Communities In Schools of Mid-America Welcomes New Board Members

Lawrence, KS – Communities In Schools of Mid-America® (CIS of Mid-America™) today announced five new board members: Tasha R. Fridia of Norman, OK; Matthew R. Gilbert, Esq., of Waterloo, IA; Ellen Goodmann Miller of Dubugue, IA; Edgar Palacios of Kansas City, MO; and Cokethea N. Hill, Ph.D., of Kansas City, MO. CIS of Mid-America is an affiliate of the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization and provides support services to more than 39,000 students located in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Oklahoma.

“We could not do all that we do without the support of schools and districts, volunteers, donors, community partners, and of course, our board,” said Malissa Martin, President and CEO of CIS of Mid-America.

Tasha R. Fridia is an enrolled member of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and is Kiowa, Caddo, and Hunka Oglala Lakota. Fridia works with various entities whose focus ranges from education equity to tribal economic development in hopes to further affect positive change in her community and beyond.

Matthew R. Gilbert, Esq., is the Founder and President of Iowa C.O.R.E. Inc., Economic Development Chair for the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP, and a servant-leader on local, state, and national boards, commissions, and committees.

Ellen Goodmann Miller serves as a community and resource development specialist for Dubuque, Iowa-based Gronen and she provides resource development, grant writing, strategic planning, and political consulting services through Hawks Goodmann & Associates.

Edgar J. Palacios is the President and CEO (founder) of the Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC), a nonprofit, start-up organization that works to increase the representation of Latinx education professionals in K-12.

Cokethea Hill is the CEO and Founder of BLAQUE (Black Leaders Advancing Quality Urban Education) KC, a non-profit organization committed to significantly improving the academic, economic, social, emotional, and life outcomes of African American Children in public schools.

“Our board members are critical to this organization. Each one of them provides us with a unique background and perspective,” added Martin.

Read full bios and download headshots of each CIS of Mid-America board member here:

About Communities In Schools of Mid-America®

Communities In Schools of Mid-America® (CIS of Mid-America™), is part of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering underserved students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. We do whatever it takes to ensure that all kids – regardless of the challenges they may face – have what they need to realize their potential. The CIS of Mid-America™ network, with its central office in Lawrence, KS, provides services in more than 70 schools to approximately 39,000 students each year by placing Student Support Coordinators directly inside the schools to work with students. Learn more at