School Operations Specialists has access to some of the most talented and successful school administrators, as well as some highly knowledgeable private sector firms and associations, that understand the challenges within school operations and the demands placed upon districts. Our goal is to meet your needs and provide you with proven solutions that position you and your school system for success.
Aaron Beaulieu | Partner
Aaron has 30 years of experience in financial and operational management as well as public accounting. Prior to starting School Operations Specialists, he served as Interim Superintendent, Chief Operations Officer, and Chief Finance Officer for Durham Public Schools, as Associate Superintendent and Finance Officer for Pitt County Schools, and as lead auditor for Pittard Perry & Crone Accounting Firm. His career has been recognized at the national and state level, and he has served on numerous committees and boards. His success has been centered around his transparent and collaborative style, and his ability to drive success from smart data-driven solutions. His passion is to assist and serve districts so that they can be as efficient as possible, while at the same time helping to drive student outcomes. Aaron is a graduate of East Carolina University and lives with his family in Wake Forest, NC.
Arasi Adkins | Partner
Arasi has 20 years of experience in HR management at both the K-12 and university levels. Prior to joining School Operations Specialists, Arasi served as Asst. Superintendent of HR at Durham Public Schools, Assistant Vice Chancellor for HR at North Carolina A&T State University, and as the head of HR at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and Alamance-Burlington School Systems. Arasi’s passion is in identifying exceptional and diverse candidates and helping to match them with the right position at the right time in their careers. She is also an expert at developing efficient and effective HR processes including onboarding, developing compensation strategies, benefits administration, and separation processes. Arasi is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Arasi lives with her family in Burlington, NC.
Jeremy Teetor | Partner
Jeremy has 11 years of experience in financial management at both the K-12 and university levels. Prior to joining School Operations Specialists, Jeremy served as the Chief Business Officer for the Alamance-Burlington School System. In this capacity he provided district-level leadership for finance, human resources, school nutrition, risk management, and driver’s education. Jeremy also served the Alamance-Burlington School system as its acting superintendent for a two-month period. Prior to this, he served as the Chief Finance Officer for Caswell County Schools and in various financial capacities at Elon University. Jeremy's passions are budget development, procurement, risk management, and developing staff new to K-12 finance. Jeremy is a double graduate of Elon University with a bachelor’s in history and an MBA. Jeremy lives in Burlington, NC.
Dr. Jim Merrill | Senior Consultant for Operations, Strategic Planning, and Leadership Development
Jim's career in public education spans 44 years, from high school English teacher and coach, to the school district superintendent. Prior to joining School Operations Specialists, he served as Superintendent, Wake County Public School System; Superintendent, Virginia Beach City Public School System; and, Superintendent, Alamance-Burlington School System. Leading up to his first superintendency, Jim was the Associate Superintendent for Finance and Administration in the Wake County Public School System, and before this, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, also in Wake. He began his central office career in Wake as Director of Personnel. Jim has been recognized as a three-time state School Superintendent of the Year while serving in each of his three school districts. While his experience is broad, Jim's passions are working with Superintendent and school boards in building collaborative relationships; finance and HR logistics; leadership development and coaching; and, strategic planning. Jim studied as a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and graduated with a degree in English Education. He earned his master's and his doctorate in education at Appalachian State University and UNC-Greensboro, respectively. Jim and his wife live in Mebane, NC.
Dr. Todd LoFrese | Senior Consultant for Operations
Todd LoFrese has over 20 years of experience in leading across all operational aspects of school systems. He served as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Watertown, CT, and as the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, NC. Todd has experience strategically leading across all operational functions, including budget, facilities, human resources, child nutrition, transportation, student safety, information and instructional technology, sustainability, and student enrollment. Todd has considerable experience leading multi-faceted and challenging projects through inclusive and transparent decision-making processes. He can help districts with major projects such as strategic planning, student assignment plans, safety committees, outsourcing, facility needs studies, and the creation of educational specifications. Todd received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, an MBA from Baker College, and an advanced degree in Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University. He earned a Doctor of Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he has also taught the doctoral level systems leadership course. Todd lives in Carrboro, NC with his family.
Dr. Bryan Martin | Senior Consultant
Bryan has spent the past 40 years in the field of public education. Beginning his career as a high school band director, he moved on to be an assistant principal, then principal. In 2000, he was named Principal of the Year at Johnston County Schools. In 2006, he became a district-level administrator in the area of human resources, serving as Executive Director for Personnel with Johnston County Schools, and completed his career as Senior Director for Employee Relations with the Wake County Public School System. Since retiring from full-time employment, Bryan has served as a consultant with numerous school districts around the state. His passion is training and mentoring administrators and other supervisory personnel as they grow in the area of personnel management. He also has considerable experience in conducting confidential personnel investigations. Bryan earned his undergraduate degree at Atlantic Christian College, received his MSA from Campbell University, and completed his doctorate in educational leadership at NC State University. He enjoys life as a resident of Oak Island with his wife, Marti.
Teresa A. McCall | Senior Consultant, Licensure
Teresa A. McCall is an education consultant specializing in NC Educator Licensure, who recently retired from the state with over 30 years of experience. She began her career in the Licensure Section at the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) where she served as both a Licensure Specialist and an Education Program Specialist. She briefly moved to the salary side of education when she transferred to Salary Administration as a Personnel Analyst. Wanting to return to Human Resources, she accepted a Human Resources Director position with Johnston County Schools and managed educator licensure for them. In October of 2005, she was recruited to be the Director of the Nash Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC) where she remained until her retirement. In this position, she trained school system personnel on licensure policy and procedures, answered licensure questions, and troubleshot difficult licensure situations with Human Resource personnel. She also assisted individuals who wanted to become teachers through alternative routes. Teresa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master's of School Administration from North Carolina State University. She serves as the chairperson for the advisory board of her local branch of the State Employees' Credit Union and lives with her husban in Johnston County, NC.
V. Michael Harris | Senior Consultant
V. Michael Harris has over 20 years of HR Management and Training & Development experience, including many years in the field of Human Services. Michael has a record of success in providing HR support that builds and fosters a positive, healthy organizational culture by ensuring employees, managers, and job candidates are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness. Michael started his career as a Delinquent Youth Case manager at the Juvenile Justice Center of Philadelphia, where he provided social work services to pre-adjudicated and adjudicated juveniles. There, he was promoted to HR coordinator, then HR Director, serving 21 years in all. Michael has chaired and assisted in creating a federally funded Workforce Development program for youth and young adults called Face Forward. He also served as HR Director of HOPE Charter High School in support of Philadelphia’s “at risk” youth, providing a final effort for students to obtain a high school diploma. Most recently, he served as HR director for the non-profit agency BEBASHI, serving the LGBTQ community. Michael co-developed and functions as COO of TANA, a Philadelphia based 501C3 organization whose target populations are Autistic adults and adults with disabilities. Michael recently relocated from Philadelphia to Greensboro, NC. Michael studied at Penn State University and holds a master’s degree from Lincoln University.
Dr. Alicia Tate | Senior Consultant
Alicia has 30+ years of experience working with, and on behalf of, individuals who have disabilities. She began her public-school career as a special education teacher. Her fifteen years in the classroom included working with students across all disability categories, and in both adapted and general curriculum settings. Additionally, she earned her National Board Certification as an Early Childhood through Young Adulthood Exceptional Needs Specialist. Alicia has held executive director district special education positions for 14+ years in Scotland County Schools, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Guilford County Schools, and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. She was a senior member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet in both Guilford County and Chapel Hill. Upon retiring in 2018, Alicia served as Director of Leadership Services with TregoED. In this role she worked with districts across the country on building capacity for critical problem solving and decision making, special education/student services technical assistance, and executive coaching. She currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor of education for Elon University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and High Point University. Alicia earned a BS degree in Special Education from East Carolina University. Additionally, she earned her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Specialized Education Services from the University of North Caolina at Greensboro.
Brenda Watford | Senior Consultant, School Nutrition
Brenda has 29 years of experience with school nutrition having served as the School Nutrition Director for Thomasville City Schools. During that time, the School Nutrition Association recognized Brenda as North Carolina's Outstanding Director of the Year as well as a Gracie Award Winner in recognition of the robust summer feeding programs she implemented in Thomasville City Schools. She recently completed interim directorships for Mooresville Graded Schools, Alamance-Burlington Schools, and Moore County Schools. Her passions include knowing a hungry child is being fed, and sharing her school nutrition knowledge with others. Brenda lives with her family in Thomasville.