Jack O'Connor

 Jack O'Connor

Federal Programs Unit Manager
Title I Director
Private School Ombudsman


Jack O’Connor is the Title I Director, Federal Grants Unit Manager, and Private School Ombudsman for the Montana Office of Public Instruction. In this capacity he works with the Egrants grant management system, Targeted Assistance and Schoolwide Programs and Private/Non-public participation in Title I. The Federal Grants Unit distributes and monitors Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A; Title IV, Subpart 1; Title V (RLIS); Homeless Education; and Neglected and Delinquent Programs. Prior to this Jack was the Assistant Title I Director and Unit Manager for the School Support Unit at OPI working with at-risk districts. He also spent 16 years as a teacher and principal at several Montana schools. Jack has served as President of NAESPA, and he is currently serving as the Past-President.

406-444-3083

Angela Branz-Spall

 Angela Branz-Spall

Migrant
Education
Director


Angela Branz-Spall is the Title I Part C Migrant Education Program State Director. In this capacity she oversees the implementation of all aspects of the Migrant Education Program which is a state administered and operated program. This includes all administrative activities that are unique to the MEP, such as the identification and recruitment of all eligible migratory children located in the state, interstate and intrastate coordination of the Montana MEP and its local projects with other relevant programs and local projects in the state and in other states, as well as procedures for providing for educational continuity for migratory children through the timely transfer of educational and health records. She is responsible for collecting and using information for accurate distribution of subgrant funds through the E grant management system and the development of a statewide needs assessment, service delivery plan and evaluation. Angela has spent her career in public education as a classroom teacher, local program administrator and federal grants manager. She is a past-president of the National Association of State Directors of Migrant Educators (NASDME) and currently serves as the Western Stream representative of NASDME and the Chair of the NASDME Scholarship Committee.

406-444-2423

Serena Wright

 Serena Wright

State Director for Homeless
EducationTitle I/Family
Engagement Specialist


Serena Wright is the newest member of the Federal Programs team. She is the Homeless Coordinator, Title I, Part A, and Family Engagement Specialist. Before the OPI, Serena was a teacher for over 17 years in the East Bay of northern California. Her entire career has been working with students who qualify as Title 1; English Learners, Socio-Economically Disadvantaged, and Migratory. She began teaching in a large urban school district as a bilingual teacher at a school with an EL and socio-economically disadvantaged population of almost 80%. Over the last 10+ years, Serena was the EL Coordinator in a small rural, farming community with only 3 schools, no high school, and an EL population of about 10%. During COVID, she became the community liaison in a sense, working behind the scenes to make sure the kids who were home alone had what they needed; clothing, food, supplies, and technology. The position here at the OPI as the State Homeless Coordinator was the perfect step because she could continue the work she loves surrounded by teams of district staff who have the same deep care for struggling families.

Serena is married and has 3 children. They love all things DISNEY, Disney parks, Disney movies, and they are excited to explore their new state and all it has to offer!

406-444-2036

Christy Hendricks

 Christy Hendricks

Title I, Part D Coordinator
Title II, Part A Coordinator
Foster Care Point of Contact


Christy Hendricks is the Federal Grants Coordinator for the Montana Office of Public Instruction and oversees Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A; Title V and is the Foster Care Point of Contact for the state of Montana. She has been on the Conference Planning Committee for NAESPA for the past 2 years. In her current role at OPI she works with Egrants, Targeted Assistance and Schoolwide Programs and Private/Non-public participation in Title II. The Federal Grants Unit distributes and monitors Title I, Parts A, C, and D; Title II, Part A; Title III Part A; Title V (RLIS); and Title IX McKinney-Vento Homeless Education. Prior to this Christy was the Data Control Specialist for the Career Technical Adult Education Department at the OPI. She also spent 18 years as a CTE/Business Education and Elementary Librarian in a very small rural school in Montana. Christy is a proud 5th generation Montanan and loves to be outdoors as much as possible and enjoy her beautiful state she is blessed to call home!

406-444-0794

Sheri Harlow

 Sheri Harlow

Federal
Programs
Admin Assistant


Sheri Harlow is the Administrative Assistant for the Federal Programs team. Working at the Office of Public Instruction for the last 10+ years within the Innovation and Improvement Division. Prior to that, she was an Eligibility Specialist/Coordinator with the Department of Health and Human Service at the Lewis and Clark County Welfare office. My favorite part of working is helping to make a difference in people’s lives. Born, raised, and has lived in the Helena valley all her life. She and her husband Brad have four grown children, 5 grandkids, and two dogs. When I am not at the office you can find me at The Last Chance Chapel & Lodge giving thanks and worshiping my savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

406-444-5660

Destin Markland

 Destin Markland

English
Learner
Specialist


Destin Markland joins us as the English Learner Specialist after 15 years teaching English abroad. After graduating from the University of Montana with degrees in Political Science and French, the Helena native lectured for two years at the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail in France. He then moved to Germany to teach business English in Kassel and Berlin. He taught at the University for Sustainable Development-Eberswalde for 7 years, specializing in forestry, wood technology, and sustainable business. He’s also a saxophonist, composer, and aspiring novelist.

406-444-0044