About This Project

In school districts across the country, education leaders are using innovative strategies to improve curriculum and instruction, address management challenges, stretch resources, engage parents and communities, utilize new technologies effectively, and create optimal learning environments that prepare all students for success beyond their K-12 years.

Education Week‘s annual Leaders To Learn From report shines a light on forward-thinking district leaders who seize on good ideas and execute them well in their school systems.

By telling their stories, and sharing their challenges and successes along the way, we hope that other educators in the nation’s 14,000-plus districts will learn from their experiences and be inspired to “discover, aspire, and lead” in their own school systems.

As one of our featured leaders puts it:

“Everyone has a fire inside of them, and a good leader is a person that can help find that fire and pour a little fuel on it.”

At the very least, these leaders share best practices and advice on setting a vision and achieving ambitious goals.

While some of the leaders highlighted in these reports have earned renown as superintendents of high-profile districts, many others have achieved great success outside the public eye. They have included a director of nursing services, a parent-engagement expert, an instructional technology director, a director of culinary and nutrition services, a transportation chief, and a school finance professional, among others.

To help find this year’s Leaders To Learn From, Education Week put out a call to readers for nominees. We also sought nominations from state school administrator groups, education reporters around the country, and experts in the K-12 field. Education Week‘s own reporters identified leaders who are making a mark within the topical areas they cover. Members of the editorial staff made the final selections.

Each year, our nominations reflect a thirst among educators for two things: a little positive recognition, and some proven models to follow.

Highlighting strong leadership—in districts large and small—can energize fellow educators facing a confluence of pressures to raise student achievement, navigate budget constraints, and implement new policies.

Learn more about our outstanding leaders from 2013 and 2014.

Meet the honorees at the annual Leaders To Learn From event in Washington.

— The Editors

 
Learn more about the 2015 Leaders To Learn From:

Produced with support from The Wallace Foundation, at www.wallacefoundation.org


2015 Agenda

7:15 a.m.–8:00 a.m.
Networking Breakfast
Join for breakfast with leaders who work in the fields of most interest to you. There’ll be tables for parent engagement, school climate, ed tech, and more!

8:00 a.m.–8:25 a.m.
Welcome, Introductions, and Recognition Presentation
Recognition of the work of 8 of the 15—2015 Leaders To Learn From selected by Education Week.

8:25 a.m.–8:40 a.m.
Breakouts—Meet the Leaders
First 8 Leaders will go to their subject matter tables located throughout the room to discuss with attendees their “Focus of Strength” and to answer any questions attendees have. (Attendees will be encouraged to find their table of interest based on the map of the room provided in the program).

8:40 a.m.–9:10 a.m.
Recognition Presentation Concludes
Recognition of the work of our final 7 Leaders To Learn From.

9:10 a.m.–9:35 a.m
Breakouts—Meet the Leaders
Second group of Leaders will go to their subject matter tables located throughout the room to discuss with attendees their “Focus of Strength” and to answer any questions attendees have.

9:35 a.m.–10:05 a.m.
District Leader Snapshots
(A selection of 2015 Leaders will come to the stage with their reporters and discuss their “Focus of Strength.”)

10:05 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Midmorning Networking Break

10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
“Three Keys for Maximizing Leadership Impact”
Michael Fullan, education leadership author and expert, and former minister of education, Canada (2003–2013).

11:30 a.m.–12:00 a.m.
District Leader Snapshots
(A selection of 2015 Leaders will come to the stage with their reporters and discuss their “Focus of Strength”).

12:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
“Ask the ED”
Join in a Department of Education Lightning Round featuring Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education Deborah S. Delisle other Department of Education leadership who will take your questions.

12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
Networking Luncheon
Uninterrupted time to mingle with those you’ve met at your tables and at the various tables set up throughout the room during our break-outs.

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