-leaning New American Schools, which tends to be hostile to teacher
unions, and  is closely connected to  Targeted Leadership Consulting)
Blog posts Libia Gil (San Diego
Education Report blog)
Libia Gil covered up crimes by
assigning Richard Werlin to
investigate himself.
Site-based Management

Libia Gil

Experts in Education

Maria Guasp
Amalia Cudeiro
Letter to Gil regarding Werlin's
Blog posts Libia Gil
San Diego Education
Report Blog
Why This Website

Stutz Artiano Shinoff
& Holtz v. Maura
Larkins defamation



Castle Park
Elementary School

Law Enforcement



Stutz Artiano Shinoff
& Holtz

Silence is Golden

Schools and Violence

Office Admin Hearings

Larkins OAH Hearing
New American Schools' web address seems to be for sale since it merged with American
Institutes for Research.

Ms. Gil has become involved in
Targeted Leadership Consulting with her pals Amalia Cudeiro
Maria Guasp.