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Alpha Plus Learning Systems was founded in 1986 to help students raise grades on their report cards. The mission quickly became helping schools improve their report-card grades as required for state and federal accountability. Since 1990, when the Oklahoma Legislature initiated the state’s first academic standards, the Alpha Plus Educational Systems team of educators has been developing tools to help educators meet ever-changing regulations and improve student success. Alpha Plus began writing interim assessments because teachers needed data that could measure mastery of state standards.

Since 2016, when the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) were adopted, Alpha Plus has rewritten all assessments to align to the OAS.

  • Today, Alpha Plus also publishes Success with OAS English language arts and mathematics curriculum that is available in print and digital versions. The K-8 series for mathematics and Grades 3-8 series for ELA are written by Oklahoma teachers for Oklahoma students to Oklahoma standards.
  • Benchmark-summative and formative assessments are available in a web-based platform that produces real-time reports aligned to state measures.
  • Evidence-based practices help low-performing schools become high-progress ones focused on each student’s success. School teams learn to use data in making decisions that improve both instruction and school results.

Alpha Plus has been customizing services to meet the needs of rural, suburban, urban, and virtual schools since 1992. Alpha Plus trains educators how to improve performance in English/reading, mathematics and science using a continuous cycle of school improvement called the Alpha Plus “Way to an A” Model. Alpha Plus schools have outperformed the state average for every year of the Oklahoma School Report Cards.

Jan crop 2017JAN BARRICK, M.Ed
Founder and CEO of Alpha Plus Systems, Inc.

An educator since 1973, Jan Barrick has taught in elementary through college levels and specializes in learning disabilities and gifted-and-talented programs. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Oklahoma (OU), Jan tutored children while developing data-driven training for teachers. The author of The Way to an A: How to Help Your Child Succeed in School, the Alpha Plus CEO is an expert on school improvement strategies. An active member of Oklahoma City Rotary Club 29, Jan is a member of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) Executive Committee and Foundation Board as well as the Board of Trustees for the Oklahoma Foundation of Excellence.


Alpha Plus Facilitator Team

Ron Brummett

With his bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Ron Brummett earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Arizona University. He has 35 years of experience in Kindergarten through 8th grade public education in Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma public schools. He spent eight years teaching and 27 years in school administration; he retired after 13 years as principal within Yukon Public Schools. Ron joined Alpha Plus as a School Improvement Facilitator in June 2023.

Holly Dudley


Originally from Georgia, Holly Dudley moved to Oklahoma six years ago. She graduated from the University of West Georgia and has worked as a teacher in the elementary setting for the past ten years. She was drawn to education while being a stay-at-home mom when her children were young and seeing the joy and excitement in their faces as they were learning. Holly brought her early childhood education experience and passion to Alpha Plus as a facilitator in 2022.

Donna Rice-Johnson

Donna Rice-Johnson grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from John Marshall High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oklahoma. After a few years in retail, she returned to college to earn her teaching certification; then a master’s degree in applied mathematics and National Board Certification. After teaching 6th through 8th grade math at Taft Middle School, Donna taught algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, and AP Calculus for 13 years at Northwest Classen High School. Donna joined Alpha Plus in December 2022 as “Math Nerd” and is now also a school facilitator.

Susanne Dougherty


A National Board-Certified Teacher, Susanne Dougherty taught 3rd through 5th grade students for 18 years and was an elementary school administrator for eight years. She has a business degree from the University of Oklahoma and earned two master’s degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma, one in elementary education and the second in elementary administration. Susanne retired after 26 years as an Edmond Public School teacher/principal and joined Alpha Plus as a facilitator in 2022.

Penny Gooch


With more than 35 years of experience in education, Penny Gooch served mainly in Guthrie and Edmond schools. She taught kindergarten, second grade, sixth grade science, and vocational home economics then served as a Title I Reading Teacher, an instructional coach, Director of Federal Programs and later Elementary Education. From 2006-2008, Penny was Director of Reading and Literacy at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Penny retired from her position as a principal (Orvis Risner Elementary, Edmond) in June 2021. Since then, she’s taught at a group home east of Edmond, and joined Alpha Plus as a School Improvement Facilitator in July 2023.

Nichelle E. Reed


Nichelle Reed is a School Improvement Facilitator with Alpha Plus. Mrs. Reed has taught elementary, middle school, and high schools in Oklahoma for 19 years. After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Nichelle traveled extensively as a dance educator in the U.S. After returning home to Oklahoma, she taught English Language Arts, Writing, Reading, and Classical Literature for Oklahoma City Public Schools, Mcloud Public Schools, and Norman Public Schools. A champion for teachers and their need for powerful resources in each classroom, Nichelle joined Alpha Plus in July 2023.


The Alpha Plus Central Office Team

Jim Childers
With 37 years in education, Jim Childers spent most of his tenure serving as elementary, middle, and high school principal in the Pawnee, Seminole and Crescent Public Schools. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), Edmond. Jim is a School Services Representative who helps principals and teachers use Alpha Plus tools; he also writes proposals and ships curriculum materials to schools around the state.

Kari Kosanke
A graduate of Southern Nazarene University, Kari Kosanke came to Alpha Plus in 2018 as a part time employee. Kari has worked in many areas of the central office, particularly in customer service. She has enjoyed selling, working at conferences, and keeping the office birthday parties in order. Kari is integral to publishing and shipping services as well.

Melissa Ann Maness
A graduate of Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Melissa Maness came to Alpha Plus in 2019 after devoting the first part of her adult life as a wife and stay-at-home mother of five. An advocate for the education of her children, she has been a longtime member of the P.T.A. and active in the classroom providing support for teachers, administration, and students. Currently Melissa serves Alpha Plus as a Microsoft Specialist, data-entry clerk, and an administrative assistant.

Mickey McCrotty
Mickey McCrotty graduated from Putnam City High School and attended Southern Nazarene University for three years in Elementary Education. After working for two oil companies during the 80s, she worked in the Accounting and Purchasing Departments of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Mickey worked 33 years at OMRF before coming to work in the business office for Alpha Plus in 2019.

BennieNewtoncropBennie Newton
Bennie Newton grew up in western Oklahoma where education has been a family tradition:  He graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford in 1980, and later received his master’s degree in School Administration from SWOSU. Bennie’s career includes teaching, coaching, and school administration; he served 12 years as principal at all levels and 21 years as superintendent.  He used Alpha Plus in his district during those years and says it was the engine that drove Central High Elementary to the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School award!  In June 2020, Bennie retired, and he has been the Alpha Plus Sales Manager ever since.

Wendy Pratt
A Lindsay High School alum with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UCO, Wendy Pratt’s public service career began as Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Henry Bellmon who signed into law historic education reforms in 1990. For the next 20 years, she worked closely with State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, serving as Communications Director for the State Department of Education from 1998 to 2011. Wendy joined Alpha Plus in 2013, and now serves as Chief Information Officer.


Additional Partners


Dr. Edna McDuffie Manning
With her doctorate in mathematics from the University of Houston, Dr. Edna Manning will be remembered in Oklahoma history as the founding president of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics. In fact, she has more than 50 years in education and school administration at various levels. Offering her education and experience to the Alpha Plus team, Dr. Manning was the Executive Editor of the Success with OAS Mathematics series of K-8 curriculum.

Nancy Young
Former high school English teacher who retired from Newcastle High School before joining Alpha Plus, Nancy Young is considered Facilitator Emerita. She frequently helps train Facilitators and consults with teachers and school leaders on how to improve schools. Nancy is the Editor of the Success with OAS English Language Arts series and has edited all assessments for reading and English.


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