Tim OttTim Ott

CEO, SPN and Director, CTE TAC of NY

Tim is a lifelong educator with more than 33 years of service to schools nationwide. He was named President of the Successful Practices Network in September 2010 and will manage all education initiatives of the company including the implementation of the new CTE Technical Assistance Center. From 1996-2010 Tim worked closely with Bill Daggett at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). As Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Tim oversaw all education initiatives for ICLE, including all major education contracts, and the annual Model Schools Conference and symposiums. Tim maintains a consultant role with the International Center where he manages several school turnaround contracts and provides advice and technical assistance on other areas of the International Center’s education offerings.

Tim also worked for 10 years at the NYSED, where he coordinated a number of programs associated with the department’s reform agenda and served as an assistant to the Director of Occupational Education. He conducted numerous workshops and regional meetings and worked with all BOCES and hundreds of schools across New York during his tenure at the department. Tim also served as Director of an Albany field office of the City University of New York Research Foundation. The field office coordinated statewide curriculum development activities and in-service education programs for occupational education teachers. Tim began his career as a physical education teacher and coach in upstate New York.

Contact Tim at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518.723.2070


Constance SpohnConstance Spohn

Assistant Director, CTE TAC of NY

Constance Spohn serves as the Assistant Director, and previously as the Lead Technical Assistance Center Specialist of the CTE TAC. She retired from the position of Director of Special Programs at Fonda-Fultonville Central School, Fonda, NY. Her education includes a B.S. and M.S. in home economics education from the State University College at Oneonta, NY. She holds a Ph. D. in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from the University at Albany, and permanent certification as a teacher and school district administrator.

Dr. Spohn’s work experience includes teaching career and technical education and special education students. Her students have ranged in age from pre-school to adult. She began her career at the Madison Oneida Counties BOCES in Verona , NY where she taught career exploration courses to special education students and child care services to both special and general education students. From there she moved to the SUNY, College of Agriculture and Technology, Cobleskill, NY as a professor in the Early Childhood Division. She served as an academic advisor to approximately 45 students per year. One of her major responsibilities was to supervise students doing their practicum experiences in elementary schools and community agencies serving children and families. At the University at Albany, she worked as the Coordinator of the Greater Capital District Tech Prep Consortium and Director of the Two-Year College Development Center. Both positions required the planning and implementation of professional development activities on a statewide basis. This was followed by employment with the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery County BOCES as director of the Montgomery County 21st Century Community Learning Center Afterschool Program for middle school students. She also served as Interim Elementary Principal at FFCSD. Dr. Spohn has consulted for the US Department of Education, the NYSED, the National School-to-Work Office and the Center for International Leadership in Education. She is an adjunct professor teaching on-line courses for the Vocational Teacher Preparation program at SUNY OSWEGO.

Dr. Spohn has experience in professional organization leadership on local, state and national levels. She has been state president of the NYS Home Economics Teachers Association and the NYS Occupational Education Association and served on the National Tech Prep Network Advisory Board. She has strong skills in grant writing and administration, curriculum and staff development, and most importantly, collaboration.

Contact Constance at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518.723.2138


Dick JonesDr. Richard (Dick) Jones

Center Specialist, CTE TAC of NY

Dick has varied and extensive education experience, and understands the importance of education in a changing world. Dick has worked with educators in all 50 states developing the commitment to school change and skills necessary to better prepare students for the future. Dick served in several leadership capacities for two decades in the New York State Education Department, responsible for implementing leadership programs, curriculum development, professional development, integration of education technology and school improvement. He has also worked in the private sector developing technology applications for schools. Dick has demonstrated his leadership in the creation of many new education programs. In his four decades as an educator, Dick has shared with hundreds of audiences his passion for learning and vision for the possibilities schools.

He has received his BS. M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. His experience in Career and Technical Education runs deep. He started his teaching career as a high school agriculture teacher. He served as a National FFA officer. He has authored fourteen books on instruction and leadership. His philosophy is "To be an educator, you must never stop being a student."

 Contact Dick at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deb Light Headshot


 Deb Light

Operations Director, SPN and Center Specialist, CTE TAC of NY

Deb has over 20 years of experience in education. As Director of Operations for the Successful Practices Network, Deb has vast industry experience including but not limited to nationwide conference planning and execution,  streamlining internal processes to increase productivity, high level internal and external support.

Contact Deb at: 518-723-2051 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jerry PedinottiJerry Pedinotti

Data Analyst, SPN and Center Specialist, CTE TAC of NY

Gerald has varied and extensive research and data analysis experience, and understands the importance of using data to guide effective decision-making.

Gerald is Vice President of Tipping Point Analytics, a company that specializes in acquisition, collection, management, and analysis of data for K-12 education, including Career and Technical Education. Gerald has designed and managed databases and industry-recognized national research initiatives for the International Center for Leadership in Education and the Successful Practices Network (SPN).

Gerald is currently a research consultant to the International Center, as well as the Technical Assistance Center of NY, and has assisted hundreds of schools with understanding and reporting their performance data, including state and national test scores, student engagement criteria, disciplinary actions, and demographic indicators. Gerald has experience in collaborating with education foundations and organizations to engage business and industry in the education reform process at the state level.

As a Senior Associate for the International Center until 1998, Gerald was project manager for several major research initiatives for the International Center, including the National Essential Skills Study (NESS), the Lexile Framework for Reading Study, and the “We” Survey suite.

Contact Jerry at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518.723.2044


Gretchen SchwalbachGretchen Schwalbach

Communications Director, SPN and Center Specialist, CTE TAC of NY

Gretchen is a nonprofit communications professional and serves the CTE TAC of NY in the area(s) of marketing, content development, project management, event planning and advocacy. Gretchen has nearly 10 years of experience in event planning, marketing and fundraising in service to k-12 and post-secondary initiatives. She is particularly interested in the development of mission driven public/private sector partnerships in support of innovative opportunities for all students.

Contact Gretchen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518.723.2052