Acorn Evaluation, Inc., or simply “Acorn” , began in 2013. Our home office in San Diego, California is surrounded by oak trees and thousands of acorns. Inside each little tiny acorn is the potential of turning into a giant oak tree - just as the people we work with and the organizations they belong to have great potential for their own growth and greatness!
We were founded to help with something important.
Acorn serves hundreds of Early Head Start and Head Start (EHS/HS) recipient agencies throughout the country. These amazing programs provide high-quality, comprehensive services to children ages 0-5 and their families living at the poverty level, by receiving funding directly from the federal government.
This is "high-stakes" work requiring skilled leadership and advanced project organization and coordination, across separate but related content areas. At Acorn, we provide education and training, program assessment, and custom training and technical support to the leaders of these programs.
Our team is made up of patient, friendly, and experienced professionals including Head Start and Early Head Start administrators, external evaluators, data scientists, social workers, management consultants, and early childhood education experts. We know how to help. You can trust us.
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Helping Early Childhood Education programs use data for continuous quality improvement to increase the well-being of children and families.
Stuart Jones, M.A. (LinkedIn)
Partner, Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Stuart has spent over 20 years working as a professional evaluator and management consultant, primarily focusing on organizations that serve the early childhood community. In 2013 he founded Acorn Evaluation to further the goal of providing quality educational and consulting services to the Head Start/Early Head Start community.
Stuart's previous experience includes responsibility for large-scale process and outcomes evaluations of the California Department of Education, First 5 San Diego, San Diego County Office of Education, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, and federal Even Start grant programs, focusing on early childhood education, family engagement, family literacy, developmental screening, smoking cessation, breastfeeding education, and access to healthcare.
As CEO of Acorn, Stuart works with senior leaders throughout the Head Start/Early Head Start field to champion best practices in data-driven implementation of continuous quality improvement. He is the lead instructor for The Academy at NHSA's Data Literacy Credential.
Greg Dixon, Ph. D. (LinkedIn)
Partner, Chief Learning Officer
Dr. Dixon is the leading designer of professional development programs to build data literacy in Head Start. He brings two decades of award-winning experience as a professor and curriculum designer to the development of programs that make data fun and accessible to all.
Dr. Greg previously served as an award-winning professor and applied social scientist, as Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of West Georgia; Associate Director of Analytics Services at Murphy Center for Public Service; and a quantitative methods expert in the MPA and PhD Programs at Walden University.
As Chief Learning Officer of Acorn, Dr Greg is directly responsible for Acorn's educational offerings, serving as both curriculum expert and senior course designer. Thousands of Head Start/Early Head Start professionals nationwide have learned more about data literacy and using data in their programs from Dr. Greg's friendly, instructive videos, in both The Academy at NHSA's Data Literacy Credential, Data Basics, and Data Essentials, and in Acorn's own Data Analyst Certificate.
Rachel Hoffman, M.S.
Director of Operations
Rachel is responsible for Acorn's day-to-day operations, coordinating all aspects of service implementation, staff assignments, and deliverables. She previously served as the Health Specialist for STG International in Head Start Region IX, and prior to that worked as a Health Coordinator and Management Analyst at Neighborhood House Association in San Diego, CA.
Stephanie A. Tesch, M.S.W.
Director of Partnerships
Stephanie is responsible for Acorn's partnerships - supervising a project coordinator team to develop and implement data-driven decision making informed road maps that demonstrate continuous quality improvement at Head Start/Early Head Start recipient programs nationwide. Stephanie also serves as a faculty lecturer with California State University San Marcos' Master of Social Work program.
Candice DeVane, M.B.A.
Director of Analytics
Candice is responsible for Acorn's custom deliverables that support data-driven decision making within the framework of continuous quality improvement. She previously served as CEO of a Sylvan Learning Center, a Manager of Policy at Intelsat, and several engineering positions. She holds a MBA as well as a BS in Electrical Engineering.