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									                                    CYNTHIA L. GESSLING
 36 Farm Street • Hiram, GA 30141 • H: (678) 391-0965 • C: (404) 964-1939 •

                                          NON-PROFIT EXECUTIVE
Energetic turnaround agent and leader with 20+ years of administrative leadership and management experience in youth
education and development. Created and executed strategies that effectively drove improved service and satisfaction in both
national and international assignments. Transformed multiple failing school systems into fine-tuned models of excellence.
Reputation for conscientious budget and funds management. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain collaborative
relationships and build consensus and buy in. Committed to diversity, inclusiveness, and optimal organizational
effectiveness. Solid facilitation, planning, interpersonal, and written/oral communication skills. Demonstrated ability to adapt
to different cultures and overcome difficult challenges. Excellent public representative. Areas of competence:

    Strategic Planning                            Administrative Leadership                     Staff Development
    Change Management                             Team Building                                 Community Relations
    Troubleshooting                               Financial Management                          Conference Management
    Grant Management                              Organization Planning                         Conflict Management
    Research                                      Public Speaking                               Management Training

   BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF AMERICA, headquartered in Atlanta, GA                                                   2004 – Present
      Senior Director: Education and the Arts – Lead team that provides technical training and assistance to youth
      development professionals supporting over four million youths in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Research and
      analyze trends affecting disadvantaged youth and develop appropriate strategies and methods to provide support.
      Serve as subject matter expert (SME) on education-related issues for “No Child Left Behind” national, federal, and
      state initiatives. Develop, produce, and implement all educational and fine arts enhancement for programming.
      • Developed an effective vision for educational and fine art planning for 3900 clubs, ensuring the highest
        caliber of trained professionals.
      • Met challenge of balancing diversity and cultural differences while fine-tuning program skills development
        for youth development professionals.
      • Collaborate with other program/youth development departments to develop strategic and integrated
      • Ensure funding and support for implementation of national education programming by building and
        maintaining productive corporate relationships.
      • Effectively serve as a national advocate and subject matter expert for Supplemental Education
        Services (SES); frequently present to school districts, Boys and Girls clubs, and various associated groups;
        provide chief professional officer and executive training. Close alliance and partnerships with U.S. Department of
        Education, state and local education agencies.
      • Improved staff performance by championing and supporting cluster and site-based training in 38
        states for Boys and Girls Club professionals.
      • Planned and coordinated the 2005 European and Stateside Youth Development Conference
        (Germany), the 2005 National Integrated Education and Technology Summit (Germany), and the 2005 National
        Education and Technology Summit (United States), Southeast Youth Development Program Chair (2006).
        Organized a National Education Advisory Committee (2004 – present), National Supplemental Education Advisory
        Task Force (2005).

   UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE                                                                            1983 – 2004
      Senior School Transition Specialist: Army Headquarters, Alexandria, VA (2003 – 2004) – Relocated to
      U.S. after Navy closed Puerto Rican base. Hired to create a new program to support mobile military youth on a global
      basis. Army’s Chief of Staff recommended program.
      • Collaborated with school transition specialist team members in Hawaii, Korea, Germany, Virginia, Georgia,
        and Texas on development of program.

CYNTHIA L. GESSLING                                                                              Page Two

  Superintendent of Schools: Antilles Consolidated School System, Department of Defense and
  Secondary Schools (DDESS), Puerto Rico (2000 – 2003) – Promoted to execute Congressional mandate to
  turn around system with serious education, facility, transportation, cultural diversity, and military command and
  community relations issues. Was one of the first principals in DOD promoted to Superintendent. Directed military
  school system with seven elementary schools, three high schools, 800+ employees, 4000 students, three labor
  unions, and a $56 million budget. Provided dependent educational support for 56 federal agencies. Supported schools
  at three military locations as well as Guantanamo Bay and Cuba sites.
  • Quickly assessed problems and created a plan of action for improving command relationships, addressing
    educational quality, and improving facility conditions.
  • Influenced decision makers to increase funding to transform system to one with top-level education in an
    environment better geared for the military mission; managed funds from fraud, waste, or abuse.
  • Gained strong endorsement from Army, Coast Guard, and Navy command for outstanding leadership in
    rectifying problems in DOD’s most litigious, difficult school system.
  • Earned multiple exceptional-service awards for improving labor union relations and decreasing anti-
    American sentiments; system became a model for other schools.
  • Decreased EEO cases from 200+ to one due to non-employment.
  • Effectively supported U.S. Army Southern Command with Latin American partnerships.

  Elementary Principal: PK-6 (DDESS), Fort Stewart, Georgia (1998 – 2000) – Hired to turn around
  DDESS’s largest elementary school experiencing sub-par test scores and multiple accreditation violations. School had
  1300+ students and 150 educators.
  • Raised test scores and gained accreditation within 12 months by improving teacher union relations and
    developing an adopt-a-school program, a strong PTA board, and parent academies.
  • Earned Pentagon’s special recognition for supporting troops in Bosnia by initiating and implementing
    “Allie and Ollie Gator” project; program deployed school’s two mascots to Bosnia, creating a fun and
    interactive way for children to communicate with deployed parents; gators were hosted on the David Letterman

  Elementary Principal: PK-6, Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS), Robinson
  Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany (1995 – 1998) – Promoted to resolve labor union, EEO, and parent
  dissatisfaction problems at school with 400 students and 40 teachers. European Command Headquarters site served
  as the hub for severely impaired, special needs students.
  • Turned around school where 75% of parents had complained about apathy and educational
    programming to one nominated for Times Magazine’s “military school of excellence.” Turnaround was
    accomplished within 24 months.
  • Met challenge of reconfiguring a junior high complex into an elementary school.
  • Won numerous awards for creative programming; new administrators were encouraged to use school as a
    model for excellence.
  • Initiated and orchestrated first-ever, adopt-a-school program. First elementary band program for
    elementary schools, and championed better security and support for families in remote location.

  Complex Coordinator/Educational Leader, Karlsruhe, Germany (1990 – 1994) – Promoted to lead
  administrator for four schools with 1200 students and 115 teachers.
  • Competently served as principal of an elementary school where over 90% of parents were deployed during
    Desert Storm.
  • Managed construction of $3.5 million kindergarten addition.
  • Developed numerous host-nation partnerships with schools.
  • Leveraged collaborative and conflict-management skills to overcome union challenges and resolve
    personnel issues.

CYNTHIA L. GESSLING                                                                              Page Three

     Principal, Germersheim, Germany (1985 – 1990) – Promoted to replace terminated principal of elementary
     school with 375 students and 28 teachers in remote location.
     • Earned promotion to principal within two years of hire.
     • Overcame significant community challenges, building productive relationships with command and families.
     • Received commendations for supporting school’s first North Central Accreditation.

EARLIER POSITIONS with DOD included Elementary Program Manager and Classroom Teacher.


     Doctor of Education in Educational Administration
     Education Specialist, Educational Administration, Superintendent Certificate
     Master of Education in School Administration, summa cum laude


     National Association for Elementary Principal (NAEP) Conferences
     National Association for Superintendents Association (AASA) Conferences
     European Principal Professional Development Summits
     Stateside Department of Defense Dependent Schools, Management Training

 Chip & Cookie Readitloud Foundation: Board of Directors
 Committee Member: Coalition for Community Schools
 Past Advisory Board Member for WNET, Channel 13 PBS Broadcasting (New York)
 Boys and Girls Club Professional Association
 Participant of Global Age Programming: George Lucas Educational Foundation
 Presentation at National PTA Convention (July 2006)
 Presentation at Pennsylvania Governors Summit (March 2006)
 Presentation at Library of Congress (July 2005)
 JCPenney Afterschool Fund Partner (4-H, Junior Achievement, YMCA)
 Collaborative partnerships with National Center for Family Leadership, Developmental Studies Center,
 Latin American Association, Edna McConnell Clark. Clemson and Pennsylvania State Universities

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