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Posted October 29, 2013

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Two Dozen APS Educators to Present at National Conference in ABQ this Week

The Council of the Great City Schools will hold its 57th annual fall conference at the Albuquerque Convention Center and Hyatt Regency beginning Wednesday.

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Albuquerque Public Schools will host nearly 1,000 big-city school superintendents, board members and senior administrators during the 57th annual Council of the Great City Schools conference beginning Wednesday.

About two dozen APS educators will present at the conference with a focus on Common Core State Standards, bilingual education, turn-around schools and district and school leadership. The conference will be held through Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center and Hyatt Regency.

“This is an exciting time in public education, and the Council provides indispensable leadership and advocacy to its member districts,” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks, who served as the chair of the executive board of the Council of the Great City Schools. “Under the guidance of Executive Director Michael Casserly and members of the Executive Committee, the Council gives us a seat at the table in the national education debate.”

On Thursday, APS Board of Education member David Peercy will be honored among the finalists for the nation’s highest urban education award recognizing district leaders for exceptional contributions to schools and students. This year’s winner of the Richard R. Green Urban Educator of the Year award, recognizing school board members, will be announced during a ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hyatt Regency. Four other big-city school board members are in the running along with Peercy.

National guest speakers at the conference include NFL Super Bowl-winning Coach Tony Dungy, who will be speaking at lunch at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Convention Center. In addition, the former Indianapolis Colts coach will attend a pep rally at Albuquerque High School at 10 that morning.

Other national speakers include military veteran Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, who will speak about leadership at Friday’s breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Convention Center; and CNN political analyst David Gergen who will speak at Friday’s lunch at 12:30 p.m., also at the Convention Center.

On Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Convention Center, Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree will moderate a town hall discussion on race, language and culture in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict. Superintendents, board members and senior administrators will discuss the cultural dynamics of stereotyping, profiling and bullying among other issues. APS students will have an opportunity to weigh in on the topic during the 90-minute discussion that will be streamed live on the New Mexico PBS website.

The conference also will include more than 75 discussion sessions including several presented by APS educators. The APS presentations include:


  • Lynne Rosen, director of Language and Cultural Equity; Nana Encinias, instructional manager; and Denise Balderas, resource teacher, will discuss the changing culture of instruction for English Language Learners.
  • Joseph Escobedo, chief of staff, will join a panel discussion on public and higher education partnerships.
  • Math teachers Ronda Davis, RuthieAnn Trujillo and Luis Guzman will join Matthew Lindsey-Paek, autism program teacher, will participate in a panel discussion on engaging students in math through technology.
  • Telse Reiser, the principal of the APS Autism Center, will join Special Education Executive Director Anne Tafoya for a discussion on supporting a range of autism programs and interventions.
  • Jami Jacobson, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction; Shelly Green, Chief Academic Officer; Cathy Lucas, instructional manager for Curriculum and Instruction; Donna Key, elementary principal support; and Sheila Hyde, director of professional learning, will serve on a panel that looks at changing the learning culture through the Common Core.
  • Superintendent Winston Brooks will serve on a panel that looks at moving standardized tests from paper and pencil to computers.
  • Lynne Rosen and Nana Encinias will join instructional manager Greg Hansen and district resource teacher Danielle Larranaga for a talk on increasing the rigor for English Language Learners with an emphasis on complex text.
  • School Board President Martin Esquivel will facilitate a discussion on teacher evaluations with an emphasis on new teachers.
  • School Board member David Peercy will facilitate a discussion on strategies for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • Associate Superintendents Raquel Reedy and Diane Kerschen will join Chief Academic Officer Shelly Green in a discussion on helping elementary school principals implement the Common Core.


    • David Peercy will join Chief Operations Officer Brad Winter in a discussion on what data says about the correlation between certain district operational activities and improved student achievement.
    • Rose-Ann McKernan, executive director of Instruction and Accountability; Kristine Meurer, executive director of Family and Community Engagement; and Becky Almeter, director of secondary education, will serve on a panel titled “Our Children, Our Challenges, Our Future: One District’s Use of Data to Focus Staff on Improvement.”
    • Lynne Rosen will serve on a panel that looks at the role of the ESL teacher.
    • Superintendent Brooks will join Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus in a discussion on how to get all urban school students, no matter their socioeconomic background, connected to the Internet.
    • John Dufay, executive director Maintenance and Operations, will talk about preserving deteriorating public school buildings.

    Download the conference program.

      The Council of the Great City Schools is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools. Composed of 67 large city school districts, including Albuquerque Public Schools, its mission is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge in order to deliver the best possible education for urban youth. Visit the Council's website at

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