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.
Thought Leadership Exchange Speakers
Lucy Calkins, Founding Director, Teachers College Reading and Writing Project
Lucy Calkins is the founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In that role, Lucy’s 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.
Lucy 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 (all published by Heinemann); 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
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.
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.