Executive Consultant Program

The AASA Executive Consultant Program links nationally recognized experts with school districts and school system leaders for consulting purposes and workshops.

Each executive consultant has a unique area of expertise and offers different programs and services, including customized consulting services and educational programs that help school system leaders improve student learning.

To learn more about the wide array of available services, browse the executive consultant directory below by specialty and browse the short bios of each consultant at the bottom of the page. 

To work with one of these consultants, or to be considered for the executive consultant program, contact MaryAnn Jobe, Ed.D. at +17038750734


 Executive Consultants by Specialty 

Aligning School Systems: John G. Conyers, Kathleen Fitzpatrick 
Assessment, Common Core State Standards, Data-Driven Instruction, and Legal Issues in Education: Nancy W. Sindelar
Board Superintendent Community Relations:

John G. Conyers, Sharon W. Cox, Lew FinchLinda J. Dawson and Randy Quinn

Bond Levy Elections: Lew Finch
Communications: Porterfield & CarnesKarla Reiss, Nicholas Clement
Curriculum:  Nancy W. Sindelar,
Executive Coaching: John G. ConyersKarla Reiss, Linda J. Dawson and Randy Quinn
Finance:  James D. Wilson
Governance:         Linda J. Dawson and Randy Quinn;
Managing Change:  Sharon W. Cox, Karla Reiss,
Negotiations, Human Relations and Employees: Linda Marks,  Karla Reiss
Organizational Leadership: Lew Finch, Kathleen Fitzpatrick,   Karla Reiss,
Plan-Do-Study-Act: John G. Conyers
Program Evaluation: Kathleen Fitzpatrick,
Quality - including Baldrige Process:  John G. Conyers,
Security: James D. Wilson
Strategic Planning:  Sharon W. Cox,   Karla ReissNicholas Clement
Systems Thinking: John G. Conyers, Sharon W. Cox,
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, James D. Wilson
Teacher Training:  Nancy W. Sindelar

**For more details on the Executive Consultants, browse the bios below.


Executive Consultants Bios

Randy Quinn New

Linda Dawson 2

 Linda J. Dawson and Dr. Randy Quinn are senior partners of AGI: Aspen Group International, LLC. Their comprehensive policy-level training is designed to lead and coach boards of education to achieve a disciplined focus on student achievement. Their governance training calls for systemic and systematic board performance. Their governance model redefines the role of the board, clarifies board and superintendent relationships, establishes clear operational expectations and defines results for student achievement.

Their consulting services focus on:

Clement 2

Nicholas I. Clement, Ed.D. - Nicholas served as superintendent of Flowing Wells Unified Schools from 2004-2013 and was named Arizona Superintendent of the Year in 2010. He has keynoted nationally and authored numerous articles for the School Administrator magazine.

His consulting services focus on:

  • Marketing School Systems
  • Improving Customer Service
  • This is Your Brain Keynote
  • Becoming a Legendary Teacher District
  • District and School Strategic Planning
  • Customer Service Audits
 John G. Conyers, Ed.D.

John G. Conyers, Ed.D. — Under Dr. Conyers’ leadership as superintendent of Community Consolidated School District 15 (Ill.), the district was awarded the 2003 National Malcolm Baldrige Award for Excellence. He is a Malcolm Baldrige Examiner, keynote speaker, administrative trainer in systems alignment and performance results and author of Charting Your Course: Lessons Learning During the Journey Toward Performance Excellence.

His consulting services focus on:

  • Aligning school systems
  • Developing effective systemic processes
  • Guiding the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Process
  • Plan-Do-Study-Act problem solving processes
  • Examining school processes to get performance results
  • Confidential executive coaching
  • Facilitating board of education-superintendent evaluations


 Sharon W. Cox

Sharon W. Cox — A former two-term elected board member of nationally recognized Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools (MCPS), Sharon helps superintendents engage their boards in effective governance and their staff in strategic management for improved organizational and student performance.  At the superintendent's invitation, she was the only board member for four years with the MCPS executive team at Harvard University's Public Education Leaderships Project and six years on the district's Baldrige in Education leadership team. Sharon has presented on effective practices at AASA, NSBA, NAESP national conferences and testified before Congress on education issues.

Her consulting services focus on:

  • Board Governance Practices that Empower Executive Leadership
  • Alignment & Accountability in Policy, Planning and Strategy
  • Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Continuous Improvement
  • District & Community Connections and Communications
  • Planning/Facilitating Board Retreats & New Member Orientations


Lew Finch, Ed.D.

Lew Finch, Ed.D. — Lew Finch was superintendent for the Cedar Rapids Community School District from 1994 to 2004 and was named the 2004 Iowa Superintendent of the Year. Prior to that, he served as superintendent in several large, suburban school districts including Jefferson County, Colo., and Anoka-Hennepin, Minn. Finch was selected as one of North America's 100 outstanding school executives and was invited to present testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the No Child Left Behind Act. He also served as president of the Urban Superintendents Association of America.

His consulting services focus on:

  • Superintendent-board relations
  • Leadership during a crisis
  • The role of school system leadership in student learning
  • Conducting successful bond and levy elections


 Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Ed.D.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Ed.D. — Kathleen Fitzpatrick is the founding director of the Leadership for Learning Alliance, building on her 30-year career working in and with K-12 school leaders. As a consultant, she has worked with state departments of education in more than 30 states, regional educational laboratories and local school districts across the country. She has authored several publications on educational leadership, program evaluation, systemic reform and research-based frameworks for school and system-wide improvement focused on student learning.

Her consulting services focus on:

  • Program evaluation services
  • Consultation and process review
  • Identifying mission-critical measures
  • Facilitation of leadership events and planning sessions
  • Systems thinking


 Kitty Porterfield(2)

Meg Carnes

Kitty Porterfield and Meg Carnes, of Porterfield & Carnes Communication — offer communication consulting and training services to schools, school districts, and other education institutions.  Kitty spent nearly 30 years leading programs in school divisions throughout Virginia, and Meg is a former K-12 teacher and administrator.  They are the authors of the bestselling AASA book Why School Communication Matters: Strategies From PR Professionals (AASA  members save 20% on this book using promo code AASA20).

Their consulting services focus on:

  • Crisis communication
  • Engaging new parents
  • Internal communication
  • Marketing
  • Media relations
  • Newsletter evaluation
  • Strategic planning
  • Two-way communication
  • Web content


Karla Reiss

Karla Reiss — Karla Reiss is a certified professional empowerment coach. She was formerly a coordinator of professional development and director of planning for educators, having served more than 50 school districts. She is the author of Leadership Coaching for Educators: Bringing Out the Best in School Administrators.

Her consulting services focus on:

  • Executive/leadership coaching and speaking engagements
  • Leading change consulting
  • Leadership and organizational assessments
  • Strategic and school improvement planning
  • Peak performance strategies
  • Communication planning and implementation



Nancy W. Sindelar works with schools to improve teaching and student achievement through the alignment of local curriculum and assessments to standards and the development of high functioning teacher teams trained to use test data to inform instruction and close achievement gaps. Her work with schools has led to schools receiving state "most improved status" based on test scores.

She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership at Roosevelt University and the former Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment at DuPage High School District 88 in suburban Chicago. Her publications include Using Test Data for Student Achievement: Answers to No Child Left Behind, Assessment-Powered Teaching and Developing an Effective Mentor Teacher Program.

Her consulting services focus on:

  • Data-driven instruction and working with teachers and administrators to gather and use student test data to enhance student learning and close achievement gaps.
  • Common Core State Standards and working with teacher teams to align local curriculum and assessments to Common Core State Standards.
  • Developing mentor programs for new teachers and administrators
  • Providing professional development for teachers and administrators on legal issues in education. Topics include: negligence and liability, field trips, mandated reporting, websites and social media.
 James D. (Jim) Wilson

James D. (Jim) Wilson— The "Colorado Cowboy" is a tremendous resource for rural and small school districts. A former Rural/Small School Administrator of the Year, Jim uses his 40-plus years in education to assist rural and small districts with many pressing concerns, including human relations, systemic change and financial restructuring (among others).

His consulting services focus on:

  • Human relations programs
  • Systemic change initiatives
  • Security assessment and planning
  • Interest-based bargaining
  • Fiscal restructuring

To learn more about working with any of AASA's Executive Consultants, please contact MaryAnn Jobe, Ed.D. at 703-875-0734 mjobe@aasa.org ; 703-875-0734