Meet Our Team

At OIE, we are a people first organization that values growth, collaboration, trust and innovation.

Denise Airola

Director

Denise started as a biologist turned outdoor educator and was coaxed into the classroom during a teacher shortage. She moved from the classroom to curriculum, instruction, assessment and accountability before earning her Ph.D. in Education Statistics and Research Methods and founding and directing OIE. She loves skiing, relaxing by the pool or ocean, and spending time with family.

Santhosh S. Anand

Senior Computer Scientist

Mr. Anand has a Masters’ degree in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bangalore University, India. Mr. Anand enjoys watching and playing cricket, traveling, classic cars and spending time with his wife and son.

Crystal Beshears Duncan

Innovation Team Project Lead

Combining 20 years of experience in a variety of educational settings, Crystal draws on her diverse experiences to serve as an Innovation Team Project Lead. She is a former high school teacher, proud mom and grandmom, yoga instructor, and world traveler!

Nick Brown

SPDG Program Advisor

Nick is one of the newest members of the OIE team as the Program Advisor for the State Personnel Development Grant. Prior to joining OIE, Nick taught high school communications, speech and debate, as well as science in both Arkansas and Louisiana. When he isn’t working he enjoys time with his dogs and never passes up a chance to get in some good karaoke.

Thad Clements

Data Quality Programmer/Analyst

Thad has over 20 years working in higher education setting. He worked with higher education data prior to joining OIE. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with family and reading.

Marsha Hash

Learning Design and Innovation Leader

Marsha has worked as a former teacher, special education director, and elementary principal. Her best day is working with Schools of Innovation and seeing kids succeed. You will find Marsha rooting for the Razorbacks and finding anything fun to do outdoors.

Feng Jiang

Senior Programmer/Analyst

Feng is a former high school physics teacher and has a Ph.D in science education. When not working on educational data, he loves watching movies and spending time with family.

Deena Rorie

Senior Programmer/Analyst

Deena previously worked with financial data after receiving her M.S. in Finance from the University of Tulsa. She currently enjoys working with educational data. When not at work, she loves hiking and spending time with family.

Natalie Townsend

Project and Content Integrator

Natalie is a former elementary educator turned project guru. In her free time, she enjoys indulging in good coffee and food, vacationing at the beach, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Chrissy Waldhoer

Learning Design and Innovation Coach

Prior to joining OIE, Chrissy worked as an elementary teacher in the Oklahoma public school system. When she is not calling the Hogs, Chrissy can be found with her family fishing, traveling, and creating their own adventures.

James Weese

Junior Programmer/Analyst

James previously taught high school mathematics and has a Ph.D. in Educational Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Arkansas. When he is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching sports.

Jennifer Williams

Office Manager

Jennifer is the first point of contact for the office. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.