Messages from our Team

Message from the Executive Director- Terri Martinez-McGraw
Message from the Director- Jodi Heilbrunn
Message from the Founder – Ken Seeley

Message from the Executive Director- Terri Martinez-McGraw

I am honored to begin my new adventure with The National Center for School Engagement.  As a former school administrator, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Ken Seeley and Jodi Heilbrunn as a consultant with NCSE.  In my work with NCSE I facilitated training in the areas of truancy reduction, school engagement, collaboration with school and community agencies, and school policy reviews.  NCSE provides cutting edge services in the field of education.  We will  continue to promote the three A’s – Attendance, Attachment and Achievement – for our schools through the services we provide.  NCSE has been nationally known for “best practices” in the field of education, and now we are on to “next practices” through research strategies, publications, facilitation of trainings and collaboration.

The National Center for School Engagement (NCSE) will continue to collaborate with school districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, and state and federal agencies to support youth and their families to be engaged at school.   Student success and achievement comes in a variety of  outcomes and paths.  I strongly believe we must strive to make education relevant to the students whom we serve.  High School graduation pathways are in a state of transformation.  At NCSE we will strive to assist school systems in adapting customized programs to fit the needs of all students, and to build support systems for students and families.  The art of relationship building is at the heart of our work.

I look forward to serving you and celebrating the work in improving the quality of life in our school systems.

Yours in education,

Terri Martinez-McGraw                                                                                                                                             Top of page

Message from the Director – Jodi Heilbrunn

How good it feels to be back and writing to you all once again!

You may realize that the Partnership for Families & Children, our parent organization, closed its doors in June after decades of service to communities across the country. It was a sad time for all of us. Initially, NCSE was left an orphan, but was not unloved! It has taken a few months, but our “adoption papers” have been signed, and we have a new home with the Summit Education Group.

Summit is a new organization formed by old friends. Our Executive Director, Terri Martinez-McGraw, shares our vision and values, and brings a career full of successful program development, experience on the ground as a teacher and school administrator, and service to kids who have faced more than their share of life’s challenges.

We’re so excited to continue our work, helping to build programs and tailor policies to keep kids in school, out of trouble, and off to productive lives after high school graduation!

Though our work will remain the same, our website will look a bit different. Our homepage will include frequent updates with new strategies that have been used successfully by schools across the country, and links to new resources. We hope you’ll check back often. As always, send comments and inquiries to We can’t wait to hear from you!


Jodi Heilbrunn
Director, National Center for School Engagement                                                                                                    Top of page

Message from the Founder -Ken Seeley

We are delighted to be in our new home with the Summit Education Group. We still have the same core with Jodi Heilbrunn as the Director and Sharlene Chiappetti as our webmaster and I will be a part of the larger team keeping our work going forward. Our new Executive Director, Terri Martinez McGraw, brings extensive real world school experience in student support services and prevention programs and has been connected to NCSE as an affiliate trainer for 10 years.

The National Center for School Engagement welcomes your input and suggestions as we continue to provide excellent training, technical assistance, and research. Engagement of students and parents is key to solving the dropout crisis and promoting school success to improve attendance, achievement and attachment.

We look forward to serving you and solving school engagement problems whether you are in a school, a court or a community based organization. Please contact us with your ideas for improving school engagement and school success for our most vulnerable children and youth.

All the Best,


Dr. Ken Seeley
NCSE                                                                                                                                                                                   Top of page