Superintendents and other district leaders came together at Mashpee High School for a 3-day conference for the 28th Annual Paul J. Andrews Executive Institute. It was another complex and challenging year for district leaders, maybe one of the hardest ever; but all were excited to come together.
Pre-Conference activities on Monday included welcoming the 13th Cohort of superintendents of the New Superintendent Induction Program and a retreat of the Urban Superintendent Network with Regina Robinson, Deputy Commissioner, DESE, and CLEE.
On Day 1, John Doherty, retired Superintendent of Reading Public Schools and Chair of the Professional Development committee, welcomed attendees and spoke on the conference theme of “Looking Ahead: Promoting Equity, Wellness, Academic Achievement and a Culture of Care for All.” Keynote presenters John D’Auria and Rob Evans spoke about the challenges faced this year and helped attendees process what they have faced since the Pandemic started and what have you learned about yourself and your leadership that could serve as a guide moving forward. After the break, M.A.S.S. presented the 2nd annual Assistant Superintendent Leadership Award to Jennifer O’Neill, Assistant Superintendent of Norton Public Schools. Commissioner Jeffrey Riley joined the conference after lunch and challenged superintendents to paint the Sistine Chapel like Michelangelo to demonstrate engaging and experiential instruction and learning. The rest of day 1 was filled with thoughtful breakout presentations, operational workshops and Assistant Superintendent Ed Camps.
Day 2 welcomed Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, who sat down with Superintendents Dianne Kelly (Revere) and Patrick Tutwiler (Lynn) to have a conversation about the moral imperative to engage in anti-racism work. Following Dr. Kendi, students and superintendents joined on stage to reflect on the takeaways from the morning’s conversation. Following this panel, Dartmouth Public Schools Superintendent, Bonny Gifford, was awarded with the prestigious 2022 Christian Daoulas Award. Bonny was shocked and surprised! Day 2 concluded with some great breakout presentations on curriculum, equity, elevating the student voice, and a plethora of other topics.
Day 3 was filled with humor and student voice. The day opened with some laugher and humor from Comedian Jimmy Tingle and following an important legal presentation from Attorney Mike Long, students from Project 351 helped inspire and shared “what gives them hope?” Hearing the student voice is always important when engaging in this difficult work.
We hope our attendees had a wonderful time at the conference and were energized to return to their districts. Thank you to all our sponsors for making this conference possible and thank you to Paul Andrews as we continue his legacy.
We look forward to seeing everyone for the 29th Annual in 2023!