Arelis Diaz, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

TITLE: Program Officer

FOCUS AREAS: Education birth to age 8, literacy, math skills

CONTACT: Arelis.Diaz@wkkf.org, (269) 968-1611

PROFILE: Arelis Diaz joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a program officer in 2010. She previously served multiple roles as an educator and administrator in Godwin Heights Public Schools in Wyoming, Michigan. Upon her departure from that school distrcit to join Kellogg, Jon Felske, the the distrcit's superintendent, wrote this open letter to the community:

On Monday, November 1 the Godwin Heights Board of Education accepted a letter of resignation from Arelis E. Diaz with a heavy heart. Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Human Resources, Diaz, has accepted a position with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation located in Battle Creek, Michigan. Her new position will support her career passion for improving student achievement by assisting schools in Michigan, New Mexico, and Mississippi. Mrs. Diaz will start her new position on Monday, December 6.

Mrs. Diaz was hired in the summer of 1995 by Godwin Heights upon her graduation from Calvin College. Her first position was K-5 Bilingual Teacher at North Godwin Elementary. In the summer of 2001, the Board of Education promoted her to Principal of North Godwin. Over the next four years, Mrs. Diaz transformed North Godwin Elementary into an exemplary building and received local, state and national recognition and awards. In the summer of 2005, Mrs. Diaz was named the district Director of Instruction by Superintendent Gailitis and the summer of 2007, was named Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. In July, 2010 Superintendent Felske added Director of Human Resources to her position.

Godwin Heights has been very fortunate to have received the gift of time, talent, and passion that Mrs. Diaz has provided to the district through her leadership. As she leaves Godwin Heights, we ask her to remember this saying from President Barack Obama, "If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress." Mrs. Diaz, may you continue to touch the lives of many young children.

"My passion is students and their families," Diaz has said. She is particularly attune to families where English is a second langauge—which was also her personal experience as a young immigrant to the United States.

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