2019 Speakers

Keynote SpeakersThought Leadership Exchange Speakers | Education Week Staff

Keynote Speakers


Richard A. Carranza, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
Member of the Class of 2015 Leaders To Learn From

As chancellor for the largest school system in the nation, Carranza is responsible for educating 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools. During Carranza’s nearly 30 years in education, he has served in virtually every role. Prior to New York City, he was the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, and the seventh largest in the United States. Before that, he served the San Francisco Unified School District, first as deputy superintendent and then as superintendent. Before moving to San Francisco, Carranza was the Northwest Region superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas. He began his career as a high school, bilingual social studies and music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona.

A son of a sheet metal worker and a hairdresser—and a grandson of Mexican immigrants—Carranza credits his public-school education for putting him on a path to college and a successful career. He believes that a great education changes lives and is excited to help the next generation of New Yorkers achieve their dreams. As Chancellor, he is building on the City’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which supports students academically, socially, and emotionally from early childhood through twelfth grade. He is also championing initiatives to help educators strengthen their practice and to empower more parents to become engaged in their children’s education.

Carranza is the past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Council of the Great City Schools, where he served as a national spokesperson on significant issues facing urban school districts. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the American Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, and the K to College Advisory Board.

Education Week profiled the Chancellor as a national 2015 Leader to Learn From. Carranza is a fluent Spanish-speaker and an accomplished mariachi musician.

Daniel Pink, Best-Selling Author, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, Drive, and A Whole New Mind

Pink is one of the best-selling nonfiction authors of the last decade. His books on work, business, and behavior have been won multiple awards, been translated into 38 languages, and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. Pink was host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a National Geographic Television series on behavioral science. He also appears frequently on NPR, PBS, and other TV and radio networks in the US and abroad.

He has been a contributing editor at Fast Company and Wired as well as a business columnist for The Sunday Telegraph. His articles and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The New Republic, and other publications. For the last six years, London-based Thinkers50 has named him one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world. His TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 20 million views. Before venturing out on his own 20 years ago, Pink worked in several positions in politics and government.

Bror Saxberg, Vice President of Learning Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Saxberg leads the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s (CZI) work to support the development of tools and sharing of approaches grounded in the science of learning. An expert on how people learn and develop, he previously served as the chief learning officer for Kaplan and K12, Inc. and co-founded the testing and assessment division that became known as Knowledge Testing Enterprise while vice president of Knowledge Universe. Saxberg received an Honors BA in mathematics and a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Washington; an MA in mathematics from Oxford University; a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT; and an MD from Harvard Medical School.

Thought Leadership Exchange Speakers


Lucy Calkins, Founding Director, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

Calkins is the founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In that role, her greatest accomplishment has been to develop a learning community of teacher educators whose brilliance and dedication shine through in the Units of Study books, which have become an essential part of classroom life in tens of thousands of schools around the world.

Calkins is the Robinson Professor of Children’s Literature at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she co-directs the Literacy Specialist Program. She is the author, coauthor, or series editor of the Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grades K–8; Up the Ladder: Accessing Grades 3–6 Writing Units of Study; Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grades K–8; and Units of Study in Phonics, Grades K–2 series; as well as the lead curator of the TCRWP Classroom Libraries, Grades K–8; and has authored scores of other professional books and articles.

Mike Miele, Education Strategies Specialist, the Highlander Institute

Miele provides schools and districts with embedded coaching by supporting classroom, building, and district level educators in the planning, design, and implementation of high quality blended, personalized, and project-based learning. He is the founder of PBLRI, a monthly meetup opportunity for educators dedicated to bridging the equity gap in education through meaningful hands-on projects in their classrooms. PBLRI was built around the idea of bringing together innovative educators who share a passion for project-based learning by celebrating local educators and agencies who are doing the work throughout Rhode Island. In addition, it provides educators a space to create connections, ask questions, and share ideas around PBL. Miele is also one of the founding members of Camp PBLRI, a summer workshop series for educators focusing on hands-on practice and personal project development.

Prior to working at Highlander, Miele taught both 1st and 5th grade, as well as working as the science and technology coach for Foster Public Schools in Foster, R.I.

Julie Ramos, Director of Strategic Innovation, Wickliffe City Schools, Wickliffe, Ohio

Ramos is in her 21st year of education. From teaching students and adults to leading educators, her passion is making decisions that positively impact kids. Currently, she is the director of strategic innovation at Wickliffe City Schools, in Wickliffe, Ohio. Prior to her current role, she served as the superintendent of Ledgemont Schools; was employed as an Outreach Coordinator at the Geauga Educational Service Center; and was a professor at Kent State University, Geauga Campus.

Douglas Reeves, Founder, Creative Leadership Solutions; Renowned Speaker, Researcher, and Author

Reeves is the founder of Creative Leadership Solutions, a non-profit with the mission to improve educational opportunities for students throughout the world using creative solutions for leadership, policy, teaching, and learning. He is also the founder of DouglasReeves.com, ChangeLeaders.com, and has created a non-profit called FinishTheDissertation.org, which helps doctoral students finish their dissertations via phone, Skype, or personal conferences.

Reeves has worked with education, business, nonprofit, and government organizations throughout the world. The author of more than 30 books and more than 80 articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness, he has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series and was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education. Reeves received both the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Parent’s Choice Award for his writing for children and parents. His career of work in professional learning led to the Contribution to the Field Award from the National Staff Development Council. For his international work, Reeves was named the William Walker Scholar by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders.

Kelly Spivey, Executive Director of High AIMS, and retired Superintendent, Talawanda City School District, Oxford, Ohio
@kelly_spiveyk and @HighAimsNetwork

Spivey has passionately served 33 years in the education field where she taught elementary grades, served as an administrator in Sycamore Community Schools, Hamilton City School District, and Talawanda School District in Ohio. In 2011, the Board of Education named Spivey as the superintendent of the Talawanda School District. Under her leadership, the school district committed to providing quality educational programs where evidence supported student learning, and positive relationships were fostered.

Nancy Wagner, Ed.D., Superintendent, River Trails District 26, Mt. Prospect, Ill.

Wagner has been a teacher, teacher leader, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, and is currently a superintendent in a diverse suburban school. She has dedicated her work for children for more than 25 years and is still learning by reading, thinking, and by growing her professional learning network.

Education Week Staff


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.