Ruthie L. Payno-Simmons, Ph.D.
Dr. Payno-Simmons (formally Ruth Riddle) of RPS Educational Impact, LLC serves as an Equity Specialist for the Michigan Integrated Behavior and Learning Initiative (MIBLSI) and State Cadre Specialist for the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP Center) at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Payno-Simmons provides consulting and technical assistance for various state and local educational entities. Her work involves collaborating with teams of experts at the state and national level in providing professional learning supportive of developing policies and strategic planning to address significant academic and discipline disproportionality involving students who have been historically and systemically marginalized. Dr. Payno-Simmons supports educators and policymakers in considering ways to center race, culture, power, and educational equity as they work to build and strengthen their educational systems. Dr. Payno-Simmons' experience as a parent, researcher, teacher, teacher educator, principal, and central office administrator has provided her with a broad depth of knowledge and expertise in culturally sustaining practices, multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS), school-wide positive behavior supports (SWPBIS), and implementing sustainable educational systems. In her role as building principal, Dr. Payno-Simmons worked with her staff to implement sustainable systems that focused on promoting equitable learning which earned the state designation of Rewards School for closing the opportunity gap between the top 30% and bottom 30% students performing on the state assessment. Dr. Payno-Simmons leadership experiences over the last decade include policy analysis and strategic planning, coordination of K-12 educational programs, instruction, curriculum, staff professional development at all levels, school improvement, district accreditation, and evaluation of systems, assessment, and processes.