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

Rosalie Baker, Educational Consultant

BakerRosalie Baker has worked in K-12 education Rosalie Baker worked in K-12 education for over 30 years, servins as a teacher, principal, and district administrator.  She served as the Assistant Superintendent for the Clovis East Area in Clovis Unified School District. for over 30 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and district and as a founding BCII partner.


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 


Dr. Mabel Franks,  Instructor and Welty Center Project Director

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
  • Communication
  • Data Team and Data-Driven Decision Making


Gary Giannoni, Educational Consultant

Gary Giannoni

Gary Giannoni has worked in schools for 40+ years.  He retired in June, 2008 after 32 years in the Clovis Unified School District, twenty-five years as an administrator.  While working as a leader in Clovis, he served in many roles; an elementary principal for four years, intermediate school principal for two years, and high school principal for seven years.  He spent the last seven years at the district level as the Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services.  

Since retirement from CUSD, he has been a Project Lead for eight years with Pivot Learning Partners, serving as an Executive Coach at the district level, as a curriculum and leadership skills coach for site principals/vice principals, and professional development presenter/facilitator for rural school districts with high poverty, high second language and highly diverse student populations.  He has also consulted with CVELI and the Welty Center in districts throughout the Central Valley and Sacramento Area.  His experience includes:

  • Cognitive Coaching
  • Instructional Rounds
  • PLC protocols
  • System-based leadership w/ focus on Continuous Improvement
  • Data Teams protocols
  • Building Coherence through Instructional Improvement

Gary has been married to his high school sweetheart, Diane, for forty-eight years (McLane Class of '67) and has four children and eight grandchildren from Kindergarten to college graduate.


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

Mary Noga, Educational Consultant

M NogaMary Noga is an educational consultant who is dedicated to building the capacity of teachers and site-level professional learning communities.  Through job-embedded experiences with K-12 teachers and administrators she guides the process of systems thinking based on the local vision and research-based decision-making to affect the work on the instructional core. Mary has extensive experience with Central Valley school districts presenting workshops plus facilitating instruction and curriculum development based on supporting the California Dept. of Education Math Framework.  At the forefront of her work is ensuring that students learn and maintaining a culture of collaboration.  Mary's educational career prior to retirement encompassed 31 years in Clovis Unified School District.  Her teaching experience included seven years in primary grades, nine years in middle school, and fifteen years at the high school level.  Her areas of expertise include:

  • Professional Development
  • Educational Planning
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Effective PLC's
  • K-12 Mathematics

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