Our Team

Ryan Balch – Founder/CEO

teacher evaluation surveys Ryan Balch has expertise in measurement development and is a national thought leader on using student surveys at the elementary and secondary level. Before founding My Student Survey, Ryan Balch completed his Ph.D. in Education Policy at Vanderbilt University as an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Fellow, where his dissertation focused on the development and validation of student surveys on teacher practice. He was the principal investigator for the student survey pilot of more than 15,000 students in 7 districts as part of Georgia’s Race to the Top initiative and worked for the National Center on Performance Incentives. In addition, Ryan was the director of teacher and principal evaluation for Baltimore City Schools. During this time, he oversaw the creation and implementation of the district’s new systems of evaluation. Previously, Ryan worked as a science teacher and administrator for seven years at Riverwood High School in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University and a M.A. in Science Education from Georgia State University.

Katie Cour – Project Management


Katie Cour has been an independent education consultant with nearly 20 years of experience working in districts, states, and nonprofits. Her mKatie Courost recent role was as the Executive Director of Talent Strategy for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). In this role, Katie was responsible for developing and implementing effective strategies for educator recruitment, selection, evaluation, and retention. Prior to joining MNPS, Katie was a Senior Consultant with Education First, a national education policy consulting firm, where she specialized in teacher and leader effectiveness. Katie has also served as a Senior Analyst and Assistant Director at the Office of Education Accountability for the Tennessee Comptroller and began her education career at Achieve, Inc. in Washington, DC. Katie holds an MPP in education policy from Georgetown University and a BA in history and religion from Northwestern University. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Dave, an Environmental Scientist, and their two children, Henry (15) and Romy (13).

Sade Bonilla – Survey Customization and Validation

Sade Bonilla is skilled in using data to inform strategic management of resources and policy decisions.  She was a Harvard Strategic Data Fellow for Albuquerque Public Schools where she co-designed and implemented a pilot teacher evaluation system that included a student survey component. Sade has also served as a data and policy analyst for Providence Public Schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Santa Fe Public Schools and has worked with the Federal FAFSA Completion Project. She taught English as a Second Language in Rhode Island, Chile and Honduras for four years.  Sade has a M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown University and is completing a Ph.D. in Economics of Education at Stanford University.

Mike Jolley – Project Management

Mike Jolley Head Shot
Michael Jolley has extensive experience developing strategic plans at the school and district level.  He also has expertise in program management and design, outcomes measurement and quality improvement, reporting and compliance, grant writing and administration, and strategic planning. Mike served on the Survey Initiatives team at the New York City Department of Education where he coordinated student surveys for the largest district in the country.  He also worked with internal and external stakeholders to design and implement several student survey pilots.  Mike has taught a variety of courses in the social sciences and public policy.  He has a M.A. in Sociology from Queens College and is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Katherine Canon – Project Management

Katherine Canon has experience with managing multiple district-level survey administrations and acting as a liaison between research organizations and districts. Before joining My Student Survey, she was a research coordinator at the Tennessee Consortium on Research, Evaluation, and Development where she worked on the multi-year external evaluation of one of Tennessee’s Teacher Incentive Fund grants. Prior to that she taught for seven years in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School District. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Human and Organizational Development and a Master’s of Public Policy, both from Vanderbilt University.

Edward Guthrie – Research and Reports

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Edward Guthrie has experience in measurement and analysis of multiple statewide and local surveys of students, teachers and principals.  He has conducted work on North Carolina’s Race to the Top evaluation and the IES funded National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools at Vanderbilt University.  He has also done research related to policy and program evaluation, school improvement, and teacher labor policy. Previously, Guthrie taught high school science and mathematics in Alabama.  Guthrie holds a B.S. from Vanderbilt University, and has completed a doctoral program in Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Erin Conley – Cognitive Interview Specialist

Erin has experience working in a variety of capacities in schools, nonprofits, and government agencies. She brings expertise in managing data and creating user-friendly reports for both public and internal assessment. During her time as a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, Erin helped to roll out the first public review of the Tennessee K-12 standards in both math and English language arts. This work led to her spearheading several other states’ standards review processes with the Southern Regional Education Board. Prior to moving to Nashville, Erin managed nonprofit youth programs in the Twin Cities and taught high school English in Chicago Public Schools. She holds a B.A. in English from Michigan State University and a Master’s of Public Policy from Vanderbilt University.

Nguyen Hoa – Web Development


Nguyen brings expertise in frontend and backend development technologies such as XHTML, CSS, JQUERY, PHP, WORDPRESS, and JOOMLA.  Nguyen led the development of My Student Survey’s feedback reporting platform and PHP file structure.  He provides technical assistance and website support for all reports.  Prior to joining My Student Survey, Nguyen worked as a PHP developer at Codeandmore and as a website developer at Orient Software Development Corporation.  He brings a decade of web development experience.

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