Kassi Longoria has been named MAYA Consulting’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective today, as founder Larkin Tackett will be shifting his position to Executive Advisor.
MAYA Consulting is an approved partner for the new Maryland Leads grant initiative, created by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to use federal funds to respond to pandemic impacts on public education. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) can leverage strategic partnerships to target critical needs, including building teacher and staff pipelines, accelerating student learning to close achievement and opportunity gaps, and increasing support for the needs of underserved students and communities.
MAYA is thrilled to share that two of our partner campuses have been nominated by the Texas Education Agency for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon School Awards. This year TEA nominated 25 campuses for this prestigious award.
The process of naming our purpose and underlying beliefs has been so important for us to create more clarity, connection, and meaning to our work. Several of our consultants have already shared an immediate improvement in their ability to communicate about what, how, and why we work.
As an educator, professor, administrator, and now consultant, crafting learning experiences in a way that is authentic, meaningful, fun, and impactful is a personal sweet spot.
Recently, the MAYA blog (virtually) sat down with Natalie Flake, Associate Consultant, to learn more about her journey and why she chooses to work on empower communities. Here’s an excerpt:
So basically from birth to now my whole journey has been in education. So kind of every milestone has been an inflection point in my journey, but I'll give you the high level overview.
In many ways, today feels like the 387th day of March, 2020.
More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our team of consultants is holding a tension. On the one hand, we are grateful to our clients for the opportunity to grow and to serve from the safety of Zoom. One the other hand, we feel the tremendous pressure, trauma, and learning loss the pandemic has caused, especially for students from Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and low-income communities.
At MAYA, we are constantly evolving and adjusting our organization to make it more equitable. Everyone on our team plays a role in building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Over the last six months, we have added two new positions and so hiring has been on our minds a lot. Let’s be honest, hiring is a lot of work for both the company and the candidates. So often, processes are built to be quick and take shortcuts, but those shortcuts lead to a lack of equity. In rethinking our hiring practices, MAYA made some small and big changes to help strengthen our own hiring practices.
These are just a few things MAYA is thankful for. Expressing gratitude feels appropriate during this time of year, especially during this challenging time of COVID. MAYA has recognized how grateful we are for the opportunities we have had to advance professionally and give back this year, all while keeping students progress and education improvement at the forefront of everything we do.
I’ve been reflecting on privilege a lot lately. It’s difficult not to right now–COVID-19 has illuminated and amplified existing inequities in the world and it seems as if many people in our country are just beginning to wake up to individual and systemic racism. Working in the field of early childhood, I’ve also been reflecting on the impact of privilege on early life experiences and lifelong success. In the education sector, there is a huge emphasis on the importance of high-quality prekindergarten and its impact on kindergarten and school readiness. But we can’t ignore the first few years of life. In fact, we should be paying most attention to–and investing the most heavily in– the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.