Before he joined Concordia University Wisconsin’s graduate education faculty, Dr. Elliott Moeser built a career and solid reputation as a leader of school districts in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Idaho.

Yesterday, he returned to his superintendent roots (in an interim capacity) to fill the vacancy for the Glendale-River Hills School District. In August, Larry Smalley announced his departure after serving 14 years in the position.

Smalley and Moeser worked closely together over the past several years as the two led efforts to close academic achievement gaps within Wisconsin’s schools. The state notoriously ranks worst in the nation when it comes to the difference between black and white students’ graduation rates and in how well they perform on national benchmark tests. Moeser co-founded the Closing the Achievement Gap Consortium in 2012 to begin to tackle the problem. Smalley has served as the consortium’s president since 2017.

“Larry had a very good career at the Glendale-River Hills School District and has done a tremendous job working to bring equity to Wisconsin schools,” said Moeser. “I consider him to be a good friend and I appreciate the outstanding work he did for the community as superintendent.”

Brown Deer Assistant Superintendent Dr. Monica Kelsey-Brown and Dr. Elliott Moeser participate in a CAGC Equity Institute.

Moeser’s repute proved vital in bringing together school districts and school systems throughout the state to bring about change. When the consortium began the CAGC had just four school district members. Today, the consortium has expanded to more than 35 public, private, parochial, voucher, and choice schools and school systems throughout Wisconsin. Concordia remains its only higher education partner.

The group has worked ardently over the past several years to address Wisconsin’s achievement gap issue. Perhaps most notably, the CAGC annually hosts the African American Male Initiative (AAMI) and African American Female Initiative (AAFI). The two summertime initiatives bring black teenagers to Concordia to stay overnight on campus, learn college readiness skills, meet with black mentors, and form relationships with dozens of other black teens throughout the state.

As an assistant professor Concordia, Moeser contributed to a thriving graduate education program. He served as the director of CUW’s Master of Science in Education – Educational Administration program, bringing his years of expertise to the classroom to train future school leaders.

Moeser also served as the assistant director of the Preferred Education Partner program. The innovative PEP program serves to meet the needs of partner school systems by providing opportunities to increase teacher capacity, improve leadership development, and impact student success.

Moeser will continue to serve as an adjunct instructor at Concordia, but his full-time service to the university has come to an end.

“It has been a privilege to work at Concordia University,” said Moeser. “Concordia’s education programs are exceptional. The university not only provides expert instruction in a wide range of degrees, it truly strives to make good on its mission and serve schools throughout Wisconsin.”

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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