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Monique Payton

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Monique Payton
Senior Academic & Program Strategy Consultant
Academic and Program Strategy

Background: Monique Payton is a senior consultant on the Academic and Program Strategy team within Bellwether's Strategic Advising practice area. She has 13 years of experience fighting for educational equity in a variety of roles and contexts including higher education administration, schools, and networks. Monique is committed to being an anti-racist educator, building excellent equitable schools where children can thrive in joyful, rigorous instruction and have their unique talents and gifts cultivated and celebrated. 

Prior to joining Bellwether, she worked as the managing director of primary schools in KIPP Texas Public Schools. In this role, she coached and supported 22 primary school leaders in providing academically excellent and equitable virtual instruction in response to COVID-19.

Monique spent 10 years helping to found and lead a KIPP elementary school in Northeast Houston as a teacher, dean, and ultimately the school leader. She was awarded the prestigious KIPP Six Leader Award for serving in the principal role for six years. During her tenure, the school increased the number of students performing at or above grade level in reading and math by more than 46%. She was able to drive academic results and close educational gaps by building a culture of consistency and warmth that made the school feel safe, loving, and focused. 

Monique is a Teach For America Corps alumna and holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s degree in education policy from Stanford University. Monique currently resides in Houston.

Why I do this work: As a first-generation college student, I was able to gain access and opportunities through education and mentorship that changed my life trajectory. My life’s work is to make sure that all students, especially those who come from historically marginalized communities, have an academically excellent foundation to pursue any path they choose and then be able to use their experiences to create a more just and equitable society.

Experience at Bellwether: Strategic Planning; Performance Improvement/Sustainability; Implementation Planning; CMO/Charter School Operators; District Schools

Client segments served: K-12 Schools; School Districts; CMO/Charter Schools; Academic Continuous Improvement

Sample clients: Promise Community Schools at Baker Ripley, LEEP Dual Language Academy, San Antonio ISD, Young Women’s Leadership Academy Primary

Recent Media

Nate Geller
Stephanie Spangler
Monique Payton

The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on students from historically marginalized communities underscores the value of continuous improvement (CI) as a framework for understanding the depth of unfinished learning and responding to it in an urgent, data-driven, and adaptive manner. Working alongside school-based teams, Bellwether has developed a refined and balanced approach to the traditional CI process that is more attuned to realities in schools, particularly in the wake of the pandemic — and is now available for school leaders to download as a customizable, easy-to-use resource that can help them implement these techniques for students.