Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel

CTE Strategy Advisor

Dr. Heuschel is the founder of A+ Empowerment, an organization that provides inspiring leadership support to empower school district superintendents, their school boards, and district leadership teams to realize the district's promise of quality, equity, belonging, safety, and accountability to equip students to excel to their greatest potential. Dr. Heuschel served as Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2014 - 2022 where she led performance management, ensuring effectiveness of all strategic, operational, and development of national collaborative partnerships. Appointed Chief of Staff by the new Washington State Governor, she served for two years launching a successful new administration, directed strategic planning, provided leadership in collaboration efforts across the state executive branch, and served as state liaison on federal issues. Previously, Dr. Heuschel served as superintendent of the Renton School District for eight years, a richly diverse district of over 15,000 students. She was recognized as the state’s Superintendent of the Year and was a National Superintendent of the Year finalist in 2011. Additionally, she was the Washington Deputy State Superintendent from 1999 - 2006, collaborating across the country on state and federal policy and student achievement initiatives. Her earlier positions in education included assistant superintendent, principal, assessment specialist and twelve years in the classroom as a teacher in regular and special education settings in various states, in Europe with the Department of Defense, and three years at West Point Military Academy. Dr. Heuschel has been the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in education and is a long-standing member of several state and national educational research and leadership associations.

At Red Comet, Dr. Heuschel is working closely with the team to put together a viable and compelling Red Comet CTE implementation plan that is not only cost-effective but will also help bring additional CTE funding for school districts.


Dr. Appu Kuttan

Career & Workplace Readiness Advisor

Dr. Appu Kuttan is an Indian American philanthropist, consultant, author, and the founder and chairman of the National Education Foundation (NEF), a global non-profit organization, founded in 1989. Dr. Appu Kuttan has been an advisor to many national and world leaders, including three US Administrations — Clinton, Bush and Obama, U.S. Congressional leaders, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (in helping to make India a global IT power) and Mauritius Prime Minister (on transforming Mauritius into an IT-focused nation). He is a Philanthropist who donated most of his personal funds from the sale of the World-famous Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy to the National Education Foundation (NEF). Described as a “Dedicated Difference Maker;” he has won several awards including the 2006 Global Digital Literacy Champion, the 2011 University of Wisconsin Distinguished Achievement Award, and the 2019 California Legislature Distinguished Service. He has been a mentor to many people, including world tennis champions Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and U.S. Presidential Honoree Roger Kuttan. Dr. Kuttan has a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering.

At Red Comet, Dr. Kuttan helps the team develop solutions to make America "job-ready." NEF has access to a million licenses that Dr. Kuttan is helping Red Comet channel to 6-12 students throughout the country.


Mr. Jonathan Newcomb

Business Strategy Advisor

Mr. Newcomb is an advisor to and investor in high-growth digital education, publishing, and information companies. He is a former President of the McGraw Hill Financial Information Company (Standard & Poor’s and Data Resources), Chairman and CEO of Simon & Schuster, and CEO of Cambium Learning. He also served as Managing Director at the investment firms Berenson and Company and Rockdale Partners.

Jon is a Senior Advisor to the Investment Bank AMA Partners (CT. and London) and a partner at the growth equity investor Traz Capital Partners. He is a member of the Board of Columbia Business School. He previously served on the boards of Dartmouth College, the Amos Tuck School of Business, HSBC, United Business Media, The BNA Corporation, Education Dynamics, and Xanedu. Jon is a Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School graduate and served as an officer in Vietnam.

At Red Comet, Jon advises the company on business strategy and positioning.


Mr. Eric Reeves

Sales & Marketing Strategy Advisor

Mr. Reeves is a native Texan who spent five terms in the North Carolina State Senate, chaired the Senate’s technology committee, served as an Appropriations Chair, and was on the Education Oversight Committee. Before the Senate, Eric served on the Raleigh City Council for two terms, focusing on public policy issues. He also served on the Board of Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, NC.

Eric has helped start numerous technology companies in the education market, notably Dude Solutions, based in NC. Recently, Eric founded GreenLight Credentials, enabling students to own and share their academic records with Colleges and Employers. The goal is to streamline College Admissions and Employment processes. Currently, Eric serves on the Board of the Perot Museum and the Board of the Region 10 Education Service Center. He is also Chairman of Dallas ISD’s PTECH Industry Advisory Board. Eric received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from Wake Forest University.

At Red Comet, Eric advises the company on sales and marketing strategies for positioning the products and solutions in Texas.


Mr. Divakar Kamath

Business Strategy Advisor

Mr. Divakar Kamath has been a successful private equity fund manager for over 35 years. He has extensive experience sourcing deals, conducting due diligence on portfolio companies, and structuring Investments. Divakar is the General Partner at Pacesetter Capital Group. He was Executive Vice President of Equico Capital Corporation, an Equitable Life venture division, and Vice President at Fulcrum Venture Capital Corp.

Divakar graduated with an MBA from UCLA in 1973. He has an MS from Stanford University and a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology.

At Red Comet, Divakar advises the company on business strategy and positioning.


Mr. Roy Hester

Sales & Marketing Strategy Advisor

Mr. Roy Hester has worked in public education for 29 years, serving as a teacher, principal, secondary vocational education director, superintendent of schools and educational co-op director. He has served as a federal programs’ coordinator, special education administrator as well as a 504 coordinator in his many years in public education. Roy has written numerous grants and administered millions of dollars in both federal and state grants for public schools. Over the course of his career he has been active in a variety of civic and educational organizations including Rotary International, Arkansas Association of Elementary Principals, Rural Education Association, Association of Educational Administrators, Association of Career and Technical Administrators, booster clubs, and the FFA Alumni Association. He has served on the board of directors for the Guy Fenter Education Co-op, the Arkansas Association of Career & Technical Education Administrators, as well as served as the Chairman for the Educational Co-op Directors in Arkansas.

At Red Comet, Mr. Hester assists with business strategy and positioning in the State of Arkansas.


Mr. Bill Searight

Legal Counsel

Mr. Bill Searight is a CPA and an attorney and formerly a Partner with Deloitte, a global accounting, tax and consultancy firm. His career is focused on business organization structures, accounting, financing and tax matters. At Red Comet, Bill will serve as the Legal Counsel and oversee all matters related to this area.


Ms. Pat Larson

Industry Advisor

Ms. Pat Larson is an Education Consultant in the greater Seattle area providing coaching and mentoring support. She received her B.A. in Education and her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Central Washington University and her Superintendent credential from Seattle Pacifi University. Pat's most recent administrative position was Principal of Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington, one of the most diverse high schools in the nation. The Seattle Times Education Lab recognized the transformation of Foster in their article "The revival of Foster High School: School Filled with refugees makes a comeback". Her work at Foster also earned them the College Board 2015 Gaston Caperton Opportunity Award for expanding access to higher education for underrepresented students, by increasing students taking college-level courses and applying to four or more colleges.

At Red Comet, Pat offers insights on challenges school principals face when dealing with a student population that is not only diverse but also faces steep economic and social barriers.

Awards, Approvals, and Accreditation