Featured Speaker Bios
Margaret J. Wheatley
Margaret Wheatley writes, teaches, and speaks about radically new practices and ideas for organizing in chaotic times. She is President emeritus of The Berkana Institute, a charitable global foundation serving life-affirming leaders around the world. She has been an organizational consultant and researcher since 1973 and a dedicated global citizen since her youth. Her first work was as a public school teacher and urban education administrator in New York, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea. Her newest book, Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time, is a collection of her practice-focused writings, in which she describes both the organizational and personal behaviors that bring her theories to life. Wheatley also authored Leadership and the New Science, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, and A Simpler Way (with Myron Kellner-Rogers).
Thursday, November 2, 6:00 - 7:30pm, Grand Ballroom
Ted and Nancy Sizer
Theodore Sizer is the founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools and the author of the three Horace books that describe CES's rationale and early years. He is professor emeritus at Brown University, where he served as chair of the education department from 1984-1989, and is currently a visiting professor at Harvard and Brandeis Universities. Nancy Sizer spent 25 years as a classroom teacher in public and private secondary schools and, since the school opened in 1995, has supervised Harvard interns at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Massachusetts, where the Sizers most recently served as acting co-principals. They are co-authors, along with Deborah Meier, of Keeping School: Letters to Families from Principals of Two Small Schools.
Friday, November 3, 8:00 - 9:45am, Salon I
Jesus G. Garcia
Jesus ("Chuy") Garcia, a resident of Chicago's Little Village community for 31 years, is a former alderman, state senator, and director of Little Village Neighborhood Housing Services. He is currently the executive director of the Little Village Community Development Corporation (LVCDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving balanced development projects that are responsive to the needs of residents and businesses of Little Village. As one of its first organizing campaigns, LVCDC led the fight to pressure Chicago Public Schools to build a long-promised high school in Little Village. This seven-year struggle culminated in a 19-day hunger strike in 2001, which resulted in an agreement to build a state-of-the-art high school campus that houses four separate small schools. Mr. Garcia, along with a student, a parent, and an organizer involved in the campaign, will discuss the hard work and struggle that went into making this dream a reality.
Friday, November 3, 10:15am - 12:00pm, Salon I
Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
An educator, author, lecturer, and spiritual and social leader, Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. leads the 10,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. His parents, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Sr. and Dr. Mary Henderson Wright, were his earliest influences, instilling in him the possibility of balancing the intellectual with the spiritual. Armed with this philosophical upbringing, Wright has pastored his church since 1972, seeing the number of its active ministries grow to 70. An outspoken community leader on issues related to educational equity, he has made political and social activism a key aspect of his church's mission. Wright has been vocal in making once-taboo issues, such as AIDS, a priority within the African-American church leadership and service. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including three honorary doctorates and three presidential commendations. An accomplished musician and author, Wright has written four books, numerous articles, and countless sermons.
Friday, November 3, 1:30 - 3:15pm, Salon I
The Forum for Education and Democracy
The Forum for Education and Democracy is a public policy think tank working for educational policies at the state and federal levels that are consistent with the work of schools like those in CES. Join the conveners of The Forum in a participatory discussion to frame a new public policy agenda for America's schools. At this town hall meeting, Forum conveners, including Linda Darling-Hammond, Deborah Meier, Larry Myatt, Ted and Nancy Sizer, and George Wood, will present the outlines of their work and their campaign to move beyond NCLB in terms of educational policy. Following this initial presentation, the conveners and CES staff will facilitate small-group discussions during which participants will be able to help shape The Forum's policy platform.
Saturday, November 4, 10:15am - 12:00pm, Salon I
Dilemmas of Urban School Reform
Several large urban school districts across the U.S. - including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia - have embraced large school re-design and the development of small schools as part of their overall reform efforts. Despite significant resources from foundations and attention and support from city leaders, questions persist about taking small schools to scale in large urban systems. How should urban districts go about implementing systemic reform through a small schools strategy? What are the struggles and competing pressures of doing small schools work in urban communities? A panel of Chicago educational leaders - including Michael Alexander from CES Chicago, Pat Ford from the Chicago High School Redesign Initiative, Don Moore from Designs for Change, Michael Klonsky from the Small Schools Workshop, and Margaret Small of Young Women's Leadership Charter School - will address these questions and other dilemmas faced by urban districts working to restructure schools.
Saturday, November 4, 8:00 - 9:45am, Salon I
CES Alumni Panel
Do the values, habits of mind, and skills with which CES graduates leave school have an expiration date? Or do they continue to influence graduates' adult lives? A diverse group of graduates of CES schools spanning the past three decades will gather to discuss the choices and commitments they have made as family and community members, workers, students, and citizens. The CES alumni panel participants will address questions such as: Are your adult lives markedly different than they might have been because of your Essential School experiences? How did your school experience affect your expectations for the education our communities provide for today's young people? What's your advice for today's educators, policymakers, families and students so that the next generations of Essential School graduates can have family, community, work, spiritual, and personal lives characterized by engagement, passion, generosity, compassion, and confidence? This panel discussion includes audience interaction, so come prepared with thoughts, comments, questions, and other contributions.
Saturday, November 4, 1:30 - 3:15pm, Salon I
Join us following an afternoon ice-cream social for a farewell by CES National staff and an interactive town hall meeting to reflect on conference themes, connect with colleagues about issues raised during sessions, and articulate next steps.
Saturday, November 4, 3:45 - 5:30pm, Salons I & II
Page last updated: August 17, 2006