What inspired you to get into education and teaching?
I was a compliant student up until 10th grade. I always loved learning, but by high school so much of my learning was “read this book, answer these questions, get a grade.” I stopped caring so much about learning then and failed English twice in high school. I later became an English teacher and administrator. I began loving the learning process again when I was engaged in learning information I was passionate about and had relevance. My life goal is to inspire teachers and leaders to create environments where all students answer all questions, where all students love learning so much that they want to come to school each day because it’s engaging and stimulating, and where each learning experience is connected to the ones before.
What is your consulting history?
I began consulting informally in the late 90s with an Annenberg grant. After becoming a professor in New Jersey, I worked with the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education focusing on urban, underperforming students of color. After two years they promoted me to the Director of Evaluation where I remained for four years. The focus of that work was on instructional strategies connected to brain research on learning, as well as advocacy. My main districts were in Seattle, New York, Newark, Minneapolis, Bridgeport, and Birmingham.
I began working for the Leadership and Learning Center in 2008 as a professional development associate. I learned almost every seminar they offered and became a senior associate in 2011 where I remained until 2015. In 2010, I also worked for the State Education Agency Directors of Arts, who brought together many partners including the Chief Council of State School Officers, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kennedy Center to begin drafting National Expectations for the Arts an outgrowth of the Common Core State Standards. The Leadership and Learning Center was bought by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011, and although I remained until 2011, I left in May, 2015 to work with Creative Leadership Solutions. I was in 22 states, 3 Canadian districts, and Central America.
Anticipating this move, I formed EdSuccess in April, 2014 to branch out into some of my own original work. My first engagement was to evaluate the programs offered in two districts in Michigan for the purpose of consolidating them. I had provided 15 days of professional development in Washtenaw, and enjoyed the thinking that this area provided. Most of my work is with the state department in Ohio and California.
Anything you've written?
His research articles appear in the International Reading Association’s journal, New Directions in Reading Research and the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching, as well as a chapter contributions on Standards and Assessment in Data Teams Overview: The Big Picture and Contexts of Standards and Assessment in Standards and Assessment: The Core of Quality Instruction. His new book, Strategic Assessment, will come out in late 2016.
Who were/are your education mentors/inspirational people?
Yvette Jackson and Eric Cooper at National Urban Alliance
Rick Olenchak who studied with Renzulli