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The Center for Leadership & Learning

The Center for Leadership & Learning

Melissa Usiak
Assistant Superintendent for Early Learning
Jonathan Tobar
Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Learning
Ashley Korte
Executive Assistant

We Lead Learning

The Curriculum and Instruction Department was created in 2019 to plan and build professional learning opportunities for educators in our county.  Since forming, we’ve worked with the leaders in our county’s local school districts to decide on the areas of professional learning that will have the biggest impact on students’ success. We’ve agreed to focus on three areas:  Literacy, Leadership, and Social-Emotional Learning.


We collaborate with local schools and our community to increase the number of students in Livingston County reading proficiently by the end of third grade.  By supporting schools in implementing the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy and conducting a “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” community campaign,  we can work together to improve reading proficiency for ALL students.

Each of our local school boards, our ISD school board, Women United, and many local library boards have adopted board resolutions to support the work in our community to improve reading proficiency.

Literacy Coaching

Each of the districts in Livingston County has a literacy coach funded through 35(a) coaching funds.  These coaches are part of the statewide literacy network and work with coaches in the state to develop their support for teachers in the districts. In addition, local districts have begun to hire additional literacy coaches, and we now have literacy coaches for K-12th grades in the county.  The Early Childhood Specialists assigned to all Head Start and GSRP classrooms in the county serve as literacy coaches as part of their role in supporting preschool teachers.

Professional Learning

All Head Start and GSRP staff (lead teachers, associate teachers, and preschool aides) are part of a three-year training and supported implementation plan around the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy: Pre-K.  

Each local district has committed to training all K-3 teachers in the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy: K-3 and agreed to begin with Essential #1: Motivation and Engagement.  After completing training in Essential #1 and analyzing their data, each local has prioritized which Essential Instructional practice(s) they will focus on next.

Leadership Development

There have been years of literature from numerous scholars supporting the theory that no organization rises above the level of its leadership.  

Livingston County has prioritized leadership development.  The more intentional tools our leaders have, the better equipped they will be to lead others, improve the system, and positively affect student achievement.   We have created professional learning efforts and networks to ensure our school leaders are supported, resourced, coached, and guided.  

We are supporting leadership development by leading learning in the following groups:

Elementary and Secondary Principals Network

Curriculum and Instruction Council

Instructional Coaches Network

Early Childhood Leaders Network (launching in December 2021)

Social-Emotional Learning

Together with the Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, and Curriculum Directors from the county’s five local districts, we have created and adopted a shared vision for Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) that will guide our decision-making and directly impact the social-emotional learning for ALL students. 

Our decisions around SEL will be grounded in the CASEL framework, which is evidence-based and research-based.