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Servant Leadership Institute

Educator Leadership Academy

Part 1: Thursday, May 16, 2024 - Saturday, May 18, 2024
Part 2: Friday, February 7, 2025 - Saturday, February 8, 2025
Concordia University Irvine

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Join the 2024-2025 Educator Leadership Academy

Educator Leadership Academy

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K-12 public and private school education professionals.

  • Schools and District Offices are encouraged to send at least three team members from their site
  • Enrollment will be limited to 100 participants

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Concordia University’s Servant Leadership Institute is sponsoring five days of professional development for educators across the nation to acquire insights on how to become exemplary servant leaders of character with specific skills to create positive school cultures where students thrive.

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The Educator Leadership Academy begins with three days of professional development training with seminar sessions, networking with colleagues, and time to meet with leadership coaches.

  • Thursday, May 16, 2024 (4:30 pm - 8:00 pm)
  • Friday, May 17, 2024 (8:00 am - 7:00 pm)
  • Saturday, May 18, 2024 (8:00 am - 2:15 pm)

The Academy reconvenes in February with follow-up debriefing and additional leadership seminars.

  • Friday, February 7, 2025 (8:00 am - 4:00 pm)
  • Saturday, February 8, 2025 (8:00 am - 2:30 pm)

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Concordia University Irvine’s beautiful campus (Orange County, CA)

1530 Concordia West
Irvine, CA 92612

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Leadership Coaching

As an added benefit of the Educator Leadership Academy, each school team will be matched with a trained Leadership Coach who will meet via Zoom for 60-90 minutes/month through the academic year.


Watch Last Year's Education Leadership Academy

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Seminar sessions led by faculty members from Concordia’s School of Education and distinguished leaders in education, business, and athletics.


  • Effective Servant Leadership
  • Essential Ingredients to Building a Championship Team
  • Systemic Integration of SEL/Character into Today’s Schools
  • Relationships – The Real Priority of a Servant Leader 
  • Kaizen Challenge
  • Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity
  • Ethics in Education 
  • Lessons on Leadership and Character Learned in the Marines 
  • Motivating for Excellence
  • Debriefing on Personal Leadership Plans and Kaizen Challenge
  • How to Build Trust as a Leader
  • Reimagining Servant Leadership for the 21st Century
  • Developing a Positive School Culture
  • Self Care and Balance as a Leader


  • Discounted rates are available at the Sonesta

Graduate Credit Available

Three units of graduate credit available to participants who register for the EDEL 510 course and complete course learning outcomes.


A generous grant from the Kern Family Foundation allows each applicant to participate at a reduced rate of $600/person

Participants wishing to earn three units of graduate credit have an additional tuition fee of $1,000.

Register Today

2024-2025 Schedule

Subject to change

Thursday, May 16, 2024
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Check in and dinner
6:00 pm - 6:45 pm Welcome mixer
6:45 pm - 8:00 pm Session 1 - Effective Servant Leadership
Friday, May 17, 2024
8:15 am - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 am - 10:15 am

Session 2 - Essential Ingredients to Building a Championship Team

10:15 am - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:45 am Session 3 - Ethics in Education as a Servant Leader
11:45 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm Session 4 - Ethics in Education as a Servant Leader
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm Break
2:30 pm - 3:45 pm Session 5 - Personal Leadership Plan & Kaizen Challenge
3:45 pm - 4:30 pm Reports from Cohort #2
4:30 pm - 5:15 pm Group Photo and Meet with Leadership Coaches
5:15 pm - 7:00 pm Reception and Dinner
Saturday, May 18, 2024
8:15 am - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast and Devotion
9:00 am - 10:15 am

Session 6 - Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

10:15 am - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:45 am Session 7 - Systematic Integration of SEL/Character into Today's Schools
11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm Session 8 - Relationships: The Real Priority of a Servant Leader
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm Closing Comments
Friday, February 7, 2025
8:00 am - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 am - 10:15 am Session 9 - Essential Virtues of a Servant Leader
10:15 am - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:45 am Session 10 - Discussion on the Pillars of Servant Leadership
11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Session 11 - Lessons Learned about Leadership and Character in the Marines

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm Break
2:45 pm - 4:00 pm Session 12 - How to Build Trust as a Leader
Saturday, February 8, 2025
8:00 am - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast 
9:00 am - 10:15 am Session 13 - Self-Care and Balance as a Servant Leader
10:15 am - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:45 am Session 14 - Meet with Leadership Coaches
11:45 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm Session 15 - Motivating for Excellence
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm Closing Comments
Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier

Session #1: Effective Servant Leadership
Session #5: Kaizen Challenge

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier, Director of Concordia’s Servant Leadership Institute will discuss the impact that servant leaders can make in today’s schools. Each participant will have the opportunity to identify and integrate timeless leadership characteristics and strategies into a personal leadership plan to maximize their servant leadership.

Kent Schlichtemeier has enjoyed serving for over four decades as a leader in education. He began his career teaching 6th-8th grades. After completing his Master’s degree at the University of Denver, he taught and coached at the high school level in Orlando, FL. Kent served as a Professor in the School of Education at Concordia University Irvine from 1988-2003 where he mentored future teachers. In addition to teaching at Concordia, Kent was the women’s basketball coach until retiring from coaching in 1993 to pursue his doctoral degree. During the final two seasons of Kent’s tenure as coach, the Lady Eagle basketball team made two consecutive appearances at the NAIA National Basketball Tournament after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships. Kent was named the District Three NAIA Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993 and was inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

Kent completed his Ed.D. at UCLA in Educational Leadership. Kent served as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Orange Lutheran High School from 2003-2007 before returning to teach at Concordia University Irvine and most recently serve as the Dean of the School of Education. Today, Kent is thrilled to serve as the inaugural Director of the Servant Leadership Institute. Kent enjoys frequent opportunities to speak at sports banquets, school graduations, teacher conferences, leadership retreats, and business seminars.

Kent and his wife Cindy, are blessed by God with two children - Aaron and Kayla.

Dr.Wes and Ellie Beavis

Dr. Wes & Ellie Beavis

Session #13: Self-Care and Balance as a Servant Leader

Dr. Wes Beavis is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in treating professional burnout. He is an author and sought-after speaker on leading from a place of personal well-being. Ellie Beavis is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the director of teaching faculty for Crean Lutheran High School. Ellie has a master’s degree in education and a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Ellie is currently completing her Ph.D. dissertation focusing on teacher wellbeing.

Dr. Wes & Ellie Beavis are committed to helping servant leaders thrive despite working in demanding vocations.

Cori Close

Cori Close

Session #2: Essential Ingredients to Building a Championship Team

Cori Close became the UCLA Women’s Head Basketball Coach on April 21, 2011. Close began her collegiate coaching career at UCLA while serving as the restricted earnings coach on the first staff of then-new head coach Kathy Olivier in the 1994 and 1995 seasons. She earned her Master’s Degree in educational administration at UCLA.

Cori took over the helm in Westwood after assisting at her alma mater UC Santa Barbara from 1995-2004 and then spending seven seasons as an associate head coach at Florida State University from 2004 until 2011. During that time, Cori was considered one of the top offensive minds in the game and a masterful recruiter. Close helped guide the Seminoles into a nationally- recognized program in scoring, field goal percentage, and three-point field goal percentage during her last two seasons.

As a player, Close was a four-year starting point guard at UC Santa Barbara and captained the 1992 and 1993 teams, which each advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A native of Milpitas, Calif., she was a 1993 first-team All-Big West selection and the MVP of the 1993 conference tournament. Close was the first player in school history to record more than 1,000 points and 500 assists for a career and ranked among the top 10 in seven Gaucho statistical categories. She averaged a school-record 8.3 assists per game in 1993 which was among the top 10 marks in the nation that season. On April 30, 2005, Close was inducted into the UC Santa Barbara Athletics Hall of Fame.

Close earned her 200th-career win in the Bruins’ victory at Arizona State on Dec. 6, 2020. She joined Billie Moore (296-181) and Kathy Olivier (232-208) as the only coaches in program history to eclipse the 200-win milestone. The Bruins enjoyed an epic season in 2022-23 last with a final record of 27-10 and advanced to the sweet 16 before losing to 35-0 #1 ranked South Carolina.

Dr. Amy Johnston

Dr. Amy Johnston

Session #7: Systemic Integration of SEL/Character into Today’s Schools
Session #8: Relationships – The Real Priority of a Servant Leader

Dr. Amy Johnston spent 33 years in the field of education and earned Master’s Degrees in Educational Administration and Counseling and an Ed.D. in Character Education and Democratic School Governance from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She taught high school, served as a middle school counselor, and spent 17 years in administration. After she retired from public education, she spent a year as an interim principal at a private K-8 school and began working at the University of Missouri-Missouri in the Center for Citizenship and Character.

During her time as an administrator, she spent a year with Dr. Marvin Berkowitz in his Leadership Academy in Character Education, and the knowledge gained there helped transform her school. In 2008 Francis Howell Middle was named a National School of Character by

She has shared the FHMS Character Education Journey and the importance of a healthy adult culture and teaching students social and emotional skills as an invited speaker at Tom Lickona’s Character Education Conference (CEC) in New York, the CHARACTERplus Conference in St. Louis, the CEC in Wisconsin, the National CEP Forum in Houston, the District 20 CEC in Colorado Springs, The HOPE Institute in Alabama, the AME Conference at Harvard University and she has worked with school leaders in China and Dubai. She was honored when named the St. Louis Area Middle School Principal of the Year and the UMSL Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Character Education and Excellence in Educational Leadership. She currently does consulting work, teaches, and works on program development in the area of Servant Leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Dr. Troy Hutchings

Dr. Troy Hutchings

Session #3: Ethics in Education as a Servant Leader I
Session #4: Ethics in Education as a Servant Leader II

Troy Hutchings researches, writes and speaks in the areas of professional ethics, educator misconduct, and frameworks for an ethical teaching practice. He presents to various state and national policy and practitioner audiences across the United States and Canada. Hutchings also provides expert witness testimony in judicial hearings; collaborates on policy initiatives with state, federal and provincial agencies; and was the subject matter expert for the Model Code of Ethics for Educators as well as numerous other national resources, projects and initiatives.

Dr. Hutchings is the Senior Policy Advisor for the National Association for the State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). He has a record of full-time teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities at the university level spanning 15 years, and has also served as a high school teacher, administrator and coach in public and private schooling environments for an additional 16 years. In addition, he spent four years conducting research, creating resources and developing thought-leadership capacity in educator ethics for a non-profit educational research and assessment organization.

Dr. Mary Scott

Dr. Mary Scott

Session #9: Motivating for Excellence

Dr. Mary Scott currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, California. Previously she served as the Head of School at Concordia International School Shanghai, China. She held that position from July, 2016 – June, 2020. Prior to serving at Concordia Shanghai, Mary served in numerous roles at Concordia University Irvine. She completed her years of service there as the Executive Vice President of the University and Provost.

Dr. Scott has spoken at numerous events through-out her career in educational ministry. Her topics have included leadership, women’s leadership, life balance, personal growth and crisis management. She has a heart and a passion for various cultures. Mary has an earned doctorate from Pepperdine University. She has received a number of awards for her service, including the prestigious Spiritus Christi award from her Alma Mater, Concordia University, Chicago.

Mary is married to Dan. They have three daughters. Their youngest daughter is a student at Orange Lutheran High School.

Dan Tarbutton

Dan Tarbutton

Session #11: Lessons Learned about Leadership and Character in the Marines

Dan Tarbutton, retired Marine One pilot for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, will share lessons learned about being a leader of high character through his service to our country as a United States Marine and now as a Senior Vice President with the Irvine Company.

Dan was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He received his Bachelor's degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Penn State University and was then commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

Most of Dan’s Marine Corps career was spent flying the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter, including three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005, Dan was selected to join Marine Helicopter Squadron One, flying the President of the United States. During this assignment, he was one of five Marine One pilots, responsible for Presidential helicopter missions in the United States and around the globe. He also spent time as a liaison to the British Army in Afghanistan and later helped lead the Marine Corps’ school for all new officers, teaching leadership, military skills and ethics. Dan’s personal military decorations include the Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, three individual action Air Medals.

After retiring from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel, Dan joined the Irvine Company as a Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, achieved his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California and has since been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Community Management Services. In this role, he leads Marketing and a number of centralized services that support the management of over 125 apartment communities throughout California.

Dan lives in San Clemente with his wife Tanya, and two children.

Jerry Almendarez

Jerry Almendarez

Session #13: Reimagining Servant Leadership for the 21st Century

Jerry Almendarez’ career in education spans 28 years and includes experience as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Mr. Almendarez also served as Director of Human Resources for Colton Joint Unified from 2003 to 2007, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources from 2007 to 2010 and Superintendent from 2010-2020. As the Superintendent of Schools for the Santa Ana Unified School District, Jerry Almendarez is responsible for leading the 11th largest school district in the State, with 56 schools and programs, approximately 5,000 employees, and an expense budget of $890.6 million.

Mr. Almendarez has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Redlands, and a bachelor’s degree in business/finance from Cal State San Bernardino. Mr. Almendarez has also taught as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and the University of Redlands, and was named a 2019 Ted-Ed Innovative Educator. In 2020 Jerry Almendarez was named CALSA Region 6 Superintendent of the Year.

Andy Klinkenberg

Andy Klinkenberg

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Andy Klinkenberg began his professional career in law enforcement for 12 years for the Santa Ana and Westminster police departments as a gang probation officer. This line of service involved frequent negative interactions with youth which led Andy to become motivated to enter the wonderful world of education. Andy worked for 10 years in the Anaheim Elementary School District as a teacher of multiple grades ( 1,3,5, and 6), a vice principal, and interim principal.

For the past eight years Andy has been an elementary school principal in the Capistrano School District currently serving as the principal at Tijeras Creek Elementary, Rancho Santa Margarita CA. Tijeras Creek currently (2021-2022) boasts the highest test scores within the Capistrano School district as measured by the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA). Andy believes the impact educators have on children is a huge responsibility and an immense opportunity to change a child’s life on a daily basis.

Dr. Rebecca Pianta

Dr. Rebecca Pianta

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Dr. Rebecca Pianta is a champion for equity and a passionate advocate for the school counseling profession. With 17 years of experience in education, she has been a school counselor at all levels, district lead counselor, administrator, and adjunct professor.

As Coordinator of Counseling and Student Support in her former District, Dr. Pianta oversaw the District-wide comprehensive school counseling program and served of the leadership team that developed the District Cultural Proficiency Strategic Plan. Due to her diligent leadership, eleven schools earned the Recognized American School Counselors Association Model Program designation. In 2019, she was recognized as California and Orange County Counselor Advocate of the Year.

Currently, Dr. Pianta is the Coordinator of College and Career Readiness at Santa Ana Unified School District, where she supports 200 school counselors with implementing culturally sustaining comprehensive school counseling programs, and an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University. She also serves on the American School Counselors Board of Directors and is the Director of Equity and Diversity for the Association of California School Administrators Region 17.

Dr. Lori Doyle

Dr. Lori Doyle

Session #5 - Kaizen Challenge

Associate Professor and MAEL Director, School of Education; Assistant Director, Servant Leadership Institute

Dr. Lori Doyle works as Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University Irvine where she serves as Director of the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program and Assistant Director of the Servant Leadership Institute. She has completed and managed extensive curriculum development projects at the university and serves as Subject Matter Expert for courses in multiple MA programs. Working as an instructor also keeps her mindful of relevant and changing trends in education. Lori has taught at several universities over the past twenty-two years, but her career began as a high school English and theology teacher and curriculum writer. She holds a California Clear Credential in Secondary Education, MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition. Lori maintains a robust commitment to research and writing; she also enjoys opportunities to collaborate and present at academic and education conferences throughout the year.

Dr. Buddy Mendez

Dr. Buddy Mendez

Session #15 - Self-care and Balance as a Leader

Dr. Mendez is a Professor of Psychology at Concordia University Irvine and a Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Newport Beach. He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Theology and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Dr. Mendez has published two books: “Ready, Set, Married: 12 Christian Character Traits for a Strong and Lasting Marriage” and “Surviving Your Child’s Adolescence: A Christian Guide for Meeting Your Teen’s Deepest Needs.”

Michelle Thompson

Michelle Thompson

Session #14 - How to Build Trust as a Servant Leader

Michelle Thompson is the Director of the Executive Coaching and Consulting program at the Townsend Institute at Concordia University.

As a Leadership and Growth Coach, credentialed as a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation, she brings a breadth of executive leadership experience in the non-profit and for-profit sectors combined with almost two decades of involvement with the Townsend Growth Model.

Degrees and Certifications

  • M.S., Organizational Development, Abilene Christian University
  • M.A., Children's and Family Ministry, Bethel Seminary
  • B.A., Elementary Education, Concordia University Chicago
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coaching Federation
  • Certificate, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, Abilene Christian University
Dr. Jason Viloria

Dr. Jason Viloria

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Stan Machesky

Stan Machesky

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Since 2014, I have been Irvine Unified School District’s Executive Director, supporting Early Childhood Learning and our 31 Elementary and K-8 schools. Previously, I was a site principal at three different schools across K-8th grade and taught 2nd and 4th grades. My experience with Concordia began in 2006 as an adjunct professor and I’ve taught most of the master’s degree courses in both administration and curriculum and instruction. My wife is a kindergarten teacher in Irvine and we have three sons, one starting law school, one in college and one about to graduate high school.

Vanessa Seifert

Dr. Vanessa Seifert

Session #12 - Developing a Positive Culture as a Servant Leader

Dr. Vanessa Seifert is a passionate scholar who applies proven principles in a customized manner to overcome barriers and empower lasting change. At her core, Vanessa believes life is a journey that includes countless opportunities for growth. She helps leaders influence those around them to learn, grow, and contribute to their communities.

With nearly twenty years of experience, Vanessa guides leaders to uncover answers to their critical questions, unlocking individual and group potential. Her credentials include a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership; an International Coaching Federation’s Associate Coaching Certification (gold standard of coaching); and a Gallup Strengths Coaching Certification. Work on her doctoral dissertation fueled her interest in concepts of how organizational growth first starts with individual change.

Vanessa has served as executive coach for a variety of nonprofit, business and church leaders including the Nebraska District LCMS President, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska CEO and executive team, and a variety of business clients through previous work at Leadership Resources. In 2017, she initiated Leadership Learning Communities, a two-year leadership development process that includes individual coaching and peer group learning for pastors. She has also served a variety of organizations in leadership roles including service as chair of the National Association of Directors of Christian Education.

In addition to her work as president and executive coach of Seifert Leadership Consulting, Vanessa is a called DC-Discipleship Catalyst at Calvary Lutheran church in Lincoln, Nebraska. In this role, she provides resources for the church and community to further the idea that all of life is faith and all of faith is life. This experience provides ongoing insights into organizational dynamics that continue to enhance her insights on coaching and development.

An avid athlete, Vanessa participated in collegiate sports on the Concordia University Texas and Concordia University Nebraska women’s basketball teams. She has a history of competitive triathlon racing and has instructed cycling classes in her local community. These experiences have deepened her awareness of the importance of team dynamics and individual accomplishment.

Vanessa enjoys spending time with her husband, Brandon, raising their two daughters.

Megan Bouslaugh

Megan Bouslaugh

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Megan Bouslaugh serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Concordia University Irvine.  Megan and her family moved from their lifelong roots in the great Northwest to sunny Southern California in the summer of 2020. She served at Concordia University Portland for 16 years.

Megan grew up in a family of higher education administration. Throughout her childhood, Megan’s father served for 15 years as a university president at a Christian college in Portland, Oregon.  Megan experienced God’s call into the vocation of ministry as a young adult and pursued her Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Christian Ministry at Warner Pacific University. Following that degree, Megan received her Master of Arts in Counseling from Western Seminary in 2003. She worked in a private counseling practice before fully diving into her passion for student affairs administration.

Megan has served as a university Title IX Coordinator for over ten years and currently oversees Concordia’s conduct and restoration strategy, wellness services, academic advising and student success programs, and the residence and student life aspects of the University.  She has a heart and passion for the student experience and persistence to graduation, focusing efforts on students building key relationships, utilizing crucial resources, and then challenging themselves to step into vital experiences that will shape Concordia students into wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens.

Mario Carlos

Mario Carlos

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Dr. Mario A. Carlos currently serves as the Superintendent of the La Habra City School District. Over his 30-year career, he has served in various roles, including Adjunct Professor for California State University at Fullerton, Doctorate program, and University of California Irvine, Masters in Education program.

Dr. Carlos earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a Multiple Subject teaching credential with BCLAD authorization from California State University at San Bernardino, a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of California at Los Angeles, a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Pupil Services credential from Azusa Pacific University, and a Doctorate in Education from California State University at Fullerton.

Kristin McGriff

Kristin McGriff

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Kristin McGriff, a seasoned educational leader, brings seven years of dedicated service as a Laguna Hills High School special education teacher. Drawing from her experiences as a student-athlete at Concordia University Irvine, Kristin seamlessly integrates principles of teamwork into her educational approach. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kristin's heart is devoted to her beloved family and her beagle companion, Scout. Excited to share her insights, Kristin eagerly anticipates contributing to the upcoming Servant Leadership Institute.

Rick Francis

Rick Francis

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Rick Francis is currently the Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at San Diego International Airport. In that role, Rick leads a diverse team of aviation professionals that oversee the airfield, terminals, parking, security, and maintenance functions at California's third busiest airport. Previously Mr. Francis served as the Interim Director of John Wayne Airport, Orange County, from November 2021 until June 2022 and the Assistant Airport Director of John Wayne Airport from June 2017 until November 2022. In that role, Rick provided functional oversight of all airport divisions at the medium hub commercial airport, including leadership of six Airport Divisions, Human Resources, and Quality Assurance & Compliance. Before joining the airport, he served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Costa Mesa for five years. Rick was the Chief of Staff to former Orange County Supervisor John M.W. Moorlach, the Lead Associate Pastor at Newport Mesa Church in Costa Mesa, and with the County of Orange Probation Department for 13 years, attaining the rank of Division Director.

Throughout his career, Rick has embraced the principles of Servant Leadership by recognizing the potential of leaders within each organization, helping catalyze them to become agents of change, efficiency, and empathy. He has taught various aspects of leadership in many forums throughout Orange County. Rick holds a bachelor's degree in Religious Education and a master's degree in Public Administration. He regularly serves in his church and is helping to mold the next generation of young leaders – his two grandchildren!

David Maggard

David L. Maggard Jr., Ed.D.

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

David L. Maggard Jr. has dedicated his professional life to public safety and investing in people and communities. He currently serves as the Director of Security and Emergency Services for the Disneyland Resort. Dave’s responsibilities include “protecting the magic” at Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the resort’s extraordinary hotels. Prior to his role at Disney, Dave served as the Executive Director of In-N-Out Burger’s Slave 2 Nothing Foundation, where he led a dynamic team of philanthropic professionals responsible for supporting non-profits battling substance abuse and human trafficking in the seven states served by In-N-Out. Dave also completed a 35-year career in law enforcement and public safety. He served as the Deputy Executive Director for Public Safety and Security at Los Angeles World Airports from 2019-2021. As the Deputy Executive Director, Dave was responsible for airport security, policing, counterterrorism efforts, and emergency response functions for Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport. He provided management oversight and policy direction to all law enforcement and security staff; coordinated with other law enforcement agencies; and oversaw firefighting, and emergency medical and fire prevention services provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Dave also served as the primary law enforcement and homeland security liaison for numerous Federal agencies with jurisdictions at the Los Angeles Airports. Dave served on the Aviation Security Standing Committee for World - Airports Council International and also served as a member of the Department of Transportation’s National in-flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force. Prior to serving as Deputy Executive Director, Dave served as the Chief of Airport Police for three years, where he led the nation’s largest aviation law enforcement agency with more than 1,100 sworn and civilian employees who work at Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) airports. He also served as a Board Member to the national Aviation Law Enforcement Association Network.

Dave served as the Chief of Police – Director of Public Safety for the City of Irvine from 2003-2015 where he led several hundred public safety professionals and oversaw City-wide Technology, Animal Services, City Business Licensing and City Emergency Preparedness. Dave previously served as a Police Captain in the City of Manhattan Beach, a Police Lieutenant in the City of Indio, a Police Sergeant and Police Officer with the University of California Police and a Park Ranger in the City of Oakland.

Dave formerly served as California’s representative to the State Association of Chiefs of Police and was appointed by Governor Brown as an inaugural member of the California Board of State and Community Corrections. He served as the President of the California Police Chiefs Association and the President of the Orange County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association. Dave also served for a decade as a Commissioner of the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Additionally, Dave was a Fellow and Board Member for the California State University, Long Beach Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership. He was also the California State University, Long Beach - College of Health and Human Services Alumni of the Year. Dave received the Freedom Award from the United States Secretary of Defense, the Seven Seals Award from the United States Department of Defense and was particularly grateful to receive the California Police Chiefs Association’s Joe Molloy Award.

Dave’s educational experience includes a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (where he was an NCAA Division 1 Collegiate All-American in Track and Field), a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. Dave also earned a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. He has published articles and presented on a variety of public safety and leadership topics. He has served as a guest lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Fullerton, Pepperdine University and Concordia University, Irvine.

Dave and his wife Mellanie have been married for 29 years and have two college-aged children, Evan and Erika.

Shannon Manista

Shannon Manista

Session #6: Panel Discussion - Leading Through Conflict and Adversity

Dr. Shannon Manista's journey in education began with a spark ignited in the third grade by Mrs. Wise, a teacher who instilled in her a profound love for learning. This early inspiration paved the way for Dr. Manista's lifelong commitment to education, leading her to become a dedicated teacher and later an influential educational leader. She lives in South Orange County with her husband of 16 years, their two sons (ages 8 and 11), and their mini golden doodle.

Shannon earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Concordia University, Irvine, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from USC. She has amassed 18 years of experience in the Irvine Unified School District as a classroom teacher, School Support TOSA, and Assistant Principal. Notably, she opened Beacon Park K-8 School in 2016, creating systems and structures and cultivating teacher-leaders while developing a strong school culture among students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Administratively, Dr. Manista excels in fostering a safe, positive, and respectful learning environment. She actively engages in collaborative decision-making processes, evaluates faculty and staff performance meticulously, prioritizes school safety, and oversees multi-tiered systems and structures for meeting dynamic student needs. Her community-oriented approach involves forging partnerships for mental health and wellness support, nurturing relationships with school families, District level personnel, and especially with the Irvine Police Department DARE and School Resource Officers and the Mental Health Outreach Officer.

At the heart of Dr. Manista's educational philosophy lies a deep-seated belief that every child can learn at high levels. Her approach is firmly student-centered, emphasizing the importance of building a positive school culture where collective efficacy among the staff is paramount. She strives to create an environment that fosters joy in learning for adults and children, alike.

Servant Leadership Institute:
Educator Leadership Academy Registration Form



“Servant leadership is such a rewarding style of leadership. Throughout this academy, we were reminded that we were all called to serve first as part of being an effective leader. We were reminded how we can encourage and lead people to take action. We focused on how to build teams through effective communication, building trust, and empathy. Servant leadership creates a healthy, positive culture that encourages respect and value for all members while empowering others to grow and become leaders themselves. Thank you, CUI, for allowing me to grow in my own leadership and reminding me how amazing it is to be a servant leader.”
Christine - Crean Lutheran High School


“I so appreciated the affirming experiences in this. I felt valued and appreciated in the eyes of those organizing and planning this event and the presenters. I feel more encouraged, motivated, and equipped to perform at a higher level and with greater joy.”
Steve - Orange Unified School District


“This conference was the most informative one I’ve been to. The speakers are captivating and touch on topics in education that go unspoken. It is so important to spread these topics to educators all around the world. I hope every educator can attend a conference like the servant leadership one at Concordia.”
Lauryn - Cajon Valley Union School District


“What a blessing! Thank you for this incredible opportunity to participate in the Servant Leadership Institute. There were phenomenal speakers and opportunities to network with others. I can’t recommend this enough!”
Natasha - Saddleback Valley Unified School District


“The Servant Leadership Institute creates the perfect environment for leaders to learn the important skills to make effective systems within schools. A must for teachers, staff, and administrators. The focus of being a servant leader is so apparent.” 
Doris - Rancho Christian


“Being a Christian educator in a public school can feel very lonely. The Educator Leadership Academy provided much-needed mentorship, inspiration, and continual refocus on the vision of serving others. I leave each gathering feeling overwhelming pride to be in the field of education. I never as strongly feel that anywhere other than Concordia.”
Marjie - Newport Mesa Unified School District


“My time at the Servant Leadership Institute has positively impacted me personally and professionally. The topics were thought-provoking and engaging. I’m grateful to the entire Concordia University staff for their hospitality and kindness.”
Melissa - Cajon Valley Union School District


“The Servant Leadership Institute has been one of the best conferences I have attended.  There was so much thought and care that went into choosing speakers to share practical skills, practices, experiences, and research that applies to everyone in the field of education. There is something for everyone, no matter how much experience you have. It is so refreshing, and I left both sessions inspired, recharged, and wanting to share what I’ve learned.”
Candia - Cajon Valley Union School District


Contact Us

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier
Director, Servant Leadership Institute
[email protected]

Kathy Mueller

Kathy Mueller
Assistant Director of Events and Partnerships
(949) 214-3336
[email protected]

Lori Doyle

Lori Doyle
Assistant Director Servant Leadership Institute
(602) 540-7149
[email protected]

Supported by a generous grant from

The Kern Family Foundation Logo
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