Biographies

GOA teachers are supported by our exceptional staff and faculty, including five full time instructional designers, helping them to take their great teaching online.

GOA Staff
Michael Nachbar
Executive Director

Clear in vision and generous of spirit, Michael’s approach to GOA starts with fostering strong, personal relationships between GOA students and their teachers.  Michael exhibits a keen understanding of all aspects of school administration, along with a great deal of flexibility and ingenuity as he leads a consortium of diverse schools, each with its own culture and mission.

Michael has both the broad perspective and the empathy necessary to work with each constituency impacted by GOA’s diverse programs.  Working with a creative and dedicated staff is one of his favorite aspects of his job, and he is known for welcoming new ideas, and helping the best ideas flourish.

Prior to GOA, Michael was middle school assistant director at Lakeside School in Seattle.  He, his wife, and two wonderful children live in Seattle, enjoying all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Eric Hudson
Director of Teaching & Learning

A mentor and a guide, Eric sees both the big picture and pays attention to every detail.  A natural problem-solver, Eric tackles problems from multiple angles, often landing on creative solutions that combine what’s possible in teaching and what has to be different in an online environment.

Eric was drawn to GOA by the opportunity to work closely with teachers from all over the world and across many fields and disciplines.  His colleagues turn to Eric for even-keeled evaluation of a situation and solutions that account for many variables.

Prior to GOA, Eric taught English at Kingswood Oxford and Buckingham Browne & Nichols Schools, where he spent seven years integrating technology into school classrooms.  Eric is an avid reader, a failed gardener, and a messy but enthusiastic cook.  Eric lives on Cape Cod, MA.

Susan Fine
Instructional Designer and Communications Coordinator

With a passion for developing programs, supporting teachers and thinking about education in new and innovative ways, Susan has worked in education for more than 25 years.

Her last position in an independent school was as the English Department Chair at the Collegiate School in New York City.

She was also previously Head of Content at the Grow Network, an education start-up focused on using data to drive instruction, and has worked as an education consultant pursuing curriculum and professional development projects, largely within charter schools.

Outside of education, Susan’s passion lies in design, in particular typography.  She’s published two books and her dream is to write a grammar book that leverages beautiful design in a way that enables readers to fall in love with speech and all that language enables us to do every day.

Jason Cummings
Instructional Designer and Faculty Experience Coordinator

A former director of global education, a modern languages department chair, a speaker of Spanish and Russian, a college athlete, and a jazz pianist, Jason Cummings brings diverse talents and experiences to GOA. Learning languages, exploring many countries, and building the global education program at Greens Farms Academy (a GOA school) make him an ideal match with GOA’s mission to promote global awareness through global classrooms.

When asked about his decision to join GOA, Jason said he’s ready to explore something off the traditional independent school career path. Coaching teachers in varied disciplines as an instructional designer will enable Jason not only to take advantage of his work teaching and leading a department but also to navigate pedagogical questions on blended and online learning.

Outside of work, Jason spends time with his family, shepherding his kids around sites in Boston, kayaking, and biking. While he reads many picture books, his longer literary favorites include Anna Karenina and Cortazar’s Hopscotch. A consummate giver of books, Jason likes nothing more than giving the right book to the right person.

Emily Hamlin
Instructional Designer and Student Experience Coordinator

Organized and empathetic, Emily engages a thoughtful, creative approach to instructional design. An artist at her core, Emily brings creativity and employs a playful approach to backwards design when it comes to problem solving and design consultation.

Emily loves being on the front lines as online education starts to play a critical and necessary role in helping students develop empathy and global perspective. Her colleagues describe Emily as an entrepreneurial, strategic thinker, with a friendly, approachable demeanor.

Prior to GOA, Emily spent 7 years teaching studio art, most recently at the Rivers School, where she enjoyed serving on technology and student leadership task forces, coaching the field hockey team and talking about anything middle school related. Emily loves thinking about big picture education and recently pursued an advanced degree in independent school leadership and organization. The kitchen cabinets of her Boston-area home are filled with dishes she threw on her potters wheel and the walls are covered in art she bartered with friends. In her down time, Emily enjoys hiking with her wife, Kathleen and their pugggle, Milo, playing board games or tackling DIY projects around the house.

Kristin Daniel
Instructional Designer and PD Experience Coordinator

Collaborative, articulate, and enthusiastic, Kristin comes to GOA with a wealth of experience working with teachers across disciplines and age groups. Kristin joins GOA from The Overlake School in Redmond, WA, where in her role as Learning Specialist she worked with teachers and students to redesign the school’s instructional support system. Prior to her work at Overlake, Kristin led professional development programs at the University of Kansas and The George Washington University, where she designed both in-person and online learning experiences for secondary school educators.


Kristin’s work on collaborative problem-solving and connecting educators around issues of teaching and learning is exciting for GOA. Her commitment to understanding how students learn best will push forward our ongoing work to translate the best teaching and learning into the online learning environment. When she’s not at school, Kristin can usually be found outdoors, embarking on a new adventure and exploring her adopted home, the Pacific Northwest.

Lucas Ames
Instructional Designer and Technology Strategist

Combine an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for innovation, and you have Lucas Ames. A former department chair and head cross country coach at the Flint Hill School, a world traveler, an entrepreneur, and an innovative educator, Lucas brings exactly the type of passion that makes GOA the innovative hub for our member schools and beyond. While at The Miller School of Albemarle he developed blended learning models in AP Macroeconomics and Pre-Algebra courses.

Lucas cites his willingness to develop and construct new experiences as a reason for joining GOA. He is able to take projects from the visioning to application seamlessly, which will be a great asset to the GOA team.
Lucas and his wife are avid global travelers who have visited a variety of unique places in the past five years, including El Salvador, Denmark, Turkey, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, and Croatia. His most recent accomplishment is becoming a father to a baby girl. Lucas lives in and will work from Charlottesville, VA, U.S.A.

Robin Pinné
Administrative Assistant

A perpetual creator of win-win outcomes, Robin’s great strength is listening to the needs of those she works with, inferring goals, organizing information, and identifying the best possible solutions. Her colleagues describe her as infectiously positive, supportive and possessing a quiet but solid wisdom that gently guides the organization forward. Robin sees her role as the grease in the machine, she works tirelessly to orchestrate details and manage logistics that serve the mission, and does so while setting others up to shine.

Robin brings her diverse background to GOA, including experiences in the outdoor recreation, healthcare non-profit and broadcast media industries. Originally from the Bay Area, Robin’s path has led her to Seattle where she most recently worked in digital ad operations and sales before joining the GOA team as an administrative assistant.

Family, health, perspective and remaining goal-oriented are important to Robin. She makes time for muddiness and messiness in her home while balancing her growing interest in clutter clearing philosophies. An avid outdoors woman, Robin can often be found with her two sons, hiking, biking, or doing any activity that involves snow in the playground that is the Pacific Northwest.

GOA Board of Directors
Andrew Watson
Academic Committee Chair

Now in his eleventh year as Head of Albuquerque Academy, Andrew previously spent a decade each at Fountain Valley School and The Potomac School.   “GOA distinguishes itself through the quality and intentionality of its instruction, created by the strength of the GOA schools, and the very thoughtful planning and professional development pumped into all of the courses.  The results are spectacular.”

Arlyce Seibert
Finance Committee Chair

Director of Cranbrook Schools, Arlyce is a 40-plus year veteran of the independent school world. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Eton Academy, and as a member of the Executive Board of the Association of Independent Michigan Schools. She was also selected as a member of the oldest heads of schools organization in the country, The Headmasters Association. “GOA gives students the ability to engage in courses not available in our brick and mortar classrooms.  Not only do these courses serve our students’ interests, passions and goals, they expend their network of peers, friends and potential colleagues. Our faculty can participate in new and exciting teaching experiences that impact the classroom experience for all students.”

Bernie Noe
Mission & Governance Committee Chair

Bernie is Head of Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington. He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Schools.

Jim Best
Board Chair

Jim is the Associate Head of School at The Dalton School in New York City. Prior to assuming that role, Jim spent over a decade as a teacher, advisor, coach, Dean and Division Director in independent schools in The United States and abroad.

Dana Okeson Weeks

Dana is the Head of School at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining GFS, she spent more than 23 years as a teacher and administrator at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s School.

Emily McCarren

Emily McCarren is the Academy Principal at the Punahou School. Her dissertation research examines the role of teacher care on a student’s online learning experience.  She taught a Spanish course and a PD course in the inaugural year of the Global Online Academy and is fascinated by the potential of online learning to increase access to personalized learning, strengthen global communities and improve equity in education.

Mark Milliron

Mark is the co-founder and chief learning officer at civitas learning. He is an innovator, leader, speaker, author, and catalyst in the K-12, Higher Education, and Workforce Education worlds.  “Giving students early online experiences simply prepares them for the vibrant array of learning options they are likely to experience in higher education and throughout their careers.  It affords them the opportunity to use these tools to have expanded learning options today that are not limited by time or place.”

John Austin
Board Vice Chair

As headmaster of King’s Academy in Jordan, John combines his scholarly grounding in literature and philosophy with a keen interest in shaping the future of education.

Scott Looney

Scott is the Head of School at Hawken School in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to serving as Head of School at Hawken, his alma mater, Scott spent 11 years at Cranbrook Schools.

Tim Bazemore

Tim joins Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon as the Head of School in Summer 2014. Tim has served on numerous boards and committees in the Northeast and joins Catlin Gabel from New Canaan Country School in New Canaan, CT, where he was head of school.

Richard Shaw

Richard H. Shaw began his tenure as Stanford’s dean of admission and financial aid as of September 1, 2005. Dean Shaw led Yale’s undergraduate admissions and financial aid office from 1993–2005,  as director of admissions at the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1993, associate director of admissions and records at the University of California-Berkeley from 1983 to 1988 , and in various admission and residence positions at the University of Colorado-Boulder from 1972 to 1981.

He is a member of, and has served in leadership positions for, several national admission groups, including the College Board, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Consortium on Financing Higher Education and National Association of College Admissions Counselors.

Crystal Land

Crystal Land serves as the Interim Head of School at Head-Royce in Oakland, California where she has worked in various administrative and teaching positions during her 26 years.  In addition, Crystal consults with schools nationwide through Leadership and Design and the California Teachers Development Collaborative (CATDC).

Tim Carr

Tim is Head of School at Jakarta Intercultural School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Over the past twenty years, Tim and has family have had the good fortune to have lived and worked in six different countries on four different continents.