Meet Our Team
Metro RESA School Climate Team
The Metro RESA School Climate Specialists (SCSs) support schools and school districts in building their capacity to create and sustain positive, responsive, and effective learning environments that engage all students, families, and staff. SCSs will assist schools as they implement evidence-based models like Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) to establish positive school climate in schools.
Through a tiered coaching model, the GaDOE PBIS team provides support and resources to the Metro RESA SCSs team. These supports and resources then reach the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) through services from the Metro RESA SCSs. Building systems in districts is a key element of the work of SCSs, as they assist schools and districts in the alignment of various school climate initiatives.
1. Metro SCSs will assist in the building of professional growth, awareness, and knowledge of school climate initiatives for all stakeholders;
2. Metro SCSs will assist LEAs in building systems that lead, support, and align school climate initiatives that increase district capacity; and
3. Metro RESA SCSs will provide guidance, professional development and coaching to schools and school districts on school climate initiatives.
Metro RESA School Climate Specialists
Michelle Sandrock, School Climate Specialist Team Lead
Primary Districts Served: DeKalb County School District, Fulton County Schools, and Gwinnett County Public Schools
Michelle serves as the Lead School Climate Specialist and Wraparound Services Coordinator for both the School Climate and Whole Child Supports teams at Metro RESA. Previously, she served as the Family-School Partnership Program Manager at the Georgia Department of Education. She is a passionate leader with experience helping states, districts, and schools develop, cultivate, and sustain positive learning environments. These learning environments foster family, school, and community partnerships in an effort to eliminate barriers and support the whole child. Her area of specialty lies in assisting schools and districts in the development of system-level change through strategic planning, partnership development, facilitation, and coaching.
Leah Black, School Climate Specialist
Primary Districts Served: Atlanta Public Schools and City Schools of Decatur
Leah joined the Metro RESA team in July 2021 as a School Climate Specialist and later, as a Wraparound Services Coordinator. Prior to joining the team, Leah served in various leadership capacities in five school districts in three states. Her greatest passions are supporting Title I schools and leaders around Culture and Climate, Social and Emotional Learning, and ensuring that all PreK-12th students' needs are met via wraparound services. It is her passion and purpose to support the improvement of academic outcomes and reduce disproportionality in the schools she supports.
Dr. Laurel Kinard, School Climate Specialist
Primary Districts Served: Clayton County Schools, Forsyth County Schools, and State Charter Schools
Laurel began her career as a school psychologist, working for 25 years in elementary, middle, and high schools before serving sixteen years as Director of Student Assistance Programs in the Cobb County School District. After a career-long interest in school climate and student welfare, Laurel joined the School Climate Team at Metro RESA in August 2021. In her role with Metro RESA, her desire is to support schools in their work on climate and mental health awareness.
Jaime Espinosa, School Climate Specialist
Primary Districts Served: Cobb County School District and Rockdale County Public Schools
Jaime is a school climate specialist who has been with Metro RESA since 2017. Prior to this position, Jaime worked as a teacher, counselor, and administrator for thirty years. His passion is to support students and staff members in schools and he is a strong believer in the power of positive thinking in schools. He enjoys teaching and developing teachers so they can push forth that same positive energy. In his free time, Jaime enjoys the outdoors and loves to travel.