Cicero Women:

Moxie and Milestones

Within the first few months of joining Cicero Group, Hollie Pettersson (Principal) and Melissa Grant (Engagement Manager), with the support of the executive management and partners, founded an initiative for female employees. The purpose of this initiative is fourfold:

  1. Foster an environment of professional/personal learning and development among Cicero’s female employees
  2. Provide support to each participant in both their professional and personal lives
  3. Ensure a “safe place” to share, collaborate, seek help, and address issues facing women in the workplace and at Cicero specifically
  4. Play an active role in the continued growth and development of Cicero in making it a great place to work, in general and specifically for women

The group meets formally once a month to discuss/collaborate on designated topics. Informal meetings also occur in an effort to connect on a more personal or one-on-one basis in project-specific, educational, community, or social settings.

Long term, this group hopes to achieve the following:

  • Increase the number of Cicero women who are Principals/Partners
  • Enhance the Cicero culture to increase its attractiveness to potential female employees (e.g. be recognized as a “best place” to work for women)
  • Have a positive impact on the community of women in which we live and work
  • Ensure all women at Cicero have a mentor-rich and professional learning environment in which to achieve each individual’s personal definition of success

Thus far, the group has accomplished the following:

  • Built stronger relationships of trust and community among Cicero women
  • Increased professional learning through topics of discussion thus far:
  • Smart groups (i.e., “collective intelligence” and EQ) and smarter problem solving
  • Work/Life balance
  • Taking responsibility for your own career
  • Initial execution of a plan for greater Cicero involvement in our community of women in Utah (more to come…)

At the end of 2015, Cicero Group reached another significant milestone: Hollie Pettersson was promoted to Principal, increasing the number of females in the upper ranks. A well-deserved promotion and a real win for its leadership team and Cicero overall.

In recognition of Hollie’s promotion, we want to highlight her background and accomplishments:

Dr. Hollie Pettersson joined Cicero Group in the summer of 2015, bringing over 20 years of experience in public education and an understanding of what it takes for schools and districts to increase the success of their students. She has worked with Cicero clients at both the k-12 and higher-education levels. Most recently, Hollie and the Education Direction team have started work with 12 schools the Utah Legislature and Utah State Office of Education have designated as needing turnaround.  Over the next two years, Hollie and the team will work with each school to improve teacher learning and student achievement through proven data-driven strategies: implementation of evidence-based instructional strategies; a narrowed focus on key learner-centered problems in reading, writing, math, and science; and effective teaming and collaboration.

Degrees and Certificates:
PhD, School Psychology (APA accredited; clinical and research emphasis; Dissertation:  Systematic Change in Utah Schools)
MS in Special Education (Thesis: Comprehensive Assessment of Academic and Behavioral Skills in School-aged Children)
MA in Educational Leadership and Policy, including administrative licensing
Certificate:  Harvard Program on Negotiation

Sampling of Hollie’s accomplishments:

  • Led development and implementation of comprehensive standards for district-wide instruction, incorporating current understandings of high-yielding practices and horizontal and vertical alignment and resulting in significantly increased student achievement in writing, reading, computation, math application, and science
  • Co-developed and led large-scale implementation of standards-based grading and reporting
  • In collaboration with teachers and principals, achieved AP Honor Roll status for the district two years in a row
  • Developed assessment, curriculum, and instructional standards for skill-based reading classes and math labs resulting in more students achieving at grade-level and ensuring a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)
  • Co-developed and implemented instructional coaching model to provide all teachers with support as they develop new skills and implement more rigorous standards
  • Initiated implementation of dual-language immersion (in Chinese, French, and Spanish) at the secondary level
  • Increased depth, complexity, and consistency for meaningful inquiry-based science lab implementation
  • Co-authored several instructional programs and materials focusing on MTSS
  • Revised and implemented rigorous curriculum, scheduling, and instructionally-relevant assessment standards for middle school reconfiguration (8 schools), focusing on science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and arts integration through design challenges
  • In partnership with Human Resources and School Performance Directors, implemented district-wide teacher and administrator evaluation system focusing on measurement of instructional impact for students and professional learning for teachers
  • Managed a yearly budget of $11 million along with its required compliance with state and federal rules for funding allocation

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