Interim President and CEO
Rebecca Sipos is the Interim President and CEO of the Character Education Partnership. She joined the organization in February of 2007 and has served in the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Director of Communications. She coordinates the National Forum on Character Education and directs various writing projects. Prior to starting at CEP, Becky, a reading specialist, taught English and journalism for more than 30 years. At her last school, she directed various character education programs that led her school to recognition as a National School of Character finalist. She also has worked as a news reporter, freelance writer and editor. Becky has received numerous awards, including Teacher of the Year, Thomas Jefferson Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Journalism Education Association’s Medal of Merit. Becky holds a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as well as a bachelor degree in English from Drake University. She serves on the advisory board of the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University. She is married to Larry Sipos, and they have two grown children and four grandchildren.
Dr. Russ Sojourner
Director, Schools of Character
Dr. Russ Sojourner has a BS in Behavioral Science, and MS in Industrial Engineering, and a PhD in Psychology. After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy, Russ served in the Air Force for 20 years, having completed two tours of duty at the Academy as an Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership, where he taught courses in Behavioral Science, Human Factors, Aviation Psychology, and Marriage and Family. Russ also served in the Academy’s Center for Character Development, where he was in charge of character and leadership development for the 4400 member cadet wing. Upon retiring from the Air Force in 2004, Russ became an Assistant Principal and Director of Character Education and Development at The Classical Academy (TCA), a National School of Character and the largest charter school in the state of Colorado. Russ spent the last seven years as TCA’s Junior High Principal, and he was recently honored as the Titan of the Year, TCA’s most prestigious annual award. Russ has devoted most of his professional life to educating and developing character in our nation’s youth, and he passionately believes in the power of role modeling, building strong relationships, positive peer pressure, and parents who are committed to developing ethical behavior in their children.
Dr. David Keller
Director of Transformation and Strategic Initiatives
Dave Keller is our Director of Transformation and Strategic Initiatives, leading efforts to expand CEP’s impact through many exciting new endeavors. Dave came to CEP following a noteworthy 20+ year career in the U.S. Air Force, where he directed all cadet character and leadership programs at the Air Force Academy, including 120 annual seminars and the Academy’s acclaimed 2-day National Character & Leadership Symposium. Dave led many of the Academy’s organizational culture/climate change efforts, to include guiding the nation’s largest collegiate peer education cohort, championing gender equality issues, and managing licensed counselors at the Academy’s counseling center. In 2009-2010, Dave served as the senior U.S. advisor to the Iraqi Air Force Academy in Baghdad, working side-by-side with Iraqi leaders to rebuild the Iraqi military. He later guided the efforts of U.S. Air Force personnel across 7 locations in Iraq, and was one of the principle authors of the initial U.S. drawdown strategic plan. Dave is a popular and engaging classroom instructor, having taught leadership and character development courses for both the Air Force Academy and Texas A&M University. He holds an undergraduate degree in Human Behavior & Leadership from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and a Master’s in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from St Mary’s University in San Antonio. Dave earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M, where his primary research focused on moral and ethical development of leaders.
Sora Wondra joined CEP in 2013 after several months of volunteering and conducting legislative research on character education. She assists with CEP’s development and advancement efforts. Prior to joining CEP, Sora taught psychology to gifted and talented students in the U.S. and also lived abroad in the Republic of Georgia, where she taught English as a Foreign Language and conducted research on educational reform. She has an M.Phil. in Education from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Psychology from Coe College. Sora is a member of the Pi Lambda Theta Education Society, has been a Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar, and is a recipient of the Linnie E. Schloeman Prize in Teacher Education Excellence at Coe College. When she’s not working or otherwise supporting the efforts of educational improvement, Sora enjoys backpacking and mountaineering with her husband, Nic Wondra.
Webmaster & IT Coordinator
Iris Wyatt returned to CEP in July of 2007. She previously worked at CEP from 2001 to 2005. Iris oversees CEP’s website and formats and distributes the Essential Character electronic newsletter each month. She has 20 years of experience providing field service and technical support to a variety of companies and holds an associate of arts degree from the University of the District of Columbia in advertising design.
Heather joined CEP as Office Administrator after graduating with an M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She has a brief background in nonprofits but extensive experience in education and social justice work. Her main duties include office management, event planning for the annual Forum, the National Schools of Character program, and generally keeping the cogs turning. Outside of work, Heather loves to write short fiction and draw.