Thought Leaders

Thursday, March 2

9 – 10am

Redesigning Professional Development Systems – Leadership, Feedback and Impact

Participate in this interactive Thought Leader session with four of the country’s leading superintendents on how to enhance, improve, and redesign teacher and principal professional development systems. How can leaders prepare faculty for leadership roles? How do you measure the effectiveness of PD? What strategies are making an impact? This panel will showcase superintendent leadership as a driver to more effectively deploy resources (time, money, personnel) and to create effective systems and supportive policies for high-quality professional development.

Presenters:

Robert Avossa, Superintendent, School District of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach, FL;
Beverly Emory, Superintendent, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Winston-Salem, NC;
Shawn Joseph, Superintendent, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN;
Sybil Knight-Burney, Superintendent, Harrisburg Public Schools, Harrisburg, PA

Robert Avossa

Robert Avossa

Beverly Emory

Beverly Emory

Shawn Joseph

Shawn Joseph

Sybil Knight-Burney

Sybil Knight-Burney


9 – 10am

Why and What Higher Ed Needs from Secondary Education: It’s Getting Very Serious Now

Mr. Taylor will discuss the criticality of secondary and post-secondary leaders walking hand-in-hand in the new political environment. The conversation will focus on likely policy decisions coming out of the Trump Administration and how these policies will impact colleges and universities, particularly those serving students from fragile communities.

Presenter:

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Washington, DC

Johnny Taylor

Johnny Taylor


1 – 2pm

More Than a Power  Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership

In 2016, AASA launched the groundbreaking initiative More Than a Power Lunch: Building Networks to Support and Advance Women in School Leadership. The initiative was established to help mitigate the impact of social barriers women face in ascending to the top leadership positions within our school systems and to significantly increase the number of women seeking and becoming CEOs and superintendents of schools.

In this session, the AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium think tank will provide an update on the initiative and will engage attendees in a thought-provoking conversation about the implications of the work for women in school leadership.

Participants will:
  • Gain insights into the barriers and challenges women face as they strive to become CEOs and superintendents of schools;
  • Hear about the Consortium’s plans to address critical issues women face when seeking top leadership positions in school districts; and
  • Learn about project resources that will be made available to AASA members.
Moderator:

Patricia E. Neudecker, Director of Administrative Leadership Programs and Assistant Professor, Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI

Panelists:

Ann Blakeney Clark, Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, NC
Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC
Judith Rattner, Superintendent, Berkeley Heights Public Schools, Berkeley Heights, NJ
Melody Schopp, South Dakota Secretary of Education, Pierre, SD


1 – 2pm

Personalized Learning: Perspective From an Award Winning District

Dr. Devin Vodicka, superintendent of Vista Unified School District, CA, and recipient of one of 10 XQ awards of $10 million, presents his district’s vision for personalized learning through the blueprint they have developed. He discusses the approach he used to develop district consensus to create a culture which supports design thinking and the steps they will be taking over the next several years to continue and expand their work with personalized learning at all levels of the school district.

Presenters:

Mort Sherman, Associate Executive Director, Leadership Services & Awards, AASA, Alexandria, VA;
Devin Vodicka, Superintendent, Vista Unified School District, Vista, CA

Mort Sherman

Mort Sherman

Devin Vodicka

Devin Vodicka


2:45 – 3:45pm

The Role of Research-Practice Partnerships & Systematic Continuous Improvement in Fulfilling ESSA’s Promise

The new federal policy environment provides greater flexibility and authority to state education agencies and local school districts to make the best use of research evidence to ensure every student succeeds in every classroom and every school. Effective leadership, under the Every Student Succeeds Act, will require understanding and using research evidence as part of systematic continuous improvement processes. For many, this means building new capacities and competencies to effectively access what is known from research, translate that evidence to be understandable to educators, and interpret that evidence for its implications to our local school and community contexts. Research-practice partnerships present one model where district leaders bring together their expertise with the expertise of researchers to solve district problems. This session will discuss how effective district leaders are leveraging this collective partnership expertise to make the best use of research- and practice-based evidence in their systematic improvement efforts.

Moderator:

Robin Wisniewski, Director of Continuous Improvement, RTI International, Raleigh, NC

Chair:

Wesley Boykin, Executive Director, Center of Excellence and Associate Professor, Department of Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Vorhees College, Denmark, SC

Panelists:

Paul LeMahieu, Sr. Vice President for Program, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Former Superintendent of Hawaii Department of Education;
Andrew Houlihan, Superintendent, Union County Public Schools, Monroe, NC;
Richard Seder, Independent Consultant, RTI International, Honolulu, HI

Robin Wisniewski

Robin Wisniewski

Wesley Boykin

Wesley Boykin

Paul LeMahieu

Paul LeMahieu

Andrew Houlihan

Andrew Houlihan

Richard Seder

Richard Seder


4-5pm

Community Schools: Cultivating Opportunity, Equity and Agency

School district all across the country face concrete challenges. In the midst of these challenges, many school district leaders are seeing positive changes both in the classroom and in the community, because they have embraced the notion that schools alone cannot deal with the myriad issues their students face. Achieving successful outcomes for all of our children requires schools to tap community assets and embrace a partnerships approach that seeks a set of shared results. In this session, three superintendents will discuss their experiences and the changes they are seeing within their districts, families and communities by embracing the community school strategy. Together, they are transforming student trajectories, closing opportunity gaps, and getting more graduates across the finish line that are prepared for college and careers. They are cultivating hope and opportunity, increasing equity, and building agency in families and children.

Moderator:

Martin Blank, President, Institute for Educational Leadership, and Director, Coalition for Community Schools, Washington, DC

Presenters:

Steven Webb, Superintendent, Vancouver Public Schools, Vancouver, WA;
Teresa Weatherall Neal, Superintendent, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids, MI;
Paul Cruz, Superintendent, Austin Independent School District, Austin, TX;
Alton Frailey, President, AASA, Katy, TX

Martin Blank

Martin Blank

Steven Webb

Steven Webb

Teresa Weatherall Neal

Teresa Weatherall Neal

Paul Cruz

Paul Cruz

Alton Frailey

Alton Frailey


4 – 5pm

Innovative Strategies to Close the Homework Gap

Education is going digital, yet 5 million low income students lack broadband access at home. Most educators agree this is the civil rights issue of today, yet 75% of districts report not taking any action to address. Hear from some innovative leaders who are taking action on digital equity.

Moderator:

Keith R. Krueger, CEO, CoSN, Washington, DC

Presenters:

Darryl Adams, Superintendent, Cochella Valley USD, CA;
Pam Moran, Superintendent, Albemarle County SD, VA;
Devin Vodicka, EdD, Superintendent of Schools, Vista Unified School District, CA

Keith Krueger

Keith Krueger

Darryl Adams

Darryl Adams

Pam Moran

Pam Moran

Devin Vodicka

Devin Vodicka


4-5pm

How Can Supervisors Shape Effective Principals?

Today’s school principals need support for their development and growth as society places higher expectations on them to be instructional leaders who improve student learning and achievement. A new first-ever set of standards, developed by a committee of 12 educators led by the Council of Chief State School Officers, whose work was supported by The Wallace Foundation, is intended to assist state education agencies and local school districts to help recruit, select, support and evaluate supervisors of principals. The standards emphasize shifting the supervisor’s role away from the traditional focus on bureaucratic compliance toward fostering the growth of effective principals who improve both teaching and learning.

Moderator:

MaryAnn Jobe, Director, Education and Leadership Development, AASA, Alexandria, VA

Presenters:

Frederick Brown, Deputy Executive Director, Learning Forward, Dallas, TX;
Mary Canole, School Leadership Consultant, CCSSO, Washington, DC

Fred Brown

Fred Brown

MaryAnn Jobe

MaryAnn Jobe

Mary Canole

Mary Canole

Friday, March 3

10:45 – 11:45am

Leading Adaptive Change: A Systems Approach to Improving Instructional Effectiveness

This session will engage participants in learning how to design and implement scalable systems solutions to improve teaching, learning and student achievement. By using the latest research-based evidence of effective practices, experiences helping diverse districts improve and their own experiences as superintendents and central office leaders, the presenters will help participants learn how to organize their systems to maximum effect. By applying the values of social justice, excellence, results and engagement, leaders will learn how to ask the right questions and organize their central office, school board, community and schools into a coherent system that improves student achievement and well-being.

Presenters:

Susan Enfield, Superintendent, Highline Public Schools, Burien, WA;
Josh Starr, CEO, PDK International, Arlington, VA

Susan Enfield

Susan Enfield

Josh Starr

Josh Starr


10:45 – 11:45am

Learning From Summer: Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Urban Youth

Since 2011, five urban school districts have participated in The Wallace Foundation’s National Summer Learning Project to find out whether and how voluntary-attendance summer learning programs combining academics and enrichment can help students succeed in school. Join us in this session and learn the results of the ground-breaking study conducted by the RAND Corporation, including the impacts of district-provided voluntary summer learning programs on students’ knowledge in language arts and math as well as their social-emotional skills. Hear first-hand from two of the participating district superintendents about their implementation strategies, successes, challenges and lessons learned. Gain valuable knowledge that you can use to enhance your summer learning program and improve educational outcomes in your district for all children.

Presenters:

Catherine Augustine, Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA;
Tommy Chang, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA;
Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District, Dallas, TX

Catherine Augustine

Catherine Augustine

Tommy Chang

Tommy Chang

Michael Hinojosa

Michael Hinojosa


12:30 – 1:30pm

Creating Contagious Cultures: The Happiness Advantage in Education

Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive. We have seen this around the world; from the corporate suite to the elementary school classroom. Based on the principles of 2016 NCE keynote speaker Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage and The Orange Frog, you will learn how the latest research on positive psychology in education can be applied to your personal well-being and to the benefit of your staff and faculty — even transferring into the classroom. You will explore the seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance in education, and create your own personal plan for incorporating happiness into your life and district. (Each participant will receive a complimentary copy of The Orange Frog).

Presenters:

Devin Hughes, Chief Inspiration Officer, International Thought Leader Network, San Diego, CA;
Greg Kaiser, Co-founder and President, International Thought Leader Network, Apex, NC

Devin Hughes

Devin Hughes

Greg Kaiser

Greg Kaiser


12:30 – 1:30pm

Beyond Principal Supervision, Building a System of Support for Principal Success

School districts across the country are quickly revising the role of principal supervisor to reflect recent research indicating a need for a stronger focus on improving principal performance. While many districts are just beginning to make such changes, a number of others that have been on the leading edge of this transformation are learning that there is more to supporting principals than just revising the role of their supervisors. In this session you will learn both from what the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership is learning about creating system-wide support for principals as well as from a central office leader leading this effort in his district. In particular, participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of what principals need to be successful, how to enlist central office leaders to work differently, as well as specific recommendations for action at home.

Presenters:

Stephen Fink, Executive Director, Affiliate Professor, Center for Educational Leadership University of Washington, Seattle, WA;
Max Silverman, Associate Director, Center for Educational Leadership University of Washington, Seattle, WA;

Stephen Fink

Stephen Fink

Max Silverman

Max Silverman


1:30 – 2:30pm

New Discovery About Reading Increasing Student Academic Success

In a recent discovery in the optometric community, it is now estimated that 1 in 7 students have a reading problem that is not diagnosed during a standard vision screening — they may have
20/20 vision but words appear blurry and out of focus. Students describe words that “appear to move on the page” when reading. School system leaders can help by ensuring that students have the
needed resources to alleviate this largely undetected issue that not only impacts reading, but math and handwriting as well. Engage with AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech and AASA
Past President Don Hooper (2001–02) in a rich conversation about how school districts can increase academy success through eliminating these vision-related reading issues. The pair share
insights concerning what school district leaders can do to support students who experience vision-related difficulties when reading.

Presenters:

Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA, Alexandria, VA;
Don Hooper, President, Center for Quality Leadership, Richmond, TX

Daniel Domenech

Daniel Domenech


2:45 – 3:45pm

Why Race & Culture STILL Matter in Education

The focus of the presentation will address the ever present realities of race, access and equity in U.S. schools. The session will include data across different groups, and discuss research-based strategies and resources that are effective in helping to eradicate the academic disparities in many U.S. schools. The presentation will be tailored to school leaders looking for approaches to create school culture for inclusive and supportive learning environments for all students.

Presenter:

Tyrone Howard, Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Tyrone Howard

Tyrone Howard


2:45 – 3:45pm

Superintendent/School Board Relations, a Discussion with the NSBA Executive Director Tom Gentzel and AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech

Come hear an informative discussion between the AASA and NSBA executive directors who agree that an effective superintendent/school board management team is essential to a school system’s success and how the two organizations work together to accomplish common goals.

Presenters:

Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, AASA, Alexandria, VA;
Tom Gentzel, Executive Director NSBA, Alexandria, VA

Daniel Domenech

Daniel Domenech

Tom Gentzel

Tom Gentzel


4 – 5pm

The Nation’s Most Rapidly Improving Schools

The nation’s most rapidly improving schools are future focused. This session describes and provides vivid examples of how these schools communicate with parents, community and staff in
today’s social media environment; adjust their curriculum to address the academic skills and knowledge students need in today’s accelerating technological/information-based society and workplace; and deliver instruction in a digital and highly interactive format.

Presenter:

Bill Daggett, Founder and Chairman, International Center for Leadership in Education, Rexford, NY