School & District Management Live Event

Education Week Leadership Symposium

K-12 Education's Premier Leadership Event
This event occurred May 10, 2021 1:00 PM EDT - May 12, 2021 5:00 PM EDT.
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About the Symposium

In this unique three-day event, school and district leaders are invited to join Education Week as we convene experts, practitioners, and researchers — and tap into the deep reporting knowledge of Education Week’s editorial staff and research team — to discuss the top issues and challenges confronting leaders today.

Through a variety of session formats, guests, and topics; each day will offer attendees the opportunity to dive deep into the ever-changing landscape which school and district leaders are charged with navigating. Attendees will leave with actionable takeaways that can be adopted and adapted to schools and districts everywhere.

Attendees will gain insight into the strategies used by leaders, innovators, and influencers to:

  • Rebound faster from the disruptions of the 2020-21 school year
  • Learn proven tactics that help drive your strategy in the 2021-22 school year
  • Discover the latest findings and best-practices delivered to you by Education Week’s K-12 journalists, experts, and Research Center

Check back as we continue to add Sessions & Speakers!

Symposium Sponsors

Thank you to all our symposium sponsors!


May 10

Teaching & Learning

The 2020-2021 school year will be one that is studied for generations to come: the pandemic has changed how students learn, teachers teach, and administrators lead. We’re grappling with questions that will directly affect all stakeholders in the K-12 education enterprise including:

What technological advances have we made during the year of hybrid/remote learning and what do we think the next few years will look like as a result of these learnings?
How do we measure what students have learned and what should we be thinking about when evaluating student performance in the years to come?
What implications will this year have on the future of curriculum and assessment, closing the achievement gap, and preparing students for the workforce?
1:00 PM ET

Opening & Welcome Remarks

1:10 PM ET

The Pandemic's Affects on Learning

1:30 PM ET

Distributed Leadership in Curriculum Development

1:50 PM ET

The Science of Reading: Best Practices for the Early Grades

2:45 PM ET

Don’t Miss the Bus: Top Trends K-12 Leaders Can’t Afford to Ignore

3:05 PM ET

Literacy Across Subjects

3:25 PM ET

How Remote & Hybrid Learning are Reshaping
K-12 Education

4:20 PM ET

SEL as a Plan to Slow the Impact of Learning Loss

4:40 PM ET

Is it Finally Time to Change How We Grade?

5:00 PM ET

Day 1 Closing Remarks

May 11

Student Wellness & Community Engagement

We all recognize the importance of engaging and working with families, community organizations, government officials, and other partners to support academic success and student wellness. This critical work was always important; but as a result of the pandemic, we are seeing new kinds of partnerships and new stakeholders perspectives highlighting the value of this work. In these sessions, you will hear from those who identify, work with, and manage the programs that support student success and wellness. You will learn about what was working, what is working now, and what needs to be done to make sure all students are achieving their goals through sessions that will focus on:

• Social emotional learning (SEL)
• Engaging with students and their families
• Supporting underprivileged student populations
12:00 PM ET

Meet the Students & Filmmakers: A Year Interrupted: 2020 High School Seniors Face COVID-19 and an Uncertain Future

1:00 PM ET

Opening Remarks

1:05 PM ET

Flash Briefing

1:25 PM ET

How Schools Can Earn — and Deepen — Trust With Families

1:50 PM ET

Meeting the Social-Emotional Learning Needs of All Students

2:45 PM ET

The Road to Recovery: Removing the Blocks to Student Engagement

3:05 PM ET

Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness

3:25 PM ET

Education and Public Health: Forging Strong Partnerships for Student Well-Being

4:20 PM ET

How Schools Are Addressing Learning Loss: New Research from EdWeek

4:40 PM ET

The Role Communities Play in Student Success

5:00 PM ET

Q&A With Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona

May 12

Leadership Post-Pandemic

The pandemic’s effects will be felt for years to come and we’re only just beginning to see the impacts it has had on the world. In education, we’re aware of what is at stake and many school and district leaders are doing everything they can to anticipate the challenges ahead. With these challenges in mind, what skills and supports will you need to make sure you’re ahead of the game and spending less time reacting. You will hear and learn from your peers about what they’re doing to stay ahead of these challenges and the skills they are honing to help them continue to meet the goals they have set to answer questions like:

• What lessons have we learned already and what hurdles do we anticipate over the coming years as a result of the pandemic?
• What skills and tools will be critical to grow and focus on in the upcoming school years?
• How do we reset from the pandemic and ensure our students and other stakeholders are able to do the same?
1:00 PM ET

Welcoming Remarks

1:00 PM ET

Family Engagement Post-Pandemic

1:25 PM ET

COVID-19 Leadership Lessons & the Skills Needed to Lead Post-Pandemic

2:10 PM ET

Transforming Teacher Professional Development

2:30 PM ET

Facing the Future Together: Digital Innovative Solutions

3:00 PM ET

Building a Teacher Workforce That Looks Like Your Student Body

3:20 PM ET

Accelerate Post Pandemic Learning Recovery:  A Few Big Bets

3:40 PM ET

How to Lead Through Emotional Exhaustion and Help Your Teams Reset

4:30 PM ET

Event Closing Remarks

6:00 PM ET

2021 Leaders To Learn From Virtual Gala

Attendee Fees & Pricing

This event is made free for district and school leaders in part from support from our Sponsors.

Job Function

School & District Leaders


All Others


Speakers & Panelists
Stephanie Andrews
Interim Executive Director of Student and Family Support Services Tulsa Public Schools (Okla.)
Andrews has been an educator for over 20 years with Tulsa Public Schools serving as a classroom teacher, counselor, district counseling supervisor and currently as the interim executive director of the Office of Student and Family Support Services. Andrews has been leading the work of a social emotional learning grant through the Wallace Foundation. She holds an E.D.S in Educational Leadership, an M.S. in Community Counseling and a B.S. in Elementary Education. Stephanie is a nationally board certified as a school counselor. Stephanie is married with two daughters and also teaches music classes in the evenings.
Valerie Bridges
Superintendent Edgecombe County Schools (Tarboro, N.C.)
Bridges has been superintendent of the Edgecombe County Public Schools in Tarboro, N.C., since 2017. She was previously the associate superintendent in Edgecombe County, an administrator in Washington County, N.C., and served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Guilford County and Wake County school districts in North Carolina.
Sharlonda Buckman
Assistant Superintendent of Family and Community Engagement Detroit Public Schools (Detroit, Mich.)
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
Secretary of Education United States Department of Education
Cardona currently serves as the 12th Secretary of Education. Secretary Cardona is a lifelong resident of Meriden, Conn. and is proud alumnus of Meriden Public Schools. Following his time in Meriden Public Schools, he attended Central Connecticut State University for his bachelor’s degree and UCONN where he completed master’s degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Administrator Preparation Program, Doctorate in Education, and Executive Leadership Program (Superintendent) Certificate.
Julio César Contreras
Leadership Coach, Ensemble Learning former Administrator, Tulsa Public Schools, KIPP Texas, and Chicago Public Schools
Contreras serves as a leadership coach supporting teachers, leaders, districts and families with strategies to support the academic and social success of every child. With 20+ years of experience, he has direct experience in the classroom as a bilingual teacher as well as a district leader of change. Contreras is a 2016 Education Week Leader To Learn From.
Baron R. Davis
Superintendent Richland School District Two (Columbia, S.C.)
Davis has been the superintendent of Richland School District Two in Columbia, S.C., since 2017. He’s the first African-American to lead the district.
Sydnee Dickson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Utah State Board of Education
Nell Duke
Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture University of Michigan School of Education
Duke is a professor in literacy, language, and culture and the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. Duke’s work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in economic poverty.
Bree Dusseault
Practitioner-in-Residence Center on Reinventing Public Education
Dusseault is practitioner-in-residence at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), supporting its analysis of district and charter responses to COVID-19. She previously served as executive director of Green Dot Public Schools Washington, executive director of pK-12 Schools for Seattle Public Schools, researcher at CRPE, and was a principal and teacher. Dusseault serves on the boards of Teach For America Washington and City Year South King County and is a Pahara-Aspen fellow.
Jef Fugita
Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Research & Design Jeffco Public Schools (Golden, Colo.)
Fugita is the executive director of curriculum & instruction for Jeffco Public Schools in Golden, Colo. He previously was a teacher, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, assistant director of assessment & research, and an achievement director.
Anna Heyer
Science Coordinator Flowing Wells Unified School District (Tucson, Ariz.)
Heyer shines in her leadership as a science specialist, connecting people, listening and modeling her pedagogy by seeking out new knowledge and ways of learning.
Jason Hodgson
Director of Professional Development Panama-Buena Vista Union School District (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Fumiko Hoeft
Professor of Psychological Sciences & Director of UCONN Brain Imaging Research Center University of Connecticut
Hoeft is a neuroscientist studying learning with a particular interest in literacy acquisition and dyslexia; as well as on resilience and emotional well-being. Her work has been widely covered and she has received honors from organizations such as the International Dyslexia Association, Learning & the Brain Foundation, International Mind Brain & Education Society, and Society for Neuroscience.
Angélica Infante-Green
Commissioner of Education Rhode Island Department of Education
Danielle Kelsick
Chief Academic Officer Environmental Charter Schools (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Kelsick is the Chief Academic Officer at Environmental Charter Schools. She was previously the Assistant Principal of Environmental Charter Middle School – Inglewood. Before becoming an administrator, Kelsick taught English at ECHS and at South Bronx Community School for Social Justice in New York City.
Kristina MacBury
Principal Sarah Pyle Academy (Wilmington, Del.)
MacBury has been working in education for almost 25 years, in the classroom as a principal, consultant, author, and speaker with a focus on education reform and mental health advocacy. In 2018, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) recognized MacBury as one of its Digital Principals of the Year; in 2017, she was named a Top 30 Technologist, Transformer, and Trailblazer by the Center for Digital Education. Her school has also been recognized on several occasions, including as a Trauma Informed Champion by the state of Delaware.
James MacIndoe
English Teacher Standley Lake High School (Westminster, Colo.)
MacIndoe teaches 9th and 10th grade English at Standley Lake High School in Westminster, Colo. He’s been a teacher and leader in public IB high schools for over ten years, and recently earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Regis University.
Lydia McNeiley
Lead School Counselor Charles N. Scott Middle School (Ind.)
McNeiley is the lead school counselor at Charles N. Scott Middle School in Hammond, Indiana. She has been focused on implementing programs that meet the needs of a very diverse student population. Through her efforts, Scott Middle School has been able to engage students, families, and other stakeholders in supporting military veterans, enhancing Social Emotional Learning programs, exploring college and career readiness opportunities, and building ongoing partnerships with numerous outside agencies. McNeiley holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana University Northwest and a Master of Education in School Counseling from Purdue University Northwest. She was recently named a 2020 Indiana School Counselor for the Year finalist and is a Hammond Education Foundation Hero in Education Award winner. She serves as a member of the Hammond Hispanic Community Committee and volunteers with the Your Biggest Fan mentoring program and Girls Literacy Program through Athletes for Charity.
Joseph Meloche
Superintendent Cherry Hilly Public Schools (Cherry Hilly, N.J.)
Meloche was appointed superintendent of the Cherry Hill Public Schools on August 25, 2015. He is the first district alumnus to serve as Superintendent. Prior to returning to Cherry Hill as an educator in September 2003, Meloche taught middle school humanities and middle school English in the Willingboro and the Maple Shade school districts. He also served as the director of curriculum and as the principal of the Steinhauer School in Maple Shade.
Scott Muri
Superintendent Ector County Independent School District (Odessa, Texas)
Muri has been superintendent of the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa, Texas, since 2019. He has previously served as superintendent in the Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston and deputy superintendent for academics in Georgia’s Fulton County Schools. He’s been an elementary and middle school teacher, an instructional technology coach, and a principal.
Kerry L. O'Grady
Faculty Director & Associate Professor of Practice Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
O’Grady is the faculty director and associate professor of practice for the Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications program at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. A leader in higher education for the past 10 years, O’Grady’s previous appointments include New York University and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to University life, she worked in public relations, advertising, and marketing at major magazines and newspapers across the country, including The Arizona Republic, Parents, American Baby, and Women’s Health.
Rachel Orscheln, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, Mo.)
Orscheln is an associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. She is the director of ambulatory Pediatric Infectious Diseases at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Her special clinical interest is in the care of the immunocompromised child and during the COVID-19 Pandemic, she has been actively engaged with schools on the safe return to in-person learning.
Amy Perusse
Homeless Education Coordinator Everett Public Schools (Everett, Wash.)
Carissa Purnell
Director, Alisal Family Resource Centers
Tanji Reed Marshall
Director of P-12 Practice Education Trust
Reed Marshall is the director of P12 Practice at the Education Trust where she works with states, school districts, and partners with other organizations to use data in uncovering educational inequities to provide pathways forward for all students, particularly students of color and those experiencing or living in economic uncertainty, have access to an equitable, high-quality learning environment.
Sonja Brookins Santelises
CEO Baltimore Public Schools
Santelises is the CEO of the Baltimore Public Schools and former vice president for K-12 policy and practice at the Education Trust.
Stacy Stewart
Network 13 Deputy Chief of Schools Chicago Public Schools (Chicago, Ill.)
Stewart, a 29-year veteran of the Chicago Public Schools, is the Network 13 deputy chief of schools, which serves 31 schools in the district. Prior to that, she was the principal of Belmont-Cragin School in Chicago. Since becoming principal in 2010, she worked diligently to improve the quality of teaching and learning with dual language education, early childhood education, social-emotional learning, fine and performing arts, and personalized learning.
Michael Takayoshi
Principal Cascade High School, Everett School District (Everett, Wash.)
Takayoshi has been the principal atCascade High School in Everett, Wash. since 2019. He has worked in public education for over 17 years, having previously served as an assistant principal, athletic director, English teacher, advisor, and coach.
Karen VanAusdal
Senior Director of Practice Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
VanAusdal is senior director of practice at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). She oversees multiple initiatives to support and scale SEL in school districts and with collaborators in the field. Previously, she served as executive director for the Office of Social and Emotional Learning in the Chicago Public Schools. VanAusdal has worked in multiple youth-serving organizations and began her career as an elementary school teacher.
Nikolai Vitti
Superintendent Detroit Public Schools (Detroit, Mich.)
EdWeek Moderators & Presenters
Evie Blad is a reporter for Education Week.
Daarel Burnette II was an assistant managing editor for Education Week.
Kevin Bushweller oversees coverage of educational technology and learning environments for Education Week.
Catherine Gewertz was a writer for Education Week who covered national news and features.
Michele J. Givens
Chief Executive Officer Education Week
is the CEO of Education Week and EdWeek Market Brief.
Elizabeth Heubeck is a staff writer for Education Week.
Alyson Klein is an assistant editor for Education Week.
Holly Kurtz is the director of the EdWeek Research Center.
Lesli Maxwell is managing editor of Education Week.
Scott Montgomery
Former Editor-in-Chief/Chief Content Officer Education Week
Scott Montgomery was previously the Editor-in-Chief for Education Week.
Arianna Prothero covers technology, student well-being, and the intersection of the two for Education Week.
Elizabeth Rich is the assistant managing editor, opinion for Education Week.
Brooke Saias is a video producer for Education Week, working to tell stories about the impact of education on communities.
Stephen Sawchuk is an assistant managing editor for Education Week, leading coverage of teaching, learning, and curriculum.
Sarah Schwartz is a reporter for Education Week who covers curriculum and instruction.
Sarah D. Sparks covers education research, data, and the science of learning for Education Week.
Denisa R. Superville is an assistant editor at Education Week who focuses on principals and school leadership.
Andrew Ujifusa was an assistant editor who covered national education policy and politics.