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Q & A With MSA-CESS President Lisa Marie McCauley, Ed.D., C.P.A.

By September 25, 2019December 18th, 2021No Comments
Lisa Marie McCauley, Ed.D., C.P.A., was appointed as the new president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools effective on July 1, 2019.
Dr. McCauley previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and as Senior Vice President of Finance for Middle States Commission on Higher Education.Prior to joining Middle States in 2012, Dr. McCauley served as the CFO for several private and public colleges. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Widener University in Chester, Pa., and holds an MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pa.

Q. How did you develop an interest in education? 
A. I discovered my love for teaching when I was working as the controller at a local community college and serving as an adjunct accounting instructor. If I knew how much I would enjoy teaching, I would have gotten into it earlier. To me – whether I’m teaching accounting or scuba diving – there is nothing more rewarding than the knowledge exchange between teacher and student.Q. Wait, you teach scuba diving?

A. I do. I am a certified dive instructor and often visit elementary and secondary schools to offer short programs on marine science and an introduction to scuba diving.

Q. What are some of your other hobbies?

A. I love baking during the holidays. I bake 600 dozen cookies and an additional 100 nut, poppy and apricot rolls to give to family and friends. Everybody seems to like my chocolate chip cookies. The recipe is no secret. I use the recipe on the back of the bag for Toll House chips. I also enjoy gardening and traveling. As part of my theology studies – I double majored in college – I traveled throughout Europe as well as to several countries in the Middle East, including Israel and Lebanon.

Q. Did you have a favorite teacher growing up?

A. Aside from my parents, who always encouraged me to keep learning, I had a religion teacher my sophomore year who I really respected. Even though we were still in high school, he treated us like adults and listened to what we would say. He didn’t tell us what we should do. He asked questions and made us think so we could come to our own conclusions.

Q. What do you see as the greatest value Middle States accreditation brings to schools and school systems?

A. Middle States accreditation is all about growth and improvement. The peer review process is an important part of that. In fact, our member schools routinely tell us that participation in the Middle States peer review is one of the most valuable and professionally rewarding steps in the accreditation process- for both their home school and visiting team members. Also, at Middle States we respect the unique character of individual schools and don’t have a one-size-fits all approach to accreditation. We also realize that while data is helpful there is more to success than test scores alone.

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