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Opening Plenary
Location:
Wells Fargo Pavilion
1419 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Myrna Castrejón

President and CEO, The California Charter Schools Association

As the leader of CCSA, Myrna manages the membership organization representing California’s public charter schools, since January 2019. Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO, she served for nearly three years as the Founding Executive Director of Great Public Schools Now, an organization created in winter 2015. As the Executive Director, Myrna led Great Public Schools Now's strategy in transforming education in Los Angeles by expanding high-quality public schools of diverse governance models in the areas most in need of support.

Prior to Great Public Schools Now Myrna worked at the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) in various key leadership roles since its founding in late 2003, most recently as the Acting Chief Executive Officer and prior to that heading the government affairs, local advocacy, quality, school development, and research and evaluation portfolios at various times. Her work with CCSA was preceded by a decade in school reform efforts in Texas and Los Angeles. In the late 1990s-early 2000s, Myrna served as a consultant to the state-funded Urban Education Partnership/LAUSD where she helped to develop eight innovative early education service centers in the most high-need areas of Los Angeles; she served as VP of School and Family Networks for the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement and the director for family engagement for the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project. In Texas, Myrna spearheaded parent and community engagement efforts at the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, a K-16 systemic reform initiative and piloted a model for pre-service teachers to work organically with parents and community during their clinical assignments, which was adopted as a program requirement for all teachers at the University of Texas at El Paso.

She served for nearly a decade as a key education leader, supporting organizing strategies for the Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation and its statewide Alliance Schools Initiative to develop parent, teacher and community capacity to transform low-performing schools into high achieving centers for community-wide change. An experienced trainer and public speaker, Myrna receives frequent invitations to lead professional development seminars, deliver keynote presentations and make media appearances, particularly on matters of Latino student achievement and effective parent and civic engagement in transforming public education. She served as Vice President and then a term as President of the National Board of Parents for Public Schools, a network of twenty-four local organizations that support public education reform across the United States.

In these positions, Myrna saw parents’ deep desire to give their children real high-quality education opportunities when faced with so few choices. Her passion for this critical work comes from her background as a mother and an immigrant, and what she has seen is possible when commitment, opportunity and urgency meet to help families carve out better futures.

In 2013, Myrna was named ‘Education Reformer to Watch’ by the Walton Family Foundation. She is also a fellow of the Aspen Pahara Education Fellowship's eighth class and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.




Opening Plenary
Location:
Wells Fargo Pavilion
1419 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Gregory McGinity

Executive Director, CCSA Advocates

Gregory McGinity is the Executive Director for CCSA Advocates. Previously, Mr. McGinity served as the Executive Director of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, a where he led the Foundation’s investments in education programs, policy, advocacy and research aimed at improving public urban education. While at the Foundation, Mr. McGinity took a leave of absence to serve as the Chief of Staff to the California Secretary of Education. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. McGinity was the Senior Education Policy Consultant to the California State Board of Education and served on the legislative staffs of two Members of Congress. Mr. McGinity also served a Legislative Liaison in the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education.

Mr. McGinity is a native of Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from UC Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School, where he was a Sigoloff Fellow. Mr. McGinity has served as a Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.




Opening Plenary
Location:
Wells Fargo Pavilion
1419 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Margaret Fortune

President and CEO of Fortune School of Education

Margaret Fortune is President/CEO of Fortune School of Education. Under Fortune’s leadership, the organization launched a network of K-12 public charter schools in Sacramento and San Bernardino, focused on closing the African American achievement gap. The network currently includes seven schools with combined enrollment of over 1700 students. Fortune also operates a graduate school of education, credentialing teachers and school administrators for a consortium of over 60 school districts and charter schools. In 2017, Fortune opened an early college high school in partnership with Cosumnes River College and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Students are able to earn their high school diploma and their associate’s degree upon graduation. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Fortune served as an education adviser to two California Governors. Fortune is a Trustee Emerita of the California State University, a Pahara-Aspen Fellow, and incoming Board Chair for the California Charter Schools Association.




Wednesday Plenary
Location:
Wells Fargo Pavilion
1419 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Arne Duncan

Former United States Secretary of Education.

Arne Duncan was the ninth U.S. Secretary of Education. Duncan served under President Barack Obama from January 20, 2009 through January 1, 2016.

Duncan’s tenure as secretary was marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama’s investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools. Additionally, he helped secure an additional $10 billion to avoid teacher layoffs; the elimination of student loan subsidies to banks; and a $500 million national competition for early learning programs. Under Duncan’s leadership at the Department, the Race to the Top program was given the incentives, guidance, and flexibility it needed to support reforms in states. The Department also focused billions of dollars to transform struggling schools, prompting nearly 1,000 low-performing schools nationwide to recruit new staff, adopt new teaching methods and add learning time.

In support of President Obama’s goal for the United States to produce the highest percentage of college graduates by the year 2020, Duncan helped secure increases in the Pell grant program to boost the number of young Americans attending college and receiving postsecondary degrees. He instituted new efforts to ensure that colleges and universities provide more transparency around graduation, job placement and student loan default rates. With the income-based repayment program introduced during Duncan’s tenure, student loan payments are being reduced for college graduates in low-paying jobs, and loans will be forgiven after 10 years for persons in certain public service occupations, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters.

Before becoming secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008. In that time, he won praise for uniting education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening more than 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down underperforming schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives. Duncan is credited with significantly raising student performance on national and state tests, increasing graduation rates and the numbers of students taking Advanced Placement courses, and boosting the total number of scholarships secured by CPS students to more than $150 million.

Prior to joining the Chicago Public Schools, from 1992 to 1998, Duncan ran the nonprofit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative, which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children under the I Have A Dream program. He was part of a team that later started a new public elementary school built around a financial literacy curriculum, the Ariel Community Academy, which today ranks among the top elementary schools in Chicago. From 1987 to 1991, Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.

Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, after majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard’s basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American.

In 2016, Duncan returned to his hometown on a mission to improve the lives of young adults as managing partner at Emerson Collective, an organization headed by Laurene Powell Jobs. At Emerson Collective, Duncan works with local business leaders, community organizers, and nonprofit groups, to create job and life opportunities for disconnected youth between the ages of 17 and 24.




Wednesday Plenary
Location:
Wells Fargo Pavilion
1419 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Dr. Steve Perry

Founder & Head of Capital Preparatory Schools

Dr. Steve Perry is one of the most sought after Nationwide Motivational Speaker in America. Widely respected by grassroots community members and internationally renowned leaders as an educator, social worker and public speaker, his charismatic and compelling voice is an inspiration.

He is the educator Oprah Winfrey, Sean "P-Diddy" Combs, Bishop TD Jakes and Steve Harvey call on to offer insight to parents and children. A diverse array of politicians and groups, from the Urban League to ALEC, have reached out to Dr. Perry to better understand what matters to parents.

Dr. Steve Perry opened his third school, helped Steve Harvey write his new book "Jump," has spoken in over 79 communities and completed his sixth book "Transparanting" in the beginning of 2018 and for 2019 is working on his fourth school with Sean "Diddy" Combs as an investor pledging 1 million dollars to fund the school for local youth.  His impact is profound and varied and showing no signs of slowing down.

The word most often used to describe Dr. Steve Perry as one of the best motivational speakers in America is passionate. His authenticity is a welcomed addition to any discussion rooted in improving children's lives and the community. His skills are hard-fought and have been bestowed from his rough childhood all the way up through his graduation from an Ivy League school.  There's a richness in his concepts that foster an intriguing point of view on the modern American family.

Dr. Steve Perry's unique and powerful voice is respected and has been featured on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, Al Jazeera, TV One, BET and NBC as well as on the Oprah Winfrey network in multiple shows.  His courage and piercing insights provide a fascinating perspective that is not often found in public discourse.  Too often race, class, gender, and political affiliations mute other voices. Dr. Steve Perry fearlessly speaks from the heart, which births unpredictability.  Premiering January 7, 2019, his new daytime talk show "Breakthrough with Dr. Steve Perry" will air on Fox.

Dr. Steve Perry is the voice of a generation, a people's champion who has been fighting for disadvantaged children and families for 30 years. Passionate and surprisingly funny, Dr. Steve Perry is a man worth listening to.




Closing Plenary
Location:
3rd Floor Ballroom, Sacramento Convention Center

Doug Lemov

Managing Director, Teach Like A Champion

Doug Lemov is the author of the international bestseller Teach Like a Champion, (Now called Teach Like a Champion 2..0). He has also coauthored Practice Perfect and Reading Reconsidered: A Practical Guide to Rigorous Literacy Instruction, with colleagues at Uncommon Schools where is Managing Director of a team that studies teachers.  He has been an English teacher, a dean of students and a principal.  He graduated from Hamilton College, has an MA in English from Indiana University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He lives in Albany, NY with his wife and three children