Michele Brooks

“I’m always looking for connections. That’s the key. When the district lays out its priorities, every single one of my colleagues has a piece of that work, including me. I do an analysis: How can I support their work and connect our work?”
— Charlie Mahoney/Prime for Education Week
— Charlie Mahoney/Prime for Education Week
Focus of Strength:Parent Engagement
Position:Assistant Superintendent, Office of Family and Student Engagement
District:Boston Public Schools

The day Michele Brooks “lost it” as the frustrated mother of a Boston high school student became a moment that transformed her life forever.

That was 20 years ago, and today Brooks works inside the Boston school system as the assistant superintendent in charge of the district’s office of family and student engagement.

Brooks is credited with strategically aligning Boston’s parent-engagement efforts with the district’s academic goals, which moved the work of her office from a peripheral activity to one that is central to the needs of the district’s 57,000 students and their families.

“When I first started in this role, I could say I was the only one who would bring up, ‘So, what about the families?’ Now, whether I’m at the table or not, the conversation is about the families,” says Brooks, who has been leading the office for the past four years.

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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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