Public Schools Week 2021
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Exemplary Educators Named to "Speaking Up for Public Schools" Panel Discussion

Each year Public Schools Week brings together Learning First Alliance members, educators, parents, business and community leaders, and many others across the country to show the strength—and potential—of our nation’s public schools and our students’ futures. Even now, public schools are making connections each day with their students, families and broader communities.

We will celebrate Public Schools Week 2021, Feb. 22-26, virtually. On Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. EST the Learning First Alliance and its members will host a discussion on what has beenstudent with backpack on stairway learned and how public schools can move forward from the Covid-19 pandemic. The event will spotlight social-emotional learning and how the educators are meeting student needs as well as future needs. The show can be viewed on LFA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Panelists include:

Rosamund Looney, First Grade Teacher, Jefferson Parish, La.
Kimberly White-Smith, Dean, College of Education at University of La Verne, Calif.
Olivia Carter, ASCA School Counselor of the Year 2021, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Pete Just, school technology specialist and CoSN president, Wayne Township, Ind.
Leslie Boggs, business owner, parent and National PTA president, Texas
Charlie Wilson, school board member and NSBA president, Worthington, Ohio
Lesley Bruinton, Director of Public Relations, Tuscaloosa City Schools, Ala.
Kimbrelle Barbosa Lewis, elementary school principal and NAESP president, Memphis, Tenn.
Richard Gordon, high school principal and NASSP Principal of the Year 2021, Philadelphia, Pa.

Benjamin Chavis, Jr., President & CEO, National Newspaper Publishers Association, and Becky Pringle, President, National Education Association also will speak on racial justice and equity issues.

If you are not able to join the live stream, the recording will be available on YouTube and Facebook. Be sure to check out LFA's YouTube channel after the event for new videos that show a few of the many innovations that came out of virtual teaching and learning.

Rosamund Looney

New Podcasts from Exemplary Educators

Last week LFA Executive Director Richard M. Long spoke with Nicole Kirby, the incoming president of the National School Public Relations Association, about the myriad duties of a school district communications officer, from strategic communications, transparency with the public, advocating for students, and ensuring all employees in the district understand new initiatives and why changes in programs and policies may occur. Kirby explains how her office pivoted last year to engage parents and communicate district plans, including staff vaccination plans and logistics for returning to school.  

AASA's National Superintendent of the Year 2020 Gustavo Balderas, now head of the Edmonds, Wash. public schools, speaks about  the impact of the upheaval on students and school staff. In this podcast, Balderas describes his vision for schools moving forward and ways that the pandemic has helped expose and can ease inequities in schools, such as allowing students to continue virtual learning outside their home schools. 

Listen to the entire collection of "Speaking Up for Public Schools" podcasts at or on iTunes accounts. Stay tuned for insightful new segments this week and next month.
Gustavo Balderas
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