About Cassandra

Photo of Cassandra ErkensCassandra Erkens shares her expert knowledge with teachers and administrators throughout the United States and Canada as an independent consultant and recognized leader in education. Currently the president of Anam Cara Consulting, Inc., she is also an adjunct faculty member at Hamline University, where she offers Master of Arts in Education courses and facilitates a learning community for educators engaged in the two-year M.A. Ed. extended degree program. Cassandra has served as a high school English teacher, district-level director of staff development, and state-level Educational Effectiveness regional facilitator. In addition, she is a keynote presenter, trainer of trainers, workshop facilitator, and executive coach. Her presentations address a variety of hot-button topics facing educators today, including leadership development, changing school culture, systems to support school improvement, and powerful instructional strategies and assessment designs.

Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and education and a Master of Arts in organization development and human resources. She has served on the board of the Minnesota Staff Development Council and Commissioner-appointed Statewide Staff Development Advisory Council.

Author and co-author of several formal education-based training programs, Cassandra has dedicated her career to enhancing the educational experience for both students and teachers. She trains all Solution Tree presenters, as well as other experts in education, and she continues to share practical applications of best-practice strategies with educators throughout North America.

One thought on “About Cassandra

  1. Hi Cassandra,
    I was one of the participants in the BCA group you just facilitated in Baltimore. I wanted to say thank you for such an engaging, well paced, and relevant couple of days. Currently, I am serving as a high school principal and I brought two of our dept chairs with me. Together, back at our school, we’ll imbed 3 or 4 of the significant pieces from our two days with you. These will help us take the next step and, as you say, produce a more laser like focus on quality assessment practices.
    In addition, I wanted you to know that also at our table were 3 middle school teachers from our district but they are not at my particular feeder middle school. One of the things I noticed is that they were very open to learning and internalizing many of the concepts we were discussing. But they were so concerned about having to adjust what they do to meet certain district criteria – for example 9 grades in the gradebook per quarter. That led to a discussion about flexibility as leaders and principals; and about policies that are antiquated and how it really is a good leader’s role to help – not hinder or limit – those who are growing at a faster rate than policies can be changed.
    On that note, I wanted to say that I have started reading your book: Leadership by Design – and am getting much from it both as a practicing principal and as a PhD candidate in proposal phase. I’ve been floundering a bit with my proposal mostly due to the demands of the principalship but also trying to find a meaty and timely and efficient topic to work with. Carol Dweck’s work, your work, to some extent Michael Fullan’s work, and Bohlman and Deal’s work I think are coming together for me to be able to frame out a thesis and conceptual framework about effective leadership in these times in education where the moral imperative must be that we apply the research faster than 20-40 years after it has been introduced to the academic community.
    Anyway, great getting to know you, thanks so much, best wishes, and I hope I can contact as I get to work on my proposal.
    Sue Ross

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