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 difficulties.
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.