Our Team

Meet Julia Lara

Dr. Julia Lara holds a PhD from George Mason University in Education Administration with a specialization in Bilingual Education; a Masters degree from Columbia University in Public Policy and International Affairs; and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Middlebury College in Vermont. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. Dr. Lara is the President and CEO of JLara Education Consulting and has dedicated over 25 years of her professional life to academic improvement for students of all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds, although her primary focus has been with English-language learning students. She has worked in collaboration with educators and researchers to improve educational services to students of color and low income background.

Dr. Lara’s Expertise

Conducting research projects focusing on the education of dual language learners

Working in collaboration with a community based organization to provide English language access services to non-English speaking residents of the District of Columbia

Writing several research summaries and reports focusing on various educational topics

Committed to Education

Meet Our Team

Shelley Hartford

Shelley Hartford is an ESOL teacher with a background in educational policy. She has significant experience in applying best practices research at the district, school and classroom level. She has taught ESOL in elementary, secondary, and adult education settings. Ms. Hartford is an advocate for her students and for the advancement of instructional practices and school reform policies that foster positive learning experiences for English language learners. As a classroom teacher, she has a realistic understanding of the daily challenges faced by teachers and schools administrators. Currently she works as a K-5 itinerant ESOL teacher in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Additionally, she coordinates the ESOL Summer Academy for AACPS.   Previously, she was employed in Prince George’s County Public Schools, where she was a high school department chair responsible for the largest secondary ESOL program in Maryland. Ms. Hartford has experience leading professional development programs for in-service and pre-service teachers working with English language learners. Prior to entering the classroom, Ms. Hartford worked for the Council of Chief State School Officers, where her research focused on national policy issues impacting English language learners. She has also worked on ELL research projects for the Center of Applied Linguistics and has previously served as a board member of Maryland TESOL. Shelley Hartford has an M.Ed. in TESOL from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. in French from the University of Maryland. She is currently pursuing a certificate in school administration.

Management Consulting

Leonard Rockett

Dr. Leonard Rockett is a certified program management professional with over 25 years’ experience in federal program management.   His experience spans across all contract types, from firm fixed-price standard product delivery programs to multi-million dollar, multi-year cost-plus development prime contracts.  As a senior program manager and business area manager in private industry, he was responsible for the cost, schedule and performance of all programs.   He participated in the negotiation of contracts and any contract changes, and coordinated the preparation of proposals, business plans, proposal work statements and specifications, operating budgets and financial terms/conditions of contracts. Dr. Rockett was the primary customer contact for program activities, and led program review meetings with the customer to discuss cost, schedule, and performance.  Working with the management team, he helped establish the overarching strategic plan and identified the needed resources for product research, development, integration and test.   He developed new business plans and explored ways to expand and mature the product lines with the customer, and established progress milestones and monitored adherence to master plans and schedules, identified program problems and obtained solutions, such as allocation of resources or changing contractual specifications.   And, as senior program manager on multiple strategic programs, he managed the work of everyone assigned to the program. Dr. Rockett earned a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York and has 12 years of teaching experience as a visiting/adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Howard University, Washington DC.  He is currently a member of the electrical engineering advisory board at the University of the District of Columbia. He has authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications and he has 16 U.S. patents.  He is a registered U.S. patent agent and an ABET program evaluator. He is also a member of the AIPLA and a senior member of the IEEE.

Research & Evaluation

Kavita Mittapalli

Kavita Mittapalli, Ph.D., CEO, MN Associates, Inc. (www.mnassociatesinc.comis a partner of JLara Consulting, LLC. Kavita leads a team of six researchers and evaluators and has PreK-16 clients across 15 states and District of Columbia. MNA provides research and evaluation expertise in STEM education, teacher preparation programs, after school programs, arts integration, special education, and workforce development grants. MNA’s clients include 2-and 4-year colleges and universities, state and location education agencies, and foundations. The team has completed over 185 technical reports and has a combined 100 years of experience in the US and abroad.

Work With a JLara Professional

NAICS Codes: 541611, 541720, 611710, 611430, 923110

Certified Government of the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development

DUNS # 785 56 5917
LSDR 48960092010