Clarissa A. Whitehead
Director of Family Engagement
Clarissa A. Whitehead (Cris) serves as the Director of Family Engagement at Strategic Learning Initiatives (SLI). She is responsible for the design, planning, training and implementation of the Family Engagement Program for parents/caregivers of children 3-13 years of age. She is also responsible for facilitating workshops/trainings, coaching, modeling, leadership and support to schools by strengthening the connection between parents and their children’s learning including the Focused Instruction Process. Clarissa has presented at the NAEYC/CAEYC Opening Minds Conference in Chicago. She has been with SLI since 2000. Prior to coming to Strategic Learning Initiatives, Clarissa was the Program Director at one of Chicago’s youth agencies where she planned the recreational and educational program for youth 6-21 years of age and trained and supervised program staff, summer youth and volunteers. Following her years as program director, when her two boys started school, she began volunteering at their elementary school (11 years). She was a classroom volunteer/tutor, PTO President, PTO treasurer, President of the Math and Science Committee, Chairperson of the Local School Council for 6 years and she started the Parent Patrol and supervised its’ operation for 6 years. Clarissa received the Partnership Organization Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools Johns Hopkins University in 2005, 2006 and 2007 for excellent leadership work in school, family and community partnerships. Clarissa received her A.S in Early Childhood Education from Ashworth University. She is a certified facilitator in Family Math, Family Science, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and Junior Great Books. Clarissa is licensed to deliver the Six Seconds’ Self-Science Curriculum and Model (Emotional Intelligence/Social Emotional Learning).