Educational materials have evolved from basic textbooks to content that needs to be available in multiple formats, including online and mobile platforms. How do you ensure that your development resources are up to the task of creating programs that will work on the printed page as well as on-screen?
Meet Kevin J. Gray, Managing Director of Westchester K-12 Publishing Services.
K-12 education has been Kevin’s vocation since the beginning of his career, starting out as a substitute teacher before joining the Mazer Corporation’s editorial department in Dayton, Ohio. Kevin’s roles at companies including Mazer, Academic Benchmarks, Element LLC, and Cenveo helped him gain valuable experience in both the content and the technological aspects of educational materials.
At Mazer, Kevin took on roles with increasing levels of responsibility, including building out the editorial group in Mazer’s Boston location to complement their existing technology group. Kevin returned to Mazer’s Dayton headquarters in the role of Managing Editor, working with sales and operational leads to create RFPs, budgets, workflows, and oversee project financials. Concurrently with his Managing Editor role, Kevin taught for three years in the Stivers School for the Arts writing program. Teaching at this arts magnet middle/high school in downtown Dayton with a largely lower-income and primarily African-American student body helped Kevin develop a deeper understanding of the challenges teachers face reaching and engaging students. It also informed Kevin’s approach to developing product for clients.
In 2007, Kevin joined Academic Benchmarks (now Certica), a standard solution provider, which offered both a database for state standards and correlation services that paired client assets with applicable standards. In his roles as Client Services Analyst and Director of Client Services, Kevin oversaw a team of project managers, working on alignment projects for clients, and providing feedback to the product development team on ways the alignment tool could be improved.
Kevin returned to his product development roots when he joined Element, LLC as Director of Social Studies in 2011. In addition to creating Social Studies products for K-12 publishers, he led career tech and ELA programs. In 2013, he moved to Cenveo, where he originated the role of Content Director of ELA and Humanities, a new product line for the company. In this role, Kevin built out literacy and social studies teams, as well as contributing to the growth of the company’s project management, art, and design teams.
In 2017, Kevin came to Westchester as the Managing Director of the newly launched K-12 Publishing Services division. When asked what appealed to him most about leading Westchester K-12, Kevin explained that he “liked the unique approach of working with supplemental publishers large and small, as well as with giants like HMH or Pearson, to create supplemental materials that reflected the needs of the classroom.” Additionally, he cites the ability to build out a management “dream team” including Marie Brown, Westchester K-12’s Consulting Editorial Project Director, as an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Finally, having worked for a number of publicly-owned, publicly traded, or foreign-owned development houses, Kevin was excited about the sense of ownership for himself and his team that working for a 100% employee-owned company brought.
When publishers hear the name Westchester K-12, Kevin wants them to think about a commitment to quality and being provided with a custom approach that differentiates his group from other development houses. Kevin is excited about strengthening relationships with clients across a broad spectrum of educational publishing and ed tech. Kevin is also growing the division into the UK market, providing product development to educational publishers there.
Westchester K-12 has already set itself apart from competitors in the educational product development space with a consultative mindset that publishers can rely upon. Kevin’s vision and focus, along with his deep knowledge and understanding of what educational publishers require to compete in an everchanging education landscape, will assure this continues to be the case.