18th National TAP Conference: How Can Maximizing Teacher Leader Roles Transform Schools?

March 19, 2018

18th National TAP Conference: How Can Maximizing Teacher Leader Roles Transform Schools?

The TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement creates a structure of mentor and master teachers who work alongside administrators to drive instruction and coach faculty. 1,000 attendees from across the U.S. will share how these formal roles are essen


National organizations and state policymakers have placed a greater focus on teacher leadership over the past decade, which can go far to attract and retain talented teachers and guard against teacher shortages. Yet more often than not, models of teacher leadership do not have the formal structure to be successful. Moreover, educators willing to fill the massive capacity gap in instructional leadership are not provided with the authority, support or tools to significantly improve teaching and accelerate student learning.

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching partners with schools, districts, states and universities to reverse this trend. Through the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement and other educator effectiveness best practices implemented across the country, NIET facilitates the creation of:

  • Collaborative leadership teams, made up of mentor and master teachers, who work alongside administrators to drive instruction and coach faculty
  • Daily, ongoing and job-embedded professional learning based on the specific needs of teachers and students within the school building
  • Regular observation, co-teaching and feedback to ensure professional learning sessions are directly impacting the classroom
  • Opportunities for performance-based compensation determined by growth in teacher practice and student achievement, and for assuming increased roles and responsibilities

The 18th National TAP Conference, themed "Advancing Teacher Leadership," will bring together educators, policymakers, researchers and other influential leaders who are on the forefront of developing formal teacher leadership roles. As states and localities look to implement plans in the era of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), attendees—many of whom are master and mentor teachers—will share their experiences in maximizing the impact of teacher leaders to move schools forward.

Evidence shows that TAP's structures are making a difference. TAP System schools are thriving at faster rates than comparable non-TAP schools. And 88 percent of continuing TAP System schools are achieving at least one year’s academic growth as compared to 77 percent in similar non-TAP schools. As of 2017, 94 percent of administrators report that TAP has made their teachers more effective, and 90 percent assert that TAP has helped them retain effective teachers.

"In leveraging best practices across the faculty, school leadership teams have the ability to significantly improve student achievement and create a deep pipeline of effective educators to sustain growth," says NIET Chairman and TAP Founder Lowell Milken. "The TAP conference will amplify the voices of teacher leaders and provide a powerful platform of exchange."     

"Our work over the past two decades shows that when schools provide teachers with the opportunities to take on leadership roles and participate in critical decision-making, everyone wins," adds NIET CEO Dr. Gary Stark. "We are excited to welcome teacher leaders from a range of educational settings, all unified towards a goal of increasing instructional skills and raising achievement."

Among the hundreds of schools represented at the conference, five are finalists for the prestigious TAP Founder’s Award, NIET's highest honor for exemplary implementation of the TAP System. Each finalist school will receive a plaque and $10,000. The winner, announced at the finalists' recognition luncheon at noon on Friday, March 23, will receive the $50,000 grand prize. The finalists are:


Friday, March 23 – Saturday, March 24, 2018


Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
Oxon Hill, MD 20745


View the agenda: http://www.niet.org/tap-system/tap-conferences-trainings/2018-tap-conference/2018-tap-conference-agenda.

Confirm final rooms of each event upon arrival to the conference.


Friday, March 23:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Keynote Address by Lowell Milken
  • Noon: TAP Founder's Award Finalists' Luncheon, plus announcement of winner
  • 10:15 a.m.: Developing Teacher Leadership: Roles of State, District and School Leaders, moderated by NIET Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer Patrice Pujol
  • 1:45 p.m.: Career Pathways in Action, moderated by NIET Co-President and Chief Learning Officer Joshua Barnett
  • 3:30 p.m.: National Perspectives on Strengthening Instructional Leadership, moderated by NIET Chief Policy Officer Kristan Van Hook

Saturday, March 24:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Unleashing Teacher Leadership, moderated by NIET Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer Patrice Pujol
  • 10:15 a.m.: How Rural Is Different: The Importance of Teacher Leadership Teams in Rural Schools, moderated by NIET Co-President and Chief Learning Officer Joshua Barnett
  • Noon: Luncheon program by NIET CEO Gary Stark, who will recognize the NIET board members and 2018 educator advisory board members. Guest Speaker: Norm Conard, executive director of the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes
  • 1:45 p.m.: Educator Preparation: Policies Impacting and Driving Success, moderated by NIET Chief Policy Officer Kristan Van Hook

Hear from leaders including:

  • Lowell Milken, NIET Chairman and TAP Founder
  • Gary Stark, NIET Chief Executive Officer
  • Patrice Pujol, NIET Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer
  • Joshua Barnett, NIET Co-President and Chief Learning Officer
  • Kristan Van Hook, NIET Chief Policy Officer
  • Christopher Rinkus, Special Assistant, U.S. Department of Education
  • Venitia Richardson, Director of Teacher Quality Programs, U.S. Department of Education
  • Roberto Rodriguez, President and CEO, Teach Plus
  • Seth Gerson, Program Director, National Governor’s Association Center on Best Practices
  • Gail Morgan, Associate Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Holly Boffy, Vice President and District 7 Member, Louisiana BESE
  • Fernando Valle, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Program Coordinator, Texas Tech University
  • Gerri Maxwell, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University – Kingsville
  • Nancy Perry, Associate Dean for Grants and Partnerships, Arizona State University
  • Julee Becker, Superintendent, Slaton Independent School District (TX)
  • Chris Coffelt, Superintendent, Central Decatur Community School District (IA)
  • Kevin R. George, St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools (LA)
  • Saul Hinojosa, Superintendent, Somerset Independent School District (TX)
  • Doug Wheeler, Superintendent, Saydel Community School District (IA)
  • Lee Wilkerson, Superintendent, Manchester City Schools (TN)
  • Diane Woodworth, Superintendent, Goshen Community Schools (IN)
  • Benita Young, Superintendent, Madison Parish School District (LA)

Plus, dozens of practitioner- and trainer-led sessions will discuss the TAP System's day-to-day operations in schools. Topics will include developing master and mentor teachers, refining coaching techniques and critically analyzing data to form strategies. Participants will also learn how to maximize the benefits of NIET's EE PASS online portal, which provides educators with real-time training and data to improve classroom practice.

Learn more about the need for the TAP System: http://www.niet.org/newsroom/videos/event/22/52


News: http://www.niet.org/tap-system/tap-conferences-trainings/2018-tap-conference  

Twitter: @NIETteach (http://www.twitter.com/NIETteach); @tapsystem (http://www.twitter.com/tapsystem)

Hashtag: #tapcon18 

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YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/NIETteach

Web: www.niet.org


Jana Rausch, Communications Director
(310) 570-4774 office
(310) 435-9259 cell