2018 Speakers

Featured Speakers | Keynote Speakers | Education Week Staff

Featured Speakers


Michele Brooks
Principal, Transformative Solutions, and former Assistant Superintendent of Family and Student Engagement, Boston Public Schools
2013 Leaders To Learn From

Brooks is a parent activist, education organizer, and advocate, whose work of empowering families and transforming the engagement structures and policies of schools and districts spans more than 20 years. She served as the assistant superintendent for family and student engagement for the Boston public schools from 2008 to 2015. Prior to that role, Brooks was a member of the Boston School Committee and principal consultant for Transformative Solutions, an education consulting firm that focuses on organizational development, evaluation, and program development for schools and school districts.

Brooks began her parent-engagement work in 1990 at Boston’s J. E. Burke High, where she founded the first high school family center in a Boston public school. Her work at Burke has been documented in the film “A Tale of Two Partnerships” produced by the Institute for Responsive Education. She also served as the founding director of the Boston Parent Organizing Network from 1999 until 2005.

Julio César “JC” Contreras
Principal Supervisor/Head of Schools, KIPP San Antonio, Texas
2016 Leaders To Learn From

Contreras has served as a classroom teacher, an elementary school reading interventionist/coach, a director of operations, assistant principal, principal and a principal supervisor. This is his fifth year as a principal supervisor and in his current role, he is responsible for the academic outcomes of three schools: two elementary dual-language academies and a middle school.

As an executive cabinet member, Contreras also informs regional practices to other KIPP departments and chiefs to ensure alignment of district support to schools. Contreras has presented to external organizations on principal supervisor strategies and instructional leadership.

D’Lisa Crain
Family-School Partnerships Administrator, Washoe County School District, Reno, Nev.
2016 Leaders To Learn From

Crain has been working on family-engagement efforts in Nevada’s second-largest school system since 2004. She previously was a development director for a health-related nonprofit, and served as a marketing director for a construction and engineering company. Crain has presented on the district’s parent-engagement efforts at numerous national conferences, including for the National PTA, the Education Trust, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Tracy Hill
Executive Director of Family and Community Engagement, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
2014 Leaders To Learn From

Hill has served as the executive eirector of family and community engagement for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District since August of 2010. Prior to this position, she served as the coordinator of the Family School Connection program at the Heights Parent Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and as pupil services coordinator for Strongsville City Schools in Ohio. Hill has presented nationally about family engagement as a key driver to school improvement. Most recently, she participated in WGBH’s EdForum in Boston.

Trise Moore
Director of Equity and Family Engagement, Federal Way Public Schools, Federal Way, Wash.
2017 Leaders To Learn From

Moore has worked in the Federal Way schools for 15 years developing, publishing, and implementing effective family and community engagement practices. She is presently enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program at City University of Seattle.

Patricia Spradley
Chief of Parent and Community Engagement, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, Mass.
2015 Leaders To Learn From

As chief officer, Spradley strategically engages key parents, community, and political and institutional partner support to assist with student achievement. She has been with the Springfield Public Schools for more than 23 years. Currently, she is responsible for family education, the Parent and Community Engagement Center, the Parent Academy, Student Assignment Services, Homeless Educational Services, METCO and School Choice/Charters. She also served as workforce development director, training administrators and classroom teachers.

Keynote Speakers


John Hattie
Author, Visible Learning; Professor of Education and Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia

Hattie has been professor of education and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. He was previously professor of education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research interests are based on applying measurement models to education problems.

He is past president of the International Test Commission, served as adviser to various ministers, chaired the New Zealand performance-based research fund, and in the last Queens Birthday awards was made “Order of Merit for New Zealand” for services to education.

Peter DeWitt
Author, Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most, and Education Week opinion blog “Finding Common Ground”

DeWitt runs competency-based workshops that focus on collaborative leadership and school climate. He was a school principal for eight years and taught elementary school for 11 years. He pens the opinion blog Finding Common Ground on edweek.org and has written several books for Corwin, including Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students, Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most, and School Climate: Leading with Collective Efficacy.

Education Week Staff


Evie Blad, Staff Writer, Education Week

Blad is a reporter for Education Week who covers school climate, student engagement, social-emotional learning, discipline, nutrition, and student well-being. Before coming to Education Week in 2013, she was a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where she covered K-12 education at the state and local levels, higher education, and health issues.

Matthew Cibellis, Director of Programming, Live and Virtual Events, Education Week

Cibellis spearheads programming for Education Week’s live and virtual events. Before joining Education Week, Cibellis served as the public-outreach officer for Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s largest and oldest children’s literacy organization.

Michelle R. Davis, Contributing Writer, Education Week

Davis is a contributing writer for Education Week and a senior writer for Education Week Digital Directions who covers educational technology, including trends around digital education. Davis began working at Education Week in 2002 as a federal education reporter after covering Congress and the federal government in Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau.

Catherine Gewertz, Senior Contributing Writer, Education Week

Gewertz is a reporter covering assessment and pathways from the middle grades to high school and beyond. Since joining Education Week in 1999, she has been the lead common-core reporter and has covered urban schools. Previously, Gewertz was a staff writer at United Press International and The Los Angeles Times.

Michele J. Givens, President and CEO, Editorial Projects in Education

Givens has been the president and CEO of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit publisher of Education Week and edweek.org since June 2016. She joined EPE as general manager in 2001 and formally received the concurrent title of publisher in 2009.

Previously in her career, Givens was the consumer marketing director for Outside magazine in Santa Fe, N.M.; associate consumer marketing manager at Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pa.; and circulation director at McGraw-Hill in Washington, D.C.

She serves on the board of directors of the Center for Teaching Quality and is a member of the National Press Club.

Benjamin Herold, Staff Writer, Education Week
Herold has covered educational technology for Education Week since 2013. Previously, he covered the Philadelphia school district for WHYY public radio station and the Philadelphia Public School Notebook.

Alyson Klein, Assistant Editor, Education Week

Klein is a reporter for Education Week who covers the Trump administration’s K-12 policy, Every Student Succeeds Act implementation, and the politics of education. She has discussed education news on CNN, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, PBS, and other news outlets.

Lesli A. Maxwell, Assistant Managing Editor, Education Week Executive Project Editor, Leaders To Learn From

Maxwell oversees Education Week‘s reporters who cover school district news, leadership, English-language learners, civil rights, school safety and climate, school choice, and data. Previously, she was a staff writer who covered English-language learners, school districts, and leadership. Prior to Education Week, Maxwell was a state politics and higher education reporter for The Sacramento Bee.

Corey Mitchell, Staff Writer, Education Week

Mitchell is a reporter for Education Week who covers English-language learners, bilingual education, Native American education, and school district news and leadership. Prior to joining Education Week in 2014, Mitchell worked as a Washington-based correspondent for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Michele Molnar, Associate Editor, EdWeek Market Brief
Molnar is a reporter who covers industry and innovation for Education Week. She began working as a contributing writer for Education Week in 2012, covering parents’ influence on education.

Scott Montgomery, Editor-in-Chief, Education Week
@scottmdc | @educationweek
Montgomery is the editor-in-chief for Education Week, leading all the teams responsible for news coverage across EPE. He is a longtime digital news executive with deep experience in digital transformation and organizational change. Montgomery joined Education Week in July 2017 after five years as the Managing Editor for Digital News at NPR.

Elizabeth Rich, Commentary Editor, Education Week
Rich is the Commentary editor for Education Week and edweek.org, overseeing the paper’s print and online opinion essays and blogs. She joined EPE in 2007 as an assistant editor and writer for Education Week Teacher.

Christina Samuels, Assistant Editor, Education Week
@OnSpecEd | @EarlyYearsEW

Samuels covers early-childhood education and special education for Education Week, where she provides insight, news, and analysis on issues affecting the nation’s youngest learners as well as students with disabilities. Before joining Education Week, Samuels was a staff writer at The Washington Post and the Miami Herald.

Stephen Sawchuk, Associate Editor, Education Week

Sawchuk covers curriculum and instruction, with a focus on the Common Core State Standards, literacy, social studies, and STEM. He previously covered the teaching profession for Education Week and was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan during the 2016-17 school year.

Sarah D. Sparks, Assistant Editor, Education Week

Sparks is a reporter for Education Week who has covered education research and the science of learning for more than a decade. Sparks has published on education and other issues in Education Daily, the Republican-American, the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, and others.

Denisa R. Superville, Staff Writer, Education Week
@drsuperville | @District_Doss
Superville has covered school districts and leadership at Education Week since 2014. Previously, Superville worked at The Record in New Jersey, where she covered breaking news, local governments, and schools.

Madeline Will, Staff Writer, Education Week

Will is a reporter for Education Week who covers the teaching profession. She rejoined the staff in 2016 as the assistant editor for Education Week Teacher after previously interning at Education Week in 2014. In between, she worked as the publications fellow for the Student Press Law Center and interned at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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.