Thought Leader Sessions

  • Monday, January 28, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

    John Tanner
    John Tanner

    John Tanner, Founder and Executive Director, Test Sense
    Twitter Handle: @testsensejt

    Community-Based Accountability Systems and the Power of True Accountability [CBAS]

    More than 60 Texas school district leaders and their boards agree that the current Texas school accountability system is not actual accountability. They have formed a consortium to ask “What would a true school accountability system look like?” and their work is being recognized across the country for its unique theory of action: Build a better system and let it eclipse those that already exist. John Tanner will show the richness of the system being built, its advantages over what exists, and why such an effort is essential for the future of public schooling.

     Todd Brekhus
    Todd Brekhus

    Todd Brekhus, Chief Product Officer, Renaissance

    How Austin ISD is Improving Literacy for ELL and All Readers

    With more than 80,000 students, one-third of which are ELL students, Austin ISD school leaders came together with a common purpose of improving student literacy. Attend this session to learn about the literacy strategies being used inside AISD classrooms throughout the school day and beyond to foster a lifelong love of reading. Also, Todd Brekhus will share how AISD partnered with Renaissance to implement its districtwide literacy plan.

    Monday, January 29, 10:45-11:45 a.m.

    Susan Meyer
    Susan Meyer

    Susan Meyer, National Education Development Manager, Apple

    Mobility, Leadership, and Learning

    Digital learning experiences and mobile devices are changing the education landscape. In this session, Susan Meyer will discuss strategies for leading your organization through this transition to create new learning and teaching opportunities. You’ll explore the role of visionary leadership in supporting school transformation and see how new learning resources support emerging trends in education.

     
    Frederick Lane
    Frederick Lane

    Frederick Lane

    Session Information to Come!


    Monday, January 29, 1-2 p.m.


    Cindy Moss
    Cindy Moss


    Cindy Moss, Vice-President of Global STEM Initiatives, Discovery Education
    Twitter Handle: @stemboss

    Preparing Students for Their Future with STEM

    What STEM skills are employers seeking in the future workforce? Attend this session, led by STEM expert Cindy Moss, to gain insight on the skills that are in demand as well as to get data on Texas schools and STEM, and to delve into ways to engage all types of learners with STEM teaching and learning. Leave with access to high-quality digital resources and information about services to help you move your schools forward with STEM.

     Julie Washington
    Julie Washington

    Julie Washington, Professor, Georgia State University

    Examining Language and Risk: Linguistic Difference and the Development of Early Reading Skills

    Children who enter school speaking a culturally based community dialect that differs from the language they encounter at school are at high risk for slow or poor reading development. The cognitive load they experience as they reconcile their spoken language system with the language of literacy has received little attention, despite significant, documented difficulty. The co-mingling of poverty, race, and linguistic difference complicates identification of reading disabilities in a population in which eight out of 10 children struggle to learn to read. Join Julie Washington of Georgia State University to learn about efforts to improve identification to prevent long-term reading difficulties in low-income, elementary school-aged African-American children.

    Monday, January 28, 2:15-3:15 p.m.

    Anthony Kim
    Anthony Kim

    Anthony Kim, CEO, Education Elements
    Twitter Handle: @anthonx

    The NEW School Rules

    Leadership expert Tom Northrup wrote: “All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they are now getting. If we want different results, we must change the way we do things.” Anthony Kim’s “The NEW School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools” will help you rethink the way work gets done. You will learn about trends in organizational design theory and the six rules (Planning, Teaming, Managing Roles, Decision-Making, Sharing Information, and The Learning Organization).

    Konrad Judd
    Konrad Judd

    Konrad Judd, Chief Design Officer, Huckabee
    Twitter Handle: @Konrad_Judd

    Real-world Experience and the Changing Face of Early Childhood Education

    Research has proven that early childhood education provides incredible long-term impact for students, with particular influence in the learning lifecycle of at-risk youth. High-quality programming focused on play, exploration, and learning, combined with intentional and quality building design, creates meaningful real-world experiences for young students. A new early learning academy in Mansfield offers an example of the blending of research, experiential learning, and intention. With a museum-like setting, the school is breaking the mold to provide the greatest impact to its 3-4-year old students. Konrad Judd will share research, best practices, case studies, and new insight into early childhood education.

    Tuesday, January 29, 9-10 a.m.

    Shelby McIntosh
    Shelby McIntosh

    Shelby McIntosh, Vice-President of Client Success, K12 Insight
    Twitter Handle: @ShelbyTXk12

    Secret Sauce and Silver Bullets—One Crazy Idea that Could Fix It All

    What do school safety, student engagement, and teacher retention have in common? In order for a district to be good at any of these things, they have to embrace the importance of customer service. Dr. Shelby McIntosh will share stories from years of consulting with local, state, and federal education officials on school and district improvement and the mounting evidence that a customer-centric mindset could be the cure-all we’ve been looking for.
     
    Jamie Candee
    Jamie Candee

    Jamie Candee, CEO, Edmentum
    Twitter Handle: @candeejamie

    Putting Educators at the Heart of Innovation

    It's no secret that digital curriculum is changing education, and rapid technological advances in the edtech space continue to fuel that work. Join Edmentum CEO Jamie Candee, who will explore how taking an “educator first” approach is putting teachers and administrators at the heart of this work to drive meaningful development of digital curriculum and assessment. Get a glimpse into Jamie's leadership credo with special emphasis on how educational organizations and leaders can learn from educators to help the next generation of leaders develop the skills necessary to succeed.

    Tuesday, January 29, 10:15-11:15 a.m.

    Stacy Walker
    Stacy Walker

    Stacy Walker, Director of Marketing, Milliken & Company

    Brand, Identity, and Transformational Leadership


    Milliken & Company is a global innovator with a powerful message of transformation in a challenging industry. The story of their journey has great value for school leaders in the midst of transformational change. Creating a lasting culture of continuous improvement around values, collaboration, innovation, attitudes, and innovation is critical to success in business and in education. Hear from Stacy Walker about Milliken’s transformation from a traditional manufacturing company to a company built around marketing and innovation. You will learn the importance of total alignment of an organization and its brand identity to its mission, vision, and beliefs.


    John Vandenburgh
    John Vandenburgh

    John Vandenburgh, Executive Director, Protect Connect Educate Solutions
    Twitter Handle: @ijohnv

    Familiar with YPAR? You Should Be! It is Evidence-based to Increase Student Engagement!


    What is YPAR? Simply put, it’s “Stop doing research on kids and let the kids do the research on themselves!” Join John Vandenburgh, a former teacher and administrator who works with schools across the U.S. to help increase student engagement and build positive school climates, to learn how school administrators are engaging their youth leadership programs with the tools to effectively address behaviors on campus that impact safety. By using online survey development and student-led focus groups to gather quantitative and qualitative data, school administrators are finding an ongoing source of information to effectively implement MTSS/PBIS, School Safety Initiatives, and ESSA plans.

    Tuesday, January 29, 1-2 p.m.

    Holly Kaptain
    Holly Kaptain


    Holly Kaptain, Executive Director, Curriculum Management Solutions, Inc. (CMSi)


    Leading Schools with At-risk Populations:  What Does the Research REALLY Say?
    School districts in all parts of the U.S. struggle with raising the achievement of students who come from low-income homes. These students many times experience additional challenges, such as low English proficiency, learning disabilities, inadequate vocabulary knowledge, and low expectations because of their culture or ethnicity. Hear from CMSi’s Holly Kaptain on what leaders of schools with at-risk populations must know about the research on types of environment and instruction that: 1) significantly raise test scores for our most at-risk students; 2) improve students’ self-efficacy and attendance/graduation rates; and most important, 3) increase their learning and engagement.
     

    Jeff Hicks, Sergeant, Blount County Sheriff’s Department

    Running Effective Drills

    Bringing his law enforcement perspective to this session, Jeff Hicks will give administrators the insights and tools to make more effective use of drills. Learn why administrators must stop initiating all drills and truly determine whether the procedures outlined in their safety plans will hold up in an actual emergency. This session focuses on the likely reasons for an emergency (Hint: it’s not an active shooter) and helps ensure both staff and students can be confident in the safety of their schools.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2:15-3:15 p.m


    Shannon Buerk
    Shannon Buerk

    Shannon Buerk, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, engage2learn
    Twitter Handle: @ShannonKBuerk

    Five Leadership Levers: How Leaders Influence Culture

    Being intentional about culture is the most critical role of any leader. Learn from e2L’s Shannon Buerk about the five Leadership Levers that have emerged from a three-year study of organizational research and direct interaction with leaders of innovative organizations. By applying these levers, leaders in education can create a culture of growth, engagement, and high performance in their school or district.
     

    Aaron Lemon-Strauss
    Aaron Lemon-Strauss

    Aaron Lemon-Strauss, Executive Director, College and Career Access, CollegeBoard
    Twitter Handle: @AaronLS2

    Connecting Career Readiness to PSAT and SAT

    Helping students explore careers and understand their readiness for the workforce is important for getting students into the right classes in high school and focusing on building necessary skills. Starting in 2019, districts that administer the SAT or PSAT will have the ability to connect existing test performance to career skills so that students benefit from career planning without needing to take another test that wastes valuable instructional time. The CollegeBoard’s Aaron Lemon-Strauss will preview the new career readiness platform and talk about the research behind the work.