Jo Seidel

JoSeidelWho is Jo? 

An experienced consultant, Jo Seidel has been with aha! Process since 2003.  She has served in leadership roles in key areas related to school improvement and has been engaged in providing leadership and team coaching on processes to accelerate school improvement and student learning.  Jo provides training and consulting services for A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Research-Based Strategies, Improving Reading and Writing Achievement of Your Under-Resourced Elementary/Secondary Students, Addressing the Common Core State Standards, Early Childhood Vocabulary and Readiness, Removing the Mask: Identifying and Serving Gifted Students from Poverty, and Evening Workshop with Parents.

Jo’s credentials 

Degrees

  • Elementary Administration and Supervision License, Ball State University
  • Gifted/Talented Endorsement, Purdue Gifted Education Resource Institute
  • Master of Arts, Ball State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Education, minor in early childhood education, Purdue University

Work history

Muncie Community Schools, Indiana:

  • Director of Curriculum, Assessment, Research, and Professional Development
  • Director of Instructional Technology and Networking and Gifted/Talented
  • Director of Gifted/Talented and Fine Arts
  • Director of Gifted and Talented
  • Gifted/Talented Coordinator K–12
  • Pullout and Self-Contained Gifted/Talented Teacher K–8
  • Classroom Teacher

Webinars and blogs:

  • Webinar co-presented with the assistant superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan Schools, Wisconsin, on Engaging Teachers in Change to Improve Achievement and Close Gaps,” 2010
  • Webinar on “Taking a Deep Dive into Response to Intervention, the S.M.A.R.T. Way!” 2011
  • Blog for business community, “Pursuing the Preferred Customer: Strategic Focus Is Key when Developing a Great Target Filter to Capture a Large Client,” 2011
  • Three-part blog on gifted students from poverty and ways to develop appropriate curricula and learning experiences to accelerate achievement, 2012

Jo’s aha! moment

When I got to know Ruby through her work and as a person, I was struck with the power and integrity of the work, as well as the person.  I officially joined the aha! Process team in 2003 after I left school administration to pursue consulting work on a national basis.

Jo’s passions? 

Researching how the brain learns and ways to expand cognitive capacity to help students realize that there is nothing they can’t do! I can remember going to a Common Core State Standards workshop, and a colleague of mine said, “You love this curriculum and learning stuff, don’t you?”  And I really do!  I began my interest at Purdue University during my time with the Gifted Education and Creative Thinking Institute.  That was more than 30 years ago, and I have been studying the topic ever since.  I am also committed to helping and empowering leaders and teams to develop high-performing schools and districts.

Jo’s best training 

My favorite moments during workshops occur whenever someone says: I’ve never realized all that my students deal with on a daily basis.  I have been judging and have learned that judging does not build relationships.  I will no longer blame my students or their families.  I can actually grow brains through my instruction.  Finally I understand my own adopted/foster child.  It all comes down to the resources we each possess.  Now I am committed to putting these things into practice and building on the strengths and the resources students possess.  I feel that I am seeing my students for the first time.

What does Jo do for fun?

Learn more about ways the brain learns!  I’ve always loved to learn and am fascinated with how students think and problem solve.  I grow orchids, and I enjoy working in the yard and hiking/walking and running on trails.  The antics of my cat always bring a quick smile and keep me entertained.  I also never turn down a chance to go sailing!

What are people saying about Jo?

“The presenter was absolutely delightful, informative, and entertaining. This was time well spent, and I always appreciate that rarity on an in-service day! She made us realize that we truly can make a difference in our students’ lives.”

“Wow! Thank you! The speaker was awesome and very engaging!”

“Thank you, Jo. Excellent presentation! We can change lives! This was the best in-service I’ve ever been to!”

“As a school counselor, I will definitely use what I learned in dealing with students and families. It gave me a new perspective on how to approach and meet with parents of students in generational poverty. Excellent presentation, just wish we would have had even more time! Jo was GREAT!”

“I don’t think that I’ll ever view my students from impoverished backgrounds in the same way again. What an eye-opener this presentation has been! Very, very well presented and totally relevant and worthwhile!”

“Presenter was captivating, real, and incredibly knowledgeable. She kept the audience engaged.”

“The impression your workshop made on our staff in the Bronx, New York, continues days later. Many told us that they had not experienced such a powerful presentation in 20 years of teaching. From your dynamic and engaging delivery to your passion for and thorough knowledge of the work, this session was the perfect vehicle to heighten our awareness and refocus our team. As a result of the professional development you provided, our students were greeted with a renewed sensitivity and respect as they returned to school.”

“Jo, thank you so much for coming to speak to us here in Bishop. You’ve taught me a great deal about how to better understand my students. I’ve even learned a lot about my own family. This has been a very valuable time!”

“It was great! Thank you for challenging our preconceived concepts of assessment and learning! The presenter is very attuned to audience needs.”

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