Concurrent Sessions

With NPC21’s program lineup, together we will walk away with knowledge, strategies, and best practices that will help us refine our practice and be more effective leaders.

This year’s program strands align with NASSP’s Building Ranks™ leadership framework: Equity, Wellness, and Innovation. Each strand provides the training to address the biggest issues affecting the principalship now and in the future.


Equity


Do It for the Kids: Courageous Moves for the Culturally Responsive Leader

Level: K–12

This session will inspire principals to be agents of change as they advocate for equity and culturally responsive practices within their school and division. Participants will dive into the tenets of culturally responsive teaching and classroom management. They will identify barriers to success within their building as they reflect on personal school data and determine focus areas for culturally responsive practices within their school. Lastly, principals will develop courageous next steps for advocating for equity.

Presenter

  • Shalise M. Taylor
    Assistant Principal, Mack Bern, Jr. Elementary School, Suffolk, VA

Meadowbrook High School: The Journey From Diversity to Inclusion

Level: High School

In this session, we will share strategies that we are utilizing to make our school truly inclusive. Our school is the most diverse high school in Chesterfield County, with Black and Hispanic Students accounting for most of our population. Although diversity is an obvious fact for us, as second-year administrators in the building, we are working to move our school community to become more inclusive. We will discuss employing culturally responsive teaching strategies, rethinking our master schedule, increasing CTE pathways, increasing community involvement, improving social media presence, and more to create an environment in which all students can flourish.

Presenters

  • Marcie R. Terry
    Principal, Meadowbrook High School, North Chesterfield, VA
  • Deborah Romig
    Associate Principal, Meadowbrook High School, North Chesterfield, VA

Building a Culture of Community

Level: K–12

Creating an organization’s culture is one of the most important aspects of a leader’s job. The culture of an organization is central to its success. This session will discuss building a collaborative, innovative, creative, student-centered culture through research and practical experiences. In the 21st century, schools need to rethink how they have always done things and be thoughtful about how to use agency, build community, focus on both academic and social-emotional needs, personalize learning, tell their story, and create an environment where students are able to become college, career, and community ready.

Presenter

  • Mariah L. Rackley
    2018 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year and Principal, Cedar Crest Middle School, Lebanon, PA

Are Men of Color in Education Leadership on the Verge of Extinction?

Level: K–12

With teacher percentages of African American and Latino men at rates lower than 2% and retention rates at all-time lows, the risk of men of color disappearing from leadership pipelines is becoming increasingly real. Since 2017, Men of Color in Education Leadership (MCEL) has been a national education and advocacy group of school district superintendents, executive leaders, principals, and assistant principals focused on accelerating outcomes for all students through growing and developing male educational leaders of color. This session will focus on strategies MCEL is using to develop agency in individual leaders of color and their allies.

Presenter

  • Andy Cole
    Consultant, Wallace Foundation, Reston, VA

That One Kid

Level: K–12

This high-energy session teaches specifically how to build and maintain relationships with the most challenging high-risk kids. Learn to defuse power struggles with almost any student, in any situation, at any time with a step-by-step process. Uncover two words that will stop mouthy kids in their tracks, keep them in class, and allow the teacher to get back to instruction. Discover the key to proactive, fair, and equitable discipline methods and walk away with numerous strategies for effectively and efficiently handling unwanted behaviors.

Presenter

  • Brian Mendler
    Speaker, Author, Teacher Learning Center, Rochester, NY

Leading a Culture of Unity and Diversity

Level: K–12

This session is an authentic discussion on race, unity, and leadership. Principals will learn practical ways to embrace diversity and unity in their schools and examine their own biases. Most of all, principals will leave ready and equipped to lead a school that unites rather than divides, builds up rather than tears down, and empowers rather than enrages. Principals will look at four white lies we often tell ourselves, hear real-life examples of leading unity, and learn how we can embrace and celebrate diversity in our schools.

Presenters

  • Derek McCoy
    2014 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year; Director of Learning and Innovation at Grady County Schools, Cairo, GA
  • Bill Ziegler
    NASSP Board Member; 2015 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year; Principal, Pottsgrove High School, Pottstown, PA

Parents as Partners—Engaging Families During the Pandemic and Beyond

Level: K–12

COVID-19 has propelled the education system into new and unchartered waters as educators and families navigate digital teaching and learning. While the learning curve has been steep, it has offered many opportunities to better engage with families and garner community support. This session will discuss several high- and low-tech options to improve family engagement, build better bonds within our communities, and improve student and staff outcomes. Join me for a dynamic conversation about how to engage families effectively in our new normal and garner more support in the fight for educational equity.

Presenter

  • Nkoyo-Ene Effiong Lewis
    Founder and Principal Attorney, The Effiong Firm LLC, Atlanta, GA

Creating Supportive and Inclusive Environments for LGBTQ+ Students and Educators

Level: K–12

This session will feature the Human Rights Campaign and school leaders who will share how they have created safe and welcoming school climates for LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and other school staff. They will discuss strategies for engaging LGBTQ+ students in school programs and activities and ensuring they have a voice in their school. Attendees will have the opportunity to share how they are working with LGBTQ+ students and staff to lead learning and build culture in their own schools. Finally, attendees will learn more about a national network of LGBTQ+ school leaders.

Presenters

  • Dr. Vincent “Vinnie” Pompei
    Director, Youth Well-Being Project, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Washington, DC
  • Dixie Rae Garrison
    Principal, West Jordan Middle School, West Jordan, UT
  • Dustin Miller
    Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Transforming Your School With an Equity Framework

Level: High School

Do you lead your school with equity at the forefront? In this session, identify next steps to move your school culture to an inclusive, positive climate with equity as a common thread. For those new to this work, learn how to look at data to inform goals, engage all stakeholders, and support teachers in planning and implementing instruction with an equitable lens. For those already engaged in this work, this session will provide space to learn how others are doing this work and reflect on next steps for you in your equity leadership journey.

Presenter

  • Alicia M. Perez-Katz
    Principal, Baruch College Campus High School, New York, NY

Bridging the Gap: Restorative Justice in School and Community

Level: High School

The session will be an overview of a program that is a partnership between Cherry Hill High School (CHHS) West and the Cherry Hill Police Department (CHPD). Data proved that policies on school discipline needed to move from practices rooted in punitive measures to ones rooted in restorative measures. Concurrently, the chief of police was looking at restorative justice models to implement within the township. CHHS West and the CHPD partnered to create a program that focused on restorative healing practices that are holistic in nature and take into consideration the role that human development and community play in the drivers of youth delinquency.

Presenters

  • Kwame Morton
    Principal, Cherry Hill High School West, Cherry Hill, NJ
  • William Monaghan
    Police Officer, Cherry Hill Police Department, Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Carole Roskoph
    Teacher, Cherry Hill High School West, Cherry Hill, NJ

Building Leadership, Voice, and Equity Through Student Activities and Athletics

Level: High School

This presentation will focus on how to work with student leaders to build ownership, student voice, and equity in athletics, activities, and school. The areas of focus will be working with student leaders to develop a mission and vision; set goals; communicate using social media/public speaking; develop student athletic directors, captains, and club leaders; run leadership labs; educate them through ongoing learning; celebrate success; increase involvement in the community; overcome adversity (such as canceled seasons); and develop leaders who are champions of character.

Presenters

  • Kelly Hart
    Assistant Principal, Sam Barlow High School, Greshman, OR
  • Majalise Tolan
    Secondary Teaching and Learning Director, Lincoln County School District, Newport, OR

Diamonds in the Sky: Building Collaborative Teacher Leadership in an International High School for ELL Students

Level: High School

Creating a diamond takes the right amount of collaboration, time, and struggle between school leaders and teachers. The International High School at Largo in Prince George’s County, MD, is a specialty high school designed for English-language learners. The International High School employs its D.I.A.M.O.N.D. approach to collaborative teacher leadership. During the session, school leaders will explore practices that build the teacher leader’s capacity to impact academic achievement and lead through data-focused collaboration, organized structures, professional learning, transparency, and modeling by school leadership.

Presenters

  • Alison Hanks-Sloan
    Principal, International High School at Largo, Largo, MD
  • Regena Williams
    Assistant Principal and Instructional Specialist, International High School at Largo, Largo, MD
  • William Shulman
    Instructional Coach, International High School at Largo, Largo, MD

Building Lifelong Readers in Secondary School: How Schools Navigate Literacy Challenges to Raise Reading Achievement

Reading Plus logoMany factors can impact students’ literacy development in middle level and high school. From students reading below grade level to limited school resources and lack of engagement, schools often struggle in how to best support and improve their students’ reading skills. But students can make significant reading gains and become lifelong readers—if provided with the resources to meet their needs.
Join Reading Plus Chief Research Officer Janine Caffrey, Community Manager La’Keisha Ciprian, and Memphis Street Academy Charter School Principal Amanda Hennie for an engaging discussion of best practices for literacy development in secondary school. You will hear success stories from school administrators and learn how you can incorporate solutions and strategies to help your students strengthen their reading skills and become more engaged, confident readers.

Presenters

  • Janine Caffrey
    Chief Research Officer, Reading Plus LLC, Winooski, VT
  • La’Keisha Ciprian
    Community Manager, Reading Plus, Winooski, VT
  • Amanda Hennie
    Principal, Memphis Street Academy Charter School, Philadelphia, PA

Wellness


Emphasizing a Culture of Wellness As We Reclaim the Urban American High School

Level: High School

This presentation will focus on an urban high school’s journey from “corrective action” to “good standing” status. Disciplinary incidents were reduced by 70% as a result of a whole school redesign where students are teamed by career academies they select. Successful student engagement strategies will be detailed including the introduction of innovations such as “one lunch” for all students and the “texting principal.” Developing an accountability system that is data driven, using a formalized continuous improvement process, and demanding growth that leads to a positive educational focus will also be discussed.

Presenters

  • Susan S. Kessler
    Principal, Hunters Lane High School, Nashville, TN
  • April Snodgrass
    Assistant Principal, Hunters Lane High School, Nashville, TN

Let Us Give You a Piece of Our Mind…

Level: K–12

Join NASSP 2021 Principal of the Year Richard Gordon and the 2021 Principal of the Year finalists, Michelle Kefford and Adam Clemons, as they share on the very important topic of wellness in schools. These leaders will share testimonials on how they have addressed relationships, collaboration, management, and student-centeredness—all while leading their schools during COVID-19. Gordon will focus on the importance of establishing a strong culture of acceptance and support when discussing mental health. Clemons will focus on the importance of collaboration and leaning on one another from a staff perspective. Kefford will focus on social-emotional learning initiatives that have proven to be successful.

Presenters

  • Richard Gordon
    NASSP 2021 Principal of the Year and Principal, Paul Robeson High School for Human Services, Philadelphia, PA
  • Michelle Kefford
    NASSP 2021 Principal of the Year Finalist and Principal, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
  • Adam Clemons
    NASSP 2021 Principal of the Year Finalist and Principal, Piedmont High School, Piedmont, AL

Creating a Relationship-Based Culture for Student Success

Level: High School

The presentation will give tangible tools and strategies for school leaders to utilize in their own school to help create a safe and positive environment for students and staff with a focus on sense of belonging. Luke Rasmussen, the 2019 Utah Principal of the Year and president-elect of the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, and his team will present how they implemented schoolwide systems that intentionally created relationships with students through research-based strategies and led to success at Ogden High School, specifically student’s social-emotional learning and overall positive school culture.

Presenters

  • Luke D. Rasmussen
    Executive Director, Secondary Schools, Ogden School District, Ogden, UT
  • Shauna Haney
    Principal, Ogden High School, Ogden, UT
  • Heather Gerrard
    2021 NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year Finalist and Assistant Principal, Ogden High School, Ogden, UT

Learn. Lead. Serve: Leverage Rounding, Team Problem-Solving, and Workforce Engagement to Improve Learning Systems

Level: Middle Level

The emphasis is on connection, collaboration, celebration, and cohesive systems of continual improvement. This presentation will provide participants with meaningful, theory-based, and manageable student/staff engagement methods focused on utilizing the voice of the teacher to improve organizational outcomes. Takeaways from this presentation will benefit assistant principals and lead principals alike. They will gain meaningful, manageable, and replicable ways to engage your teachers to solve problems before they happen, recognize and reward expected behaviors, and meet the basic needs of teachers by asking the right questions in a systemic and systematic manner.

Presenter

  • Jeremy Braden
    Principal, Urbandale Middle School, Urbandale, IA

Youth Vaping and Tobacco Use: What Principals Need to Know for a Return to In-Person Schooling

Level: K–12

With a hopeful return to in-person learning in the fall, principals will need to turn their attention to another public health emergency—the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by youth. Youth e-cigarette use continues to be an epidemic, with 3.6 million U.S. kids using e-cigarettes, including 1 in 5 high school students (19.6%). There is also concern among leading public health organizations and experts that smokers and e-cigarette users may be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. To protect our students’ health, youth smokers and e-cigarette users need to make every effort to quit. In this session, you will hear from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids about current youth tobacco use, the efforts underway to address it, and how principals can get involved. You will also hear from a principal on the efforts they have undertaken in their school to address youth tobacco use.

Presenters

  • Caroline Goncalves Jones
    Director of Advocacy and Outreach for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, D.C.
  • Mark Mischke
    Principal, Buffalo High School, Buffalo, MN

Supporting an Entire School Community Through a Comprehensive Social-Emotional Learning Plan

Level: K–12

Stress, anxiety, poor body image, and depression are some issues impacting mental and emotional health in schools. Understanding and helping to manage emotions for positive outcomes is a priority at Ridge View High School in Richland School District Two in South Carolina. The school uses a comprehensive social-emotional learning (SEL) plan to provide needed support for mental and emotional fitness and wellness. Working together, the Ridge View SEL Committee, composed of the school psychologist, social worker, school counselors, teachers, support staff, administrators, and parents developed the plan.

Presenters

  • Brenda Mack-Foxworth
    Principal, Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC
  • Brandon Ross
    Assistant Principal, Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC
  • Melissa Myers
    Assistant Principal, Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC
  • Mike Young
    Assistant Principal, Ridge View High School, Columbia, SC

Achieve, Behave, Belong: A Schoolwide Approach to Fostering All Students’ Academic, Behavioral, and Social-Emotional Development

Level: K–12

Creating an environment in which all students achieve academic success, meet behavioral expectations, and feel a sense of belonging is a matter of providing integrated and responsive instruction. By integrating the teaching of academic, behavioral, and social-emotional skills within all aspects of the educational program and remaining responsive to the varied needs of the entire student population, schools create learning environments in which all students achieve, behave, and belong. Whether you are new to RtI/MTSS or an experienced practitioner, the insights and resources offered will provide the guidance needed to increase the effectiveness of your processes and practices.

Presenters

  • Lisa Young
    School Psychologist, St. Louis Special School District, Town and Country, MO
  • Chris Colgren
    Assistant Principal, LaSalle Springs Middle School, Wildwood, MO

Mental Health First Aid: Is It for My School Community?

Level: K–12

Participants will review the outcomes of Mental Health First Aid National Certification (Youth and Teen) as well as several other Mental Health Education programs. With the effects of the global pandemic wreaking havoc on the overall well-being of our entire school communities, having the right mental health education/engagement program is critical in ensuring support and confidence.

Presenter

  • Kristina MacBury
    2018 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year and Principal, Sarah Pyle Academy, Wilmington, DE

With Building Ranks™, Together We Will

As school leader, your school’s success begins and ends with you. Experience firsthand how you can bolster your leadership. Building Ranks™ focuses on the two essential domains of school leadership—building culture and leading learning. With strategies, resources, and illustrations from the field, this session makes the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and other national leadership standards practical. Build the networks, learn the tools, and gain access to the Building Ranks 360º Survey that support you lead your school community to success.

Presenters

  • Chandra Walker
    Director of Leadership Development, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, GA
  • Jana Frieler
    NASSP Professional Development Faculty, Greely, CO
  • Jason Markey
    Principal, Glenbrook North High School, Glenview, IL
  • JoVon Rogers
    Principal, Mount Vernon High School, Fairfax, VA

Innovation


Disruption Starts on Day One: Using Opening Day to Unlock Your School’s Potential

Level: K–12

As school leaders, the most powerful tool we have is the culture we create. Creating a disruptive culture centers around questions that ask, “Why,” “What if,” and “Do we need to do that?” Simply, disruption aims to challenge a status quo culture that often protects and perpetuates school as usual. In order to create educational disruption, leaders must model risk-taking in all facets of school leadership—starting on Day One. Grayslake North High School school leaders will share how Day One can unlock the potential of a school and transform the way teachers engage with each other and their students.

Presenters

  • James Roscoe
    Principal, Grayslake North High School, Grayslake, IL
  • Jeff Schagrin
    Associate Principal, Curriculum and Instruction, Grayslake North High School, Grayslake, IL

You Walk the Walk Because You Talk the Talk: The Power of Transformative Leadership Conversation

Level: K–12

School leaders work in and through highly dynamic relational contexts. Leadership can be transformative but often is not, and perhaps more often than we examine studies of successful leadership, we spend time on autopsies of failed leadership. Leadership that moves performance for organizations and individuals is no longer found in commanding, but talking, and transformative leadership conversation allows leaders to structure conversations in order to facilitate change at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and collective levels. This session will explore humanizing teaching and learning practices at your school with an emphasis on framing, questioning, listening, and generating new understandings.

Presenter

  • Eric L. Fox
    Associate Principal, Teaching and Learning, Jenks High School, Jenks, OK

Do Your Students Go On to Postsecondary Education—How Do You Know for Sure?

Does your high school have metrics for students going on to postsecondary education? How do you know if your students pursue higher education? Not just enrolling, but completing a degree? Is one segment of your student population succeeding in postsecondary education more than others? In this session, learn how StudentTracker insights can assist with this.

Presenter

  • Michele Gralak
    Senior Product Manager, National Student Clearinghouse, Reston, VA

Fanatical School Leadership—Proven Strategies for Leading Learning in Times Like This!

Level: K–12

What sets your soul on fire? What is your mindset? Are you fanatical? Fanatical Leaders are like electricity, they bring the energy that propels a team forward and takes them from good to great. Leading learning amid a pandemic, you have been drained, your power level has diminished to low levels, and it has been tough to sustain the pace expected from all of the stakeholders depending on you. In this session, you will learn six keys to fanatical leadership from a 20-year veteran principal—exactly what you need to be recharged in these challenging leadership times!

Presenter

  • Christine C. Handy
    President, Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals, Rockville, MD

State of American Education

Level: K–12

The 2021 National Principals Conference will be the eighth occasion for the NASSP Policy & Advocacy Center to host the “State of American Education” session. This year, the discussion will focus on innovation and the willingness of educators to explore new options and change established systems to ensure the success of each child. Attendees will hear from a diverse panel of national, state, and local education leaders who will share their thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted schooling for years to come, including the future of assessments, accountability, and how we can accelerate learning for students in the upcoming school year. Panelists will explore how federal and state leaders can help schools create time and space for innovation, manage change in a time of uncertainty, and encourage the effective use of technology.

Presenters

  • Alyson Klein (Moderator)
    Education Week
  • Sydnee Dickson
    Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Susan Enfield
    Superintendent, Highline Public Schools, Burien, WA
  • Chris Rush
    Senior Advisor for Innovation & Educational Technology, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC
  • Allison Persad
    2019 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year and Principal, The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, Astoria, NY

Get Involved

Level: High School

This session will look at the importance of getting involved in extracurricular activities and the impact on attendance, discipline, academics, and more. This is specifically important when trying to overcome low- income situations, dealing with high dropout rates, managing discipline issues, and helping students learn additional soft skills and diversity.

Presenter

  • Bobby R. Tittle
    Principal, Ohatchee High School, Alexandria, AL

How Student-Driven Learning Is the Ultimate Instructional Strategy Before, During, and After a Pandemic

Level: K–12

Equity means giving people what they need, when they need it. In this session, we will discuss how to be ready for whatever comes at us. Using a combination of project-based learning, student-centered innovation, and unique ways of looking at data, we will examine student-driven learning and how to implement that in a school setting.

Presenter

  • Jethro Jones
    2017 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year and Founder, Student Driven Learning (SDL) Academy, Fairbanks, AK

Training Supercitizens: A New Approach to Civic Education

Level: K–12

U.S. students routinely show lower-than-desired proficiency in civics and social studies. In this workshop, you will explore innovative curricula and discuss guiding principles for helping shape schools that embrace civic engagement and students who comprehend their opportunities and responsibilities as citizens.

Presenters

  • Larry Schooler
    Professor, Facilitative Leadership and Conflict Resolution, University of Texas, Austin, TX
  • Scott Warren
    CEO, Generation Citizen, New York, NY
  • Darcy Richie
    Senior Director, Program & Impact, Generation Citizen, New York, NY

Game Plan for Success: Leading to Create a Positive Result

Level: K–12

School leadership is hard, and it’s even harder when you are leading to make a positive result. As a school leader, we find ourselves on information overload as we sift, sort, and research our way to improve outcomes for kids. Feelings of insecurity, stress, and the overwhelming nature of the work leaves leaders grasping at straws as they try to make sense of what to do next. In this session, we take the “hard” out of the equation by identifying strategies and approaches that have been tried, tested, and proven to impact student achievement.

Presenters

  • John George
    Principal, Dexter McCarty Middle School, Gresham, OR
  • Rachael D. George
    Principal, Sandy Grade School, Sandy, OR

Unparalyze Your Work Through the Power of Innovation

Level: K–12

Innovation unlocks the power of our own potential as school leaders. Learn in this energetic and interactive session with three principals from three different states about how innovation can unparalyze your work. Explore innovative practices in building community partnerships, de-tracking students and programs, and schoolwide projects. Participants will leave with flexible ideas they can apply to their own environment and school buildings and will be able to share with each other to create powerful resources of innovative practices for principals from across the country.

Presenters

  • Mark Anderson
    Principal, Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, Pasadena, CA
  • Paul Kelly
    2019 NASSP Principal of the Year Finalist and Principal, Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Village, IL
  • Jamie Richardson
    2017 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year and Principal, LaCreole Middle School, Dallas, OR