Our Staff

Dr. Sandy Addis

Chairman of the National Dropout Prevention Center

Email: haddis@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 864.712.3701

Dr. Sandy Addis joined the National Dropout Prevention Center staff in May of 2013 and currently serves as Chairman. He holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from South Carolina State University. He has 44 years of experience in public education in a variety of roles that include teacher, counselor, coach, principal, system-level administrator, and director of a regional educational service agency. He has designed and administered a variety of dropout prevention initiatives that include after-school programs, counseling, and service-learning. Dr. Addis has served as an alternative school principal and authored numerous grant proposals that funded summer programs, professional learning, family engagement, and character education. Dr. Addis has served as an adjunct instructor at several colleges in South Carolina and Georgia, trained local school boards, and consulted with local school systems on policy and leadership development. He has led educator teams in the development and distribution of student achievement measures and online systems for delivery of educator training. Dr. Addis has served on numerous professional boards, testified before legislative committees, and recently chaired the Educator Ethics Task Force of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Ray McNulty

President, Successful Practices Network and National Dropout Prevention Center 

Lynn Dunlap

Assistant Director for Research & Communications

Email: ldunlap@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 864.642.6372, Ext. 105.

Mrs. Dunlap was awarded a BA in Secondary Education (English and history) and an MA specializing in Professional Communications from Clemson University. She is a highly qualified teacher licensed in South Carolina and taught both secondary and post-secondary communications classes for 10 years. She has extensive experience in marketing and public relations at a local not-for-profit healthcare organization and, more recently, an international healthcare organization. Mrs. Dunlap’s responsibilities include publications, the Solutions webinar, and publicity.

John Gailer

Assistant Director for Outreach & Events

Email: jgailer@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 864.712.3704

Mr. Gailer joined the National Dropout Prevention Center as a Program Coordinator in 2011. As the Assistant Director, he is responsible for all NDPC events. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Georgia and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of youth development in the contexts of youth at risk and third-culture kids. John has conducted leadership and team building workshops throughout the country at the local, regional, and national levels. He has served as a consultant in areas of program, intervention, and collaboration design. He has 15 years of experience in higher education leadership, classroom instruction, and nonprofit administration. In his current role with NDPC, John designs professional learning experiences that impact educators and youth practitioners nationwide. John and his wife, Susanna, have two married sons and a daughter in college. They manage and live in a home in Toccoa, Georgia, that provides housing for 15 third-culture kids whose parents reside all over the world.

Denise Gianforcaro

Event Manager

Email: denise@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 864-712-3703

Mrs. Gianforcaro has been with the National Dropout Prevention Center since 2008. She manages the Cvent online registration system and provides support for all aspects of conference planning, registration, and implementation. She also manages the NDPN membership database and processes membership and literature requests.

Thomas Hawkins

Research Associate

Email: thawkins@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 864.642.6372, Ext. 106.

Thomas is a recent Presbyterian College graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He assists in publications and the model programs database.

Debra Light

Director of Operations, Successful Practices Network 

Tim Ott

CEO, Successful Practices Network 

Jerry Pedinotti

Data Specialist, Successful Practices Network

Gretchen Schwalbach

Director of Communications, Successful Practices Network

Tommy Stephens

Project Director

Email: tsteph6@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 706-897-6876


Mr. Stephens oversees the implementation and completion of the Toyota USA Foundation grant to the National Dropout Prevention Network, a three-year, $1.5 million grant to support high school students interested in pursuing career-focused education in New York, Kentucky, and Mississippi. He has previously worked with the Center as a consultant providing school improvement plans for several schools. Mr. Stephens has had a lengthy career of education service, and is a former Superintendent from both Georgia and New Hampshire, principal, assistant principal, teacher, and educational consultant. He has extensive experience in career education, school improvement, dropout prevention, and educator training.


Anna Wilson

Consultant, Web Services Manager

Email: aew8@dropoutprevention.org
Phone: 864.642.6372, Ext. 109.

Anna assists with the web resources and digital materials for the National Dropout Prevention Center.