Topic: Leadership


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.


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.


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.


Rakima Parson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist a part of Centered Counseling and Consulting PLLC. This past fall, we met Rakima after attending her learning session on Keep Cultural Bias Out of Performance Reviews at Equity Space: Designing for an Inclusive Community. We were thrilled to reconnect with Rakima to discuss what it means to be a life-long learner, how caregivers can best support children at-home during quarantine, how to create belonging across communities during the pandemic, and the value of sweat.


Akasha Saunders is an educator and development coach fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations. The MAYA team has partnered with him on a project to build civic leadership for education in Austin. We spoke with Akasha about growing up in Jamaica, inclusive masculinity, cultivating connnection in virtual spaces, and where he is finding unmitigated joy under quarantine.


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