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Monday, October 24, 2022

Opening Keynote: 11:00 – 11:50 AM ET

Igniting a Vision for Education Systems Transformation: Future Directions in Policy and Practice

What would it take to transform education systems such that each child has what they need to develop their full academic, social, and personal capacity? At the Aurora Institute, we believe the time is long past due to fundamentally rethink our nation’s education system. Incremental change is not enough.

To transform education, we must reimagine every aspect of the education system. From time and place to path and space, we must examine the world of possibilities where learning is unbounded, anytime, anywhere, and personalized for each student. What does this look like around the globe and nation post-pandemic? How do we get started in charting a course for rethinking our education systems from the ground up?

Join this keynote for a national and global perspective on how to achieve the change our students need, including a call to action to:

  • Redesign for next generation teaching and learning;
  • Recognize learning that happens anytime, anywhere;
  • Reimagine assessments to be meaningful to students;
  • Redefine the purpose and vision of education toward human flourishing for each and every student, especially the most underserved;
  • Reframe the narrative around what is possible for real change from a systems perspective;
  • Research education innovations from national and global best practices; and
  • Rethink accountability to empower youth and communities to drive meaningful change from the ground up.
Susan Patrick portrait

Susan Patrick, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aurora Institute
Susan Patrick is the President and CEO of Aurora Institute and co-founder of CompetencyWorks, providing policy advocacy, publishing research, developing quality standards, and driving the transformation to personalized, competency-based education forward. She is the former Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, and served as legislative liaison for Governor Hull from Arizona. She served as legislative staff on Capitol Hill. Patrick holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College. She is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow and an USA Eisenhower Fellow in 2016.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Morning Keynote: 11:00-11:50 AM ET

Spotlighting Efforts to Transform Education Systems toward Personalized, Competency-Based Learning

Join this keynote to explore bold, new ideas from three innovators who are leading systems-change efforts to create competency-based pathways and powerful, personalized learning experiences for every student. Gain insights into ways to accelerate these changes in your own school, district, state, or other learning community.

Learn how leaders in Washington State have created a Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative state-wide to support the transformation to mastery-based learning (MBL) and culturally responsive-sustaining education. The Superintendent from Cajon Valley Unified School District will share their vision, a roadmap, best practices, lessons learned, and implementation strategies toward high-quality education innovations through personalized, competency-based education.

Dr. David Miyashiro portrait

Dr. David Miyashiro, Superintendent, Cajon Valley Union School District
Dr. David Miyashiro is a forward-thinking, award-winning education leader with a 20-year career revolutionizing learning approaches, education models, and school district capabilities in Southern California. As a digital pioneer, he has navigated districts into the hi-tech era, delivering numerous innovation “firsts,” for which he has garnered professional honors. Those include Superintendent of the Year and recognition from the White House and U.S. Department of Education as one of the “Top 35 District Leaders in Personalized Learning.” Districts under his leadership have also won awards, such as the California School Boards Association’s Golden Bell Award, the National School Boards Association’s Magna Award for Digital Learning, and the California Distinguished Schools Award.

Dr. Miyashiro has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from UCLA, his Master’s in Education Technology and Curriculum from Grand Canyon University, and Bachelor’s from Cal State Long Beach.

Cecily Schmidt portrait

Cecily Schmidt, Visual Art Teacher, Avanti High School, Olympia, WA
Cecily Schmidt is an artist and National Board Certified arts educator who currently has the privilege of working as part of the fabulous team of teachers at Avanti High School in Olympia, WA. She earned a Master’s degree in Teaching from The Evergreen State College in 2004 and has since taught visual art, language arts, humanities and yoga in varying capacities in public high schools. She is currently a member of Avanti’s School Leadership Team and is actively involved in designing an interdisciplinary educational model at the school. She loves being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, making things, and traveling.

Dr. Randy Spaulding portrait

Dr. Randy Spaulding, Executive Director, Washington State Board of Education
Dr. Randy Spaulding has served as the Executive Director for the Washington State Board of Education since 2018. Under his direction, the agency has prioritized mastery-based learning in its legislative requests and developed a mastery-based learning collaborative with legislative support and funding.

Previously, Dr. Spaulding had served as the Director of Academic Affairs and Policy at the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) and Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). His work focused on the intersections of secondary and postsecondary education to improve student transitions and raise educational attainment. Prior to his work at the Council (HECB), Randy worked in student services, admissions, and financial aid at the University of Washington Bothell. Randy received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2003.

Eliot Levine portrait

Facilitator: Dr. Eliot Levine, Research Director, Aurora Institute
Dr. Eliot Levine is the Aurora Institute’s Research Director and formerly led the CompetencyWorks initiative. He has led local, state, and national studies of educational programs and shared research findings in many formats for diverse audiences. Eliot was a teacher for seven years at innovative public high schools in the Big Picture Learning and EL Education networks. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical and community psychology from the University of Maryland and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in program evaluation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Keynote: 11:00-11:50 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 portrait

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 portrait

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.

Lakin Epaloose portrait

Lakin Epaloose, 2022 Graduate, Zuni High School
Ho’ Lakin Epaloose le’shinna. Hom annodi: Dowa:kwe deyan Suski:kwe a:wan cha’le. I am from the Zuni (A:shiwi) pueblo located in western New Mexico and graduated from Zuni High School in the class of 2022. As a fashion designer, painter, music producer, future architect and visionary, I am always searching for innovative methods of applying and communicating my identity, culture and ideas to better the lives of those within my community and beyond. I continue to amplify the needs of our youth and young adults by expressing my perspective on contemporary society and human development, more commonly focused on Native American communities. I look forward to attending fashion school in New York, Italy and Paris in the near future. My goal is to break down barriers in as many global industries as possible so that the youth of the next several generations may have more access than I had to a broader range of educational and employment opportunities.

Louisianny Martinez portrait

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 portrait

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.

Loretta Goodwin portrait

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.

Closing Keynote: 3:30-4:15 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 portrait

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. portrait

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 portrait

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.

Laurie Gagnon portrait

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.