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Jillayne Flanders, MEd, CAGS

Executive Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the CSLA

Jill, currently serving as CEI's Executive Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the CSLA, brings extensive experience to her role, having previously served as the Deputy Director of CEI from 2020 to 2023. With a solid career as an elementary principal and teacher, Jill's impact is notable. During her tenure as the principal of Hadley Elementary School in Hadley, MA, she oversaw significant growth, doubling enrollment from 200 to 400 students. Jill is a dedicated advocate for early childhood education and has actively contributed to policy-driven committees, including her appointment to the Advisory Committee of the MA Department of Early Education and Care as its elementary principal representative.

As a CEI Teaching Fellow for a number of years, Jill has contributed vignettes to related publications on Heart Centered Learning, mindfulness, and visioning. She is currently the membership chair of the Social Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts and has served on the alliance’s steering committee for the past four years. Jill is also a co-author of two recently published books - Little Learners, Big Hearts and the Leader's Guide.

Jill was an adjunct professor at Westfield State University from 1999-2014 in the graduate administrator licensure program. She has presented programs at the state and national levels on social emotional learning, PK-K standards in SEL and play, and inclusive practices.

She was the MA Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal in 2010-2011 and was elected to the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Board of Directors—an appointment she held from 2011-2014.

Most recently, Jill served as executive director of the MA Elementary School Principals' Association. She is a consultant to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with the Early Learning Team and MA School Administrators Association. Jill is an experienced educational administrator as well who has shown leadership in grant fundraising and management, including the attainment and management of the MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) portfolio. She is currently serving on the EEC Workforce Council.

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