Meet the Team

Shannon Tabaldo

Founding Director

Shannon N. Tabaldo is the Founding Director of the iDEAL Institute and Director of Digital Curriculum Integration and Development for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Before coming to LMU, Shannon was the Director of Educational Technology at Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She has been a classroom teacher, teaching technology to K-8 as well as Junior High Math. With over 20 years of technology experience and a passion for teaching, she began to see the need for educational technology resources and the need for teacher training. Her personal and professional goal is to fulfill the need of training educators on technology that can be used in their classroom for the benefit of the students.

Shannon is currently researching blended learning in K-12 Catholic schools to achieve digital literacy and close the achievement gap.

Shannon sits on the development boards for St. James School in San Franciso, California, and Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance, California.

Shannon is the co-host of the My Tech Toolbelt podcast, an internationally recognized podcast that highlights teachers who INNOVATEENGAGE, and INSPIRE by using technology in their classrooms. You can find them at or @MyTechToolbelt on Twitter and Instagram.

Shannon has a B.S. in Business Administration from Linfield College and an M.A. in Catholic School Administration from Loyola Marymount University. She is a LeadingEdge Certified Professional Learning Leader, a Google for Education Certified Innovator, a Google Certified Power Searcher, a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer, as well as a Microsoft Office Application expert and an Apple App fanatic.

If you want to know what Shannon is thinking about or working on, follow her on Twitter @TabaldoOnTech. She can be reached by email at

Greg Akai

Assistant Director

Greg Akai, M.A., is the Assistant Director of the iDEAL Institute for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University.

Greg is a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology (concentration: personalized learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive science) at the University of Southern California. 

Greg comes from the Torrance Unified School District where he taught in blended and online high school programs. Greg, who earned a M.A. in Educational Technology from California State University, Los Angeles, holds a Designated Subjects Teaching Credential and certifications in online and blended teaching and learning technologies.

He can be reached by email at


Dr. Wendy Creek

Program Director

Wendy Creek, Ed.D., M.A.T., is the Program Director of the Teacher Leadership in Mathematics program for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University.

She can be reached by email at


Ashley Ireland Dann

Curriculum & Professional Learning Developer 

Ashley Ireland Dann, M.Ed, is the Curriculum & Professional Learning Developer for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Ashley has held various roles in education including teacher, instructional coach, program coordinator, reading specialist, teacher trainer, and school leader. Most recently she was the Professional Learning Developer for Alexandria City Public Schools in the DC Metro area. As Professional Learning Developer, Ashley created in-person and online professional learning for teachers of grades PreK-12. The professional learning videos Ashley produced for teachers are used by school districts, credentialing programs, and universities across the country and around the world.

Ashley has her B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz and her M.Ed in Educational Psychology- Leadership, Policy, and Social Foundations from the Curry School at the University of Virginia. Ashley holds K-8 multi-subject teaching certificates in both California and Virginia with authorizations in English Language Development as well as Gifted and Talented Education. In 2015, she was named to the prestigious ASCD Emerging Leader class.

Ashley loves to travel, read, talk about pedagogy and education reform, and go (back) to school. In her free time she can be found playing on the beach or in the waves with her two young boys, her husband, and her very large extended family.

Follow her on Twitter @TeachinginFocus. She can be reached by email at

Daniel Dunne

Program Coordinator

Daniel Dunne, M.A., is the Program Coordinator of the iDEAL Institute in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Daniel completed his undergrad in Mathematics at the University of San Diego. He taught high school math and simultaneously earned a Master's degree in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University. He has a passion for technology and helping people use tech to redefine education and the way students learn. 

He can be reached at


Amy Gross

Program Coordinator

Amy Gross, M.A., is the Program Coordinator for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

Amy holds undergraduate degrees in Advertising and German from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to entering education, her career path offered her opportunities to collaborate with innovative, creative minds at advertising agencies such as Deutsch and Horizon Media, on top brands across the car, restaurant, and travel industries.

Eager to support young learners as they carved their own paths, Amy then earned her M.A in Literacy Education and her K-8 multi-subject clear credential from Loyola Marymount University. In 2013, she was awarded the Student of the Year Award for LMU’s Literacy Program as well as Graduate Student of the Year for LMU’s School of Education. Amy held roles as a primary classroom teacher, an upper elementary classroom teacher, and a K-5 Intervention Teacher before stepping away from the classroom.

Having been in the shoes of educators, Amy joined the iDEAL team to support teachers and their own growth journeys across technology integration, blended learning, and personalized learning, all the for benefit of our young learners and through the lens of pedagogical best practices.

She can be reached at



Crystal Wilhite

Program Coordinator

Crystal Wilhite was the Program Coordinator of PreK-12 Technology Integration Projects for the iDEAL Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

She held various roles in the School of Education, including coordinator for the CAST (Catholic Archdiocesan School Teachers) Program and the Department of Urban Education. As a staff member, LMU graduate, and mother, Crystal was thoroughly involved and invested in education. She specifically had an interest in the purposeful integration of technology and advocating on behalf of all children.

Crystal earned her B.S. in Sports & Health Sciences from American Military University and her M.A. in Educational Studies with a focus in Counseling from LMU. Prior to LMU, she worked in the automotive industry as well as served in the United States Army. She also volunteered at local community colleges to support veteran students, lead workshops, and provide general counseling.