Character Formation Team

Ellen Bartling, Ph.D., managing director of the Character Formation Project

Ellen Bartling

Ellen served in the public schools of Wisconsin for 32 years before joining Open Sky Education and its Character Formation Project in 2013. Her experience as a classroom teacher, district level director of curriculum, assessment, instruction and staff development, elementary principal, high school principal, and district superintendent brings to the project a depth of practical knowledge about the way students learn and school climate and culture are created.

Throughout her career, Ellen collaborated with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies to increase educational experiences for students in global education, world languages, STEM, college and career preparation and character education.

Ellen earned her bachelor’s from UW-Platteville, her master’s from Marian University and her doctorate in urban education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

John Crabtree, Ph.D., national director of training and implementation

John will facilitate the growth of the Character Formation Project by leading the training process for the schools and organizations participating in the Project.

John most recently served as the Executive Vice President for Crossroads Bible College in Indiana. He has also served as a professor at Bethel University in Minnesota and the Dean of Global Initiatives for California Baptist University.

John holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Justin Harlan, M.B.A., national director of support operations

Justin ensures smooth implementation of the Character Formation Project for schools and organizations.

Justin started his career with Teach For America-Oklahoma as the operations associate, and quickly rose through the organization to his most recent role as the managing director of strategy, talent, and operations. In his various roles, Justin secured grants and raised more than $7.5 million for Teach For America, and he managed a regional budget of nearly $10 million. Justin also managed the operations for the Teach For America Oklahoma City Institute, which trained more than 260 teachers and provided free summer school to more than 2,000 students. He sits on the board for Collegiate Hall College Prep Charter School in Tulsa.

Justin earned his bachelor of arts and masters of business administration from the University of Tulsa.