People writing at table, one gives thumbs up
Thumbs up during DME group work

Peer Networks

Special thanks to… Dawn Ellis, who served as principal investigator and chief consultant for all aspects of the (states leadership) initiative, greatly enhancing the quality of its process and products…

CEO and President, national governmental service association

This was the first and only professional development program I have attended that provided for reflection after every single session…. we preach to others about the importance of balancing reflection with learning and growing, but we so often short change reflection even in our own designs of continuing education for our peers. To be honest, this particular… meeting “blew me away” with the effectiveness of the reflection exercises implemented by Dawn.

~ State education leader, on Dawn’s work with national association professional development gatherings


Thanks so much! Yes the Board retreat was AMAZING!! Everyone loved Dawn and said that she was the best facilitator that they have ever had!

~ citywide public health organization in Maryland

Dawn amazes me with her brilliance, experience and knowledge, but mostly with her ability to assess what is going on around her and to adapt accordingly. She is easy to talk to and generous with her time and knowledge. I highly recommend her as a leader, facilitator, problem solver, and on and on.  I am certain that she could be called upon to wear many hats, but for us, she helped to create effectiveness and eliminate wasteful efforts. She is an incredible consultant, and a wonderful human being. Because in the end, her passion, bottom line, is to improve education for our children.

~ State education leader in the Southeast

Professional Development

“[Ellis provided] a whole new way for me to think about reaching the learner in a way meaningful to him… and how to document these efforts.”

~ A Connecticut educator

Dawn began with her soft, soothing voice, leading questions that made me enter a period of self reflection that…revealed purpose, logic and relevance to the previous material.  She managed this without telling us anything, but by guiding us through a reflection of our own feelings, conjectures …and how we might use the information upon our return to our work. She encouraged us to use whatever form of reflection worked for us, either by writing in a journal, dancing, singing or acting… and by sharing with our colleagues things we discovered along the way. Had this session of reflection not been offered, I have no doubt the previous session would have been a wasted effort on me at least. Instead, it transformed a session, which may have realistically been somewhat mediocre, into a valuable lesson that I could and would use.

~ A Southern arts and education leader, on Dawn’s reflection sessions for a national service association gathering

Coaching/ Writing

..(T)hanks and appreciation for your work with (us) on grant-writing and long-term conceptualization of our Performance Assessment for Competency Education plans. Your willingness to take on such a big project at short notice and your dedication to our purpose and product were impressive. We are grateful for your company’s ability to function as a partner and work with us toward our goals. Our project team was particularly impressed with your willingness to work all the hours needed to get the job completed by the deadline…. you really delivered! Organizing and writing skills were excellent, as was your ability to find and deliver specific information, contacts, and procedures. In addition, you quickly became part of our team and communicated well with all members.

Deputy Superintendent, a New England state department of education

Dawn’s thoroughness, ability to see the larger picture of my intention… and her nuanced ability to find the right questions to ask me to propel the work to the next level were impressive.

~ Blogger, consultant during development of book idea

Planning and Analysis

Dawn helped us by not only coming in and helping us with the planning, but also coming in and observing…. We couldn’t have done it without it; without her feedback.

~ Education Director, Delaware non-profit/ youth rehabilitation center partnership

Dawn has continually provided extraordinary programmatic guidance and feedback, both in the moment and written reports. She measures outcomes of individual programs, offers support and insight into departmental and organizational growth, pushes us to think carefully and rigorously about the relation of programs to organizational mission and to one another, and most important, Dawn’s thoughtful serenity allows every member of our team (and many of our program participants) to feel that they have someone outside the organization with whom they can reflect honestly, anonymously and meaningfully upon their experiences.

~ Education Director, National historic site/ cultural organization in Washington, DC