Who We Are ?

Schools Cubed is an educational consulting group that takes under-performing schools and works with district and school leaders to create self-sustaining, high achieving school systems. We focus on the three S’s: Systems, Structures and the Science of Reading.

Strong systems help ensure that teachers/district personnel collaborate effectively and are backed by the data they need to measure progress and performance. Successful schools and districts are built on efficient structures that, whether at the school level or district level, are designed toward maximizing learning, instructional time and enhanced use of human resources.  Finally, high-performing schools know and use instructional strategies in the Science of Reading to achieve exceptionally high outcomes for students.  

Years of experience has taught us that these are the key ingredients we find in all highly-performing schools. There are no magic bullets in school improvement. It takes hard work to establish these effective systems, structures and strategies.

Over the past 6 years, Schools Cubed has grown from collaborating with individual schools to districts and state departments of education.  At each level, the success rate has been outstanding and sustainable.   

Our Approach

Schools Cubed is a small, yet accomplished Colorado-based company with a strong, successful track record in transforming school performance. There are many consulting organizations available for this work, but we strongly believe we separate ourselves from typical, generic, one size-fits-all companies. Our experience indicates that the work must fit with the client, not that the client must fit with the company.

Schools Cubed relies on a proven track record as well as effective schools research to empower districts to transform their schools. Schools Cubed believes that it is the Systems, Structures and instructional Strategies rooted in the Science of Reading that make a difference for schools. Stand-alone programs that merely target a particular instructional area certainly have their place, but have limited impact. Schools must transform what they are doing by creating systems that empower all members of the learning community. Schools Cubed knows the research regarding effective schools, and guides districts/schools to implement the research in order to build school leadership capacity.

Schools Cubed works with districts and school leaders to create focused systems of learning by empowering school leaders to organize around 5 areas of highly effective schools: collaborationinstructional focus, data analysis, time, and a safe and orderly environment. When principals have the capacity to develop each of these areas in their schools, structures are created that support instruction and learning. It is these school leaders who will have the highest impact on student outcomes.

Our Team

Pati Montgomery

Founder, Schools Cubed

Sherry Kyle

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Alan Dillon

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Vicki Ferrari-Connelly

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Jill Hafey

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Ellie Martinez

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Polly Lutz

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Donna Bright

Education Consultant, Schools Cubed

Jamie Gansmann

Marketing and Business Development, Schools Cubed

Taylor Lutz

Executive Assistant, Schools Cubed

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Our mission is to transform low- or under-performing schools into high-achieving, self-sustaining educational systems of excellence.

Our vision is steeped in the belief that ALL students can attain high achievement. To attain such, administrators and educators must use research that ensures they are using proven and evidence-based practices that will increase school effectiveness.

Testimonials

Our Schools Most Valuable Words

Misti Trowbridge

Principal of Thorp Elementary, WI

The past two years working with Schools Cubed has taught us so much. Pati, Vicki, and Angie are always a call, e-mail, or text away to help us out. The School District of Thorp is blessed to work with them.

Toby Lutz

University of Colorado

Schools Cubed is a fabulous resource. I have already observed significant improvements in my child's reading.

Jane Heaston

Substitute Teacher, Cherry Creek Schools

I recently had the pleasure working with Schools Cubed.  Each of the educational consultant are very knowledgable and enjoyable to work with.

Angie Hanlin

Principal of Matthews Elementary, New Mardrid MO

Pati (and her team) comes with a sense of urgency! She has a 100% track record in turning schools around. If they work with her, they improve.

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Contact Info

Pati Montgomery

Founder

Ms. Montgomery has a vast background in education which includes being a teacher and administrator with underserved populations, special education administrator, author, national educational consultant specializing in principal and school leadership development, collaborator with State Departments of Education as well as teacher effectiveness and union-management collaboration teams. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Literacy for the Colorado Department of Education where she was responsible for the implementation of the READ Act. Pati has worked with school principals and superintendents across the country on effective school practices. Her work is steeped in the belief that ALL students can attain high achievement and focuses on school populations comprised of highly diverse learners. To attain such, administrators must use educational research to ensure they are using proven and evidence-based practices that will increase school effectiveness. Pati Montgomery is the lead author of the book entitled, The Principal’s Primer for Raising Reading Achievement. The book is a guide for principals and school leaders that highlights efficient systems and structures necessary for school-wide improvement in performance.

Sherry Kyle

Schools Cubed

Sherry Kyle’s career encompasses 26 years in education. She is an experienced educator and leader, who has served as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Coordinator of Student Achievement, and Feeder Administrator overseeing curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Sherry’s perspective in education is diverse as she has served at all levels of the K-12 continuum. She attended Baylor University and the University of Northern Colorado, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. After teaching for several years, she went on to earn a Master’s Degree in School Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. Sherry’s experiences have led her to her passion of supporting reading and literacy from the elementary into the secondary level. She has lead the way for districts, schools, and teachers to begin looking at how to address the literacy needs in middle and high school classrooms; including creating a curriculum that is used to teach secondary special education and English teachers about the foundational skills needed for reading. Sherry is also passionate about supporting the principal ship. She has a strong desire to develop building-level leaders as they continue to grow into instructional leaders. “So goes the principal, so goes the building” is an adage that she believes to be true. The need for strong leaders who possess vision, passion, and the desire to create a positive school culture are more important now than ever. It is her belief that principals and building leaders need a strong foundation of support in place as they do the heavy lifting of creating school systems and structures that lead to increased student achievement and overall school effectiveness.

Alan Dillon

Schools Cubed

Alan Dillon has been an elementary teacher, academic coach, educational consultant, elementary principal, superintendent of a rural school district on the western slope of Colorado and most recently served as an Associate Commissioner of Education for the Colorado Department or Education. As an educational consultant, Alan assisted schools with turnaround strategies, supporting effective instructional practices when implementing early literacy programs kindergarten through third grade.

Alan previously worked for the Colorado Department of Education, under the federal Reading First grant. During this time, he worked closely with school administrators, academic coaches and classroom teachers, as a literacy content specialist.

Alan has served on several state and national advisory boards relating to assessment practices and rural school issues. In his 20 plus year career as an educator, school quality and support for teachers and administrators has been a consistent focus of his work.

Alan earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College, an Elementary Teaching Certification from Mesa State College and a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Regis University.

Vicki Ferrari

Schools Cubed

Vicki Ferrari is an educator with over 27 years of experience. Vicki received her Bachelors of Science from the University of Arizona, her Masters of Education from the University of Denver and her Administrative Licensure from the University of Colorado at Denver. She spent her career as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant director of assessment and research, assistant principal and principal. Currently Vicki is an educational consultant and has had the pleasure of working with and coaching districts and schools all over the country around research based best practices in Literacy and Math. During her free time Vicki loves being a mom to her teenage daughter who is a competitive swimmer, walking and playing with her dogs, and loves taking yoga classes.

Jill Hafey

Schools Cubed

Jill Hafey has a passion for student achievement and leading teachers to the next level. She is a 20 year veteran in the profession of education, currently leading, inspiring, and coaching at Sunset Elementary as the building Principal. Jill has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Teaching from Mesa State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Walden University. She is a strong believer in servant leadership, all students can learn, and building growth mindsets among her staff, students, and families. Jill does not shy away from hard work and loves challenges. She does not allow for excuses to cloud reality, seeks first to understand, and builds a team to tackle the task at hand. She has designed and implemented systems that move teachers and students to the next level of learning. Jill Hafey has led her staff in earning the Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award and continues to work with her staff and district to maintain student growth. She has been named the 2018 Outstanding Administrative Leadership in Reading Award from CCIRA. Jill is a life-long learner, an avid reader, and an active member on district committees (Strategic Planning, Technology…). During her free time, Mrs. Hafey enjoys riding her horse to mountain lakes, running, and taking care of her family of 7.

Ellie

Ellie Martinez

Schools Cubed

Ellie Martinez has worked in education as a teacher, Principal, Director of Professional Learning and Culture and Climate Coach. Her 32 years of experience in public education offers expertise with both school and central transformation and leadership development. She was a principal for 17 years, serving 3 distinct and unique communities. Ellie has experience with leadership coaching. Her work supports system change that embodies flexible and agile learning communities that positively impact student growth. She is a Thinking Collaborative-Training Associate for Adaptive Schools. Ellie earned her BA in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She holds a Type D Administration certification from the University of Colorado Denver.

Polly Ortiz-Lutz

Schools Cubed

Dr. Polly Ortiz-Lutz is a seasoned educational leader, whose career has spanned 30 years. Previously, she was the Director of Special Education/504 Compliance Officer for more than two decades for Jefferson County Public Schools. JEFFCO has 85,000 students and 9,000 students with IEP’s. Polly has held administrative positions in public schools, universities, hospitals/clinics and federal government settings. Dr. Lutz’ is also a trained mediator through the Colorado Bar Association. Teams report that Dr. Ortiz Lutz is strength based and child focused. Her calm professional style and experience as a licensed school psychologist is helpful in facilitating challenging meetings. She takes the mystery out of the IDEA and the 504 process, services and implementation. Her trainings are engaging and ignite conversations between schools and parents. She has also provided professional development to educators in the area of 504 Compliance and IDEA processes and meeting facilitation. Polly is an expert in using Restorative Practices (RP) to address human relationships, ensure equity and mediate more positive collaboration in the future. Dr. Ortiz Lutz has proven to be a creative problem solver improving outcomes for all children and youth. Polly has a particular area of specialization with high-risk youth as well as crisis response and trauma.

Donna Bright

Schools Cubed

Donna Bright is a 25-year veteran educator committed to student success through high quality literacy instruction. Donna has worked as a special educator, reading specialist, coach, master teacher, and state level principal consultant and manager focused on literacy. She has worked with leaders and teachers across the state of Colorado focusing on alignment of literacy data, and evidence based-practices, to support all readers. Her background in Deaf Education and linguistics paved the path to a professional career focused on scientifically-based reading instruction. She believes passionately all students deserve high quality instruction resulting in the ability to read. Donna believes literacy rates in our nation are a moral and social justice issue we have the ability to change.

Jamie Gansmann

Schools Cubed

Taylor Lutz

Schools Cubed