Actionable Measures of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships
10:15 AM | Thursday, Feb. 14
Dr. Regina Speaker Palubinsky – Superintendent, Great Valley SD
Dr. Jennifer Bethman – Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools, Bethel SD 403
Dr. Karen Hickman – Deputy Superintendent, Pasadena ISD
Dr. Steven Fleming – Principal, Kirk Lewis Career and Technical HS, Pasadena ISD
Jimmy Simpson, Jr. – Partnerships, YouthTruth
About the session:
Studies have shown again and again that rigor, relevance, and relationships are key levers for increasing achievement and closing the gap for vulnerable students. While most districts have a school climate survey, often that feedback is collected and put on a shelf. Transformative education leaders lead through listening, and actually use feedback to inform policy and guide practice. You’ll hear from four leaders who have incorporated student perception data to increase academic rigor, enhance relevance, and build strong relationships between students and teachers. In this interactive session, leaders from Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington will share actionable next steps for using student survey data to prioritize equity and serve every learner. You will hear about their experience integrating student voice, and share your own perspectives, challenges, and victories. Together we will compile best practices for gathering and using student feedback to drive student achievement.
About the speakers
Dr. Regina Speaker Palubinsky
Regina Palubinsky serves as the Superintendent of Schools in the Great Valley School District in Pennsylvania. Palubinsky has served as the assistant superintendent for Phoenixville Area School District since 2010. Prior to joining Chester County’s public school system, she worked at the state level as the special assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. She began her career as a high school science teacher in Shenandoah Valley School District in 1986, and has expansive classroom experience at various grade levels in both regular and special education.
Dr. Jennifer Bethman
Karen Bethman serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools at Bethel School District in Washington State. She began her tenure with Bethel School District as the principal of Bethel Junior High School from 2001 to 2004, thereafter serving as the principal of Graham-Kapowsin High School from 2004 until 2011. She has been in her current roll since 2011.
Dr. Karen Hickman
Karen Hickman serves as Deputy Superintendent for the Pasadena Independent School District in Pasadena, Texas.
Dr. Steven Fleming
Steven Fleming serves as the principal of Career and Technical High School in Pasadena Independent School District.
Jimmy Simpson, Jr.
Jimmy Simpson, Jr.’s passion for education, advocacy and public speaking has allowed him to reach thousands of people all across the country. He has presented on topics ranging from the restoration of marshes in southern Iraq to the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Before joining YouthTruth, Jimmy brought environmental education to San Francisco’s public schools as an outdoor science teacher where he taught Kindergarten through 5th grade and helped create an NGSS-aligned science curriculum. After teaching, Jimmy provided coaching and professional development to science teachers throughout the Bay Area. He has also served as an AmeriCorps and FEMA team manager to provide disaster relief services in New York, Maryland, and Missouri. Jimmy is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a BA in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. As a Partnerships Lead, Jimmy’s teaching, curriculum development, and facilitation skills are put to good use as he supports school and district leadership in using student and family feedback data to create change.
School of the Future Session
8:00 AM | Thursday, Feb. 14
Brian Shumate – Superintendent, Medford SD
Kathleen Smith – Superintendent, Brockton PS
Sachi Takahashi-Rial – Manager of Partnerships, YouthTruth
About the session:
Join Superintendent Kathleen Smith (Brockton, MA) and Superintendent Brian Shumate (Medford, OR) for a conversation about non-academic measures that matter, including engagement and connection.
About the speakers
Dr. Brian Shumate has led the Medford School District as superintendent since July 2014. Prior to his arrival in Medford, he served as one of six regional K-12 Assistant Superintendents for the Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky. He was also a high school mathematics teacher, head coach, high school assistant principal, high school principal and high school liaison. Dr. Shumate received a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Louisville and has also served in a variety of leadership roles in professional and civic organizations.
A longstanding administrator with a depth of experience districtwide, Superintendent of Schools Kathleen A. Smith, JD served as the Director of Community Schools in Brockton for 12 years before being named Superintendent in 2013. As Community Schools Director, she oversaw all summer and before- and after-school programs, including curriculum development, staff development and program evaluation. She has been employed by the Brockton Public Schools for 36 years, beginning as an elementary school special education and Title I teacher. She has also served as a school adjustment counselor for nine years, as Communities and Schools for Career Success entrepreneur from 1999-2000 and as MCAS manager from 2000 to 2001. Mrs. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and elementary education from Westfield State College, a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Bridgewater State College and a juris doctorate from New England School of Law.
Sachi Takahashi-Rial, Manager of Partnerships, coaches school and district leaders across the country through the process of interpreting and using student and stakeholder feedback to accelerate improvements. A dynamic presenter who uses humor and data to engage and inspire educators of all levels, she has presented at such conferences as the School Superintendents Association (AASA) National Conference on Education, High Tech High’s Deeper Learning conference, and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Superintendents Symposium. Before joining YouthTruth, Sachi worked at the school, district, and state levels in San Jose, Boston, Washington DC, and North Carolina. In these roles, she ran afterschool programs, led a team of City Year Americorps Members, and researched local and state assessments. Sachi received her MPP from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and her BA in Economics from UC Berkeley.