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Dr. Kristi Cole, Ph.D.

Chief Education Officer

Dr. Kristi Cole is the founding Chief Education Officer for The Lincoln Academy, the first K-12 charter school in Beloit, Wisconsin. Dr. Cole is responsible for launching The Lincoln Academy and oversees educational programming, staffing, finances, contract compliance and operations for the school.

Dr. Cole worked as a consultant with Kids First Beloit on the charter school project since August 2019. Prior to being selected the CEO at The Lincoln Academy, she served as the Chief Operations Officer for a high performing K8 urban charter school network in Milwaukee, serving 2,000 scholars across four campuses from 2011 to 2020.

Dr. Cole received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from UW-Milwaukee, her Masters in Library and Information Science from UW-Milwaukee, her Masters in Administrative Leadership from Concordia University of Wisconsin-Mequon and her Director of Instruction License from Alverno College of Wisconsin. In 2010, Dr. Cole earned her Superintendent’s License and in 2013 obtained her Ph.D. in Service and Leadership, both from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee.

From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Cole also served as a School Leadership Coach for the non-profit organization, Schools That Can Milwaukee. She taught an Emerging Leaders course for Alverno College in Milwaukee in 2015 and 2017 and served as the Principal at a premiere multi-cultural charter school in Milwaukee Public Schools, from 2000 to 2007. Dr. Cole then served as the Project Director for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative and the Director of Diversified Community Schools. She later served as the Chief Charter School Officer under the direction of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. Dr. Cole was selected as a Wallace Urban Leader Fellow, being named as one of the top 30 urban principals in the State of Wisconsin. She served on the State Superintendent’s Charter Schools Advisory Council and was a representative of the State Superintendent’s Committee of Practitioners. She is currently the Chair of WICSA (Wisconsin Independent Charter School Association). Dr. Cole has served as a mentor to numerous new principals and has presented nationally in the areas of urban leadership, parent and community partnerships, positive school culture, school operations and restorative justice practices.

“I have had the wonderful opportunity to engage with many community members in Beloit and I am excited to be part of this incredible city. My mission in life has been serving children to ensure they get a quality public education and I am glad to share my expertise and passion with the Beloit community. It is an honor to be the founding CEO of The Lincoln Academy and to work with such talented educators in creating a highly successful, innovative, rigorous and joyful K-12 charter school where all children will be provided a quality education that prepares them for a choice-filled life.”

Dr. Cole enjoys spending time with her husband, two adult daughters and cane corso, Bella. In her free time she enjoys gardening, reading, scrapbooking and watching documentaries.

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