The staff of the Charter Schools Office is a mixture of diverse and unique talents and backgrounds coming together to make a wonderful team dedicated to providing the best services possible in our role of authorizing charter schools in the state of Michigan for Grand Valley State University.

Alphabetical Listing: For an alphabetical listing of our staff Click here.


  Name Duties
Timothy Wood
Special Assistant to President for Charter Schools
(616) 331-9060

Bio Page
  • Attract, recruit, and maintain the steady influx of high functioning national charter school operators in Michigan.
  • Provide high quality professional development for GVSU's charter school teachers to improve their practice of teaching.
  • Facilitate the Learning Network for teams of GVSU teachers and administrators to assist with best instructional practice implementation.
  • Assist in the recruitment of GVSU charter school teachers who want to receive a Masters degree from the GVSU College of Education.
  • Provide Board of education training in the Carver Board Governance training model.
  • Review, evaluate, and interview prospective charter school operators that seek to open new charter schools.
  • Facilitate the visitation of GVSU charter school students to the GVSU campus for tours and programming.
  • Evaluate the contract and effectiveness of existing GVSU charter schools to determine reauthorization of our charter schools
  • Oversee the full operation of the GVSU Charter Schools Office.
Patricia Oldt
University and Community Liaison
(616) 331-3479

Bio Page


  • Professor in Grand Valley's College of Education.
  • Lead for Strategic Planning.
Alyson Murphy
Director of Governance and Compliance
(616) 331-3656

Bio Page


  • Monitors GVSU authorized charter schools for compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Monitor GVSU authorized charter schools for compliance with their charter contracts.
  • Maintains the integrity of the electronic document management system.
  • Collects and maintains all new public school academy applications.
  • Monitors the terms of all board of educational members for academies.
Amirah Vosburgh
Manager of Programs and Marketing
(616) 331-9068

Bio Page
  • Manages and directs all programs offered by the GVSU Charter Schools Office.
  • Manages and directs all marketing efforts.
  • Plans and coordinates all events.
  • Director of GVSU Summer Enrichment Camp.
Sarah Pepper Haven
Office Assistant
(616) 331-2240

Bio Page
  • Works with the Manager of Programs and Marketing.
  • Works with schools and teachers/administrators with regards to reimbursements and invoices.
  • Manages the Charter Schools Office daily operations.
  • Supervises Front Office Student Workers.
  • Works with Independent Contractors and outside Vendors with regards to billing and contracts.
Robert Kimball
Deputy Director of Charter Schools
(616) 331-8549

Bio Page
  • Supervises Field Service Representatives.
  • Manages portfolio development.
  • Leads performance measurement team.
  • Manages government relations.
Ram Ravikumar
Data Analyst
(616) 331-9003

Bio Page
  • Manages performance analysis of the GVSU Charter Schools Office portfolio.
  • Develops annual contract performance reviews and provides real-time performance reports for all GVSU-authorized charter schools.
  • Manages data updates to website.
  • Assists Senior Director of Operations and Policy.
  • Content management for website.
Tona Ambrose
Compliance and Measurement Specialist
(616) 331-9070

Bio Page
  • Assists Senior Director of Operations and Policy and Director of Governance and Compliance in the areas of charter school performance and data reporting.
  • Assists the Director of Governance and Compliance in the areas of charter school compliance and board member processes.
  • Supports Field Service Representatives.
  • GVSU Summer Enrichment Camp Asst. Director.
Wendy Miller
Reading Intervention Specialist
(616) 331-9018

Bio Page
  • Supports teachers in the area of reading for GVSU charter schools.
  • Works with the charter schools regarding assessment, data, strategies, research, best practices, and implementation.
  • Develops Professional Development opportunities to help teachers grow their teaching craft in the area of reading.
  • Travels to all of CSO schools to work with teachers and students to help support them.
Jill Weber
Reading Intervention Specialist
(616) 331-9084

Bio Page
  • Supports GVSU charter schools in the area of reading.
  • Travels to all of CSO schools to work with teachers and students to help support them.
  • Develops Professional Development opportunities to help teachers grow their teaching craft in the area of reading.

Lissa Brunan
Assessment Specialist
(616) 331-6963

Bio Page

NWEA LiveBinder Site

  • Helps design, develop and facilitate professional development focused on understanding NWEA data and applying it to classroom instruction.
  • Provides on-site NWEA support for the GVSU-authorized schools throughout the year.
Ellen Sprouls
Arts Program Liaison
(616) 331-2240

Bio Page
  • Assists CSO with ArtPrize Education Days program.
  • Provides art opportunities for students in GVSU-authorized charter schools.
Bob Fortin
Field Service Representative
(616) 331-3708

Bio Page
  • Attends board meetings and works closely with both Charter School Boards of Education and their principals.
  • Serve as CSO liaison with boards & principals.
  • Meets & provides insights for new board members.
  • Participates in training for existing board members.
  • Field Service Representative for Arbor Academy, Byron Center Charter School, Crossroads Charter Academy (K-6 & 7-12), Endeavor Academy, Evergreen Academy, Excel Charter Academy/Grand River Prep High School, Forest Academy, Knapp Charter Academy, Oakland Academy, Timberland Charter Academy, Vanguard Charter Academy, and Walker Charter Academy. 
Dan Matthews
Field Service Representative
(616) 331-9058

Bio Page
  • Facilitates workshops and in-school trainings on the topic of Classroom Management.
  • Attends board meetings and works closely with both Charter School Boards of Education and their principals.
  • Field Service Representative for Black River Public School, Chandler Woods Charter Academy, Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids, Covenant House Academy Detroit, Metro Charter Academy, Michigan Virtual Charter Academy, Vanderbilt Charter Academy, West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics, and William C. Abney Academy. 
James D. Smith
Field Service Representative
(616) 331-6962

Bio Page
  • Facilitates GVSU professional development classes offered for PreK-12 school staff and administrators on the East side of Michigan. 
  • Field Service Representative for Detroit Enterprise Academy, Escuela Advancemos!, Global Heights Academy, Hanley International Academy, Legacy Charter Academy, , Michigan Math and Science Academy, Paragon Charter Academy, PSAD (UPA, UPSM, Henry Ford), Reach Charter Academy, Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy, and Warrendale Charter Academy
Dan Warren
Field Service Representative
(616) 331-9059

Bio Page
  • Works with charter school boards to establish effective governance.
  • Attends boards meetings.
  • Facilitates Professional Development workshops and in-school training centered on technology in the classroom.
  • Field Service Representative for Covenant House Academy (Grand Rapids), Detroit Achievement Academy, International Academy of Lansing, New Paradigm College Prep., Pathways Global Leadership Academy,  International Academy of Detroit, and Taylor Preparatory High School.
Larry Spencer
Field Service Representative
(616) 331-6956

Bio Page
  • Field Representative for Achieve Charter Academy, Detroit Merit Charter Academy, Detroit Premier Academy, South Canton Scholars Academy, Cornerstone Health High School, Madison-Carver Academy, East Arbor Academy, Washington-Parks Academy, Faxon Language Immersion Academy, Success Mile Academy, and Windemere Park Charter Academy. 
  • Attends board meetings.
  • Teaches GVSU Master of Education courses

Michael Cousins
Media Coordinator
(517) 581-1148

Bio Page


  • Manages GVSU CSO social media accounts and website.
  • Writes and edits stories about activity in GVSU CSO and its schools.
  • Responsible for internal technology support for the GVSU CSO.
Elizabeth Russell
GVSU CSO Detroit Center Coordinator
(616) 331-9217


  • Assists CSO with events and meetings at GVSU Detroit Center



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Page last modified February 21, 2014