Featuring the staff that makes the National Education Foundation what it is today.
Dr. Appu Kuttan
Founder & Chairman
Dr. Kuttan has been an advisor to many national and world leaders, including three US Administrations — Clinton, Bush and Obama, U.S. Congressional leaders, Indian Prime Ministers (in helping to make India a global IT power in the 1980s, and in helping to make India the leader in 21st century skilled workforce now) and Mauritius Prime Minister (on transforming Mauritius into an IT-focused nation). He is also the author of many innovative concepts such as MBS (Management By Systems), CyberLearning, Total Tennis, Win-Win-Win, Happy Executive, Holistic Executive, Kuttan Preschool (Mind-Body-Soul Life Style Development), and acclaimed books such as “From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity,” and Happy Executive – Nurturing Mind, Body and Soul. He is a Philanthropist who donated most of his personal funds from the sale of the World-famous Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy to the National Education Foundation (NEF). Described as a “Dedicated Difference Maker,” he has won several awards including the 2006 Global Digital Literacy Champion, and the 2011 University of Wisconsin Distinguished Achievement Award. He has been a mentor to many people, including world tennis champions Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and U.S. Presidential Honoree Roger Kuttan.
Dr. Todd Ullah
Dr. Ullah holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership. He is the winner of the 2014 CSTA Administrator of the Year Award, and has wide-ranging experiences in STEM education and marketing. As the former Director of Instructional Technology Applications and STEM for the Los Angeles Unified School District, he oversaw all educational technology programs, including district, state, and federal grants, and all STEM and Computer Science programs including curriculum, professional development, technology, STEM facilities development, and STEM grants for LAUSD. He served as Principal at George Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles where achievement increased for five straight years. Dr. Ullah helped implement the first charter schools in Los Angeles. Until recently, Dr. Ullah worked as the General Manager for California and Hawaii for Pearson Education.
Prof. Anthony Betrus
STEM+ Academy Program National Director
Prof. Tony Betrus, a national expert in digital education system, is a professor of Educational Technology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam. With funding support provided by NEF to SUNY Potsdam and Dr. Betrus, Tony and his team implement the NEF CyberLearning STEM+ Academy Total Solution programs in the Nation’s schools. Tony and his team, guided by NEF Chairman Dr. Appu Kuttan, developed a digital literacy course that has been successfully completed by several thousand students worldwide since 2012. He and his team at SUNY Potsdam also provide completion certificates for the Digital Literacy and CyberLearning online courses.
Supt. Art Stellar
Vice-President and Resident Superintendent
Dr. Stellar, the Winner of AASA’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award, is a seasoned superintendent. He is nationally known as an author of 60 plus articles on education, and a former national president of ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development). He has served as a superintendent in many states including MA, OK and NC. Dr. Stellar provides QZAB assistance to school superintendents and their curriculum, business, technology and facilities deputies. He knows how to structure the QZAB. His loyalty is to the profession and fellow superintendents. He understands their world, and how difficult it is for them to find funds. He has an open invitation to superintendents across the US and their deputies to invest 5 minutes with him to learn about receiving millions of QZAB dollars to meet their urgent priorities.
Director of Programs/Grants
Tamara is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Foreign Affairs-MENA; she also holds Master’s in both Public Policy and International Relations and Conflict Resolution. Tamara launched her career in Northern Virginia, where she began her specialization in early childhood education, reading, and curriculum development with a STEM/STEAM focus. This eventually led into academic coaching (K-Graduate School) and mentoring organizations with a specialized focus on building youth’s confidence in their academic and personal potential.
Trained as a researcher and public policy analyst, Tamara has a diverse background in ECE, K-12 education, Higher Education Administration, education policy, curriculum design, organizational leadership, program management and implementation, academic mentoring/coaching and non-profit development.
Director of Strategy
Roger Kuttan has decades of experience in business, counseling, and investment. He devised key strategies to expand NEF’s reach and effectiveness. A U.S Presidential Honoree, Roger earned from Stanford University, a JD with concentrations in Corporate and International Law, and an MBA where he completed the Global Management and Public Management Programs. Showing incredible achievement from a young age, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Finance, specializing in statistics, from American University at 18, and was awarded the Volvo Tennis Athlete/Scholar of the Year Award.
General Counsel & Communications Director
Maya Kuttan with over ten years of experience as an attorney and media specialist, has implemented successful campaigns and legal strategies for NEF. She has also provided counseling, enforcement, litigation support and rulemaking for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and municipalities, agencies, startups, and nonprofits. She earned a JD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law and a BA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Maya has garnered awards for her films and legal work.
Prof. Elizabeth Starks
Prof. Starks, a tenured professor at SUNY Jamestown Community College, is very passionate about K-12 STEM education and the NEF-SUNY STEM Vision for New York state- to help make New York the first STEM state in the U.S. Her efforts include working with Chautauqua County school districts to help them to replicate NEF’s highly successful TSSS (Total STEM System Solution) program in Brocton CSD. Prof. Starks is dedicated to providing quality education to early childhood learners. Her vast array of impressive credentials include serving as a Board member for NY State Association for the Education of Young Children, and the NY Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Board.
Pat Dengel retired recently as the state QZAB director at the PA Department of Education PDE). Pat has the unique distinction of issuing all of PA’s QZAB allocations ($112 million) during 2009-2011. Working with NEF, she also made sure that the PA QZAB school districts implemented QZAB academies that “prepared students better for college and workforce,” as required by the Federal QZAB law. In her capacity as an NEF advisor, Pat assists school districts with their QZAB applications. She also advises state QZAB directors.