Scott Thomas began his career in education in 1999 as a middle and high school social studies teacher, and served for seven years as the Educational Equity Coordinator for one of Minnesota's largest school districts. As part of his responsibilities, Mr. Thomas supported the opening of three nationally recognized magnet schools, and also served as the district's director of AVID.
Scott earned his undergraduate degree (B.S. Sociology-Secondary Education) from Minnesota State University, Mankato; his M.Ed. (Teaching & Learning) from Saint Mary's University (Winona), and his degree in K-12 administration through Hamline University (St. Paul).
Mr. Thomas was appointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to serve on the State's Integration Revenue Task Force. Scott has served on numerous boards including Magnet Schools of Minnesota, where he served as its first president and co-founded the Minnesota School Integration Council. He has provided numerous keynotes and workshops around issues of systemic racial equity and access to opportunities in schools.
Scott may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Organizational Leadership & Development
Crystal A. Moore joined Magnet Schools of America in 2013 as the Director of Organizational Leadership & Development. She is responsible for growing MSA’s direct service to districts through professional development and technical assistance and seeking new funding sources for these offerings through corporate and foundations grants. Crystal brings nearly two decades of experience in education, fundraising, and training to her role at MSA, as well as a lifelong passion for educational equity.
Crystal has an undergraduate degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Master's degree in elementary education from the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching third and fourth grades at a several Philadelphia schools, she worked as a Consultant for Wireless Generation and a Professional Development Specialist for DC Public Schools.
Crystal can be reached at Crystal.Moore@magnet.edu.
Legislative & Communications Manager
John Laughner joined Magnet Schools of America (MSA) in 2010 and is responsible for building support for magnet school programs on Capitol Hill, with the White House, U.S. Department of Education, and other national education associations. He also spearheads MSA's communications efforts through its monthly eChoice newsletter, website and social media tools.
Prior to joining MSA, John was the Legislative Director for the Committee for Education Funding, the nation's largest and oldest education coalition. In this role, he led the education community's advocacy efforts to include $100 billion in education funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.
Mr. Laughner worked for the lobbying firm FBA, Inc. where he identified federal grant opportunities for universities and colleges and as a Legislative Coordinator at Stateside Associates where he tracked and analyzed state legislation on behalf of multiple Fortune 500 companies.
John also spent two years at the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid Office of the Ombudsman where he helped resolve student financial aid disputes and began his career in Washington, DC by working for several members of Congress.
He may be reached at email@example.com
Events Coordinator/Conference Liaison
Judy Shen joined Magnet Schools of America in 2007 as the Events Coordinator/Conference Liaison. She currently handles all aspects of conference planning, as well as office-related operations. In addition, Ms. Shen oversees the awards programs and manages MSA website content.
Ms. Shen graduated from the University of Maryland (College Park) with a B.A. in Communications. After graduation, she taught English overseas in China to a senior class at Hwa Nan Women’s College in the province of Fujian. Upon her return to the DC metropolitan area, Ms. Shen managed her family’s restaurant and eventually worked as a Special Events Assistant for the entertainment franchise Dave & Busters. Ms. Shen joined MSA, because she strongly believes in providing the best education possible to all students. She knows first-hand the potential each child has when they are fully engaged in something they are interested in. She has been involved in educational programming since her high school days. Starting in 12th grade, Ms. Shen managed city-run afterschool and summer programs, designed to integrate the kids and families of diverse economic backgrounds into the community.
Ms. Shen was a varsity volleyball player at the University of Maryland. She remains physically active, playing, tennis and volleyball. She also enjoys watching movies, attending concerts and spending time with her family. A Renaissance woman, Ms. Shen has taken courses in diverse fields, including art, automotive repair, education, and piano. She completed a massage therapy training program, and will continue working towards her Master’s in Fall 2013.
Judy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynda Clifford joined Magnet Schools of America in 2007 and is responsible for membership relations and office administration. She is currently working toward her Associate’s degree in Business Administration at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, MD and is a certified Notary Public for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining MSA, she worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce as an Administrative Assistant for five years.
Lynda may be reached at email@example.com