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Georgja School BoardsAssnciatio_n_O_nlin_ELAp_plicati'-LL!.

__ _ _ __ _
Ri vera. Grant- 1\ppNo : 4 74

Date Submitted : l 0/6/? 0 16

Personal Data
Name :



~)lh.:r namc{~) und~,;1

\' hid:

tr:mscript~ .


(M iddle !nniai'


certilicatc:-;, and fom1c r appl!ca110ns may bl.! lislL'J:

(Title )

(Middle l111tia! )



Emai l A ddress:

Postal Addres s
Permanent Address

Present Address

\lumber & Street:

Apt. Number:
Cit y:
State/Pro vince :
Zip/Posta l Code:
Daytim e Phone:
Home/Cell Phone:

Number & Street:

Apt. Number:
State/ Province:
Zip/Postal Code:
Count ry :
Phone N umber:

t j nitcd States of America

Employment Desired
Closed Vaca ncy Desired:

Date Last

Experie nce i n
Si m ilar Pos it ions

Job!D 132

.10/ 6/20 16


Administration : Superintendent of Mar ietta City Schoo ls at Marietta

City Schools

Please list ALL work expcrien~;e , whether or not work was perfonm:d in a K- 12 district or educat io n setting . Include pan-time as well as
ful l- time work. Work ic:x pericncc sh o uld be prov ided in reverse chronological order beginning with the currcni expcricnce. For each
cxperience, the final sectio n must be com pleted to inclu de provide major respons ibilities, accompl ish ments, number of persons
supervised, and bu dget for which you are/were responsible.

C urrent o r Most He cent Position

Co bb County School D istrict
Ch ief of Staff
Date F ro m - Date
To :

06/2016 - 10/ 2016

!Total Yrs :

Employer Contact Infor matio n

5 14 Glo ver Street

Marietta, GA 30060
Full/Part Time :


iO/n /2016 9: 24:47 :\M Central

Page l of 27

Ch ris Ragsdale

chns.ragsda lcra) cobbk ! 2 .onz

Full Ti me

Re ason for
Still employed
I,._eaving :
---May w e co ntact
this ell!I!!oyer'?
respo n sibilities and - District strategic in itiati ves (internal and external)
accom p lis hm ents
- District communication (in temal and external)
at th is position
- School -co11munity partnerships
include n um ber of
- District annual budget
p eople supervised,
- Policy dc\elopmcnt and boa rd relations
bud get fo r which
- Student pr~vc n t ion and intervention programs
you a r e
-Athletic department
r esponsible.
- Faci i ity usc


S up ervisor/ Referen ce Contact

Infor ma t io n

Last A n n ual
I Salarv :



-- -

_ _ _ _ _Georgia_S~chool B.oards_Ass.ociati.on_Onli ne_Applicatian _

Rivera. Grant - AnpNo 474

Date Submitted : 10/6/2016

Experience Continued
Majo r responsibilities and accomplishments at this position include number of people supervised, budget for which you arc
responsible. continued ...
Accomplishment :
- Initiated new internal /external d Jstrict communication pian
- Established two-way social media ,;trategy
- Created district partnerships wirh Atlanta Braves, Atlanta United . and Junior Achievement
Number of People Supervis ed: 34
Bud)?ct: Apnroxi m atc lv S 12.000.000

Previous Position Held

Cobb County Schooi Dist rict
Chief Leadership and Learning Officer

I~~~e From - Date

Reason for
May we contact
this empiO.)'er?
responsibilities and
at this position
include number of
people supervised,
budget for which
you are

06/2014 - 06/20 16
. (Total Yrs: 2)

IEmployer Contact Information

5 14 Glover Street
Marietta, GA 30060
7 70-426-330 I
Full/Part Time:

Supervisor/Reference Contact

chr is .ra \!sd ale(a)cobbk 12.ore

Full Ti me

Last Annual
Salary :


Requested by Supcrimendent to T ransition to C:hief of Staff

Responsib ilities :
- lnstructimal leadership for assistant superin tendents and principals
- School itr.provemcnt processes
- Personnel allocation process
- Distric t annual budget
- Leadership development program for asp irin g leaders
Accomplishmen ts:
- Increased district graduatio n rate
- l niti<tted literacy p lan to address student phonics and reading skills (grade K-5)
- Led process for allocat ion of school-based personnel
- Increased third grade math performance
Number of People Supervised: 26

8ud11:et: 1\noroximatelv $1) 13.000.000

Previous Position Held

Fulton County Schools

Princi pal - Westlake lligh School

I Atlanta, Gi\ 30339

Employer Contact Information

620 I Powers Fcny Road NW

Date From - Date
06/2011 - 06/2014
Full/Part Time:
.{Total Yrs: 3) _ _ _ _ _
Reason for
Recruited tc Cobb County School District
May we contact
this cmplovcr?
Responsibil ities :
responsibilities and - lnsnuctional leadership


Generated at I 0/28/201 i 9:24:47 A \1 Centra!

Fu ll Ti me


Page 2 of 27

Supervisor/Reference Contact


Donal d Fcnn oy

Last Annual
_ ~ la_ry :_


_ _ _ _ _ G.eorgia_fu:booLB_o a[ds_Associatio.n_Onlin_e_Ap_pJication _ _
Date Submitted: I Ot6!20 16

Rivera. Grant - AppNo: 4 74

Experience Continued
M a_jor responsibilities and accomplishments at t hi s position incl u de numb~r of people supervised, budget for which you arc
responsible. continued ...

School improvement
School G overnance Council and chan t>r process
Operational managcmem
School and departmental budgd development
Community rel atio ns

- Increased graduation rate
- Increased SAT score
- Established In ternational Baccalaureate Programme
- Decreased student disciplinary infractions
- increased student rccnntment and retention (fro m middle


high school)

Number of Sta ff Supervised: 156

Bu<.ll!cl: $12.500.000

Previous Position Held

Employer Contact Information

Cobb County School District

Principal - Campbell I figh School

Date From - Date

Reason for

07/ 2009 - 07/ 2011

. (_Total Yrs: 2)

S 14 Glover Street
Marietta, GA 30060
Full/ Part T ime:

Supervisor/Reference Contact

Dale Gaddi,

dale .gaddis(akobbk 17org

Full T ime

Last Annual
__ S__alarv:

I 06,844.00

Recruited tG Fulton County Schoo ls

May we contact
th_is emplo.yer'?
M ajor
responsibilities and
accomplishmen ts
at this position
include number of
people supervised,
budget for which
you are
r esponsible.


Respons ibilities:
- Instructional leadership
School impro ve ment
- Opcratioral management
- Schoo l and departmental budget develop ment
Commun:ty relations
Accomp iis:1 ments:

I - Inc reased graduation


Remo\'cd school fiom "N eeds Improvement'' L is\ (No Child Left Behind)
Decreased srudent fai lure (9th grade)
Expandec International Baccalaureate Progam me opportun it ies
Initiated community service partnership with city of Smryna

Number of People Supervised : I HO

Budget: $16.000.000

Generated at 10 2812016 924:47 AM Cenra!

Page 3 of 27

____ _ ___,G~aor_gia__5_chooLB.oanis Association.DnlinELAppJ.iatian__

Rivera. Grant - Ap p 'o: 474

Date ubmitted : I 0/6/2016

Experience Continued

I Previous Position Held

Cobb County Schoo! District
Principal - South Cobb High SchoDI
07/2005 - 07/2009

Date From - Da te

IEmployer Contact Information

Supervisor/Reference Contact

l'h il Lc. n nn<'

5!4 Glover Street

Ma rietta, GA 30060
Fu ll/Part Time:

lanouep(alcl arke .k 12. Qa .us


Last Annual

Fuil Time

: ______________L
t T~o~t~a~l~Y~rs~:_4~)----------------------------------------~
' : _______________________


Requested by Superintendent to Transitio n to Campbell High School

Reason for
May we contact
this emp.!Qy cr?
responsibilities and
at this position
include number of
people supervised,
budget for which
you arc

Respons ibilities :
- Instructional leadership
- School irrprovemen t processes
Operational management
- School and departmental budget development
- Commun ity rela ti ons
- lncreascd gradu atio n rate
- Increased SAT scores
- Removed sc hool from "Needs Improvemen t" List (No Chi ld Left Behind)
'l umber of People Supervised: 195
Budget: Anproximatelv $13,000,000

Previous Position Held

IEmployer Contact Information

Supervisor/Reference Contact


Cobb County School District

5 14 Glover Street
Rob Benson
Assistant Principal - McEachem H1gh
Marietta, GJ\ 30060
Date From - Date
06/2002 - 06/2005
Full /Part Time:
Full Time
Last Annual
. (Totai_Yrs: 3)
~ Sala!J:
Reason for
Promoted to Principal at South Cobb High School
May we contact
this CfTipiQyer?
Respons ihi litics :
responsibilities and -Design and implementation of 9th grade academy (Freshme n Center)
- Instructional leadership
at this position
- Student di>cipline
include number of
- School improvem ent team
people supervised,
- Budget development fo r Fresh men Center and related programs
budget for which
- Acceleration and remediation programs
you arc
Accompl ishments :
- Redesign of ninth grade experience for studenrs and their families
- Development and implementation of student-athlete men loring program

Number of Staff Supervised: Approximately 40

, l3udget: Annroxima tclv $100.000

Gcnenncd ot 10/28/2016 9:24"47 AM Central

Page 4 of 27


__ Genrgia..ScllooLB.oards_Ass_ociatio_n_Onl ine_Applicatio
Rivera, Grani

AppNo: 474

Date Submitted : 10/6!?016

Experience Continued

I Employer Contact I nfo r mation

Previous Position Held

IS uper visor/R efe rence Contact

Informa t ion
Theresa Rctickcr-Schultz

Cobb County School District

Sp..:cial Ed cation Teacher - McEach..:rn
llig_h Schoo l

514 Glover Street

Marietta, G /\ 30060

Date From - Date

To :

01 /1 999 - 06/2002
!Total Yrs: 3)

Full/Part Time :

Reason for
- b May we contact
th is employer?
M ajor
respons ibilities and
at this position
incl ude numbe r of
people supervised ,
budget fo r which
you ate

Promoted to Assistant Principal at McEachern High School

Theresa .Rcticker-Schu ltz(i/),cobbk 12 .org

Full Time

Last A nnual
S alarv:



- Teacher
- Special education case manager
- lncrcased student ach ievement
- Region Coach of the Year
Number of People Supervised : N/ A
Budget : N/ A

Please list ALL education and professional train ing completed. List education in reverse chronologica! order beginning with most recent
degree completed. Do not send transcripts direcrly to GSBA. Scan and upload transcripts fo llowing th e prompt in the online application.
Highest Degree A ttained :


Colleges, Universities and Technica LScbo~ols . Atteoded : _

.\ "arne and location

D a les Attended:
. From .:..I!.!..

Uni\crsity of Alabama
University of West
, Clcorgia
University of Alabama

06 /200~

05 /200~

Un ivasity

!2/ 1998
09/ 1993
Of2/l99' _

Cic!l ~ratcd

J\M Centra l


10/28/~0 1 6 9:~4:4 7

Major area of study

M inor area of study

~ -


Ad m inistration and
Special Education


Dale Conferred or





Speci alist




12/ 1998



0611 993


- -


Page 5 of 27

_ _ __


Online Application _ _

Rivera. Grant - A pp t o: 4 74

Date Submitted : l 0/6/?0 l 6

Do yo u ho ld or anticipate a Georgia certiticate' 1

Certificate is held

Leade rship J<icld (Leve l 7. Educ3tional Leadership)

Certifica te !\umber

Teacher Certification (T.c\cl Seven, Special Education

Leaming Disabilitics)

ExQi rati on Date

06/30/201 9



Please list any other endorsements and/or verifications documented on your certificate(s) :
Do you hold a current out-of- state ;enificate? No


. Type

Certificate Number

. Exl!iration Date


List yo ur out-of-state certified tea chi ng/administra tion fields:


1. HONORS AND AWARDS List scholarsh ips, articles authored, books authored, honorary degrees, citations, special recognition s,
workshops conducted, major addrc,;scs, etc.
Special Rccognitions/ FealUres :
- Association of Latino Administrators and Superin tendents a One of Six No minees in the United States tor National Latino Leader in
Education (20 16)
- Georgia PTA's Outstanding Principal of the Year (20 l 4. 20 II)
- GooJ Morning America
School Leadership Amidst Generational D ifferences (2006)
- Cobb Magazine a Top 20 Under 40 (2006)

Keynotes (Rc1Cr to Resume for :vtorc Detailed Informat ion) :

- Georgia Parent Teacher Association ( PTA)
- Georgia f-amily Engagement Conference
- National Youth At-r isk Conference
- Georgia Departmen t of Education (Special Education and School Improvement Divis ions)
- Arizona Department of Education (21st CCLC Division)
- Nat ional Association of Social Workers (Louisiana Chapter)
- Georgia Association of Secondary School Princirals
- National Association of Secondary School Principals
- National Advanced Place ment Conference
Consul tant/Practitioner:
- Trained and supponed school leadersh ip teams across the coun try in the process of increasing student ach ievement through measurable
family and community engagcmcni outco mes.
- Developed pilot program \Vith Arzona Dcpanment of Education to reform andre-culture 15 low achieving schools th rough on-site
training, leadership coach ing, and implementation of family engage ment strategies.
- Conducted distance coaching for school leadership teams in Arizona. Califo rn ia, Geo rgi a, Maryland, Nevada, and Pennsylvania on
leadershi p developm cnt and implementation of family engagement strategies.
Article Authored:
- " Personalized Learning: Leveraging Time and Teachers for Student Success" (article accepted and pend ing publication by Waggle
Prac tice for Thought Leader Series)

Generated at 10 281:2016 9:24:47 i\ M Central

Page 6 of 27

_ _ _!Geru:gia_S_chooJ_Boar_ds_Association Online_Application
Rivera. Grant - App !

: 474

Date Submitted: 10/6,2016

Statement continued
- Enjoy ing time with wife and two children
- C ompeting in triathlons
- Reading
- ~ cr ing as a llcltl nal con ull an t and pm titioncr t'n family engagemen t and school improvement

3. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES . List the communi ty organizations with wh ich yo u are affi liated and ~rc regularly engaged in
act iviti es. List the specific role (s). i.e. office held. volumecr, etc . you have played in each organizat io n.

- Sheltering Arms
Board, Pcrfur:-nancc and Evaluat ion Committee (Committee Chair)
- Community in Schools ( \1arietta ) 13oard
- Georg ia District 9 Parent Teacher Associat ion Membership C hair
- Georgia Association of Lat ino Administrators Vice President/Founding Executive Board (20 14-Prcsenr)
- L c~Jcrs hip Co bb- Chair/ Mcmbc r of Education and Gmd ut!li on .om mittecs


Professional References

Cl!rrent Position :
What is the best phone number to
contact th i s_p~rson? _
Please list the cell phone if different
from above.
Mail ing Address :
Email (required to most efficiently
p r ocess vour aJU>Iicationj
Relationsh ip to_Candigat:
Years K nown :

Generoted at J0/28/20 i 6 9:24:47 AM Centca!

Reference 1 of 3
Ch ris Ra_gsdalc
Cobb Countv School District

, Referen ce 2 of 3
Phil Lanoue
. Cla rke ~ount:y School Di suict
Sgperintende~t __

r----5 14 Glover Street

__jvlarietta._QA 300@_
chris.ragsdale@ cobbk


_;_ ~ urrent


SJmervisor _


Page 7 of 27

240 M itchell Bridge Road

_. AJhens.__QA 30606
lanouep@ c larke.k
, Former SuJ2crvL_gr

_ __ _ _.....
G..,..eo_r_gja_School Boan::ls.Asso_ciatio_n_Qnline Application
Rivera. Grant - J\ppNo : 474

Date Submitted : 10/6/ 2016

Professional References cont.

Reference 3 of 3
i\ame :

Current Position:
What is the best phone number to
contact this erson?
Please list the cell phone if different
from above.
Mailing Address:
Email (required to most efliciemly
process yo ur applicatign_}
Relationship to Candid ate :
Years Known:

Rert Reeves
_ Georgia House of Representatives
. State Re.Qresentativc

Profcssiona 1/Pcrsona I

Additional Information
Provide any additional information th at will help determine professional qua li fications for the supe ri ntendent s role.
I have had the pleasure of holding a variety of teacher and leadership positions at both the central oftlee and local sc.:hoollcvcls.
c urrently serve as the Chief of Sta:f for the Cobb County School District, leading and supporting all aspects of district strategy, intemal
and external communication , policy development, and student preven ti on and intervention programs. Prior to th is role, I was the Chief
Leadersh ip and Learning Offic.:cr. responsible for leadership development and evaluation . school improvement processes, and day-to-day
operations for the l 12 schools in the district. Through both of these roles, 1 have had the opporrunity to build relationships. devd o p
processes, and lead people in a manner that produced positive outcomes for studen ts .
I also have leadership experience in three different communities as a school pri nc ipal. I lav ing served communities that mirror the s:1me
diversity as the cit y of Marietta , l understand how to simultaneously increase student achievement, build staff capacity. promote tamily
engagement, and promote community partnerships. Our schools experienced a high degree of success, and I am confident we can do the
same in Marietta.
Perhaps most impOiiantly, throughout my career, regardless of my position or title, 1 have always been a teacher. While 1 onc.:c stood
he fore a class of students with diszbilities, 1 now stand before classrooms of teachers and leaders. Different curricula, different
conversations same goal : to inspire hope and belief that educa tion creates limitless opportuni ties. I intend to accomplish that goal in
Ma ri clta hy honoring every voice and empowering every stakeholder for the b ncfit of very chil d.

Genera ted at 10/28/20 I G 9:24 "7 ,\M Cen;ra l

Page 8 of 27

_ Geor_gia_School Boards_Association Online Application_

Rivera, Grant- AppNo : 474

Date Submitted: I 016/2016

Marietta City Schools Specific

Indicator l : Education, Training and Licensure
Tell us how you r formal education and training huve prepared you for the superintendent's role.

As a student and educator. my formal education and training have been exceptionally intentional
every step of the journey was
strategically planned to gi\e me opport un ities for personal and professional growth so that I could pos iti\ely impact the lives of children
to the greatest degree po>sibie.
l n..:cei\ cd my undergraduate degree fiom Northwestern Unive rsity . My goal was simple : to immerse myself in the academic cu lture of
one of the top-ranked universities in the Unit ed States. 1 studied at the School of Education and Social Policy, exp loring ho\\ social
policy. organizational culture, and education intersect to influenct> the course of human lives and our larger democracy . f learned from
some of the top social scientists and cducaror,: in their respective fields and cngro~sed myself in the intemational culture afforded
thro ugh the diverse ~tudent popula.ion at ~ortln.vestcrn.

J continued at the University of Alabama in order to focus my studies on srudents with disabilities. As an aspiring teacher-leader, I knew
that spec ial cdut.:ation was the most litigious area of education and, with respect to student achievement, oflcn the most clusi\e. I became
a student of hov. to serve children with disabilities and their families. Their needs arc unique and so too was my train ing on how to help
these deservin g students expericnc~ h igh leve ls of success.
In my doctoral studies, I supplemented my expertise in social policy and spec ial educat ion with organizational theory and sch ool law.
Superintendents arc responsible fo: leading large organ izations and, in order to have the most positive student outcomes, must be
intentional about the organizational culture crea ted in the classrooms and community. Additionally, with the increasing litigious threats
to school districts. school law was a logical area of expertise as we seck to be progressive and innovative yet legally compliant. I learned
how to avoid legal blind spots, thereby allowing w, to keep our focus on what matters most - students, families. nnd learning.
Although I am proud of the degrees hanging on my wall, lam more proud of th e learning I have experienced since I lefr the traditional
classroom. Spec ifical ly, I have establish ed a network ofsucccssful.supcrintcndents who serve as friends and mentors. I have weekly
conversation: with Phil Lanoue, the superintendent of the Clarke County School District, who is my Fonner ~upervisor and American
Association of School Administrators "Superintendent of the Y car" (20 15). Pete Gom1an . former superintendent of
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, a:1d R obert Avossa, current superintendent of Palm Beach County School District, a re both frequent
collaborators as we strive to improve public schools . Each o f these colleagues serves as a resource in my joumey to be a successful
superintendent. Although the student faces and names in each of ou r respecti ve school districts arc different, our leadership
opponunities arc the sa me
we educate and inspire every child eve ry day. No excuses.

A s further evidence of m y proactiYe efforts to establish professional networks, I am also a cunent member of the Pahara- t\spcn
Educational Fellowship. This two-year program brings together educational leaders from around the country who s hare a commitment
and urgency to ensuring that all our children have equal access to an excellent public school. We explore new solutions, po lic ies, and
practices that cr~ate equitable and high-quality ~ducational opportunities for all children
especially those from low -income and
undcrserved famiii es. For me, this fellowship opportunity has c reated a national netwo rk of friends and leaders who serve the broad
spectrum of child and ti:nni ly
from binh to post-secondary
all committed to giving our communities the schools they so richly
deserve .

f have spent years preparing fo r this opportunity. From the halls ofNorlhwestem to the mountains of Aspen, 1 have obtained the
education and training to prepare me to lead the Marietta community. And, equally as signilicant, I have created the personal and
proks~ional networks to ensure that I will also bring the shared expertise and coaching of some of the best superintendents in the
cou ntry . Marietta deserves the ve ty best a with rc. pen to a leader and a ces. to res u rce a and I w ill pr \'id just th a t.

Indicator 2: Experience
Do you belie ve that experience as a c lassroom reacher and principal arc critical steps in the career path to the superintendent ' s rol e?
Why ? Why not?
Absolutely. It is critically imponant that the superintendent of Marietta City Schools have experience as a classroom teacher and
principal. In part, this requi rement is about having first -hand knowledge o f those critical levers in a school distri t that most im pact
student achievement a teaching and leadership. ll owevcr. it goes much deeper thanju. t having wn lk d a mile in th c respective shoes.
Generated at !0 2R 20lo9:24:-l7 1\ M Ccn:ral

Page 9 of 27

_ _ _ _ _.-.Le.O.rgja__S_cb.o.ollioards_Association'-----R ivcra. Grant - AppNo: 474


Do you believe that experience as

Why'l Wh y not'1

ubmitted: ! 016 '20 16

classroom teacher and principal an.: critical steps in the carec.r path to the superinicndenrs role'-'

Experience as a principal and teacher gives the <;upcrintendcnt credibility in the eyes of a majority of Marietta employees w ho will be
looking to me for clarity of organi~ational vision and outcomes.
Regardless of my physical location in a school building or central office. at my core I am a classroom teacher. 1 he degree of energy and
excitement that occur from helping a student
be that student a child or an adult
is the daily motivation for educators l!ke me who
desire to make a positive impact on future generations. Teaching is a combination of an and 'cicnce. As <111ists and creator~, we inspire
hearts in order to open minds
n:;ogniLing that the intrinsic motivation for ..:ach Ieamer is different and so, roo, must be our approach.
Equally as important. we arc scientists our field is cluttered with research - based practices that inform decisions aboui cuiTicu lum
standards. instructional strategies, and assessment methodologies . As educators . w..: have a finite amount of time and resources therefore
we must be o rganized and intentional with our students. My expe rience as a classroom teacher has served as my daily reminder: in our
quest for studcnl and school c;uccc;s, there is no more imponam decision than what our teachers teach and our srudents learn.

A a principal. 1 ha\ c cxp..:riencc i1 three differenr school communities . each with its 0\.Vn set of opponunitics and challenges. l inherited
two Cobb Coumy high schools wi th the dread(~d Georgia Department of Education label of "Needs Improvement." l n both situation,;, we
quickly capitalized on the efficacy of our students, staff, and famili..:s. We ce lebrated historic gains in our most at -risk and oftentimes
overlooked subgroups, and we got off the "failing" !lsi in two short years. At Westlake High School in fulton County, J walkcJ into a
toxic culrure that chewed up 14 pr ncipals in J 9 years. Though the dynami cs and fa ces were different than my previous two
pr incipalships, the leadership priority was the same: establish a common vision and hold myself and others accountable for continuous

In the same way. the nuances of !~ding a large. complex organization such as Marietta City Schools require this exact awareness and
experience. ln the era of increased accountabiliry, educational leaders must balance the increasing pressure to move the needle of
student achievement while understanding the ebb and now of organizational culture . Put simply, we m ust keep our foot on the gas
without driving off so rapidly that we end up alone or in a ditch.
There is no manual for how to be a successful classroom teacher or building principal. Sim ila rl y, no manual exists for the Marietta City
Schools ' superintendency. Howev~r, much like each of my own classrooms and schools, there is no room for failure. My students and
their families, in addition to the employees who give of their beans and time to have the right ro put "Marietta" across their chests.
expect immediate results. Their time is too valuable to waste . I know what succ~ss looks like as a teacher and leader and . given my track
record, I look forward to the same degree of succes. as the Marietta SUJ'Crintenden .

Share how you go about the decision -making process. Give specific examples.
The decision-making process shocld rcfiect the values and priorities of the o rganization . For school-based and central office leaders, we
have the opponunity to reinforce our desired organizational culture through an intentional and consistent approach to making decisions.
As I lead school and central office teams that are grappling with complex issues,

th e n~

are fou r guiding principles:

I . We make tlecisions based on the hest interests of students, academic programs, and adults. When faced wi<h competing interest~
among any of the aforementioned areas. we prioritize based on that same order students, then academic programs, then adults. We
never put the intere ts of adults ahead of the inte:ests ofthe students we serve.
2. We make decisions based on fact, not emotion. The subjects of ch ildren and education often elicit passionate opinions; we must be
sensitive to the origin ofsueh emotion without letting it be the sole factor in decision- mak ing.
3. We make sustainable decisions and avoid the temptation for a quick fix. Decisions are o nly as good as our ability to strategically
study, plan, and execute.
4. We make decisi on s based on stakeholder input. Opportunities exist to engage stakeholders at various points in the dec ision -making
being intentional and st-ategic about when and how to maximize s uch interactions is important.

During my years as a principal and central office leader, I faced numerous s itua tions in w hich 1 applied such principles. Although each
was unique in the contributing variables and eventual outcomes, a consisten t decision-making proces served to reinforce my value> as a
leader and our cuirure as an organization.
As the Chief Leadership and Learning Ofiiccr for Cobb County. l followed the

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Share how you go ab<llll the decision -making process. Give specific examples .
all allotment -related proccssc' rorour school district. On overage. our orfice distributes over 7.700 ccnifled and cla~sificd positions
across 1 12 schools each year, whi~h equates to S553,000,000. This process 1cquires extensive fiscal, in:;tructional , and operational protocols
to ensure we meet the needs of each of our Ill ,000 srudcnts .
As I transitioncd into this role, the allotment process had not been substamivcly reviewed lor O\-er I 0 years. The ant iquated proccs~
involved estab li shing a baseline for teacher-student ratios in each program of study and retaining 300+ po,iti ons into a "critic:~l-nccds
pool" to distribute based on rcque,ls from principals . central office administ rators, and, at times. community advocate,;_ The process wa~
reactionary and lacked institutional alignment to our belief~ regarding equity, excellence, and accountability for educational outcomes .
The tirst deci;i on was ob vious: ;m intain status quo or align our processes to the needs of students, academic programs. and educators '>
The second decision was much more complex : ho w do we establish a transparen t process to allocate positions to school' that is co:1si:tent,
yet responsi ve, to school and studull needs? We flrst established a sense of urgency and rationale for change with our cemral office
leadersh ip, school board, and building-level leaders. Our team allowed the student achievement numbers to tell the qory that equality of
pcrsonn I across 112 schools did r.ot equate to equity of access and oppOiiuniiy. Student ach iev..:mcnt was static and students were falling
through the cracks with each school day that passed. Our leaders and constituents embraced the need for change. and we quickly
transitioncd 10 a cross-divis;onal rcvie\\ of fiscaL opcrmional, instructionaL policy . and leadership protocol that\\ ere necessa1y ror
!'ucccssfu l impkmcntation.
The organizational barriers were sgnificant. For yea rs. we unconsciously functioned based on what was easier for adults rather th an
bene!! ial for children. Studems do not come in convenient bundles or 32 per cia. sroom : rather. each student, teacher, and classroom has
unique needs. Therefore . our protccols must be responsive to such dynamics. To that end, we established new superintendent and school
board priorit ies and defined specific data points and thresholds that aligned to this vision. For example, reading on grade-level by third
grade is a priority for our district. 'Ne triangulated student achievement and demographic data to identify those schools, based on
historical patterns and current achievcmcm data, in which children were most at-risk to ach ieve this milestone. Nineteen schools were
e li gible to recei ve a total of 54,200,000 of additional literacy allotments . Principals were given great flexibility in developing a plan to
usc these additional literacy resoutces: however, one common thread existed among al l schools
leade rs were to be held accountable ror
an "academic rt?turn on investment" (as defined by sLUdcnts reading on grade level ).

This same philosophy was extended to other area~> in which student achievement was unacceptab le. Examples include, but a rc not
limited to, high school graduation rate, student discipline. and transiency. In every situation . specific st udent ach ievement outcomes and
accountabil ity have been collaborativcly developed and monitored by school and di , trict leadership.
"ltimatcly, whether it was the c ulture in a ;,chool building or student achievement across an entire district. I am proud of the
decision -making processes l have ~mployed that focused on improved outcomes for students. We engaged critical stakeholders in a
manner that reinforced our organizational values and, at the same time, c reated shared ownership fo r success in our schools and
com l!1 lll1ity.

Indicator 3 : Vision, Mission and Beliefs

Provide cx::Hnplcs of how you go about aligning and basing all deci5ions, practices, policies and resources (e .g. human capital, time,
budget and facilities) o n the district",; m ission and vision.
The district's vision and mission should be the lens through which all decisions arc made and all processes are de\'eloped. These two
clements arc distinctly different , yet int rinsically linked. The vision statement makes a claim about the future or our mganization; the
mission statement speaks to our present customers, critical proce~ses. and desired level o fpcrfonnance . Both mission and vision arc
impo1iant to the development of the strategic plan and the iong-tcnn success of the di strict, and both should be intemalizcd at all leve ls
of the organization.
Marietta City Schools vision is, "To be the school sy. tcm of choice." The Board of Education and Superintendent have been progressive
in their eftorts to allow school choice for all smdents, including city of Marietta res idents and those willing to pay out-or-district tuition.
Given this nexibility, the district has empowered a family to choose the school and academic program that best aligns w ith the needs or
their child
no tjust aligned to th ir home address. School success, both in the fonn of perception and rea lity, is not just about student
ach ievement data: rather, families vaiidate or invalidate ~uch beliefs based on where they choose to enroll their child.

Additionally. acknowletigmg that district leaders will have a finite amount of resources to allocate to each school. the power of

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Provide example~ of how you go about aligning and basing all dcci~ions, practices. policies an d resources \( e.g. human capitaL time.
and facilities\) on the: district's mission and visiOn .


llexibiliry and choice lit:s in how school -based leader~ leverage such resources to improve educational outcomes. This. in turn.
contributt:s to the daily execution of the district's mission: "To prepare each of our studcms, through academic achievement, for coilcg ,
career, and life success ." The core of our business is to provide learning cxpcricnces that maximize academic achievement for cvt:ry
child . t:vcry day.
As such, it become,; critically imponant that all intcmai and extcmal district processes support the concept of school choice and local
t:mpowcnnent. If schools are to develop an identity that makes them both unique and successfuL school leaders must he given the
autonomy to differentiate acadcmi~ programs . pe rsonnel allocations, resource utilization . and facility usc within fiscally rt:spOlbib!c anJ
reasonable means . Such nuances between schools make the opportunity for "choice" more empoweri ng and tangible fo r families.
As ~upcr i ntendent. one of the grca:cst challenges is to get all levels of the organintion to imcrnalize the purpose and beli efs inherent in
such vis ion and mission statements. T he words exist not a:; comy statements with in a top-down bureaucracy; rathe r, they st:rvc as a
centra l theme in how we plan and what we celebrate. If one listens carefully to how Marietta employees talk about our achievements,
we should hear repeated themt:s of how their actions make a given school and our district the first choice for families seeking academic
succc ~~ -

Sha re how you will go about effectively listening to and representing the interests and concerns of students, staff, parents anJ
co mmunity m embers in eanying out the mission of the di strict.
The futu re superintendent of Ma ri ella City School s must understand how to lt:veragc the dynamics of a small, highly-engaged
community into the daily pnn:tices of school leadership . T he Marietta stakeholders
both those who work as employees and those who
li ve as residents
will expect a high degree of visibility, accessibil ity, and commu nication with their new leader. I am prepared to initiate
a specific plan that capitalizes on ~uch opportunities to message the district's mission . vis ion, and student ach ievement.

The fi rst step in this process is to establish positive relat ionships with every cross-section of our district. Within days of an appoimment
as supe rintendent, I will initiate a 'look, listen, and learn'' tour that includes, but is no t limited to, small -group conversations with
student , familit:s, local poli ticians, bus iness leaders, classi!icd employees, teachers. administrators. and local media . Each conversation
wi ll tocus on two questions about our vision to be the school district of choice: in what ar as arc we exceeding your expectations and
how can we do better? Through honest di alogue , I can th;;n tri angulate th emes to determine whet her we are appropriately engaging
stakeholders in the district's mission and vision .
I will also leverage the "look. listen. and lcam" lour tO establish persona l re lationsh ips wi th key stakeholders. As I learned long ago. 1f our
fi rst conversa ti on is due to a negative catalyst, it may then be difficult to establish high degrees of relational trust Instead. I will
proactively engage our studems. e:-nployees, and Marietta const ituen ts such that each person feels their voice is respected and val ued.

Establish ing proactive relationships is only pa rt one of listening and representing stakeholder inte rests. Over time. pan two requires that
the superintendent stay engaged and connected through ongoing visib ili ty, access ibility, and co mmu nication. Eve!)' interaction is an
opport uni ty to reinforce the district mission, vision, and value lor people. From Friday night football games to PTA meetings, my
presence matters. I unde rstand anc welcome this opportunity to lead the Marietta community.
Lastly, advocating on behalf of the Marietta constituents does not mean that I automatically endorse every idea or suggestion. Rathc:r, it
means l commit to look, listen, and learn . Ultimately, the Marietta Board of Education expects me to exercise sound dt:cision -making
processes to dctcm1inc if such dialogue can contribute to adva nci ng our district's mission and vision. There is no limit to the degree that
we can authentically engage our stakeholders in improving educational outcomes for th e children of Marietta my responsibility will be
to hamess the p ote nti a l o f o ur g r 'al community such that all efforts arc aligned wit h the larger m ission and vision of the dis trict.

Indicator 4: Leading Learning

Res ea rch indicates that the classroom teacht: r has the greatest in fluence on maximizing stude nt learn ing. What wi ll drive your strategy
to recruit, hire. develop and retain the best teachers for th e school district'J What about leaders? What w il l drive yo ur strategy ro recruit.
hire, develop and reta in leaders fo~ the schools and departments?


Todd Whitaker, a leading researcher and professor in the field of ed ucation, states, "There arc really two ways to improve a school
significantly: get beuer teachers or improve th on ~you have." As educational leaders seek to po itivel y impact stud 'Ill achievement.



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Re;;ea rch indicates that the class room teacher has the greatest innuencc on maximiLing student leaming. What wili drive your strategy
to recruit, hire, dc,clop and retain the best teachers for the school district '> What about kader>' 1 What w ill drive your strategy to recruit,
hire'. develop and retain leaders for the schools and departments'>
we often get distracted by the latest program or fad . Looking back over decades of educational reform. we sec a history of rccycicd and
failed initiatives. The lesson lcamed is simple: it is not about the program . it is about the people. Always . To th at end, there is nothing
more important than engaging every employee in the culture o!"wha t makes Marietta City Schoo ls a "Top Place to Work-"
Recruitment. cumpcnsmion, leadership development. and retention arc all centered on the same principle a pro v iding increa~ed value tor
members of the MCS team. The \alue-add can take the fom1 of any incentive that is meaningful to the employee: finzncial, opportu!ll ty.
o r acknowledgement. The best ar~J most feasible incenti ve may be di ffercnt for each em plo yee or group of employee,_ but the
fundamental principle remains the same in e<1ch case: '' orkplace cultures. norms. and initi a tives reinforce the organizational belief th at
om employc'es are at the core of our students' success.
Marietta City Schuo!s ha s been progressi ve and innovati,e with respect to financial incentives: however. I would note there are two
limiting factors to this ap proach . First, a finite amount of fiscal resou rces arc available to incentivizc employees. Second, research
indicates f!naneial co m pensatio n is oftentimes the least motivating factor for employeeO'. While we can continue to explore ways to
leverage an crnployees paycheck, I feel the greatest opportunity to positively impact student learning and organizational culture is
through incentives whtch provid~ oppo rtunit ies a nd recognition for both teachers and lea d er~.

Career opponunity is often seen :hrough the lens of career advancement

the reality is opportunity can , and often does , take a more
po'~ crful form w hen placed in the context of rel ationships. Gi ven the size of the district and the limited number or formal leadership
positions that may come avaiiable in a gi,en year. opportunity may nol always take the fom1 of traditional promotions. Instead, teachers
and leaders can. and do, find significant va lue ti"om opportunities to lead teams and tasks, increase exposure to Jistrict leaders, and
engage in learning opportunities wi thin vari ous roles in the district. Fmmal shadow ing programs, opportuni tie. to engage in spec ial
projects, job titles that highlight mcr..:ased respon sib ility. teacher- leader academics
all are practical. low-cost methods to inccntivize our
employees and build high - functi ,1 ning teams through shared professiona l experiences.

As an example, Fulton County Schools recently implcmemed a summer job-sharing program where lo cal school teachers and leaders
have an op portunity to build relationships with ccntrai office personnel for four weeks each summer. With this opportunity for teacher,;
and administrators came exposure to larger district-wide processes and structured time to build meaningfui re lationsh ips with key
district leaders . In exchange, the teacher-leader committed to a higher degree of" engagement at the cemral office and local school
building. Opportunity as an incentive is not the vehi cle to build a new. shiny program but is instead providing teachers and leaders with
avenues to build meaningful rel ationshi ps .

It is worth noting that \llarietta empl oyees have demonstrated a high degree of o rganizational loyalty
the district is consistently
recognized by the Atlanta Joumal Constitution as a "Top Place LO Work. " While it is no secret that Marietta City Schools is a great plncc
to work, equally as important, I want every employee to be reminded "why" they chose to serve the children of Maricua. To that end,
my leadership strategy include a simple approach : win smali , win early, and win often.
This approach lo employe<: recognition builds an additional layer of incentives inside recruitment, hiring, de velopment, and retentio n for
both teachers and leaders. We must create moments to celebrate the small victories that reinforce our organintional mission and culture
"why" we do what we do . Fr~nk Blake, fonner CEO of Home Depot. was known to write O\ cr a I 00 notes of app reciation to his
employees each week . His goal was simple
acknowledge something special about a specific person that contributed to the
organiLati onal success of Home Depot. As the superintendent of Marietta C ity Schools . I would have. the same oppotiunity to
emotionally connect with each of our l, I 00+ employees. Whether it is through a personal note, award presentation in front of peers,
dinner with the Superintendent. or imcraction in a classroom. every moment is a small, yet meaningful, opportun it y to recognize ihc
personal and organ izational va lue of each Marietta City emp loyee .

Regard less of whether ou r spec1fic action plan is designed for recruitment, retention . hiring, or leadership development a our strategy is
always about the people. The degree to which we arc able to cm<>tionally connect with and inccntivizc our currcnr and future employees
will dctcm1inc whether Marietta Ci ty choo ls is, in fact. the district of choic

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Marietta City School s Specific continued

'vVhat steps will you tak.: to cnsurC' the alignment of rigorous curncula, research -based best practices in instruction. and comprchcnsi\ c
lonnati\'C and summativc assess1rcnt approaches for the schools in your district?

superintendent is the instructionallcadci of' the district. As such . it is crilically important lhatthc superintendent and central office
leadership have clarity on both expectations and outcomes related to curricular, instruc tional , a:1d assessment processes. Al ignment must
extend fiom the superintendent's ofticc to every classroom in the district, thereby creating a seamless process for academic priontics and
allocation of resources .
re~carch shows that
if, and when, srudcnts are exposed to the correct cuiTicuium standards, regardless of the instruct ional e!Tectivcncss of the icacher. we
have the potential to increase student achic\ ement on sta nda rdized assessments by 70'Yo . Put simply. if we want to g ive our students more
oppottunities ;or success on mand<~tcd high -s takes testing, we need to make sure we deliver the correct standa rds in the appropriate
sequence and pace .

The cuniculum standards arc the starting poim for all conversations about improving srudent achicn:mcnt. In fact,

In my e;o..perienn: as an instructional leader, there is often great confusion among principals and teachers on which curriculum ~tandards
arc grade- level appropriate and whether we have enough time in a give n course or g rade to teach a ll the requi red content. While part of
this problem lies in th e eve r- charging dyna m ics w ith in the Georg ia Department of Education. we also m ust acknowledge that for which
we arc responsible <~t the localle';cl: we control the content and pacing of cu rricul um in a c lassroom . We determine the "what." As such,
our conversations a bout rigo r and relevance will start with thoughtful discuss ions aboul how we align cuniculum standards acros~ a
school and ac ross the district to 2 given course, calendar. and studcm m:eu .

The second phase of this conversation is the ''how"

how do we del ive r cu rriculum standa rds in a m anner that is meaningful, relevant,
and rigorous for childrenJ Research -based ins tr uctional strategies are groun ded in one basic theme for student success across all contents
and grade ievcis: student cngage-ncnt. Show me a child that is engaged in lea rn ing. and I will show you a child that can demonstrate both
proficiency of standards and unlimited potential. /\san inst!1lctio nal leader, I understa nd the path to high leve ls of student engag menl
not all sruden!s learn in the same manner or at
in a given class room will be as uniqul' as the faces and needs of the children in that class
the same time.

Therefore, the art of teaching requires the ability to di fferentiate inst ruct ional s1 ra teg ies such that we reach every child . evet)' day .
strongly believe that leaders can make g reat strides in teacher cmpowennent by clarifyi ng ex pectations and outcomes. I have led teacher
and adm inistrative teams at multiple "failing" schools w ith one si mpl e fo mlUla: as we "t urn aro un d" a schoo l, there will be no dchaic
about which cuniculum standards arc approp riate for a given class or gra de le vel; however, teachers will have autonomy and flexibility
to differentiate instructiona l strategies based o n how they believe ch ild ren can best leam suc h standards. We will ag ree in advance on
des ired students outcomes: as long as you ca n show me that studen ts arc mastering the requ ired standards, my j ob is to give you
every thing you need and wam a1d not m icroma nage your classroo m. My ap proach is grounded in a combination of research and
com m o n sense and . thus far , it has been an invaluable instmctional fra m ework tha t serves the n e ed~ of every child in every class room at
cvcrv schooi.
Lastly. as an instruct ional leader, I w il l expect every teacher and administrator to an swer the following q uestion related to student
assessm ent: how do you know when kids lcam and what do you do whe n they do not . To successfully answer these questions tor each
child on a daily ba. is, we must have effective processes in place for teach ers to quickly and easily asses student progress. I do not
beli eve this is a top-down mandate: rather, teachers need iO have the suppo1i and autonom y to di.! tenninc which formative assessments
best suppo11 their needs to continually monitor swdcnt learning and adj ust inst ructional strategies. The fo1mat ivc an d assessment tonls
ava ilable for teachers and leade:s arc lim itless our priority is to fi nd those that are the m ost meaningful and relevant to teachers. As we
appropriately align our instructiona l delivery and fo rmative assessments, WI.! will see immediate results in student achieveme nt on
summati ,.e assessments.

As the superintendent, 1 will exp~ct central office and school-based leaders to joi n me in classrooms as pati of our shared responsibility

for curriculum t::mdards, instructional strateg ies, and assessment methodolog ies. T here is no more im po rtan t conversation than what our
teachers teach and what our student learn . We will support th is priority with a relentless fo cus. know ing that every ad ult shares Ill both
the rcspo n:.i bility fo r sw d nt outcomes and the cele brat io n of stud nt success.

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Indicator 5: Operations and Management of Organizational Systems
\:Vhat experiences ha'>c you had n pa:t roles m managing the key operational aspects of tran,ponation, facilities, strategic planninf!.
mnrition, budgeting, techno logy. etc? Share how these experienc es have given you the key knowledge and skills needed for managing
these functions at the superintendent's level.
A' the Chief Leadership and Leemi ng Officer, J \\"as responsible for all aspects of day-to -day local school operations for all I 12 schools
in the Cobb Count) School District. This required my team and me to he intimately knowledgeable of all operational systems that
support students and staff. In the development phase, I coordinated cross-divisional strategic planning that balanc..:d the ncc:ds of local
schools with the constraints of central office resources and pero,onnel. Du ring ~he implementation phase of such proc..:sscs, l was then
r<.:sponsible for confirming various cross - divi~ional teams were in fact meeting desir~d performance targets .
For ex amp!' . Cobb County School District transp01ts ove r 75,000 students each day acro~s 6~.000 miles of Cobb county roads. My role
was to e nsure there was a seamless process and ongo ing communication between our drivers. local school administ ration. and our
families. We have made numerow: impro ements in recent years to provide higher levels of customer service to all stakeholder~.
including. but not limited to, a ~idcr safct) program. utili7aiion of stop-arm came ras. a!Jd usc of responsive social media for co mmunity
From a facilities perspective, J have led processes that address both short-term needs and long-term capita! improvement. ln both
contexts, we developed intcmal protocols and cxtemal communication to ensure that we were responsive to changing demographics and
aging facilities across a large di st rict. Our priority was simple: anticipate needs in a fiscal ly responsible manner that appear seamless to a
classroom teacher, student, and f'amily.

AdJitionally, Cobb County School District has a Spcciall'urpose Local Options Sa les Tax (SP I.OST)
a I% sales tax on retail goods
that generated over S71 0 million for capital improvements over the iast five -year period. In my role on Executive Cabinet, I ha\'C been
directly involved 111 the various 3Spects of construction for five new schools and 13 additional capital improvement projects. totaling over
$!20 million. It is also worth noting. the distr ier will be embarking on anoth er SPT.OST campaign to go before Cobb county voters in
March 20 !7. In my current mle as Chief of Staff, I am responsible for developing all aspects of strategi c marketing and communication
for the district and local schools pertaining to SPLOST. Without question . the success of our team in this endeavor ,,ill positively impact
the lives of children and the future of Cobb County School District for generations to come.
I also have extensive experience with budget development and p<.:rsonnel allocations . As Ch ief Leadership Officer, during the year-long
budget planning process, I was :csponsiblc for a!! allotment- related decisions for our district. Subsequently, I developed a ~ystem through
which over 7,700 cettified and classified positions were assigned to 112 schools each year, which equates to S553,000.000 (approximately
53 % of the district's operating budget). Th is process requi red extensive fiscal, instructionaL and operational protocols to ensure we
continued to meet the needs of each of our I i 1.000 students.

J have a lso supported all aspects of nutrition, technology, a nd fiscal management. In many situations, we have had the opponunity to
proacti1 ely build syst..:ms that provide for increased efficiency and effectiv eness . For example . we aggressively leveraged distance
technology in our middle and h gh schools to simultaneously create more diverse lcaming experiences for our students and maximi7c
personnel allotments across schools . From planning to implemenTation . my team and I proactively led conversations to make sure we
had the appropriate a li gnment l:etv.reen v isi on and return on investment. ln other situations, we were forced into a reactive mode due to
an unexpected crisis . l have managed vo latile paren ts and stressed ad m in istrators in circumstances tha t ranged from bomb threats to
power outages . \Vhcthcr it was a child mis:ing lu nch or a whole school missing the state-required test, I know how to lead through a
As the leader of the dis trict. I must hav e a working knowledge of all facets of the district, includ ing but not limited to operations,
budgets, facilities, technology, and nutrition. \lly priority has been and will continue to be implementing the necessary systems a both
proactive and reacttve
so lca:11ing i> seamless in a classroom, families are confident we will always act in the best interest of their child.
and obstacles arc: r moved that stand between between tudcms and their academic success .

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indicator 6 : Collaborating and Communic ati ng w ith Multiple Stakeholders
Provide examples of how you will promok the creation and cultivation of partnerships within the parent, business, political <~nd greater
community spheres to support the- achievement of the district's mission and vision .
As the Marietta superintendent. I will create and cultivate partnerships based on two guiding principles : I ) be proactive in buiiding
relati o nships, and 2) seek opportunities for authentic two- way engagement. In my previous role,;, I have enjoyed a high degree of
success in col laborating and com:mmicating with multiple ;;takcholdcrs in ordc1 to improve the educational experience for our students
and families. I look forward to the same in the Marietta community.
My efforts to be proactive will be-gin with a "look , listen, and learn rour" during my first ! 00 days. The strategy is ~imp!e: connect with
indi vi duals and organizations from every cross-section of ou r city, coumy, and region that can suppon our district's vision and mission.
This initial phase of my integration plan emphasize. the continued development of proactive and meaningful re latio nships wtth the
Marietta community, many of which have already been established during my m<~ny years in Cobb County. These rclatiun sh ips \Nil! be
groundcC. in honest dialogue aboJt the exi <;t ing performance of our district and about exploring opportunities for more authentic
relationships. Relationships and tru~t must be cstabli. hcd bdore there i:; a problem . nul a!'ter.

li is imponam that we create pro3cti ve and in tentional relationships with our local business commun iry. ln my cutTent role, ! am
respo nsible f(Jr de ve!opmg the district's external strategy, which includes all business partnerships. As an example, through ongoi ng
:'trategic planning with executives from the Atlanta Bra ves and their public relations firm. l lead the development of the CCSD-Braves
educational partnership. This new and innovative relationship focuses on five areas of oppm1unity for our students. families . and
employees : I) STEM education: 2) literacy: 3) student leadership: 4) teacher grants: and 5) employment oppot1unities lor swdents and
staff. Thi~ program was launched in July 2016 and has been identified as a model educational pat1nership by Major League 13aseball.
Additionally. it is worth noting that I have also initiated programs and partner>hips with Atlanta United , WciiSlar, Juni or Ach ie vement,
and Appleromh Si\T tutoring each of which were focused on increasing student achievement and engagement through intentional and
proacti ve long- term relationships.

1 abo believe the district should pursue meaningful and tran~parent relationships with iocal po liticians. Each elected official is a critical
lever in our community engagement and public relations strategy . For example, in Cobb County 1 initiated meetings !\vice per year with
local mayors and city councils. These conversations were grounded in three objective : I) maintain open lint?, of communication; 2)
provide updated infotmati on about academic performance and faciliry needs for schools in their communities: and 3) listen and respond
to any areas of concern. At each meeting, each :;lected official is also pro vided wi th a performance review for each school in their post.
highlighting student achievement data , academic programs. and other a reas of community interest. As a result of nurturing such
relationships in Cobb County. each elected official knows we arc panners in leading the community and we will make every effort to
ad vanc c student achievement ar.d avoid unnecessary surprises.
I also believe the Maricna superintendent needs to be intentional about faith -based partnerships. Acknowledgmg legal dynamics exist
that must guide our interactions, the faith -based community provides a trong network w support education. ;\sa principal and c<::ntral
office leader, l frequently speak to church leaders and. more generally, the people they lead to c.xplore meaningful pa rtnerships with
schools . r continue to hold rcgu ar faith summits in Cobb County to encourage communicatio n and collaboration between school and
faith -based leaders . From classroom renovations to academic tutoring to meals for fa mi lies . these pannerships have resulted in
meaningful outcomes for !'tudcnts. familic . and staff.

Jt is also wonh noting that fa ith-based leaders hold the key to one of the most meaningful communication engines in our community
parents. Every time a faith - based community gathers, these leaders speak to a captive audience, many of whom are already invested in
their children and the communi ty. Thc.y intrinsically desire opportun ities to make a pos itive impact. J have preached to many inside the
walls of a church or synagogue. emphasizing that we arc serving the same families and same community . This message is powerful and
authentic and, as with other panncrships, sen .:s to advance our di trict 's mission.
For the la:<t I 0 years, i have complemented my traditional educational leadership experience by serving as a practitioner and con~ultant
for family engagcm<::nl. As l work with school leaders from across the country, many of whom serve schools that sutfer from low levels
of family and communit y engagement, I leverage the collective capacity of a community to improve educational outcomes for students.
As cdt~~.:at i omd kad<or~ , we must create opportuni tic. for 1':1milie_. busin s. es, politician:. faitll-ba:cd I adcrs, and the larger community

( ocnc:akd at

li l '2~ 20JI,9 24: ,J9

AM ..:entral

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Pro' ide e.\ amplcs ofho~ you wi!: promow the creation and cultivation of partnership~ within the parent, business, political and greater
wmmunity spheres to suppm1 the achievement of the district s mission and vis ion .
to be cng;1gcd in cduc:liion. \Vc a1c, in fac t. one commun ity upporting the same students and familie~. We can and should work

togt:thcr to make this s hool Rm.l ity the choice lor every family.
Indicator 7: Ethical Principles and Professionalism

What safeguards dn you think should be in place to ensure that the values of democracy, equity, justice. community and
held high in your district'/



Educational historians trace the origind of public education in the late 1800'~ to the goals of a democratic ,;ociety: to prepare youth to be
responsible citizens: to improve social condition:,; to promote cultural unity: to help people become economically self-sufficient, and to
enrich happiness of individual Jives (Cente r lor Lducation Policy, 1996) . Although the levcb of quality and inclusiveness vary widely
in each school and community, pJblic schools originated as a necessary exprc sion of a democratic society.
Democratic life requires critical inquiry, collccti\'e decis ion making. civic participation, and a commitment to the common good. The
manner in which children and ad.!lts interpret, and e\entually act on, such societal values create a natural tension in education. We
educate to empower diversity of:hought and action.
Acknowledging the discourse may be uncomfonabie, we must safeguard the aspects of democratic life in to the decision-making
processes and larger culture of our district. For example. the engaged citizenry (both students and adults) should ha\'C a 'oice in
decisi ons that impact their "indi' id ual happmess" and "common good.'' It is our responsibility to create and encourage such opportuni ties
for all. not just those who share our same beliefs.
We mu~t also be clear about what diversity of thought and action practically means in our district. In addition to educating and
empowering our stakeholders, w~ should also strive for our district employees to rene<:! the diversity of our co mmunity. I believe we
can and should be proaeti' c in this discussion. I currently work with vario us post-secondary institutions to strategically recruit educa tors
of color to the Cobb County School District. I meet with small coh01is of graduate school students to discuss why Cobb is the best place
to teach, lead , and learn. The same opporrunity exists for Marietta. In past years. I served on a joint Marictta-C:CSD committee to host a
job rair ror educawr~ of' color. Through both initiatives. we achieved two positive outcomes: 1) we aggressively recruited and hired
educators who reflected the diversity in our community, and 2) we made a public statement that diversity, in all forms. is important in
our district.
Our intcrnai and external processes must be aligned to our beliefs about equity and equality . In order for all children to be successful. I
believe we must tailor our resowccs to the needs of our children. As superintendent, I will seek new and creative opportunities to
maintain a high lcvci of resource allocation to all children while maintaining an intentional focus on accelerating the achievement of
students who arc the furthest behind. Marietta has demonstrated this same value through various programs like the Graduate Marietta
Student Success Center an d Marietta Rcads 1 a I will continue to support those programs that achieve improved levels of equity and
educational access.
I also believe our schools have 2 collective responsibility to nurture civic and philanthropic engagement. I want our students and staff to
have high level~ of critical inquiry and . at the same time, know how to act on such beliefs to improve our community. As an cx<:unplc, as
pnncipal at two different high schools, I created a varsi ty letter for community service. The intent I\ as to level the playing ticld: any
student who completed the required number of community service hours per year would recei\'e a "communiry service'' lencr for thei r
varsity letter jacket. Students rallied around the concept and took pride in both their community engagement and ,arsity letter.
Through such actions, we made a bold statement that sening one's community had the same significance a pc1fonning on the athletic
field. The philanthropic efforts made by our .tlldcnts, staff. and families through such endeavors arc some of the highlights of my
professional career a I welcome the opportunity to reinforce such values in the tightly knit communiry of Marietta.
I do not take lightly the responsibility of leading education that will shape our community for future generations. The democratic
values that shaped the formation of public education will be embedded into the district ' s mission and at the core of our daily work .
Whether it be seen in the diverse composition of our staff, the equitable allocation of our resources, the elevation of community
in volvement for students. or a wide var iety of other potential opportunities . the guiding principle remains the same: our district will
r\!llcn the high value we> as ~~~~t~lar:c on_buildi ng a cultwe_lhli.Lt_IQJ).Q_
11: each individual, ~@alLY~ cach_and cvcry_sl<l.Y.

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Marietta City Schools Specifi c continued

\Vha t actions will you take to ensure that you maintain a high level of visibility and are approachable by all stakeholders?
My ;;hart-term and long-tcm1 approach for visibility and approachability within the communi!) wi ll be grounded in two simple ideas:
get connected and stay connected. My tenure will start with a "look. listen, and learn" tour that allows m<.: LO proacti\ ely hd\'e contact
with evcty coriler of the Maricm community. From formal settings, such a;; home owners association m<.:ctings, to morc organic
conversations at a football game or in a classroom. each is an opportunity lor a handshake, hug, or smile to create a posittve lirst

I will be intentional about how our team org:.miz<.:s the more formal events a we will prioritiLc my exposure based on inllucnce withm
the political, business. and philanthropic circles of our community . l am well aware of the power base that exists within the city of
Marietta, and these constituents will know they arc my priority within hours of my appointment as s uperintendent. /\s I do now with
imp0nant relationshi ps in the larger Cobb County commun ity. I coach ne\\ principals and centra! office leaders to reach ou: to strategic
communiry leaders by phone anJ email immediately upon their appointments. I v. ill continue to maximize such oppo rtunit ie as l
transition to the Marietta community.
Additionally . there are counties~ moments to be visible and acce sihk with the mmc general Marietta community. especially r,)r
families and taxpayers who do not normally engage in trad itional social and political circ les. I will maintain a high degree of\ isibility in
important locations
from the grocety store to the Marietta Square so I can funher validate my engagement in the community .
Through such visib ility, I will continue to be warm and inviting. As a personal anecdote, my wife an d family have a high degree of
visib ility due to my wife's career in radio and television and my experience as a principal. Most of our social outing;, be that as a couple
or a family. involve someone w:10 will recogni?c and approach one of us. Each conversation is an opportu ni ty t<.1r us to share a smile nnd
!cam a name . These conversaticns arc criticalmomenrs to build posi tive goodwi ll and re inforce an aurhentic, positive public perception.

After the initial honeym oon period that occurs with any new appointment. my respons ibility will be to stay connected to these same
people and create these same n1Jments. As 1 do now for t11e. Cobb County School District. 1maintain a schedule that allows me to
intentionally and routinely nurture existing re lationships . The interactions arc sometimes about th e "work" and other times simply a
lunch to maimain a personal rcbtionship . Either way, investing the time in relationships wil l be a priority.

This same strategy applies to the stakeholders who a re in our school buildings each day
the students and staff. I want to know our staff
by name and, in time, 1 will learn about each of their talents as an educator and person . My goal is to simultaneously respect the
hierarch y that t:xists between classroom teacher. princ ipal, and c ntral office leader while still creating authenticity and approachability.
1 am not a CEO in an i' 01y tower: I am an instructional leader suppm1ing student success.
T o that end. one of the most exciting aspects of the Marietta opponunity is the students. As a principal, I was extremely proud of my
relationships with my students. Through many conversation while sitting at a cafeteria table or in the bleachers, I came to know my
sludcms and 1hcy, in rum, came to know th e ir principal. Marietta City Schools offers a sim il ar opportunity
I want to know my students
by name. Tr is possible to have a personal connectio n with students and their families, and l \Viii work tire lessly to make myself
accessible and available 10 these most important ~takeholdcrs.

Finally, it is vvoiih acknowlcdgmg that v isibil ity and two-way conununication are not just about facc-to -tace interactions. ln this world
of social media and digital platforms. we have opportuni ties 24 hours per day , seven days per week to deliver a message and reinforce a
brand. From both an indi vidual and district perspective, I am proactive on social media and expect my fellow leaders to do the same .
Cobb County School Di~trict has a strategic plan to leverage social med ia for the district and key leaders; the same will be dcvt:loped for
Mari etta Ciry Schools . As we i:nprove two -way communication, customer service, and d istri ct branding, this platform will be impona nt
in maintaining visibility and accessibility .

lndicatot 8 : The Education S)'Stem

Share your understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the schoo l board vs those of the superintendent. \.Vhy do you think the
separation of authority is so critical to effective district operations?
The rel ationship between the school board and the superintendent IS one of the most cr itical facto rs in determining the level of student
success. This partnership shou:d be collabo rative yet. at the same time, bound by clear delineation of roles and responsibilities.

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_ _

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Share your understanding of the role;; and responsibilities of the sehooi board vs those of the supcrintcnckni. Why do you think the
scparati('!l or authority is so critic'! I to cffccti\ c district operations')
The duties of the superintendent include three primary functions: 1) chief adviser to the board of education; 2) chief cxccmivc officer
of the school district; and 3) educational leader for the communiry. Each of these areas of responsibility has a unique function yet mu>t
be aligned with the ovcnm:hing \alue> a> determined by the board and superintendent. Put simply. the superintendent lead,; all
conversations. processes, and decisions. whether they be w ith the board. staf!". or the community, toward the vision of the district.
As the chief ad\ iser to tlu; board. the superintendent must over-communicate with the board before, during . and after imp011ant
dccis1ons arc to be: made. From !))!icy implications to board agenda development to high-profile day-to-day de\ clopmcnts, the
superintendent's wle is to serve as the primary district liaison with the board.
i\s the chief executive officer. the superintendent is responsible for leading the organization in a manner that is aligned to board policy
and district \ision. Through personal act ions and delegation to others. the leader ensures efficie nt a nd effe ctive execution or policies
through day-to-day admini;trativc procedures. For crit1eal clements or instructi onal and operat ional functioning. the superintendent
should inform the board of emerging issue~ and, equally as important. what actions the board should take to maimain high levels of
disllict performance.

Lastly. the superintendent i~ al ;o the cducat ional leader for the community. i\s such, it is necess ary to be aware of political and social
dynamics that impact the district and its stakeholders . This leadership role requires the superintendent to he informed, engaged, and
rcnective of how best to leverage communi ty and district resources to impro ve educational outcomes. The superintendent should be
proactive in bringing such ideas to the attention of the board and its constituents .
The roles of the school board fall into four categories : \"ision. structure. accountability, and advocacy . The board approves the district's
vision statement. goals, and outcomes that allow for monitoring of district performance and evaluation of s uccess . Writt n board
policies -;hould be aligned w ith this vision and reflected in the budget planning and implementation process. Board accountability for
rhc superintendent is achieYed though aligned. attainable. and measurable goals and outcomes
all of which are reported to the board
based on a pre-determined timclinc and performance c riteria .

From an advocacy perspective, the boa rd advances its vision by tocusing on student achievement, panncring with the community, and
being proactive in addressing issues that affect education on locaL state, and national levels. An effective board utilizes two-way
communication to improve the degree of trust and transparency with stakeholders.
At a high lc\ el, both the board and the superintendent should have an unwavering commitment to the success of all children. The board
leads through policy creation : rhe superintendent empowers through policy implementation. Role confusion occu rs when the
superintendent focuses too much on policy and, conversely, the board is too involved in day-to-day operations.
In add ition to clearly defined roles and responsibilities, a successful partnership between the board and superintendent occurs when
there are shared val ues and expectations. Roles and responsibi lities need to be delineated; however. values need to be aligned. These
values and beliefs permeate every decision, every process, and every piece of communication throughout the district, regardless of
whether it originates from rhe d,~sk of th e superintendent or the dais of the board. The following ph il osophical pillars will guide how w e
the board and superintendent collaborativdy lead and interact wi th the community as we pursue the vision of the district:

ac E\cry child a we have a resJonsibility to raise the performa nce of ail students in our district and, simultaneously, institute strategic and
intensive suppon for students v.ho traditionally struggle to be successful.

a Every voice a strong, proac.:ivc protocols will exist for two-way communication between the board, district leadership, and community.
ac Every action a our time wil l be less focused on organizational minutia and more focused on policies that improve student achievement.
a~ !:every dctail a we will embrace and monitor data such that our conversations and inquiries are based on quality data aligned to school
performance and student achie\'cmcnt; equally as important, we will confront nega ti ve data in a manner that encourages reflection and
Every adult
we will lead as a un ited team with an unwavering commitment to be the distri ct of choice.

High-pcrfonning d istricts maintain a clear and consistent separation of duties between the boan.J and superintendent. At the same time.
these distticts also have a shared set of values and beliefs among all leadership . Over the years, Marietta City Schools has demonstrated
high xpcctati on. forb th board :md . upcrinrcndcnt performance. I look furward to continuing that collabora tion and. at the sam time,

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Sh:1re your understanding of the rules and responsib iliti ..:s of the sehoul board vs those of the supcrilllendeni. Why do you think the
separation of authority is so critic:tl to effective district operations?
exploring ways th;tt we ..:an Vd>rk together to dcvclup


vi ion and plan that take our school :Jnd community from good to great.

Indicator 9: Personal Qualities

Values Share some examples of things in life that you value most and determine how you live your life - both per:;onally and

I am a husband and father

these two roles define who I am as a person and professional. As a husband, l realize the value of a strong
and make it a dail} priority to sm:ngthen my maniag<.:. I also have the unique privilege of being the father to two) otmg g1rls.
This remarkable responsibility m~ans my life is filled with toddler books. tricycles, ippy cups. and. perhaps most significantly , an
opportunity to practically live our the values we as a family believe to be important.

My wife and l believe that a strong family unit, complemented by a quality education and engaged community, will provide our
ch ildren with limitless opporruni1.ies for success and hope for a better future. We hold as a core family value that education is a priority.
and we strive to create new and exciting ..:xperiences that reinforce their curiosity and engagement in learning.

Equally as important, we arc a family of faith. In our greatest moments and our darkest days, we have relied on our religious con' ictions
and church family to maintain perspective and strength. I recogni7.e the separation of church and state . knowing full well the boundaries
fo r me as an educator and public figure . At the same time, my faith journey make> me a stronger husband, father. and future
My health is also a priority. From triathlons to rot trots.] choose to live an active lifestyle and encourage the same for my family. Put
simply, l take care of me so I can, in turn , take care of others. I create opportunities to model this attitude and behavior with my
colleagues and the larger school district. For example, we hosted numerous family events and sem inars in the Cobb County School
District to encourage physic<~! activity and a healthy lifestyle. It is about a healthy family
both my fami ly at home and my family at
work and I make both a daily priority .

Professionally, my values are simple and transparent : to be of consistent and good character. I strive to avoid the peaks ami val leys that
come from emotional and sometimes stressful situations. As Todd Whitaker so eloquently stared, "When the leader sneezes, everyone
catches a cold." [ have a consistently level temperament a my actions are not by chance; rather, I intentionally and strategically reinforce
the value ofpcopl and the culture of the organization in everything [say and do.
Lastly, it is \\Orth nothing that it is important to cultivate the appropriate work-life balance for employees in the Marietta City School:.
to respect my
wife and two children. This value takes many forms. From a practical perspective, l do not expect employees. especiall y our school and
distric t leaders, to be "on" 24 hours per day, seven days per week. On weekends and holidays. if I choose to work, 1 send emails as "delay
delivery" so as not to create an expectation that every employee spend their downtime looking to see if the superintendent needs a
response. lf it is urgent
I know how 10 contact each person in our organization; if it is not urgent
it can wait until Monday morning.

1 live my values. both at home and at work. As such, I respect people and their families in the same manner l want others

From a more social perspective. the staff of Ma rietta City School can expect that 1 will create opportunities for us to share our laughs.
memories, ami personal relatior:ships. From BBQ tailgates to holiday celebrations, I will encourage a family atmosphere that value,; the
people in our organization. Thi; approach, as a husband, father, and community leader, leverages the size of our di trier to create a more
..:u n ne~.:tcd. enga>ted staff and positive organ izational culture.

FIT for the Position/Community - Why have you appl ied to be superintendent for THIS district? What brought you here and why
should YOU be selected')

Marietia City Schools is a unique oppOiiun ity

we ha\c the apacity for innovation and the size fo r execution . l have watched lrom the
same community, yet in a neighboring school district, and it is ob\ ious to me that MCS can and should be a leader in the national
landscape of education . A ll the intangibles exist : a supportive board focused on student success, a highly engaged community with a rich
tradition of excellence, students who desire and deserve increased opportunities, and a staff" committed to improve outcomes for
I , pplit.:<.l for this po~i t ion bccau c I believe t can lead the Marietta te:~m to unprecedented success. T have . pent my career in schools and

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FJT for the Position /Community -Why have you applied to be superintendent l()r THIS distnct'l \Vhat brought you here and wh)
should YOU be selected?
commu nities that mirror the dynam!cs of Maricrt~ City Schools. In each. I was rcsponsibk for leading a team of commi tted staff,
students, and fami!lcs to imp rove the educational outcom.::s for children and the degree of engagement for the community. I kncm ho\\
to move the instruct ional needle ,_!Jile bu ild ing and maintaining the relationships across demographic lines.
J ha ves rvcd in di\crsc school communities. each that made the similar journey from good to great. These experiences t<Hightmc hnv!o increase student achievement and. at the same time. slav focused on why the 1110\'Cmcnt of ,;uch numbers actually mallers tfl a ch ild
and fa mily. l desire a district that is both large enough to impact a broader community yet small enough to allow the names and faces of
staff and students who define "wh) ''we do what we do, to be professiona ll y an d personall y impactful. This is Mariclla.

In addition to the professional inccntiYes, there arc personal dynamics that make this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . When I
rransttioned from the principaiship to the central office, one of my greatest voids was the relationships with students. /\sa prit;cipal. my
days wcr..: filled with the positive interactions that occur between an cduca\Or and child. ln a d istrict of over Ill ,000 students, the siLc and
scope of the current di st rict arc simply too large to have sustained rclationships with swdcnts. The superintendent is a CLO: not :111
instructional leader, mentor. or coach.
Marietta is different. 1-"irst. the district is smali enough that J can initi:nc more mcaningf1.1l interactions with students. hom the cafeteria
table to the auditorium stage to t:1e athletic field , I can leam the names and f~tces of studLnts and their families to m::tke my rok as
superintcndent personal. Additionally, given the benefit of a district with one middle school and one high school, we have the potentia!
for long-term relationships. J got into education because I care about people. While J care about moving test sco res and graduation rates,
I care more about the hugs. handshakes , and high fives that come from celebrating the success of a child. I will b~ their biggest
cheerleadcra.fK- 12 and beyond.
As an added personal dynamic, and father of two young children, I want to raise my children in the Marietta community. Marietta is an
urban city with a small -town feel. a community unlike any other in mctro-Atianta. l can imagine my n' o little girls gro;ving up where
family mean~ football on Friday nights and the holidays on the Marietta Square. l want them to have the opportunity for childhood
fr iendships that are grounded in a sense of true communiry and school. l want them to be Marietta Rluc Devils.
!though I have been approm:l11:d about lc. Jing other school districts around !he country. I have no Interest and h:wc nol e1pplied for
any o t h ~.: r uperintendent po it to n . I intentionally waited for IVIariettll
this is where I Wllnt to po it ivel. impact stL det t and ratse my
own family. I have spent a car c.r preparing for thi opportunity, and Jam eager to get started!

Judgment - Wh.:n you have an impot1ant decision to make, share how you go about reaching, analyzing and interpreting information
and reaching logical conclusions
Superintendents and the leaders they empower make important decisions on the daily basis. While some dec isions may be quick and
:;implc, others require a more consistent and methodical approach. I do believe in an analytical, data - based approach to local school and
district decision- making; however, J also acknowledge we must be sensitive to the underlying needs and un intended consequences of any
decision -making protocol. Tn other words, it is as important to understand the people who are impacted by each decision as it is to havc a
logical , repeatable approach.
\l<.'hen approaching any decision, it is fir. t important to clarify the problem we intend to solve. Far too often, we get distracted by a
myriad of solutions and . in our haste to move on to the next fire that is burning, we lose sight of the root issue we need to address. ln his
boo k, "A More Beautiful Question," WatTen Gerger states we should approach questioning with an open, curious mind and a willingness
to work through a series of"Why," "What if." and "How" qucri~s. Similarly, Albert Einstein is credited for stating that if he only had one
hour to save the world, he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and five minutes finding the solution . This initial step of
decisi o n making, as Berger and Einstein correct ly noted. requires us to clarify the problem we imend to solve so we can subsequently
aiTi\e at better solu ti ons. fi-csh pos;;ibilitics, and greater potential for success for our students. staff, and families.
Second, our decision -making process must be based on quality data. It has been said that educators are often data rich but
implementation poor. J belie ve we should leverage the richness of data that exists to position o ur team to have the most informed.
re scarch- bas..:d conversations. Whether ihe data points originate from local >tudcnt achievement data or research-based nation a lncnds,
we will seek quality data to guide our analysis and interpretation. ln any analys1s, longitudinal data is a valuable componen t be that
front our own student>- or from a more rcgion:tl or national perspective . Our team will have the capacit_ to ident ify. an;Jt zc, and

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Judgment - When you ha\ e an important decision to make, share how you go about reaching, analyzing and intcrpr..:ting information
and rea.:hing logical conclusion.;.
interpret important trends in student learning and school performance .
Third. it i,; importam to cons ider who is going to be included in the analysis and interpreta tion and to what degree. W..: ma y have
idcntifietl an important problem and analy:t.ed data in order to inform potential solu tions; however. if we do not account for the the
students, staff, and community i1rpacted by that decision, our decisions wi ll fail to he implemented.
Decisions of s ign ificance in any crganizat ion , particularly education. can encounter a va riety of obstacles. Initiati ve fmigue, lack of
resources, and poor implcmcntali)n arc potential inhibitors wh ich get in the way of what is good for staff and students. A logical and
repeatable decision -making framewo rk is an important pan of making decisions that avoid such obstacles and. at the same time, keep
our focus on what matters mo 1 -lh tud.:nt., staff, and fam ilies who continue 10 invest in the Marie tt a com nwnity.

Conflict :Vlanagcmcnt - What st .. ategics do you employ to resolve confrontations, disagreements o r complaints in a constmcti,e

Gi ve examples.

Confroll! ation. and complaints ate a natural pan of school leadership the profound responsibil ity of educating children comes w ith thc
inevitable n:al ity of intense cmot1ons and ~trong convictions. Our ab ilit y to leve rage this degree of interest and engagement v.ill
dctcm1inc whether we arc able to have const ructive d ia logue and positive outcomes for children .
First and fo remo st. 1 believe that people wanlto be heard . Oftentimes the machine of cduc<Jtional bureaucracy silences the voices of
Long-standing beliefs about education reinforce the notion thai the teacher is alwa s right and the principal is never wrong.
Wheth er the dissen ting vo ice is that of a "tudcnt, p~rcnt, staff, or commun ity member, I will lead in such a manner that reinforces the
value of people. Evety person in our community, regardless of their formal role. can positively impact our district and the success of our
children . I will show respect and honor their vo ice accordingly.

From a practical standpoint. this means that we must invest the tim e to listen. \>Vhile certain situations may be more efficiently re~ol v ed
via email, relationships are nurrured through personal contact. l will model and reinforce th is va lue with our district leadership team
through my own actions. Our lime is a reflection of what we value; as such, my schedule will make it clear that l value people and
developing re lationships that create opportunities to listen .
When sitting face -to- face in a ccnfrontation or disagreement, I always ask myself: what docs th is person want to gain from this
interaction? In addition to being heard.! feel it is important to transparently acknowledge their poi nt of view and areas where we (as an
ind i' idual or organi.t.ation ) shou d have done better. As both a pri ncipal an d cen tral office leader. I have stood firm on a given decision ,
yet acknowledged aspects of a s-ruation that were no t handled correctly. We arc human. It is equally as important to acknowledge our
mistakes as it is to make a commitment that we will learn from a given situation so we can do better in the future.
Lastly. co;pccially when dealing with complaints that have legal implications, it is important to be aware of relevam district policies and
procedures . As a leader, 1 have &!ways made decis ions based on what I value I never hid behi nd policy \\hen J fe lt a deci sion was bad
for a ~tudcnt, s1aff member, or family . At the same time, the emotion of a situation cannot allow us to create precedents or exceptions
that put the district at lega l risk. I will surround myself with a team that is thoughtfu L deliberate, and legally compliant.

Confrontation and complaints present opp01iunities to improve ou r proact1ve practices as much as they demand deft negotiat ion and
intentionality. When confrontation occu rs , it reveals opportunit ies for staff to better invest in those relationships so communication
occurs before reachi ng comemious levels. When compla ints arc made, opportunities abound to better communicate the "why" and
transparently acknowledge area; in which we can and must do better. Whether proactively building re lationships or reactively solving a
problem the principles of lisk'nin g . transpa rency . and collaboration will gu ide how confl ict i resolved.

Emotional I ntclligence/Sclf Awaren ess - What are some ways in which you monitor you r own awareness of self so as to build and
manage strong and trusting relationships throughout your professional com munity?
Behavioral research suggests the most e ffec tive leaders arc those who have a high degree o f self-awareness . These leaders lcveretgc the ir
knowledge of self, both strengths and weak nesses. to develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment. I continually reflect
on how I respond to problems and challenges and, equally as important, how I intluence others to collectively move our organization
to,.vards a co rnn1011 vision.

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Page 22 of 27

__Georgia Scbuol Boards Association Online Ap.plicatio o

Ri\ era. Grant - AppNo: 4 74

Date Submitted: I 0/6/2016

Emotional Intelligence/Self Awareness - What are some ways in which you monitor your own awareness of self so as to build and
manage strong and trusting relationshipS throughout your professional community')

1 monitor my awareness ofsclfthrough several strategies. First, I take the time to invest in people and have authentic dialogue. Fron1
walking the central office halls cKh morning to rcmembcring birthdays anJ other milestones . my daily action~ reinforce a fundamental
belief that people matter. Through such interactions. I nurture meaningful relationships w it h people at all levels of the organiLation.
These relationships arc the foundation for honest dialogue about my lead ership pcrformam:e and thl' CtliTcnt status of the organization.
As any colleague of mine c<!n attest. I frequently ask the question. "How can liwc do better')" At the root of this question is my genu ine
desire: to be the best leader for thl! organization and the children we sen c: each conversation is an opportunity for growth and rctlc:cti o n

I also believe it is important to stay physically close to those who are most impacted by leadership deci~ions a our students and staff. lt
can be easy to perch oneself in the ccmral office and be disconnected from the unintended consequences of a decision . 1\s a leader. I
want to walk in the shoes of others to see from their perspecti ve our organizational culture and efficiL~ncy. Th is approach, often referred
to as management by walking around, becomes yet another marker in my reflective: leadership joumey.

I am a student of behavioral dynamics and organi?ationai culture . To that end, as l assemble long-standing teams, I will lead the
members through a DiSC assessment. Thi,; assessment looks at person's adapted style and natural style. understanding how both
contribute to personal and professional tendencies. As an individual and a larger team, we will explore communication preferences,
value-add to the organization, perceptions by self and o thers, and keys to motivating and manag ing. The dialogue that complements this
assessment a! lows fo r the it:am to coalesce based on clearly id entified personal and professional behav io ral traits.
Team success docs not happen by accident. Rather, it requires a keen awareness of self and how one con!Tibutcs to the organization. I
will be inte nt ional and st rat gic about such conver ation knowi ng lirt ha nd o ur people a nd o u r time arc too valuable to waste.

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Page 23 of 27

__G~e o_r_gj a
Rivera. Grant -

SchooLB..oards Asso.ciation_Online_Ap_p.licat.uionn_L___ _
DateSubmitted: 10/6.2016

pp o:474

Personal Affirmation

* l. l lave you ever been dismissed, suspended or terminated from any professional.
educational or managemen t employment position''


1a. If you answered yes to Question 1. please provide the date and name and address of the employer. and stated reason for the ad\erse
action he re.

* 2. Have you ever resigned or been given an opportunity to resign . withdraw an employment
application, or not offered reemployment as a result of charges, or a disagreement or
misunderstandin g with an employer?


2a. lfyou answerd yes to Ques1ion 2. state the datc(s), name and address of the employcr(s) and a reasonably full statement of the
basis and circumstances here:

* 3. Do you understand rhat bec1use ofrhe nature of the position for which you are applying,
that the school district -employer may require a background check, including a sea rch or
fingerprint. criminal n:cords and credit history''


* 4. Do you ~gree and consent for such background search and investigat ion to be co nducted .
and agree to hold the school district and Georgia School Boards Association and all officials,
representat ives and employees of the foregoing harmless from all claims for libel, slander,
invasion of privacy. intentional infliction of emotional distress and similar claims?


4a. If you answered no to Question 4 , please explain.

* 5. Have you ever had an adverse action (i .e. waming, reprimand, suspension, revocation ,
deniai, voluntary suncnder, disl:ann cnt) taken against a professional certificate. license or
permit issued by any state agency?


5a. If you answered yes to Question 5, please explain.

* o. Are your cu!Tcntly the subject of any investigation involving a violation of a profession 's
laws. rules, standards or Code of Ethics by any state agency?


6a. lf you answered yes to Que>tion 6, please explain.

* 8. I la ve you ever received a less than honorable discharge from any branch of the armed
8a. If you answered yes to Question 8, explain here. Then, up load Form DD214 at item 8b.

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Page 24 of 27


_ _ _ _ _ Ge.or_gia_Scho_oLB.oards Associat.ianllnJine.Ap.pJic.ation' -Rin:ra. Grant - Appl'lo: 474

Date Submitted: 10,6/2016

Personal Affirmation continued

8b. lfyou answered yes to Question 8. upload Form 00214 here. file size maximum is 2MB .
* 9. Have: you ever left an employment position (been asked ro resign or retire, been
dismissed. terminated. suspended. non -renewed or otherw ise) while under in vestigat ion OR
under circumstances that were not so lely voluntary''


9a . If you answt::red yes to Question 9 , please explain.

* 10. Are you cuiTently the subject of an investigation involving sexual misconduc t or physical
harm to a child?


lOa. lfyou answered yes to Quest ion 10, please ..;xplain.

11. Are you the subject of a


investigation involving a criminal act'>

J J a. If you answered yes to Question I J,




" 12. For any felon) or any crime involving moral turpitude, have you cvt:r: Pled gui lty;
Entered a plea of nolo contendere; Been found guil!y; Pled guilty to a les.-er offense;
Been granted first offender trcat111ent without adjudication of guilt; Participated in a pre- trial
diversion program; Been to und not guilty by reason of insanity; or, Been placed under a coun
order whereby an adjudication or sentence was withheld?


J2a. If you answered yes io Question l 2, please explain.

13. ]lave you ever been convicted. or pled to a lesser offense for any sexual offense?


l 3a. If you answered yes to Question 13, please explain.

14. !lave you been convicted of a drug offen e (felony or misdemeanor) while holding any
professional certificate, license. or pcnnit'1


14a. lfyou answe red yes to Question 14, explain.

15 . Do you have a relati vc(s) on the Board of Education or relativc(s) employed after July
l. 2009 as a school district administrator in the district for which you are making application?

J5a . lf you answered yes to Question 15, explain.

Upload additional supporting d ) t:umcnts here.

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Page 25 of 27


_ __
GeorglaSchool Bo.ards _Ass_oclation_O.nline_AppUcation
Rivera. Grant- AppNo: 474

Date Submitted: 10/6/2016

Personal Affirmation continued


I affim1 that all information is true and correct. I understand that the information contained in thi s appl ication will he used to assess
my qualification~ for the position of Superintendent and hcrchy give my pcnn1ssion that any or all of the attached ma terials may be
shared with individuals aulhori7d to evaluate my credentials. Type your full name in the box below and dick the but ron to digitally


Signed: Grant Marshall Rivera

Storn ~.H::!j :

9!25/2016 5:21:48 AM;; Applicant~ #474 - Grant Rivora;

I 0/06/2016 04 25 pm

" Date



I 0/2812016 9:24 50 AM Ce ntral

Page 26 of 27

October 6, 2016
GSBA and Marietta City Board of Education
250 Howard Street
Marietta, GA 30060

Dear School Board Members:

It is with great enthusiasm that I submit this letter for your consideration as the
Superintendent of the Marietta City School District. I believe the city of Marietta and this
position are incredibly unique: the opportunity to lead a small, urban conununity with a rich
tradition and strong commitment to education is incredibly attractive, both as a passionate
educator and as a doting father of two young girls. The future of this historic city will depend
on our ability to achieve unprecedented success for our schools and the students we serve. I
can and will be able to lead our community and school district to achieve the highest levels of
academic achievement for every child and family.
As reflected in my resume, I am fully prepared to work with the students, staff, and
community of Marietta City Schools to lead sustained school improvement. I have developed
my leadership skills through varied and successful educational experiences in school districts
in the metropolitan Atlanta area, most noticeably right here in Cobb. My leadership roles in
local schools and a large school district have supported the journey of school improvement
reform and re-culturing - a journey that sees good schools become great schools. I am
committed to doing the same for Marietta City Schools. .
I served as a member of executive cabinet and as a high school principal in three different
communities. In each situation, strategic school reform was initiated that focused on student
achievement, family engagement, and distributed leadership. Gaps in academic achievement
were identified and remediated, with particular emphasis given to traditionally at-risk
subgroups, such as students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students and
students of color. As evidenced by graduation rates, standardized test scores, and stakeholder
satisfaction surveys, our students and families experienced measurable growth and success.
Additionally, I have served as a keynote speaker and consultant in the areas of family
engagement and leadership for diverse student populations. I have facilitated conversations
and built action plans for administrative teams that desired to increase student achievement
through strategic engagement of families and community stakeholders. My work as a
practitioner and consultant has been grounded in the philosophical belief that each family is
important in the life of their child, and school reform can, and should, be inclusive of all
families. Through various presentations and publications, I have developed curricula and
strategies that quantify meaningful family engagement and helped school leaders understand
the role of engagement in organizational improvement. I firmly believe it is our opportunity as
instructional leaders to nurture this capacity despite barriers that oftentimes limit
communication and hinder relationships between school and home.

I acknowledge that school districts face incredible challenges in the quest for increased student
achievement and improved community relations. Amidst limited financial resources and
increasing academic accountability, it is imperative for instructional leaders to develop
efficient and effective systems that build the capacity of the district's constituents. Regardless
of whether that individual walks through our front door as a staff member, student, family, or
business leader, we have a responsibility to engage each in the success of our schools. As the
superintendent of Marietta City Schools, I welcome this opportunity.
I am eager to speak with you in greater detail regarding my qualifications, experiences, and
ideas in developing and maintaining successful schools for all students and families.

Grant Rivera, Ed. D.


Atlanta, CA 30306

Doctor of Education - Educational Administration, University of Alabama, 2004
Education Specialis t - Administration and Supervision, University of West Georgia, 2002
Master of Arts - Special Education, University of Alabama, 1998
Bachelor of Science - Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 1997

Cobb County School District, Marietta, Georgia
Chief of Staff (2016-presmt)
Chief Leade1ship and Learning Officer (2014-2016)
Student Achievement
Increased overall graduation rate from 7R.O % to 81 .4 % (largest improvement since
adoption of cohort model) and increased subgroup graduation rates: Black 5 %,
Hispanic 7.7%, Students with Disabilities 6.2 %, and Economically Disadvantaged 65.9 %
Implemented graduation rate initiative at five schools with graduation rates below
county average; through this initiative, increased overall graduation rate from 66.0 % to
76.2 % and ir.creased subgroup graduation rates : Black 7.1 %, Hispanic 7.6 %, Students
with Disabilities 12.6 %, and Economically Disadvantaged 66.3 %
Established academic and behavioral interventions at five target schools to decrease
total num.ber of seniors off track for graduation by 73 .4% (from 415 to 110 students)
Redesigned internal school protocols and family communication strategies at five target
schools to decrease student dropout rate from 42.8 % to 15.5 %
Led instructional processes across all Cobb elementary schools to improve student
performance on Georgia Milestones End-of-Grade (EOG) 3rd grade mathematics
assessment; through this initiative, increased percentage of proficient students by 5.2%
Established early literacy program for high-priority elementary schools focused on
increased access to personnel and instructional resources for reading and phonics
Led instructional and leadership support for STEM certification at three elementary
schools, one middle school, and two high schools; STEM certification in process for an
additional 41 CCSD schools
lnstJuctional Leade1shlp
Supervised seven assistant superintendents who served over 111,000 students across
112 schools
Reorganized central office leadership structure to achieve improved organizational
efficiency, accountability, and customer service

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Developed and monitored district and local school improvement processes

Coordinated implementation of Investing in Educational Excellence (I2) contract with
Georgia Department of Education and Governor's Office of Student Achievement
Led central office staff and local school personnel to create increased opportunities for
imwvation and flexibility from state waivers
Expanded International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme to include Teasley Elementary
School (Primary Years Programme), which established the district's first K-12 IB feeder
Coordinated five leadership development programs for current teacher-leaders,
assistant principals, and new principals which served over 100 leaders per year
Initiated strategic partnerships with post-secondary institutions to improve leadership
recruitment and collaboration
Established rew principal selection process and local school leadership succession
Coordinated professional learning for school -based and central office leaders

Operational Leadership
Developed personnel allocation process across all 112 schools, for a total of $553 million
worth of allotments
Implemented Full-time Equivalency (FTE) maximization and local-school master
schedule initiative; through this initiative, increased FTE by 48 % for remedial, 25 % for
Early Intervention Program, 11 % for gifted, and 3 % for English as a Second Language
Participated in development of district annual budget; process included creation of
annual budget timeline, alignment of fiscal resources to district and Board initiatives,
and solicitation of stakeholder feedback
" Established process and protocols for budget reduction strategies required to achieve
balanced annual budget for Board approval
Supervised process for annual review of Board policies and administrative rules
Supported initiatives for social-emotional well -being of students, which included
economic aid provided by social workers to over 1,900 students and anti-bullying
initiative which served over 35,000 students
Supervised high school athletic programs and related policies, safety protocols, and
Family and Couununity Engagement
Developed and implemented new communications strategy for the district, which
improv ed two-way interactions, customer service, and branding
Initiated district-wide social media campaign, which resulted in increased followers
and engagements

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Facilitated district relationships with local and diverse special -interest groups, which
included educators' associations, Parent Teacher Association, NAACP, and Cobb
County business leaders
Coordinated all Partner-in-Education protocols and events for school district
Established strategic partnerships with Atlanta Braves, Atlanta United, and other
organizations to include academic, leadership, and philanthropic initiatives
Initiated faith -based community partnership program across all schools

Westlake High School -Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, Georgia

Principal (2011 -2014)

Increased graduation rate over three-year period by 12.5% for all students and 22.7 % for
Students with Disabilities
Developed partnership to offer free SAT preparatory classes and online resources to all
students during the school day, which resulted in an average increase of 130 points for
students in p rogram and school-wide average increase of 27 points
Decreased disciplinary infractions and lost instructional time [as measured by assigned
days of In-school Suspension (ISS)/Out-of-school Susp ension (OSS)] over a two-year
period - reduced total ISS days by 34 %; reduced OSS days by 26 %
Jnitiated International Baccalaureate Programme at Westlake High School
Developed and led program for middle school students to pursue advanced academic
content at high school; through this initiative, improved middle school student
recruitment, retention, and acquisition of advanced high school credit
Led Fulton County Schools and the first cohort of schools in trans ition to charter school
Campbell High School - Cobb County School District, Marietta, Georgia
Principal (2009-2011)

Increased graduation rate over two-year period by 11 .8% for all students and 10.3 % for
Students with Disabilities
Established improved processes for teacher collaboration and assessment practices;
through this initiative, increased student performance on Georgia High School
Graduation Test (Mathematics) over two-year period: Black 6.0 %, Hispanic 14.9%,
Students with Disabilities 20.5%, and Economically Disadvantaged 15.5 %
Decreased ninth grade failure rate by 33 % through instructional adjustments and credit
Integrated Diploma and Certificate options into International Baccalaureate Programme
Removed school from "Needs improvement" status (No Child Left Behind) during

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South Cobb High School- Cobb County School District, Marietta, Georgia
Principal (2005-2009)
Recognized for highest gains in graduation rate (52 %) in Georgia for Students \Vith
Disabilities (2005-2006)
Established improved processes for teacher collaboration and assessment practices;
through this initiative, increased student performance on Georgia High School
Graduation Test (Mathematics) over four -year period : Black 14.3%, Hispanic 30.3 %,
Students \Vith Disabilities 32.7%, and Economically Disadvantaged 32.6 %
Received Governor's Cup for highest gains in SAT (2006)
Removed school from "Needs Improvement" /Corrective Action status during tenure
McEachern High School -Cobb County School District, Marietta, Georgia
Assistant Principal (2002-2005)
Special Education Teacher (1999-2002)
Georgia Parent Teacher Association (PTA) State Conference (201.6, 2012). A


Partnership. Principals and PTA.

Georgia Fam.ily Engagement Conference (2016, 201 2). Family Engagement: Building a
Bridge for School Excellence; Leading the Way in Family Engagement.
National Youth-At-Risk Conference (2015, 2013). Engaging Pnrents in Student
Achievement rmd Discipline Prevention.
Georgia Department of Education School Improvement State Conference (2012).
Increasing St"Adent Achievement througlz School, Family, and Community Partnerships.
National Association of Social Workers- Louisiana Chapter State Conference (2009).
Engage All Families: The Proven Path to Achievement for All; Measurable Achievement
through Family Engagement.
Arizona Department of Education - 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC)
State Conference (2009, 2008) . From Efficacy to Action: Establishing Effective Family
Engagement Practices.
National Advanced Placement Conference (2007). Engaging Latino Families.

Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents - Selected as One of Six
Nominees in the United States for National Latino Leader in Education (2016)
Georgia PTA's Outstanding Principal of the Year (2014, 2011)
Good Morning America - School Leadership Amidst Generational Differences (2006)
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Pahara-Aspen Educational Fellowship (2016-Present)
Leadership Cobb - Education and Graduation Committee Chair (2016, 2015)
Sheltering Anns - Board, Performance and Evaluation Committee Chair (2015-Present)
Community in Schools (Marietta) - Board (2015-Present)
Georgia District 9 Parent Teacher Association - Membership Chair (2015-Present)
Georgia Association of Latino Administrators - Vice President/Founding Executive
Board (2014-Present)
Trained and supported school leadership teams across the country in the process of
increasing student achievement through measurable family and community
engagement outcomes (2005-2014)
Developed pilot program with Arizona Department of Education to reform andreculture 15 low achieving schools through on-site training, leadership coaching, and
implementation of family engagement strategies (2010-2011)
Conducted d:stance coaching for school leadership teams in Arizona, California,
Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, and Pennsylvania on leadership development and
implementation of family engagement strategies (2005-2011)

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