Leaders and Associates


Welty Center Leadership

Dr. Virginia Boris, Welty Center Co-Director and Lecturer

Department of Educational Research and Administration 
Kremen School of Education and Human Development

photo of borisVirginia “Ginny” Boris is a lecturer at Fresno State University and the Co-Director of the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI).  She teaches and mentors aspiring educational leaders at the Master’s and Doctoral level in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.  Committed to making the University experience relevant, Dr. Boris has enhanced the University’s Central Valley footprint through course-based fieldwork, interagency partnerships, and CVELI programs and events.  Dr. Boris is beginning her sixth year at Fresno State following a 37 year career in the Clovis Unified School District serving as a teacher, high school administrator, middle school principal and area superintendent; she served her last 15 years as associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction.  

Dr. Boris has conducted extensive studies on curriculum alignment having focused her doctoral work on the subject.  She is a lead Curriculum Management Auditor and has served on curriculum audits across America for over a decade.  Last year she conducted 37 workshops in the Central Valley on school leadership, instructional improvement and transitioning to the Common Core..

Marc Johnson, Welty Center Co-Director and Consultant

marc photoMarc Johnson retired in June 2013, after a 37-year career in public education as a teacher and administrator.  He currently serves as the Co-Director of the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute at California State University Fresno after retiring as the Superintendent of the Sanger Unified School District, where he had served for 14 years. Sanger Unified students include high minority, high poverty, and high English Language Learner populations. In 2004 the district was one of 98 school districts in California to be named a Program Improvement (PI) District due to low performance of English Learners.  Two years later the District was one of the first to exit PI status due to the continued improvement in student achievement in all groups, but in particular with EL Learners. 

Sanger Unified has seen dramatic improvements in all of its schools especially at sites that had been traditionally underperforming.  In the last 8 years Sanger schools have been recognized as California State Distinguished Schools 20 times, Title I Academic Achieving Schools 18 times, and three Schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools. All three of the District’s middle schools have been named as “Schools to Watch” due to their continuous dramatic improvement making Sanger only the second district in America to have every middle school program receive this recognition.  In 2011, Mr. Johnson was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators.



Dr. Nancy Akhavan, Assistant Professor

Department of Educational Research and Administration 
Kremen School of Education and Human Development

photo of nancy akhavanNancy Akhavan is a former teacher, staff developer,  principal, and assistant superintendent, currently serving as Assistant Professor and Single Subject Credential Coordinator at California State University, Fresno.  She has taught a variety of courses including doctoral courses on Educational Leadership. She also provides instructional coaching and leadership coaching to schools and teachers across the country.

In addition to her professor related duties at Fresno State, Dr. Akhavan also serves as the chair of Phonics special interest group of IRA, and editor of the CLEAR Voz journal, Facilitator for the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI), and advisory board member for the Bonner Center for Character Education.  Areas of expertise include:

  • Literacy, reading and writing instruction
  • Content-based reading instruction
  • Standards-based instruction
  • English language learners
  • Educational reform
  • School and district leadership—in both urban and rural setting

Elaine Cash, Educational Consultant

photo of elaine cashElaine C. Cash retired as Superintendent from Riverdale Joint Unified School District after 27 years in education. Her education career included experience as a classroom teacher, elementary and high school principal, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, and 9 years as superintendent. During her years as superintendent, all of Riverdale schools earned a California Distinguished Schools recognition, and Riverdale High School received the College Board National Inspiration Award in 2009. Her article, A Change in Beliefs Leads to A Change in Behavior and Student Achievement, was published in the National Staff Development Council, Journal of Staff Development, June 2010.

Mrs. Cash works as an education consultant. Current work includes Director of the Closing the Gap Project with West Hills Community College District and the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and Regional Facilitator for Pivot Learning Partner’s Executive Leadership Center. She also serves as a Management Trustee for California’s Valued Trust’s (CVT) Board of Directors. CVT is the largest health and welfare trust in California serving CA school employees. Her areas of expertise include:

  • Executive Coach for Superintendents
  • Leadership Development
  • Change Management
  • Transforming School/District Culture
  • Instructional Rounds
  • Instructional Leadership

Dale Drew, Educational Consultant

photo of date drewDale Drew is the retired Superintendent/Principal of Washington Colony Elementary School District (Fresno County). He is a graduate of California State University, Fresno (Administrative Credential, Elementary Teaching Credential) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (Secondary Teaching Credential, B.A. - History). He began his educational career in the Lakeside Union Elementary School District (Kings County) in 1973 where he remained until 1992, when he began his tenure as Superintendent/Principal at Washington Colony ESD. He retired on June 20, 2010, after 37 years in public education.

Mr. Drew served as an Executive Committee member and President of the Small School Districts' Association; member and chairperson of ACSA's Small School District Committee; Executive Board Member and Treasurer of ACSA's Fresno County Charter; member of the ACSA Region IX Board of Directors; and member of ACSA's Superintendency Council. He received the CSU, Fresno Kremen School of Education and Human Development Noted Alumni Reward and was selected as ACSA Fresno County Charter Superintendent of the Year. His areas of expertise include:

  • School/District Administration
  • Board/Superintendent Relations
  • Leadership Development
  • Finance
  • Educational Technology
  • Personnel

Dr. Mark Ford, Educational Consultant

photo of mark fordMark Ford has spent more than 34 years working in K-12 education, 31 years of which was in administrative assignments ranging from school site leadership to district administration. His last 15 years in full-time public education were in the Kingsburg Elementary Charter School District including 10 years as the Superintendent overseeing the growth of the district from 4 to 7 schools and implementing the professional development programs for all employees working in a collaborative environment to ensure the academic success of all students.

Dr. Ford has also been a part-time instructor for both the Masters and Doctorate programs in Education at CSU-Fresno and CSU-Bakersfield and as a guest lecturer at Fresno Pacific University. He has also been a facilitator with CVELI and an administrative coach to superintendents, district and site-level administrators. His areas of expertise include:

  • Executive Coach for Superintendents, district and site leadership positions.
  • Culture change at district and site levels.
  • Administration of Human Resources
  • Instructional Rounds support


Dr. Mabel Franks,  Instructor and Welty Center Coordinator

Department of Educational Research and Administration 
Kremen School of Education and Human Development

photo of mabel franksDr. Mabel Franks has served more than 35 years in service to students as teacher and Principal in Clovis Unified School District and as Assistant Superintendent in Fresno Unified School District, the 4th largest district in California, supporting Middle Schools and Special Education.  Dr. Franks is currently an instructor in the Educational Leadership program at Fresno State University and support a variety of Welty Center programs and services. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, national business reports and regional news media for her innovative thinking and focus on leadership and student engagement and achievement and has received numerous awards  at the district, county and region levels.  Her research on effective school reform underscores the need to unite the entire school community in a common cause, the education of our children- all our children. Areas of expertise include:

  • Systems and systems thinking
  • Reform, school improvement and action planning
  • Instructional practices and student engagement
  • Coaching, interpersonal skills and conflict management
  • School and district leadership


Dr. Linda Hauser, Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Research and Administration 
Kremen School of Education and Human Development

photo of linda hauserLinda Hauser has been in education for over 30 years, currently serving as a Professor at California State University Fresno, Educational Leadership Department, where she teaches in the Educational Leadership and Administration Master’s Program and Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. She served over 28 years in K-12 public education as the Chief Academic Officer for Fresno Unified School District, and as Area Superintendent, Administrator for Professional Development (K-12), elementary school principal, secondary learning director, resource teacher and teacher in Clovis Unified School District. She received her BA in Communicative Disorders (deaf education emphasis) and teaching credential from Fresno State, her MA in Administration and Reading Specialist Certification from Fresno Pacific University and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of LaVerne. 

Dr. Hauser has been recognized as a Fresno County Administrator the Year. Under her leadership as principal, her elementary school was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. She has done extensive work in schools and districts in organizational development and facilitation and has led the development of numerous programs and projects. She has been a conference presenter at AERA, National Staff Development Council (NSDC) conferences, ACSA Leadership Academy presenter and consults with schools and districts throughout the state. She was an award recipient from NCSD for a model professional development program: Project BEST (Beginning Educator’s Support in Teaching). Dr. Hauser serves as a dissertation advisor for doctoral students and research in her areas of expertise that include:

  • Organizational Development
  • Executive and Cognitive Coaching
  • Instructional Rounds
  • Performance Excellence Criteria/Developing High Performing Systems
  • Alignment of the Instructional System
  • Project Management
  • PDSA - Cycle of Inquiry - Model for Continuous Improvement
  • Data management practices and program/system evaluation

Dr. Don Wise, Assistant Professor, retired
Department of Educational Research and Administration 
Kremen School of Education and Human Development

photo of Don WiseDon Wise served at Fresno State for 17 years. Before that he served as a superintendent in five overseas schools, and a principal overseas and in the US. Besides teaching and directing research of doctoral and master's students, he also works with the government of Guatemala to establish a nationwide educational coaching program and teaches courses in leadership in Mexico.

The opportunity to work with Welty has kept Dr. Wise current with the many changes in schools and allowed him to visit numerous classrooms each month with school principals.

His areas of expertise include:

  • Executive coach for superintendents and principals
  • Program evaluation
  • Educational planning
  • Educational leadership

Steve Weil, Educational Consultant

photo of steve weilSteve Weil retired from Clovis Unified School District after 34 years in public education. He has served as a secondary history and business teacher, high school counselor, middle school learning director, high school deputy principal and principal. He retired with 14 years experience as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

Since retiring in 2007, Steve has worked as a leadership coach and project lead with Pivot Learning Partners. He has also worked with Welty  on a number of leadership projects with the Rural Network and Middle Leaders programs. His areas of expertise include:

  • Executive Leadership coaching for Superintendents and principals.
  • Strategic Planning and project management.
  • Professional Development
  • Alternative Education expertise