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From Teacher to Leader: Navigating the Journey to and Through District Office

Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

From Teacher to Leader: Navigating the Journey to and Through District Office

Presented by Dr. Kristie Brooks, Superintendent, Chattahoochee County School District (GA); Benjamin Mainka, Superintendent, Novi Community School District (MI); Isaiah Melendez, Principal, McCluer High School, Ferguson-Florissant School District (MO); Dr. Evelyn Robles-Rivas, Supervisor of Language and Community Partnerships, Meriden Public Schools (CT); and Melissa Crawl, Member Success Manager, Institute for Education Innovation

Sponsored by Institute for Education Innovation

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Ready to make a large impact and support more students? View this edLeader Panel and hear from educational leaders who decided to step into educational leadership. This panel brings speakers at various stages of their education leadership journey to share their journey and insights. Discover the skills, insights, and strategies that will empower you to make a lasting impact on education in your community.

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to K-12 school and district leaders.

Kristie Brooks

About the Presenters

Dr. Kristie Brooks, Superintendent of Chattahoochee County Schools, has served in her position as Superintendent since 2019. During her tenure, Chattahoochee County Schools has annually earned Exemplary Status from the Georgia School Board Association. The district has also been recognized for the Leading-Edge Award for best practices in Culture and Climate, Communications, and Continuous Improvement. Chattahoochee County Schools is the only public-school system to have all three school levels named as a Military Flagship School. Most recently, GaDOE named Chattahoochee County Elementary as a Literacy Leader school. As a 2023 GSBA finalist for Governance Team of the Year, Dr. Brooks and her team continue to model the OneHeartBeat motto of Chattahoochee County Schools.

Benjamin Mainka

Benjamin J. A. Mainka’s educational journey began in 2003 as a middle school teacher. Over the past 19 years, he’s amassed a wealth of leadership experience, including roles as a high school assistant principal, middle school principal, high school principal, and superintendent. His contributions extend beyond schools as he’s served on various education boards, worked with professional organizations, and actively engaged with local communities. His dedication to education, coaching, committee involvement, and advocacy for all students underscores his commitment to fostering a positive impact on education. As the current Superintendent of the Novi Community School District, Benjamin is passionate about collaboration and bringing diverse stakeholders together for the collective benefit of the community.

Isaiah Melendez

Isaiah Melendez is the Principal at McCluer High School and previously served as the Principal/Director of Restoration and Wellness Center at Mark Twain. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Principal at Normandy High School. Isaiah began his career in education as a social studies teacher for six years at KIPP Inspire Academy, Ritenour School District, and St. Louis Public Schools before transitioning to leadership roles as the Assistant Principal at Berkeley Middle and Cross Keys Middle. Isaiah is pursuing his doctorate from Missouri Baptist University. He holds a master’s degree in educational administration, an educational specialist degree in school administration, and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Baptist University.

Dr. Evelyn Robles-Rivas

Evelyn Robles-Rivas, Ph.D. is the Supervisor of Language and Community Partnerships for Meriden Public Schools. She is also the past president of the Connecticut Latino Administrators & Superintendents (CALAS). Dr. Robles-Rivas plays an active role in supporting teachers, students, and families. She works in collaboration with other educators to identify best practices to develop students’ reading and writing skills and implement best practices to address our multilingual population. She has over 28 years of experience as an educator with 20 years as a building administrator and district supervisor. Her expertise, research activities, and conference presentations include standard-based curriculum, sheltered instruction, standards for effective pedagogy, supervision of teachers, and arts integration into the curriculum.

Melissa Crawl

Melissa Crawl has ten years of experience in the K-12 education system. She served as a classroom teacher in Title 1 schools in Michigan, Florida, and Tennessee. She also taught at the top school district in Alabama. She has served on several boards and committees for superintendents in districts she has served, including a diversity committee in her most recent school district. She uses her passion for equity in education to drive relationships with her IEI family.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Mentorship for K-12 Leaders community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

IEI Logo Institute for Education Innovation

The Institute for Education Innovation is bridging the gaps between the individuals and organizations committed to seeing students succeed in school and life, creating a safe space for constructive problem-solving and innovative thinking.

Mentorship for K-12 Leaders


Thursday, September 21, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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