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About Partnerships for Authentic Learning & Leadership

Innovative instruction that inspires educators, empowers students, and uplifts communities.

Our approach to teaching and learning re-energizes teachers, supports school transformation, and addresses critical local and global issues—and it’s even more powerful when strategically connected with a school or district’s shared vision.


Executive Director

Emmy brings more than 20 years of educational experience, having served as superintendent at Ridgemont Local Schools and Tolles Career & Technical Experience. She has truly lived the work she now brings to school districts around the country, offering a first-hand understanding of everyday challenges faced by leadership like passing tax campaigns, workforce development and building effective union and board relationships. Now as Executive Director of Partnerships for Authentic Learning & Leadership, she assists communities in the development of their own values-based directional systems—including vision, mission, implementation and sustainability. We’re thrilled to have this accomplished advocate for educational transformation on board.



Kathy was a teacher, school counselor and administrator in Ohio for more than 30 years—which included her role as an administrator for Worthington City Schools that lasted from 1985 until her retirement in 2000. Today she serves as President of Legacy Consulting Group in addition to her work with Partnerships for Authentic Learning & Leadership. An alumna of Wittenberg University (B.A.) and Wright State University (M.A.), she has authored and published a variety of instructional materials and provided related training programs to numerous public and private schools throughout Ohio as well as a number of other states.



Ellen brings over three decades of experience as an Ohio teacher and administrator—having worked in Canton and Upper Arlington. She has long been a leader in service-learning, career development, community education, staff development and more. Though she retired in 2002, the University of Michigan alumna (B.A., M.A.) keeps her passion for education close through her role with Partnerships for Authentic Learning & Leadership and as Vice President of Legacy Consulting Group. Her work has been widespread and includes instructional materials, education-related articles and books.

Leading the Way

Our parent organization, Partnerships Make A Difference, was established as a non-profit organization in 1996. The founding team of experienced and committed educators was truly ahead of their time—recognizing the profound impact of service-learning and project-based learning in the classroom and beyond. 

Today, that mission remains crucial in a world that demands capable, insightful citizens and leaders. To that end, we have transitioned to our new non-profit, Partnerships for Authentic Learning & Leadership, to help educators make learning irresistible.

We continue our work with teachers, administrators, and organizations on transformation that readies students for success in the “real world.” For us, nothing is more rewarding than helping fellow educators see the bigger picture—where “school meets life” for optimal teaching and learning.

“Service-learning not only taught me how to make a change, but also how to want to make a change.”


 A Legacy of Transformation

Featured Community Partnerships

Join us at the 2024 Summer Institute!

Want to create “beautiful work” and help “make learning irresistible”? Join us for two inspiring days filled with hope, creativity, collaboration, and innovation where we:​ reimagine education, reconnect with the joy of teaching, and empower students to change the world!

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