Supporting Great Teaching 2014

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Always Learning

Supporting Great Teaching

The 2014 Conference on Teaching, titled, Supporting Great Teaching, explored how stakeholders—including teacher preparation programs, state policy makers, practitioners and education professionals—are cultivating and supporting great teachers. Presenters examined how and why individuals are attracted to and stay in the teaching profession, the skills viewed as essential to promoting student learning, and ways in which to support great teaching practices.


Opening Remarks

Session 1: Pathways to a Great Profession

Session 2: Developing Great Teaching

Session 3: Supporting Great Practices

Session 4: A Look to the Future

Q & A Sessions


The Honorable Governor Deval L. Patrick

Governor of Massachusetts

Opening Remarks
Video used by permission of the Office of the Honorable Governor, Deval L. Patrick, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Use for educational purposes only.

Governor Deval Patrick was reelected to a second term as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in November 2010, renewing his commitment to expanding opportunity and prosperity in Massachusetts. Governor Patrick's life has charted a path from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House. In each of these capacities, Governor Patrick has been guided by the advice of his grandmother: hope for the best and work for it.

First elected in 2006 on a platform of hope and change, Governor Patrick entered office propelled by an unprecedented grassroots campaign. Despite a challenging economic environment, the Patrick administration maintained or expanded the state's investment in critical growth sectors while delivering timely budgets and cutting state spending. Governor Patrick funded public education at the highest levels in the history of the Commonwealth and its school reform initiatives earned Massachusetts the top spot in the national Race to the Top competition. And through targeted initiatives that play to the Commonwealth's unique strengths, like his landmark 10-year, $1 billion program to promote the state's life sciences industry, the Governor has positioned the state as a global leader in biotech, bio pharmaceuticals, and IT, and as a national leader in clean energy, including making Massachusetts home to the country's first offshore wind farm.

Governor Patrick committed the state to renewing its aging and neglected infrastructure and oversaw the expansion of affordable health care insurance to over 98% of Massachusetts residents. The Patrick administration also accomplished major reforms that had eluded decades of other elected leadership, reforming the state's pension systems, ethics laws, and transportation bureaucracy.

Patrick came to Massachusetts in 1970 at the age of 14. A motivated student despite the difficult circumstances of poor and sometimes violent Chicago schools, he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization. From that time forward, it has been Massachusetts people, schools, and institutions that have given Governor Patrick the opportunity to excel. He sees his service as governor as pay-back for the opportunities the Commonwealth has given him.

Governor Patrick is a graduate of Harvard College, the first in his family to attend college, and of Harvard Law School. After clerking for a federal judge, he led a successful career in the private sector as an attorney and business executive, rising to senior executive positions at Texaco and Coca-Cola. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation's top civil rights post.

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Dr. David P. Driscoll

Chair, National Assessment Governing Board

Opening Remarks

David P. Driscoll, PhD served as the 22nd commissioner of education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1998 to 2007.  He currently serves on several boards in Washington, including the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the EDI Advisory Board, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. Dr. Driscoll was appointed Chair of NAGB by Secretary Duncan and was recently appointed Chair of the Fordham Institute Board. Dr. Driscoll also serves on the Teach Plus Board in Boston.

Dr. Driscoll has a 45-year career in public education and educational leadership. A former secondary school mathematics teacher, he was named Melrose Assistant Superintendent in 1972 and Superintendent of Schools in the same community in 1984. He served in that role until 1993, when he was appointed Massachusetts Deputy Commissioner of Education, just days after the state's Education Reform Act was signed into law. He became Interim Commissioner of Education on July 1, 1998, and was named Commissioner on March 10, 1999.

As Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Driscoll held several key leadership roles, both in the external affairs of the Department and in internal management. He was the Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation's mathematics and science program in Massachusetts, PALMS, and was instrumental in 1997 in gaining the NSF's approval of a second five-year round of funding for this initiative. He was also appointed to oversee the implementation of the state agreement on management and governance of the Lawrence Public Schools.

As Interim Commissioner, Dr. Driscoll worked with Governor Cellucci, Senate President Birmingham, and House Speaker Finneran to pass the state's "12-62 Plan," a law aimed at enhancing future educator quality. The program gained national recognition for its accelerated teacher education and bonus programs, both aimed at encouraging mid-career professionals to become classroom teachers.

As Commissioner, Dr. Driscoll has overseen the development of the state's curriculum frameworks, the implementation and expansion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), the development of the state's School and District Accountability System, and the development and administration of the state's educator certification tests and new licensure regulations.

These initiatives and others have led to consistent annual improvement in student achievement as measured by state standards (MCAS), national measures (NAEP, SAT), and international tests (TIMMS). In 2005 and 2007 Massachusetts was named the first state to ever earn the highest scaled score in the nation on all four NAEP exams. In 2008, Massachusetts' students' performance on TIMSS was among the highest in the world, scoring second to Singapore in fourth-grade science.

He is past president of the Harvard Superintendent Roundtable and the Merrimac Valley Superintendents Roundtable, was an elected member of the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, and was Vice President of the superintendents' association at the time of his appointment as Deputy Commissioner.

Dr. Driscoll earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Boston College, his master's degree in educational administration from Salem State College, and his doctorate in education administration from Boston College.

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Mr. Dan Brown, NBCT

Executive Director, Future Educators Association

Pathways to a Great Profession

Dan Brown is a National Board Certified Teacher and Executive Director of the Future Educators Association. He taught for eight years in New York City and Washington, DC, first as a fourth-grade teacher and later as a high school English teacher. During the 2012–2013 school year, Dan served as a full-time Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Secretary Arne Duncan.

Mr. Brown is the author of the memoir The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle, and contributed a chapter to The American Public School Teacher: Past, Present, and Future. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011) and he contributed a chapter to The American Public School Teacher: Past, Present, and Future (Harvard Education Press, 2011). Dan's short-form writing has appeared in Educational Leadership, The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, and Real Clear Education, among other publications. In 2014, Mashable named Brown one of "10 Rockstar Teachers on Twitter" and he tweets @danbrownteacher.

Mr. Brown holds degrees from New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Ms. Lee-Ann Stephens

Teacher of the Year, St. Louis Park School District, Minnesota

Pathways to a Great Profession

Lee-Ann Stephens has been an educator for 25 years, with K–12 teaching and leadership experience. She currently serves as a teacher on special assignment with the St. Louis Park School District in Minnesota. Ms. Stephens serves Latino and African American high school students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. She previously served as an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University and on Minnesota's Board of Teaching.
She serves on several national committees and is a member of various teacher voice organizations. She was named Minnesota's Teacher of the Year in 2006.

Ms. Stephens holds a BA in international studies, BS in elementary education, MEd in curriculum and instruction, and is currently pursuing an EdD in educational leadership.

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Mr. Kelly Henson

Executive Secretary, Georgia Professional Standards Commission

Pathways to a Great Profession

Kelly Henson was named Executive Secretary of the Professional Standards Commission (PSC) in November 2007. The PSC is charged with establishing and enforcing high standards for the preparation, certification, and ethical behavior of educators. Under his leadership, the PSC has developed and maintained strong partnerships with other state agencies, institutions of higher education, local school systems, and legislators. The PSC seeks to make Georgia's Education workforce the most highly skilled and qualified in the nation.

Before joining the PSC, Mr. Henson served as Superintendent of Schools in Floyd County and as Principal of Walton High School, Principal of Pope High School, and Associate Superintendent in Marietta City Schools.

Mr. Henson brought to his role at the Professional Standards Commission an unwavering commitment to provide excellent customer service to all Georgia educators, and to all institutions and agencies that prepare educators. Under his leadership, the PSC has developed and maintained strong partnerships with other state agencies, institutions of higher education, local school systems, and legislators. Due in part to his guidance and the work of the PSC on reforms of Educational Leadership programs and Certificate Upgrade rules, Georgia educators continue to be paid for earning relevant and rigorous advanced degrees related to their roles in schools.

Through his work with the HR1103 Study Committee and the Alliance of Agency Heads Math/Science Task Force, Mr. Henson played a pivotal role in advancing the preparation and compensation of Georgia mathematics and science teachers.

He also co-chaired the Professional Learning Study Committee convened by the Georgia House of Representatives, and the work of this group resulted in a set of recommendations which will lead to revolutionary changes in certificate renewal and professional learning for all Georgia educators.

Recently, Mr. Henson served as a key member of Georgia's Race to the Top design team and he leads the PSC in implementing a number of Race to the Top initiatives, such as the preparation program effectiveness measures and tiered certification.

In addition to his work at the PSC, MR. Henson is a current member and past Chair of the Alliance of Agency Heads.

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Ms. Suzanne Vogt, NBCT

Teacher, Phoenix Union High School District, Arizona

Pathways to a Great Profession

Suzanne Vogt is a National Board Certified Teacher in her eighth year at Trevor G. Browne High School in the Phoenix Union High School District in Arizona. Recently, she was honored by her campus staff as the 2013 Certified Employee of the Year.

Ms. Vogt is a member of her state Social Studies Council, serving as the Chair of the Awards Committee and as a Teacher Consultant for the Arizona Geographic Alliance. Additionally, she writes curriculum for both her district-level social studies courses and the New Global Citizens organization.

Ms. Vogt earned her master's degree in geographic education from Arizona State University.

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Dr. Lillian Lowery

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools

Developing Great Teaching

Lillian Lowery became Maryland State Superintendent of Schools and Secretary-Treasurer of the State Board in 2012. She moved to Maryland from Delaware, where she served as Secretary of Education since January 2009. As the State Chief, she facilitated a broad-based statewide strategic planning and grant application process, resulting in Delaware being selected one of the first states to be awarded a coveted federal Race to the Top grant. She led efforts to establish Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Units as well as Turnaround Units within the Department, which have assisted in the implementation of the grant and the improvement of instructional opportunities for students.

Dr. Lowery has worked in various education institutions and programs since 1976. Prior to becoming Secretary of Education, she served for three years as the Superintendent of the Christina School District in New Castle County, DE. She has served as an Assistant Superintendent in Fairfax County, VA, and an Area Superintendent in Fort Wayne, IN. She held other administrative positions, and began her career as an English teacher at the middle and high school levels in Virginia.

A graduate in English and secondary education at North Carolina Central University, Dr. Lowery received her masters of education in curriculum and instruction at the University of North Carolina, and her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

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Ms. Megan M. Allen, NBCT

Teacher of the Year, Visiting Lecturer at Mount Holyoke College

Developing Great Teaching

Megan M. Allen is a National Board Certified Teacher and the 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year. She is currently working as a program developer and visiting instructor at Mount Holyoke College, where she is incubating a blended-learning graduate program to support the development of teacher leaders. She has taught for ten years, serving in Title One schools in Hillsborough County, FL.

As an edugeek, Ms. Allen also enjoys blogging for the Center for Teaching, where she writes about her students and teacher leadership, and advocates for a more effective public education system for all of our students. Visit

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Mr. Phil Canto

Bureau Chief, Postsecondary Assessment, Florida Department of Education

Developing Great Teaching

Phil Canto currently serves as the Bureau Chief for the Florida Department of Education's Bureau of Postsecondary Assessment. He oversees the development, administration, scoring, and reporting of all computer-based assessments for teacher and principal certification in the state of Florida.

His professional career over the past twenty years includes various positions within state and local governmental agencies while leading projects with significant public policy implications.
For more than a decade he has been closely involved in the training and assessment of public sector employees, including educators and educational leaders. His leadership concentration has been on producing positive outcomes with high impacts, focusing on building and promoting strong stakeholder coalitions. Projects under Mr. Canto's leadership continue to win statewide awards for efficiency and productivity.

A native Floridian, he received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of South Florida and a master's degree from University of North Florida in public administration.

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Dr. Mark LaCelle-Peterson

Vice President for Policy and Programs, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Developing Great Teaching

Dr. Mark LaCelle-Peterson joined AACTE as Vice President for Policy and Programs in 2014 with responsibility for overseeing government relations, research and data analysis, and a variety of support programs, including the Innovation Exchange, Research Fellowship, and technical assistance in the areas of accreditation and performance measurement.

Dr. LaCelle-Peterson has served as a faculty member and administrator in educator preparation programs, and as a leader in programmatic accreditation. In his teaching, writing, and consulting, he has sought to promote education that serves all learners well and supports the growth of a pluralistic democratic society. Assessment, program evaluation, and faculty development have been the persistent foci.

Prior to joining AACTE, Dr. LaCelle-Peterson served as Senior Vice President of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) where he oversaw core operations of the nation's sole accreditor of educator preparation providers, including programmatic accreditation, license-level program review, and state and member relations. He worked closely with state policymakers as well as institutions of higher education across sectors to develop effective collaboration in accreditation processes. He also oversaw the establishment of CAEP's capacity-building program, including creation of a research and development function, and is a frequent speaker on topics of accreditation and data quality in higher education. Earlier, Dr. LaCelle-Peterson served as President of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), a national programmatic accreditor. He also served as a member of the TEAC Board and as a member of the Joint TEAC/NCATE team that designed the new Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Dr. LaCelle-Peterson has held faculty and administrative posts at public and private institutions of higher education in New York State. He has taught the history and philosophy of education, research methods, curriculum theory, and social, cultural, and linguistic foundations of education as well as courses in humanities and early medieval literature (Anglo Saxon and Old Norse). He co-founded and directed a center for partnerships with urban schools in Rochester, NY, developed a transition-to-teaching program to provide highly qualified teachers for high-needs urban schools, and served on the applicant board for a community-based, two-way bilingual charter school. He has written on equity in assessment for English Language Learners, democratic teacher education, faculty development in higher education, and curriculum history.

Dr. LaCelle-Peterson earned a BA in Scandinavian studies and English, and an MA in international development education from the University of Minnesota, and the EdM and EdD from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

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Dr. Rodrick S. Lucero

Associate Director of the School of Teacher Education, Colorado State University

Developing Great Teaching

Dr. Rodrick S. Lucero is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation in the School of Education at Colorado State University. He was a well-respected high school teacher and high school administrator for 21 years before moving to his current position.

Dr. Lucero understands that the effectiveness of instruction unfolds when relevance is coupled with pedagogical expertise and content mastery. It is at this complex intersection that he has fused his passion for educational excellence and his vehement advocacy for the educational enterprise.

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Ms. Jennifer Roth

Assistant Principal, Poudre School District, Colorado

Developing Great Teaching

Jennifer Roth has been in the field of education since 1985. Her career in education brings together a breadth and depth of experiences. She has taught at the middle school and high school levels in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado, and Aix-en-Provence, France. In addition, she was an instructor at the community college and university levels and has served as an adjunct instructor for CSU's School of Education.

Currently an Assistant Principal in Poudre School District located in northern Colorado, Ms. Roth is deeply invested in the long-standing partnership between Poudre School District and Colorado State University to support their well-respected and successful teacher preparation program. She has been a site instructor for CSU's Professional Development School, was a member of the TEAC Accreditation Committee for CSU, and is currently the partnership liaison between Fort Collins High and CSU. She also oversees the professional development of pre-service and student teachers as well as new and continuing teachers at Fort Collins High School.

Jennifer has presented nationally about the Professional Development School model and effective clinical partnerships at a variety of conferences including the Partner School Leadership Development Workshop (2008), the National Association for Professional Development Schools Conference (2009), the National Network for Educational Renewal (2012) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (2013).

MS. Roth earned a BA in French from Penn State University, a master of education from Colorado State University, and is currently a doctoral student focusing on clinical partnerships at Colorado State University.

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Mr. Nick Baltzell

Teacher, Poudre School District, Colorado

Developing Great Teaching

Nick Baltzell grew up in a small town just north of Milwaukee, WI. Thanks to many influential teachers in his life, Mr. Baltzell pursued a degree in history and secondary education at Colorado State University. Through his four years at CSU, he used the many opportunities offered to him to network in the schools and community around him. He became a football coach at Fort Collins High School, coached track at Blevins Middle School, student-taught at FCHS, and volunteered frequently for the City of Fort Collins.

Upon graduation, these connections propelled him to his first teaching position as a seventh-grade world geography teacher. When the opportunity presented itself the following year, he applied and returned to FCHS.

FCHS is where Mr. Baltzell continues to share his passion for education in his tenth-grade world geography and cultures classes. He exemplifies how the Professional Development School model at CSU produces quality instructors to meet the needs of 21st-century students.

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Dr. Stephanie Hirsh

Executive Director, Learning Forward

Supporting Great Practices

Dr. Stephanie Hirsh is the executive director of Learning Forward, an association with more than 10,000 members and 40 state and provincial affiliates committed to increasing student achievement and educator effectiveness through standards-based professional learning.

Before her appointment as executive director, Dr. Hirsh served the association as deputy executive director for 18 years. She began her career as a secondary teacher and later served as a school district administrator in the Richardson (Texas) Independent School District. In 1996 she was elected to the Richardson school board and served for three terms.

Dr. Hirsh advises policymakers, state and local superintendents, foundation leaders, and other thought leaders on improving student learning through effective professional learning and school improvement. Her recent books include Becoming a Learning System (2014), co-authored with Frederick Brown and Kay Pscenik; A School Board Guide to Leading Successful Schools (2013), coauthored with Anne Foster; A Playbook for Professional Learning (2011), co-authored with Shirley Hord; and The Learning Educator (2009), co-authored with Joellen Killion.

Dr. Hirsh serves on advisory boards for several organizations including Learning First Alliance, University of Texas College of Education, National Stem Equity Pipeline, Great Teachers and Leaders Center, Chief Learning Officer, and AdvancED.

Dr. Hirsh earned her master's and doctorate degrees from The University of North Texas and her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas.

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Ms. Pamela Vigna, NBCT

Teacher, Coal City Unit District #1, Illinois

Supporting Great Practices

Pamela Vigna is a National Board Certified Teacher and is in her 27th year of teaching in the Coal City Community School District. She writes curriculum and develops local assessments as her district's K–5 English/language arts coordinator.

After becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, Ms. Vigna has continued to mentor candidates through the National Board Process within her district, and as a Virtual Facilitator for the National Board Resource Center (NBRC) at Illinois State University.

She serves on the NBRC Leadership Team, and is a member of the NBRC Design Team, which is currently developing training materials for the Revised National Board Process. The National Board Process has become embedded in her instruction and continues to serve as the foundation of her practice.

Ms. Vigna earned her master's degree in reading development from Olivet Nazarene University.

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Mr. Jean Desravines

CEO, New Leaders

Supporting Great Practices

Jean Desravines assumed the role of chief executive officer of New Leaders in February 2011. Prior to his appointment as CEO, he served as chief officer for cities and policy at New Leaders for five years. In that role, he oversaw the management of all city teams, including the launch of five of the organization's 12 sites, and the organization's national public policy and public funding work.

Mr. Desravines has more than 15 years of professional leadership experience working with parents and communities on education issues and community development, with a primary focus on improving outcomes for children in underserved communities.

Before joining New Leaders, Mr. Desravines served as senior counselor to the chancellor of New York City's public school system. In that capacity, he developed and executed a comprehensive strategy to engage and communicate with key stakeholders across New York City, building support for the district's ambitious reform agenda. He also served as the executive director for the Office of Parent and Community Engagement, chief of staff to the senior counselor for Education Policy, and director for community relations at the New York City Department of Education, as well as director of organizational development and community programming for the Faith Center for Community Development, Inc.

He is a board member for 100Kin10, a coalition of organizations responding to President Obama's call to train more than 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by 2021. He also served as a member of Governor Cuomo's Education Reform Commission. Mr. Desravines has been named to Forbes' "Impact 30," recognizing the world's leading social entrepreneurs. He was one of twenty-four exceptional leaders from across the country selected to participate in the Aspen Institute/NewSchools Venture Fund Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship Program.

Mr. Desravines earned a bachelor of arts in history from St. Francis College and a master's degree in public administration from New York University, where he was the recipient of the Dean's Scholarship—the school's most prestigious scholarship.

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Mr. Benjamin Fenton

Chief Strategy Officer, New Leaders

Supporting Great Practices

Benjamin Fenton co-founded New Leaders in 2000. In his current role as chief strategy officer, Mr. Fenton leads the organization's Policy and Practice Services, helping states and districts develop new policies, strategies, and tools for principal evaluation and principal effectiveness. He is also responsible for the ongoing implementation of the New Leaders organizational learning plan and programmatic evaluation.

In previous roles, Mr. Fenton has served as chief operating officer, growing the organization from a staff of five to more than 150 employees; chief cities officer, managing and supporting all local program sites; and chief school support officer, developing national and local strategies to support the performance of schools led by New Leader Principals. A recognized expert on principal quality, he is the lead author of the New Leaders white papers "Principal Effectiveness" and "Evaluating Principals," and he co-led the development of the Urban Excellence Framework, a detailed field guide of the school practices and principal actions found in high-gaining urban public schools.

Mr. Fenton is a founding board member of Teach Plus, a nonprofit dedicated to retaining and developing great teachers who improve student achievement. He formerly worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, focusing on marketing and operational efficiency.

Mr. Fenton is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, where he received the Fiske award for excellence in teaching in the Economics Department.

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Mr. Rich Mayorga

Teacher of the Year, Sunnyside Unified School District, Arizona

Supporting Great Practices

Rich Mayorga has been recognized for excellence in teaching during his 30-year career. He was named Arizona Teacher of the Year and has garnered dozens of other state and national awards. He serves on numerous College Board committees , including being an Exam Leader at the AP US History reading.  

Mr. Mayorga gives unselfishly to his students, school, and community. His excellence in teaching has shaped the personal lives of virtually every one of his students in his 30 years of teaching. As a philanthropist and a year-round student activist, he leads kids in volunteerism as well as in academic successes.

Mr. Mayorga cares; the ripple effects of his efforts and talents have positively shaped many thousands of lives. He is truly a student advocate.

Being a philanthropist and a year-round student activist, he leads kids in volunteerism as well as academic successes.

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Dr. Janice Poda

Strategic Initiative Director, Education Workforce, Council of Chief State School Officers

Supporting Great Practices

Janice Poda is the Strategic Initiative Director for the Education Workforce at the Council of Chief State School Officers where she leads the work assisting states in developing and implementing coherent and comprehensive systems of educator effectiveness. Dr. Poda and the Education Workforce team assisted with the creation of an action plan for states to transform educator preparation and entry into the profession that is described in a document titled "Our Responsibility, Our Promise."

She has been a teacher, is the mother of a teacher, and is proud to oversee the National Teacher of the Year Program.

Previously, Dr. Poda served as the Deputy State Superintendent of Education for Administration and Chief of Staff at the South Carolina Department of Education and the Executive Director of the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement at Winthrop University.

Prior to her time at the South Carolina Department of Education, she was the Executive Director of the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) at Winthrop University. At the district level, Janice worked as assistant superintendent for personnel, director of testing and research, and director of teacher evaluation. She is past member of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation's (CAEP) board of trustees.

Dr. Poda has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education at the University of South Carolina, the Award for Excellence for Educational Leadership from the Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University, and the William B. Harley Lifetime Achievement Award by the SC Association of School Administrators.

Dr. Poda earned a PhD in elementary education and education administration from the University of South Carolina, an MEd in learning disabilities from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor's in social studies education from the University of South Carolina.

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Ms. Katherine Bassett

Executive Director, National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY)

A Look to the Future

Katherine Bassett is NNSTOY's CEO and Executive Director, responsible for establishing and expanding the organization. She was a middle school librarian for 26 years, and the New Jersey Teacher of the Year in 2000.

Previously, Ms. Bassett served as Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Center for Educator Effectiveness at Pearson, working to support research into educator practice and self-efficacy, and to build partnerships with like-minded organizations to support education.

She has extensive experience working with standards, having facilitated the work of a consortium to develop model standards for teacher leadership and served on the committees that revised the InTASC standards and defined learning progressions for those standards. Formerly at ETS, Ms. Bassett has a deep background in performance-based assessment, leading the development of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificates for Library Media and Literacy, co-developing the Take One! Program booklet, and developing performance-based assessments across the continuum of professional educator practice in four states.

Ms. Bassett has worked with six states to develop a common continuum of professional practice and to envision a transformed education system in which such a continuum would thrive.

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Dr. Rick Melmer

Senior Advisor for the Council of Chief State School Officers, South Dakota Board of Regents, and Mid-Central Education Cooperative

A Look to the Future

Rick Melmer, EdD, is a senior advisor for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) (Common Core State Standards), the South Dakota Board of Regents (teacher and administrator degree programs), and the Mid-Central Education Cooperative (Indian Education).

Dr. Melmer served as the Dean of Education at the University of South Dakota from 2008–2013 and the Secretary of Education for the State of South Dakota from 2003–2008.

Prior to that, Dr. Melmer worked as a classroom teacher, building administrator, and superintendent of schools in Wyoming, Iowa, and South Dakota.

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Dr. Sharon Robinson

President/CEO, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

A Look to the Future

Sharon P. Robinson, EdD has served as AACTE's president and CEO since 2005. In naming Dr. Robinson to the position, AACTE's Board of Directors acknowledged her strong commitment to high-quality teaching, rigorous scholarship, and diversity in the nation's teaching workforce. A lifelong civil rights activist, she has waged a personal crusade to realize the nation's moral and professional responsibility to educate and maximize the potential of all students, especially those with disabilities and racial/ethnic minorities.

Formerly, Dr. Robinson was president of the Educational Policy Leadership Institute of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and also served as that organization's senior vice president and chief operating officer, and as vice president for teaching and learning for state and federal relations. Dr. Robinson was assistant secretary of education with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (now the Institute of Education Sciences), and held a variety of leadership positions at the National Education Association, including director of the National Center for Innovation, NEA's research and development arm.

Dr. Robinson serves on the board of directors for the Center for Teaching Quality, the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, the Learning First Alliance, and Jobs for America's Graduates. She is past chair of the Diversity Issues in Measurement Committee of the National Council for Measurement in Education.

Among Dr. Robinson's many awards are an honorary doctorate from the University of Louisville, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kentucky, the Award of Appreciation from the National Head Start Association, and the Bank Street College of Education President's Medal of Honor.

Dr. Robinson received her doctorate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Kentucky, where she also earned her bachelor's and master's degrees. In 2002, she completed the renowned Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

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The Honorable Bob Wise

Former Governor of West Virginia

A Look to the Future

Former Governor Bob Wise is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a nonprofit organization that has become a national leader for reforming the nation's high schools so that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and a career. Led by Gov. Wise since 2005, the Alliance has become a respected advocate for the Common Core State Standards, deeper learning, digital learning, adolescent literacy, and other key education policy issues., and is a respected advocate for the Common Core State Standards, deeper learning, digital learning, adolescent literacy, and other key education policy issues.

After serving a combined 24 years as governor, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and state legislator, Governor Wise has become a sought-after speaker and advisor on education issues as well as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, White House, and key policymakers in the U.S. Congress.

In 2011, he was named to the NonProfit Times's "Power & Influence Top 50," an annual listing of the fifty most influential executives in the nonprofit sector.

Governor Wise earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a juris doctor degree from Tulane University School of Law.

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Dr. Raymond Pecheone

Executive Director, Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity

A Look to the Future

Raymond L. Pecheone, PhD, is the executive director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE), which focuses on the development of pre-service and teacher evaluation performance assessments for teachers and administrators and a performance-based system for student assessment to support the development of the next generation of formative and summative assessments at the district, state, and federal levels.

He has held a variety of leadership roles in the Connecticut State Department of Education in Curriculum, Research, Testing, and Assessment. As bureau chief, he oversaw the development and implementation of curriculum frameworks, the development of high stakes state student assessments and teacher and administrator performance-based licensure assessments, as well as developing programs to support teacher induction and evaluation.

Dr. Pecheone cofounded the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), which is housed at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Additionally, he co-developed one of the first performance assessments for principal licensure, called the Connecticut Administrator Test (CAT). He also co-directed with the University of Pittsburgh the first Assessment Development Laboratory (ADL) to develop assessments for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This work pioneered the development of portfolio and assessment center activities as the basis for National Board certification. As part of a sabbatical at Teachers College, Columbia University, he directed the redesign of the New York student assessment system including the Regents Examination. Many of the features of the redesign have been incorporated into the current New York assessment system.

Dr. Pecheone's teacher induction and teacher assessment program, the Beginning Educator Support and Training Program (BEST), has received national attention and received an award of excellence for educational innovations by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). In addition, he consulted with the Educational Testing Service to design and create the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). The SLLA was constructed to provide a reliable, fair, and valid assessment to measure the knowledge and skills of principals and other school leaders.

Dr. Pecheone has published extensively on topics including human capital development, teacher quality, and teacher and student performance assessment.

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Dr. Ronald Thorpe

President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

A Look to the Future

Dr. Ronald Thorpe is President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

His appointment in 2011 came after a long career that began when he became a teaching fellow in Latin and Greek at Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts. He served as legendary educator Ted Sizer's assistant, which he credits for shaping his vision of education's ultimate goals. He tested that vision as the dean of faculty and chief academic officer at Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, CT, where he worked at the nexus of 80-plus faculty and an academic program for students in grades six through 12.

Dr. Thorpe joined the staff of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in 1990 and he remained in the foundation world for the next dozen years, acting as senior vice president for programs at the Rhode Island Foundation and senior program officer at the Wallace Foundation. He accepted the role of the vice president for education at WNET—the nation's flagship public television station in New York City—in 2003, where he oversaw educational activities designed to enhance and extend the production and broadcasts of WNET's subsidiaries. He was the architect of the Celebration of Teaching & Learning Conference and a member of the planning committee for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession.

He has authored numerous articles and commentaries on education, technology, and philanthropy, and was the editor of The First Year as Principal. Dr. Thorpe was also the executive producer of "Where We Stand: America's Schools in the 21st Century," a national PBS broadcast hosted by Judy Woodruff.

Dr. Thorpe grew up in Carlisle, PA, and attended the public schools there. He graduated from Harvard College, where he majored in classics, and earned both his master's and doctorate degrees at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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2014 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #1

At the 2014 Conference on Teaching, presenters from the session titled, "Pathways to a Great Profession" address questions from conference attendees.

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2014 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #2

At the 2014 Conference on Teaching, presenters from the session titled, "Developing Great Teaching" address questions from conference attendees.

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2014 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #3

At the 2014 Conference on Teaching, presenters from the session titled, "Supporting Great Practices" address questions from conference attendees.

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