The UC Davis School of Education launched Cooperative Research
and Extension Services for Schools, known as the CRESS Center, in
1990 with the aim to support excellence in K-16 education systems
by building their capacity to meet the needs of California’s
children and youth. Over time, the CRESS Center grew to include
35 employees working across ten different programs that ranged in
size, success, and purpose.
In 2013, Susan O’Hara joined the School of Education
as the CRESS Center’s Executive Director with a wealth of
experience and background in public education, and working
closely with teachers, researchers and community leaders. Dr.
O’Hara determined that the disparate programs across CRESS
created confusion among faculty and external stakeholders about
its mission as well as operational, fundraising, and coordination
In an effort to return to the original vision of the CRESS
Center, Dr. O’Hara phased out unsustainable programs,
reduced staff, built a network of high-quality external partners,
and renamed the center Resourcing Excellence in Education, now
known as REEd.
As it approaches its fifth year as REEd, the center continues to
hone its focus on activities that apply its expertise to the
areas of greatest need in the education sector. Building the
capacity of local, county, and state education agencies to build
and sustain teacher professional growth systems has become REEd’s
sole focus area.