CHICAGO, June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- ThinkCERCA, a recognized industry leader in critical thinking instruction and student reading and writing growth, today announced Walter Sherwood will join the company as its chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors. Eileen Murphy Buckley, ThinkCERCA's founder, will take on the role of chief learning officer and continue to serve on the company's board of directors. With this announcement, ThinkCERCA will build upon its success with district-wide implementations by adding Sherwood's deep experience with school districts and state education agencies.
"ThinkCERCA is on a mission to help every student access high-quality educational resources that develop their critical thinking skills. I am incredibly excited that Walter is joining us on this journey," said Murphy Buckley. "Walter has spent more than 25 years empowering educators, parents, and students. His passion for ThinkCERCA's mission and unparalleled experience puts us in an even better position to effectively teach critical thinking at scale and impact the lives of more students."
A former educator and veteran of the K-12 education space, Sherwood was most recently the chief business development officer of New Meridian, a nonprofit education organization that designs and develops high-quality assessments for states and districts across the nation. Prior to New Meridian, Sherwood spent 15 years at Pearson in a myriad of positions, including president and general manager for the company's state assessment services business unit. In addition, Sherwood has served in a number of roles providing professional development to educators, taught mathematics at both the high school and middle school levels, and is the author of seven supplemental math resource books for teachers.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to join a company with such a strong mission and vision for the future of education," said Sherwood. "As a former educator, I was drawn to ThinkCERCA's continued commitment to student results and deep understanding of its customers. I look forward to propelling the company's growth forward while remaining true to these values."
Founded in 2012, ThinkCERCA was created to equip educators with the necessary resources, training, and support to adequately teach critical thinking. Through close reading and academic writing lessons for English language arts, science, social studies, and math, ThinkCERCA's approach to literacy instruction prepares students for post-secondary life by building up their analytical skills in every subject. Since its inception, ThinkCERCA has attracted more than $20 million in investment and has a proven track record of helping students achieve two or more years of reading growth in a single school year, as backed by controlled and third-party case studies. The company has also been lauded by Bill Gates as a "game-changing" teacher empowerment tool.
"From scaling our district partnerships, to enhancing our products, to engaging more channel partners, exciting opportunities are on the horizon for ThinkCERCA," Sherwood said.
Sherwood received a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and a bachelor's degree in Literature from the University of California at San Diego. Prior to entering education, he served as a naval officer on active duty, and subsequently for the United States Navy Reserve for many years where he completed leadership tours as executive officer and commanding officer.
ThinkCERCA's personalized literacy platform helps educators teach critical thinking skills through close reading and academic writing across subjects. With students and teachers using its platform in all 50 states and 130 countries, the company has partnered with prominent leaders in education, including Follett Corporation, and has been featured by The Atlantic, Tech & Learning, and EdSurge, among others. In a recent controlled study of 26 ed-tech tools by LEAP Innovations, ThinkCERCA was proven to help students achieve two years of academic growth per year on average. The winner of the 2019 IATE Classroom Essentials Awards for secondary grades and a 2016 SIAA CODiE Awards finalist for Best Reading/English/Language Arts Instructional Solution, ThinkCERCA has also been named one of the best tools in ed tech by Common Sense Media. In July 2013, ThinkCERCA was the recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Literacy Courseware Challenge grant, and in December 2012, graduated from the inaugural class of Impact Engine's social impact accelerator. To learn more, please visit www.ThinkCERCA.com.
Elizabeth Riley Boyer
Vice President of Marketing & Communications