BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Calvert President
John Calvert is a Constitutional lawyer who engaged in corporate finance and business litigation with Lathrop Gage L.C. of Kansas City for thirty-two years. Since his retirement from that firm in 2000, his legal practice has focused on the constitutional requirements for teaching origins science objectively in K–12 public schools. In this respect he has provided advice and counsel to school boards, school administrators, and science teachers in numerous states in the US regarding the scientific, educational, and legal necessity of teaching origins science objectively.
In May 2005, he presented twenty-three expert witnesses during hearings before the Kansas State Board of Education regarding objective changes to the Kansas Science Standards that were subsequently adopted, but then replaced a year later with materialistic standards. Since 2012, he has been counseling Citizens for Objective Public Education with respect to its challenge of the constitutionality of Next Generation Science Standards that were published in 2013 and that have now been adopted by over forty states. His views about this issue are detailed in The Absence of Religious Neutrality in K–12 Public Science Education (12 Liberty University Law Review, 2018) pp. 571–662.
Robert P. Lattimer Secretary
Dr. Lattimer served as President and Secretary of COPE from its inception until January 2020. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in physical/analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas. He worked as a research chemist in the polymer industry for nearly forty years, retiring as a Senior Technical Fellow. Bob is a recognized authority in mass spectrometry and polymer characterization and degradation. He is past Editor for two technical journals and has published over 100 technical articles in his field. He is a past Vice-President of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, a past Councilor and Chairman of the Akron Section American Chemical Society, and past Chairman of a Gordon Research Conference.
Bob was a Founder of Science Excellence for All Ohioans, an advocacy group for objective science education, and he was a member of the Writing Team that composed Ohio’s 2002 science standards. He is a recipient of an Eagle Award from Eagle Forum and a Wedge of Truth Award from IDnet. He is co-author (with J. Sjogren and D. Rudy) of the book The Evolution Controversy (2002). Dr. Lattimer resides in Ohio. As a Board member for Eagle Forum of Ohio, he serves as an advocate for various pro-family issues in the state. He is also the Science Issues Chairman for the national Eagle Forum.
Anne Lassey Vice President
Mrs. Lassey has a B.S. in Education from Friends University. She is a graduate of the Cooperative Urban Teacher Education Program (specializing in inner-city education methods) from Newman University. Mrs. Lassey has an M.E.A. from Wichita State University and a District Level Leadership Certification from Fort Hays State University. Anne has extensive experience in public education, serving as teacher, principal and Superintendent of Schools in several locations in Kansas. She served as Co-chair for the Children’s Coalition for Lynn County and is past Youth Services Chairman for the American Red Cross.
She developed and implemented the McLean Science and Technology Magnet School in Wichita, developed and initiated Business-School partnerships that resulted in true branch banking for students, and also developed and implemented Before and After School programs for them. She served on Quality Performance Assessment teams, assessing education effectiveness of several schools in Kansas, and was selected to serve on a committee to choose a new Commissioner of Education for Kansas. During retirement she seeks to promote objective education in K-12 public schools.
Debra Marks Vice President
Debra Marks is a native of Colorado and now lives in South Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Health and Physical Education (K-12) and Business Education with Vocational Certification. Debra has over 30 years of combined teaching, coaching and volunteer work with Pre-K to grade 12 children and adults. Debra joined South Carolina Parents Involved in Education (SC PIE) in 2002, serving as a member of the SC PIE Board and a writer on educational issues. She joined the staff in 2005 and currently serves as Vice President of Operations and Program Director.
Deb was named the National Association of Professional Women 2010/2011 Woman of the Year for South Carolina. She received the Artillery Order of “Molly Pitcher” for her commitment to military families, and she was given a special accommodation from the Prince William County School Board in Virginia for her accomplishments as a PTA President. Wherever Debra has lived, she has been an active contributor and volunteer in community pro-life, social, educational, and political issues. Her passion in life is to help educate people regarding the value of family and life and how to avoid the often tragic and painful consequences of not making wise choices.
Greg Lassey Treasurer
Mr. Lassey has a B.S. in Education from Friends University and an M.Ed. from Wichita State University. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force as a language instructor in Vietnam and training administrator for a missile squadron, he was a middle school science educator for 30 years in Haysville, Kansas. His students always ranked in the 90th percentile or higher on Kansas state science assessments. He also taught Advanced Biology at the high school level. His Science Olympiad teams always placed in the top three among the leading Kansas school districts.
Greg served on the 2005 State Science Standards Writing Committee, advocating for objectivity in science teaching in Kansas. During retirement, Greg consults with parents of home-schooled children and advocates for objectivity in public school science instruction.
Albert J. Gotch Member
Dr. Al Gotch was born and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio, area and received his B.A. in Chemistry from Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania. He then completed his M.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Purdue University, studying artificial photosynthesis and small molecule gas phase clusters respectively. He taught college chemistry for 20 years at three different state and private institutions and was department chair for nine of those years at the last two institutions. At each he led and managed the growth of the chemistry program. He has worked with many undergraduate and high school science students on research, published 12 peer reviewed papers, and given dozens of presentations on a wide-range of topics including photosynthesis, electrochemistry, fluorescence spectroscopy, molecular structure, chemical education, philosophy of science, microemulsions, alternative energy, and renewable chemical feedstocks.
He testified on four different occasions at the Ohio State Board of Education concerning statewide science standards, was the Director of the Stark County Home School Association, and was the Executive Director of the Akron Fossils & Science Center. He currently works as a chemical analyst at an environmental testing lab and is consulting with a start-up specialty metal recycling company.
Christy Hooley Member
Christy Young Hooley grew up in Green River, a small town in Southwest Wyoming. She is a graduate of Utah Valley University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and maintains her Wyoming Teacher Certification. She has experience teaching elementary school in Utah and Wyoming where she became concerned with the changes happening in her classroom after obtaining training and having to use the Common Core State Standards.
After researching the affects of CCSS within her home state and around the nation, Christy chose to home educate her own children. She is the originator of the "Wyoming Against Common Core" blog and is a board member for "Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core". She gives presentations to educate citizens on the affects of CCSS, has contributed to national and local education panels, and has testified at the Wyoming House Education Committee concerning parental and teacher concerns with CCSS and The Next Generation Science Standards. Christy has also testified at many state and local school board meetings and contributed to opinion articles and websites on education issues. She is currently a Co-Owner and the Education Director for the GJK Academy Sweetwater, an education center.
Christy is passionate about learning and loves teaching her own children and students she is blessed with educating. She is active in her church while currently serving as the choir director and playing the clarinet. Christy is also politically active as a precinct delegate and is a political grassroots activist.
Joseph Renick Member
Mr. Renick has a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University. In nine years with the U.S. Air Force, Joe accumulated 2300 hours flying time mostly with F-102A and F-104A aircraft. He served an additional seventeen years in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was employed for twenty years by the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, working in the area of nuclear weapon blast and shock effect simulation. Joe then worked two years for the Defense Nuclear Agency, where he had responsibility for testing of advanced weapons and tactics to improve our capability to penetrate hardened bunkers.
Mr. Renick retired from the government at the GM-15 level. He then began work with a prominent aerospace corporation, where he is currently employed as a Senior Research Scientist. He works in the area of testing and evaluation of weapons, advanced weapon employment tactics, and development of advanced weapons effects models. Mr. Renick is Executive Director of the Intelligent Design network of New Mexico, where he advocates for objective science education.