Consulting Services

Your K-12 innovation support team

Get hands-on support & guidance from a national bench of transformational leaders who’ve been in your shoes.

You’re busy. Really busy.
We get it, and we’re here to help.

You’re a school leader with a vision, but you and your staff only have so much capacity. On top of your day-to-day responsibilities, perhaps you’re struggling to find the time to breathe, let alone design, plan, and execute a major innovation. You need help, and you need it from a team of expert practitioners you can trust. 

With decades of lived experience in K-12 innovation, our national bench of current and former school leaders are ready to work side-by-side with you to make your vision for student learning a reality. There are no standard packages or a set number of hours. Each consulting relationship is 100% customized to your needs.

Personalized learning

Blended learning

Online learning

Competency-based learning

Our team

Consulting services was born out of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and is led by Dr. Chris Harrington, Senior Director of Innovative School Design.

Collectively, the team has 50 years of K-12 school leadership experience leading schools through the design and implementation of innovative educational models throughout Michigan and across the United States.

Our consulting team includes superintendents, curriculum leaders, building-level administrators, technology leaders, and formally-trained instructional designers.

Chris Harrington
Dr. Chris Harrington

Expert in designing and implementing student-centered learning programs with 30+ years of experience assisting school districts nationwide.

Christopher Harrington, Ed.D., has served public education as a teacher, an administrator, an educational researcher, and a consultant for more than 30 years and Dr. Harrington has experience assisting scores of schools and districts across the nation in the design and implementation of blended, online, and personalized learning programs. He has worked on local, regional, and national committees with iNACOL (now Aurora Institute) and worked with various other education-based organizations such as Digital Learning Collaborative, iLearn Collaborative, The Learning Accelerator, and Future of School aimed at transforming education through the use of technology.

Tracy Gieseking
Tracy Gieseking

Connecting people, exceeding expectations.

As the School Design Project Coordinator, Tracy’s role is to be a connector. She loves building relationships with her clients and the talented folks who join forces to make their goals a reality. What fuels her passion? It’s all about delivering an exceptional experience. Keeping the client’s ultimate vision in mind, she pays close attention to every little detail. Communication is key, so she makes sure to stay in touch regularly to adapt and adjust as priorities change. It’s exciting for her to witness the unique ways clients tackle the challenges that come with expanding choices for learners through online, blended, and competency-based models.

Dr. Tovah Sheldon
Dr. Tovah Sheldon

Dr. Tovah Sheldon is currently a School Design Strategist for Michigan Virtual. For more than 20 years, Dr. Sheldon has served education as a teacher, professor, administrator, researcher, leadership coach, and consultant across pK-12 and higher education. She has a passion to cultivate constructive relationships, bring innovation to spaces that are managing complex change, and support implementation of evidence-based practices that promote equity and opportunity for all. Her demonstrated expertise ranges from curriculum, instruction, and assessment to professional development, capacity building, strategic planning, and system’s iteration for growth and sustainability. Dr. Sheldon has also served on various boards from within her community of Jackson and across the state of Michigan. Dr. Sheldon earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education.

Kristi Teall
Kristi Teall

A former superintendent with 30+ years of educational experience recognized nationally for her groundbreaking work with at-risk students.

Kristi Teall serves as a school design strategist for Michigan Virtual. She is passionate about seeing kids and educators succeed. Leading change, building capacity, and guiding innovation are her strengths. She has worked in a variety of roles, including classroom teacher, building principal, curriculum director, superintendent, and executive director for a large online learning organization. Kristi has been recognized both at the state and national levels for her work with at-risk students. Kristi currently serves in an executive capacity with MASFPS. 

Kristi’s passion for creating learning environments that meet the needs of all students led her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Central Office Endorsement.  After completing her degree she went on to receive an endorsement in Building Level Leadership and a Superintendent’s Endorsement.  She is leading teams in the design and implementation of innovative learning programs that support student-centered and personalized learning and works closely with school leaders creating programs to provide unique learning opportunities for students. She is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to high-quality, personalized learning experiences that prepare them for success in college, career, and life.

Sarah Pazur
Dr. Sarah Pazur

Pioneer in project-based and competency-based education with 20+ years in education.

Dr. Pazur is the Director of School Leadership at CS Partners and oversees the FlexTech High School network in Michigan. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Oakland University and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is the founder of FlexTech Education, a teacher-powered consulting organization that helps schools implement project-based learning and competency-based education. Her education career spans over 20 years. Dr. Pazur has served as a teacher, curriculum director, principal, and virtual principal in project-based middle and high schools across Detroit; she also developed curricula for Authentic Education under the direction of Grant Wiggins. Dr. Pazur is a member of the Future of Learning Council; a national and local presenter, and her education writing has appeared in EdSurge, EdWeek, Education Post, Phi Delta Kappan, English Leadership Quarterly, Principal Leadership Magazine, and Hybrid Pedagogy. Her chapter, “A Bridge Across Our Fears: Poetic Imagination as a Catalyst for School Change,” appears in the book Cultivating Imagination in Leadership, out March 2023, with Teachers College Press. 

Lisa Sitkins
Lisa Sitkins

Inspiring catalyst for systemwide change with 30+ years experience and a talent for strategic planning.

Lisa is a passionate educator, lifelong learner, and ardent advocate for student-centered learning. She believes in flexibility for every child to explore and master content while supported by educators who facilitate their learning. By bringing people together to discuss and learn from one another, Lisa promotes mindset changes that lead districts closer to competency-based education.

Over the last 30 years, Lisa has taught middle school through post-secondary and has worked with school districts as they design and implement personalized learning models for students. The Michigan CoOp (MiCoOp), led by Lisa, are innovative leaders transforming learning in their districts and the state by providing options so that all students can succeed.

Lisa is dedicated to finding solutions that help organizations and individuals realize their goals. Through the strategic planning process, she guides districts in developing a plan that leads to successful students as identified in their portrait of a graduate. Her experience in the business and nonprofit worlds, combined with her educational experiences in traditional, vocational, and online environments, gives her a unique perspective on identifying system-wide changes to problems resulting in creative and innovative ideas to fulfill your mission.

Mike Burde
Dr. Mike Burde

Champion for personalized competency-based learning with 20+ years in educational leadership.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Mike Burde has served in a number of leadership roles in supporting learners throughout Michigan. Dr. Burde has also served in a number of settings, including rural, suburban, and urban learning communities. Whether it be the principalship, various central office roles, or the superintendency, Dr. Burde has been steadfast in his commitment to support and design learning experiences that are student-centered and grounded in strong relationships. Beyond his work in Michigan public schools, Dr. Burde has also served on the executive board for MASFPS. 

Dr. Burde has been one of Michigan’s thought leaders in the area of personalized competency-based learning. In addition, he has extensive experience supporting curriculum, instruction, and assessment, as well as facilitating the development of building and district-level continuous improvement plans and strategic plans. 

Dr. Burde earned his B.S. degree from Spring Arbor University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. Dr. Burde and his family enjoy traveling, outdoor activities, and sports.

Elizabeth Leblanc
Elizabeth S. LeBlanc

Innovator with 15+ years of on-the-ground experience in blended, online learning, and student-centered education models.

A passionate and innovative educator, Elizabeth S. LeBlanc served as Co-founder and CEO of the Institute for Teaching and Leading (i4tl), a company specializing in education consulting and professional development until its acquisition. Elizabeth is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Center for Research and Innovation and the Taos Education Collaborative, where she serves as Project Coordinator. Elizabeth gains on-the-ground experience in blended, online learning and student-centered education models in her role as the Principal/Head of School for Taos Academy Charter School, which has been recognized for its innovative role in K-12 public education by Evergreen Education Group, the Clayton Christensen Institute, and EdSurge. Elizabeth has 15 years of experience in the design and implementation of high-quality blended learning programs. She is currently studying blended and hybrid learning in international contexts as a doctoral student at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education.

Kim Loomis
Kim Loomis

Visionary in leveraging technology for classroom and school transformation with 20+ years hands-on experience with innovative learning models.

Kim Loomis is the former director of online and blended learning in Nevada’s Clark County School District (CCSD), the nation’s 5th largest school district, where she spent the last two decades designing, implementing, and supporting transformative learning models. Her work in CCSD also includes school administration in both online and traditional settings and district leadership in curriculum and high school reform. She has an extensive background in best practices for personalized learning using digital products and pedagogy, including learning theory, delivery models, digital content integration, software tools, apps, infrastructure, quality control, and governance. Kim has a solid foundation in digital learning instructional design, development, and delivery of technology-based educational media and learning experiences for online, blended, and personalized learning instruction. She has the ability to envision new ways to leverage technology to improve the performance of core learning processes, including those directly related to classroom and school transformation, such as portrait of a learner/graduate and system-wide change. Kim has worked with numerous districts and schools across the country, helping educators create actively engaging learning environments so that students are empowered to take ownership of their own learning.

Richard Eby
Dr. Richard Eby

National leader in the design of mass customized learning environments with 25+ years in public education.

Dr. Eby has dedicated his career to public education for over 25 years, working in both the Pequea Valley and Penn Manor School Districts. Utilizing his Doctor of Education, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, Master of Education Leadership, and Principal Certification degrees, he has been a passionate advocate for creating academic and cultural environments that empower learners and staff to excel.

Dr. Eby is a vital member of the Pequea Valley School District’s Mass Customized Learning initiative, collaborating closely with principals and learning facilitators to transition to a truly customized learning environment for each learner. This transformative work is essential in preparing learners for their “Post-Secondary First Choice.” Dr. Eby has also shared his expertise at local, regional, and national conferences, where he is a valuable resource on strategies to build a Mass Customized Learning environment.

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Dr. Eby maintains his passion for hockey by continuing to serve as the Associate Director of Player Development for USA Hockey Atlantic District and Director of Player Advancement for Palmyra Black Knights Tier I Hockey Club. Dr. Eby’s diverse background and dedication to education have made him an asset to his school district and the broader education community.

Cory Steiner
Dr. Cory Steiner

Trailblazer with 15+ years in school administration who led his North Dakota district through a shift to personalized, competency-based learning.

Dr. Cory Steiner is currently the Superintendent of the Northern Cass School District for the past 9 years. He has been an administrator for 16 years. In his current role, he has worked with a dedicated and passionate group of educators to shift their entire system to personalized competency-based learning. He has served on the Governor’s Task Force on Innovation which has challenged North Dakota’s education system to think differently. During this past year, Northern Cass was a finalist for the Yass Prize and they received $500,000 to develop a Full-Service Community School.  Dr. Steiner believes every learner can change the world; therefore, we must provide a world-class education. It is a moral imperative we change our educational system to one which is uncompromisingly learner-centered. He also serves on the Education Standards and Practices Board, The Village Family Service Center, Rural Cass Special Education, and the Southeast Education Cooperative Board of directors. He is an adjunct professor for the University of Jamestown for teacher leadership. He is married to his wife, Jess, and has two children, DelRae and Kelsa.

Dr. Erik Orndorff
Dr. Erik Orndorff

Dr. Erik Orndorff is currently the Superintendent of Pequea Valley School District. He was named to this position in 2012. He earned his doctorate in education from Immaculata University and is also a national author and presenter for character education.

During Dr. Orndorff’s eleven-year stint with Pequea Valley, he and the administrative team have led a unique Mass Customized Learning vision that empowers learning facilitators and learners to reinvent what education looks like.

Carrie Wozniak
Carrie Wozniak

Dr. Carrie Wozniak is the Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools.  This is her 13th year working in Fraser, and her sixth year as Superintendent. She is passionate about creating positive and engaging learning environments for all of students using the principles of Universal Design for Learning.  With a focus on blended learning and competency-based education, Fraser has developed a strategic plan and portrait of a graduate to support system wide change throughout the district.

Before taking the position of Superintendent in Fraser Public Schools, Dr. Wozniak was the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Fraser for seven years.  Prior to that she was a Literacy and English Language Arts Consultant for the Macomb Intermediate School District. Dr. Wozniak spent 10 years with Lake Shore Public Schools as a classroom English teacher. has led many professional development sessions on the topic of Universal Design for Learning, and she promotes the importance of using technology and design thinking to help reach all learners.

Dr. Wozniak earned her B.A. at the University of Michigan – Dearborn, master’s Degree at the University of Michigan, Educational Specialist Degree and PhD at Oakland University. 

To learn more about her professional work, go to Dr. Carrie Wozniak 

Brenda Boyer
Brenda Boyer

Brenda Boyer brings over 3 decades of experience as a school librarian and instructional designer to her work as a consultant for Michigan Virtual. Throughout her career, Brenda’s focus has been on the instructional role of librarians as well as information and media literacy of students and adults. She has designed and developed online instruction for secondary learners, adult graduate students, and practicing educators. She has instructed face-to-face and online learners at the secondary and university levels, including gamified personalized experiences. Her research interests include instructional design for online learning and the high school to college transition with recent publications in The Journal of Academic Librarianship. Brenda enjoys working one-on-one with teachers and helping them to develop engaging online experiences for their learners.

Rebekah Redmer

Rebekah is passionate about cultivating educational ingenuity and collaborating with educators and families to promote personalized learning. With extensive technical knowledge and research expertise, she drives innovative teaching and learning solutions in any educational setting. As the Executive Director of Innovative Programming for Jenison Public Schools and the founding leader of Jenison Innovation Academy (JIA), Rebekah oversees two online and hybrid schools while supporting the success of others across multiple environments and various district-wide programs. With 15 years of experience in designing and implementing new schools and programs, as well as fostering domestic and international partnerships, she also serves as the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO), supporting international student exchange through the U.S. Department of State.

Prior to her current position, Rebekah previously worked as a director, principal, assistant principal, and high school science teacher. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently a doctoral candidate, focusing her research on teacher evaluation and educational technology.

Rebekah’s professional memberships include the Association of International Educators, the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators, the Digital Learning Collaborative, the International Society for Technology Education, the Future of Learning Council, and she is the facilitator for the Online Educator Network in Michigan.

Our commitment to you

We will not pair you with a consultant who hasn’t done this work first-hand.
You can rest assured that our consultants will have first-hand experience on any project on which they’re consulting. You’ll be paired with someone whose expertise matches your specific needs.

You will drive the terms of our agreement. 
Each consulting relationship is unique. We don’t have standard “packages.” We’ll customize our services based on your specific requirements and vision, ensuring that you have complete control over the terms of our work together.

We will trust your local expertise.
We value and trust local expertise, collaborating with you to leverage your and your staff’s unique insights and knowledge along the way.

We will prioritize communication & community ownership.
K-12 innovation isn’t a race to the finish line. The process itself is transformative. Together, we’ll engage with your community and maintain transparent communication, fostering shared ownership and support for your vision.

Our actions will speak louder than our words.
We’re going to do a lot more than just sit around and discuss theory and ideas. We commit to demonstrating our dedication through tangible actions and results rather than relying solely on words and promises.

We will build in room for growth.
No project ever goes 100% as planned. Rather than leaving you roadblocked, we’ll incorporate room for growth and learning, embracing the concept of failing forward and continuously refining our approach.

We’re doing this to improve learning (not to churn a profit). 
As a mission-driven nonprofit 501(c)(3), our primary goal will always be to further the bounds of student learning. We’re not trying to sell you anything. We’re here to help you, your staff, and your students thrive.

How we can help

We’re willing to help with just about anything within the realm of K-12 innovation, but below are a few areas in which our team really shines!

Your Situation: Your current online learning program doesn’t have the level of student and family engagement you desire. You’re unhappy with course completion rates and seek to improve student outcomes.

How We Can Help: Our experts can help you refine your existing virtual education program or design and implement a tailored program that meets your district’s needs and is aligned with national quality standards.

Your Situation: You seek to offer more personalized learning options for students. Whether you’re looking to improve learning outcomes for a particular segment of students or pilot an innovative learning model, your goal is to start small and build a pocket of change within your school or district.

How We Can Help: Let us guide you in creating a micro-school that offers your students  customized learning paths. We’ll help you design, launch, and refine your micro-school for student success and optimal growth.

Your Problem: Your school or district needs a north star toward which you can align your time, resources, and curriculum. Whether you’re looking to create a strategic plan, a portrait of a graduate, or both, you know this is a big job and could use assistance co-creating and developing ownership within your staff and community.

How We Can Help: Many of our consultants have been a part of this process in their home districts and can assist you as you develop these guiding documents. We’ll contribute every step of the way, actively involving your staff and community to build trust and a unified vision.

Your Situation: You know that big change is necessary to transform learning and significantly improve student outcomes truly. You’re ready to do the work but know it won’t be easy. You’ll need to rethink everything from schedules to staffing. You’re ready to get started, but you need a roadmap and help from a team who’s been there.

How We Can Help: Our team is filled with national experts and tireless advocates for systemwide transformation, including (but not limited to) student-centered, personalized, online, blended, competency-based, and project-based learning models. You name the model, and odds are, someone on our team has likely led a similar transformation process back home. We’ll help you plot out your course and work alongside you to build the foundation for these exciting changes in a way that ensures long-term sustainability.

Your Situation: You know that you first need to create a shift in your school culture for any larger changes to be effective. You’re ready to plant the seeds that need nourishing before your community is prepared for systemwide transformation.

How We Can Help: Our experts have been through this process before. It takes time and intentionality, but there are tried-and-true methods for fostering a strong, positive school culture. Allow us to help guide and assist you in cultivating your school culture from the ground up.

Your Situation: As a school or district leader, you’re looking to not only address your unique challenges but also contribute to the larger field of K-12 innovation. You appreciate the value of research and want to explore action research or case study opportunities as part of your school’s transformation journey.

How We Can Help: As part of our consulting work, we recognize the importance of research and learning from experiences. Therefore, we aim to incorporate action research and case study opportunities whenever possible. This not only benefits your institution, but also provides invaluable insights for the wider educational community. 

Looking for help with something else? Or perhaps you don’t even really know what it is that you need help with yet? No worries. Whatever it is, someone on our team has been there before. Contact us by completing the form at the bottom of the page, and we can explore your particular situation in greater depth.

The Process

You know better than anyone that there’s no simple fix to the challenges and concerns in K-12 education, so our approach starts with getting to know you and your school community. Here’s an overview of what the stages of this process look like. 

  1. Connect: Connect with one of our expert practitioners.
  2. Explore: Discuss your school or district’s specific needs.
  3. Customize: Co-create a customized process and timeline based on your priorities.
  4. Take Action: Collaboratively execute, monitor, and refine our work together.
Transforming education is what we do; it’s who we are.

Our consulting services are operated by the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI), a program within Michigan Virtual, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports the growth and development of innovative and progressive learning models in Michigan’s K-12 schools. 

For more than two decades, Michigan Virtual has been pioneering the online and blended learning space. With the acquisition of the Institute for Teaching and Leading (i4tl), led by our Senior Director of Innovative School Design, Dr. Chris Harrington, we’ve expanded our reach to serve schools nationwide, shaping the future of education together.

Transforming education is what we do; it’s who we are.

For more than 20 years, we’ve supported Michigan educators in areas like online learning, blended learning, and student-centered learning.

You know better than anyone that there’s no simple fix to the challenges and concerns in K-12 education, so our approach starts with getting to know you and your school community.

Our approach is all about what YOU need…
1. Connect with one of our expert practitioners
2. Discuss your school or district’s specific needs
3. Co-create a customized process and timeline based on your priorities
4. Collaboratively execute, monitor, and refine our work together

Latest research

Need an outside perspective? Book a free discovery call today!

Whether you’re ready to tackle a big project or just need an outside perspective, we’re happy to serve as a thought partner. If you’re a school leader who just needs an hour or two to mull things over with someone who’s been there, book a free discovery call. After a few calls or conversations, we can decide together whether a full consulting engagement is right for you.

Sign up using the form below, and one of our expert practitioners will contact you to schedule time for a chat. We’d love to meet you, learn more about your unique situation, and help you brainstorm the path forward for your school, regardless of whether or not that path involves utilizing our services.