USATestprep was founded by two teachers,
and all of our standards-aligned curriculum creators are current or former teachers-as are many of our sales, marketing, and customer success employees. For you, this means knowing you're receiving teacher-vetted content that is guaranteed to keep students engaged and on track, day after day. For us at USATestprep, it means no running in the halls, asking permission before we get up to use the bathroom*, and being reminded daily to use our "inside voices."
Dr. Christine Jax Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Jax is best known for serving as Minnesota's education commissioner in the Ventura Administration, where she spearheaded standards and assessment reform, improved teacher compensation, and initiated more transparent performance reporting.
Classroom experience: Christine has worked in education for three decades and has held several executive positions and professorships in education. She started her career as an early childhood teacher and is most proud of founding and running a school for homeless children in Minneapolis.
Education: Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration; M.A. in Public Administration; B.A. in Child Psychology
Media: Christine has published a book, academic peer-reviewed articles, and more than one hundred mainstream articles on topics in P-12 education, higher education, and parenting. She has provided expert commentary for major media outlets, including CNN, ABC News, Discovery, Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Favorite classroom memory: Teaching English in China. "Kids really are the same throughout the world. They're nice, funny, curious, and eager to better themselves and their surroundings. This gives me hope that today's problems will indeed be solved by the next generation."
Fun Fact: She has a passion for travel and has been to sixty-six different countries and all fifty states.
Larry Coty Academic Manager, Math and ELA
Larry's primary interests include mathematical logic and foundational issues in mathematics, set theory, British historiography and literature of the 18th century, the archaic religions of the Indo-European peoples, the development of Greek drama, and German history in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Joined USATestprep: 2007
Classroom experience: Larry has taught mathematics for 31 years at the middle school, high school, and college levels, and he is an adjunct professor at Georgia State University, where he was a tenured faculty member.
Education: B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago; M.A. in Math Education from Georgia State
Favorite classroom memory: Larry has many wonderful memories from his time in the classroom. A few choice ones include giving detention to an entire row of students at a time, asking his GSU discrete math class to finish an exam during a bomb threat evacuation (they refused), and having the school's yearbook dedicated to him one year while he was teaching high school.
Favorite quote: "If F is a consistent formalized system which contains elementary arithmetic, then Cons(F) is not provable in F." --Kurt Gödel. (If you love this quote or want to know more about it, Larry requests you drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And yes, he means it.)
Kirby Spivey Academic Manager, Social Studies
Kirby Spivey is one of USATestprep's original content creators, creating curriculum questions as far back as 2003, before joining the company full-time in 2010.
Classroom experience: Kirby has 26 years of educational experience, 17 of them in the classroom teaching World History, U.S. History, Government, and Geography. He was also a Reader and then a Table Leader at the AP World History Reading. He has taught in both public and private schools.
Education: B.Ed. in Social Studies, Auburn University; M.A. History (World History concentration), Georgia State University
Favorite classroom memory: "My last day of teaching before taking the USATestprep job, my incredibly awesome homeroom rolled my classroom, knowing my love of Auburn University and Toomer's Corner."
Fun fact: Kirby and his wife volunteer for Furkids, Georgia's largest no-kill private animal shelter.
Dr. Michael Tolmich Academic Manager, Science
The Academic Content Manager for Science. He is a National Board-Certified Teacher in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Science.
Classroom experience: Michael has 19 years of classroom teaching experience. He has taught Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science.
Double duty: Michael was the boys soccer coach during his 19 years of teaching.
Education: B.S in Biology/Chemistry from Oglethorpe University; M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education from Georgia State University; Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University
Favorite classroom memory: "I taught a young Hispanic student in the 10th grade. He did not pass the necessary test to graduate high school, due to the language barrier, and took the test multiple times. I started to work with him outside of school, and he was able to pass and graduate with his class. He was so proud, and I was as well."
Favorite quote: "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do" - Pele
Trey Loker Academic Manager, Elementary Education
Trey was a content creator for USATestprep for two years, specializing in all elementary subjects, before joining the company full-time in 2019.
Classroom experience: Trey has spent 18+ years in the classroom, teaching all subjects across third to seventh grade in different Virginia school districts. He proudly notes that he has even taught at his childhood elementary and middle schools!
Education: B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education from Bridgewater College; MSEd Educational Administration, Shenandoah University
Favorite classroom memory: "My youngest daughter's first day of kindergarten was my first day of teaching fifth grade. During lunch, she ran over to my table and gave me a huge hug!"
Fun fact: Trey has four beautiful children ages 13, 11, 8, and 6. He also spent the better part of 18 years eating lunch every day over the copy machine.
Amy Brown Chief Operating Officer
Amy joined USATestprep in 2007 as a mathematics content author. Her passion for helping teachers in the classroom is readily apparent through the various roles she's held at USATestprep, including the management of sales, marketing, customer support, content, and product teams. She is currently COO and manages the Customer Experience team.
Classroom experience: Prior to joining USATestprep, Amy taught high school mathematics for 7 years.
Education: B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education from The University of Georgia; M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from The University of Georgia; and Ed.S in Instructional Technology from Valdosta State University. Amy also holds a Gifted In-Field Certification for grades 6-12.
Favorite classroom memory: "I can geek out on math and love teaching Geometry. My favorite day of the year involved doing geometric constructions in the street with sidewalk chalk."
Fun fact: Amy has three children, ages 11, 8, and 6.
Linda Porter Customer Success Manager
Classroom experience: Linda comes to USATestprep with 24 years in the education field, including 18 years as an English Language Arts teacher and 3 years as both an instructional coach and district level behavior specialist.
Education: B.A. Secondary Ed. English & Communications; M.S. Education (Literacy) & Applied Behavior Analysis
Favorite classroom memory: One of my - and my students' - favorite assignments was the culminating Argumentative Writing Unit. Each student selected and defended an appropriate topic of their choice, and presented it to a panel of 3-4 adults from a variety of professions who listened, asked questions, and provided feedback and an evaluation.
Favorite quote: "Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." - Mattie Stepanek
Sharon Valeris Customer Success Manager
Classroom experience: Sharon taught for 13 years in the NYC public school system. She also worked as a Resource Room teacher in elementary schools in the Bronx and in Queens, NY. She specialized in remedial reading instruction and, for 10 years, focused on RTI and providing Academic Intervention Services to at-risk youth.
Teaching as a second career: Sharon came to the profession through NYC's Alternative Certification Program for career changers. While completing the coursework necessary to attain certifications in General Education and Special Education, she worked as a special education teacher in an inclusion classroom setting. She credits "...wonderful mentors for whom I am eternally grateful!" for putting her on the path to teaching.
Favorite classroom memory: "I bumped into a former student years later and he introduced me to his friends as, "The lady that taught me to read."
Fun fact: A field trip where Sharon observed kindergarteners handling reptiles with no fear cured her (somewhat) of a fear of snakes.
Shannon Millard Product Manager
Shannon began writing ELA questions and filming instructional videos for USATestprep while still in the classroom. She made the transition to USATestprep in 2012, and has since assisted with content development, tech support, and implementation. In her current product management role, she strives to ensure USATestprep is the best it can be.
Classroom experience: Shannon taught 6th grade Language Arts for five years in the school where she did her student teaching. She also served as the grade level RTI coordinator.
Education: B.A. in Middle Grades Education (grades 4-8) with concentrations in English Language Arts and Mathematics
Favorite classroom memory: "My favorite memory was an end-of-the-year egg hunt that another teacher and I began as a competition between our classes. We stuffed hundreds of Easter eggs with questions and asked the PE department for permission to use the field. We took every class outside and hosted a giant relay race that became an annual tradition."
Fun fact: Shannon is an avid sports fan (go Georgia Bulldogs!) and was the staff fantasy football champion for three years in a row.
Classroom experience: 10+ years
Education: B.S. in Science at Furman University; M.S. in Secondary Science Education from Georgia State University
Favorite classroom memory: "I taught astronomy as an elective at Pope High School early in my career. The students and I went camping and had a blast despite cloudy skies."
Favorite quote: Anything from Ric Flair.
Fun fact: Jay enjoys mountain biking, golf, running, and taking his lab to the beach. The thing that grinds his gears the most is the mention of "28-3".
* Just kidding, we have a hall pass. Back to top ↑