With 15 years experience working in public schools, Alexis Boyden is a certified in both teaching and school administration and has a strong background in special education. She began her career in Chicago Public Schools as a history teacher, but was quickly drawn to working with students with learning disabilities for the ability to form personal connections and work more closely with families.
In Chicago, she helped her school to create and implement a co-teaching program so students with academic challenges could be included in the general education classroom with their needs met in the least restrictive environment.
From there, her family moved to Ann Arbor, where she spent some time working at a private school for students with unique learning styles (Ann Arbor Academy) before becoming a Teacher Consultant at Ann Arbor Public School’s alternative high school (now known as Pathways to Success). There, she became known for her work bringing the school into compliance and ensuring all students with special needs were properly identified and serviced. This lead to her selection for the founding leadership team for the new area high school (Skyline High School, opened in 2008), serving as the lead teacher for Student Support Services.
In her position as department chair and lead teacher, she lead a team in integrating co-teaching model throughout the building, while maintaining supportive and collaborative relationships with families, general education teachers, and administration. Seeing her role as a student advocate first, allowed her to forge strong relationships with families and create IEPs that placed students in the least restrictive environment with the supports they needed to be successful.
After five years at Skyline and the completion of her administrator certificate, Alexis accepted a position as an Assistant Principal at Ypsilanti Community High School. There, among other things, she was responsible for overseeing the special education department, brought the co-teaching model, and led intervention programs, such as a Restorative Practices Center and the Student Support Team (response-to-intervention process).
Throughout her educational career, she was blessed to work with amazing teachers, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other service providers. She sat on multi-disciplinary evaluation teams, conducted achievement testing and classroom observations, facilitated numerous Individual Education Plan Team meetings and Manifestation Determination Reviews. She has helped to develop and implement Functional Behavior Analysis and Behavior Intervention Plans. Additionally, she was able to develop a Positive Behavior and Intervention System, a response to intervention process, a universal design lesson planning tool, and facilitated staff development on these topics and much more.
You will find in Alexis someone who is not only passionate about inclusion, but also able to tease out the root of a problem and work collaboratively with a team to find a suitable solution that works for all parties, but most especially for the student.
Alexis has also served as an adjunct faculty member in Educational Foundations at Grand Valley State University, was a member of the Preschool Inclusion Workgroup that crafted the Michigan Department of Education’s “Preschool Inclusion Collective Action Plan” published February 2022, and is an Inclusion Coach with Joyful Inclusion.
M.Ed., DePaul University – Secondary Teaching & Learning
BA, Oakland University – Communications major with a Public Relations minor
Michigan Professional Teaching Certificate, with endorsements in 6-12 History and Journalism, K-12 Learning Disabilities
Michigan School Administrator Certificate, K-12
Courageous Conversations About Race
Critical Friends Group Coaching
Functional Behavior Analysis and Behavior Intervention Plans (MDE, MiMTTS Technical Assistance Center)
Meeting Mechanics by STatewide Autism Resources & Training (START)