In the first edition of what will be its annual Leaders To Learn From report, Education Week highlights innovative achievements of district-level administrators from school systems across the nation. The featured leaders are:
Superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Texas: On his watch, the district’s dropout rate has declined by nearly 90 percent with the creation of “early college” high schools, a career academy, and an intensive dropout-recovery effort that sent staff members door to door to bring back dropouts.
Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools: With guidance from the University of Virginia's school turnaround program, Ronan moved all 16 of her district’s lowest-performing schools out of "academic emergency" status.
Officer of school support networks, Baltimore City Schools: Brice was the engineer behind Baltimore Superintendent Andres Alonso’s call to rethink the way the city district disciplines its students. The rate of out-of-school suspensions in the district dropped from one in five students to one in eight over three years.
Superintendent, Duplin County Schools, Kenansville, N.C.: Obasohan is leading efforts to create a districtwide “early college” system in Duplin County and instill college ambitions in students as early as kindergarten.
Stevenson (left), superintendent, Jefferson County Public Schools, Colo., and Dallman (right), former president, Jefferson County Education Association: A superintendent and a teachers’ union president share the spotlight for using a collaborative “employee summit” to find $40 million in budget cuts.
Assistant superintendent, office of family and student engagement, Boston Public Schools: Once a disgruntled parent, Brooks now leads the district’s efforts to engage Boston parents in their children’s learning.
Director, Shenandoah Valley Regional Program for Special Education, Fishersville, Va.: This longtime special educator has been a pioneer in her state in improving services to students with autism spectrum disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
Superintendent, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District, Garrett, Ind.: Stockdale has figured out a way for all 1,875 students in his rural district to have either an iPad or a computer, and he’s making wireless access available in students’ homes and after school hours in the community.
Director of transportation, Columbus Public Schools, Ohio: More efficient bus routes and technological devices that allow administrators to keep track of buses and students are among Simmons' achievements.
Former superintendent, Connecticut Technical High School System: Ciccone brought new attention to school climate issues in her school system by piloting a survey that is now used statewide to take a pulse on how students feel about their schools.
Former assistant superintendent of support services, Loudoun County Public Schools, Va.: During his tenure, the district built 13 new schools, renovated nine, and built five school additions—all while saving money.
Superintendent, Battle Creek Public Schools, Mich.: By bolstering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction, Hicks hopes to equip her students to find good jobs with the multinational food manufacturers and research facilities in and near "Cereal City."
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.
Moderated by Virginia B. Edwards, Editor-in-Chief, Education Week
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.