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Certell Core Values

Numbers Matter, Stories Matter

Venture Outside Comfort Zone

Be Curious

Love Quality

Celebrate Completion

Be Elegantly Simple

Fostering a Generation of
Independent Thinkers

Certell provides unbiased, media-rich content and dynamic teaching
methods to help educators connect with and motivate students.

We help teachers teach students how to think, not what to think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Certell a virtual school?
No, Certell provides unbiased, world-class engaging digital curriculum to teachers, at no cost to them, for in-person learning.

What is provided for teachers?
Teachers receive access to e-books with activities and assessments for use in their classrooms.

What types of schools use Certell curriculum?
Public, private, co-op, micro-schools, homeschools, and any other in-person learning environment.

How many students are using Certell curriculum?
Approximately 3.2 million.

Who pays for the curriculum and the technical delivery platform for teachers?
Certell is supported by individuals and foundations. We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and donations are 100% tax deductible.
Click here to donate online.


Fred Fransen

Co-Founder and CEO

Fred's career has been dedicated to improving the ability of people around the world to live prosperous and free lives by increasing their educational opportunities. His work and interests have taken him to six continents, more than 60 countries, and all 50 states. In addition to the development of U.S. social studies courses, he has been involved in numerous initiatives to deliver Certell digital learning resources in U.S. prisons, as well as to students around the world, including in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Fred is the former Director of Higher Education Programs at The Philanthropy Roundtable and Senior Fellow of the Liberty Fund, where he helped develop more than 2,000 educational seminars on topics including European liberalism and the American founding. He is the author of The Supranational Politics of Jean Monnet: Ideas and Origins of the European Community. Fred earned a Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago.

Marcus Dennis

Chief Marketing Officer

Marcus brings more than 25 years of corporate business experience in a variety of marketing and leadership roles. He previously served at Roche Diabetes Care, Inc, with the last eleven years focused on leadership of their digital marketing for global affiliates. As a Sr. International Marketing Manager, he led the digital marketing efforts of more than 20 affiliate countries and launched their enterprise SEO services. Marcus was also on the development team and led the marketing efforts for two internal startups. He was instrumental in piloting, evaluating, and onboarding a global online learning solution to upskill the marketing organization.

Lisa Hazlett Roberts

Senior Vice President of Initiatives

Following a corporate downsize early in her career, Lisa transitioned to the nonprofit sector and hasn't looked back. She is the founder of Hazlett Consulting and the founder of the Montana Policy Institute. She has previously served as the Vice President of Development for the Tax Foundation, Director of Foundation Strategy for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center, and Vice President for External Affairs for the Buckeye Institute. A Florida native, Lisa holds a BA from the University of North Florida and an MBA from Jacksonville University. She is married to her junior high school sweetheart and together they are the parents of four amazing kids and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys most water sports, hiking, camping, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Kiko Suarez

Chief Academic Officer - Huntington Junior College

Dr. Juan "Kiko" Suarez has a unique blend of international experience in leadership development, education, marketing, communications, corporate responsibility, and information technology in Fortune 50 corporations, entrepreneurial startups, nonprofits, and strategic philanthropy. Kiko has a Ph.D. in Leadership and Challenge from Antoich University and was awarded the title of "doctor of honoris causa" from National Louis University.

Kris Bertelsen

Vice President of Programs - Huntington Junior College

Kris has been a teacher, trainer, and program and curriculum developer. He earned a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from the University of Central Arkansas, an M.S. Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from Southern Arkansas University, an M.A. in Economic Education and Entrepreneurship from the University of Delaware, and a B.S. Social Studies Education, Economics Emphasis, from St. Cloud State University.

Julie Smitherman

Director of Content Management - Poptential

Julie was a high school social studies teacher for eight years before joining Certell to help craft its social studies curriculum. Julie earned a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University, and a bachelor’s degree in social studies teacher education from Purdue University.


Dennis A. Trinkle

Board Member
Sheree Speakman

Jay Utterback

Board Member
Stephen Farris

Board Member
Dominique Lazanski

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