About Us


Project CRISS staff image

Dr. Debra Franciosi, Executive Director & Master Trainer. Deb arranges client contracts and regional trainings, is editor of the CRISS Crafter newsletter for trainers, conducts Training of Trainer workshops, and provides trainer and teacher support. Prior to joining Project CRISS, she helped design and open a technology magnet high school, served as a Secondary Literacy Specialist, and taught secondary English, language arts, social studies, and reading.

Project CRISS staff image

Anna Deese, NCBT AYA Science, Director of Operations and National Trainer. Anna coordinates online training, manages trainer certification, is editor of the blog (formerly the Comments from CRISS newsletter), and provides trainer and teacher support. Before coming to Project CRISS, Anna served in the Army National Guard, worked as a management and IT consultant, and taught high school biology, anatomy, and earth sciences in inner-city Chicago and rural Oregon.



Project CRISS started as an action research project conducted by a group of secondary content teachers interested in identifying classroom practices that truly make an impact on student learning. These teachers, led by reading specialist and IRA past president Dr. Carol Santa, scoured the available research on learning (in the fields of education, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience) and tested theories in their classrooms. Those practices which worked became the foundation of Project CRISS. Their early successes garnered recognition and grant awards first in Montana, and then nationally through the U.S. Department of Education National Diffusion Network. As their work spread across the United States, education practitioners contributed their expertise to develop the pedagogical frameworks for CRISS, the toolbox of powerful learning strategies, and the workshops which evolved into the Introduction to Project CRISS workshop (Level I). The original development leaders, Dr. Santa and science and math teacher Lynn Havens, established Project CRISS as a national professional development initiative and private business in 2001. Now in its 4th edition (2012), Project CRISS offers high quality, practical professional development and an array of support materials and curricula for teaching and learning across the United States, Canada, and countries throughout the world.