Blog Team

We’d like you to meet members of our leadership team who contribute regularly to Destination Diploma.

Mark Claypool is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Educational Services of America. Claypool has nearly two decades of experience in K-12 education, special and alternative education and residential treatment programs.

A social worker and education administrator, Claypool was frustrated by decreasing resources for children with learning differences, so he founded Educational Services of America (ESA) in 1999. He believes that all children can advance academically, behaviorally and socially if they are given the right tools in the right environment.


Allison O’Neill is Ombudsman’s chief operating officer and is responsible for Ombudsman’s operations, strategic direction, integrity assurance, human resources and sales and marketing. A skilled administrator and a dynamic educator, Allison began her career with Ombudsman as a classroom teacher. Her hands-on experience educating at-risk students gives Allison terrific insight into the elements of a successful program as well as a keen appreciation for the issues that are important to our school district partners.

John McLaughlin, Ph.D., is executive vice president and director of Research and Analytics for Ombudsman. Dr. McLaughlin is an experienced education administrator and researcher with a distinguished career in academics. He served as a tenured professor of educational administration in the graduate school at St. Cloud State University, where he focused a significant portion of his teaching on the subject of research design. We are very fortunate to have an educator and researcher of John’s stature in our organization.

Karen LeFever, Ed.D., is Ombudsman’s executive vice president and chief development officer. Dr. LeFever directs Ombudsman’s business development, government relations and community outreach initiatives. Karen has deep and unique experience in developing partnerships that connect public school districts with innovative service and program solutions. She is passionate about helping public school districts create programs that benefit students and communities.

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