Our Staff

Great Lakes Comprehensive Center Staff


Gary Appel | Director

Gary Appel

Gary Appel is the Director of the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center and a Senior Consultant on the Education team at American Institutes for Research. As director of Great Lakes, he focuses on managing capacity building technical assistance to the state education agencies in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Previously, Appel worked for the Michigan Department of Education, where he was a professional development coordinator for a statewide mathematics and science systemic reform initiative. Prior to that, he directed the Life Lab Science Program, an elementary science curriculum and professional development initiative.

From 1990-1993, Appel was a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellow. Appel earned a master’s degree in science education from the University of Michigan and taught elementary science in Santa Cruz, California. Appel is the co-author of Leading Lesson Study: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Facilitators and The Growing Classroom.


Asta Mackeviciene | Project Manager

Asta Mackeviciene

Asta Mackeviciene, PMP, is a senior technical assistance consultant and project manager at AIR. Mackeviciene brings more than 15 years of experience of providing technical assistance to state education agencies (SEAs) through a U.S. Department of Education–funded regional comprehensive center. Her responsibilities include aligning and mapping out project activities to state-level initiatives and managing federal reporting and accountability. Mackeviciene provides research, development, and technical assistance support to build SEA capacity for district and school improvement. She is skilled at working with diverse teams to develop materials/products, organize and facilitate events, and design state-level improvement efforts. Mackeviciene is bilingual in English and Lithuanian. She earned a master’s degree in English and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Northern Illinois University–DeKalb.


State Managers


Bersheril Bailey | State Manager, Michigan

Bersheril Bailey

Bersheril Bailey is the Great Lakes State Manager for the state of Michigan and a senior consultant at American Institutes for Research (AIR) in the Education division. She works with state education agencies and intermediate school districts to develop systems that increase academic achievement for all students. She provides technical assistance to build their capacity to design statewide systems of support as well as to ensure alignment and coherence of all components of the system. She works closely with the Michigan Department of Education to facilitate a collaborative, cross-office team to develop a Michigan High School Roadmap to Success website and guidance document for high schools across the state. As a member of the department’s Dropout Challenge team, she has presented on the topic of dropout prevention at state and national conferences. Bailey has worked in elementary, middle, and high schools as a special education teacher, teacher consultant, assistant principal, director of alternative programs, and high school principal.

She implemented and supervised Smaller Learning Communities and a magnet program for mathematics, science, and engineering. Her most notable accomplishments include creating and supervising innovative high school programs for students who struggled to succeed in traditional high school settings. Bailey has extensive experience and training in classroom management and school improvement and in creating positive school climate and culture. She was chose Employee of the Year in 2006 by the superintendent and school board in her district. Bailey earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Michigan State University.


Frank E. De Rosa | State Manager, Indiana

Frank E. De Rosa

Frank E. De Rosa is the Great Lakes State Manager for the state of Indiana and a senior consultant at American Institutes for Research. He provides technical assistance and consultation for the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). He is currently assisting IDOE on major initiatives including college and career readiness , Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education, academic standards alignment and implementation, English language learners, Response to Intervention, and Formative Assessment, . De Rosa has served in Illinois on topics including educator evaluation models, using data for school improvement planning, school board finances and family and community engagement. De Rosa has also provided technical assistance and consultation to the Minnesota Department of Education on their High School Redesign project, to the Ohio Department of Education concerning their new “credit flexibility” policy, and to several state and regional offices and school districts involved in the school improvement process. From 2007 to 2009, he served as team lead for audits of the English language arts curriculum for districts in No Child Left Behind corrective action, under contract with the New York State Education Department.

De Rosa was principal (2003-2007) and associate principal (1993-2003) of Elk Grove High School, with a student enrollment of 2000+, in a diverse inner suburb of Chicago. Under his principalship the high school experienced four consecutive years of improvement on composite ACT scores; with multiple subgroups, made adequate yearly progress according to the Prairie State Achievement Exam and the federal No Child Left Behind legislation; in two subgroups, Hispanic students and students from low-income families, its scores were the highest in the district; with an emphasis on advanced placement participation, brought a 24 percentage point increase in participation and a 9 percentage point increase in students scoring 3 or higher in one year. De Rosa has 36 years of experience in public school education as a teacher and administrator. He has extensive experience in school administration, including a position as principal of a large high school in a diverse suburban district. De Rosa has a strong background in school improvement, high school reform, and leadership team building.


Mark Mitchell | State Manager, Ohio

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell is the Great Lakes State Manager for the state of Ohio and a senior consultant on the Education Division at American Institutes for Research. Mr. Mitchell has 16 years experience designing and facilitating professional development, and working at the state, regional, district, and school level to improve student outcomes. In his present position as state manager for the Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center, he manages a group of six consultants, staff, and subcontractors who provide technical assistance to the Ohio Department of Education focused on high-priority, statewide educational initiatives. As manager, he works collaboratively with leadership from the Ohio Department of Education and other stakeholders in Ohio to advance important work. This work includes the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the Ohio Improvement Process, restructuring and evaluation of the statewide system of support to districts and schools, common core state standards implementation support, and adoption and implementation of credit flexibility policy and opportunities for students across Ohio.

Mark Mitchell also develops the technical assistance plan with Ohio, provides written reports and documentation, and monitors the budget and the scope and quality of work.