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 two decades 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 Intensive Instructional 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 started with ICG in 2007, handling the administrative side of ICG from her home in rural central Nebraska. But as the company has grown and more people brought on-board, her work has become more focused on the bookkeeping and payroll portion of the business. We have also been blessed to be able to move into an office building, that now provides office space for both Brooke and Ruth, along with warehouse space for our books and other materials.
Administrator, Operations Manager
for One Fine Bird Press
Brooke Deaton, Administrator at ICG, manages all workshop and event registrations, supervises online product purchases, and operates the shipping of product and event materials. She also assists Ruth on additional administrative tasks as needed. Brooke 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. Sasha’s role at ICG allows her to think creatively across multiple areas including 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, and going glamping with friends.
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.
Director of Design
Chase Christensen, Director of Design 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 creating a better world. At ICG his responsibilities include creative direction of the global brand and the annual TLC 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.
Director of Organizational Learning
Geoff Knight, Director of Organizational Learning, graduated from the University of Kansas in 2006 with a degree in Anthropology. He then spent 12 years in Tanzania living at a Children’s Center, partnering with the surrounding community to establish vital development projects. Through interviewing, project management, and qualitative analysis, Geoff became a cultural liaison between supporters of the project and project stakeholders. Now in New Jersey, Geoff works as a researcher and head of the certification process with ICG. This includes conducting focus groups, reviewing relevant literature, and holding interviews with coaches, teachers, and administrators. Geoff’s work helps expand a lean-design approach to consistently improving ICG offerings for educators and schools.
Melissa Terrano graduated from the University of Southern California in 2004 with a bachelor’s in communication and double minors in spanish and business. She also received her teaching certification from California State University, Bakersfield in 2007. In 2018 she graduated from California State University, San Marcos with her master’s in literacy and in 2020 she graduated from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro with her master’s in school administration. She spent 14 years as a teacher in private schools, public school settings, home school organizations, and public charter schools. Melissa strongly resonates with ICG’s goals of promoting education and excellence in the classroom, and helping people be their best selves, inside and out of the classroom. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors with her family, running and working out, watching her kids swim, and adventuring around her new home in North Carolina.
Jenny Kelley is the administrative assistant to Jim Knight and Emily Malatesta. Having recently retired from a long career in dentistry where she assisted in the clinical care of patients and led and instructed teams, she realized she was most passionate about facilitating the relationship building required to create a thriving and healthy work environment where each professional was empowered to have the most positive impact. Jenny places a high value on life-long learning and is naturally aligned with ICG’s mission. As such, she’s excited to be part of the team and help move the vision forward. A native Kansan, Jenny unapologetically loves the midwest! When she isn’t working, you will find her either spending time in nature, cuddling her dog, Kubo, or hanging out with her amazing friends
Amy Musante is an educator and instructional coach, and at the heart of her work is a belief in relationships and helping diversified school communities move into action that authentically suits their unique needs. She spent 17 years in Oregon as a High School English Language Arts teacher, Instructional Coach, and Secondary Schools Intervention Specialist. She received her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University and has done considerable work partnering with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project with a focus on literacy at the secondary level. Amy serves on a Board with the State University of New York (SUNY) system focusing on impacting the student experience at the high school and college level. In her free time loves reading, spending time in nature, seeing friends and family, and cheering on Buffalo sports teams at a more reasonable hour on the East Coast!