Cross-Boundary Leaders for Education and Equity Symposium

Public education has become an increasingly polarizing topic. Yet, experience and research tell us that solutions to our most pressing educational issues are likely to emerge when leaders work together across boundaries, be they ideological, geographical, or institutional. For 50 years the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has championed the need for leaders at all levels to shake off their institutional constraints and jointly respond to the needs of young people and their families.

IEL’s Cross-Boundary Leaders for Education and Equity Symposium was designed to create an objective, open-minded, nonpartisan space where leaders could come together and discuss complex issues facing public education and to offer forward-thinking solutions.

Panel 1: Preparing Leaders for Public Education

Is the incessant glare of public scrutiny in our 24-hour news cycle driving away good people and creating a leadership gap in education? What can we do to attract and prepare the leaders public education needs?


Featuring: Andrew Lachman (Executive Director, Connecticut Center for School Change), Larry Leverett (Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation), Mary Ronan (Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, Ohio), Jose Torres (President, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy). Moderator: Jerry Weast (Former Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland)

Panel 2: Family Engagement in Education


Featuring: Jitu Brown (National Director, Journey for Justice Alliance), Yolie Flores (Senior Fellow, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading), Sue Swenson (Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education). Moderator: Kwesi Rollins (Director, Leadership Programs, Institute for Educational Leadership)

Panel 3: Pathways to Success

Young people are increasingly disengaged from society. What can leaders do to put disengaged and disconnected youth on pathways to success?


Featuring: David E. Brown (Senior Fellow, Annie E. Casey Foundation), Brenda Dann-Messier (Former Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education), Michael Gritton (Executive Director, KentuckianaWorks). Moderator: Joan Wills (Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Workforce Development, Institute for Educational Leadership)


This symposium was supported by generous partners: American Express, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Lumina Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, and friends of IEL.

Download the program!

Scroll to Top