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About CLI

The Curriculum Leadership Institute is a non-profit organization that works with school districts, consortia, service centers, state departments, and other education agencies to provide training and leadership for improving student learning.

Our Vision


To partner with school districts to ensure that all students have access to the high quality, effective education they deserve.

Our Mission


To provide leadership in the processes for academic governance and for the creation, implementation, and assessment of curriculum that results in quality student learning.

A little history

CLI was founded in the early 1980s by Dr. Stu Ervay, a professor at Emporia State University, in response to the increase of state mandates requiring schools to delineate curriculum and instructional programs more thoroughly than in the past. Through the CLI Model for School Improvement, CLI provides processes for the governance and management of curriculum, instruction, and assessment work, as well as processes for working through these three critical areas to improve student learning.

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Meet our amazing team.

Experience is key to what we do. All of our consultants began using the CLI Model as teachers and use that experience to work through issues and concerns with the districts they help.

Stacey Bruton


Stacey loves the challenge of working with each district’s unique strengths and needs and says she stays organized by using copious Post-it notes. Her favorite pastime is spoiling her two bulldogs! 

Stacey Bruton
Emily Makelky

Vice President

Just like when she was in the classroom, Emily loves it when the “lightbulb” comes on for teachers. Whether at work or in her personal life Emily enjoys making things better, which is why she likes consulting so much!

Emily Makelky
Lorna Bath


Having been a teacher for 26 years, Lorna used the CLI model in the classroom for nine of them! She feels that aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessments is what is best for students and educators alike.  “I love it when it all comes together, and we see the big picture!”

Lorna Bath
Tiffany Kohl


Tiffany has been an educator in Illinois for over 20 years. She has been committed to sharing her passion for curriculum and instruction with teachers to ensure all students have equitable access to the highest levels of learning.

Tiffany Kohl
Kiera Strecker


Seeing the connection between curriculum, instruction, and assessment come alive for teachers and students drives Kiera’s passion for the CLI Model. She is a National Board Certified teacher and an Apple Learning Coach!

Kierra Strecker

Board of Directors

CLI is a non-profit organization committed to partnering with schools and districts to improve the quality of student learning. CLI’s management structure must be cohesive and collaborative to accomplish that goal. Therefore, CLI’s Board of Directors has a diverse membership that includes education and community leaders who serve various constituencies, as well as selected members of the CLI staff who are in the position to know client needs and serve as advocates for the field. That unique administrative structure allows the CLI to be more open to new and emerging educational priorities, as well as to consider and help solve local issues experienced by clients.

Ilah Gilreath – CLI Board Chairperson, retired CLI Manager of Administrative Services

Sara McGinnis – CLI Board Vice-Chairperson, retired Curriculum Director at Sheridan 1, WY

Stacey Bruton – CLI President/Consultant

Doug Christensen – Retired Professor of Leadership in Education, Doane College

Tim Clothier – Director, Business and Industry Center, Washburn University Institute of Technology

Dale Cushinberry – Retired school administrator

Theresa Davidson – Retired superintendent

Devin Embray - Superintendent, Fairbury Public Schools, NE

Emily Makelky – CLI Vice President and CLI Board Secretary/Treasurer

Margaret Sandoz  - Superintendent, Niobrara Public Schools, NE

Ken Weaver – Retired Professor of Psychology at Emporia State University

Steve Wrobleski - Superintendent, LaSalle-Peru Township High School District 120

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