I began my journey as an educator 14 years ago working as a teacher at a school for students with Social, Emotional, and/or Behavioral Disorders. Teaching at this school in upstate New York was the best experience of my life. It pushed me to learn how to reach students that were deemed unreachable. It also was the reason I left the classroom and spent the next 6 years of my life as a school counselor. I began my counseling career on the coast of North Carolina, but spent the majority of my experience was in Savannah, Georgia. I had the amazing opportunity to truly see and understand children on both the academic as well as social/emotional/behavioral side.
Of course, the natural next step was to become the Response to Intervention (or Responsiveness to Instruction, depending on your state/county) Coordinator at my school. I received extensive training on the National RtI Model during my time in Georgia. I began training my leadership team and the faculty and staff on the RtI Process. Using the RtI process as the framework for which we reach every single child by use of data and constant collaboration is so natural to me, yet foreign to the education system. My passion for education, working with teachers to experience what is truly possible with the right tools, and watching children succeed is unbelievably rewarding. I knew that this was what I was destined to do!
I eventually landed my dream job as a district level Intervention Specialist just north of Charlotte, North Carolina. As if it couldn't have been more perfect, the "other side of the triangle" evolved out of the RtI process creating the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), which added the behavior side to the Pyramid of Interventions. All of my training and experience up to this point aligned and it was time to get to work transforming the way we did business for teachers and students. Our results were amazing! Students were not only growing, they were succeeding. We were closing gaps, increasing proficiencies, increasing graduation rates, decreasing drop-out rates, and being who we needed to be for students.
I eventually took over as the Project Director of our i3 Grant to finish the five year-long transformation I had committed to, but I also knew that my passion for what was possible in education was now stronger than ever. I knew that I not only had an opportunity, but I had a responsibility to continue transforming education school-by-school, district-by-district,. i-LEADR (innovative - Leadership, Engagement, Assessment, Data-analysis, & RtI) Educational Consultants, LLC. was born out of a desire to see all children grow to reach their highest potential.