Older Presentations

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2014 & Older Presentations


Twitter Chat for Superintendents

Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent

Deerfield Public School District

Mike brings over 20 years of expertise and significant impact in education to his work as an educational leader in the Chicagoland area. Mike attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in criminal justice. He holds a Master of Arts in teaching and an Educational Specialist in administration and supervision from National Louis University. Mike earned his Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago, where his published dissertation was on Effective Instruction in Middle School Social Studies.

Mike has had a variety of experiences as an educational professional. He began his educational career as an elementary and middle school teacher, prior to assuming roles of associate principal, principal at the middle school level, and assistant superintendent for personnel services (PK-8). In addition, to being the superintendent of Deerfield School District 109 in Deerfield, Illinois, he is also on the adjunct faculty at National Louis University and Argosy University Chicago in the Department of Educational Leadership. In addition, he is a certified trainer and research consultant (on leave) for Ventures for Excellence, a Division of HUMANeX Ventures. His energy and experience assist school districts across the country to select and develop excellent teachers, administrators and frontline support staff.

Dr. Nick Polyak, Superintendent

Leyden Community High School District #212

Dr. Nick Polyak serves as the Superintendent for Leyden Community High School District #212. The district contains two comprehensive high schools with 3,500 students from Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Northlake, River Grove, Rosemont, Schiller Park, and Unincorporated Leyden Township. Nick is married with 4 young children and they reside in suburban Chicago.

Nick earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Loyola University Chicago where he received the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. He holds a Master of Arts Degree and Chief School Business Officer (CSBO) license from Governors State University. Dr. Polyak’s undergraduate work was at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education.

Nick began his educational career in Lincoln-Way High School District 210 as a high school Math Teacher and Tennis/Soccer Coach. He had opportunities at Lincoln-Way to serve as a Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and Director of Instruction and Staff Development. He then moved to the Peoria area for four years where he served as the Superintendent for Illinois Valley Central School District #321.

Nick is proud to lead an award winning school district. Over the past two years at Leyden, the district has received many honors. They were named the 2014 National Advanced Placement District of the Year by the College Board. In addition, the district has welcomed over one thousand visitors to learn about teaching and learning in a 1:1 environment. Leyden’s School Board’s support and vision for digital transformation was recognized with a Magna Award from the National School Board Association (NSBA) and a Digital Content and Curriculum Award. Both Leyden High Schools were recently named Illinois Democracy Schools.

Dr. Polyak believes strongly in community involvement. He is the Past-President of two different Chambers of Commerce, served four years as a School Board Member in Manhattan School District 114, coached youth sports, and has been involved in a variety of other community groups and charitable efforts. Nick completed the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) School for Advanced Leadership in 2014 and he is currently enrolled in the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent Certification Program.

Nick is a co-moderator of #suptchat, the national Twitter Chat for Superintendents. He can be followed at @npolyak.

Dr. Kevin Rubenstein, Director of Student Services, Technology and Assessment

Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65

Dr. Kevin Rubenstein has served as the Director of Student Services, Technology, and Assessment in Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65 since the summer of 2003. In his role, he has worked with teams of teachers to realign the curriculum in District 65 to the Common Core State Standards, helped to prepare the District for the upcoming PARCC Assessments, and worked with students, parents, and other administrator in understanding the instructional shifts related to the Common Core Standards.
Recognizing the importance of infusing technology into the classroom, Dr. Rubenstein chairs the District’s Technology Review Team, collaborates with teachers and administrators in implementing new technologies, and provides oversight for the technological aspects of the curricular program. Further, he works with a team of experts to ensure that the three web sites are user friendly and updated. Prior to coming to Lake Bluff, Dr. Rubenstein served students, parents, and families in Deerfield School District 109, Lincolnshire Prairie View School District 103, and Lake Zurich School District 95.

He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Loyola University, and three other graduate level degrees from Northern Illinois University, and the University of Southern Maine. His undergraduate degree is in Political Science from Illinois State University and he is active in various professional organizations.

Northern Illinois University School of Music

Northern Illinois University’s school of music is well known for its steelpan program as the institution offers both a bachelors and masters degree that allows students to focus on the steelpan as their main instrument. As a result of this program’s prestige, many students come in from all over the world to get the opportunit to study at this institution under the direction of Cliff Alexis and Liam Teague. The performance will feature three students from the steelpan program as well as one student form the jazz department.

Khan M T Cordice, born in the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, is a Steelpan musician, composer, and arranger. Khan has been afforded many opportunities to publically showcase his arranging skills which have yielded very positive results. In 2009, at 18 years old, Khan was noticed by many enthusiasts by becoming one of the youngest pan arrangers to win Antigua’s National Panorama, with his arrangement of Swallow’s Party in Space, for the Lime Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra. Over the past five (5) years, Khan has arranged for many national competitions and holds four (4) panorama championships as arranger for Lime Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra.

Khan’s performance in Antigua, as steelpan musician awarded him a full steelpan/music scholarship by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the first of its kind. With this scholarship, he studied Musical Arts at the University of the West Indies Trinidad, St. Augustine Campus where he graduated top of his music class. With more good fortune, he was presented with a National Youth Award in cultural & performing arts.

Khan is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Music at Northern Illinois University with hopes achieving much more during his tenure at the institution.

Josanne Fiona Francis was born in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and began studying steelpan at age 9. While attending St. Josephʼs Convent Port-of- Spain, she was an active member of the choir, drama club, drum club, and pan ensemble which she later led to the finals of the national junior panorama competition as the band’s arranger and captain. She even traveled to Vienna, London and Germany as a steel pan soloist and accompanist for the schoolʼs choir.

In 2006 Josanne was the first place winner of the Scholarship Competition of Talented Teenagers. Two years later,she accepted a scholarship to attend the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) from where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Music Education with highest honors (2012). While at USM, Josanne mastered several percussion instruments, performing in jazz combos, percussion ensembles, samba bands and steelbands. She also served as director and arranger for the Hattiesburg Community Steelband.

Recently, Josanne was adjudged a winner of the 2013-2014 NIU Concerto Competition and soon after she emerged a first place winner of the 2014 American Protégé International Competition. As a result, she will be performing at a recital in Carnegie Hall in May 2014.

Deneisha Goolcharan hails from the island Trinidad. She has been performing music from as little as age three but fell in love with the steelpan at age eleven when she joined her High School Steelband. After leaving High School she continued as a soloist and went on to do her Associates Degree in Musical Performace and also taught private music classes. In the year 2012 she moved to Illinois to do her Bachelors of Music Education with steelpan performance at NIU which she is still pursuing. Her goal is to share the joy she has experienced from music through education.

Kelton Norris is from Raleigh, MS and attended Raleigh Public Schools.

In 2013, he graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.While at this institution, he performed in a wide varietyof ensembles including Wind Ensemble, Steelpan Ensemble, Big Band, andvarious jazz combos. Currently at Northern Illinois University, he focuses on jazz performance in the Master ofMusic degree program. Over the past 6 years, Kelton performed with noted professional artists includingthe Larry Panella Quartet, Mark Mullins, Andy Narell, Tony Monaco Trio,Rodney Whitaker, and FareedHaque. He performed frequently in New Orleans and has had the pleasure of being a guest performer on Bravo TV’s Top Chef,as well as shared the stage with comedian Joan Rivers. Keltonhas served as a guest conductor and/or instructor at more than 20 schools throughout the South and Midwest United States. After finishing his degree at NIU, Kelton plans to realize his dream of working as a professional musician, touring the world, and inspiring and educating future generations of musicians.

Mawi Asgedom

Mawi Asgedom has written five books that are used in thousands of classrooms across North America and spoken to over 500,000 students and educators. A nationally recognized educator, Mawi has trained leaders at The Harvard School of Education, The Midwest Principals Center, and numerous international conferences.

As a child, Mawi fled civil war in Ethiopia and survived a Sudanese refugee camp for three years. After being resettled in The United States, he overcame poverty, language barriers and personal tragedy to graduate from Harvard University, where he gave the Commencement address to an audience of 30,000.

Through his organization, Mental Karate, Mawi trains educators to unlock student achievement. His bestselling memoir, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard, has been read as a one-book, one-community reading selection by hundreds of schools and communities including the cities of Philadelphia and Green Bay. His teen-success guides, The Code, Win the Inner Battle, and Nothing is Impossible, have also been used in thousands of classrooms. Citing the impact of his work, The Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Mawi the 2006 Illinois Author of the Year.

Media outlets that have featured Mawi include:

• The Oprah Winfrey Show, “One of the Twenty Best Shows of Oprah’s Career”
• ESSENCE, one of “The 40 Most Inspiring African-Americans”
• The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Harvard Magazine, and Ebony Magazine.

A graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Mawi has also inspired audiences at Kraft, Chase, Aramark, and other Fortune 500 companies.

Clayton A. Muhammad

Director of Communications, City of Aurora

Founder/Director, Boys II Men

The Chicago Tribune named him as one of Chicago’s 50 Notable Black Chicagoans, the Aurora Beacon News called him the Prince of Aurora, and he was named Kane County’s Citizen of the Year, and Aurora’s Outstanding African-American of the Year. A committed educator, public relations professional, motivational speaker, consultant, and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Clayton Muhammad has been recognized as one of the most articulate and eloquent young voices in the field.

Dr. Lew Finch

Executive Director of the Urban Education Network of Iowa
Field Supervisor of administrative interns for the University of Northern Iowa
Dr. Lew Finch served a total of thirty-five years as superintendent in four school districts including Cloquet, MN; Anoka-Hennepin, MN; Jefferson County, CO; and Cedar Rapids, IA where he retired in 2004.

He started his professional career as a high school teacher and coach at Burt, Iowa, has taught at the university level, and held a number of positions including principal, assistant superintendent and a term as Chief of Research and Development for the Wyoming State Department of Education.
Dr. Finch earned his doctorate at Utah State University. He has received numerous accolades for his leadership in support of public education, and was selected as one of North America’s 100 outstanding school executives. Dr. Finch has been frequently called on as a national spokesperson for educational issues, and has testified before legislative committees in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Georgia. He was invited to present testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the No Child Left Behind Act.

Dr. Finch served a four-year term as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators. He served as 1980-81 President of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators; 2003 President of the Urban Superintendents Association of America; was the 2004 Iowa Superintendent of the Year; and the Iowa High School Athletic Association 2004 Administrator of the Year.


By the time Walter Whitman, Jr. was 17 years old; he had lived in Athens, and visited Ireland, Rome and Amsterdam and had traveled throughout other countries in Europe. Although his family is from Chicago, Walter was born in San Antonio, Texas and attended high school in Anchorage, Alaska for 3 1/2 years.

The wealth of experience Walter gained through his extensive traveling and lifestyle was due to growing up as an “Air Force Brat” — the son of a Master Sgt. in the military. When his father retired from the Air Force, the family returned to Chicago where Walter completed his last semester and was graduated from Calumet High School.

Walter’s musical experience is as extensive as his traveling. He has been singing and performing for “as long as I can remember” building on the important foundation he received in the church. He studied classical piano at the Chicago Music Conservatory and has taken courses at DePaul University.

Walter has recorded and/or performed with some of the world’s great artists including Rev. James Cleveland, Tremaine Hawkins, Neil Diamond, Diana Ross, Mavis Staples, Kirk Franklin, Sandi Patti, Stevie Wonder, Darryl Hall, Gladys Knight and many others. He has been musical director of such award-winning plays such as “Godspell,” “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope” and “In De Beginning.” He has also produced such mammoth productions as the Soul Children of Chicago version of the famed Broadway musical, “The Wiz” and his own special creation, which he wrote, “From Generation to Generation.”
Walter spends the majority of his time as the President and Musical Director of the Soul Children of Chicago, Inc., a choral group he founded in 1981. Participation in the group provides young people with the opportunity of studying the history and techniques of a vast range of music modes such as classical, gospel, Negro Spirituals, hymns and anthems. The citywide youth choir averages 70+ members between the ages of 7 to 17 years, with a waiting list of over three hundred youth. Recognized as an award-winning cultural group, this select choir of talented young voices is fast becoming “Goodwill Ambassadors” for Chicago and role models for young people everywhere.

Some of the many personal awards and honors Mr. Whitman has received include:

The Pinnacle Award as one of “America’s Upcoming Young Black Professionals”
Featured on the cover of Being Single magazine, a national publication
Featured as one of Ebony magazine’s “50 Future Leaders”
Received Keys to the City of Kansas City, Kansas
Named “One of the Outstanding Young Men of America”
Featured in Dollars & Sense magazine as one of “America’s Best and Brightest”

Received Proclamations for his work with children from
– Governor Thompson
– The Illinois State Senate
– The Illinois House of Representatives
– Mayor Richard M. Daley
– Mayor Harold Washington
– Operation Push
– Rev. Jesse Jackson
– St. Sabina Church

Performed for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City
Interviews and performances on major television shows
Produced six major recording projects, “We Are One”, “This Is The Day”, “Live * Produced six major recording projects, “We Are One”, “This Is The Day”, “Live And Blessed
Performed before 1.7 Billion people at opening ceremonies for the World-wide Televised “World Cup Soccer Tournaments” at Soldier’s Field with Diana Ross, Sounds of Blackness, and Darryl Hall
Recorded with Neil Diamond for Christmas Album
Premiered for Walt Disney’s introduction of “The Lion King” video game
European Performance/Amsterdam Holland/w Harry Belafonte for Ronald McDonald’s Children Charities/Ronald McDonald House
Performed European Tour Poland Warsaw/Czestochowa “Guade Mater” Music Festival
Performed in Stockholm Sweden for the International Gospel Choir Festival
Co-Starred in theatrical production “War of the Spirits”
Featured in the Late Dave Thomas’s Book “WELL DONE”
Featured on prime time at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) The United Center
Featured Performer for Walt Disney’s Young Symphony Musicians Television Special
Featured as Master Conductor for International “Choral Music Experience” -Sweden
Featured guest artist/clinician at Seaside Gospel Festival -Oslo, Norway
Toured Switzerland for 12 day concert Christmas tour Toured and featured in Israel with the 40 piece Kibbutz Orchestra featured on CNN and National Television Network, and Major theatre venues
Toured 10 days in Sweden and Denmark for Gospel Choir festival
Featured clinician in Chemnitz, Germany with 1,800 German gospel choir
Recorded several Cd projects in Europe
Featured in the R & B phenomenon R. Kelly’s movie soundtrack and video “The World’s Greatest from the movie “Ali” featuring Will Smith Featured guest with Garth Brooks for Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities Benefit
Appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show with Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
Featured with Vice President Cheney in honor of Bob Pritzker
Presented with the Black Image Award
Featured on WGN-TV Chicago’s Very Own
Featured with writer and publisher Lerone Bennett on NBC’s “People You Should Know”
Guest Clinician of 9 world class conductors selected for the 21st Zimriya World Assembly of Choirs in Jerusalem, Israel (2007) 35 Nations represented.
Recipient of the “Presidents Choice Award (2007) presented by the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild


Chief Communications Officer

Barrington 220 School District

Dr. Jeff Arnett has more than two decades of seasoned practice in corporate communications and educational leadership. His expertise includes crisis communication, issues management, press relations, integrated media, strategic planning and brand marketing. He is the author of several published articles and has served as a public relations consultant and senior adviser to many diverse organizations.

Arnett has held various positions in the field of public relations, including chief communications officer for respected public school systems in both Chicago and St. Louis. His interaction with national media, such as CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, earned numerous honors, including the prestigious Gold Medallion for Excellence in Media Relations from the National School Public Relations Association.

From 2001 to 2008, Arnett was director of communications, education and public programs for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, where he led several award-winning initiatives. Under his direction, the acclaimed museum hosted a series of electronic field trips viewed annually on public television by 20 million students and teachers throughout North America. He moderated programs with such notable public figures as First Lady Laura Bush, CNN’s Larry King, actor James Earl Jones, sportscaster Dick Enberg and many legendary athletes from baseball history. In addition, he planned and participated in special events for as many as 80,000 visitors and dignitaries.
His doctorate is in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix and he is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America. He holds a master’s degree in corporate communications from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and separate bachelor’s degrees in communications and education from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.


Assistant Superintendent

Executive Director of Public Safety & School Security

Grand Rapids Public Schools,Grand Rapids MI.

Larry received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI and his Masters Degree in Police Administration, from Ferris State University. He graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigations 218 session of the National Academy. Currently, he is working toward his doctoral degree in Education Leadership and hopes one day to complete a book which he has been researching on “The 4th Generation of Babies Having Babies and The Impact it has on Education”.

Larry is a former Benton Harbor, MI., Lansing, MI., and Grand Rapids MI., Police Officer. He is also a retired police Sergeant with the Grand Rapids Police Department. While working for the Grand Rapids Police Department, Larry worked in the Departments vice Unit, Recruiting and Training Unit, and was the supervisor of the Gang Intelligence and Special Response Team (SWAT).

Throughout his professional career, Larry has received many awards for his actions, including the Grand Rapids Police most prestigious award; the Meritorious Service Award, for his actions in December of 1995, while involved in an undercover drug operation.

Larry Johnson was appointed Director of Public Safety & School Security of the Grand Rapids Public Schools on August 15, 1997. Executive Director of Public Safety in 2007; and Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director of Public Safety in January of 2012.

Today, Larry is responsible for departments that consist of 15 special (sworn) police officers and 30 security officers. He oversees school safety and security issues, including emergency response and crisis management, bomb threats and safety and security training for teachers, administrators and support staff. In addition, Larry also supervisors the districts Risk Management Department, Management Information Systems, Freedom of Information, EEOC, FERPA, Human Resources/Labor Relations, Facilities and Transitions Team and Internal Investigations Department.

Larry attended the United States Secret Services, National Threat Assessment Program. Larry was one of twenty-four individuals in the nation to attend the program, which is aimed at reducing the amount of targeted school violence in our nation schools. He is the past Midwest Regional Director of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials. Larry was recently elected as President Elect for the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials. NASSELO is the oldest school safety leadership organization in the country, serving over 1,500 school safety leaders in the United States and Canada.

He servers on the Grand Rapids Public Schools Executive Cabinet and is part of the districts daily efforts to increase achievement, while embracing and implementing the districts goals to create and maintain a safe school environment.

Larry has written several articles that have been published nationally, on the issue of school safety and security. He has spent hundreds of hours studying and researching the causes of violence in schools. He is currently completing extensive research on the causes of violence and disruption in schools. His true passion however, involves working with youth to help create a positive future for them.

He travels throughout the nation to participate in national training conferences as well as speak on school safety issues. He has also served as a consultant to a number of school districts on school safety issues, and has written over 75 school safety training programs.

Larry has been married for 29 years to Christina Johnson, and has three children Ayrial, (An elementary school teacher in Dallas Texas); Avana, a nurse, and Allante’, currently a college student studying Film and Video Production. He is also the very proud grandfather of one granddaughter. Recently, Larry has begun to implement his working knowledge of security into another area which he also has a great interest in. He has been working with local churches helping to develop security plans for places of worship throughout the State of Michigan.


Paul Green is Chairman- Dept. of Political Science and Public Administration, the Director of the Institute for Politics and Arthur Rubloff Professor of Policy Studies at Roosevelt University. He is also the Political Analyst for WGN Radio, guest columnist for Daily Herald, the author of several books and articles on Illinois and Chicago politics. His latest publications, co-authored with Mel Holli, are entitled World War II Chicago and The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition, 3rd edition.

Professor Green is frequently quoted and interviewed by the national news organizations for his views on the American political scene. His name appears frequently as an expert in news stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek. He has also lectured at universities in Europe, Asia, and Africa and was one of a few American academic/ journalists to travel with the candidates for British Prime Minister in 1997.

Paul is also a former elected official. He served as Monee Township Supervisor from 1977 to 1983.
Paul received his BA at the University of Illinois in History and Political Science and his MA and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He is married to Sharon Green, Director of Programs and Strategic Planning— Institute for Women’s Health at Northwestern University They have two adult children.


Burke Hatch began his career as a Microsoft Operating Systems Support specialist, having completed his B.A. in Marketing Communications and Business Management at Brigham Young University in 2000. He soon moved into the academic world, supporting university students with technical support and on-line learning training. His career path led him to 21st Century Learning, now A Plus Educators, in 2004 where he worked and coordinated professional development seminars and provided IT support on site for schools all over the US.

Burke became one of the brightest stars on the A Plus team, providing keynote addresses and presentations with a focus on the latest and greatest technology available for the classroom. He shows educators with a focus on the latest and greatest available for the classroom. He shows educators how technology is changing the dynamics of how we teach and how we learn. And, the best part is that Burke, through active, hands-on experience, shows educators how easy and enjoyable it can be to use technology in teaching.



Jean-Claude Brizard is Chief Executive of the Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 409,000 students in more than 670 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester City School District (Rochester, NY), a position he held for three years.
“Every child brings a wealth of talent, gifts, and potential to us,” Mr. Brizard says. “They also bring dreams, aspirations, struggles, and needs. We must embrace that talent and potential and equip every student with an education that draws forth their unique talents (the masterpiece) that lies within each of them.”

Under Mr. Brizard’s leadership, the Rochester City School District saw improvements in student performance. More students met standards in English Language Arts and Math, and the district saw a 12-point increase in its four-year high school graduation rate. It also strengthened its portfolio of schools, offering students and families more high-quality school choices to meet student needs.
Mr. Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the New York City Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 K-12 schools serving over 100,000 students in three New York City geographic districts. His positions in New York City also included:
• Executive Director for Secondary Schools
• Region 8 Instructional Superintendent
• High school principal
• High school physics teacher
• Junior high school science teacher

Mr. Brizard is a graduate of the Superintendents’ Academy of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems. The program is a 10-month executive management training program preparing top executives from the business, non-profit, military, government, and education sectors to lead urban public school systems. He was also an Executive Committee member of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the New York State Council of School Superintendents. Founded in 1865, AASA is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across America and in many other countries. Mr. Brizard was named a Fellow of the Aspen Institute NewSchools Venture Fund’s prestigious Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship Program. He is one of 24 accomplished leaders who have joined the Aspen Institute’s Global Network. The fellowship is designed to recognize and support exceptional entrepreneurial leaders who are committed to transforming public education. He is also a member of the Aspen Institute Urban Superintendents’ network. This group is led by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University and the Harvard University School of Education.
A commercial pilot and a native of Haiti, Mr. Brizard credits his parents—both of whom were educators—with inspiring him to pursue a career in education. He holds a Master’s Degree with honors in School Administration & Supervision from The City College of New York and a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Queens College, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Queens College.
He is married to K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard and is the proud father of two beautiful children.


Charles P. Rose is the general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education. He was nominated by President Obama on March 18, 2009, and confirmed by the United States Senate on May 1, 2009. In this position, Mr. Rose serves as the chief legal officer for the Department and as the legal adviser to the secretary of education on all matters affecting the Department’s programs and activities.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Rose was engaged in the private practice of law. He was a founding partner and corporate secretary of Franczek Radelet P.C. (formerly Franczek Radelet & Rose P.C.), established in 1994. There he represented school districts, municipalities, and other public employers across Illinois with respect to labor relations and collective bargaining matters, general matters of labor and employment law, and education law. Mr. Rose served as the lead negotiator on hundreds of collective bargaining agreements for a wide variety of public employers, including the Chicago Public Schools and City of Chicago.

While in private practice, Mr. Rose also advised Illinois’ leading education and business organizations on matters of education reform and legislation. In 2006, ED-RED, a consortium of over 100 school districts in northern Illinois, recognized him for his leadership in education reform by presenting him with its inaugural Vision in Education Award. In 2008, Mr. Rose was elected a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, which is composed of distinguished union and management advocates and neutrals across the country who have made extraordinary contributions toward advancing scholarship, professionalism, and civility in the practice of labor and employment law.

Mr. Rose was a founding member of the board of directors of Advance Illinois, a statewide independent non-profit organization whose vision is to help ensure that Illinois public schools prepare every child to compete in the global economy. He served on the Chicago advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves, and was an inaugural member of the advisory board of the National College of Education at National-Louis University.

Prior to founding his former firm, Rose was a partner in the law firm of Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, and in-house counsel to the Illinois Association of School Boards. He formerly served as an adjunct lecturer of labor arbitration and collective bargaining at DePaul University College of Law and as an adjunct professor of school law at Northeastern Illinois University.

Mr. Rose received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1982 and graduated cum laude from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1979.


Crystal Financial Consultants and Treasurer for Bloom Township Trustees of Schools

Robert Grossi has served as Treasurer for the Bloom Township Trustees of Schools since 1986. In addition, Rob serves as President of Crystal Financial Consultants, which provides financial advisory services to school districts throughout the State. In 2002, Rob was appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education to serve as the CEO of the Hazel Crest School Finance Authority and in 2007, Rob was appointed by the State Board of Education to serve as the Chair of the Calumet Park School District 132 State Volunteer Oversight Panel. Rob is a past chair of the Illinois School District Liquid Asset Fund and a member of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.
Rob has also drafted several pieces of legislation which has aided school districts, including legislation that corrected the “double whammy” problem in the general State-aid formula, which has resulted in billions of dollars in additional revenues to school districts throughout the State.
Rob received his undergraduate degree in Finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Robert Grossi Economic Planning Presentation May 2009



Creating a Future…The Essence of Leadership

Exploring Massive Trends and Some Qualities of Future-Focused Leaders

“A funny thing happened on the way to accomplishing our plan. The world changed.” In a 24/7, always-on, fast-moving society, it’s not enough to efficiently manage what lands on the tops of our desks. Faced with a world often driven by discontinuities–things we simply don’t expect–every accomplished future-focused leader knows how essential it is to stay in touch with trends and issues and to make complexity and constant change all part of a day’s work.

Education futurist Gary Marx, who has visited 67 countries and done information-rich, thought-provoking, and energizing presentations in all 50 U.S. states and on five continents, challenges us to constantly read forces impacting the internal and external environment. He urges us to build flexibility into our future-oriented strategic plans to help us deal with emerging opportunities and problems…and to stay ahead of the curve in a fast-changing world.

Marx draws from his most recent best-selling books to explore trends or seismic shifts, addressing topics such as aging, diversity, generations, technology, careers, personalization, interdependence, human ingenuity, and ethics. He also shares observations about a few qualities or characteristics of leaders who are capable of the ongoing process of creating a future in an always-on, fast-track world.

Gary Marx is author of Sixteen Trends…Their Profound Impact on Our Future, published by the Educational Research Service (ERS) and Future-Focused Leadership: Preparing Schools, Students, and Communities for Tomorrow’s Realities, published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). “The Class of 2009, born in about 1990-91 will turn 35 in about 2026, 65 in 2056, and 90 in 2081. The future is in school today,” Marx reminds us. He adds, “We have a distinct choice–we can simply defend what we have…or we can create what we need to get our students, our schools, and our communities ready for a fast-changing world.”

All attendees will receive a copy of the Sixteen Trends overview booklet!!


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