Expertise gained from a career spent in Oregon public education, extensive volunteer leadership service in multiple educational associations at the local, state and national level as well as her most recent experience as a member of the professional development department of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) enables Patti to share practical, realistic strategies with her audiences.

She has keynoted and/or presented for state departments of education, affiliates of AMLE, NASSP & NAESP, and for individual schools and districts in 41 states, 2 Canadian Providences and Australia. She believes that effective professional development focuses on developing reflective practitioners who possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to create a safe, caring and positive school culture, improve student learning as well as promote their academic success and personal development.

Patti began her career as an elementary music specialist and then taught 5th and 6th grade in an elementary school. She later taught 6th and 7th grade at the middle level when her district made the transition to middle school in the mid-80s.  During this time she was also involved in professional development work for her district, taught a variety of instructional and management skills classes, and took a one-year sabbatical leave to teach in the education department of Southern Oregon University.  As an assistant principal and later principal of Talent Middle School, she was highly involved in the process to transform this former 7-8 junior high school into a 6-8 middle school and in 2000, the school was recognized as one of “100 highly successful middle schools” in a national research study sponsored by NASSP.

Mrs. Kinney is a past president of the Association for Middle Level Education and of the Oregon Middle Level Association.  In 2007, she was awarded the Oregon Middle Level Association’s first Distinguished Service Award that was also named in her honor. In 1996, she was named the Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year, in 2002 she was the Oregon Middle Level Principal of the year, and in 2003 she was selected as the Met-Life/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year. From 2007-2014, she served as Associate Director, Middle Level Services for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) located in Virginia.

Patti has spoken, presented, and consulted on a variety of educational issues at national and international levels, including leadership, school improvement, quality instruction, building a positive climate and culture, educating young adolescents, and more.  She co-authored Voices of Experience: Perspectives from Middle Level Leaders (AMLE/NASSP) with Sue Swaim; The What, Why, and How of Student-Led Conferences (AMLE) with Jack Berckemeyer; and authored Fostering Student Accountability through Student-led Conferences (AMLE/NASSP). She earned her B.A. in elementary education and M.A. in outdoor education from Southern Oregon University and her administrative license from the University of Oregon.