Our Team

Focus School Software now employs over 100 talented team members, led by our dedicated Executive and Management Teams below. Many of our training and support staff came from school districts that use our Solutions, arming them with first-hand user experience.

Please take a moment to put a face with a name and learn about our leadership teams.

Executive Team:

Andrew Schmadeke

CEO

Before founding Focus, CEO Andrew Schmadeke worked in software development and programming, maintaining code and writing customizations of IS3 within the education sector. Eventually his entrepreneurial spirit and aptitude for learning new technologies rapidly led to the creation of Focus, and a simple start-up became a major player in the SIS market, housing the data of over 2 million students to date. In just 14 years, Andrew has grown Focus into a dynamic company of over 100 employees with a suite of products that reflect the inspiration, innovation and collaboration of the entire Focus team and the clients we serve.
Andrew’s commitment and vision to provide cutting-edge technology in comprehensive, customizable data management systems to districts of all sizes continues to fuel Focus’ success and disrupt a competitive market.

Steven Harnois

Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, Steven Harnois ensures that the day-to-day operations at Focus’s Florida and New Hampshire offices run smoothly and efficiently. With an extensive background in human resources and client management, Steven oversees and manages all aspects of administration, including recruitment, marketing, events, contract negotiations and budgets.
Since 2008, his creativity and leadership in all aspects of operations has fostered a welcoming environment for employees, helping to shape Focus into the unique and diverse company it is today. Additionally, his ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with both clients and third-parties (vendors, suppliers, etc.) has ensured success on delivery of products and services time and again.

Bethany Heslam

Director of Implementation

Like many Focus employees, Bethany Heslam, our Director of Implementation, came to Focus directly from a school district. As a math and computer science teacher, she taught students for 16 years before transitioning into the Department of Information Communications Services at Charlotte County Public Schools in 2004. Her role there included project management during the district’s successful conversion from SASI to Focus’ Student Information System. She then led training for support, administrative staff, and teachers on how to use Focus, as well as oversaw the district’s Florida State Reporting through Focus.
Since joining Focus in 2011, Bethany has implemented Focus products in more than 20 school districts, with diverse student populations of 100 to over 180,000. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of implementations, from project management to training, documentation and development of the Focus Certification Training program.

Shannon Hutchinson

Director of CTE/Higher ED

Shannon Hutchinson has dedicated her entire career to project management for massive implementations, from company-wide Pension Plans to Student Information Systems for large school districts and Postsecondary and Adult Education Institutions. Shannon’s role at Focus School Software began as a Project Manager in 2009 and she has since progressed as the leading contributor to the development and success of the Focus Postsecondary System.
Under Shannon’s leadership in 2013, Focus School Software was awarded a contract by the School Board of Broward County for Workforce Education Student Information System. After this successful implementation, Focus’ Postsecondary System was deemed the chosen vendor by the FLDOE for all Florida school districts awarded Postsecondary system adoption grants - the District Workforce Education Student Information System Grant, approved by Florida Legislature, signed by the Governor.
The Focus system is now used by 26 Florida School Districts (including a successful early system go-live with over 67,000 Continuing Education students for the Miami-Dade County School District), Los Angeles Unified School district, and is currently being implemented in Harris County Pennsylvania.

Henry Smoot

Director of Reporting, Integrations, and Database Administration

Henry Smoot, our Director of Reporting, Integrations, and Database Administration, came to Focus with 15 years of data administration experience from Pinellas County Schools, a local FL district of 108,000 students. There he managed more than 100 databases on 30+ servers and notably, helped support the successful migration of the district’s mainframe SIS to SQL Server based system. At Focus, he works closely with Project Coordinators and Managers to ensure hardware configuration continues to meet and exceed client standards. Overseeing a team of programmers with 73+ years of combined experience, Henry is dedicated to adapting and meeting the ever-changing needs of our districts and schools, from researching and implementing the most cutting-edge security measures, to creating and coordinating timely product release schedules.

Jamie Title

Director of Support

As Director of Support, Jamie Title has been instrumental in the creation and expansion of the Focus’ Support team, developing internal processes and innovative strategies to ensure customer service at the highest level to our clients. With a strong background in administration and sales, Jamie’s management, training and motivation of the Tier 1 Support, Account Executive and Senior Account Executive teams has produced effective, stream-lined customer service that has resulted in strong, long-term relationships with our districts and schools. In addition, Jamie’s commitment to ensuring our clients understand and utilize the maximum potential of our products and services has grown Focus’ business and helped to shape our software into the customizable, highly intuitive system it is today.

Management Team:

Will Brock

Automation Engineer Manager

Will Brock, our Automation Engineering Manager, is always looking for ways to continually innovate and streamline our IT and service processes for maximum reliability and efficiency within Focus. With his fluency in a variety of programming languages and prior experience developing customized web applications for a prominent insurance company, Will’s vast knowledge and emphasis on collaboration with teammates and end-users helps Focus stay on the cutting-edge of enterprise automation best practices and state-of-the-art workflow.

Chris Cadieux

North East Director of IT and Services

Chris Cadieux, our NE Director of IT and Services, came to Focus with a diverse background working in both the military and education sector in all aspects of Tier 1 support, data management and conversion and integrations development and deployment. His clear and straightforward leadership and coordination of all IT services has been integral to maintaining high standards for hardware, software, and communications protocols across Focus. Additionally, his maximum utilization of resources and constant collaboration with other departments to efficiently execute time critical installations and upgrades ensure our end users receive consistent quality, service and security.

Bridget Foster

Lead Trainer

Bridget joined Focus after 23 years in education, dedicated to serving students with special needs. For 13 years, Bridget worked as the Varying Exceptionalities Specialist and ESE Department Chair for Pinellas County Schools, the 7th largest school district in Florida and the 26th largest in the US. She trained teachers in specialized strategies for teaching special needs students, ESE teachers on writing IEPs, and how to implement district and state policies for serving these students. This experience makes her an invaluable asset to Focus trainers and our special student services development team. She is instrumental in the development of training documentation, guiding the Focus train-the-trainer model, and personally leading trainings for Focus staff and our clients.

Peter Gerakios

Senior System Administrator

Senior System Administrator Peter Gerakios’s previous work in the public and private sector helped give him the experience necessary to lead Focus’s team of System Administrators with management of Focus databases both off premise and in the cloud. With his consistent monitoring and prioritizing of database issues from both clients and Tier 1 & 2 Support staff alike, Peter ensures that all systems at Focus stay up and running and perform at the highest levels. In addition, Peter’s frequent fine-tuning security process and protocols, compiling and testing of disaster recovery scenarios, and creation of new BASH or Python scripts to automate daily tasks make certain our client’s data is managed effectively and safeguarded against any unforeseeable instance.

Patrick Golden

Finance & Security Engineering Manager

Finance & Security Engineering Manager Patrick Golden came to Focus as a successful entrepreneur with many projects under his belt, from basic websites to SaaS mobile applications. With a passion for development and code, Patrick has spearheaded the ERP team on numerous customizations and tailored solutions that continue to optimize business processes for the unique needs of our clients. In addition, he continually monitors functionality troubleshooting for bugs, exploring potential enhancements, and providing overall support for the Focus ERP system.

Patrick Grace

Northeast Director

Northeast Director Patrick Grace has provided technical and business leadership for the delivery of product support, training, data, implementation and professional services to Computer Resources (now Focus School Software) for over 25 years. Patrick’s prior experience at the Rochester School Department for over 9 years helped him gain invaluable perspective on traditional education tools and solutions that could be improved upon with newer, non-established methods. In addition, his dedication to drive team and project efforts in service of quality and efficiency has helped enhance the Focus system, furthering the adoption of our solution to current and future school partners.

Sam Hodge

Feature Enhancement Engineering Manager

Sam Hodge, our Feature Enhancement Engineering Manager, has been enhancing Focus to meet the ever-changing needs of our schools and districts for more than 9 years. Sam’s programming background and experience with a variety of system architectures and technologies has been key to his success with product development strategies that continually produce innovative solutions and enforce quality standards. In addition, Sam’s excellent leadership and mentorship of a diverse group of software engineers has been paramount to ensuring the team’s consistent delivery of quality code and features to meet the demands of our constantly evolving Student Information System.

Bob Myers

Tier 2 Engineering Manager

As Tier 2 Engineering Manager, Bob Myers leads our technical support staff in troubleshooting and overcoming technical issues to ensure Focus is functioning at the highest level for our clients. Bob’s proactive approach and passion for building new processes and programs help to provide consistency and accuracy in identifying and resolving emerging issues, as well as facilitate other department’s deeper understanding of the challenges being reported by customers/end users.

Chuck Pickens

PA & Midwest Business Manager

With more than 28 years in marketing and sales under his belt, Focus’s PA & Midwest Business Manager Chuck Pickens has a proven track record of successfully building and maintaining relationships with a diverse group of industry leaders, associations and organizations across the K-12 education market. As an Account Executive for almost 20 years at Computer Resources, Chuck helped develop and grow this SIS pioneer’s market throughout the Northeast, fostering long lasting partnerships and communication with districts and schools that helped consistently bring innovation to their MMS and other products. Chuck has brought that same enthusiasm and passion for building relationships to Focus, helping us branch into new markets and engaging customers to think about the possibilities and added value our solutions can bring to their institution.

Jarrod Porter

Quality Assurance Team Lead

Quality Assurance Team Lead, Jarrod Porter, supports and manages our team of Software Testers in estimation, planning and strategy for testing all aspects of Focus and ensuring our system meets the highest standards of function and quality. Jarrod’s experience in test automation has been integral to the creation of repeatable, maintainable, automated testing environments that maximize efficiency and amplify his team’s ability to solve problems and provide invaluable feedback on testing-related tasks. His thorough and detail-oriented approach also makes him an excellent liaison between QA and our development teams, ensuring the solutions developed are aligned with best practices and methodologies and always achieved with client goals in mind.

Adrian Ruiz

Lead Data Specialist

As a former Actuary & Product Configuration Leader at Banesco Seguros, Adrian Ruiz came to Focus as a natural fit for the Lead Data Specialist role. His exceptional analytical skills and knowledge of integration best practices have been critical to ensuring all data coming from school districts is validated and properly migrated into Focus’ Student Information System. In addition, Adrian’s continued commitment to high standards of data quality and his team-oriented, collaborative approach has contributed to the success of countless implementations.

Holly Tolbert

Lead Trainer

Holly came to Focus from Pinellas County Schools, one of the largest districts in the US, where as an English and Reading teacher and Literacy Coach, she was also an end-user of the Focus SIS solution. This first-hand experience in the classroom and with the Focus SIS makes Holly an expert in both the software features and functionality and on the best ways to utilize these features. As Lead Trainer, Holly serves as a liaison between Executive team and the Focus Software Trainers in areas of communication, updates, and training documentation. She designs highly effective training modules and delivers training to groups of all sizes, including to Focus staff.