Meet the Authors
Dr. Patricia Reeves
Dr. Reeves is an Associate Professor of educational leadership and research at Western Michigan University and past Associate Executive for the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA). Dr. Reeves is the principal researcher and co-author of the School ADvance Evaluation System, co-developer of the Courageous Journey Superintendent Endorsement Program, and a researcher/author with a number of publications and presentations in school leadership. Prior to her work at WMU and MASA, she served 19 years as a K-12 assistant superintendent and superintendent. Dr. Reeves played a key role in researching state administrator certification systems, developing policy recommendations, drafting legislation, and working with the Michigan Department of Education to establish policies and rules for Michigan’s Administrator credentialing system.
Pat says: “School ADvance grew out of a shared vision to develop an administrator evaluation system that supports the most important work school leaders do to insure that our schools serve students well. To do this SA provides leaders with a process that engages them as full partners in their performance assessment and growth. We love seeing how district leadership and board teams are using School ADvance to sharpen their focus on student success while providing more support and guidance to administrators for the complex work they do to achieve that success.”
Best evaluation tip: Make it about what students need most to be successful in your district.
Food for Thought: The following quote is a reminder that continuous growth as leaders is best done as a collaborative process. “None of us is as smart as all of us.” – Ken Blanchard.
Pat McNeill served as executive director for Michigan ASCD from 2010-2013 and is a co-author of the School ADvance Administrator Evaluation System. Pat is a life-long educator who began her career as an elementary school teacher in Harrison, Michigan. She filled various positions as a teacher of special education, early childhood, adult education, and career learning before becoming a staff and curriculum specialist in the mid-1980s. Prior to leading the Michigan ASCD, Pat served for 12 years as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and professional development for Holt Public schools.
Pat says: “I have been excited with the response from principals, who report that with the School ADvance system they are experiencing performance evaluations that are finally focusing on growth, both their own and the growth of the teachers and students in their buildings. The School ADvance rubrics provide a road map to what we know about effective school and district leadership. The evaluation process is a powerful tool to further individual, school, and district goals.”
Best evaluation tip: As you take ownership and become self-directed in the evaluation process, the odds increase that you will succeed in achieving your goals.
Food for Thought: “The bottom line is, when people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with and prioritized their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.” – Stephen Covey
Sara Shriver, Trainer
Sara Shriver is the former Superintendent of Belding Area Schools and has 30 years’ experience as a school educator and leader. Sara started her career as a Title I teacher for Lakeview Community Schools, where later she was also a principal and the Director of Instruction. Sara is the Executive Director for the Michigan Association of State and Federal Program Specialists and has been an educational consultant for many districts across Michigan. Sara’s passion is providing support to districts in the areas of continuous improvement and State and Federal Programs. Sara has a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Early Childhood Education/Language Arts), a Master of Arts Degree (Reading Specialist), and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Administration and Community Leadership – all from Central Michigan University.
Sara joined the training team at MASA in 2016 to provide School ADvance training for colleagues across the State, and became the School ADvance Coordinator in 2017. She loves staying connected to educational leaders and providing support by modeling best practices, as well as her own continual learning while out in the field.
Best evaluation tip: Be clear about the professional learning goals, success targets, and evidences right up front. Start with the end in mind, and the evaluation process will lend itself to positive outcomes.
Food for Thought: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
Carrie Platner, Coordinator
Carrie Platner joined the MASA team in 2017. Carrie has studied business management and marketing and had spent the prior 16 years working in specialty retail and bank management. As the School ADvance Coordinator, she is committed to providing top customer service while offering assistance and guidance in the licensing process and scheduling of your team’s evaluation training.
Best Evaluation Tip: While evaluations are a mandatory requirement, it doesn’t change the fact that they can be a tedious and at times a confusing process. When properly using the School ADvance tool, evaluations can keep everyone aligned on the district’s strategic goals, increase trust and communication and in the end provide a better learning experience for your students.
Food for Thought: “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” -Sydney J. Harris