Premier conference for superintendents coming in January
December 4, 2023
California superintendents will not want to miss the conversations that will take place at this year’s Superintendents’ Symposium.
District and county leaders will gather Jan. 24-26, 2024 in Indian Wells to contemplate “Igniting Excellence Together: Collaborative Leadership for Student Success.”
No other conference creates the conditions for relationship building, collaboration and exchange of ideas among superintendents like the ACSA Superintendents’ Symposium, said CJ Cammack, Fremont USD superintendent and Symposium planning committee chair.
“In my eighth year as a superintendent, I am absolutely certain that the ACSA Superintendents’ Symposium is the premier event for collaboration and professional development for superintendents in California,” he said. “I have attended the conference each year of my superintendency and always found new strategies and practices that I can apply directly to my work of supporting student success and leading for excellence and equity.”
Attendees are provided the opportunity to refocus their leadership to truly transform the conditions for teaching and learning within their community, in an environment where colleagues, expert consultants and legal advisors can provide insight and directly support the work of each superintendent.
While it’s often said that the superintendent’s job is a lonely one, that doesn’t always have to true. Superintendents’ Symposium offers the opportunity for superintendents to network and trade insights with other top leaders in this role.
“The chance to build relationships with colleagues from across the state is an invaluable resource that manifests its worth 10 times over when superintendents can rely on their friends and colleagues for ongoing conversations throughout the school year, knowing that you can reach out to another educational leader who understands the complexity of a superintendent’s roll and the challenges presented throughout a school year,” Cammack said.
The planning committee has just announced an impressive slate of speakers for this conference.
Heather McGhee
Wednesday’s opening keynote will be from public policy expert Heather McGhee. McGhee designs and promotes solutions to inequality in America. Over her career, McGhee has crafted legislation, testified before Congress and helped shape presidential campaign platforms.
Her book “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was longlisted for the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.
For nearly two decades, McGhee helped build the non-partisan “think and do” tank Demos, serving four years as president. As an executive, McGhee transformed Demos on multiple levels. She led a successful strategic planning and rebranding process. She designed a Racial Equity Organizational Transformation which led to an increase in staff racial diversity (from 27 percent people of color to 60 percent in four years).
An influential voice in the media and a former NBC contributor, McGhee regularly appears on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Deadline: White House” and “All In.”
Hadi Partovi
Thursday’s keynote is Hadi Partovi, tech entrepreneur and investor, and CEO of the education nonprofit Code.org. Born in Tehran, Iran, Partovi grew up during the Iran-Iraq war. His school did not offer computer science classes, so he taught himself to code at home on a Commodore 64. After immigrating to the United States, he spent his summers working as a software engineer to help pay his way through high school and college.
Upon graduating from Harvard University with a master’s degree in computer science, Partovi pursued a career in technology starting at Microsoft, where he rose into the executive ranks. He founded two startups: Tellme Networks (acquired by Microsoft) and iLike (acquired by Newscorp). Partovi now invests and advises other technology startups.
In 2013 Partovi and his twin brother Ali launched the education nonprofit Code.org, which Hadi continues to lead full-time as CEO. Code.org has established computer science classes reaching 30 percent of U.S. students, created the most broadly used curriculum platform for K-12 computer science and launched the global Hour of Code movement that has reached hundreds of millions of students spanning every country in the world.
Partovi has served as an early advisor or investor at many tech startups including Facebook, Dropbox, airbnb and Uber.
Dr. Pedro Noguera and Frederick Hess
Superintendents’ Symposium will also feature a special conversation with Dr. Pedro Noguera and Frederick Hess, authors of the book “A Search for Common Ground.” Although they are often on opposite sides of the ideological aisle, Noguera and Hess candidly talk through their differences on some of the toughest issues in K–12 education today — from school choice to testing to diversity to privatization. At a time of bitter national polarization, there is a critical need for leaders who can help us better communicate with one another. Noguera and Hess provide a model for how to sort through complicated issues and find common ground in today’s atmosphere of distrust. Don’t miss this discussion at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Superintendents’ Symposium
What: Professional learning, networking and advocacy specifically geared toward district and county office superintendents. When: Jan. 24-26, 2024 Where: Indian Wells Cost: $849 ACSA members; $999 non-members; $429 retired ACSA members; $599 retired non-members Register: bit.ly/supts2024
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