Larry Wallen

Larry Wallen is currently the President and Owner of Gray Matter Consulting, LLC. We are a family-owned consulting business operating out of Flagstaff, Arizona since 2007. For 20 years, Larry was Superintendent of Pinon Unified School District, a remote public school district located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. Larry, and his wife of 30 years, Lillian, have lived on the Navajo reservation for the past 27 years. They are returning to their home in Flagstaff.

During his twenty year tenure as Superintendent of a small rural school district, Larry has learned that the success of students in the classroom revolves around a strong educational leader who turns ideas into actions, actions that directly impact learning. Leadership requires setting the pace, yet providing an environment where support and learning, both students and teachers, are conducive to maximizing potential. Larry has developed extensive experience in human resource management, No Child Left Behind restructuring, financial management, technology leadership, instructional design, curriculum mapping, curriculum design, curriculum development, facilities management, professional development, teacher/principal effectiveness, and Governing Board leadership. Larry leaves Pinon with research-based systems in place to transform student achievement, a strong professional development program, modern school buildings, the latest instructional technology, and sound financial management.

Larry was recognized by the Arizona State Impact Aid Association for his efforts in defending against the sequestration of Impact Aid by the federal government during the 2012 – 2013 school year. He was recognized for his outstanding participation and leadership as a grassroots advocate for the Impact Aid program by the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools. He has long been recognized nationally as an advocate for Impact Aid. He was recognized in 2005 for his advocacy by the Pinon community for outstanding service and dedication in making the Pinon Health Center a reality. He has served as President of the Arizona State Impact Aid Association, President of the executive board of the Rural Schools of Northern Arizona Insurance Trust, founder and President of the Navajo Education Technology Consortium and recently sat on the state superintendents Advisory Council on Indian Education. In June 2013 at the Native Innovation’s 2013 Technology Leadership Conference, Larry was the keynote speaker talking about “Implementing a 1-to-1 Environment for the American Indian Student.” Pinon Unified has received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International 2010 – 2013.

Educated at Morehead State University, the University of Dayton, Northern Arizona University, University of Phoenix, and postgraduate work at University of Nevada Las Vegas demonstrates Larry’s commitment to learning. Serving as a 7th and 8th grade language arts teacher in northwestern Ohio, Larry participated in one of the first ESEA teacher development projects in the 1970s. In his role as counselor, Larry developed one of the first comprehensive counseling programs for junior high Native American students on the Navajo Nation. During his eleven years as middle school and high school principal, Larry led the development of school-wide curriculum projects, implementation of Madeline Hunter’s instructional paradigm, formative and summative assessment projects, and instructional improvement efforts to meet the learning needs of Native American students in response to NCLB. Larry has worked to spearhead the development of instructional technology and was awarded the 2003 Tech – Savvy Superintendent Award by eSchool News.

Gray Matter Consulting, LLC specializes in working with small and rural school districts in data-driven decision making, leadership mentoring, professional development, employee discipline in an education environment, teacher/principal effectiveness and administrative performance reviews. We turn achievement data into strategic plans built on alignment of instruction, curriculum, and assessments to allow teachers to target student learning needs and be effective with their learning strategies. We coach principals, assistant principals, and district leadership in the execution of their duties within a normal work week. We mentor Districts to implement iPad initiatives, administrative uses of iPads, and iPad classroom programs.