A+ Education Partnership today announced promotions of two key staff members. Thomas Rains has been named Vice President of Operations and Policy, and Magan Merritt has been named Program Director for A+’s Alabama Best Practices Center.
“Thomas has built a reputation as a credible source for policy makers and advocates who want well-researched and articulated information. His leadership is valued throughout A+ including the Alabama Best Practices Center and A+ College Ready and that will position him to improve the overall effectiveness of A+ by adding responsibility for operations, ”noted A+ President Caroline Novak.
Thomas has been with A+ since 2011 and previously was Policy Director, where he researched and advocated for policies to help ensure all students in Alabama graduate college and career ready. Thomas helped to launch Alabama GRIT – Graduate Ready. Impact Tomorrow., a coalition of more than four dozen education, business, civic, and military organizations that support holding all students to high expectations. He also helped foster innovation in Alabama’s education system, both in traditional public schools and through public charter schools. He is a member of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission. In his new role he will extend his policy work as the lead contact and will also play a key role in operations of A+. Thomas, a former teacher, is a graduate of Boston University and holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University.
“Magan is one of the greatest assets of the Alabama Best Practices Center. She seamlessly manages our four complex networks with ease and finesse,” said Cathy Gassenheimer, Executive Vice President for the Alabama Best Practices Center. “Educators participating in these networks greatly value her professionalism and prompt responses to their varied requests.”
Magan has been with A+ and the Alabama Best Practices Center since 2008. Under her coordination, the Alabama Best Practices Center has grown from two networks of educators to four with 15 regional divisions. Magan’s new role will be to ensure that the Alabama Best Practices Center continues to run smoothly behind the scenes, as well as continue her previous responsibilities as Program Coordinator in arranging training locations, issuing training credits, partnering with service providers, and handling the miscellaneous needs of the Alabama Best Practices Center. Magan is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery and holds a Master’s in Human Resource Management from Troy University Montgomery.