Volume Editor:

Sheryl Petty, Equity, Personal Transformation and Systems Change Consultant, Movement Tapestries and Management Assistance Group

Sheryl Petty has worked in educational systems change and organizational development for 20 years. Her expertise includes equity-driven change process design and facilitation, cross sector field-building, strategy development, strategic planning, alliance building and network development, education equity assessments, qualitative research, visioning and coaching. She has been a high school teacher, program manager, executive director, and consultant to districts, nonprofits, foundations, universities and schools. Dr. Petty is a consultant through Movement Tapestries, a senior consultant at Management Assistance Group (Washington, D.C.), an associate consultant with Movement Strategy Center (Oakland, California) and was most recently a Principal Associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Dr. Petty’s current work comprises field- and movement-building and promotes aligned approaches across a number of education sectors, including practice in school systems, capacity building, policy, research, community organizing, educator preparation and development, messaging and communications, mindfulness and contemplative practice. A fellow at the Mind and Life Institute and a past fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, Sheryl has co-designed and facilitated trainings and planning processes with consultants, practitioners, staff and boards nationally and internationally. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics, an M.A. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change. Dr. Petty’s focus is on supporting the alignment efforts of practitioners and advocates to unleash our most vibrant selves and improve our collective life.


Susan Shaffer, President, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. (MAEC)

Susan Morris Shaffer is the president of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc., an educational nonprofit, and director of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Center, the Equity Assistance Center for the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. For more than four decades, Shaffer has been a nationally recognized expert for her transformational work in public schools and the development of comprehensive technical assistance and training on educational equity and multicultural, gender-related issues. She has published extensively on gender equity, family engagement, civil rights, multicultural education, and disability. Shaffer has co-authored (with Linda Perlman Gordon) five books, including the recent How to Connect with your iTeen: A Parenting Road Map (McGraw Hill-Education, 2015). Shaffer serves on several boards, including the National Association of Family, School and Community Engagement (co-founder), School of Education, Bowie State University in Maryland, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, and Harmony Through Education, an international NGO for children with disabilities. She holds an undergraduate degree in history and a graduate degree in education from the University of California, Berkeley. Shaffer is the recipient of numerous awards for her service, leadership and significant contribution to curricular materials on women.

Editorial Advice & Support:

Maria Pacheco, Principal Investigator, Education Alliance at Brown University

Maria F. Pacheco is principal investigator and co-director of the New England Equity Assistance Center (NEEAC) at The Education Alliance at Brown University. With more than 30 years of experience in urban schools and higher education, Dr. Pacheco specializes in culturally responsive pedagogy, second language acquisition and cognitive development. Dr. Pacheco has worked as a public school teacher, a bilingual director, migrant education supervisor, and civil rights specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Education. Since 1992, she has directed and taught in Brown University’s master’s program in ESL Education and Cross-Cultural Studies. She joined the NEEAC in 1996 and became the director in 1997. She has held faculty positions at multiple institutions of higher education across New England and at the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential in Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Pacheco has worked extensively in the areas of culturally responsive curriculum, equitable instructional practices and the development, implementation and evaluation of Lau plans. A certified trainer of Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment, she has trained hundreds of teachers in this model, aimed at helping children who are struggling learners to develop effective learning strategies. As a practitioner/scholar, she is the co-author of several texts on culturally responsive teaching, including Leading With Diversity: Cultural Competencies for Teacher Preparation and Professional Development and The Teacher’s Guide to Diversity: Building a Knowledge Base. Dr. Pacheco holds master’s degrees in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and in School Administration and a doctorate in Leadership in Schooling from the University of Massachusetts. She speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and French.


Molly Baustien Siuty, M.S.Ed., doctoral student in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas

Molly Baustien Siuty’s research interests include systems change for equity and social justice in teacher education, inclusive education and urban education. In addition to her studies, Molly works as a State Facilitator for the CEEDAR Center, a national technical assistance center aimed at supporting state departments and institutions of higher education to create aligned professional learning systems in teacher education and licensure. Molly comes to Kansas with five years of classroom experience in the New York City public school system. She earned a master’s degree in Special Education and Leadership from the City College of New York. A Teach for America alumna, she holds a New York State Professional Teaching Certification.

Janice Jackson, Consultant, former Senior Associate, National Equity Project

Janice Jackson is an independent systems change consultant. Most recently a Senior Associate at the National Equity Project (Oakland, California), she is the former Executive Director of Stanford University’s Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). She also worked previously at Harvard University, where she provided support for its Urban Superintendents Program and other leadership development initiatives such as a Wallace Foundation-funded leadership project for states and urban school districts. Jackson has been a faculty member and researcher at two universities, working in areas ranging from teaching and teacher education to leadership development. She has deep experience in supporting and running schools and school systems, including having served in the leadership cadre of three major urban school systems (including Boston) and as a consultant to many others. She has also worked in the policy arena at the federal level, as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education in the Clinton Administration. Jackson has also worked as a board member or consultant for a wide variety of major education organizations that support professional development, academic, social and emotional learning for students, and the pursuit of equity.

Yvette Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NUA)

Yvette Jackson is internationally recognized for her work in assessing the learning potential of disenfranchised urban students. Changing this reality for these students to one in which their intellectual potential is believed in, valued and optimized has been Yvette’s calling for her entire career. She has applied her research in neuroscience, gifted education, literacy, and the cognitive mediation theory of Dr. Reuven Feuerstein to develop integrated processes that engage and elicit high intellectual performances from underachievers. She designed the New York City Board of Education’s Gifted Programs Framework while serving as Director of Gifted Programs. As New York City’s Executive Director of Instruction and Professional Development, she led the creation and implementation of the Comprehensive Education Plan, which maximizes the delivery of all core curriculum and support services in the Public Schools of New York City.

Dr. Jackson currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, founded at the College Board and Teachers College, Columbia University. She works with school district superintendents, administrators, teachers, and students across the United States and internationally to customize and deliver systemic approaches that enable students to demonstrate high intellectual performances. She bases her work on the principles and practices of the Pedagogy of Confidence, which she created to enable educators to accelerate the intellectual development and academic achievement of their students.

Yvette has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Columbia University, and Stanford University. She has also served as a member of ASCD’s  (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Differentiated Instruction Cadre. She is a keynote presenter at national and international conferences including the Feuerstein Institute, Israel; the Conference of ANEIS – Associação Nacional para o Estudo e Intervenção na Sobredotação, Portugal; and Thinking Schools, United Kingdom.

She has been published in numerous educational journals. Her most recent book (co-authored with Dr. Veronica McDermott): “Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools Through Fearless Leadership” follows her previous bestseller:  “The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools” which received the 2012 ForeWord Reviews’ Silver Book Award.

On September 15, 2012 the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Educators Voice Awards honored Yvette for “Education Policy/Researcher of the Year.”

Elizabeth Kozleski, Professor and Chair, Special Education Department, University of Kansas

Prof. Elizabeth B. Kozleski chairs the Special Education program at the University of Kansas. There she leads the specialization on the intersecting oppressions of disability, race, ethnicity, language, gender, and sexuality in education and society. Her work theorizing systems change for equity, inclusive education, and professional learning for urban schools is well recognized nationally and internationally. She was awarded the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive International Research in 2005. Her research interests include the analysis of models of systems change in urban and large school systems, examining how teachers learn in practice in complex, diverse school settings, researching multicultural educational practices in the classroom to improve student learning and the impact of professional learning schools on student and teacher learning. She has led a number of national technical assistance projects, including the center for principals in helping to build inclusive schools, NIUSI-LEADSCAPE; NCCRESt, the national technical assistance center on disproportionality; and the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI), which provided support to urban schools working on creating inclusive schools for all learners. Dr. Kozleski co-edits a book series for Teachers College Press on Disability, Culture, and Equity. Dr. Kozleski has presented her work at scientific conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as throughout the United States, and is currently working with an international coalition of researchers studying equity. Professor Kozleski began her career as an early childhood educator and became a special educator working in Virginia and in Boulder, Colorado. Her undergraduate and master’s degrees are from George Mason University. She received her doctorate in special education at the University of Northern Colorado.

Larry Leverett, Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation

Dr. Larry Leverett is the Executive Director of the Panasonic Foundation, a corporate foundation with a mission to help public school systems with high percentages of children in poverty to improve learning for all students so that they may use their minds well and become productive, responsible citizens. Leverett recently served as Superintendent of Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut. His career in education has included urban and suburban experiences as a classroom teacher, elementary principal, assistant superintendent, school board member and Assistant State Commissioner of Education. During a 15-year span, he was a superintendent in three school districts, including Plainfield and Englewood in New Jersey. Leverett serves on advisory committees for the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Educators for Social Responsibility and the Laura Bush Foundation for School Libraries. He is committed to social justice and ensuring that all children have access to a high-quality educational experience in public schools.

Monette McIver, Manager, Higher Education Services, Dana Center, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Monette McIver serves as the manager of higher education services, providing leadership, guidance, and continuity across all higher education resources offered by the Center. In this role, she leads the Center’s national higher education developmental mathematics reform initiative, the New Mathways Project. Dr. McIver supports the ongoing effort to work at scale within Texas and develop and implement a plan for expansion to other states.

Dr. McIver has more than 20 years of experience in education. She most recently served as a consulting director for the Center for Systems Transformation at McREL International, where she oversaw and supported work in school and systems improvement. She led projects designed to increase the capacity of schools, districts and state departments of education to systematize improvement efforts. Prior to this position, Dr. McIver was a supervising principal consultant for McREL, leading projects focused on improving achievement for K–12 students. She facilitated and managed training opportunities at the school, district and state levels that focused on systemic change, leadership, strategic use of instructional strategies and curriculum development. In this role, Dr. McIver supported schools and districts with implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Dr. McIver was also an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She conducted research in the area of writing and writing instruction and taught courses related to elementary writing and writing instruction. Dr. McIver holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Spelman College, an M.A. in Elementary Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

June Rimmer, Associate Director, Center for Educational Leadership, University of Washington

Dr. June Rimmer joined the Central for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington’s College of Education in 2011 as an Associate Director. In this role she leads the design and implementation of services for school leaders, and develops and manages district partnerships committed to building leaders’ expertise in instructional leadership and transforming central offices. Prior to joining the CEL team, she served as a program director with the Stupski Foundation in San Francisco, coaching and providing technical assistance to urban district leaders committed to reform. In addition she was part of a research team examining powerful student learning experiences that lead to 21st century skills and competence as well the system-level changes needed at both the district and state levels to support 21st century learning.

Over the years, June has served in numerous leadership roles in urban education settings most recently as Chief Academic Officer in Seattle. Prior to working in Seattle, June worked in her hometown of Indianapolis, IN as a high school teacher and principal, as well as in numerous roles at the central office including multicultural education, professional development, assistant to the superintendent, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction.  June’s professional interests lie in the design of equity-based instructional systems and building expertise in educators’ practice to ensure that all students, particularly our most vulnerable children, exit our systems able to thrive in our dynamic, interconnected, global community.

Sonja Brookins Santelises, Vice President of Policy & Practice, The Education Trust

Dr. Sonja Santelises provides strategic direction for the organization’s K-12 research, practice and policy work, which includes developing and implementing strategies to ensure that Ed Trust’s K-12 efforts effectively focus national attention on inequities in public education and the actions necessary to close gaps in both opportunity and achievement. Before joining The Education Trust, she was the chief academic officer for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she focused on setting academic priorities for City Schools to raise achievement of students across all schools.

Dr. Santelises came to City Schools from Boston, where she was the assistant superintendent for pilot schools, a network of 23 schools with broad autonomy and a track record of successfully meeting student needs and improving the achievement of low-income students and students of color in particular. Prior to the pilot schools post, Sonja was assistant superintendent for teaching and learning/professional development in Boston. Before joining Boston Public Schools, Sonja lectured on urban education for two years at Harvard University and spent six years as a senior associate with Focus on Results Inc., where she worked with five major urban districts, coaching superintendents and training school leaders. Prior to that, Sonja served as executive director of the New York City Algebra Project, the local site of the acclaimed national math reform program, also present in City Schools. Sonja began her career in education as director of professional development and teacher placement with Teach for America, New York, followed by stint at a year-round school in Brooklyn, where she was a founder, teacher and curriculum specialist. She holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a master of arts in education administration from Columbia University and a doctor of education in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard.

Mary Scheetz, Former Assistant Superintendent, Waters Foundation

Mary Scheetz has over 40 years experience as an innovative teacher, administrator, project director and consultant. From 2007 to 2013, Scheetz served as the Assistant Superintendent with the Ritenour School District in St. Louis and is currently a trainer and consultant working with the Waters Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools Team. She has presented systems thinking in schools work at numerous national and international conferences and facilitated related workshops. Mary’s belief is that all students are capable of the critical thinking levels that systems thinking tools produce, and that it is essential for schools to ensure that ALL students are ensured access to rigorous and relevant learning. As an assistant superintendent, she implemented multiple strategies for the integration of systems thinking in school improvement and classroom instruction. She developed the annual St. Louis Systems Thinking in Schools Institute, which involves participants from multiple school districts and universities in the region. Mary’s work is guided by the words of Marvin Weisbord, “If I had a crystal ball, I would not ask what’s wrong here and who’s to blame, but what’s possible here and who cares?”

Bradley Scott, Ph.D., Director (retired), South Central Collaborative for Equity (SCCE), Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)

Dr. Bradley Scott is a former IDRA senior education associate who brings more than 40 years of experience to the field of education. While at IDRA, he directed the SCCE, which works with school districts in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, in the implementation of educational equity plans that increase equitable educational opportunity and greater access to high-quality instruction for all students, regardless of their race, gender or national origin; the preparation and adaptation of desegregation and unitary status plans and settlement agreements to decrease and eliminate racial isolation in public schools; community, parent and student involvement in the diverse school setting; establishment of nondiscriminatory policies; elimination of racially biased curricular materials, establishment of safe/non-hostile school environments and the reduction of bullying, harassment and school violence for all students; and the creation of alternative materials for the development of human relations activities to promote racial harmony and an appreciation for diversity in public schools.

Dr. Scott has conducted training and provided technical assistance in human relations, intrapersonal and interpersonal communication, management and leadership skills development, effective leadership in diverse and desegregated settings, multicultural education, training for diversity, developing cross-cultural competence, and creating educational excellence for all through systemic change based on the Six Goals of Educational Equity and School Reform. His broad background has been instrumental in his present capacity where he provides technical assistance and training to public school districts, school personnel, students in those schools, parents and community persons in the development and implementation plans to cope with educational issues emerging from the desegregation, unitary status, and settlement agreement processes and the effort to create educational equity and excellence for all learners in public schools. Dr. Scott has authored and co-authored numerous publications at IDRA.

Peter M. Senge Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management MIT, Founding Chair SoL (Society of Organizational Learning and the Education Partnership), a global network of people and institutions working together for systemic change, and co-founder, The Academy for Systemic Change

Dr. Peter Senge’s work centers on promoting shared understanding of complex issues and shared leadership for healthier human systems. This involves major cross-sector projects focused on global food systems, climate change, regenerative economies and the future of education. Peter is the author of The Fifth Discipline and co-author of the three related field books to include Presence and The Necessary Revolution. The Fifth Discipline (over two million copies sold worldwide), was recognized by Harvard Business Review as “one of the seminal management books of the last 75 years,” and by the Financial Times as one of five “most important” management books. The Journal of Business Strategy named him one of the 24 people who had the greatest influence on business strategy in the 20th century.

Shelley Zion, Professor and Director, Culturally Responsive Urban Education (CRUE) Center, University of Colorado, Denver

Dr. Shelley Zion is the Executive Director of the Center for Advancing Practice, Education & Research (CAPER) in the School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. In this position, she is responsible for establishing and executing a vision for outreach and partnership activities, particularly related to entrepreneurial program, grants and continuing education programs, through the development of collaborative and entrepreneurial partnerships aligned to the mission, vision and values of the school. Additionally, she holds an assistant research professor appointment, and teaches in the doctoral program, conducts research on topics related to school reform and equity, and serves as the executive director of the CRUE center, which provides technical assistance and training to schools and districts who are working to address issues of equity in their schools. Dr. Zion’s work is multidisciplinary, grounded in the social sciences, and specifically within sociology as it seeks to understand how institutions, social systems and individual experiences create and sustain systems of power and privilege that ensure access for some while excluding others. Her research is situated within a framework of sociopolitical development, informed by a range of critical theoretical perspectives, and advanced by an understanding of the nature of both individual and systemic change. This framework requires that to impact a transformation of the current public education and other social systems towards goals of equity and social justice, we must work to disrupt dominant ideologies by creating spaces in which people begin to develop a critical understanding of the cultural, political, economic and other institutional forces that perpetuate systems of privilege and oppression.

Back to Top   •   Table of Contents   •  Download PDF