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Harcourt Assessment Names Five Vice Presidents in the Custom Assessment Programs Department; Duane Manning, Mikel Brightman and Sally Valenzuela Promoted Susan Kolber and Kelly Goodrich Join Company.

SAN ANTONIO -- Leading test developer and publisher Harcourt Assessment, Inc. has completed a reorganization of its Custom Assessment Programs department and named five vice presidents who will help sharpen the company's customer focus and deliver world-class services.

Duane Manning, Mikel Brightman and Sally Valenzuela have been promoted from within the company while Susan Kolber and Kelly Goodrich have joined Harcourt from other companies. All five report to Senior Vice President of Custom Assessment Programs Robin Gunn. Vice President of Psychometrics and Research Services John Olson, who has held that position since joining the company in September 2003, also reports to Gunn.

"This is a winning team of executives that is dedicated to the success of our customers' programs through flawless execution on delivery and quality," said Gunn. "With test development, program management and psychometrics working together within one organization, we can better ensure that all of the pieces fit together to deliver reliable and valid custom assessment programs."

Manning was named vice president of custom assessment programs in March and directs a staff of more than 20 program managers and administrators responsible for the delivery of more than 15 complex, statewide educational assessment programs. He joined the company in 1999 as a proposal manager and subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility in program management. Prior to joining Harcourt, Manning had a distinguished career with the U.S. Air Force.

Manning holds a bachelor's degree in business from the University of the State of New York. He also holds three associate degrees from the Community College of the Air Force. He is certified as a project management professional through the Project Management Institute and is also certified as an orange belt in Microsoft project scheduling.

Brightman was also named vice president of custom assessment programs in March and oversees the management of nine custom programs. She has held a variety of leadership positions in both the public and private educational sectors for more than 30 years.

Brightman originally worked at Harcourt as a national measurement consultant for two years in the late 1980s when the company was known as The Psychological Corporation. She returned to Harcourt in 2001 and as a senior program manager she had responsibility for one of the company's largest and most complex custom programs.

Prior to rejoining the company, Brightman was executive director for research and evaluation for 10 years in San Antonio's Edgewood Independent School District, and she also served on the board of Communities In Schools-San Antonio. She also held positions at the Houston Independent School District, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston.

Brightman holds a both a master's and a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Texas at Austin. She is certified as a project management professional through the Project Management Institute and is an orange belt in Microsoft project scheduling. She is also certified in Texas as both a teacher and principal, and is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education.

Valenzuela was named vice president for custom development in June and oversees the development of assessments for language arts, mathematics, science and social studies that are aligned to each client's state standards. Her department of approximately 200 employees provides item development, test construction, and editorial services for 35 custom programs.

Valenzuela joined Harcourt in 2002 in the catalog science group, and has directed both the science and mathematics content development groups. She came to Harcourt from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she helped direct a regional systemic education reform project. Prior to that, she spent a number of years as a high school science teacher. Valenzuela holds a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio.

Kolber joined Harcourt in late 2004 as vice president of customer solutions and oversees several groups, including the Project Management Office, the Customer Support Center, Professional Development Services and Special Programs. Her teams support more than 100 Harcourt customers nationwide.

Kolber has more than 20 years of experience managing programs and services in diverse and complex environments. She specializes in project management, business systems design, strategic planning and process engineering. She previously worked in education, software technology, financial services, banking and manufacturing, and most recently held positions at Pearson, Inc., Buzzeo, Inc., City Colleges of Chicago and First Security Bank Corp.

Kolber holds a master's degree in business administration from California State University and a bachelor's degree in secondary social studies from the State University College of New York. She is also certified as a project management professional through the Project Management Institute.

Goodrich joined Harcourt in June as vice president of online assessment programs. In this new position, Goodrich will expedite the integration of online products into ongoing assessment programs and will oversee online product rollouts and customer implementations at both the state and district level.

Prior to joining Harcourt Assessment, Goodrich had diverse experience in education technology, higher education, enterprise software, Web solutions and academic publishing.

Most recently, as vice president of marketing for Pearson Digital Learning, Goodrich was selected by senior management to deliver an audit of the company's services and support organization to initiate organizational change and improvements.

Goodrich holds a master's of business administration from the University of Arizona and a bachelor's degree in psychology and English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Based in San Antonio, Harcourt Assessment is a leading provider of high-quality assessment instruments and testing programs used by educators, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, human resource professionals, admissions and credentialing professionals, and businesses. Through the development of custom statewide educational testing programs, Harcourt is helping more than 20 states meet the accountability requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The company is a unit of Harcourt Education, which is the global education brand of Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE:RUK) (NYSE:ENL). Reed Elsevier is a world-leading publisher and information provider operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business industry sectors.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 27, 2005
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