Featured Sessions

State of American Education

The 2019 National Principals Conference will be the fifth occasion for the NASSP Policy & Advocacy Center to host a session on the State of American Education. Last year, this session featured a crossfire-style debate between two education thought leaders, but we got feedback from principals that the speakers seemed out of touch with the realities of public schools. We are proposing that we return to a panel with speakers who are engaged in policy and practice at the federal, state, local and school levels. The advocacy team will draft questions addressing topics such as diversity and equity, teacher quality, parent engagement, school choice, education funding, testing and accountability, and college and career readiness. This session will expose attendees to an engaging and thought-provoking discussion while also providing them with an opportunity to ask difficult questions on these controversial issues.

Moderator

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    Bob Farrace
    Director of Communications, NASSP, VA

Presenters

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    Roberto Rodriguez
    president and CEO Teach Plus, MA

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    Aimy Steele
    former elementary and middle school principal and candidate for NC House District 82, NC

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    Erik Burmeister
    superintendent, Menlo Park City School District, CA

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    Joy Hofmeister
    State Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Department of Education, OK


Changing the Narrative

When is the last time something amazing happened in your school? How many people knew about it? Telling the story of schools helps create a narrative that builds culture and gives everyone in your community an identity. Our families want to know what is going on within our classrooms and schools. If we want to maximize the learning experience of each child, we need to give their families that type of access.

Presenter

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    Joseph Sanfelippo
    Superintendent, Fall Creek School District, WI


The Essential Truths of Leadership

School principals are constantly being pulled in different directions. How do you focus on the things that matter most? In this session, you’ll learn how to center your leadership on your core values and the practices that have the biggest impact. You will focus on essential truths that will make you a more effective principal in areas such as school culture, appreciating teachers, and empowering your staff.

Presenter

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    Todd Whitaker
    Speaker, author, and professor, Department of Educational Leadership, University of Missouri, MO


I See You: Transforming Inclusion in the School Environment

Hear the life-changing story of Aubrey Bridges, a student with non-verbal Autism, and her teacher, Meghan LeFevers. The story will take you on the journey of inclusion at all levels of K–12 schooling and allow you to reflect on how your school can improve upon the culture of inclusion. This session is sure to speak to both your heart and mind and spark the creative spirit of embracing all learners.

Presenters

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    Meghan LeFevers
    Principal, Tryon Elementary School, NC

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    Aubrey Bridges
    Student, Winthrop University, SC


Stop Right Now: The 39 Stops to Making School Better

Every staff member has the capacity to lead and shape successful and sustainable reform. Jimmy draws from his expertise as an award-winning principal to identify strategies for developing and growing your teachers. Learn how to build teacher leaders across your organization. He’ll share how to set the vision and give the support and training it takes to make build your team!

Presenters

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    Jimmy Casas
    Speaker, author, and CEO, J. Casas & Associates, IA

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    Jeff Zoul
    Speaker, author, and instructional and leadership coach, ConnectEDD, IL


Power Up for Disruption: Your Superpowers Here

As school leader, your school’s success begins and ends with you. Experience first-hand how you can supercharge your leadership. Building Ranks focuses on two essential domains of school leadership–Building Culture and Leading Learning. With strategies, resources, and illustrations from the field, this session makes the PSEL and other national leadership standards practical. Learn why thought leaders Daniel Pink, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Todd Whitaker are excited about NASSP’s new Building Ranks. Leave prepared to power up your school community.

Presenters

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    JoVon Rogers
    Principal, Gunston Elementary School, VA

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    Chandra Walker
    Director of HR Leadership Development, Gwinnett County Public Schools, GA

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    Jason Markey
    Principal, East Lyden High School, IL


From 76% to 95%: Dramatic Gains in High School Graduation Rates with the Graduation Intervention Specialist Model

Dearborn Public Schools has one of the highest percentages of English-language learners (and the highest percentage of Arabic-speaking students) in the United States. During a turbulent period of time, as the numbers of students from low-income families increased, Dearborn was able to dramatically improve its high school graduation rate. This is the story of effective collaboration with high school principals to achieve success through the implementation of the Graduation Intervention Specialist Model.

Presenters

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    Doug Reeves
    Author, speaker, Creative Leadership Solutions, MA

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    Glenn Maleyko
    Superintendent, Dearborn Public Schools, MI


Alchemy of Social Media: Transform Your Leadership Using Twitter

Think Twitter 101—with the addition of two shots of espresso. Learn from two longtime educators about how Twitter transformed their leadership and school culture. After sharing two different social media journeys, attendees will be led through process of becoming a connected educator. We will help sign you up, teach you the basics, and then engage you in your first Twitter chat.

Presenters

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    Brian McCann
    principal, Joseph Case High School, MA

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    Martin Geoghegan
    principal, Henri A. Yelle Elementary School, MA


Recruiting and Retaining Great Principals: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?

This session will be hosted by the NASSP Policy & Advocacy Center in collaboration with the Learning Policy Institute (LPI). LPI President Linda Darling-Hammond will discuss what the research says about what attracts and keeps principals in the profession and what policymakers and practitioners can do to create stronger pipelines and better retention. The session will also feature current principals and an interactive conversation among all the attendees. Current federal policy initiatives will be discussed, along with state and local strategies.

Presenter

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    Linda Darling-Hammond
    President, Learning Policy Institute, CA


I Teach Because: Reconnecting Today’s Leaders with Their Passion for Education

This empowering session will renew educators’ energy for the challenges they face daily as they serve their students and staff members. Carla Tantillo Philibert demonstrates how to build community through audience participation and provides opportunities to practice mindfulness so that everyone leaves inspired and with strategies they can use immediately for their own selfcare and with their students.

Presenter

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    Carla Tantillo Philibert
    Social-emotional learning expert, Mindful Practices, IL


Be G.R.E.A.T!: Five Steps to Help Control Your Attitude and Actions

Why settle for good when you can be G.R.E.A.T! In today’s high demand culture of education, it’s easy to get bogged down by initiatives, disruptions, mandates, and other constraints, but there are two things we can control: our attitude and actions. Come learn five ways to shift your mindset to be Grateful, Relational, Enthusiastic, Authentic, and Teachable—every day.

Presenter

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    Dwight Carter
    Leadership and effectiveness coach, Dynamix LLC, OH


Take Care of You! So You Can Take Care of Others

In an occupation of giving, we are susceptible to compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout. In this session, we will discuss self-care and mindfulness and how these are important to protecting ourselves so that we can properly help our staff and students. Attendees will leave with plans and strategies that they can take back to school and implement immediately.

Presenters

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    Cherie Austin
    Principal, Monett Intermediate School, MO

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    David Williams
    Principal, Monett High School, MO


Efficacy in Digital Leadership

Digital leadership represents a strategic shift in mindset and actions that work to usher in needed changes to improve teaching, learning, and leadership while building powerful relationships with stakeholders in the process. Using the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework to assist all educators implement sustainable change, attendees will be exposed to actionable strategies to support and enhance current areas of professional practice through a digital lens.

Presenter

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    Eric Sheninger
    Senior fellow and thought leader on digital leadership, International Center for Leadership in Education, TX


Bridging the Educational Divide: What Colleges and High Schools Can Learn from Each Other

Join the National Student Clearinghouse and NASSP in a moderated discussion on the joint challenges facing secondary and postsecondary education in 21st-century America. This engaging panel, comprising industry thought leaders from both sides of the K–12 continuum, will explore the challenges and opportunities present in the current education landscape with a focus on bridging the communication divide between high schools, districts, and colleges.

Presenters

Panelist from the National Student Clearinghouse, VA


Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Students and Staff

Learn dynamic strategies to dramatically transform culture and build schools where students and staff run to get in, not out. This motivational session will help leaders ignite passion and tap into the inner genius of their crew in order to encourage risk-taking, learning, and growth to make school amazing!

Presenter

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    Beth Houf
    Principal, Fulton Middle School, MO


Connected in the Middle

This session will discuss the importance of connecting with other middle level educators. In the everchanging world of education, connecting with educators from around the country and world is vital. We can connect about successes and struggles, realizing that what others are dealing with in their schools is nearly the same as what we are dealing with in our schools.

Presenters

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    Don Gately
    Principal, Jerich Middle School, NY

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    Jay H. Posick
    Principal, Merton Intermediate School, WI

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    Joe Mazza
    Principal, Seven Bridges Middle School, NY


Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety and Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom

With up to 30% of children struggling with anxiety in this country, it’s no surprise that overburdened teachers are overwhelmed as they face this challenge with almost no training in mental health and behavioral principles. Administrators are in the difficult position of mentoring a distressed teacher who is struggling to support an anxious student. If administrators learn which common teacher practices may unintentionally reinforce challenging behavior and can suggest effective skill-based interventions, negative outcomes may be avoided. Using case studies, humorous stories, and common challenging situations, participants will learn easy-to-implement strategies for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, accurate thinking, and self-monitoring.

Presenters

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    Jessica Minahan
    International Speaker, Consultant, and a Licensed and boardcertified behavior analyst


Designing for Learning

How can schools and classrooms be effectively designed to support learning? Each year an estimated $50 billion dollars are invested into public school renovations and building projects. In recent decades, research from the learning sciences has led to fundamental shifts in conceptions of learning. However, many small renovations and large school building projects continue to be planned using outdated models of learning. This interactive talk will share four research-based shifts in conceptions of learning along with illustrative examples of classrooms and schools that are designed to support these shifts. In this session, participants will learn a practical tool, developed from a decade of work at Harvard’s Learning Environment for Tomorrow Institute used to evaluate and guide effective physical designs for learning that align with current research.

Presenters

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    Dr. Daniel Gray Wilson
    Director, Project Zero, Harvard