Brenda Neel’s career has provided her a wealth of “change” experiences from the classroom to the board room. At the beginning of her career, she taught English in grades 8-12 in Sandy Valley Local, where she started their first Advanced Placement (AP) English classes. From 1985-1992, she taught AP English and Journalism at Canton McKinley High School, earning national awards for her journalism partnership with the Canton Repository. She then served as gifted coordinator for Canton City. In that role, Brenda spearheaded a committee that designed one of Canton’s first small schools, the Freshman Academy. In the five years as Principal of the Freshman Academy, she and her staff piloted multiple programs that helped to increase the district’s graduation rate. The staff organized in teams to personalize the learning for students, developed integrated units for core content subjects and created multiple support systems within the Academy to be sure that failure was not an option for students. Following the principalship, Brenda served as Canton City’s Director of Secondary Instruction. She had the opportunity to support and guide McKinley’s transformation into small schools through the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative and is now working with Cleveland Heights, another OHSTI site. Currently, she is coaching for EDWorks in Baltimore, Maryland and Ypsilanti, Michigan.