Carol Wilson recently joined Westchester Education Services as Director of Client Solutions. She draws upon extensive experience developing education products and working alongside teaching professionals. This experience enables her to help guide our clients in created solutions that help students succeed.
How did you get your start in curriculum products and solutions?
Carol: After completing my service in the Navy where I worked in a project manager capacity on proprietary computer programs and software being developed for their fighter jet program, I joined Centec as an educational trainer. I found the position interesting because it allowed me to apply the computer experience from my military service to helping teachers customize curriculum for the needs of their students.
Take us through the next phases of your career.
Carol: Centec was purchased by Computer Curriculum Corporation, a company that was founded by Dr. Patrick Suppes, who realized the potential for computers to cross income, color, and class lines to equalize access and education opportunities for K-12 students. CCC was later acquired by Simon & Schuster who wanted to extend their product lines through the development of multimedia education content. Unfortunately, the concept was slightly ahead of its time, so Simon and Schuster sold their education businesses to Pearson in 1998, who merged them into Addison Wesley Longman to create Pearson Education. I continued to advance my career at each of these companies through the successive ownership changes and ultimately had a role with Pearson’s Digital Learning Division, where I was a curriculum product specialist supporting school districts with their curriculum and assessment solution product needs.
You eventually made a decision to shift from working with education software products to the hardware. Tell us about that.
Carol: As personal computing capability became more powerful and less costly, a transition was taking place in schools from having a computer lab that served the entire school or a bank of computers set up in each classroom to one-to-one pairing of laptop devices for each student. It opened up the possibilities for customized solutions that could be delivered based on each students’ individual learning needs. This was the realization of the vision that Dr. Patrick Suppes had conceptualized in the early 1960s when he started the Computer Curriculum Corporation, and I wanted to have an active role in bringing that change to classrooms.
What is it about Westchester Education Services that interested you?
Carol: After moving on from Pearson, I had business development roles with companies including Edmentum, Panasonic, and more recently Renaissance Learning. Having spent a significant portion of my career working at the school district level for education publishers to implement hardware and curriculum solutions, I was intrigued by the idea of joining a company like Westchester Education Services, who works with education publishers and ed tech companies at the beginning of the process to help create or update the materials that students and teachers will use.
What are you looking forward to most in your role here at Westchester?
There are many stakeholders invested in students achieving successful outcomes, including parents, who have needed to become more actively involved in their child’s education due to the necessity of hybrid and remote learning models. I’m excited about working with Westchester’s clients in this evolving education ecosystem, using technologies that have a positive impact on learning for all students and educators.
To learn more about the collaborative approach and customized solutions Westchester Education Services can apply to your product development objectives, please contact us.