Raj Vanjani (Managing Partner & Alternate Responsible Officer)

Raj’s philosophy has always led to endeavors focused on making an impact in the world at large.  In recent past, Raj has served as the CFO of Think Energy Partners Solar India, whereby he has helped manage the development of a portfolio of over 100 MW of utility scale Solar PV in India. Raj has helped TPG grow from a family project to an efficient and impactful organization that helps place hundreds of international math, science and special education teachers from India throughout the United States. Raj and TPG have been featured in the NY Times, WSJ, Times of India and NBC.  He currently sits on Children’s Hope India II Board.

B.A. from Stanford University.

Jess Torres (Responsible Officer)

Former Responsible Officer South Carolina Department of Education

Jess started his career in the Marine Corps, where he served for well over twenty years. After his long-standing and decorated career in the Marines, Jess worked with several municipal and federal organizations including HUD, University of Maryland and the City of Newbery.  Jess has also spent close to twenty years at the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE), including the last ten as the Alternate Responsible Officer and the Responsible Officer of the Visiting Teacher Program.  During his tenure, he traveled to India, China, France and Spain, creating long-standing MOU’s and expanded the cultural exchange program’s reach throughout South Carolina.  During Jess’s tenure at SCDE, the Visiting Teacher Program grew to have well over 300 teachers.

Angela Shaeffer, Program Officer

Angela Shaeffer serves as Program Officer with TPG. Ms. Shaeffer brings over a decade of experience in international education and exchange to the organization. Previously, Angie served as Senior Director of Program Development at Cultural Vistas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to international exchange and training. She began her career in international education at University of Maryland, College Park, where she obtained her MA in international education policy. While at UM, she researched underrepresented populations in study abroad, specifically first-generation college students. Ms. Shaeffer also served in Goucher’s Office of International Studies for five years after the college instituted its ground-breaking study abroad requirement. Ms. Shaeffer is active in international education and exchange organizations, including NAFSA, and serves in volunteer capacities with BMore Abroad and the Alumni Association of Goucher College. Originally from Baltimore, she studied abroad in Germany, Denmark, South Africa, and Mexico, and has administered workshops and programs in South Africa, India, and Japan. 

Montrio Belton, JD PhD

Dr. Belton is an integral part of the TPG team. His experience as an educational leader is invaluable to TPG’s success. Dr. Belton has two decades of experience as a teacher, principal, and the former Director of School Transformation for the South Carolina Department of Education.

Dr. Belton is also recognized as a leader in global education and is a graduate and former board member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s World View, An International Program for Educators. As a middle school principal, he was instrumental in creating a sister school partnership with another middle school in China and has been responsible for recruiting and training international teachers from various parts of the world to teach in South Carolina and North Carolina schools. He has traveled throughout Europe, China and Africa collaborating with business and educational leaders on issues impacting 21st century education and our global economy.

Dr. Belton is a graduate of Winthrop University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Law Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Dr. Belton holds a professional license as a teacher, secondary administrator, and superintendent in both North and South Carolina. He is also a licensed attorney in South Carolina.

Prema Naryan

Prema is a highly successful special education teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience in India and the United States. Prema has led and created several training seminars to help teachers from India adjust to the United States classroom.

Board of Advisors

Dr. Mary Ann Hansen (Advisor)

Former Responsible Officer Connecticut Department of Education

JASON CULBERTSON

Jason Culbertson is the President of Insight Education Group. Prior to joining Insight, Jason served as the Executive Vice President at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), a national non-profit organization focused on educator effectiveness. In that role he was responsible for the implementation of the TAP System, project management, professional development, and conference planning.

Prior to NIET, Jason was an Executive Director at the South Carolina Department of Education working specifically with underperforming schools across the state providing on-site training, thought-partnership, and innovative solutions to meet each school’s needs.

One of Jason’s core beliefs is that providing every child with an outstanding education is the most critical 21st century challenge because of the causal impact of education on all of our other challenges. Every student deserves a high-quality teacher every year, and teachers deserve training, support, coaching, tools, and resources to succeed.

Jason earned Bachelor’s degrees in history and political science at the University of South Carolina as well as a Master’s degree in secondary education and an Ed. S. in educational leadership.

 

PRESS

NY Times Article – “Bridgeport Looks to India to Fill Teaching Gaps”