Annual Leadership Forum


Annual Leadership Forum

The Annual Leadership Forum convenes teams of state educational leaders and policymakers to focus on progress and challenges in providing every school with effective leaders who can help improve student achievement.


2018 Speakers Announced

Highlighted speakers for the Summit on School Leadership Preparation and Development in Large Districts will include:

  • Earl Franks, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Prior to leading the NAESP, Franks led the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), a professional membership organization that served as a leading provider for school leader learning in that state.
  • J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia since 1996. Gwinnett has won the Broad Prize for Urban Education twice, in 2010 and 2014. Gwinnett’s Quality-Plus Leader Academy has been recognized for excellence by the Wallace Foundation, and every year Wilbanks personally leads training for the district’s future principals.
  • Steve Tozer, founding coordinator of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Education Leadership program. The Christian Science Monitor has just reported that school leadership has been credited with a 20 point increase in high school graduation rates in Chicago between 2011 and 2017, and learning gains between third and eighth grade is outpacing 96 percent of U.S. school districts. Tozer will tell us how this leadership revolution is changing the nation’s third largest district.



2017 Annual Leadership Forum

Instructional Shifts That Matter: How School Leaders Can Support Teachers to Make Them

SREB held its 14th Annual Leadership Forum at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel on April 20-21, 2017. Featured presenters included William R. Black, associate professor, University of South Florida; Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence, Education Trust; Bob Couch, principal of the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in South Carolina; Gail Bishop Dugger, assistant principal of St. Marys Middle School in Georgia; Randy Gooch, director of the Columbia Area Career Center in Missouri; Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, assistant professor of educational leadership and cultural foundations, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent of educational leadership and professional development, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida; Camille Daniel Murner, principal of Jasper County High School in Georgia; Daniel Reyes-Guerra, associate professor, department of educational leadership and research methodology, Florida Atlantic University; Karen L. Sanzo, associate professor of educational leadership, Old Dominion University, Virginia; Felicia C. Smith, senior program officer, K-12 education, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Washington; Pamela D. Tucker, professor, Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia; Chad Velde-Cabrera, principal of the International Community School in Georgia; and Donald Westerman, principal of Fountain Lake Charter High School, Arkansas.


2016 Annual Leadership Forum

The Principal: A Key Player in Advancing the College and Career Readiness of Students

SREB held its 13th Annual Leadership Forum at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel on May 12-13, 2016. Featured presenters included Mary-Dean Barringer, strategic initiative director of the Council for Chief State School Officers; Barnett Berry, founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina; Mary Beth Blankenship, principal of Shades Valley High School in Alabama; Gail Dugger, assistant principal of St. Marys Middle School in Georgia; Daniel Girard, assistant superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District in Texas; Beverly J. Hutton, deputy executive director for programs and services of the National Association of Secondary School Principals; Gina Ikemoto, executive director for research and policy development for New Leaders; Amin Salaam, principal of Kettering Middle School in Maryland; Stefanie C. Shames, principal of Maitland Middle School in Florida; Jennifer Sharpe, assistant principal of Rocky Mount High School in North Carolina; and Eric Thigpen, principal of South Gwinnett High School in Georgia.


2015 Annual Leadership Forum

Getting to Both C’s: Leadership to Prepare Students for Both College and Careers

SREB held its 12th Annual Leadership Forum at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel on April 30-May 1, 2015. Featured presenters included Michelle Dillard, assistant superintendent for Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky; MaryEllen Elia, former superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida; Bonnie Fusarelli, professor of educational leadership at North Carolina State University; Fiona Johnson, principal of Charter School of Excellence, Riverland Campus in Florida; Philip Lanoue, superintendent of Clarke County Schools in Georgia and 2015 National Superintendent of the Year; Maria Medina, principal of South Dade Middle School in Florida; and Aileen Vega, principal of Flagami Elementary School in Florida.


2014 Annual Leadership Forum

Deepening School Leaders’ Understanding of College- and Career-Readiness Standards

SREB held its 11th annual Leadership Forum at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel on May 8-9, 2014. Featured presenters included Paul Fleming, executive director for Leader Effectiveness at the Tennessee Department of Education; Candice McQueen, senior vice president and dean of the College of Education at Lipscomb University; and Matt Clifford, principal research scientist at the American Institutes for Research.


2013 Annual Leadership Forum

Deepening Student Learning Through Teacher-Focused Principal Leadership

SREB held its 10th annual Leadership Forum at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel on May 9-10, 2013. Featured presenters included Michelle Young, executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration, Fred Brown, director of strategy and development at Learning Forward, and Eleanor Dougherty, author of Assignments Matter: Making the Connections that Help Students Meet Standards. 


2012 Annual Leadership Forum

Strategies for Saving Struggling Schools: What Works

SREB’s ninth annual Leadership Forum was held at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel Atlanta Airport on May 3-4, 2012. Tierney Fairchild, author of The Turnaround Mindset, was a featured presenter, along with Stephen Fink, the director of the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington.