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2014 Leaders To Learn From Featured at Live Event

By guest blogger Alyssa Morones


District leaders from across the country came together in Washington today, where Education Week honored this year's Leaders to Learn From at a live forum and recognition event

"Education is the starting engine for everything we do in society," said Tracy Hill, the executive director of the  Cleveland Metropolitan School District's office of family and community engagement, and one of the 16 leaders selected for the 2014 report.

This assertion was reflected throughout the event, as leaders from widely varied geographical regions doing equally varied work were recognized for their effective and creative leadership. All are working toward the same result: a better education for their students.

Event attendees heard from leaders in rural Alaska and Arizona, both of whom are using technology to expand educational opportunities for their students, a leader who is working to offer Minneapolis students healthier school lunches, and another Philadelphia leader whose own experience with the arts led him to champion its value in all areas of education, among others.

"When a school district acts as one, you can achieve anything," said Nicholas Gledich, the superintendent of Colorado Springs School District 11, who helped lead his community through a crisis when wildfires devastated much of the area in June 2012.

The event wound down with conversations with Deborah Delisle, the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education with the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who is also a former Denver schools superintendent.

Delisle reiterated the importance of leadership in education.

She also had a few words on what we can expect to see from the federal government's work on education, including a continued focus on early learning and a continued push on equity issues, especially in light of the latest CRDC data, which revealed persistent educational disparities for disadvantaged students from pre-K through high school. 

Bennet stressed the need to hold schools, students, and educators to high standards. Students aren't the only people who should be learning in schools, according to Bennet. "Schools should also be about adults getting better each day they're there."

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