Access Symposium 2022 video recordings, slides, and other resources shared by presenters by clicking the links below.
Day 3 Student Panel Keynote
11:00 AM – 11:50 AM ET
Unlocking the Student Perspective: Meeting the Needs of All Students Through Personalized, Competency-Based Learning Designs
At Aurora Institute, we believe that learning environments should begin and end with the learners in mind, empowering them to participate in shaping their learning experiences. When creating personalized, competency-based learning designs, we must center students’ perspectives and co-create learning experiences to ensure that each child has what they need to develop their full academic, social, and personal capacity. Join this keynote as students take the virtual stage to share their unfiltered ideas, first-hand accounts, and reflections on what the future of education could and should look like.
Kalei Delovio, Student, Community College of Rhode Island
Kalei Delovio is an advocate for learner-centered learning for all learners, no matter their background. She sits on the board for Education Reimagined and is an activist in her local community for underserved youth. In high school, she attended The Met, a Big Picture Learning school, that focused on project-based learning and internship experiences that prepared her for her next steps in life. She is a certified nursing assistant and a certified medication technician.
Riley Devine, Senior, Souhegan High School
In my free time I enjoy reading and annotating books. I run as a way to stay active and relieve stress, and I also enjoy playing lacrosse and watching football. I am passionate about legislature and social justice issues, always wanting to learn more and find ways to create lasting change. A future goal of mine is to become fluent in French with the help of school courses and self directed learning.
Louisianny Martinez, 12th Grade Student, South Bronx Community Charter High School
I am known for being very helpful and accepting towards others, someone who is driven by the hunger to make everyone feel equal.
Masho Primmer, Senior, Souhegan High School
Hello! My name is Masho Primmer. I am a senior at Souhegan High School, where I am a member of various clubs–my favorite being Chess Club–and an enthusiastic lacrosse player. My favorite hobbies include reading and studying the Bible, cooking, snowboarding in the winter, and reading the classics. My hope is to develop into an intelligent, humble, and generous woman who inspires others to strive likewise.
Facilitator: Dr. Loretta Goodwin, Chief Operating Officer, Aurora Institute
Dr. Loretta Goodwin joined the Aurora Institute as Chief Operating Officer in November 2020. In this role she leads the Aurora Institute staff; owns talent management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); aligns the work on the ground with the organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals; and supports the CEO and Board of Directors in crafting a new, long-range strategic plan.
Most recently, she was the Deputy Director at the American Youth Policy Forum, focused on promoting equitable education for all young people by providing professional learning opportunities to policymakers. She oversaw AYPF’s DEI efforts, as well as instituting innovative staff professional development. An educator at heart, she has worked consistently in the fields of education reform from her teaching days in her native South Africa to dissertation research for her doctorate on Soviet education reform.
Dr. Goodwin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town, a Higher Diploma of Education from the University of Cape Town, master’s degrees from Wesleyan University and the University of Washington, in History and Political Science, and a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. She is currently on the Board of Directors at PBLWorks.
3:30 PM – 4:15 PM ET
Future-Focused Promising Practices to Implement
Personalized, Competency-Based Education
Education leaders across the country are implementing personalized, competency-based learning models to enable each child to flourish. Join this keynote to hear reflections and insights from leaders on strategies to transform traditional education toward competency-based systems. Gain insights into the journey toward learner-centered education for building capacity for competency-based education, and be inspired by the story of how multi-year transitions turned educators from skeptics to devoted practitioners of competency-based learning.
This keynote highlights groundbreaking community-led designs guided by local wisdom. These leaders will shine a light on levers for systems change and promising emerging innovations. See how equity is intentionally centered in the creation and design of new learning models. Walk away with resources, strategies, and insights to change systems and give students new equity-driven, competency-based, and student-centered learning experiences.
Ashley Ferrara, Assistant Principal, Academy for Software Engineering
Ashley Ferrara is a founding faculty member at the Academy for Software Engineering (AFSE), a public high school in New York City. She taught Algebra I for seven years and has taught Personal Finance for the past four. She was an Early Career Fellow and Master Teacher with Math for America for seven years, up until she transitioned to the Assistant Principal position at the Academy for Software Engineering in 2020. She has also served as a facilitator and mentor for the Competency Collaborative, where she has been able to share her various experiences transitioning to and teaching competency based learning. Ms. Ferrara had the opportunity to spend the Summer of 2021 collaborating with a group of educators through ReDesign LLC as both an Algebra content expert and designer in residence, working towards rethinking and redefining education to be relevant, inclusive, and engaging for young people. Ms. Ferrara holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut, a master’s degree in mathematics education from Teachers College at Columbia University, as well as a MA in educational leadership and administration from Bank Street College of Education. She is a graduate of the New York City Department of Education’s Leaders in Education Apprenticeship Program (LEAP).
Jose Guzman Jr., Junior, Benito Juarez Community Academy
My name is Jose Guzman Jr. I’m 16 years old. I go to Benito Juarez High School. I’m currently a Junior. I play volleyball for my school. I’m also the soccer manager of our school team. I also participate in Student Voice Committee and was on the Student Local Council. I love to bike ride and have fun with my peers in and outside the classroom. I love to help others and push myself to be the best version of myself.
Damarr Smith, Senior Program Manager of Competency-Based Education, Chicago Public Schools
Damarr Smith serves as the Senior Program Manager of Competency-Based Education for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), supporting planning and implementation for the district.
Prior to joining CPS as a Broad Resident, Damarr was an Education Pioneers fellow at Thrive Chicago. There, he managed the city’s effort to recruit employers and hire opportunity youth through the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative.
He has years of experience in youth development, college preparedness, and cultivating relationships within communities and ecosystems to break down barriers to access and opportunity.
Damarr earned an M.B.A. from Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, a Master of Education from The Broad Center, and serves on the CompetencyWorks Advisory Board.
Facilitator: Laurie Gagnon, CompetencyWorks Program Director, Aurora Institute
Laurie Gagnon joined the Aurora Institute in 2022 as the organization’s CompetencyWorks Program Director. In this position, Laurie leads the CompetencyWorks initiative–sharing promising practices shaping the future of K-12 personalized, competency-based education; identifying trends; conducting and facilitating research that answers critical questions facing the field; and disseminating those findings widely.
Prior to joining Aurora, Laurie led education design and partnerships at reDesign, an education design lab focused on learner-centered design, change, leadership and adult development. Before reDesign, Laurie was the Director of the Quality Performance Assessment Program (QPA) at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston, MA. She was a key designer of the QPA model and led the program’s expansion from a research and development pilot to a program that is now being used in schools and districts across the country to take educators through the process of creating valid and reliable performance assessments. Laurie began her professional life teaching English in Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, and soon after returning to the U.S. she became a high school history teacher. Laurie earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology-anthropology at Middlebury College, her master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University, and holds a nonprofit management and leadership certificate from Boston University. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband and young son.
Day 3 Sessions
12:00-1:00 PM ET – Breakout Sessions
2:00-3:30 PM ET – Workshops