Areas of Expertise


About Learning Point Associates

Contact Information

For more information about Learning Point Associates products and services:

Phone: 800-356-2735

Fax: 630-649-6700


Naperville, Illinois, Office:
1120 East Diehl Road
Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563-1486

Chicago, Illinois, Office:
20 North Wacker Drive
Suite 1231
Chicago, IL 60606-2901

New York, N.Y., Office:
22 Cortlandt Street
Floor 16
New York, NY 10007-3139

Washington, D.C.,

1100 17th Street N.W. Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036-4632

Beyond the Bell, Learning Point Associates, TechPOINT, and VirtualPOINT are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Learning Point Associates.

Learning Point Associates is a nonprofit educational organization with more than 20 years of direct experience working with and for educators and policymakers to transform education systems and student learning. Our vision is an education system that works for all learners, and our mission is to deliver the knowledge, strategies, and results to help educators make research-based decisions that produce sustained improvement.

Our Vision
Our vision is an education system that works for all learners.

Our Mission
We deliver the knowledge, strategies, and results to help educators and policymakers make research-based decisions that produce sustained educational improvements.

Our Core Competencies
In response to identified client needs, Learning Point Associates offers comprehensive services in the areas of evaluation, policy, professional services, and research to K–16 education stakeholders at the school, district, state, regional, and national levels. Competencies include comprehensive school improvement, teacher quality, afterschool programming, data tools for school improvement, and literacy.

Our Expertise
We are known for the work we do:

  • Designing and conducting client-centered evaluations.
  • Analyzing and synthesizing education policy trends and practices.
  • Delivering high-quality professional services directly to our clients.
  • Conducting rigorous and relevant education research and evaluation.

Our work consistently builds the capacity of our clients to be good consumers, practitioners, and advocates for educational excellence.

Our goal is to be client centered, responsive to needs, sensitive to constraints, and driven to high-quality results. Our professional staff of 150 continues to grow as our work expands both nationally and internationally with offices in Naperville, Illinois; Chicago; and Washington, D.C.

Our goal is to build the capacity of the clients we serve to be good consumers, practitioners, and advocates for educational excellence.

For additional information on Learning Point Associates, please refer to the company profile and history.

Leadership Team

Gina Burkhardt, Chief Executive Officer
Gina Burkhardt has provided the vision and drive to transform what was formerly known as the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory® into a thriving nonprofit education agency now called Learning Point Associates. She has 20 years of experience working in the regional educational laboratory program and has held classroom teaching, research, consulting, and several nonprofit management posts.

Robert Davis, Chief Financial Officer
As CFO, Bob Davis maintains oversight of the organization’s financial position, fiscal strategy, and assets. With 20 years of financial experience, he is well versed in the areas of federal reporting, compliance, contracting, and negotiations.

Lawrence Friedman, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer
A member of the staff since 1986, Lawrence Friedman, Ph.D., oversees the evaluation services of Learning Point Associates, leading large-scale research and evaluation projects, investigating high-priority reforms, and communicating findings and recommendations to policymakers. He has more than 25 years of evaluation and research experience in the United States and abroad.

Susan Hopkins, Chief Officer, Human Resources
Susan Hopkins is responsible for implementing human resources policies and managing activities related to benefits, compensation, employee performance, employee relations, and professional and organizational development. She has extensive experience in management development programs.

Sabrina Laine, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer
Sabrina Laine, Ph.D., the director of the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality at Learning Point Associates, has a diverse background in educational policy and teacher quality. Her work includes several published studies on teacher supply and demand, teacher professional development, alternative certification, teacher recruitment and retention, and teacher turnover. She is skilled in working effectively with local, state, regional, and federal education agencies and is sensitive to the challenges faced by educators in urban, rural, and low-performing schools.

Ted Stilwill, Chief Operating Officer
Ted Stilwill oversees the work of professional services, information services, facility operations, and program management. Currently, is the project lead for both Great Lakes East and Great Lakes West Comprehensive Assistance Centers managed by Learning Point Associates. Most recently, he was the director of the Iowa Department of Education. As an experienced leader, he has spent 18 years in various classroom and school administrative positions.

Bob Stonehill, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer
Bob Stonehill, Ph.D., is chief program officer of afterschool and extended learning time programs and a senior contributor to teacher quality initiatives. Before joining Learning Point Associates, he was the deputy director of Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. His 30-year career at the U.S. Department of Education covered a range of programs—from managing the regional educational laboratories to providing leadership for key policy objectives of No Child Left Behind. He has extensive experience in developing, managing, and evaluating national education initiatives to improve learning and teaching in high-need schools.

Board of Directors

George Needham, President—Columbus, Ohio
George Needham is vice president of Member Services for the Online Computer Library Center. He is skilled in consensus building, change management, team building, communications, and budgeting. His previous professional experience includes directing the Public Library Association in Chicago and directing member services at the Ohio Library Association in Columbus.

Jeffrey Miller, Vice President—Indianapolis, Indiana
Jeffrey Miller is president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, a post he has held since 1994. He has more than 25 years of experience in business and nonprofit management and also serves as board president of REL Midwest at Learning Point Associates.

Linda Darragh, Treasurer—Chicago
Linda Darragh is the director of Entrepreneurship Programs and adjunct associate professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. In both the public and private sectors, her efforts have focused on the development of capital and financial initiatives for entrepreneurs. Her work also emphasizes the importance of market and margins.

Gary Wood, Secretary—Chicago
Gary Wood is a trustee for the Louis R. Lurie Foundation of San Francisco, dedicated to improving the lives of youth and their families. He previously served as vice president and general manager of Chicago properties for The Lurie Company, where he was responsible for a multimillion-dollar budget and for overseeing the daily management of more than 1.2 million square feet of office space in two Chicago Loop office buildings.

Shaye Mandle—Chicago
Shaye Mandle is senior business manager for the Science Applications International Corporation, where he heads strategic business development focused on defense, homeland security, and federal and state government and commercial business opportunities. His particular areas of interest include organizational structure, management, and positioning. He also has practiced law, coordinated legislative analyses, and directed a legislative district office in Illinois.

Michael Feuer, Ph.D.—Washington, D.C.
Michael Feuer, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education in the National Research Council of the National Academies, where he was formerly the first director of the Center for Education and the founding director of the Board on Testing and Assessment.

Edward Hamburg, Ph.D.—Chicago
Edward Hamburg, Ph.D., was second-in-command of SPSS Inc. from 1992 to 2004, serving as its executive vice president of Corporate Operations, chief financial officer, and corporate secretary. He continues with the company in an executive advisory position; is a director and audit committee chair of Interactive Intelligence, Interlink Electronics, Perceptive Software, and Thrupoint; and works as a venture partner with the private equity group of Morgan Stanley.


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