Note: Over the next months I’ll be posting interviews with a number of key members of the Cicero team here and on my LinkedIn account. Stay tuned!
What brought you to Cicero Group?
After twelve years working to improve student outcomes in schools as a teacher, coach, and dean, I was inspired by the opportunity to impact student outcomes at a larger scale. I value the opportunity to work alongside smart educators with a commensurate passion for improving student achievement. Sometimes I reflect back on my tenure at Oak Hill School and Longs Peak Middle School and appreciate the simple power of impacting student achievement by making informed, evidence-based instructional decisions from data analysis.
What kind of projects are you working on right now?
My predominant focus to date has been providing professional learning for 45 schools in Utah through the Utah State Office of Education (USOE)’s Assessment to Achievement Project. I have the pleasure of coaching four school district teams and fifteen school teams on strategies to implement a data-driven inquiry cycle that can inform classroom instruction and improve student outcomes. I have completed a needs assessment for the New Rochelle School District and anticipate the opportunity to support Education Direction’s turnaround partnership with 12 Utah schools in the upcoming year.
What are you reading?
Currently rereading Collaborative School Improvement and DataWise. I reference Visible Learning, Student-Centered Leadership, and Leverage Leadership almost weekly. My favorite work-related book of all time is Daniel Pink’s, A Whole New Mind. A close second is Sir Ken Robinson’s Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative.
Now, what are you reading for fun?
Star Wars: A Jedi Academy with my 7-year-old.
What is the best part about working at Cicero?
Daily, I learn and I laugh while I pursue work that fulfills one of my biggest passions. What more can you ask for?
If you could help all your clients understand one principle or strategy, what would it be?
I would support our clients’ confidence that change is within reach. From what I’ve seen, every school and district team possesses the intellect, expertise, and passion to bring about significant student growth. I would remind them that this transformation takes time and a shift of some habits (particularly the shifts from independent decision making to collaborative school improvement and from collecting data to analyzing data in order to inform instruction), but every team I know can achieve these.