Our Thought Leaders provide customized presentations on key education issues. The goal of our keynote presentations is to build an awareness of why, what, where, and how our schools need to change to improve learning outcomes for all learners. Whether your focus is continuous improvement from district to classroom, implementation of the latest policies and initiatives such as social-emotional learning, or to imagine a culture of rigor, relevance, and relationships, our thought leaders will leave your team energized and motivated to proceed with a common and actionable goal toward the future. Search from the topics below to customize your future engagement.
Click on any one of the Thought Leaders below to read his or her bio.
Founder of ICLE and creator of the Rigor/Relevance Framework® and the Daggett System for Effective Instruction®, Bill focuses on the need for educational leaders to work together to become "future focused" and committed to implementing systemic changes that better prepare today's students for tomorrow's world.
MaryEllen Elia | Senior Fellow, ICLE
MaryEllen brings nearly five decades of experience as an educator to her role at ICLE as Senior Fellow. Prior to this appointment, she served as the first female New York State Commissioner of Education and as president of the University of the State of New York (USNY). In this capacity, she oversaw the work of more than 700 school districts with 3.2 million students; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; and more than 50 professions encompassing nearly 900,000 licensees. Previously she served as superintendent of schools in Hillsborough County, FL, for 10 years, where she successfully implemented higher learning standards, partnered with teachers to develop a comprehensive evaluation system, and earned national recognition for gains in student achievement. In 2015, she was named Florida’s Superintendent of the Year, received the AASA Women in School Leadership Award from the School Superintendents Association, and was one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year award.
Weston Kieschnick | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Weston is an ICLE Senior Fellow and best selling author of Bold School. His passionate message to teachers and leaders is about meshing tried-and-true, research-based teaching strategies with purposeful technology to bring student learning to new levels.
Venola Mason | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Venola is driven by the belief that every student deserves a high-quality education that affords them opportunities be a successful adult. Venola coaches school- and district-level leaders across the country to create practicable solutions to increase student achievement and engagement through the use of data.
Eric Sheninger | Senior Fellow, ICLE
For Eric, award-winning former principal and ed tech pioneer, digital leadership is always first and foremost about learning, not devices. Eric developed the 7 Pillars of Digital Leadership & Learning as a way for schools to take a critical look at the elements that foster a successful digital initiative.
Tyrone Howard | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Professor and Associate Dean at UCLA, Tyrone speaks from the heart, from experience, and in depth, about the challenges of delivering equity for the most vulnerable populations of students, and about creating open environments where they know their voices can be heard.
Anthony Colannino | Senior Fellow, ICLE
For more than 20 years, Anthony has dedicated himself to creating environments where adults and children feel happy, healthy, and successful. As a Senior Fellow at ICLE, he’s devoted to helping leaders achieve instructional excellence and create a growth mindset culture.
Larry Ainsworth | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Larry is the author and coauthor of numerous published books, including: Common Formative Assessments 2.0 (2015), "Unwrapping" the Standards: A Simple Process to Make Standards Manageable (2015), Prioritizing the Common Core (2013), and Rigorous Curriculum Design (2010). Larry served as the executive director of professional development at The Leadership and Learning Center in Englewood, Colorado, from 1999–2013. Currently he works with schools across the country to help implement best practices related to standards, assessment, curriculum, and instruction across all grades and content areas.
Ray McNulty | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Ray has served as senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, president of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and Vermont's education commissioner from 2001–2003. He has worked in education for the entirety of his career. He was a classroom teacher, vice principal, and principal in Massachusetts before becoming superintendent of Windham Southeast Supervisory Union in Brattleboro, VT. Ray held the position of superintendent for 11 years and was named Vermont Superintendent of the Year in 2000.
Lissa Pijanowski | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Senior Fellow at ICLE, author of Architects of Deeper Learning, and a recognized leader in developing student-centered instruction, Lissa is passionate about demonstrating to educators everywhere the importance of building stronger teacher-student relationships by giving students a strong voice in, and ownership of, their own learning.
Sherry St. Clair | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Sherry is a master educator who coaches teachers and leaders across the country—and beyond—to best meet the needs of all students. Drawing from her rich experience at various levels of public education, Sherry is a highly regarded expert in the areas of effective instructional strategies, classroom walkthroughs, effective use of data, literacy, and creating a culture of college and career readiness.
Adam Drummond | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Adam's servant leadership and desire for making a change in the world has afforded him the great opportunity to work with students, teachers, and leaders across the country and internationally. He has also served as an elementary teacher, middle school teacher, K–12 technology integration specialist, elementary and secondary professional development coordinator, and as both an assistant principal and principal.
Erica Battle | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Erica is an educational powerhouse, author, and innovative Thought Leader for today's youth, parents, and educators. A former middle school classroom teacher, Erica's mission is to empower the narrative between young people, their parents, and teachers to facilitate personal and academic growth.
Kyra Donovan | Senior Fellow, ICLE
As a former teacher, principal, and central office administrator, Kyra has supported teachers and leaders in developing a rigorous and relevant curriculum through a timeless process that supports academic achievement. Kyra's relentless belief that ALL students can learn is her driving force for transforming teaching and learning.
Mark White | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Developing people, transforming teams, and helping schools move into new territory is at the core of who Mark is. That passion is reflected in his roles as author, education consultant, and change agent. In an age of constant disruption, Mark helps people understand the challenges and the great opportunities in front of them.
Savannah Flakes | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Savanna's strengths are empowering educators with effective instructional practices to improve achievement for ALL students. She specializes in inclusion, special education, literacy, SEL, and team behavior. Savannah presents internationally on topics such as differentiation, co-teaching, universal design for learning, and inclusion.
Polly Patrick | Senior Fellow, ICLE
Polly has power! As an author, teacher, coach, and consultant, she inspires and guides all members of a school community to relentlessly focus on learning. Polly's favorite professional experiences involve collaboration with educators who are passionate about improving student thinking and learning, school culture, and teachers' professional efficacy concerning finding evidence that reflects student learning.