Note: Over the next months I’ll be posting interviews with a number of key members of the Cicero team here and on my LinkedIn account. Stay tuned!


Describe yourself in 5 words or less

Find needs and fill them!

How do you spend your time outside of work?

With my lovely wife and kids! I love attending and supporting all their activities. My wife operates a pre-school and we talk a lot about schools, teaching, and learning.

What did you do pre-Cicero, and what brought you to the firm?

I was a secondary math teacher for 13 years. I taught in various districts throughout Utah, most recently in Canyons School District. I also helped coach high school football and loved the thrill of Friday nights in the fall. I was looking to move into school leadership after completing my masters in Educational Leadership at BYU. A colleague shared with me her knowledge of Education Direction and Cicero Group. I remembered Hollie Pettersson (Ed Direction Engagement Manager) from her previous work in Canyons. I appreciated her work and insights in instruction, curriculum, and collaborative practice in schools. I wanted to be a part of these efforts so I took a shot, applied, and am thrilled to be at Education Direction!

What are some interesting things you’ve been working on lately?

I currently coach three schools that are state designated turnaround schools. Each school has unique needs and culture. I’ve appreciated learning all the ins, outs, and nuances of a school system. I work with principals and teacher leader teams to implement turnaround plans that transform schools. Because each school has its own dynamic, my job as an improvement coach challenges me to be thoughtful, reflective, and very prudent to address unique needs. Schools are great places of learning and they have much that goes well every day. My biggest task is to advocate for teachers and students so their school can become their best.

What else makes Cicero a great place to work?

There are some smart individuals that work here. I love the office and the trust that colleagues share to refine ideas to become ‘Gold Standard.’ I love that we pitch our services to add value to every organization we consult. Cicero Group advises, consults, recommends, and then we SHOW our schools and clients how our work improves their organization.

For fun, any book/movie/music recommendations?

At Southern Utah University, where I completed my undergrad, the university’s motto is “Learning Lives Forever.” I love books, movies, and music that move the soul to reflect, ponder, and seek improvement. The most interesting book I read recently was Sticking Points by Haydn Shaw. How millennials learn in school and their generational preferences fascinate me. Students in today’s schools are truly unique in comparison to previous generations.

Connect with Kalisi: LinkedIn