The ICG Team
The Instructional Coaching Group is a small team of passionate, talented, and hardworking people who want to make a difference. It’s our pleasure to work with partners around the globe to improve the education of all students. If you are interested in ways you can partner with us to improve education, read through the following pages, or contact us about our institutes, on-site workshops, coaching, consulting, or publications.
Jim Knight, Senior Partner of ICG, is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than a decade studying instructional coaching, writing several books on the topic. Jim’s articles on instructional coaching have been included in publications such as The Journal of Staff Development, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, and Teachers Teaching Teachers. Jim directs several research projects, including Pathways to Success, a comprehensive, district-wide school reform project in the Topeka, Kansas, School District. Jim also leads the coaching institutes and the Teaching, Learning, Coaching annual conference. Jim has presented and consulted in more than 40 states, most Canadian provinces, and around the world. He has also won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards.
Jenny Knight, Senior Partner of ICG, founded the company with Jim Knight in 2006. Jenny co-authors the Reflection Guides and Field Guides and oversees most of the communication, design, and financial aspects of the company. Jenny also partners with Jim to refine the vision and reach of ICG and to increase the impact of its research arm, The Impact Research Lab. Jenny is independently educated with emphases in educational practice, philosophy, and design.
Ann Hoffman, M.Ed.
Ann Hoffman, Senior Consultant at ICG, and a Professional Development Leader for the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (KU-CRL) with more than 30 years of experience. As one of the first professional developers for KU-CRL as well as one of the first consultants with ICG, Ann has worked with thousands of teachers, coaches, and administrators in the United States and internationally. Ann is a recipient of the Gordon R. Alley Partnership Award and the Strategic Instruction Model Leadership Award, both from KU-CRL. She is also the 2017 recipient of the Don Deshler Leadership Award from the Instructional Coaching Group. In addition, Ann serves as a founding member of the advisory board for the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted and Talented Education at the University of Iowa. Ann lives in Iowa and California with her family.
Michelle Harris, Senior Consultant at ICG, began teaching in El Cajon, California. She taught middle school English and social studies before serving as an instructional coach, Title I coordinator, student manager, and assistant principal at three middle schools, a K-8 school, and a 6-12 IBO school, all in Beaverton, Oregon. A seasoned staff developer, Michelle has presented and keynoted all over the United States and in Europe and Africa. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two sons. When not working, she enjoys reading, traveling, attending her sons’ numerous sporting events, entertaining friends and family, and sitting in a chair on a sunny beach.
Sharon Thomas, Senior Consultant at ICG, is a National Board Certified English teacher, instructional coach, student advocate, and writer. Along with her work in ICG workshops, Sharon coordinates the ICG Coaching Certification process. She is also a consultant for the Touchstones Discussion Project and a Certified SIM Professional Developer in the area of writing. She is the founder of the Cecil County [Maryland] Teacher Leadership Network and has presented at conferences across North America on the issues of secondary school literacy and teacher leadership. Her experience with teacher leadership in school reform was published in Principal Leadership. Sharon lives in Maryland with her family.
Tricia McKale Skyles
Partner, Safe & Civil Schools
Tricia McKale Skyles, Professional Developer at ICG, is an educational consultant with Randy’s Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools and a co-author of Coaching Classroom Management. After being a classroom teacher, Tricia served as an instructional coach, working extensively with the Strategic Instruction Model from the University of Kansas and continues as a consultant for Jim Knight’s Instructional Coaching Group. A middle school teacher at heart, she now resides in Rolla, Missouri, with her family, when she isn’t flying around the country in an aluminum tube.
Chief Operating Officer
Emily Malatesta, Chief Operating Officer at ICG, graduated from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in education in 2011. She also earned post-graduate certification in applied behavioral analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2012. Emily’s role at ICG includes supporting events, professional development partnerships, the Impact Research Lab, marketing, and more! She loves that ICG at its core is passionate and dedicated to the betterment of themselves and others. In her free time, she enjoys playing on the beach with her family, film and photography, and traveling every chance she gets.
Ruth is in charge of all things “administrative” for the Instructional Coaching Group. Previously, she has been a stay-at-home mom, worked in direct sales, and most recently, worked as the Administrative Assistant to the CEO at Valley County Health Systems. Ruth especially enjoys her work with ICG as she is able to work from home in rural central Nebraska, which gives her the flexibility to take care of her grandsons when they are not in school. Thus, you may receive emails from Ruth that bear a time stamp of very early morning, or very late at night! Most of all, she is very excited about the opportunity to work with ICG and to be a part of something that is truly making a difference, ultimately, for our children and grandchildren.
Administrator, Operations Manager
for One Fine Bird Press
Brooke Deaton, Administrator at ICG, looks after the workshop registrations, helps with Jim’s travel arrangements, orders books for the trainings, and whatever else she can do to assist Ruth. She loves being a part of ICG and hopes she can make an impact in her corner of the world.
Manager of Partnership and Global Outreach
Erin Krownapple, Manager of Partnerships and Global Outreach at ICG, has built her career on a variety roles and responsibilities related to professional learning solutions. She has managed multiple product lines, planned and organized professional conferences, and coordinated professional development engagements. In ICG, Erin has found a home that she loves – an organization that aligns with her values of integrity, dignity, and mutual concern. Her favorite parts of her role are interfacing with partners and collaborating with the amazing staff at ICG. Outside of work, Erin loves crossfit, traveling and exploring with her husband, and relishing life’s simple pleasures with her family of five – six if you include the mutt.
Director of Marketing
Sasha Strunk, Director of Marketing at ICG, graduated from California State University Channel Islands where she majored in Psychology. After college, she traveled abroad throughout Europe and spent a short time living in London, which is where she fell in love with afternoon tea and Pimm’s Cup. Sasha’s role at ICG includes: building marketing strategies across all channels, including website, email, and social media; partnering with education services providers; and working closely with the design and writing team to produce meaningful marketing collateral. When she’s not crafting ICG campaigns, Sasha enjoys playing ‘beauty salon’ with her daughter, watching Jeopardy with her husband, listening to disco music, and hunting down delectable, non-chocolate desserts.
Writer in Residence
Matthew Kelly, ICG’s Writer in Residence, graduated from the University of Kansas in 2010 with a degree in English Literature. While in college in Lawrence, KS, Matt managed the local used book haunt, The Dusty Bookshelf. After their studies, he and his wife moved to New York City, where he worked for the landmark Strand Bookstore and eventually HarperCollins Publishers. Now back in Kansas City, Matt partners with the ICG marketing and design team to write and edit copy for most ICG materials, including the Radical Learners blog, the ICG Brochure of Services, and the website. He is also a husband to a truly amazing and inspiring woman, ‘parent’ to a tiny, goofy dog named Bruce Wayne, musician, bookworm, and movie buff.
Chase Christensen, Design Director at ICG, graduated from the University of North Texas in 2018 with a BFA in Communication Design. He began working with ICG shortly after college, feeling fortunate to start his career with a company dedicated to meaningful, socially-conscious work. At ICG his responsibilities include design and development of the company brand, the yearly conference, in addition to designing digital and print products along the way. He works closely with Sasha, Director of Marketing, to position ICG for growth and expand its influence to reach more educators and coaches around the world. When he’s not designing, Chase runs a local skateboard company, explores new restaurants in Austin where he lives, and travels whenever he can.