SEL and Student Voice: Moving Beyond the Buzzwords
2:00 PM, Saturday, Nov. 16 | Salon A
Rob Wagner – Lake Oswego School District Board Chair, and Oregon State Senator, District 19
David Salerno Owens – Director of Equity and Strategic Initiatives, Lake Oswego School District
Jimmy Simpson – Partnerships, YouthTruth
About the session
Studies have shown that social and emotional (SEL) factors are key levers for increasing achievement and closing the gap for vulnerable students. And yet, for all the buzz around SEL, there’s just as much confusion about how to apply it. How do we measure non-cognitive factors that predict achievement? How can student voice inform our work in schools, central office, and the boardroom? Learn how Lake Oswego School District incorporates student perception data to accelerate learning.
About the speakers
Senator Rob Wagner
State Senator Rob Wagner (he/him/his) represents Oregon Senate District 19, which includes the communities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Rivergrove, Durham and Southwest Portland. In his first session, his colleagues elected him to serve on Senate Leadership in the Majority Whip position. Senator Wagner currently chairs the Senate Education Committee and the Ways and Means Subcommittee on General Government. Additionally, Senator Wagner serves on the full Ways and Means Committee and the Ways and Means Subcommittee for Human Services. He has played a key role in the statewide budgeting process, emphasizing fiscal responsibility and strategic investments for critical programs statewide, while listening simultaneously to the needs of his community. Senator Wagner received his bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and went on to earn his master’s degree in public policy from The George Washington University. His introduction to the Oregon Legislature came early, serving as a legislative aide in the Oregon House of Representatives in the late 1990s. His passion for education led him to a position with American Federation of Teachers Oregon, where he spent a decade advocating for Oregon’s teachers, faculty, healthcare workers and academic support professionals. He went on to become the Associate Vice President of College Advancement for Portland Community College, overseeing community outreach and working to secure student scholarship funding. Senator Wagner and his wife, Laurie, share four wonderful teenagers — one in junior high and three in high school — and live just down the street from his parents.
David Salerno Owens
On July 1, 2018, Salerno Owens stepped into the newly created position for the District. Before joining LOSD, Salerno Owens was a GEAR UP Academic Advocate for Portland Public Schools for nearly three years. In the role of academic support advisor, he helped 7th and 8th-grade students master Algebra and CORE standards curriculum. He also advised students on higher education opportunities through on-site visits, academic monitoring, and building their confidence to pursue higher education. In addition to his academically focused career choices, Salerno Owens has worked with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon providing education and outreach for mortgage lending to expose unfair and discriminatory practices; with Mirabella providing food service management for a premier retirement home, and with UCLA UniCamp providing program management, training, and supervision of more than 40 camp counselors during week-long camping sessions for inner-city youth. Salerno Owens holds a master’s degree in Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services from Lewis and Clark College and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Portland State University. He is married to Laura Salerno Owens. They have two children and live in Portland.
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.