First General Session
The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling
The shift from a transactional economy to a connected one has people scrambling. Businesses, brands, sales forces, marketing teams, and leaders at all levels are desperately trying to capture attention and resonate with consumers who expect more. Is there a secret weapon? A silver bullet to humanize and connect? Yes. The answer is strategic storytelling.
National Champion storyteller and member of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network Kindra Hall holds a master’s degree in communications for which she conducted original research studying the role of storytelling in defining and revealing organizational culture. What began as a storytelling assignment in fifth grade grew into a passion for not only telling stories, but a mastery for teaching others the methods and science of storytelling so they can better tell their own.
Hall has shared her insights with audiences around the world to equip them with this essential skill for success in a connected economy. Her approach to storytelling is razor-sharp and immediately actionable. You will leave this session empowered and equipped to build better relationships and boost your brand by leveraging the irresistible power of stories.
Second General Session
Connecting the Public to Public Schools
In 2000, Charles Best launched the nonprofit DonorsChoose at a public high school where he taught history. His dream was to make it easy for anyone to help a public school classroom and move us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.
To date, teachers at 80 percent of all the public schools in America have created classroom projects on DonorsChoose, requesting books, microscopes, field trips, and more for their students. More than 4 million people, corporations, and foundations have given over $900 million to those projects nationwide and supplied more than $68 million in resources just for Texas alone.
In his presentation, Best will tell the story of how DonorsChoose came to be and the work the organization has done in public education equity, connecting individual, corporate, and foundation supporters from across the nation to support students. He will share the power of the DonorsChoose model of crowdfunding, as well as many inspiring stories about its impact on Texas classrooms.
Third General Session
Supporting Improvements in Public Education
As Texas commissioner of education, Mike Morath heads the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which oversees pre-K through high school education for 5.3 million students enrolled in both traditional public schools and charter schools.
In his presentation, “Supporting Improvements in Public Education,” Morath will provide an overview of the supports provided by TEA to improve public education in Texas. Additionally, he will highlight several innovations coming out of the 86th Legislature that have the potential to improve outcomes for all students.
Suhail Farooqui, CEO, K12 Insight
Monday, 9:30–10:30 am
School Cx: ‘As Important as Textbooks’
In a new national study, school leaders named building trust and community engagement as two ingredients that are critical to school success. Yet, nearly half are ill-equipped to do this work. Why? Because school leaders spend 75% of their time putting out fires and reacting to crises. Learn how an intentional approach to school customer service helps eliminate costly distractions, while improves critical functions, from community satisfaction to parent engagement to teacher morale.
Todd Rogers, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, and Chief Scientist, EveryDay Labs (formerly InClassToday)
Monday, 10:45–11:45 am
From Research to Practice: Leveraging Behavioral Science to Reduce Absenteeism
Todd Rogers is a behavioral scientist who has developed a program that leverages behavioral science insights to empower parents to improve their children’s attendance. Dr. Rogers’ talk will address two questions at the core of his work: First, how can schools and districts implement behavioral science research to reduce absenteeism? Second, how can school leaders use behavioral science insights more broadly to mobilize students’ social supports and improve student outcomes?
Dr. Walter Gilliam, Associate Professor, Child Study Center and Psychology, Yale University
Monday, 1–2 pm
Implicit Biases in Early Childhood Settings
Dr. Walter Gilliam, professor of child psychiatry and award-winning author of “A Vision for Universal Preschool Education,” will discuss the latest findings regarding expulsion and suspension practices in early education settings, gender and racial disproportionality, and potential causes for these disparities, including the potential role of implicit bias. Participants will hear the research findings and be exposed to emerging information about how early educators understand implicit bias and how preschool expulsions and suspensions are understood within a social justice and civil rights framework.
Dan McBride, Senior Scientist, Milliken and Company
Monday, 2:15–3:15 pm
Driving Change Management in an Innovative Organization
Dan McBride, who holds more than 30 U.S. patents from working at the interfaces of physical chemistry, reaction chemistry, and engineering, will share how “Innovative Renaissance” has kept Milliken & Company relevant, cutting-edge and successful for 150-plus years. Dan will draw on his decades of research experience to discuss how culture is everything, and taking calculated risks is a requirement for fostering innovation. Common values are what draw us together, but our diversity in thought and experiences are how we each can approach a common issue or problem.
Keara Mascareñaz, Managing Partner, Organizational Design, Education Elements
Tuesday, 9–10 am
Teams are the Key to Your District’s Success
Most leaders want their teams to be more inclusive, innovative, and effective. And yet very few know where or how to start changing team practices to achieve this shift. Keara Mascareñaz’s session will help leaders identify how to change their teams’ habits and introduce new habits that can increase inclusion, effectiveness, and collaboration. She is the author of “The New Team Habits: A Guide To The New School Rules” and the toolkit creator for “The New School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools.”
Dr. Ruby K. Payne, CEO, aha! Process, Inc
Tuesday, 10:15–11:15 am
Increasing School Safety by Addressing and Understanding Emotional Poverty
There is no doubt that having physical security devices helps keep schools safer. But keeping schools truly safe requires layers of prevention. Dr. Ruby Payne, whose efforts to fight poverty have achieved a global reach, will share how these preventative layers include understandings about emotional realities, what motivates better behavior, why safety and belonging are the basis of all emotional health, how psychological control can lead to violence, and how emotional triage can be used as a part of behavioral threat assessment.
Dr. Martha Burns, Professor and Director of Neuroscience Education, Northwestern University and Scientific Learning
Tuesday, 1–2 pm
Breaking Bad: Tackling Behavior Problems at the Core
Student behavioral problems are costly to school districts because of resource allocation demands and effects on student achievement for both the students exhibiting behavioral issues and those around them. New neuroscience research indicates that behavioral issues often stem from underdeveloped cognitive control and executive regulatory functions. Dr. Martha Burns will review the neuroscience and SEL approaches to behavioral problems – going beyond symptom-focus to address core cognitive competencies that increase academic achievement.
Donna McIntire, Customer Engineer, Google
Tuesday, 2:15–3:15 pm
School Safety — How to Protect Student Information in the Cloud
Public schools are an attractive target for cyber criminals seeking to commit identity theft. With adults, identity theft may be quickly apparent, but years can pass before it is discovered that it has happened to a student. School board members have a duty of care to ensure student information is protected. This session will cover what you need to know about security in the cloud, because cloud services operate very differently from traditional on-premises technology. As a cloud pioneer, Google fully understands the security implications of the cloud model. Donna McIntire, who has over 27 years in the IT industry, 15 with AT&T’s Corporate Information Security and Technology Division and Internet/Broadband division, will discuss how to protect your data, how your data is processed, and details on how organizations can meet regulatory requirements.