The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching held its 17th Annual National TAP Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Friday, March 24 - Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
The National TAP Conference is a dynamic gathering of practitioners, policymakers, federal, state and district administrators, organizations, foundations and businesses who play a key role in the implementation of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement and other educator effectiveness best practices across the country.
The conference is a powerful venue, both for those new to and experienced in NIET's initiatives, to learn more about them in practice and their roles on the national pulse of advancing educator effectiveness.
Attendees will experience a range of opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of NIET's systems of teacher leadership, professional development, educator evaluation and performance-based compensation, as well as network with other participants.
In addition to practitioner-focused breakout sessions, trainings and hands-on workshops, the TAP conference connects NIET's proven principles to critical issues facing America's K-12 system today.
Diane Diane Woodworth
Diane Woodworth is superintendent of Goshen Community Schools in Indiana. She began her teaching career as a math teacher at Northridge High School in Middlebury, Indiana.
Mindi Woodson is a master teacher at Central Decatur's South Elementary, working specifically with prekindergarten through second-grade students. Central Decatur is a rural district in south central Iowa that has been nationally recognized for its work to increase teacher effectiveness and student learning.
John White was named Louisiana state superintendent of education in January of 2012 and that year he launched Louisiana Believes, the state's plan to ensure every child is on track to college or a professional career. In the time since, White has worked to unify the state's early childhood system, to modernize expectations and curriculum for all students, to professionalize the preparation of educators, to provide pathways for all high school graduates, and to provide families with school options irrespective of financial means.
Fernando Valle currently serves as an associate professor of educational leadership at Texas Tech University. A former middle school teacher, middle and high school counselor, and principal of South Texas border schools, Valle prepares school leaders with competency-based work through university and public school partnerships.
Lilla Toal-Mandsager serves as an education associate in the Office of Educator Effectiveness in the South Carolina Department of Education. She manages the rollout of the new teacher evaluation system and the creation of resources to support districts with change management.
Laura Roussel is an instructional supervisor in Ascension Parish Schools, Louisiana. Roussel started her career as a classroom teacher, and has worked as a district-level teacher coach and a TAP master teacher in Ascension Parish Schools.
Scott Ridley has served as dean of the College of Education at Texas Tech University since 2011. Since that time, the College has engaged in significant reform including the evolution of all academic programs to a competency-based orientation.
Venitia Richardson leads the Teacher Quality Programs (TQP) division in the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Innovation and Improvement. As director of the TQP division office, Richardson oversees several discretionary grant programs that include Race to the Top District, The Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program, School Leader Recruitment and Support, Supporting Effective Educator Development, Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics, Teacher Quality Partnership/The Teacher and Principal Pathway and the STEM Master teacher Corp programs.
Larry Larry Polk
Larry Polk is assistant superintendent of the Terrell Independent School District in Texas.
Alan Metcalfe has worked in education for 25 years, during which he has served in varying capacities, including elementary teacher, principal, and is currently the assistant superintendent for elementary education for Goshen Community Schools in Indiana. Metcalfe was principal of West Goshen Elementary, a TAP school, before assuming his current role.
Candice Candice McQueen
Candice McQueen was sworn in as Tennessee's commissioner of education on January 17, 2015. During her first year as commissioner, McQueen led a statewide effort to create a new strategic plan and vision for schools called Tennessee Succeeds.
With 20 years of experience in Texas education, Shannon Luis is the executive director of secondary curriculum for the Somerset Independent School District. Prior, Luis served as principal of Somerset Junior High, where she led the school to two years of schoolwide achievement scores of 5. She now coordinates TAP implementation at six Somerset ISD campuses.
Rebecca Rebecca Kockler
As assistant superintendent of academics at the Louisiana Department of Education, Rebecca Kockler believes that every student in Louisiana is as capable as those in any other state. With a focus on empowering educators, Kockler has created a comprehensive academic support model that provides educators and districts unique resources and support to integrate assessments, curriculum and teacher evaluation.
Connie Kinnaird has over 34 years of experience as a teacher, elementary assistant principal, and master teacher. She is currently in her fourth year as a master teacher with the TAP System.
John John B. King Jr.
John B. King Jr. is president and CEO of The Education Trust. Prior to that, King served as U.S. Secretary of Education for President Barack Obama. In tapping him to lead the U.S. Department of Education, Obama called King "an exceptionally talented educator," citing his commitment to "preparing every child for success" and his lifelong dedication to education as a teacher, principal, and leader of schools and school systems.
As a senior research associate for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Tanee Hudgens supports all aspects of the organization's research activities. Specifically, she writes reports, briefs, and articles detailing findings, and provides research assistance to other NIET programs and personnel.
Since 2007, Saul Hinojosa has served as superintendent of Somerset Independent School District, a Texas district of over 500 employees and six school campuses. During his tenure, Somerset ISD has won numerous acclaims, including being recognized by Network Magazine for efforts to enhance STEM education.
Lisa Hendricks co-founded Partnership Academy Charter School in Richfield, Minnesota, in 2002, and currently serves as its executive director. Hendricks is a licensed K-12 principal and a certified facilitator for the Minnesota Principal's Academy through the University of Minnesota and the National Institute for School Leadership.
Theresa Hamilton is the chief academic officer for the Tangipahoa Parish School System, a rural district of 33 schools in southeast Louisiana. She oversees several departments, including Special Education, Educational Technology, Federal Programs, and K-12 Curriculum & Instruction.
Rene Diamond currently serves as the executive director of educator effectiveness at the Tennessee Department of Education where she oversees the TEAM teacher and leader evaluation system. Her specific interest is in improving the accuracy of educator evaluation and connecting it to high quality feedback.
Chris Coffelt serves as shared superintendent for Central Decatur and Lamoni community school districts in Decatur County, Iowa. Coffelt has worked in public education for the past 23 years in urban (Kansas City, Kansas), suburban (Liberty, Missouri) and rural (Decatur County, Iowa) settings.
Vickie Carpenter is the assistant superintendent for Perry Township Schools. As assistant superintendent, Carpenter supports multiple programs, including Elementary Education, Special Education, Title I, English Learner, Early Childhood, and Professional Development.
Lisa Carpenter, who has been a teacher for 19 years, works as a master teacher at Goshen Middle School in Goshen, Indiana, where she supports 30+ teachers in cluster each week and provides regular follow-up.
Cade Brumley has served as superintendent of DeSoto Parish Schools since 2012. During his tenure, the district has seen impressive improvements, including a jump from 45th to 14th in an academic performance rating of over 70 districts and the district's first-ever A rating by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Holly Boffy is the vice president and district 7 member of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). She is also the 2010 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year and program director of teacher development for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
Julee Becker is the superintendent of Slaton Independent School District, a district of four campuses located in the Texas panhandle. As superintendent, Becker strives to set data-based goals, while providing professional development opportunities for educators, school board and community members.
Lorimer Lorimer Arendse
Lorimer Arendse is in his third year as principal at Grand Prairie High School, an urban school in central Texas that serves middle- to low-income students.