Columbia Christian School announced Dr. Marla Strecker as the new head of school Friday afternoon. Strecker is a state and national expert on college readiness. Currently, Strecker is a curriculum writer for a national college readiness initiative sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Southern Regional Education Board. The college readiness curriculum will be in public high schools of Arkansas and 14 other states by 2013-2014. Since 2010, Strecker has testified as an education expert at the Arkansas Capitol by request of lawmakers and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in areas of college readiness, retention, and student success. She is a two-time Master Presenter for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development sponsored by University of Texas at Austin. She has served as an evaluator for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Next Generation Learning Challenges, and various other national education reform initiatives. In addition, Strecker was a national evaluator for technology initiatives to improve learning based in Common Core Standards. Strecker has also published research in educational technology and organizational development. Strecker, her husband, and two children have been residents of Magnolia for the past five years and she is an Assistant Professor of Education at SAU. Strecker is the daughter of Baptist missionaries and received her doctorate of education from the University of Arkansas. “As the daughter of missionaries and an academic practitioner, I am honored to have this unprecedented opportunity to blend my professional research with my personal faith as I become a part of CCS.”
Strecker will assume her role at CCS June 1. Proposed plans for CCS 2012 – 2013 school year include a Career and College Planning Program, enriched fine arts offerings and service learning opportunities, increased use of targeted educational technology, online learning resources for parents and students, College Preparatory Curriculum, and additional concurrent offerings for high school students. Parents and community members are encouraged to contact CCS at (870) 234-2831 for more information.