Six MLFTC alumni make the Sun Devil 100 list for 2020

By

Meghan Krein

Sun Devil 100 celebrates the achievements of Arizona State University alumni who own or lead successful, innovative businesses. This year, six alumni from ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College will be honored at the virtual ceremony on Sept. 17. They are: 

The three honorees from KOI Education were featured in the Sun Devil 100 Insider video series. Gulchak, Flores and Jannasch-Pennell launched the Phoenix-based company in 2011. Approaching its ninth anniversary, KOI provides training opportunities for teachers, administrators and other school staff in the K–12 arena to learn to use evidence-based practices and techniques to eliminate disruptive behaviors.

Hear from the KOI honorees in this video:

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Daniel Gulchak


Daniel Gulchak 

KOI Education 

Co-founder and VP of Education and Research 

Gulchak (PhD Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, ’08) helped start KOI Education in order to help educators create more effective learning environments. The acronym KOI comes from the founding principles and business philosophy: sharing Knowledge that leads to Outcomes that Impact communities. Gulchak says that he directly applies his extensive MLFTC special education training in his role at KOI.

Acknowledging that the pandemic has affected education tremendously, Gulchak says, “Today what schools need is digital access to professional development, awareness about the impact of trauma on learning, students and families, as well as how to sustain relationships and rapport in an online world.” 

Success tip: “Education opens doors. Walk through those doors.” 


Yadira Flores


Yadira Flores

KOI Education

Co-founder and VP of Education and Professional Development

Flores (MEd Educational Psychology, ’04; PhD Educational Psychology, ’10) develops curriculum, and trains and supports KOI’s employees. She also works directly with clients as a consultant, trainer and coach.

“ASU was instrumental in providing me with the knowledge, the passion and the skills that I share with our clients today. As a student I had so many opportunities to collaborate with faculty and professors in research and projects looking at cultural responsiveness in equity, which is an area of interest for me as a first-generation college student,” says Flores.  

As the pandemic shifts KOI’s operations, Flores says, “Our mantra at KOI is to meet people where they are.” Flores says the team took their activities and trainings online and made daily check-ins part of their schedule. “We are more than a company that provides services — we are a community.” 

Success tip: “Enjoy the process.” 


Angel Jannasch-Pennell


Angel Jannasch-Pennell

KOI Education

Co-founder, President and CEO

Jannasch-Pennell (BS Soiciology, '91, MA Special Education, '94, PhD Curriculum and Instruction (Special Education), '96) was instrumental in spinning KOI into the successful organization it is today. “Our goal is to deliver high-quality professional development training using research-based practices that result in positive academic, behavioral and social achievements in the education community,” says Jannasch-Pennell.

“Aspects of schooling may not ever go back to the way they were pre-pandemic,” she says. As the crisis forces schools and universities to adapt, Jannasch-Pennell says she believes education will finally become a hybrid model that is equitably accessible for all students. “It’s a discussion that needs to happen,” she says. 

Success tip: “Always remember that your last mistake is your best teacher.”  

Join the virtual ceremony:

Sun Devil 100 Class of 2020 

Thursday, Sept. 17 

11a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The virtual celebration can be viewed on:

ASU Live

ASU LinkedIn

Meet the rest of the Sun Devil 100 honorees.