N&D InFocus: High-Quality Correctional Education

N&D InFocus: High-Quality Correctional Education

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In a December 2014 letter introducing the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice’s Correctional Education Guidance Package, Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder urged jurisdictions throughout the country to “be creative in taking steps to improve traditional academic offerings and to expand access to career and technical education [and] postsecondary education options for youth confined in juvenile justice facilities.” They further contended that, for these young people, “providing high-quality correctional education that is comparable to offerings in traditional public schools is one of the most powerful, and cost-effective, levers we have to ensure that youth are successful once released and are able to avoid future contact with the justice system.”

To exemplify the Guidance Package, particularly the Guiding Principles for Providing High-Quality Education in Juvenile Justice Secure Care Settings, NDTAC will kick off a series of N&D InFocus programs exploring high-quality correctional education aligned with the five guiding principles that States and localities are implementing to prepare youth in their care for college and careers. The first program on Wednesday, March 18, 2–3:30 p.m. EDT will explore the history of ED and DOJ’s partnership to address the education needs of youth in confinement and highlight the pieces of the Guidance Package and particularly the Guiding Principles. The program will also feature two States that have prioritized high-quality education for youth in juvenile correctional facilities, investigating how they are implementing the guiding principles. Program guests include:

  • Joaquin TamayoSpecial Assistant to the Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Simon GonsoulinDirector, NDTAC
  • Karl KoenigAssistant Director, Office of Federal Programs and State Title I, Part D Coordinator, Ohio Department of Education
  • Jennifer SandersDeputy Director, Office of Education and Reentry Services, Ohio Department of Youth Services and Superintendent of Schools, Buckeye United School District
  • Sam KoEducation Specialist, Oregon Department of Education
  • Ron WassomPrincipal, Monroe High School at the Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility

We welcome your questions and comments about this program at ndtac@air.org


Meet Our Guests

Joaquin Tamayo, a former high school teacher and principal, is Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the United States Department of Education (ED). In his capacity at ED, Joaquin focuses on issues related to teacher quality, student supports, and school climate and discipline.  Prior to his federal service, Joaquin was the assistant director of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program, where he researched and advised on educational improvement and innovation in large urban school districts. Joaquín also managed the Aspen Senior Congressional Education Staff Network, a bipartisan network of senior congressional education committee staff that focuses on critical issues in federal K-12 policy.  Before joining Aspen, Joaquín served as high school principal at the Capitol Hill campus of the César Chávez Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC, and, in 2005, founded the Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law (AGL), a small, government and law-themed college preparatory high school in New York City's Lower East Side.  From 1998 to 2002, Joaquín served as a high school social studies teacher at Huntington Park High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Simon Gonsoulin is a principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research concentrating his work in the areas of education, mental health, and juvenile justice.  Mr. Gonsoulin currently serves as the Director of the National Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Neglected or Delinquent Children and Youth (NDTAC). Additionally, Mr. Gonsoulin has acted as the juvenile justice resource specialist for the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) and as a juvenile justice specialist for the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS). Prior to joining AIR, Mr. Gonsoulin was appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet in Louisiana as the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Youth Development where he led the state’s juvenile justice reform efforts for four years.  As the Deputy Secretary he oversaw an annual budget of 182 million dollars and had statewide responsibilities of the newly created state agency which included secure care, probation and parole services and contracted community-based services for juvenile justice involved youth.  As a professional educator, Mr. Gonsoulin served in many capacities ranging from classroom teacher, school principal, parish director of special education, and state director of juvenile justice education.

Karl Koenig is an Assistant Director with the Office of Federal Programs at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).  Karl has been with the ODE since 2005, where he started as a college intern to the State Superintendent for Public Instruction.  He has held the position of Administrative Assistant, Management Analyst and Education Consultant, all in the Office of Federal Programs. This is his third year serving as the state’s Title I Neglected and Delinquent Coordinator.

Jennifer Sanders is currently the Deputy Director of the Office of Education and Reentry Services for the Ohio Department of Youth Services.  She serves as the Superintendent of the Buckeye United School District which serves the youth adjudicated to the care and custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services.  She has served in this role since July 2013. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the Bowling Green State University in 1992 and earned her Master of Science in Education Administration from the University of Dayton in 1999.   Jennifer possesses licensure through the Ohio Department of Education in teaching comprehensive social students grades 7–12; high school Principals licensure and licensure as a School Superintendent. Prior to her employment with the Ohio Department of Youth Services, Jennifer worked nearly 20 years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.  In that department she served 14 as a teacher, school administrator and Academic Director within the Ohio Central School System and served as a deputy warden in 2 institutions.  

Sam Ko is currently the Educational Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education for the Juvenile Detention Education Program (JDEP), Long-Term-Care-Treatment Program (LTCT), and Youth Corrections Education Program (YCEP). Duties at the Department include participating on a team that develops budgets, legislative concepts, administrative rules, guidelines and procedures, and technical assistance to 67 sites in the state of Oregon, Previously, Sam was a teacher, curriculum coordinator, and vice-principal, and principal of 2 elementary schools. Sam’s fondest years in education are the 6 years that taught at the only high school that is located on Hawaiian Homestead Land in the state of Hawaii.

Ron Wassom is principal of Monroe School, located within Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility in Burns, Oregon, as well as two alternative school programs in the community. Ron’s first 15 years were spent at Burns High School teaching chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics, followed by being principal of BHS for 13 years. This is his fourth year as principal of Monroe School. Ron has been an active member of various community and regional boards, including Cascades East Area Health Education Center (CEAHEC), Harney County Community Health Improvement Program (CHIP), Safe Communities Coalition and has served as chair of Eastern Oregon University/Treasure Valley Community College Distance Education programs for Harney County.



Event Date

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 2:00PM to 3:30PM EDT

Event Location

Adobe Connect