Summit Agenda

Detailed Schedule


Tuesday, May 16

Community of Practice Day

8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Programming by invitation only

8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, May 17


Rise & Shine Workout

Plenary Sessions

Richard Whitmire

Whitmire, a former president of the National Education Writers Association, is the author of The Founders: Inside the revolution to invent (and re-invent) America’s Best Charter Schools. Previous books include: On the Rocketship: How High Performing Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelopeand The Bee Eater: Michelle Rhee Takes on the Nation’s Worst School District. Whitmire also wroteWhy Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Education System That’s Leaving Them Behind and co-authoredThe Achievable Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools.​

Social Media

Speaker Resource Links

Diane Tavenner
Summit Public Schools

Diane Tavenner is the Co-Founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools (SPS), a leading charter management organization. The Summit Learning model leverages technology to connect students’ long-term goals to their daily actions and empowers them to own their learning.  Summit’s graduates are completing four-year college degrees at twice the national average. Newsweek and US News & World Report have ranked Summit among the top public schools in the nation. In partnership with Facebook, Summit is currently working to scale personalized learning by making the Summit Learning Platform available to schools across the United States free through the Summit Learning Program.​

Derwin Sisnett
Maslow Development Inc.

Derwin Sisnett is the co-founder and managing partner of Maslow Development Inc. (Maslow), a real estate development company that co-designs and develops communities around high performing schools. Prior to founding Maslow, Derwin co-founded and served as the CEO of Gestalt Community Schools (GCS), a charter management organization that develops high-performing, community-based charter schools in Memphis, Tennessee. Maslow was established in order to extend the community development practices that are a core part of GCS’s mission to other high performing schools across the country.

Social Media

Speaker Resource Links

Dr. Emilio Pack
STEM Prep Schools

​Emilio Pack’s two decades in public education inform his belief that by investing in educators as leaders and giving them the site-level autonomy to put student needs first, we can achieve systemic reform and change.

After helping to launch, staff, and lead charters for the Alliance College-Ready Public schools, he founded his own CMO, STEM Prep Schools. In this role, he leverages strategic community, district, and cross-network charter partnerships to increase proficiency, graduation, and college acceptance rates for students of color, while focusing on reversing the under-representation of minorities in STEM-related fields.
In 2015, Emilio Pack was profiled by L.A. Weekly Magazine as one of its People of the Year. The Los Angeles Business Journal also awarded STEM Prep the Latino Nonprofit of the Year in 2015.

Breakout Sessions

Marc Sternberg
Walton Family Foundation

Marc Sternberg leads the foundation’s initiatives to improve K-12 education for all of our nation’s children by empowering parents with q​​​uality options. Before joining the foundation, Marc served as the Senior Deputy Chancellor at the New York City Department of Education, where he directed the citywide portfolio planning efforts including new school development and placement, school improvement and accountability planning, and the Pre K-12 enrollment team. Marc also served as senior advisor to the chancellor and the mayor’s office on education policy and strategy.

Prior to his service as deputy chancellor, Marc was founder and principal of the Bronx Lab School, an unscreened high school on the Evander Childs High School campus. After earning a B.A. from Princeton University in 1995, Marc served as a Teach For America corps member in the South Bronx. He then earned a joint MBA and Masters in Education from Harvard University. Marc was selected as a 2009-2010 White House Fellow.​

Ric Zappa
KIPP Bay Area

​Ric Zappa has been an educator for over 35 years, teaching in elementary, middle, and high schools and community college. He is currently Director of School Culture for KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program). During the five years Ric served as school leader of KIPP Summit Academy in San Lorenzo, California, the school became a California Distinguished School and earned the National Blue Ribbon Award.

Under Ric’s leadership KIPP Summit Academy transitioned from a traditional discipline system to a restorative justice paradigm. As a result of the shift in mindset and high academic expectations, KIPP Summit Academy is considered one of the highest achieving schools in the KIPP network, the state of California, and the United States, particularly when compared with schools of the same demographics—those furthest from opportunity.

Recognizing that the school-to-prison pipeline is not a recent phenomenon, but a culmination of a long historical drive that has created institutional racism in American society, Ric mentors school leaders and teachers in restorative practices to create positive school culture and build school communities. This includes developing school administrators and staff to reflect on their own implicit racial bias, and to explore the racial imbalance and lack of equity that may exist in school systems, policies, and discipline practices.

In his current role as Director of School Culture, Ric leads the KIPP Bay Area region’s initiative for social-emotional learning, character development, and restorative practices. His work has expanded to the KIPP Network of 200 schools, as well as other charter schools throughout the United States. KIPP schools, particularly those in the San Francisco Bay Area under his direction that have adapted and focused on restorative practices, have seen dramatic decreases in suspension and expulsion rates, higher student achievement and teacher retention rates, lower student attrition, and school culture focused on respecting, nurturing, and learning for the entire school community.​

Speaker Resource Links

Eileen Murphy Buckley

​Eileen taught English for 15 years and was the founding English Department Chair at Walter Payton College Prep as well as the author of 360 Degrees of Text (NCTE, 2011). As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for over 100 of Chicago’s highest performing schools, she became passionate about the role technology could play in education in the 21st century and left CPS in 2012 to develop ThinkCERCA to help all students achieve career and college readiness.​

Social Media

Speaker Resource Links

Renee Hill
Riverside Unified School District

​As Assistant Superintendent of Data, Innovation, Research and Technology, Renee Hill serves 42,000 students 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Her teams lead and provide the Inland Code Consortium (17 districts with nearly 370,000 students). She established Heritage which has cut the black-white college-entry-course opportunity gap in half and is serving as a model for Legacy, designed for English learners. During a break in her 32 year public school career, she was a project, co-authored a math textbook, and consulted. She is an unflagging advocate for equity and high levels of student learning.  Renee has a Master’s in Curriculum from UCRiverside and a Sloan MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.​

Frances Messano
NewSchools Venture Fund

Frances Messano is a Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund where she co-leads the diverse leaders strategy. Previously, Frances served as VP of Strategy at Teach For America, where she led the organization in developing their three-year strategic plan. Before that, she was an Associate Partner at Monitor Institute, where she helped education organizations scale impact through strategy, organizational and leadership development. Frances is a first-generation college graduate and an alum of Prep for Prep, MLT and SEO, organizations that she credits with helping her gain access to educational and professional opportunity. ​

Closing Reception