Dr. Melody Schopp currently serves as the Director of Education Industry Consulting at the SAS Institute. She supports Education Practice to support education leaders and states in solutions based analytics to improve student outcomes.

Melody had 24 years of classroom experience in the tiny, remote town of Lemmon, South Dakota (the nearest McDonald’s is 125 miles away). Melody’s journey led to the state’s capital, where she took on the positions of technology integrationist, director of teacher certification, and deputy education secretary while earning her doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, penning her dissertation on women’s leadership. She was appointed as Secretary of Education in 2011. As head of the South Dakota Department of Education, Melody supported the passage of legislation to boost teacher salaries.

Following her career in state government, Melody launched her own national education consultant business. Her work included a spectrum of clients from across the country who care deeply about students’ potential and success. She played the role of advisor and connector to maximize opportunities for client growth.

Melody’s résumé boasts more than 50 national speaking engagements on such topics as women’s influence, education and achievement, presented in the cities of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Princeton, San Diego, Baltimore and more.

In the fall of 2016, as part of her service as president of the national Council of Chief State School Officers, Melody traveled to the African country of Malawi to tour schools and share her experience. She also served as treasurer of the national policy organization Education Commission of the States and on the board of directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG).

Melody will join us from the stage at our upcoming National Conference taking place in Palm Springs, CA on April 23 – 24, 2024.