Melissa Schlinger

Vice President of Practice and Programs

Melissa Schlinger leads CASEL’s efforts to advance systemic implementation of evidence-based social and emotional learning in school districts across the nation. She oversees CASEL’s Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI), which has grown under her leadership from eight to eighteen large urban districts implementing systemic SEL.  She also oversees the development of school and district resources based on CDI learnings, as well as CASEL support services. As a key member of CASEL’s leadership team, Melissa collaborates with foundations, program providers, state and federal departments of education, school districts, community-based organizations, and university partners to advance CASEL’s mission of helping to make SEL an integral part of PreK-12 education for all students in the nation.

Before joining CASEL Melissa served as vice president of education services for ScholarCentric, where she worked closely with school district officials, university researchers, educational organizations, and state departments of education to increase awareness of social and emotional learning, SEL research findings, and practical applications for the classroom. She brings extensive experience collaborating with districts to identify needs and to develop sound implementation plans to integrate SEL assessment, curriculum, and instructional strategies into the school environment.

In her career at ScholarCentric and also at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she served as vice president of strategic initiatives, Melissa provided guidance on funding initiatives and grants, interpretation and analysis of complex data, and development and execution of consulting and professional development sessions for district leaders, principals, teachers, and parents. She has provided consultation on the importance of social and emotional learning and strategies for effective SEL implementation, and she regularly presents on complex research and education topics to diverse audiences at international conferences and symposiums.

Melissa is a former educator in the Fairfax County, Va., public schools and an active Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters in Chicago, where she resides with her husband and school-age twins.