Dr. KaiLonnie Dunsmore
Coordinator of the Literacy Leader Network
Dr. KaiLonnie Dunsmore serves as the coordinator of the Literacy Leader Network, a collaboration of the the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal Association (MEMSPA) and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), to support district and school leaders in understanding and implementing the organizational and system conditions needed as the foundation for high quality teaching and learning. KaiLonnie brings expertise in both literacy and leadership practices and has significant experience nationally in working with public school systems to improve early literacy through an asset based approach that builds system coherence and capacity. The Michigan based Literacy Leader Network is based upon intervention research ($4.6 million federal Innovative Approach to Literacy grant) she conducted when a fellow at the National Council of Teachers of English and a Principal Research Scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago. This work is designed to help building and districts, in collaboration with regional agencies and communities, build shared agreements about instruction and assessment tied to a strong curriculum framework and observation rubrics; build coherence and alignment between multiple initiatives; and build principal’s expertise to serve as instructional leaders and effectively support the work of building and district coaching and continuous improvement processes. While Kailonnie has served in a number of roles (foundation director, university professor and research, non-profit educational consultant) as well as worked with schools nationally and engaged in large scale research, her passion remains the teaching and learning of elementary students. She recently spent 3 years back in the classroom of her local school as a primary grade teacher and uses her lived experience as a teacher as a foundation for the coaching and consulting work she does with schools and districts to improve early literacy through attention to system capacity.