Nation’s School System Leaders to Gather in Nashville for AASA’s 2014 National Conference on Education

National Superintendent of the Year to be announced at NCE

Alexandria, Va. – January 22, 2014  School system leaders will gather at the Music City Center in Nashville for the National Conference on Education, the annual meeting of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, on Feb. 13-15, 2014.

Co-sponsored by Aramark EducationVALIC and AASA, the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced onThursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at NCE’s opening session. The four finalists include:

The conference, designed exclusively for school superintendents, will address some of the most important issues in education today, including the Common Core Standards, governance and executive leadership, innovations in district management, superintendent partnerships, and student achievement and accountability.

Featured speakers will include (in order of appearance):

Feb. 13

  • Irma Zardoya, CEO and president, New York City Leadership Academy
  • Heath Morrison, superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools
  • Keith Krueger, CEO, Consortium for School Networking
  • Aimee Rogstad Guidera, founder, executive director, Data Quality Campaign
  • Alan Blankstein, president, HOPE Foundation
  • Randy Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers
  • Nicco Mele, author, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath; faculty, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Stephen Fink, executive director, University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership
  • Max Silverman, associate director, University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership
  • Michael Copland, senior program officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Josh Edelman, senior program officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Michele Norris, award-winning journalist, author of the best-selling memoir, The Grace of Silence (General Session)

Feb. 14

  • David Kirp, professor of public policy, University of California at Berkeley
  • Ramona Bishop, superintendent, Vallejo (Calif.) City Unified School District
  • Sharon Contreras, superintendent, Syracuse (N.Y.) City School District
  • Michael Thompson, director, Council of State Governments’ Justice Center
  • Dan Heath, senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE Center and best-selling author (General Session)
  • Jeffrey Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year
  • Mark Edwards, superintendent, Mooresville Graded School District (N.C.); 2013 AASA National Superintendent of the Year
  • Deborah Delisle, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, U.S. Department of Education
  • David Novak, chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands (General Session)

Feb. 15

  • Tom Gentzel, executive director, National School Boards Association
  • J. Alvin Wilbanks, superintendent, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools
  • Glenn Pethel, assistant superintendent of leadership development, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools
  • Toni Ferguson, principal, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools
  • Craig Kielburger, co-founder, Free the Children (General Session)

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 10,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, Follow AASA on Twitter at or on Facebook at Information on AASA Children’s Programs on Twitter @AASATotalChild.


60 elementary schools to Experience “The Safety Detectives in Hot Pursuit”
performance featuring fire and electrical safety concepts

Arlington, VA (January 22, 2014) – The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and The National Theatre for Children (NTC) today announced a partnership that will bring fire and electrical safety messages to the center stage with live performances at 60 elementary schools across the United States.

The live performance, “The Safety Detectives in Hot Pursuit” is presented to schools free of charge and aligns with educational standards to teach children about important fire and electrical safety concepts in an interactive manner.  Student workbooks, teacher guides and classroom posters are also provided to reinforce important safety messages highlighted in the performance.

“ESFI prides itself in its ability to deliver safety messages to schools, and we are thrilled that our educational platform is being brought to the stage for the first time,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner.  “We applaud NTC for bringing our concepts to life in an entertaining format that will resonate with children and instill life-saving lessons that children will take home to their families.”

The program was made possible through funding by a 2012 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant from the Department of Homeland Security / Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“All NTC programs are based on storytelling and ‘The Safety Detectives in Hot Pursuit’ not only engages the audience, but educates them about fire and electrical safety,” said NTC President and Founder, Ward Eames. “We look forward to sharing this performance with students across the country.”

The dates and markets for “The Safety Detectives in Hot Pursuit” include:

  • January  27 through January 31: Atlanta
  • February 3 through February 7: Birmingham, Ala.
  • February 10 through February 14: Nashville, Tenn.
  • February 17 through February 21: Washington, D.C.
  • February  24 through February 28: Philadelphia
  • March 3 through March 7: Pittsburgh
About The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit
About The National Theatre for Children (NTC)
In 1978, NTC dedicated itself to delivering entertaining and highly educational programs to positively motivate families, students and educators throughout the United States.  We inspire young people – and their families – to explore important and timely curricular subjects including: wise energy use, STEM, financial literacy, health and nutrition and environmental literacy, among others.  Originally focused on delivering its programs via live theatre, NTC is now an educational content provider whose repertoire includes print curriculum, digital classroom games and multiplatform educational media.  We have developed the art of teaching through educational theatre into a science of its own, and are currently the largest in-school touring educational production company in the world:

Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Equity and Excellence


CoSN and the Panasonic Foundation Offer Collaboration for Innovation, a Hybrid Professional Learning Opportunity to K-12 Educational Leadership Teams


Washington, DC (January 17, 2014) –The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the Panasonic Foundation invite K-12 district teams to participate in Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Equity and Excellence. The hybrid professional learning opportunity will support collaboration of district/school efforts to improve student achievement that results in “each” student graduating from high school ready for college and prepared for a career. Participating leaders will join in a community with educational colleagues from across the United States to engage in facilitated cross-district learning, problem solving, and tool sharing.


“We know there are leaders in schools and school systems across the U.S. with hard-earned insights into what works best for advancing an agenda of equity and excellence in public education. The question that this initiative aims to answer is how can those reservoirs of innovation and understanding be most meaningfully linked, thus generating new synergies and avenues for the improvement of educational outcomes?” noted Larry Leverett, Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation.


The Collaboration for Innovation network will include district leadership teams, e.g., superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, curriculum, assessment and technology leaders, in a three-day face-to-face meeting and an online private professional learning community of practice (CoP).


With a focus on advancing equity and excellence, Collaboration for Innovation will concentrate on:


  • Scaling implementation of Common Core Standards/Assessments with effective professional learning communities and online communities of practice (CoP);
  • Strengthening central office focus in service of school and student success;
  • Increasing student engagement through digital transformation in the 21st century learning environment; and
  • Fostering parental and other stakeholder engagement using digital resources.


“Collaboration for Innovation is a powerful opportunity for school system leaders to collaborate with like-minded peers around innovative strategies to foster equity and excellence. CoSN, as the premier professional association for district technology leaders, is proud to partner with the Panasonic Foundation on this important leadership initiative,” noted Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO.


A district superintendent who participated in an earlier phase of this same initiative noted, “The experience in St. Louis when we were physically together with those districts from across the country was a powerful experience. We left on a high note. That was an opportunity for me where I took some of my staff who I see as moving up and giving them that opportunity to swim in deeper waters, and that was helpful for them.”

The collaboration will begin with a three-day face-to-face meeting (March 5-7, 2014) in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), NC, to follow with the establishment of an online professional learning community of practice using Google Communities. The site visit will focus on CMS strategic work in using Common Core State Standards as a lever for advancing equity and excellence and supporting a personalized 21st century learning environment for every child. The site visit will include opportunities to take a direct look at the systemic work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and to collaborate with educational leaders from across the country in designing a community of practice that is tailored to each participating district’s needs and priorities. Agenda activities will include visits to CMS schools, CMS presentations, team-oriented sessions, panel discussions, and multiple opportunities to network with district leaders participating in the Collaboration for Innovation network. The online CoP will continue the collaboration in the four focus areas with activities that include, but are not limited to, online discussions, related Google Hangouts between participating district teams and thought leaders, periodic touch-point conference calls, and related book studies.


“Our focus has been on the incredible shift that has to happen for classroom teachers first and foremost in terms of how they think about defining a college- and career-ready student. For us, the focus is not just on our graduation cohort. It’s what those kids are prepared to do as they get a diploma and walk off the stage into their future,” said Ann B. Clark, Deputy Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.


The Panasonic Foundation continues to partner with public school districts and their communities to break the links between race, poverty, and educational outcomes by improving the academic and social success of ALL STUDENTS: ALL MEANS ALL. For over two decades, CoSN has provided technology leaders with the management, community building, and advocacy tools in support of student and school success.


The Panasonic Foundation and CoSN invite K-12 district teams to apply to participate through an online application between January 13 and February 21, 2014, using this link:


Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Excellence and Equity is informed by CoSN’s Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent Leadership Initiative, the work CoSN has done around online communities of practice, and Panasonic Foundation’s experience in creating and leading the New Jersey Network of Superintendents, a community of practice.


To learn more about the network, please visit

To learn more about the Panasonic Foundation, please visit


About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.