Dr. Angie Balsley is an educational leader with 25 years of practical experience in implementing IDEA, working with schools and families to achieve outcomes for students with disabilities. She leads the development and implementation of laws, policies, and procedures at the local, state, and national levels. As the CEO of Unified Leadership, Dr. Balsley works with leaders to align strategies to desired outcomes.
Dr. Balsley began her career in public education as a teacher for students with significant disabilities. A passion for “doing the right thing” for children and their families led her to pursue an administrative path. She served as a special education director in a rural district and as the Executive Director of a special education cooperative with eight school districts. Angie led at the national level as the Policy & Legislation Chairperson for the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) and at the state level as the President for the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education (ICASE). Dr. Balsley represented ICASE on the Indiana State Board of Education Dispute Resolution Workgroup. She is a licensed special education teacher, principal, special education director, and superintendent. Angie earned her doctorate in Education Leadership & Policy Studies from Indiana University. Her dissertation investigated the experiences of special education directors in receiving and responding to requests for due process hearings. Angie has led multiple state and national presentations on the proactive actions of special education directors. Angie also earned a masters degree in Strategic Management from the Kelley School of Business. She combines her business acumen with her professional experiences to foster creative and innovative solutions through collaboration.
Dr. Balsley was raised in a family where inclusion and advocacy were the norm. Her Godfather is a man with Down Syndrome. He was born during a time when her Grandparents were encouraged to put him in an institution. They refused the advisement and raised him like their other nine children. They also partnered with other parents of children with disabilities as founding members of the ARC of Indiana. In addition to her school-based experiences, Dr. Balsley has also served individuals with disabilities and their families as staff at Camp Millhouse, a respite care provider, a direct service provider in group homes, a personal care attendant, a direct service provider of university accommodations, and as a member of organizational boards. Angie also had the privilege of being a college roommate with a woman with quadriplegia cerebral palsy, which allowed her to experience disability in a very personal way. When she isn’t engaged in leadership, advocacy, and policy, Angie enjoys time with her family and friends, outdoor activities, dancing, and watercolor painting.