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The National Center for Educator Development has an ambitious goal. Our goal is to close the achievement gap and provide schools with the tools and resources necessary to make that goal a reality. With over 50 years of combined experience in education, our expert team has what it takes to help your school reach its academic goals.

Michael Troop, Ed.D
Partner and Executive Director 

Dr. Troop started his career as a high school gymnastics coach for a suburban school district in Illinois. While coaching his athletes to the championships several years in a row, he earned his Master's degree in secondary education and began teaching in a Chicago Public School on Chicago's north side. While teaching high school Environmental Science, he earned his Doctorate in Human Learning and Development with a minor concentration in Educational Leadership. This started his nearly 9-year journey in higher education where he developed teacher residency programs, co-designed early childhood, elementary, secondary, and special education alternative teacher preparation programs for National Louis University, and taught classes required for teacher licensure. Dr. Troop was awarded the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Along with preparing highly skilled educators at the University, Dr. Troop consulted with several Title I and at-risk schools throughout the country where he designed highly specialized training and support for teachers and administrators. 

Dr. Troop developed teacher coaching tools and protocols, trained administrators on data-driven instruction, and teacher development for the largest and highest performing charter network in the state of Arizona.  He has also developed a comprehensive protocol for identifying and hiring top talent in both teaching and administrative positions.  

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Katherine McKnight, Ph.D
Partner and Executive Director

Dr. Katherine McKnight is a dynamic presenter, dedicated teacher, and award-winning author. Dr. McKnight began her career in education over 30 years ago as a middle school and high school English and social studies teacher in the Chicago Public Schools.  In addition to speaking at professional development conferences, she is a regular consultant in schools and classrooms in the United States and Internationally.

Dr. McKnight’s 15-year distinguished university career culminated in her assignment to Distinguished Professor of Research at National Louis University.   She is the founder of Engaging Learners, an educational company built around her successful Literacy and Learning Center model. Her work in educational leadership, literacy, and student skill development have resulted in unprecedented academic achievement in many struggling schools.


Dr. McKnight has received several awards for her publications and teaching at the university level. She has authored 20 books that support educational strategies to engage all learners. Her titles include the best-selling The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers, winner of the 2013 Teachers’ Choice Award and Literacy & Learning Centers for the Big Kids, grades 4-12.  Most recently, she founded Morning Meeting webinars during the COVID 19 pandemic as a weekly forum to bring together educators to engage in professional learning. To learn more about Dr. McKnight, visit her websites: and

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Rob Shallenberger
Partner and CMO

Rob Shallenberger is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and execution. He’s trained and coached hundreds of companies around the world, to include many Fortune 500 organizations. After spending two years of service in Bolivia, he attended Utah State University where he graduated in 2000. He went on to earn an MBA from Colorado State University. He served as an F-16 Fighter Pilot in the Air Force for 11 years. He was also an Advance Agent for Air Force One and traveled the world working with foreign embassies and the Secret Service.

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