Dr. John Covington and Dr. Mary Esselman to Keynote at the School Improvement Innovation Summit

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Dr. Covington and Dr. Esselman to Speak on Their Leadership of the Dramatic Turnaround of the Kansas City, Missouri School District.

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The combination of leadership, courage and improved systems has truly transformed the district. This generous sharing of experience is typical of the professional development community.

The School Improvement Innovation Summit, the first annual conference for users of the award-winning PD 360 professional learning solution from School Improvement Network (SINET), will feature Dr. John Covington, Superintendent, Kansas City, Missouri School District (KCMSD) and Dr. Mary Esselman, Assistant Superintendent, KCMSD, as keynote speakers. Teacher quality is the key indicator of school performance and the Summit, being held July 11-13, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah, will focus on how to effectively incorporate professional learning to improve teacher quality and in turn—student, school and district performance.

Dr. Covington and Dr. Esselman will headline a general session titled, “Transforming an Entire District.” They will detail their successful reform plan that dramatically improved the Kansas City, Missouri School District, bringing them national recognition. Dr. Covington received the Public Administrator of the Year award from the greater Kansas City chapter of the American Society of Public Administration last May recognizing his outstanding results at KSMCD.

“We need a metamorphosis of education—from the cocoon a butterfly should emerge. Improvement does not give us a butterfly only a faster caterpillar,” said Dr. Covington in the groundbreaking work Systemic Change: Touchstones for the Future School (Banathy, B.H., 1996, ed. P. Jenlink).

Dr. Esselman will also lead a session titled, “Issues and Solutions for Teacher Evaluation.” This session will provide timely insights on how to incorporate effective teacher evaluation in district-wide school improvement plans. Teacher Evaluation has become a hot national topic and will continue to be addressed in school improvement guidelines.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Covington and Dr. Esselman will be our keynote speakers,” said Chet Linton, CEO. “Summit attendees will have the unprecedented opportunity to hear both speak about the incredible advances they have made for the students at Kansas City Schools. The combination of leadership, courage and improved systems has truly transformed the district. This generous sharing of experience is typical of the professional development community.”

PD 360 has opened the doors for educators and administrators to access best practices in education, with real classroom examples from the top experts. Now, SINET is offering those same experts and authors all in the same venue. Sessions will include such vital school issues as:

  •     Common Assessment
  •     Common Core
  •     Courageous Conversations
  •     Equity, Induction
  •     Coaching and Mentoring
  •     Leadership
  •     Personalized Learning
  •     Practices of Professional Learning Communities and Networks
  •     Special Education and English Language Learning
  •     Exceptional solutions to difficult problems
  •     School transformations

The Summit will also include multiple opportunities for hands-on instruction.

Set in the beautiful Salt Lake Valley surrounded by magnificent canyons and mountainsides, the experience at the PD 360 user conference is sure to be not only educational, but also enjoyable.

About John Covington, Ed. D.
Dr. John Covington was hired as Superintendent of Schools for the Kansas City, Missouri School District (KCMSD) by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors on April 30, 2009. In only his first year with KCMSD, Covington has led the District through a series of significant changes designed to improve student achievement, accountability, and customer service. Notable efforts include the right-sizing (school closure) process, the presentation of a balanced budget for the 2011 fiscal year, and the initiation of a community-wide strategic planning effort.

Previously, Dr. Covington served as the superintendent of Pueblo (Colo.) City Schools and superintendent of schools for Lowndes County (Ala.) Public Schools. In addition, he served in Alabama’s Montgomery Public Schools System as an assistant superintendent and executive assistant to the superintendent.

Dr. Covington earned B.S., M.S, AA Certification and Ed.S. Degrees from Alabama State University. He also holds a M.Ed. Certification from Troy University and an AA Certification and Ed.D. Degree from Auburn University.

Dr. Covington was named a distinguished alumnus by Alabama State University, and was selected as a Japan Fulbright Scholar in 2005. He received the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) Award in 2007. He also reached a major pinnacle in his profession through his selection to The Broad Foundation 2008 Class of Fellows, one of only 12 leaders that year nationwide to earn that distinction.

About Mary E. Esselman, Ed.D.
Throughout her career in Education, Dr. Esselman has worked in both teaching and administrative positions in a variety of urban settings. Her experience includes teaching at a Maximum Security Prison, coordinating alternative education programs, coordinating research, evaluation, and assessment, and teaching high school math. She was hired as Executive Director of Assessment and Professional Development for the Kansas City, Missouri School District (KCMSD) in October 2009. She was elevated to Assistant Superintendent of Professional Development, Assessment, and Accountability in the summer of 2010.

About School Improvement Network
Founded in 1991 by teachers, the School Improvement Network provides comprehensive, research-based professional development anytime, anywhere. As the home of The Video Journal of Education, PD 360, and the Learning 360 Framework, School Improvement Network resources focus on the most relevant topics, feature the top experts, and show educators how to put theory into practice. The School Improvement Network works with thousands of schools and districts in every state and around the world and has visited over 3,000 classrooms to document best practices in action. Learn more at http://www.schoolimprovement.com.

About PD 360 • Practical, Scalable, and Measurable
PD 360 is the leading on-demand professional learning resource for schools and districts. Over 700,000 verified educators subscribe to PD 360. Teachers, administrators, professional learning communities, coaches, mentors, instructional leaders, and paraprofessionals have available at their fingertips hundreds of indexed and searchable video segments that present real, best-practice classroom examples and feature respected education experts, such as Michael Fullan, Rick DuFour, Doug Reeves, Rick Stiggins, and many others. Educators can instantly find the help they need on nearly every topic, including differentiation, assessment, English language learners, leadership, and more. PD 360 can also be used to create a structured learning experience for an individual teacher, a PLC, or even an entire school. PD 360 bridges the gap between training and classroom implementation with job-embedded follow-up, tracking, and reflection tools. PD 360 gives educators access to an online community of teaching professionals that allows interaction and collaboration either within a district or across the United States and the world. PD 360 includes over 1,400 research-based video learning segments and is the most comprehensive web-based library of professional development resources available. See a demonstration at http://www.pd360.com.

School Improvement Network, PD 360, and their respective logos are trademarks of the School Improvement Network. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Press Contact:
Farimah Schuerman
Academic Business Advisors


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