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Research and Evaluation Services - Staff Bios and Projects  

Deborah M. Scharf, PhD

Manager, Research and Evaluation Services
Business Mobile: (705) 794-1849
Office: (705) 734-6363 x 11731

Deborah Scharf (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is a Clinical and Health Psychologist and Manager of the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB)’s Research and Evaluation Services. At the SCDSB, Deb leads a team of analysts that monitors student performance on standardized assessments; designs and conducts board-initiated special research projects; and directs the Research Ethics Board. Prior to joining the SCDSB, Deb worked as a Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation. In that role, Deb led several federally-funded grants and contracts focusing on U.S. healthcare reform and mental health delivery systems; mental and physical healthcare services for the poor and underserved; tobacco use, treatment and policy; traumatic brain injury in the military; and methods for electronic data capture in participants’ natural environments.

Sample Projects 
Fillo, J., Staplefoote, B.L., Martinez, A., Sontag-Padilla, L., Shadel, W.G., Martino, S.C., Setodji, C., Meeker, D., & Scharf, D. (in press). Simplified Novel Application (SNApp) Framework: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Second-Generation Mobile Applications for Behavioral Health Research. Translational and Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy and Research.

Scharf, D., Eberhard, N.K., Schmidt-Hackbarth, N., Horvitz-Lennon, M., Beckman, R., Han, B., Lovejoy, S.L., Pincus, H.A., Burnam, M.A. (2014). Evaluation of the SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) Grant Program: Final Report (Task 13). RAND RR-546-DHHS. Prepared for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Infographic - Bradford DHS Survey of Well-Being and Experiences
Scharf, D., Ferguson, S., Tindle, H.A., Shiffman, S. (in press). Smoking Cessation. American Psychological Association Handbook of Clinical Psychology.

Leah Nicholson
Research Analyst, Research and Evaluation Services
Office: (705) 734-6363 x 11385

Leah Nicholson is a Research Analyst in Research and Evaluation Services at the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB). For the past five years, Leah has been honing her educational research skills at the SCDSB where she has been involved in many projects ranging from early years to post-secondary pathways. Her skills include survey design, data collection and analysis. Leah has earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Laurentian University and completed a post-graduate diploma program in Research and Analysis at Georgian College. Before coming to the SCDSB, Leah completed an internship at the County of Simcoe where she worked on various projects supporting the Social Services Division.

Sample Project
Bradford District High School Survey of Well-Being and Experiences

Garrett Hilborn
Research Analyst, Research and Evaluation Services
Office: (705) 734-6363 x 11870

A highly technical individual with a B.A in psychology and a graduate of the Georgian College Research Analyst Program, Garrett provides a range of research related services including survey/data collection tool development, focus group moderation, and special projects management. Prior to his work within the SCDSB, Garrett acted as lead Research Analyst for the Corporation of Simcoe County where he worked with the Community Data Program, reported on Statistics Canada Census data and oversaw all municipal research initiatives within Simcoe County. 

Sample Projects 
Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Data Cube Statistics
Simcoe County: 2011 Language Census Data