Who we are

ReThink Forward is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, comprised of Board members with many decades of educational experience within the public and charter school realms. 

Dan Boone, Chair

Having served in pastoral ministry for more than thirty years, Dan Boone became the eleventh president of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2005.

A 1974 graduate of Trevecca, he earned a master’s degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1977 and a doctorate in ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1996. He began his pastoral ministry when he was in high school, and his last pastorate was at the College Church in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Dr. Boone has taught on the university and seminary level and also has been an instructor for the Salvation Army.

Dan has been married to his college sweetheart, Denise, for 40 years, and they have three married daughters and six grandkids.

Tony Bennett, Vice Chair

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Tony Bennett has dedicated his life to educating students. He began his career in southern Indiana as a high school science teacher and basketball coach, quickly advancing to school administration while building a reputation as a leader with talent for school management, strategic planning, and effective budgeting. After serving as district superintendent, Tony was elected as Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2009. He also served as Commissioner of Education in Florida before starting TBX2, Inc./Education Reform Strategies, a consulting company focusing on supporting cutting edge reforms. 

As State Superintendent, Tony led Indiana through what most consider the most comprehensive, student-focused education reform initiatives in the nation. Focused on choice, greater accountability and freedom, a partial list of Tony’s accomplishments included the creation of the nation’s most-expansive school voucher program, developing one of the top-rated educator effectiveness programs in the nation, and boldly taking over failing schools. During his tenure in Indiana, the state saw record high school graduation rates and participation and success rates in Advanced Placement courses and exams. Student achievement on the state’s ISTEP assessment also rose dramatically during that same period. Under Bennett’s leadership, Indiana achieved improvement in the state’s NAEP results that ranked among the top 3 in the United States. Bennett’s leadership quickly earned him a national reputation among government and education leaders. In 2010, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named Tony Government Leader of the Year and, in 2011, The Fordham Institute named him Education Reform Idol 

Tony’s high expectations for students and commitment to involving community partners have also made him a key player in the national education reform efforts. He served on the board of the Council for Chief State School Officers, the governing board of the Partnership for the Assessment for Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), and was a founding member and former chair of Chiefs for Change. 

He received his doctorate degree in Education and his Superintendent’s License from Spalding University. He earned his Certification in Secondary Administration and Supervision, a Master of Science in Secondary Education, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Indiana University Southeast. 

Dr. Bennett, a devoted father of four, resides in New Albany, Indiana with his wife Tina and beloved dog, Teddy.

Thomas H. Lee, Secretary

As a member of Frost Brown Todd, Tom practices in the areas of government services and business litigation, concentrating his work on lobbying and government relations, and providing strategic counsel on managing public policy change on state and local levels. Tom is also the member-in-charge for the firm’s Nashville office.

Tom’s approach to serving clients is seasoned by three decades of experience as a lobbyist, attorney, litigator, winning campaign strategist, university educator, and Emmy-award-winning journalist. With this diverse portfolio of experience, Tom is well regarded and sought after in his field. As MSNBC political commentator Harold Ford Jr. has said, “There are lots of people in Tennessee gifted in business or government or media or politics, but no one puts all of it together any better than Tom Lee.  He sees the whole field.”

In an age when the face of government relations is evolving daily due to ethical reforms, increasing transparency, and an electronically engaged electorate, quality and attention to nuance has never mattered more. Getting results in politics involves the accumulation and wise investment of political capital, paired with the experience necessary to navigate the new model. The central focus of Tom’s practice is maintaining the correlation between these crucial parts, an approach that consistently gains success.

Tom holds a B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University, where he was Order of the Coif and executive editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review.  Prior to joining Frost Brown Todd, Tom was principal of his own public strategies firm and a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.  He holds an AV® rating by Martindale Hubbell®, and served on the Tennessee Judicial Council. Tom won two Emmy awards and numerous other national awards for investigative journalism and documentaries, ranging from health care policy to the aftermath of the first Iraq War. 

Above all, Tom is passionate about the needs of his community and the passions of his clients. He enjoys his work as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University, where he teaches courses on lobbying, legislation, and public advocacy.

Tom is a seventh-generation Tennessean, a native of Nashville whose great-grandfather served in the Tennessee House. He is married to Laurie Sanders Lee, and they are parents of Virginia Carol Zhang Jing Lee. The entire family is active at the West End United Methodist Church, where Tom has taught Sunday School, served as a youth counselor and recently preached his first sermon.

Rebecca Dinda, Treasurer

Ms. Dinda has been a public educator in Connecticut and Florida for the last twenty-one years
working to advocate for high expectations for educators to ensure equality in our education
systems. She has served students beginning as a substitute teacher and intern in the Miami
Dade Public Schools system, then returning to her home state of Connecticut as a Guidance
Teacher in Lebanon, CT and a School Counselor & Teacher in Cheshire, Connecticut. After eight
years of teaching in CT, she returned to Miami to join Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) as an
Assistant Principal at Downtown Miami Charter School. Two years later she joined the CSUSA
team as a Director of Education supporting all the of schools in the network to develop
effective practices to ensure improved quality. After missing the direct contact with scholars
and parents, Ms. Dinda returned to Downtown Miami Charter School as the Principal where she
spent the last years working with students, staff and parents to become a high performing Title
1 school.

Ms. Dinda currently serves as an Advanced Ed team member for the K-12 school-based
accreditation process and was a past Commission Member of the Charter School Appeal
Commission (CSAS). She is ecstatic about being a ReThink Forward Board Member where she
will continue to support the highest quality efforts in public education.

Ms. Dinda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami in Coral Gables,
Florida and a Master of Science degree in Counselor Education from Florida International
University in Miami, Florida. She also has a 6th Year Certificate in Educational Leadership from
Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut.

 


 

Jeremy Kane, Local Advisory Board Member

An accomplished entrepreneur, executive, and community leader, Jeremy Kane has attended and taught in public and private schools, served as a speechwriter for a United States Senator, and is recognized as a leader in building innovative partnerships between public entities and community, faith, and business organizations.

In 2006, Jeremy mortgaged his house to start LEAD Public Schools, a network of 5 public charter schools. As CEO, he leveraged innovative partnerships to transform low-performing schools, design new transportation systems, and create wrap-around support programs for staff and families. Kane designed and implemented the innovative school transformation model that transformed Cameron Middle School from one of the lowest-performing schools in the State into one of the fastest improving and highest-achieving public schools. The Cameron model has been recognized as a template for blending non-profit, community, and public resources and has been replicated across the country.

In 2012, he partnered with more than one hundred community, government, non-profit and business leaders to launch the city-wide partnership, Nashville Commits, a commitment through the Clinton Global Initiative to triple the number of low-income, college-ready graduates in Nashville by 2020.

After LEAD became the only Metro Nashville public school to graduate 100% of its students in 2014, Kane stepped down as CEO to run for Mayor of Nashville, having grown LEAD to nearly 200 employees and an annual budget of nearly $20 million.

He is currently the Founder/CEO of Long Road Partners, which specializes in providing executive leadership to its portfolio companies and full-scale consulting services to high-growth companies, start-ups, socially conscious organizations, and individuals looking to design, replicate and scale bold solutions to long-thought unsolvable problems. Jeremy serves on several non-profit boards and regularly presents around the country on building public-private partnerships, including at the TedX Nashville conference.

A former Stanford swimmer, Kane has completed over 50 marathons, half-marathons, and triathlons, including a Half-Ironman. He is married to Tracy Kane, a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and the EVP of Corporate Health and General Counsel for Endeavor Media. Tracy is an active community volunteer, serving in leadership positions on several non-profit boards, including Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Nashville Conflict Resolution Center. They have two daughters, Wells, age 7 and Luella, age 16 months.


Jackie Cissell, Community Engagement Director

Jackie Cissell has been involved in education for many years, as an advocate serving in various capacities to promote educational options for families. Jackie has worked for two governors, Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence, in the area of community engagement and at the Office of School Improvement and Turnaround for Indiana Department of Education. Jackie has been appointed to various boards and commissions in the City of Indianapolis. She has a bachelors degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.  Currently, Jackie is a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, and is looking forward to bringing her passion and experience to families in Nashville.


Phone: (833) 738-4165 
Mailing Address:  1831 12th Avenue South, Suite 188, Nashville, TN 37203