Kathleen has spent the past 25 years in various educational and human resource leadership roles in both public and private contexts. Most recently, Kathleen served as the Executive Director of School Performance in the Aurora Public Schools system in Colorado, an urban district whose on-time graduation rate has risen over 20% in the past five years. Kathleen and her team designed the school leader recruitment, interview, selection, and placement processes that have led to the identification of over 200 highly qualified principal and assistant principal candidates in the past two years. The leaders identified and matched in these processes have consistently outperformed other school leaders as evidenced by student growth and achievement outcomes. As a principal supervisor, Kathleen’s network of pilot and innovation schools led the district in highest achievement the four years she served in the role. After teaching and leading in schools comprised primarily of students highly impacted by poverty and other risk factors, Kathleen led the STUDIO Design Team project in Aurora that resulted in a program called APS Avenues, which serves nearly 400 at-risk students in grades 6-12. In its first year, students in the Avenues program attended school nearly 90% of the time and produced GPAs in many cases two to three times higher than they had in the past.
Prior to joining the Aurora team, Kathleen led the Human Resource School Partner team as the Executive Director of Strategic Support in Denver Public Schools and, in collaboration with her team, developed data utilization and conflict facilitation protocols for HR practice in service to schools and leaders that are utilized in districts across the country. Kathleen contributed significantly to the design and implementation of the Leading Effective Academic Practice (LEAP) framework for educator effectiveness during her time in DPS. As a middle school principal, Kathleen and her staff lifted a chronically low-performing school out of turnaround status and into the performance category on the state’s performance framework in two years’ time. Kathleen has served as a cohort facilitator for aspiring leaders at Denver University in the Morgridge College of Education’s Ritchie Executive Leaders for Successful Schools program for the past ten years. Kathleen is a trained Fierce Conversations facilitator, Grief Recovery Method facilitator, and a professional photographer. She looks forward to completing her doctoral degree in May at Northcentral University in the field of Organizational Design. Kathleen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, English, and French at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at the University of Phoenix in Colorado Springs, Colorado.