Iish Ryaru

Decades of Experience in Education

Iishwara (Iish) Ryaru, Ed.D. is the Principal Advisor at Engaged Advisors, committed to providing meaningful services to educational organizations with a shared goal to advance equity.

Iish has dedicated more than two decades to a career in education, with experience as a teacher, school and district administrator, nonprofit and state agency leader, university instructor, and leadership coach.

Most recently, Iish was the Senior Director of Field Action & Advocacy at the Linked Learning Alliance, where he spearheaded efforts to align practice and policy opportunities at the local and state levels. He cultivated relationships with key stakeholders to support adoption of integrated college and career offerings.

Before working at the Linked Learning Alliance, Iish was the Director of Continuous Improvement for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), where he oversaw statewide and regional initiatives focused on building the capacity of educators and education stakeholders.

Prior to his time with the CCEE, Iish served as a Senior Engagement Manager and Senior Program Associate in the Comprehensive School Assistance Program at WestEd. While at WestEd, he also served as Accountability System Liaison for California State Board of Education staff, supported California Department of Education capacity building initiatives, and provided a range of services to county offices of education and school districts.

Iish also worked as the Director of Assessment, Accountability, and Specialized Programs and oversaw the Accountability Department at the Novato Unified School District.

Before moving into district administration, Iish opened Nexus Academy Community Day School and served as the school’s principal. He also served as assistant principal at Novato High School and San Marin High School, and as a social studies teacher at San Rafael High School.

Iish holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Davis, Master of Arts degree in educational administration from San Francisco State University, Master of Arts degree in teaching and Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Sara McClellan is an Organizational Planning and Change Advisor at Engaged Advisors. She is also an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Sacramento State University. Her teaching and research focus on organizational communication, planning, and stakeholder engagement practices. Sara consults and trains to support public managers working to improve education, health care, and criminal justice systems.

Previously, Sara served as Associate Director and Organizational Development Specialist for the California Comprehensive Center in the Comprehensive School Assistance Program at WestEd. In this role, she worked with California district and state education leaders to strengthen internal work processes, engage internal and external stakeholders in constructive ways, and ensure effective change implementation and continuous improvement cycles. Sara also served as a trainer for CPS Human Resources and worked as a deputy county administrative officer, personnel director, and First 5 director in northern California.

In all of her roles, Sara is committed to empowering organizational leadership and stakeholders to solve public problems in a more systemic, inclusive, and creative way.

She has served as an adjunct professor for the Price School of Public Policy and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California (USC). She earned her PhD in Organizational Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, her Masters in Public Administration from USC, and a B.A. in Liberal Studies from CSU Monterey Bay.

In her spare time, Sara enjoys dancing, hiking, cooking, and reading detective novels. She lives in West Sacramento with her husband and two cats.

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