Melissa Jara is an educational consultant partnering with Catholic Schools Collaborative. A former Catholic elementary school educator and principal, she currently serves as an instructional data coach, supporting Catholic school principals and teachers in their implementation of curriculum to close the achievement gap. She also coaches school teams in understanding and effectively responding to data from instructional platforms to enhance student performance outcomes. In addition, Melissa serves LMU as an adjunct professor for CAST/PLACE and the Catholic School Leadership Academy.
Melissa enrolled in LMU’s Ed.D. program as an elementary school principal because she aspired to increase her knowledge of social justice in education and to continue on her path toward becoming a stronger role model for others, especially young Latinas.
Melissa’s educational research interest is the achievement gap and potential solutions to the academic factors perpetuating it. Her dissertation is a quantitative analysis on the impact of concurrent literacy interventions for third graders.
Opportunities in her instruction during LMU’s Ed.D. Program enhanced Melissa’s conceptualization of social justice, while also emphasizing the importance of operationalizing the terms she uses in her daily experience as an educator and leader in education. In her work with school teams, Melissa focuses on developing a common understanding as a foundation for the common language used to ensure clarity and consistency in the alignment of goals, practices, and outcomes. The research methodologies covered in the program also amplified her capacity to support her team and the schools they serve in effectively understanding and responding to instructional data points.