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 Featured Education   Session Speakers


KASA is proud to bring you the nation's leading education experts to KASA's 54th annual leadership institute. They will spend the day leading concurrent education sessions. 

July 28

Michael A. Mason, Retired Chief Security Officer for Verizon Communications
The Incredible Gifts We Take for Granted
Mr. Mason will open this session focusing on what he has learned driving a special education bus.  He will challenge the audience to reconsider the gifts life has given them that we all take for granted far too often.  Mr. Mason is looking forward to engaging in a dynamic conversation during which he will address questions raised by the audience.  Mr. Mason was born and raised on Chicago’s southside and raised by a single father and a village of wonderful neighbors, teachers and coaches.  He will discuss the power we all have to influence others in a positive manner.  Mason is unabashedly a “glass is half full” guy and will share with the audience how he very intentionally avoids burnout and maintains a positive attitude just about every day of his life.

Todd Whitaker, Professor Educational Leadership at the University of Missouri
How To Get All Teachers To Be Like The Best Teachers
There are dramatic differences in the quality of teachers in every school and district.  If all teachers could be more like the best teachers, then we would have significant improvement in every school.  Every building has special teachers who connect with all students and consistently engage them in learning.  This session focuses on what school leaders can do to get all of the teachers to be like their best teachers.   

Todd Whitaker, Professor Educational Leadership at the University of Missouri
What Great Leaders Do Differently 
What are the specific qualities and practices of great educational leaders that elevate them above the rest? This session reveals what the most effective superintendents, principals and teachers do differently than their colleagues.  Participants will focus on what the most successful leaders do . . . that others do not. Everyone will leave knowing what great leaders do differently, why these things make them more effective, and learn how to immediately implement each of these into your own districts and schools. 

Roger Cleveland, Ed.D., Eastern Kentucky University
Courageous Conversations
Learning how to manage difficult conversations in educational settings constructively with open dialogue can be challenging and uncomfortable for many stakeholders; as a result, these important conversations are often mishandled or avoided altogether, which benefits no one. This Courageous Conversations workshop focuses on building the skills necessary for engaging in difficult conversations that will address Race Relations, LGBQT+, Access and many other issues that could create barriers to learning.
Dr. Katie Martin, Altitude Learning
Learner-Centered Innovation: Creating the Conditions for Meaningful Change
The future of education will require new school models, new approaches for teaching and learning, and innovative leaders who can create the conditions for meaningful change. In this interactive design session, participants will dive into the essential components of learner-centered education, and engage in collaborative activities to empathize, ideate, and design learning experiences that will accelerate the shift to effective and empowering learning experiences for all students. 

Dr. Katie Martin, Altitude Learning
From School-Centered to Learner-Centered: How Educators are Evolving to Meet the Needs of Learners, Anytime, Anywhere
COVID-19 has transformed how we learn and interact with one another. To meet the needs of the learners in blended learning environments and align school with the world we live in there is a need to embrace new mindsets about learning, along with new tools and resources available to make these shifts across diverse classrooms. Making these shifts requires more than learning about the latest technology or digitizing learning experiences. Instead, it is about us, as educators, evolving to meet the needs of those we serve.

Chad Littlefield, We and Me
Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations that Matter
How many questions do you ask in a day?
In a world where answers are cheap and we can easily ask Google the distance from Timbuktu to Kathmandu, Chad Littlefield, TEDx speaker and bestselling author, will share how the questions we ask matter more than ever. Questions are one of the lowest cost and most underutilized tools to create a deeply engaged culture where everyone feels seen, heard, and understood.
During this high impact, and engaging closing session, you will:
   Takeaway instantly practical tools to ask smarter questions that can transform transactions into memorable interactions
   Get best practices to foster a culture of contribution—not just consumption
   Experience the essential mindsets and tools from the Ask Powerful Questions Pyramid™ to build and maintain relationships of trust

Chad Littlefield, We and Me
How to Make Engagement Easy: The 5 Ingredients
Ready to hit “refresh” on a new school year?
In this fun, interactive session, Chad Littlefield, KASA's keynote speaker and bestselling author, will share practical tools on making engagement and connection easy on your teams. Perhaps most importantly, this session is designed to be highly enjoyable—life is short!
During this session, you will:
  Get immediately practical tools to improve your gatherings and offset meeting fatigue
  Develop 3 key strategies to foster purposeful "connection before content" 
  Experience The 5 Ingredients for Engagement to better design your gatherings for contribution—not just consumption
Mr. Andrew Marotta, Port Jervis City School District

School Leadership:  Surviving and Thriving
Join Andrew Marotta, a currently practicing principal and host of the Education Leadership and Beyond Podcast, as he relates his ideas, strategies, and experience on the front lines. Andrew is as an energetic and enthusiastic school leader who has made a positive impact on his own school and those with whom he connects. This session features tips, advice, and on the job training…those things they don’t teach you in principal school. Andrew invites you to practice them, live them, and make them your own. 
Andrew is author of  The Principal Surviving & Thriving. This and other titles will be available during his sessions and in Member Central.

Mr. Andrew Marotta, Port Jervis City School District
Create the School That Kids are Desperate to Attend
Looking to break through at your school? Want an amazing school setting that many hear about, yet, few can attain? 
Do you desire a lasting, deep impact at your school community? Collaborate, share, and grow with Andrew Marotta as he leads this powerful conversation about creating an amazing school setting.  Topics include:
Bringing amazing energy each day.
Creating student voice & choice.
Using technology & social media to tell your story.
Inspect what you expect, being present, being intentional.
Build a beautiful school setting and keep it that way!
Smile, humor, and finding the joy in it all.
You can’t do it alone either.  Andrew will brainstorm, converse, and share strategies you can implement and ways to build collective commitments from stakeholders.  
Andrew is author of  The Principal Surviving & Thriving. This and other titles will be available during his sessions and in Member Central.

Robin Lasalle, CEO and Founder of Orenda Education (formally Principal's Exchange)
Shattering Inequities
This unique session will provide leaders the latest research and best practice in three under-explored areas: (a) most common systemic choke-points to equity, (b) back-casting to accelerate student outcomes, and (c) the power of leadership columns to shatter inequitable systems. Participants will develop understanding of the power of these ideas in action through simulations, self-assessment exercises and draft planning. Come ready to be edified, amused, and inspired!
Bryan Goodwin, President and CEO of McREL International
What Matters Most for Student Learning
Research is clear: the key difference between high- and low-performing schools is one simple thing: consistency of teaching quality. Basically, when it comes to student success, nothing matters as much as being able to guarantee that no matter what classroom students find themselves in, they’ll receive a high-quality learning experience. Join this session to learn practical, research-based strategies that you can use right away in your school to fulfill your key role as a leader and leadership team: ensuring high-quality instruction every day, in every classroom, in your school and across your district. 

Bryan Goodwin, President and CEO of McREL International
Leading positive school change from the inside out
When faced with unprecedented challenges, leaders cannot do the same things they’ve always done and expect different results. Nor can they simply apply external pressures and mandates for success. Instead, they need to expand their playbook to include more entrepreneurial “inside out” approaches to leadership—ones that empower staff, unleash creativity, and encourage failing forward and learning from mistakes. Join this session to learn practical, research-based leadership strategies you can use right away in your school to encourage everyone in your building to embrace and contribute to innovation through rapid-cycle improvement.
Molly B. Hudgens, Molly B. Hudgens Communication
Saving Sycamore: The School Shooting That Never Happened
Molly shares the story of how she prevented a school shooting on September 28, 2016. When a student with a fully-loaded semi-automatic handgun came to her with a plan to kill people on the school’s campus, he told her, “I came to you because you’re the only person who can talk me out of this.” After a ninety-minute intervention, the student relinquished the weapon to Hudgens with no shots fired and no lives lost.  Hudgens’ retelling of the event walks the audience through the specifics of the incident that took place in her office and highlights previous training that affected her decision-making process during the event. Hudgens speaks boldly of her faith throughout and challenges those in attendance to remember that every human interaction matters and that one life can make a difference.  Hudgens became the first Tennessean and only the tenth woman to become a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Citizens Medal of Honor for her efforts that day.

Molly B. Hudgens, Molly B. Hudgens Communication
The Best Plan You Hope to Never Use: Building a Crisis Plan

In this presentation, Molly Hudgens shares how her school created, evaluated, and redesigned their school crisis plan and gives tips as to how to strengthen the plan you are using in your school. 
Campaign for Tobacco Free Schools
What School Leaders Need to Know About the Epidemic of Vaping
Kentucky educators know firsthand that vaping has hooked a whole new generation of kids, thanks to thousands of kid-friendly flavors, slick marketing, and massive doses of nicotine. Disciplining our way out of this problem is not possible given the prevalence and the intense addiction that many students are experiencing.  In this webinar, participants will hear from the national Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids about current youth tobacco and vaping use, the efforts underway to address it and how schools and school districts can get involved.