David Johnston

David Johnston is Director of the Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence (CHERE). In addition to leading the development and ongoing work of CHERE, he is currently the Recruiter and Counselor for the College Transitions Program in Meriden, CT (a partnership with Middlesex Community College), and a frequent substitute teacher in West Hartford, CT.

David spent 10 years with Casey Family Services, the Direct Service Arm of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he led the creation of a life skills learning approach for foster youth and their families, a foster youth alumni group, a youth-run business model, and an Individual Development Account program for Casey foster youth; co-created and staffed a statewide committee dedicated to enhancing campus support for foster youth; and led the planning of several two-day conferences for Casey foster youth.   He retired from the Foundation in 2011.

Previously, David ran three different youth agencies, conducted needs assessments for major corporations and United Way organizations, and did extensive consulting work for major corporations on their public affairs and corporate social responsibility strategies.   He has a BA from Dartmouth College, an MS in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from Columbia University.

Alan Kramer

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Alan Kramer is the Co-Director of CHERE, former Dean of Magnet Schools at Goodwin College and consultant to the CT State Department of Education. He is also a playwright/composer with works performed in CT and NY. His latest is a dramatic work based on the experience of the first person in CT released through DNA evidence by the Innocence Project.

 Previously, Alan served as Principal of the Waterbury Magnet Arts Magnet School; Supervisor of Gifted & Talented and Enrichment Program in Westchester County NY and as Alternative High School Principal in Philadelphia PA.

He holds an MSEd in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in History & Mathematics from Trinity College in Hartford.