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About Us

The National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO) is a national alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies, and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.

What We Do

The National Coalition for Public School Options advocates at the national, state and local levels for public school options that best serve individual students’ learning needs.

PSO informs lawmakers, policymakers and the public about the benefits of public school options through capitol day rallies, legislative meetings, committee hearing testimony, and more.

PSO fights back against threats to public school options, advocates for adequate and equitable funding, and dispels myths about innovative public schools.

Access barriers that prevent parents from choosing the best public school option for their child must be removed so that all students have equal access to a great education.

Board of Directors

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Colleen Cook, Oklahoma, President

Colleen Cook is a passionate advocate for school choice and parents’ rights. Having to make a change in her children’s education venue in 2012 prompted Colleen to become actively involved in the school choice movement in Oklahoma. Since then, Colleen has not only been an advocate for her three children, but for many parents and children throughout Oklahoma and across the country.

A Navy veteran, and spouse of a retired Naval Officer, Colleen knows how difficult transitional military life can be on families and how important it is for military children to have the absolute best education options available to them, regardless of where duty calls them to.

As a mother of three children, Colleen believes that all children have different needs and that it is possible, through school choice, to meet those needs and help our children excel as individuals. Colleen’s children, ages 19, 17, and 12, have all had various forms of education, from private, public, public charter, virtual and virtual charter, as well as concurrent college courses.

Colleen currently resides in Oklahoma City with her husband, Bill, and their three children. When not advocating for school choice, Colleen enjoys working for the TSA and as a private investigator, as well as enjoying a good book and chocolate.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Kyla Anderson, New Mexico, Director

Kyla Anderson is the mother of two boys, a foster parent, president of the New Mexico Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options, and president of the board of Pecos Connections Academy, a virtual charter school chartered with the Carlsbad Municipal Schools in New Mexico. Kyla became an advocate for school choice six years ago because of poor experiences her children had in both traditional public and private schools. An educator for seven years, Kyla knew something needed to change with New Mexico’s education system. She works tirelessly to educate parents about their school choice options, teaches them how to advocate for their children, and is a voice for all News Mexico children. Kyla and her husband live with their children in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Christin Kaiser, Louisiana, Secretary

Born and raised in Westwego where I currently reside with my three children:
Mary-Grace (14) a 7th grader in her third year with Louisiana Virtual Academy; Kole (12) a 6th grader at Myrtle C. Thibodaux; and Lydia (7) a 1st grader attending Laureate Academy Charter School.

I became involved in school choice advocacy after attending Louisiana’s first Capitol day in 2013 where I was invited to attend PSO’s upcoming annual Boot Camp held in Washington DC. Shortly after returning I took on the role of Louisiana chapter president and currently have the honor of serving on the national board. Being involved in PSO has been a great hands on opportunity not only for myself but for my children as well. They have had the privilege of attending senate hearings and court hearings where they have seen first hand that a voice can have a positive impact.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Shea Mackin, Texas, Treasurer

Shea Mackin, a champion of school choice for over 16 years, believes every student is unique and deserves access to the education that fits their needs. She and her husband have four sons who have all used different types of schooling at different times in their lives. Shea believes that parents know their children better than anyone else and need to be trusted to choose the educational option that works for each child individually. Shea has been an active parent leader in the Texas Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options since 2015 and can often be found at the Texas state capitol meeting with legislators and sharing why school choice is important. Shea is also a volunteer leader for the local Boy Scouts organization. She lives in Pflugerville, Texas with her husband and children.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Jay Schuler, Nevada, Director

Jay Schuler joined the Nevada Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options in 2015 after attending the coalition’s inaugural Capitol Day in Carson City where families gathered to celebrate school choice options and share their stories with legislators. Jay’s passion for education began when his son was struggling in 4th grade. Jay started searching for another way to educate his son after he turned to the traditional brick and mortar school for help only to find road block after road block and no options to help his son. Today Jay travels with his hot air balloon promoting education choice and letting parents know they have options. Jay and his family reside in Reno, Nevada.

Staff

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Jordan McGrain, Executive Director

Jordan works with state coalitions in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah to develop advocacy plans and empower parents. Jordan has nearly 20 years of experience in coalition management, government affairs, public policy, and political campaigns across the Midwest. He most recently served as Executive Director of the Nebraska Republican Party and as senior political advisor to former Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and former Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Mike Flood. Jordan and his wife Ashley live in Omaha, Nebraska with their four children. Jordan is an avid Denver Broncos and Kansas City Royals fan.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Ryan Gough, Regional Field Director

Ryan works with state coalitions in Maine, Massachusetts, Iowa, Oklahoma, and South Carolina to develop strong parent advocates. Ryan’s experience is rooted in campaign politics and grassroots organizing where he has managed large-scale advocacy programs. He started his career managing the Iowa Caucuses before working on campaigns in Virginia. He also served as the campaign manager for a targeted congressional campaign in Massachusetts. Ryan lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife Katie. He enjoys SCUBA diving and considers himself a pizza expert.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Tim Moran, Operations Director

Tim is currently the operations director of the National Coalition for Public School Options. In almost 20 years, Tim has developed an extensive background in public policy, political strategy, and grassroots mobilization. Prior to joining the parent coalition, he served in roles from congressional aide to campaign director and was the executive director of a national political action committee. Tim is an Iowa native, graduating with a degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa. He currently resides with his wife and three children in Omaha, Nebraska.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Christine Murphy, Regional Field Director

Christine works with state coalitions in Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico and Pennsylvania to establish and grow PSO’s parent coalitions. Christine worked at public affairs firm DCI Group, where she primarily focused on education, healthcare and energy issues. She later worked at JLM Consulting, where she helped clients in the public pension and professional sports industries. Her previous political experience includes working on the 2012 Romney campaign and President Donald Trump’s campaign. Most recently, she worked in the White House Cabinet Affairs department. Christine lives in Washington, D.C. She has recently become a first-time dog owner, and named her dog Ina after her favorite Food Network star, Ina Garten.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Darby O’Donnell, Federal Government Relations

Darby oversees federal government relations for PSO, sharing policies that benefit school choice and building relationships with key members of Congress and their staff. Her background and expertise include law, public policy, federal appropriations, and the federal legislative process. She has previously served as counsel and legislative staff for current Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and former Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), focusing on education and health care. Darby graduated from Whittier Law School and The George Washington University. She is a current member of the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Charlie Szold, Communications Director

Charlie works with state coalitions in Alabama, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wyoming to help give parents a seat at the policy-making table. Charlie started his career at USA TODAY before moving to Iowa in 2012 to work on political campaigns and the Iowa Caucuses. He also worked on a campaign in Massachusetts and successfully managed Iowa Representative David Young’s re-election campaign in 2016. Charlie lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Anastasia. Charlie is a beleaguered Mets fan, nationally certified EMT, and a registered weather spotter.