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Meet Our CAO

Dr. Joni Samples
Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Joni Samples is the Chief Academic Officer of Family Friendly Schools. Dr. Joni comes with an impressive background combining academic credentials with practical service as a lifelong educator. She has served as a superintendent of schools, special education administrator, curriculum and instruction director, CEO for early childhood, coordinator of career and technical programs, and a teacher for regular and special education, as well as university teaching programs.
Dr. Joni is also a popular keynote speaker and trainer in the area of family engagement. She has authored books about parent involvement in the education of their children. Her interest in parent involvement began with her four children-twin sons James and Christopher, and daughters Jennifer and Carolyn. The kids provided her daily learning "ahas" that she translated into a weekly newspaper column. An article about learning fractions came from measuring ingredients to make muffins with Christopher. James' science fair project about rat reproduction resulted in several articles on how to develop a scientific hypothesis and test it out.

The popularity of the newspaper column led to Dr. Joni's first book, Taking the Guesswork out of School Success. This book stresses the importance of parent involvement and shows schools and parents how they can help each other improve their child's learning. The next books, The Parent Playbooks, are featured on this website, and are designed to assist parents with the Common Core Standards. The Parent Connection helps school teams understand and implement a process of Family Engagement.