Nicole Bolen

Senior Specialist, Louisiana

As an NIET senior specialist for Louisiana, Nicole Bolen supports districts and schools through the LA BOLD Teacher Incentive Fund grant and contributes to the content development of various NIET projects. Nicole has assisted district and school leaders in implementing best practices of highly effective schools, increasing teacher effectiveness, and positively impacting student achievement.

Nicole's dedication to the education profession spans over 23 years. Prior to joining the NIET team, she supported teachers, administrators, and district-level personnel as district-based TAP executive master teacher with DeSoto Parish Schools in northwest Louisiana and TAP master teacher with the Rapides Parish Schools in central Louisiana. During her tenure with DeSoto Parish, she assisted the district and schools with full implementation of the TAP System, including adoption and support of new teaching standards and models for high-quality instructional leadership teams and professional learning communities. Additionally, she coached and supported school administrators, master teachers, and mentor teachers to build their capacity around instructional leadership skills. These include establishing the school vision and goals, designing and delivering professional development, evaluating instruction and learning, and providing constructive feedback to teachers through reflective coaching.   

Since implementation of the TAP System, DeSoto Parish has shown remarkable growth − moving from 45th in the state in 2009 to 12th in 2019. DeSoto's increase in performance and graduation rates, among other accomplishments, earned the district an NIET District Award of Excellence for Educator Effectiveness in 2019.

Nicole holds a bachelor's degree in education from Louisiana College, including certifications in early childhood, elementary education, and special education. She also holds a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University and certification as an early childhood generalist from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

 Nicole  Bolen

Why are you passionate about working at NIET?

I am passionate about working at NIET because its innovative and needs-based approach to achieving its mission resonates with me: to improve educator effectiveness through various services, projects, and partnerships across the U.S. The team at NIET is always on the ground, in school districts and schools, and listening to its partners. Even when the work may be new and challenging, if it is identified as a need for district/school leaders, teachers, or students, NIET team members will work tirelessly with schools to develop content, training, and other support mechanisms to improve educator effectiveness. I want to be a part of that intense drive and motivation to support educators across the nation. I also want to be a part of the camaraderie and collaboration which are critical attributes of NIET. The level of knowledge and skills of team members coupled with a hungry growth mindset are what make the NIET team a driving force in field the educational reform.

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my two daughters, Jenevieve and Lorelei. We spend much of our free time at the theater. My daughters love to sing, dance, and act! I have a love for theatre as well. I have fond memories of the drama and debate team in high school, which I was president of my senior year. In my family we break out into song spontaneously, dress up on almost a daily basis for on-the-fly improv or TikToks, and have a whole lot of drama! My husband graciously goes along with our antics and helps out at the theater with set design and the spotlight. I also love the outdoors. Especially during the spring and fall, our family enjoys retreating to the mountains and hiking and exploring the wonders of nature. It truly is a space for rest, respect, and reflection.