Teacher Leader Academy
The Teacher Leader Academy recognizes that while good-to-great teachers are skilled in curriculum and instructional methods, many desire to strengthen their skills in strategic problem-solving, advocacy, education policy, utilization of technology and data, and collaboration with community stakeholders.
The Teacher Leader Academy enriches the teaching experience through expanded impact and influence, greater levels of collaboration and engagement, and renewed commitment to the profession. This model enables teacher leaders to collaboratively analyze and solve problems within and across school districts in order to become effective change-agents.
The program culminates with a capstone project in which participants work collaboratively to identify and solve site-based problems of practice. Executive Leadership and Teacher Leader alumni serve as mentors who are integral in guiding participants throughout the capstone process. Mentors assist the participants in identifying resources, developing solutions, and promoting advocacy.
The Leadership Institute of Nevada has opened applications for the 2023-2024 Executive Leadership and Teacher Leaders Academies. Our institute has inspired educational leaders (teachers and administrators) to renew their commitment to the profession and bring about positive changes for the students and families of Nevada. Please apply and encourage your fellow educators to apply.
The Leadership Team looks forward to hearing from you. The links below provide the needed information. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Click here to view 2023-24 Teacher Leader Academy – FAQs
Click here to apply for the 2023-2024 Teacher Leader Academy
Click here to pay your Academy tuition.
Contact Dr. Brian Myli or Jennifer Jaeger via email or by phone at 702-840-LION (5466) with any questions.
Teacher Leader Academy Faculty
Dr. Frederick M. Hess
Dr. Frederick Hess is a senior fellow and the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on K–12 and higher education issues. The author of Education Week’s popular blog “Rick Hess Straight Up,” Dr. Hess is also an executive editor of Education Next, and a regular contributor to Forbes and the Hill. He is the founder and chairman of AEI’s Conservative Education Reform Network.
An educator, political scientist, and author, Dr. Hess has published in scholarly outlets, such as American Politics Quarterly, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Teachers College Record, and Urban Affairs Review. His work has also appeared in popular outlets including the Atlantic, National Affairs, the Dispatch, Fox News, National Review, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
His books include A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Toughest Questions in K–12 Education (Teachers College Press, 2021), Letters to a Young Education Reformer (Harvard Education Press, 2017), The Cage-Busting Teacher (Harvard Education Press, 2015), Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age: Using Learning Science to Reboot Schooling (Corwin, 2013), Cage-Busting Leadership (Harvard Education Press, 2013), The Same Thing Over and Over: How School Reformers Get Stuck in Yesterday’s Ideas (Harvard University Press, 2010), Education Unbound: The Promise and Practice of Greenfield Schooling (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2010), Common Sense School Reform (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2004), Revolution at the Margins: The Impact of Competition on Urban School Systems (Brookings Institution Press, 2002), and Spinning Wheels: The Politics of Urban School Reform (Brookings Institution Press, 1998).
Dr. Hess started his career as a high school social studies teacher. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard University. He is also the senior founding fellow of the Public Education Foundation’s Leadership Institute of Nevada.
Dr. Hess has an MA and a PhD in government, in addition to an MEd in teaching and curriculum, from Harvard University. He also has a BA in political science from Brandeis University.
Senior Founding Fellow
Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Dr. Liz City
Liz City is senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. City has served as a teacher, instructional coach, principal, and consultant, in each role focused on helping all children, and the educators who work with them, realize their full potential. City’s work is a combination of pragmatic: “How can we do our work better every day for children now?” — and imaginative — “What might learning and the systems that support learning look like in the not-too-distant future?” City fell in love with teaching in a closet-turned-classroom in St. Petersburg, Russia. She still loves teaching, and sees leadership as a continuous act of learning and teaching. From her early passion for literacy as a middle school Humanities teacher to her current work in developing leaders, common themes in City’s work are collaboration, evidence-based discussion, asking the right questions, thinking and acting strategically, and learning through doing.
She has authored/co-authored many publications, including: Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators (2014); Data Wise, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning (2013); Strategy in Action: How School Systems Can Support Powerful Learning and Teaching (2009); Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning (2009); Resourceful Leadership: Tradeoffs and Tough Decisions on the Road to School Improvement (2008); and The Teacher’s Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions: Talking about Texts in the Classroom (2006).
Director of Education Leadership Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education
Dr. Marguerite Roza
Marguerite Roza, Ph.D., is Research Professor and Director of the Edunomics Lab (Edunomicslab.org), a research center focused on exploring and modeling education finance policy and practice. She leads the McCourt School of Public Policy’s Certificate in Education Finance, which equips participants with practical skills in strategic fiscal management, finance policy analysis, and financial leadership.
Dr. Roza’s research traces the effects of fiscal policies at the federal, state, and district levels for their implications on resources at the school and classroom levels. Her calculations of dollar implications and cost-equivalent trade-offs have prompted changes in education finance policy at all levels in the education system.
Dr. Roza has led projects on state and school district finance policy, financial equity, pensions, compensation, higher education finance, and other related topics, including the Institute for Education Sciences multi-year study of weighted student funding, the Finance and Productivity Initiative at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), and the Schools in Crisis Rapid Response Paper Series. She has written extensively on financial transparency and the opportunity for equity and productivity. Her work has been published by the Brookings Institution, Public Budgeting and Finance, Education Next, Governing, Peabody Journal of Education, and the American Journal of Education. Dr. Roza is author of the highly regarded education finance book, Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go?
Dr. Roza regularly works with state and local policymakers and education leaders and presents at research conferences and to national associations across the country, including the National Conference of State Legislators, National Association of State Boards of Education, Association of School Business Officers, Education Writers Association, and Policy Innovators in Education Network. She is frequently interviewed in the national media, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Washington Post, and Education Week.
Dr. Roza teaches as part of the Certificate in Education Finance and in programs elsewhere, including the University of Washington, Rice University, and the Broad Center.
Prior to her appointment at Georgetown University, she served as Senior Economic Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier, she served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy teaching thermodynamics at the Naval Nuclear Power School. Dr. Roza earned a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Washington and a B.S. from Duke University. She also studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Amsterdam.
Director of Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University
Dr. Soo Hong
Dr. Soo Hong is Professor and Chair of Education at Wellesley College. She is a sociologist of education who studies the relationships between schools and families/communities, exploring the impact of race, culture, social history, and political life. She explores the role of families and communities in school transformation through models emphasizing parent leadership, community organizing, and democratic forms of participation.
Hong is the author of Natural Allies: Hope and Possibility in Teacher-Family Partnerships (Harvard Education Press, 2019) and A Cord of Three Strands: A New Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools (Harvard Education Press, 2011). She is the co-director of the Project for Public Leadership and Action at Wellesley College. At the center of her research and teaching is a desire to develop action-oriented research integrated with practice and grounded in the lived experiences of young people and families in urban schools.
FProfessor and Chair of Education Wellesley College
Alex Kajitani (Kaw-juw-taw-nee) is the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, and a Top-4 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. He is the author of several books, including Owning It which was named “Recommended Reading” by the U.S. Department of Education. Alex is also on a mission to get every kid in America to learn their times tables, and to make this happen, he created the popular online program Multiplication Nation.com.
Alex is a highly-sought after keynote speaker who supports and motivates teachers nationwide, and he’s known around the world as “The Rappin’ Mathematician.” Alex has a popular TED Talk, has been honored at The White House, and was featured on The CBS Evening News, where Katie Couric exclaimed, “I LOVE that guy!” For more of his innovative ideas, visit www.AlexKajitani.com.
Former California State Teacher of the Year
Maddie Fennell brings extensive experience and passion to her work as an advocate for children and public education.
She is a National Board Certified teacher, the 2007 Nebraska Teacher of the Year, and a 26-year veteran of the classroom who also served as a mentor to her peers as a literary coach.
Maddie spent three years on special assignment to the U.S. Department of Education as a Teacher Leader in Residence in the Office of the Secretary, and as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow.
She also served as a Teacher Fellow for the National Education Association and as Executive Director of the Nebraska State Education Association, supporting over 25,000 educators across the state.
Maddie is currently working as the Executive Director of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.
Maddie has worked voluntarily in numerous education advocacy roles. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and the EdTech Evidence Exchange. She Chaired the NEA Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, presented at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession and at NBC’s Education Nation and served as a teacher representative on the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution Education Reimagined Project and is now on the Education Reimagined Advisory Board. Maddie is also the court appointed educational guardian for a child in foster care.
Maddie earned her undergraduate degree from Creighton University, a Master of Science in Elementary Education and a Certificate in Urban Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and an endorsement in assessment from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She was honored in 2007 with the Carol Stowe Humanitarian Award from the National Education Association.
Maddie lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband Bill, their stepson Darek (a special needs adult) her sister Lisa (also a special needs adult) and their dogs Anna and Sharkey; Maddie jokes that they run their own group home!
Executive Director, Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Kaya Henderson is the CEO of Reconstruction, a technology company delivering a K-12 supplemental curriculum that situates Black people, culture, and contributions in an authentic, identity-affirming way, so that students of all backgrounds benefit from a more complete understanding of our shared history and society. She is also the co-host of Pod Save the People, and leads Kaya Henderson Consulting.
She is perhaps best known for serving as Chancellor of DC Public Schools from 2010-2016. Her tenure was marked by consecutive years of enrollment growth, an increase in graduation rates, improvements in student satisfaction and teacher retention, increases in AP participation and pass rates, and the greatest growth of any urban district on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) over multiple years.
Kaya’s career began as a middle school Spanish teacher in the South Bronx, through Teach For America. She went on to work as a recruiter, national admissions director, and DC Executive Director for Teach for America. Henderson then served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at The New Teacher Project (TNTP) until she began her tenure at DCPS as Deputy Chancellor in 2007. She most recently led the Global Learning Lab for Community Impact at Teach For All, supporting educators in more than 50 countries.
A native of Mt. Vernon, NY, Kaya graduated from Mt. Vernon Public Schools. She received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and her Master of Arts in Leadership from Georgetown University, as well as honorary doctoral degrees from Georgetown and Trinity University. Her board memberships include The Aspen Institute, Curriculum Associates, Robin Hood NYC, and Teach For America, and she is the co-founder of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC).
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Vice President of Institute Portfolio, LION
Dr. Brian Myli
Senior Vice President of Institute Portfolio
Dr. Brian Myli, Senior Vice President of Institute Portfolio, has three decades of experience in public education.
Originally from Iowa, Brian came to the Clark County School District (CCSD) in Las Vegas in 1994. He spent ten years serving students as a High School Counselor and Counselor Department Chair. In 2004, Brian joined the CCSD Guidance and Counseling Department as a College Counselor Specialist and was later appointed Coordinator of College Readiness Programs and Initiatives.
Brian joined The Public Education Foundation in 2010 to participate in the Executive Leadership Residency. From 2012 to 2021, he served as Vice President of Leadership and Innovation to coordinate all leadership programming for the Leadership Institute of Nevada, an initiative of The Public Education Foundation.
In 2021, Brian retired from the Clark County School District after 30 years of service. He was named Senior Leadership Fellow by the Leadership Institute of Nevada to continue work in leadership programming across the state and region.
Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in educational counseling psychology from the University of Denver, a Nevada administrative endorsement in educational leadership, and a doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Executive Director of Leadership Programs, LION
Executive Director of Leadership Programs
Mrs. Jennifer (Jen) Jaeger joined The Public Education Foundation in 2021 and currently serves as Executive Director of Leadership Programming with the Leadership Institute of Nevada. Jen brings nearly three decades of experience in the Clark County School District to her role at the Foundation.
Jen’s career in education began at O’Callaghan Middle School in 1992, where she taught eighth grade English. Jen continued to teach middle school English language arts for twelve years before being appointed as the dean of students at Cram Middle school in 2004. Jen subsequently served as a dean of students at Findlay Middle School and an assistant principal at both Molasky Junior High School and Fertitta Middle School. In 2015, Jen was appointed as the principal of the Robert O. Gibson Leadership Academy, where she led the school community until her retirement in June 2021. While at Gibson, Jen developed a shared leadership approach, working with stakeholders to promote scholastic and personal accountability, foster engaging instructional practices, and create a positive school culture and climate.
Jen grew up in Las Vegas and attended CCSD schools, graduating from Western High School in 1988. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Jen holds a bachelor of arts degree in Secondary Education with a specialization in English. She also holds master’s degrees in Middle Level Education and Educational Administration. Jen‘s professional coursework has informed her practice and focused her career choices on serving students at the middle level, where she feels there is tremendous positive potential to shape students’ futures.
Jeremy Hauser joined The Public Education Foundation in 2016 and is the nonprofit organization’s Senior Resident Fellow. Jeremy brings a wealth of experience to his work at the Foundation.
Prior to joining The Public Education Foundation, he worked for the Clark County School District for three decades in a variety of roles: in the classroom as a teacher, in school leadership as a principal and as a district-wide administrator.
His passion and deep understanding for the work related to school empowerment led to his appointment as Special Assistant to the Deputy Superintendent to implement school empowerment reform district wide through the “Empowerment Schools” program.
Jeremy began as a 4th grade elementary teacher in the Clark County School District in 1986, then moved on to become a special assignment teacher, assistant principal and eventually a principal at Matt Kelly Elementary School, Edythe & Lloyd Katz Elementary School and Linda Rankin Givens Elementary School.
He served as the academic manager over a variety of CCSD programs, such as School Improvement, Turnaround Schools, Professional Practice Schools, Dual Language Schools and Empowerment Schools. He also was associate superintendent over the Operational Service Division and was responsible for Maintenance, Operations, Food Service and Transportation.
Senior Resident Fellow, Leadership Institute of Nevada
Zhan Okuda-Lim is a Ph.D. candidate in Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. His research interests include K-12 education policy and equity; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on educators, families, and students; local and state education governance; student, community, and educator voices in decision-making; school finance and funding; and the mobilization of cross-sector resources to support schools and communities.
Prior to joining RAND, Zhan served as the Director of Policy and Government Relations at the Public Education Foundation (PEF) and was a Resident Fellow with the Leadership Institute. In these capacities, he collaborated with cross-sector stakeholders to explore policy priorities for Nevada’s students and guided education, nonprofit, business, and government leaders on researching and addressing problems in education policy and practice, including expanding student access to rigorous courses, improving coaching and feedback mechanisms for educators, and recruiting and supporting educators of color. Previously, he held summer policy experiences with the Clark County School District and engaged in projects to bolster supports for students with disabilities and students in foster care, address disproportionality in exclusionary school discipline, and implement positive behavior interventions and restorative practices.
A proud native Nevadan and graduate of public schools, Zhan’s interest in education policy and passion for public service was sparked during the Great Recession through significant budget cuts to public education. As Chair of the Nevada Youth Legislature and the CCSD School Board Student Advisory Committee, and as a student council leader and the Student Member on the Nevada State Board of Education, Zhan partnered with and mobilized peers to elevate students’ voices to local and state leaders and advocate for education funding and resources.
Zhan earned an M.Phil. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, an M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an A.B. in Public and International Affairs from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs.
Visiting Policy Fellow
Visiting Policy Fellow, Leadership Institute of Nevada