Shella Zelenz, CEO

Shella Zelenz, M.A.Ed., Ed.D. *


I am highly regarded in my music and arts administration endeavors as well as globally recognized for my innovative education expertise with an historically strong reputation for having an innovative servant leadership style, articulate problem solving skills, and highly sensitive networking skills. I am a professional Musician, Workshop Facilitator, Presenter, Researcher, Administrator, Fundraiser, Grant Writer, Marketing Strategist, Instructor, Curriculum & Course Designer, Writer & Editor, and Consultant. I am a visionary who has combined 18+ years of experience in Music, Arts Administration and Arts Education to create a strong understanding of the needs and challenges found in our arts organizations, communities and schools. My primary areas of expertise include: Music, Composition, Performance, Music Education, Communication, Social Media, Virtual Education, Community Building, Networking, Event Planning, Donor and Volunteer Procurement and Management, Marketing Campaign Strategy, Speech Writing and Research, Public Relations and Entrepreneurship.

Functional Summary

Arts Administration and Non-profit Management Experience
Curriculum Writer
Virtual Classroom Instructor
Marketing & Media Relations
Donor and Volunteer Management
Associate Music Faculty, Chorus, Drama, Band Teacher, Private Music Instructor
Event Planner
Communications, Writing, Public Relations
Grant Writer
Writer & Editor – books, research, marketing, and business related


Music Teacher/Director – 20 years

Private Lessons (flute, voice, piano, private show choir, group piano) Public School Choir, Band, Show Choir, Jazz Choir, Jazz Band Community College music history and music theory Music Ministry Director I have prepped individuals who were preparing for recording contract work or sessions as requested by the producers Employers: Park Cities Music (2012), Texas Academy of Arts (2012-2013), Musika (2011), Kanata Music Academy (1996-1997), Centrepointe Music Academy (1996-1997), Coral Mountain Music/Shella Zelenz Music (my own company 1996- current), Rosebud Public School (2002-2003), Meadowbrook Middle School (2003-2004), Newark Junior High School (2004-2005), Eagles Peak Charter School (2005-2006), Miles Community College (2002-2003), Mount San Jacinto College (2005-2009), First Presbyterian Church (2001- 2003), Church of Christ (2001-2003), Country Homes Christian Church (1998-2001), Northwest Bible Church (1993-1996), Church of Religious Science (2005-2009)


Taught show choir, chamber, beginning and advanced chorus, jazz band, 7-12th grade band, guitar, percussion classes, brass classes, and piano classes
Multiple successful fundraisers, grant writing, and performances/competitions (six-figure grant writing and fundraising)
Started a brand new arts programs in schools and private programs
Took large groups of students on various trips/competitions
Freelance performer
Songwriter/choral arranger/band arranger
Maintain student account records, lesson reminders, newsletters, billing, and music ordering.
Taught Music Fundamentals (beginning music theory)
Taught American Music History online
Taught Music Appreciation
Class sizes ranging from 1-76 students, Group performances of 1 – 325 students.
Multiple performance venues including Poway Performing Arts Center, Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Bonita Vista Fantasy Festival, Heritage Festival in San Francisco, and Travis Ranch Show Choir Competition
Multiple Plays produced
Taught online lessons

Administrative Employment – 10 years

Zelenz Consulting Group Founder 2009 – Current

Writing & Editing Services

Launched online resource for educational consultation services, which include the following:

Consultation services for education, non-profit management, publishing, and entrepreneurship development.
Miles Community College Director of the Center for Academic Success 2009

  • Grant writing
  • Monitor and implement GED program as well as Americorp and other job training program oversight.
  • Direct tutoring center activities and trainings for students and faculty.
  • Marketing and research
  • Provide training utilizing the online course programs to implement growth and success of the programs offered
  • Raise retention rates at the college by providing student academic assistance and encouragement.

Mt. San Jacinto College Evening Administrator 2008–2009

  • Responsible for ensuring all security processes were in order, monitored campus activities in the evenings and weekends, facilitated faculty needs

Allegro Baroque & Beyond Administrative Director 1995–1996

  • Managed all office procedures for a not-for-profit music performance organization.
  • Developed, implemented and monitored a yearly strategic plan and budget which included resource acquisition, program design, implementation, development, grant writing, and evaluation.
  • Recruited, trained, coordinated, evaluated, and recognized volunteers, community leaders, board and committee members to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Successful experience marketing and promoting agency goals and activities utilizing local media sources, public presentations, newsletters, advertising, and inter-agency relations.
  • Proven ability in creating detailed operational updates and composing accurate periodic financial reports.

Virtual/Online Teaching Experience – 8 years

Fielding Graduate University Virtual Cluster Leader 2010–2011

  • Scheduled, uploaded presentations, and ran monthly cluster meetings for faculty and students located in various parts of the world for the Educational Leadership and Change program.

Mt. San Jacinto College Music Faculty 2005–2009

  • Taught online American Music History

KC Distance Learning Curriculum Writer 2008

  • Wrote Middle School and High School curriculum for online schools. I have also written freelance requested curriculum for other groups or organizations including homeschool groups, and private companies looking to sell their products.

Coral Mountain Music Teacher 1996–present

  • Taught private voice, piano and flute lessons utilizing Elluminate, Skype and other online platforms as well as in person private lessons and group classes.

California Virtual Academy K–8 Teacher (Education Specialist) 2006–2007

  • Maintained student records for 28 students who took their classes online, including but not limited to, attendance records and report cards, assignment sheets, and met with parents quarterly to collect work samples. Provided assistance to parents who were homeschooling their children.

LMS Platforms utilized: Skype, Moodle, Elluminate, K-12 Proprietary, Angel, Webex, Blackboard, Second Life, LabSpace, SoftChalk, Atlas, and other platforms.

Media and Recording Software utilized: Garage Band, Sibelius, ProTools, Finale, Cakewalk, and iMovie

Social Media Platforms utilized: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, AboutMe, Instagram, and others

Website Development Skills: HTML coding, WordPress (with plugins), hosting, website builder/designer, FrontPage, and others


2007–2011 Fielding Graduate University Santa Barbara, CA

EdD in Educational Leadership & Change Teaching in the Virtual Classroom Certification Media Studies concentration (ABD)

Teaching in the Virtual Classroom Certification – Basic Principles of Online Teaching, Strategies for Online

  • Facilitation and Evaluation, Applied Project in Effective Online Teaching and Evaluation, Principles of Course and Curriculum Design for Online Learning, Strategies of Effective Course and Curriculum Design, and Applied Project in Effective Design of Online courses and Programs. EdD Educational Leadership and Change program, concentration area in Media Studies: Structural Inequality and Diversity, Systems Thinking, Action Oriented Research, Media Studies, Rethinking Schools and Organizations, Leadership and Change, and Dissertation in Process.

2002–2004 University of Phoenix Phoenix, AZ

MAED – Masters in Education

  • Elementary Art and Science of Teaching; Child and Adolescent Development; Models, Theories, and Instructional Strategies; Elementary Student Teaching Seminar I; The Diverse Classroom; Maintaining an Effective Learning Climate; Curriculum Constructs and Assessment: Reading and Language Arts; Curriculum Constructs and Assessment: Science and Mathematics; Curriculum Constructs and Assessment: Social Studies and Fine Arts; Action Research; Student Teaching.

1998–2000 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA

MA in Vocal Performance incomplete

  • Music History (20th Century and Baroque), Choral Arranging, Performance, Advanced Conducting, Concert Choir, Musical Theater Productions, Private Voice and Piano Lessons, Methods of Educational Research

1991–1995 Whitworth College Spokane, WA

BA in Arts Administration BA in Music BA in Music Education (completed through MAED program)

  • Education courses, Music Education courses, Chemistry, Philosophy, Music History, Music Theory, Ear Training, Private Vocal, Piano, and Flute Lessons, Concert Choir, Psychology, Choral Arranging, Orchestration, Conducting, Opera Workshop, Accounting, Business Management, Comprehensive Computer courses, and various business courses.



BA in Music/Music Education

BA in Arts Administration

MA/MM Vocal Performance – incomplete

MAED – Masters in Education – Elementary

TVC – Teaching in the Virtual Classroom Certified

EdD – Educational Leadership & Change, concentration area – Media Studies (ABD – dissertation in progress)

Professional Memberships and Awards Memberships:

Alternative Education Resource Organization, Albany, NY

Casa Italiana Opera Company, Los Angeles, CA

Desert Repertory Theater, Rancho Mirage, CA

American Songwriters, Composers, Authors and Publishers – ASCAP

Temecula Valley Master Chorale, Temecula, CA

Bay Area Choral Harmonies, Oakland, CA

West Bay Opera, Palo Alto, CA

San Jose Symphonic Choir, San Jose, CA

California Opera Association, San Francisco, CA

Communications Workers of America Union – CWA

American Federation of Teachers Union – AFT

American Choral Directors Association –ACDA

Music Educators National Conference – MENC

Ottawa Choral Society, (directed by Iwan Edwards and guest conducted by Trevor Pinnock – St. Matthew

Passion, National Arts Centre, 1996) Ottawa, ON, Canada

Bach Chorale (Gunther Schueller, Director), Bach Festival – Spokane, WA Spokane Allied Arts Festival,

Spokane, WA Sandpoint Music Festival (Gunther Schueller, Director), Sandpoint, ID

Miles City Music Group, Miles City, MT Miles City Community Orchestra, Miles City, MT

Spokane Symphony Chorale, Spokane, WA


Social Innovation Award – Fielding Graduate University Fielding Scholarship – multiple years

Most Outstanding Coordinator – CIEE

Virtual Cluster Leader – Fielding Graduate University

Award winning choirs – Magic Music Days, Travis Ranch Show Choir Competition, Great America Show

Choir Competition, Bonita Vista Show Choir Competition (adjudicated by Kirby Shaw)

Vocal Scholarship – Whitworth University

Forensic Team Scholarship – Whitworth University

Conference Presentations, Research, Publications, Professional Memberships and Awards
Conference Presentations:Alternative Education Resource Organization
Conference: June 2010, Albany, NY. Title: Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Law (H.B. 2281): What are its implications for academic freedom and youth education in a multicultural, pluralistic America?Workshop Facilitators: Don “Four Arrows” Jacobs, Brian J. Trautman, and Shella R. Zelenz (Fielding Graduate University)Description:Addressing Arizona House Bill 2281, an act directed at the state’s ethnic studies programs. It was signed into law on May 11, 2010. The law prohibits ethnic studies classes in all K-12 public and charter schools, but specifically targets Latino, African American and Native American ethnic/cultural and linguistic heritage. We explained the law and examine its implications for academic freedom and youth education in Arizona and across the nation, including its threats to authentic critical thinking about history and the values of identity, tolerance, equality and justice in a multicultural, pluralistic American society. Research: RootEd Abstract: Contemporary education and the majority of school reform efforts have continuously moved toward maladaptations that are increasingly responsible for a number of problems facing young people and our world at large. The emerging field of epigenetics may offer support for this contention and can contribute to new level of awareness and action as relates to the problems in educational leadership and change. With this assumption in mind, I propose a theoretical dissertation that attempts to answer the following research question: “How can epigenetic theories support a call for education reforms based on traditional Indigenous approaches to teaching and learning, especially for students with relatively recent tribal ancestry?” RootEd Film: Includes Chapter 2 of the book.Research Reference Letters: May 21, 2011

Research Recommendations
Shella Zelenz as Scholar-Activist
It is my understanding that her proposed area of inquiry is:
The Role of Indigenous Cultural Values and Epigenetics on School Reform.
As she indicates, this is analysis involving a theoretical literature review for her doctoral dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change at Fielding Graduate University. However, its significance and utility extends robustly to the discovery of new methods and strategies of implementing education using indigenous resources, values and experiences.It is my privilege to have known Ms. Zelenz in my capacity as a faculty member of the School of Educational Leadership and Change at Fielding Graduate University where I have the privilege of serving on her doctoral dissertation committee as her Research Faculty member. Through many meetings and social occasions, I came to know her as a dynamic, brilliant, committed and disciplined soul and mind uniquely fitted to pursue this vital area of inquiry.She has very successfully completed her doctoral coursework with distinction and dynamism. She is an exceptional student who interacted with her faculty and student colleagues and produced quality analyses.
She savored her experience and exchanges with persons of very diverse international, racial, ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.As a current Professor serving on interacting with hundreds of talented and dynamic students at this distinguished institution, I am aware of the Foundation’s profound emphasis on insuring a dynamic match between the funding prospect and the scholar’s capacity to excel in the study and find educational and strategic utility in the real world of change. Shella Zelenz’s research is the epitome of such a standard.The Scholarship
As indicated by Ms. Zelenz,
“Epigenetics, and a component of it referred to as “Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance,” suggests that environmental habits, from stress and diet to lifestyle choices and educational systems, can not only modify genetic expression in health and behaviors within one lifetime, but that such changes also can be passed on to offspring. Her hypothesis for this proposed research is that Western cultural influences on education have drastically changed or are significantly challenging more natural genetic expressions of humans in ways that contribute to the growing problems both in schools and in the world at large. She argues that recognizing this possibility and returning to what can be described as Indigenous ways of knowing that remain, more or less, in our genes, can help reverse these problems, advance educational outcomes suitable for today’s most profound human challenges and contribute to social, ecological, intellectual and spiritual balance.”Shella Zelenz is very aware of the ethical dimensions of this research. Too often, any reference to the word “genetics,” raises specters of horrific research on oppressed individuals, races or religions or misguided references to the genetic bases of intellectual or learning capacity. Her work is aimed in the opposite direction. She seeks to know how these genetic dynamics affirm individuals, enhance and enliven learning and provide new opportunities for schools to build on the cultural resources of their students and the student family and community network.The Application of the Scholarship
Though robustly theoretical in orientation, Shella Zelenz’s work is even richer for faculty, school administrators and policy makers seeking to raise successful student outcomes, particularly in indigenous communities. Your support will enable her to identify even more voices, venues and veins in specific indigenous communities who sorely need her scholarship.Why Shella Zelenz?
Consequently, I recommend Ms. Zelenz for at least four interrelated reasons:
Ms. Zelenz is a talented and dynamic intellect. She has successfully studied not only the liberal arts, social sciences, mathematics, education and science but ethnography, anthropology and systems. Her experience working interacting with other students provides her with an unusually keen sense of what is required for success as a scholar-activist. By admitting providing her with a grant, you would make an immense contribution to advancing the work and career of a gifted intellect, as well as to the world she will privilege with her gifts of intellect, interpersonal relations and policy and administrative acumen; Ms. Zelenz is a quick study. She deciphers people, situations, cultures, needs and institutions exceptionally well. These skills will be in abundant display in her interaction with individuals and institutions in the communities that will immediately benefit from her work. She will also make judicious and effective identification of library, institutional and research sources in and around the community; Ms. Zelenz possesses extraordinary interpersonal skills. She is able to work with persons of very diverse racial, ethnic, culture, age, professional and personality backgrounds. These qualities are essential to her, particularly in exchanges between her and faculty and students as well as between her the community, policy and student communities; and Ms. Zelenz will spread the benefits of her grant experience in across a vast and diverse educational, cultural and international network. She will be among those who will share success as an educator, scholar and activist with constructive, dynamic and sustainable reformers.
I therefore enthusiastically support her selection as a scholar and stand ready to do anything further that would enhance the ability of this exceptional soul and mind to continue the tradition of quality. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Lenneal J. Henderson
Lenneal J. Henderson, Ph.D.,
Faculty, School of Educational Leadership and Change
The Fielding Graduate University and
Distinguished Professor of Public and International Affairs
The College of Public Affairs
Fellow, William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy
Fellow, Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics
The University of Baltimore
410-707-5873, or

June 15, 2011

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my honour to offer this letter of support on behalf of Ms. Shella Zelenz. I have worked closely with Ms. Zelenz for at least two years as her professor in the School of Educational Leadership and Change at Fielding Graduate University. Ms. Zelenz has taken two courses with me, and I am now serving as a member of her dissertation committee. Please allow me to share my understanding of her qualifications for a grant. Ms. Zelenz is an exceptional scholar who is writing a dissertation that builds theoretical connections among three distinct domains: epigenetics, educational practice, and traditional Indigenous ways of learning and teaching. Her work represents a new direction in education, drawing from critical theories to offer a deeper understanding of pedagogy. Her committee is enthusiastically supportive of her dissertation, and I urge you to support her with a grant.

Ms. Zelenz has a very keen understanding of complex literatures and is very skilled in summarizing, comparing and contrasting, and synthesizing them in a holistic way. Her papers reflect a broad and in-depth understanding of theories and research, and she has insightful recommendations for applying teaching methods that resonate with under-represented populations for maximizing learning. Moreover, she has frequently offered new learning opportunities for me and my Fielding colleagues, and for educators in her local community. Ms. Zelenz is the sort of scholar who provokes critical thinking and inspires new directions in educational practice.

I especially appreciate that Ms. Zelenz is tapping current and controversial literature in education and biological science, and proposes new directions in social-behavioral research methods. She is opening a new dialogue that will inspire further research on the dynamic relationship between epigenetics and age-old educational traditions in North American Indigenous cultures. Her work has potential for developing new approaches for overcoming educational disparities in communities that include Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans. She offers hope for making broad-base changes in how schooling is done in impoverished communities, where the challenges seem insurmountable, and I know she will touch many lives in a positive way as her ideas become implemented.

I enthusiastically endorse Ms. Zelez’s work. Supporting her will, in turn, help us create change in communities that will otherwise continue to fare poorly.

Rodney Beaulieu, Ph.D.
Profesor, School of Educational Leadership & Change
Fielding Graduate University

Chapter 2 of the research