Leading Transformational Learning: Shaping the Future
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GUEST SPEAKERS

Louis Bronk_headshot

Louis Bronk, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Talent Development, Meriden Public Schools. Louis Bronk is the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Talent Development for Meriden Public Schools.  His work includes the direction and oversight of all Personnel functioning for the district and supervision of the district's high school principals.  Louis is also involved with the development of certified staff including the Leadership Academy, an innovative program to train the district's teacher leaders, the Aspiring Leaders Academy for staff interested in pursuing a career in administration and a comprehensive new teacher induction program.   His work also includes developing University partnerships and leading the district's efforts to diversify the teacher workforce. 


Imma Canelli_headshot

Imma Canelli has enjoyed a 45-year career in education. She worked for the New Haven Public Schools for 38 years until her retirement. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State College (University), in 1978. Her passion for education led her to pursue a Master of Science in Reading from the same institution in 1982.  In 1989 she began to take on leadership responsibilities which led her to attain a Sixth Year in Administration from Southern Connecticut State University in 1999. In addition to working in New Haven Public Schools, she became an adjunct professor in Reading at Southern Connecticut State University in 1999 where she taught graduate reading courses for 20 years.

In 1999, Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo appointed her to the Supervisor of Reading/Language Arts K-12 position. Then in 2005, Dr. Reginald Mayo appointed Imma to become Director of Instruction. She oversaw seven schools that were designated “in need of improvement.” In 2007, Dr. Mayo appointed Imma to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.  She was responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of the district K – 12 curriculum, instruction and assessments. She worked with the Connecticut State Department of Education and led the development of a District Improvement Plan that focused on student achievement. Imma played a crucial role in School Reform efforts started by Dr. Reginald Mayo and Mayor John DeStefano.  In 2014, she was appointed to the role of Deputy Superintendent until her retirement in 2016 from her career serving New Haven Public School students.   

After retirement from New Haven Public Schools, Imma consulted state-wide in the areas of literacy and strategic planning for several districts. In January 2019, Imma was appointed as the Superintendent for Hartland Public Schools where she is currently working part-time. She is also working with the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents on training for the Science of Reading for school leaders.

Imma has presented nationally at reading and education conferences, developed district-wide curriculum and provided staff development training for teachers and administrators.  She has served on numerous state and local committees, including NEASC, where she serves as a Commissioner.  She has been a leading partner with Southern Connecticut State University and the liaison for numerous initiatives between New Haven Public Schools and SCSU.

She has received many awards throughout her career including the prestigious Southern Connecticut State University School of Education Outstanding Alumni Award, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc, Delta Phi Chapter Outstanding Educator Award, the New Haven Public School TAPS Award for Distinguished School Service, the Comer School Development Program Outstanding Educator, and the Title 1 DWPAC Award for Outstanding Service.


Christine Carver headshot

Christine Carver, Ed.D., Superintendent, Bethel Public Schools. Dr. Carver is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and Sacred Heart University. She received her Doctorate of Education in 2009, her Sixth Year in Administration in 2001, her Master of Science in Special Education in 1997 and her Bachelor of Science in Special Education in 1991. Dr. Carver began her career as a Special Education Teacher at Whittier Union High School in Whittier, CA in 1991. She continued her special education teaching career at Woodstock Academy in Woodstock, CT in 1993. She then became a Special Education Teacher and Department Chair at New London High School before being appointed the Supervisor of Special Education in 2002 and then the Director of Special Services in 2003, also in New London. In 2008, she was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Schools in New London from 2008 until May 2012, serving as Interim Superintendent of Schools in the summer of 2009. After four years, she became the Associate Superintendent of Human Capital Development, Chief of Staff in Newington CT. In 2014 she became the Superintendent of the Bethel Public Schools, Bethel, CT.  where she led a diverse stakeholder committee in developing a five-year strategic plan; implemented school improvement plans; oversaw building infrastructure, security, and budgets; and facilitated parent, board, legislative, and community engagement.

Dr. Carver is a member of the Superintendent's Network, the American Association of School Administrators, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the American Association of School Personnel Administrators, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), and the Superintendent Network.  In addition, Dr. Carver currently serves on the Executive Board of Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents as President.  She has been on the Board of Directors for CAPSS since 2015. Dr. Carver has been active with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents and various legislative task forces for the Connecticut General Assembly.

Dr. Carver is also the UCONN Neag School of Education 2020 Outstanding School Superintendent of the Year.


Pete Civitello_headshot

Peter Civitello. Pete Civitello has two decades of experience in education, with eleven years as an administrator.  Starting as Assistant Principal at Washington Middle School in Meriden, he transitioned seamlessly to Platt High School, contributing to the school's educational leadership team. Over the last four years at Meriden's Central Office, Pete has served as Supervisor of Data and Integration and Post Secondary Planning, currently holding the position of Director of Secondary School Leadership. His active involvement in Meriden initiatives, particularly with the RISE Foundation, showcases a commitment to improving Freshman On-Track rates and fostering College and Career Readiness. Pete has an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Albertus Magnus College, a Masters in Education from the University of New Haven, and a 6th-year certificate in Educational Leadership from Southern CT State University.


Matt Conway_headshot

Dr. Matthew J. Conway, Jr., Superintendent, Derby Public Schools. Dr. Conway has over 35 years in education and criminal justice, serving in a variety of leadership positions at the local, state and national level. Beginning his career in 1986 as a teacher, Dr. Conway was soon tapped to open and lead a new school for adjudicated youth. Dr. Conway was again promoted to a Principal II position overseeing three schools for Connecticut Unified School District #1. In addition to his leadership roles in Education, Dr. Conway was elected to serve as a State Representative for the 61st District of the CT General Assembly. While serving as a State Rep, Dr. Conway served as the chairman of the freshman caucus, as well as on the Education, Technology & Energy and Judiciary committees. During this time, Dr. Conway was nominated for and selected for a Presidential Appointment to serve as Director of the Office of Detention Policy and Procedure for the Department of Homeland Security under then Secretary Napolitano and Deputy Secretary Morton.

With four children at home in Connecticut, Dr. Conway decided to remain in Connecticut and continue his career in Education, advancing to Superintendent, a role he currently serves for the City of Derby CT. In addition to serving as Superintendent, Dr. Conway is past President of the South Central Connecticut Area Superintendents Association, immediate past president of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, Co-Chair of the Legislative Policy Committee, and serves on several other Boards on the local and state level to include the Early Childhood Advisory Council for the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. Dr. Conway was most recently appointed by the Republican Leader of the House of Representatives to serve on the Connecticut Advisory Council for Teacher Professional Standards for Administrators and the Governors appointment to the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Task Force.

Dr. Conway’s other experiences include over 20 years owning and operating premier early childhood centers in North Central CT, Coaching HS lacrosse, and serving as Police Commissioner for 8 years in his hometown.


Collier-Meek_headshot

Melissa A. Collier-Meek, PhD, Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Collier-Meek is an Associate Professor of School Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a co-director of the Sustain Collaborative (sustaincollaborative.org) and conducts applied research on the assessment and promotion of sustained practices. Committed to dissemination, she has published and presented widely. She received the Lightner Witmer Award from the American Psychological Association for early career scholarship related to sustaining practices. She serves as an Associate Editor for School Psychology.

 


joanna_curry-sartori_headshot

Joanna Curry-Sartori. Joanna Curry-Sartori (LMFT) is the Founding and Executive Director of the Self-Leadership Collaborative (SLC). Since 2013 she has been partnering with school districts to integrate well-being models that cultivate mindfulness and social and emotional capacity.  In 2017, seeing the need for an approach to well-being that would shift how we are being together (rather than another initiative and more to do), Joanna established the Self-Leadership Collaborative and led a global effort to adapt the transformative model if IFS (Internal Family Systems) for application in everyday school life.  As a licensed marriage and family therapist, Joanna has a private practice working with educators and families to realize well-being in personal and professional life.


Rosanne Daigneault_headshot

Rosanne Daigneault, Reading Consultant. A lifelong literacy educator, Rosanne has served as a classroom teacher, school reading coach and district K-12 English language arts coordinator.

In her former roles as a consultant at the State Education Resource Center and as a leader-in-residence at the Connecticut State Department of Education, she has provided professional learning in several Connecticut school districts. She has also held adjunct teaching positions at Connecticut state universities. She currently serves as a reading coach with the CSPSS/Connecticut State Department of Education SOR Masterclass.


James Donewald_headshot

James Donewald. James Donewald is an Assistant Principal at Maloney High School in Meriden Connecticut. As a part of his responsibilities James oversees grades 10-12. James works closely with the School Counseling Department to assure that all Maloney graduates have a well crafted and attainable Post Secondary plan. James’ passion for Post Secondary planning stems back to the beginning of his career and the years he spent as a School Counselor at Maloney High School.

 

 


Amy Fedigan_headshot

Amy Fedigan, Ed.D. Assistant Superintendent, Darien, Project Director UConn PK3 Leadership. Dr. Amy Fedigan is the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Darien Public Schools. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, EAYA World Language. With a Special Education degree and a concentration in behavioral studies, and an 092, Dr. Fedigan served as assistant middle school principal, elementary principal, and assistant superintendent in Milford, CT. Dr. Fedigan has participated in the Yale Seedlings Institute for Social-Emotional Learning. Additionally, she participated in the UConn Neag School of Education PK-3 Leadership program and has been a presenter for the PK-3 Leadership program. She is thrilled to now serve as the program director.

 


Alice Forester_headshot

Dr. Alice Forrester is Chief Executive Officer of Clifford Beers Community Health Partners, a network of affiliates of Clifford Beers Community Care Center, Mid Fairfield Community Care and Youth Continuum.  Clifford Beers Community Health Partner’s (CBCHP) is an affiliated network of child and adult community providers in the State of Connecticut whose mission is to ensure that individuals and families in our communities have equitable access to coordinated, high-quality mental health and community services needed to live healthier and better lives. CBCHP 1) keeps individuals and families at the core of everything we do; 2) ensures that actions to achieve equity are taken across everything CBCHP does; 3) strives to create a sustainable, diverse workforce committed to excellence; 4) seeks to develop better ways to serve individuals, families, and communities using a “one door” concept to help families access services. With over 430 full time staff, and an annual budget of $35 million, Clifford Beers, our founding organization, has been the forefront to mental health delivery in Connecticut, serving children and families, many of whom have experienced trauma, for over 110 years.  Under Dr. Forrester's leadership, Clifford Beers Community Care Center received a 2019 Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Healthcare Innovation Award (one of seven States in the US)  to implement a model of care for children in New Haven identified in high distress called Integrated Care for Kids.  Including the 2014 CMS Innovation Award called Wrap Around New Haven, Clifford Beers has been a leader of developing models of care to help chronically stressed families address the complexity surrounding their physical, mental and social well-being.  In December 2021, Clifford Beers was awarded their third five year National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration which focuses on developing a Trauma Informed Anti-Racist Whole Family Approach to Care and a three year Department of Justice STOP School Violence Grant focusing on School Violence Prevention in New Haven Public Schools.  Dr. Forrester is appointed to the CT Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council and serves on the Children’s Advisory Board for Mental Health Task Force and is a Commissioner for Public Health for the City of New Haven.  Dr. Forrester was also appointed by Governor Malloy to the Sandy Hook Commission, and Clifford Beers delivered the recovery mental health services for the Sandy Hook School after the tragedy. Clifford Beers then transferred its learning in Sandy Hook and 2016, and launched the New Haven Trauma Coalition to address trauma in New Haven Public Schools.  Dr. Forrester holds a Master’s degree from New York University in Drama Therapy and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fielding University.  She is the adoptive mother of three children and resides in New Haven, CT.


Erica Forti_headshot

Since 2017, Erica Forti has held the position of Superintendent at East Haven Public Schools, bringing with her nearly three decades of experience in public education. She is deeply committed to advancing the academic, linguistic, and social-emotional development of all students.  She actively contributes to various committees and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) established by the Connecticut State Department of Education, with the overarching goal of improving educational outcomes.

Erica’s leadership is marked by a commitment to continuous learning and collaboration. She has participated in the Harvard Instructional Rounds Institute and earned recognition as a Yale Teacher Institute Fellow. Committed to the teacher as the most influential factor on student learning and achievement, she values the opportunity to serve as an adjunct professor in the Masters’ and Sixth Year education programs at Southern CT State University.


Kathleen Greider headshot

Kathleen C. Greider has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Farmington Public Schools since May, 2009. The Farmington Public Schools is a nationally recognized, high-performing school district located in central Connecticut. Superintendent Greider’s collaborative work with the Board of Education, administration, faculty, staff, students, families and community has led to innovative improvement practices and programming aligned to Farmington’s Vision of the Global Citizen (VoGC), Framework for Teaching and Learning (FTL), Theory of Action (ToA), Equity Framework and Core Beliefs. The Farmington School District has been designated as a national P21 Exemplar District and highlighted in publications and books for innovative student-centered teaching, learning, assessment and programming.  In addition, Farmington High School consistently ranks as one of the top high schools in Connecticut and nationally.

Superintendent Greider was recognized as Connecticut’s Superintendent of the Year in 2020.  In August 2024, the Farmington Public Schools will open a new state-of-the-art high school facility.  This visionary facility was designed with Farmington’s core documents, specifically the VoGC, in mind to ensure the facility promotes and supports all students’ access to active engagement in deeper learning experiences.  This type of learning promotes personal and academic excellence as well as the development of the skills and dispositions outlined in Farmington’s VoGC (self-aware individuals, empowered learners, disciplined thinkers, engaged collaborators and civic-minded contributors) so that all Farmington students make a positive and lasting impact on their local and world communities as change-makers and live as resourceful, inquiring and contributing global citizens. 

Prior to her role as Superintendent of the Farmington Public Schools, she served as the Deputy Superintendent of the Greenwich Public Schools. During her time in Greenwich, she established a leadership development program focused on school-based instructional leadership, student-centered teaching and learning and an updated strategic improvement process.   

As Lead Principal for Hartford Public Schools from August 2005 - 2007, she supported nine schools and initiated leadership professional development and routines to promote IFL’s Principles of Learning. Prior to becoming Lead Principal, she was Principal of Dwight Elementary School in Hartford, Connecticut. Dwight Elementary School received national recognition, including a NCLB Blue Ribbon Award, for significantly raising student achievement outcomes during her time as principal. A focus on student-centered teaching and learning prioritizing student voice and agency led to significant improvement in both the delivery of high-quality instruction and improved outcomes for students.


Connie Kamm headshot

Connie Kamm, Ed.D., is the founder and CEO of Kamm Solutions. With over thirty years of experience as a leader and teacher at the university, public school, and corporate levels, Connie brings a unique blend of real-world experience and international research to her work with schools, districts, and departments of education. Over the past twelve years, Connie has provided over 1,700 professional learning opportunities with over 200 educational organizations (schools, districts, state departments, and ministries of education) throughout the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, and Zambia.

Her customized work includes keynotes, workshops, seminars, and team coaching sessions. Her topics range from system-wide strategic planning to powerful leadership practices, effective high-performance teamwork, collaborative curriculum design, and engaging instructional practices. Connie is the author of numerous articles, chapters, manuals, and programs. She was recently nominated for an Emmy as a co-producer for the video A Profile of a Learner and Leader. She is currently co-authoring a book about radiant schools that empower learner agency.


Karen List_headshot

Karen L. List, Ph.D., UConn PK3 Leadership Founder and Consultant. Dr. Karen L. List is the retired Superintendent of the West Hartford Public Schools, Connecticut. She is the founding Project Director for the UConn Neag School of Educational Leadership PK3 Leadership Program and led the program for nine years in collaboration with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and an outstanding team of national expert advisors and local practitioners. She currently consults to the program. In addition, she is an Executive Coach for new superintendents and principals and is a CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Associate, working on assignment to promote effective practices in using ARPA/ESSER funds.

 


Joe Macrino_headshot

Joe Macrino is in his 10th year as a school administrator. He currently is principal of Oswegatchie Elementary in Waterford, Connecticut, a public school servicing preschool to fifth grade students and their families. Oswegatchie School is committed to providing play-based learning environments to support social communication, executive function, and standards-based instruction.

 

 

 


Bethany McKie_headshot

Bethany McKie is an Assistant Principal at Platt High School in Meriden, Connecticut. Her primary role is to oversee the work surrounding ninth grade.  Beth works closely with the ninth-grade teachers, school counselors, and support staff to build relationships with every student to ensure that conditions for success are created.  Beth has a passion for education and student achievement. She aims to ensure that every student feels a sense of belonging as part of the Platt community.

 

 


Matt Mervis headshot

Matt Mervis - Director Skills21 and AI Strategy at EdAdvance. Matt Mervis is a nonprofit team leader at EdAdvance, focused on creating technology to enable project-based learning and AI. He has deep experience in education having served in a range of roles including teacher, professional development specialist, district technology director and product developer. Currently, Matt is focused on building AI/PBL integration on the skills21.org platform and he frequently presents on AI and the future of education.

 

 


Angela Nelson_headshot

Angela Nelson - Managing Director of High School Humanities for the Achievement First Charter Network. For the last three years, Angela has been in the role of Managing Director of High School Humanities for the Achievement First Charter Network, serving seven high schools, across three states, including in Connecticut. In her current role, Angela manages a team of curriculum and instruction experts to provide support to AF high schools with delivering outstanding humanities courses and programs. Before coming to AF, Angela spent over 16 years in service of the New York City Public Schools, first as a teacher, teaching high school English and Special Education, then as a teacher educator and instructional coach, and finally several years in central administration focused on the development of teacher training programs. She also served as the Director of Education for The Education Partners, an international education consulting firm, and had the privilege of collaborating with brilliant educators across the US and around the world on some incredible projects and programs, all in service of providing every student, everywhere, with access to the highest quality education. In that role she led the development of curriculum and program design and implementation across partner initiatives, including the first hybrid (online and in-person) national teacher training program in the UAE. She continues to remain incredibly interested in the most current research around pedagogical practice and practices for authentic and transformational professional development and coaching.


Lisa Nouri_headshot

Lisa Nouri, Director of Research Strategy and Consulting, Columbia University. Before joining CPRL, Lisa designed and led cohort-based learning programs, facilitated communities of practice, and designed and managed cross-functional projects related to the codification and dissemination of effective talent development practices in a variety of settings including Columbia Business School’s Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence and KIPP Foundation’s national network of charter schools. After starting her career in finance, Lisa followed her passion for education as an Education Pioneers fellow, interning at The New Teacher Project in 2008. Lisa holds a BA in managerial studies and economics from Rice University and an MBA with a concentration in social entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School.


Alexandra Pierce_headshot

Alexandra Pierce, PhD, University of Connecticut. Dr. Pierce is an Assistant Research Professor for University of Connecticut Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP). She conducts applied research focused on supporting teachers’ implementation of best practices in schools. Her research interests also include positive behavioral interventions and supports for students and interventions to support teacher wellbeing.

 

 


Kelly Sanders_headshot

Kelly Sanders - Educational Consultant. Kelly Sanders is an educational consultant with over 30 years experience as a teacher, literacy specialist, and principal with the Farmington Public Schools. Her work includes leadership coaching for districts and schools in Connecticut and England, as well as serving as a reading coach for the CAPSS Science of Reading Master Class. She resides in Barrington, New Hampshire.

 

 


Lisa Sanetti_headshot

Lisa M. H. Sanetti, PhD, University of Connecticut. Dr. Sanetti is a Professor of School Psychology at the University of Connecticut. She has extensive research and practical experiences facilitating intervention implementation at the district, school, group, and implementer levels to promote students’ academic, behavioral, social, and emotional outcomes over time.She is a co-director of the Sustain Collaborative (sustaincollaborative.org). She received the Lightner Witmer and Thomas Oakland Awards from the American Psychological Association for her scholarship related to implementation and is an invited member of the Network of Expertise in the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration. She has received over 9 million dollars in grant funding from multiple agencies and foundations and is one of the top 20 most prolific contributors to the school psychology literature.


Kath Serino_headshot

Kath Serino. Kath Serino (formerly Veronesi) is the former Superintendent of Schools in Regional District 13, a position she held following numerous roles in Connecticut Public Schools including that of high school teacher, educational diagnostician, and middle school assistant principal. Kath earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership as well as her Master’s in Special Education and Sixth Year at Central Connecticut State University. Now working as an educational leadership coach throughout the state of Connecticut, Kath has worked with SLC since 2018, first implementing the approach in her district and then joining the SLC team as a lead instructor.  Kath has worked with the SLC team to design approaches to support and strengthen leadership practices and experiences. She has participated in SLC’s international trainings and currently co-facilitates district leadership teams in three CT districts who are integrating the SLC approach.


Maddy Sims_headshot

Maddy Sims, Director of Consulting and Legal Strategy at the Center for Public Research and Leadership, Columbia University. Maddy brings experience across the social impact, legal, and PK-12 education sectors. At CPRL, she supports a range of school districts, state departments of education, non-profits, and foundations to map out, implement, measure, and improve strategies aimed at advancing equity-driven innovation. Her work includes leadership coaching, stakeholder and community partnership, statewide cohort facilitation, qualitative research, and legal and policy analysis. Maddy began her career as an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she worked on transactional, corporate governance, and pro bono matters. Her writing on education policy has been published in the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Maddy holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a JD from Columbia Law School.


Gaeton Stella_headshot

Gaeton (Guy) Stella, Ph.D., SOR Executive Coach/CAPSS Advisor. Dr. Gaeton (Guy) Stella received a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Learning from Fordham University as well as a Masters and  a 6th Year Administrator’s degree from Hunter College of the University System of New York City. He served as Superintendent of the Woodbridge School District, Connecticut from January 2006 – June 2016. Before that assignment, he was the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education in Stratford, Connecticut. Prior to coming to Connecticut, he held educational leadership positions in the Bronx, including Deputy Superintendent, District Supervisor of School Administrators and Principal. On the national level, Dr. Stella served as a faculty member, Assistant Dean of the Texas House and Dean of the Mid-East Coast House for Teach for America. On the international level he was the recipient of  Fulbright grants to study and do educational research in Egypt, India, Chile and Ecuador. In addition, he has traveled, studied and engaged in educational fieldwork in many countries of Latin America. Dr. Stella has traveled to China  to visit schools, universities and to give educational presentations to Chinese teachers and administrators.

Dr. Stella has extensive experience in leading district and school wide literacy initiatives. He was a coach for aspirant administrators in UConn’s Administrator Preparation Program. Dr. Stella is currently serving as a SOR Executive Coach and CAPSS Advisor.


Poorvaja Sundar_headshot

Poorvaja Sundar, Evolutionary Learning Associate at Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL), Columbia University. Poorvaja is a former CPRL student and associate who worked on projects that helped school districts drive improvement efforts related to educational equity and learning acceleration strategies. Before CPRL, Poorvaja was integral in the founding and management of Ichchha, a non-profit focused on holistic education for low-income students in municipal schools in Mumbai, India. She earned her MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and holds a bachelor's degree in business studies from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai, India.