top of page
Dana Photo.jpg
Dana Garies
Founder and CEO

Dana graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Elementary Education with a focus on early literacy.  She continued her education at California State University in Early Childhood Education with a focus on children with special needs.  Dana enjoyed a teaching career in preschool, elementary and middle school before joining the educational publishing/edtech industry. 


For the past 20 years, Dana has worked with teachers and administrators across the country to help them identify and implement engaging and developmentally- appropriate resources to meet the rigors of state standards. She has also trained teachers and administrators on program implementation and best practices in early childhood.  Dana currently lives in Colorado and spends her free time hiking and enjoying all the nature that Colorado offers.

Suzanne boat picture.JPG
Suzanne Begley
Director of Sales
Suzanne has twenty years’ experience in Sales and Business Development, most recently as the Director of Supplemental Products at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  She enjoys working with small companies and takes a consultative approach to Sales in order to exceed revenue goals.  Suzanne has a B.A. from Villanova University and a Pennsylvania Teacher Certification from Delaware Valley College.  She resides in Yardley, PA.
carolyn with hat.JPG
Carolyn Ramirez Ulrich
Educational Consultant
Carolyn Ulrich has 28 years of experience in early childhood and elementary education as a teacher, administrator, curriculum coordinator, and workshop presenter.  Carolyn has her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of California and studied Spanish Children’s Literature at the University of Barcelona.  She was a bilingual educational consultant, sales representative, correlator, and researcher for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for 20 years.
Marla Banks.jpg.png
Marla Banks
Regional Account Executive

Marla Banks is an educational consultant who has worked in the educational arena for over 20 years. Her experience includes teacher, school and district administrator and the publishing industry as a national consultant. Marla has worked with Early Head Start, Pre-K and K-12 Programs.  The formative instruction with EHS and Pre-K proved to be rewarding as a school site leader. The school provided instruction for EHS through 9th grade students.  The school leadership team developed programs to support all ability levels while incorporating instructional technology for all ages of development. As a result of building strong instructional programs, she was recruited to assist the Charter School Leadership Initiative and worked in Louisiana, Texas and Georgia.  Within the Charter School network, she transformed low performing schools into thriving academic institutions.   By infusing STEAM initiatives and technology support students, teachers and parents were able to outperform state enforced benchmarks.   Additionally, as a member of the Save Our Schools Governor’s Task Force after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Marla assisted in the development of instructional technology plan development. Primary goals were to provide acceleration and interventions to reinforce important phonics and reading skills. 

Debbie Polles photo.png
Debbie Polles
Regional Account Executive
Debbie has enjoyed a varied, rewarding career dedicated to meeting the educational needs of all children, including creating and delivering professional development to teachers. She is a Learning Disabilities and Gifted Education specialist with expertise in assessment, intervention, differentiation, and instruction, with a special emphasis in literacy.


After a long teaching career, Debbie provided professional development through the Leadership and Learning Center and was a member of the School Improvement Team before becoming a Content Specialist for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Debbie’s background and experience is extensive, ranging from working with Early Learners, English Language Learners, and twice-exceptional learners, to teaching courses for graduate and undergraduate teachers.


In her spare time, Debbie enjoys playing golf, traveling, hiking, and just about anything outdoors. She especially enjoys getting to spend time with her young grandson and nurturing his curiosity.

Cynthia Tanzey.jpg
Cynthia Tanzey
Regional Account Executive
Cynthia has 27 years of classroom teaching experience, as well as, academic coaching. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Fairmont State University, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as, Educational Leadership and Administrative PreK- 12 certification from West Virginia University.  She has supported school districts across the country, leading professional development sessions in both literacy and mathematics, as well as, instructional coaching. She has served the roles of Implementation Specialist and Manager of Professional Learning for the past 10 years with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Math Solutions, in which she led sessions on Teaching Preschool and Kindergarten Mathematics, as well as, modeled best instructional practices in classrooms ranging from Early Childhood to High School.  
Outside of the classroom, Cynthia was an elementary choral director, Academic Game League of America Coach, and has taught graduate courses for WV College of Graduate Studies. She was the recipient of Mini-Grants for Classroom Teachers to support multi-culture education and was recognized by her peers for Outstanding Instructional Practices.
Kaye Kamp Photo.jpg
Kaye Kamp
Regional Account Executive

Kaye Kamp has been in the educational field for 36 years, specializing in math, science and professional development.  She has taught 2nd thru 8th grades in public, private and charter schools as well as various math, science and education courses at the university level.  


Kaye has presented at many national, state and local conferences on topics ranging from “Integrating Math Into Other Subjects” to “Physical Science for Middle Grades” to “Geometry for Primary Students”.  

Kaye has been recognized by her peers for her unique and effective teaching methods with numerous awards and honors.  She has won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, Idaho State Science Teacher of the Year and Idaho State Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year.  In addition, Kaye was named an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in Washington, DC where she represented the voice of practicing teachers in policy making arenas within the federal government.   She has won a number of competitive fellowships including Academies Creating Teacher Scientists where she conducted scientific research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

Heading 4

Dena Arbaugh has worked in education for over thirty years.  She is passionate about teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and engaging students in meaningful curriculum. She has taught all grade levels from K-12 and started her educational career teaching special needs high school teenagers after receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and her teaching credential from the University of California, Riverside. Her next teaching experience was in elementary school before settling in on teaching science and math to middle school students and working as a mentor teacher and science department chair.  It was a flawless transition to being a TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) to implement programs to help students achieve socially, emotionally, and academically in addition to doing math intervention with struggling students.  Ultimately, she became principal of a middle school after earning her master’s degree and credential in Educational Administration from Concordia University. Dena is most proud of her middle school earning a prestigious California Gold Ribbon School award for being a “STEM for ALL” school and receiving one of three secondary “Healthy Schools” awards in California in 2015.  On a personal level, she is proud to have received the “STEM Champion” award for the County, being recognized as a “Woman of Distinction” from Senator Morell, receiving the Rotary “Eagle of Excellence” award, and a “Making a Difference” community award.  In her retirement, she has been working with a non-profit as a consultant to develop a school-wide PBE (Place-based Education) STEM program at an elementary school.  Through her volunteer work as a Board member of the Big Bear Valley Education Trust, Dena continues her passion for STEM by offering educational support to the local school district. Years ago, before transitioning into the Big Bear schools, Dena had the pleasure of working with phenomenal educators in a large education publishing company.  Based on this positive experience, she decided to join some of these same educators on the amazing Elevating Education team.  Dena is excited to share great resources with educators who share her same passion to help our students thrive, not just survive!

Dena Arbaugh
Account Executive
Dena photo.jfif
AC Head Shot.jpg
Annah Claire Summerlin
Hawaii Account Executive

Heading 5
bottom of page