Georgia Education Leadership Institute 2015

September 9-11, 2015
Marriott Marquis, Atlanta GA

Special Announcement!
Governor Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal
will be speaking at the Institute.


To download a list of breakout sessions, please click here.

Click here to apply to be an exhibitor.

Would you like to sponsor the Institute? Click here.

Click here to download the Institute brochure.


GA Sponsors

Georgia Conference Sponsors

GA Highlights

  • Pre-Institute Learning Sessions
  • 40 Breakout Sessions
  • Exhibit Hall
  • PLU credits available
  • Breakfast provided on Thursday and Friday
  • Lunch provided on Friday
  • Door prizes

GA Pre-Institute Learning Sessions

These Pre-Institute sessions are FREE with your paid Institute registration ($125) and are being held on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Choose one of the following!

Pre-Institute Learning Session One
Thinking Outside the Book: Georgia's Action-Oriented Agenda for Student Success

Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.Part ONE: Physical Activity + Your School = Student Success
Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.

About This Session: Georgia SHAPE is Governor Nathan Deal's unique public-private initiative to promote physical activity and build a culture of wellness among the state's youth. We know that childhood obesity decreases academic performance, increases the chances of sickness and disease, and shortens life expectancy. This presentation will show how key components of SHAPE - assessing children's fitness zones through FitnessGram and increasing physical activity by 30 minutes during the school day with Power Up for 30 - are having a positive impact on the overall health, fitness, and learning ability of Georgia's most precious resource: our children.

Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., serves as the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and State Health Officer. A board-certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist and a Fellow in Anti-Aging Medicine, Fitzgerald directs various state public health programs and leads the state's 18 public health districts and 159 county health departments. She previously served on the board and as president of the Georgia OB-GYN Society and has worked as a healthcare policy advisor with House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Paul Coverdell. She has served as Chairman of the Board for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and remains a Senior Fellow.

Arianne Weldon, MPHPart TWO: The Get Georgia Reading Campaign: A Platform to Profoundly Change the Education Conversation
Arianne Weldon, MPH

About This Session: The Get Georgia Reading Campaign was developed to make sure that every child in Georgia will be on a path to third grade reading proficiency by 2020. Participants will learn about the Campaign's common agenda and its strategic pillars, and will hear examples of how it is being applied at the state and local level. Participants will also see how, by analyzing data across sectors, with a shared population focus, they can reach a better understanding of the determinants of low reading proficiency and use that information to strengthen the four pillars in their local communities.

Since December 2012, Arianne Weldon has served as the director of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, Arianne previously served as the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Title V Administrator for the Georgia Department of Public Health. Prior to joining the Georgia MCH Program in 2010, she was the Director of State Partnership Strategies for Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) where she served as liaison to state-level population-based initiatives geared toward improving child and family well-being. Arianne also spent five years with GaFCP as a Community Facilitator and two years as liaison to the state Medicaid agency. Arianne holds a Master of Public Health from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Georgia State University.


Pre-Institute Learning Session Two
The Two Faces of Accountability

Melissa FincherMelissa Fincher

About This Session: Back by popular demand, this session will focus on the nuts and bolts of the Georgia Milestones assessment system and CCRPI, the College and Career Ready Performance Index. Back by popular demand, Melissa Fincher, GaDOE's Deputy Superintendent for Assessment and Accountability, will reveal how Georgia Milestones and CCRPI are developed and calculations are made for student, school and district scores. She will share lessons learned from the first year administration of Georgia Milestones – from the online and paper perspective. She will also explain how these two systems work together to fulfil both state and federal accountability laws. Melissa will focus on the importance of accurate data input. There will be lots of time for questions and answers. So, if you ever wanted to know the difference between a "priority" or "focus" school; why Georgia needs a federal "waiver"; what is an Exceeding the Bar Indicator; or when does erasure analysis become a concern, be sure to check out this pre-conference session.

Melissa Fincher has worked in the field of assessment for over 20 years. Her background includes experience with assessments in both university and K-12 settings. She has developed and managed a number of large-scale, high-stakes assessment programs for both Tennessee and Georgia. In her present role as the Deputy Superintendent for Assessment and Accountability at the Georgia Department of Education, she oversees the development of all Georgia assessment and accountability programs. She is responsible for ensuring these programs meet high standards for technical defensibility. Melissa has served as the principal investigator in several grants and research projects and has presented at numerous professional conferences. 

GA Education Leadership Keynotes

Thursday, September 10th (Opening Morning Session)

Dr. Tim ElmoreMarching off the Map: Pioneering New Territory to Meet the Needs of Today's Students
Dr. Tim Elmore

Speaker Bio: Dr. Tim Elmore is a leading authority on how to understand the next generation and prepare tomorrow's leaders today. He is a best-selling author, international speaker, and president of Growing Leaders, a nonprofit that helps develop emerging leaders under the philosophy that each child is born with leadership qualities. He has spoken to more than 350,000 students and staff on hundreds of campuses across the country; taught leadership courses at corporations such as Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot, American Eagle Outfitters, etc.; and spoken in over 40 countries, including Russia and China.

Dr. Elmore has written more than 25 books, including the best-selling, Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes®, and written for several blogs. He has had media coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Investor's Business Daily, Huffington Post, MSNBC.com, The Washington Post, WorkingMother.com, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and Portfolio.com. Tim has appeared on CNN's Headline News and FOX & Friends discussing parenting trends and advice.

About This Session: Tim's session is titled, Marching off the Map: Pioneering New Territory to Meet the Needs of Today's Students. The Baby Boomers were the first generation who grew up with the one-eyed babysitter: the TV. Today, they are parents and teachers, and are now raising a generation of firsts - kids who are growing up with a portable device in their hands. How do we navigate this world that isn't going away, but that is reducing the empathy, patience and emotional intelligence of our young people? This session provides a compass for leading a generation of "firsts." It is full of practical tips for marching into new territory, while enabling our "Generation Z" kids and students to embrace timeless values and skills.

Attendees will learn how students' brains are different today, since they've grown up with pixels and screens; what educators can do to increase the attention spans in students and their grasps of major concepts; when creativity is most essential and what we can do to engage students' creativity; how educators can capitalize on the predisposition and bias of Generation Z; and what critical elements must we furnish to best prepare student's to thrive and serve their community.


Thursday, September 10th (Special Luncheon)

Georgia Governor Nathan DealGovernor Nathan Deal: Under the Governor's leadership, Georgia has risen to become the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business, a goal achieved by creating the Competitiveness Initiative, reforming the state tax code, shaping Georgia's educational system to support workforce needs and recruiting businesses to relocate here. Though he has reduced the size of state government, Gov. Deal has prioritized education and child safety funding as state revenues rebound from the Great Recession. In 2014, the Governor increased K-12 spending by more than half a billion dollars, the largest increase in education in seven years, and in his 2015 State of the State address he proposed the creation of a new Opportunity School District to rescue failing schools.

Georgia First Lady Sandra DealFirst Lady Sandra Deal: The daughter of educators, the First Lady has dedicated her life to encouraging childhood education. As a Georgia public school teacher, she taught for more than 15 years and retired as a sixth-grade middle school teacher in Hall County. She has furthered those efforts in her role as Georgia’s First Lady, and promoting literacy has been one of her top priorities. As part of her “Read Across Georgia” tour, Sandra has visited and read to students in all 159 counties and 181 school districts to encourage student literacy. To date, she has visited over 500 schools in Georgia, encouraging students to love reading and to become lifelong learners. Like her husband, the First Lady believes a good education is the key to future success.

Special Luncheon sponsored by


Friday, September 11th (Luncheon Speaker)

Mateo R. MagdalenoI DON’T QUIT (IDQ)
Mateo R. Magdaleno

Speaker Bio: Empowerment Speaker - Mateo R. Magdaleno is an Author, Philanthropist and the Chief Education Officer of the IDQ Group Inc., with an inspiring story that stresses the importance of never giving up on the pursuit of ones purpose despite the challenges involved. Today, Mateo is giving back to the community by dedicating his life to students across the world through the Magdaleno Leadership Institute. His message challenges people of all walks of life to be courageous in the face of great adversity. Through the use of powerful real life narratives, Mateo’s message inspires and motivates his audience to action.

About This Session: The empowerment performance,  I DON’T QUIT, or IDQ, is an initiative started in high schools throughout North and Central America to empower students through a real life narrative.  It has now evolved to a movement that involves education professionals, entrepreneurs and aspiring world changers. During the empowerment speech Raul shares his "slums-to-success" life story interpreted through various creative forms.

The goal of the empowerment speech performance is to... educate, engage and empower. Be sure not to miss this inspiring session!

Georgia Education Leadership Plenary

A Special Plenary Session will be held Thursday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. ­- 3:45 p.m., and is designed for you to hear directly from State leaders and our educational partners in Georgia.

Superintendent Richard WoodsSuperintendent Richard Woods
State School Superintendent

Richard Woods has over 22 years of pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. Woods was a high school teacher for 14 years, serving as department chair and teacher mentor. During his tenure, he was also selected as Teacher of the Year. For eight years Woods served in various administrative roles such as assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, pre-k director, and alternative school director. He also brings a business background to the superintendent's position, having been a purchasing agent for a national/multi-national laser company and a former small business owner.

Commissioner Amy JacobsCommissioner Amy Jacobs
Commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

Amy Jacobs was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal as Interim Commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning in June 2014. In January 2015, she was sworn in as permanent commissioner. Commissioner Jacobs leads the agency responsible for the early care and education of hundreds of thousands of Georgia's children. She oversees an annual budget of $700 million for programs focused on child care licensing, child and adult care nutrition, child care quality, and early childhood education, specifically Georgia's Pre-K Program. Before joining Bright from the Start, Commissioner Jacobs served as Senior Policy Adviser for the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget (OPB).

Commissioner Gretchen CorbinCommissioner Gretchen Corbin
Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia

Before her appointment as Commissioner of the Technical College System, Gretchen Corbin previously served as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. She also served as deputy commissioner for Global Commerce at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where she had worked since 1998 in a wide variety of roles. She is involved in a number of professional and civic organizations, including serving as the chairman of Leadership Georgia and as a member of the board of visitors for the University of Georgia.

Chancellor Hank HuckabyChancellor Hank Huckaby
Chancellor of the University System of Georgia

Since May of 2011, Henry "Hank" Huckaby has served as the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia. He oversees 30 public colleges and universities with a $7.7 billion annual budget and 43,000 faculty and staff fulfilling the teaching, research and public service mission to 312,000 students. The Georgia Public Library System and the Georgia Archives are also part of the University System.

Prior to becoming Chancellor, Huckaby was a teacher and administrator in the University System, and has taught at private colleges and universities. He also served in the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, first as a senior policy coordinator and later as its director, as well as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and as the executive director of the Georgia Residential Finance Authority. Huckaby has represented Georgia House District 113 as a Republican.

Chairman Dr. Charles KnappChairman Dr. Charles Knapp
Chairman of the New Education Reform Commission

Dr. Charles B. Knapp is an economist and educator. He is the President Emeritus of the University of Georgia. Dr. Knapp served as the President of the University from 1987 to 1997 and was President of the Aspen Institute from 1997 to 1999. From 2005 to 2011, he was Chairman of the Board of the East Lake Foundation, the organization responsible for the highly successful community redevelopment project in Southeast Atlanta. Previously, he chaired the New Commission of the Skills of the American Workforce which in 2007 issued the influential report on training and education, Tough Choices or Tough Times. He currently serves on the boards of Aflac, Inc. and the Wormsloe Foundation.

GA Breakout Sessions

40 Informative Breakout Sessions! Track descriptions below.

Culture of Success
This series of sessions will highlight best practices around the state in curriculum, career pathways, and classroom instruction.

Career Pathways
The focus of these sessions will be on Georgia's four primary career pathways: (1) Advanced Academics; (2) CTAE Pathways; (3) Fine Arts and (4) World Language. Learn how to partner with businesses in your community to create courses that lead to jobs for your graduates.

School Climate & Safety
A positive school climate directly impacts indicators of success such as increased teacher retention, lower dropout rates, decreased incidences of violence, and higher student achievement. Come learn about the four major categories that shape perception of school climate: safety; teaching and learning; interpersonal relationships; and the institutional environment.

Teacher & Leader Development
This track will focus on teacher effectiveness and development. It will also address the effectiveness and development of instructional and other leaders.

Business and Operational Management
This track is designed for CFOs, Finance Directors and other professionals in your district's business office. 

Pam Allyn sponsored by PearsonA look at one of our
featured speakers:

Pam Allyn

Pam AllynPam Allyn is a world-renowned literacy expert, author and motivational speaker who has received many awards. She is the founding director of LitWorld, a global literacy initiative serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries, and LitLife, a cutting-edge consulting group working with schools to enrich best practice teaching methods and building curriculum for reading and writing.

Pam is featured widely in the press and on the blogosphere as a reading expert for both home and school. She has been seen most recently on NBC News, CNN, and Al Jazeera, speaking to the power of education and literacy to transform lives and to create gender equity. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post and in The New York Times.

A New Story for a New Era of Readers

In this session, Ms. Allyn will share ten best practices for reaching all children as readers. She will lead an in depth look at the power of student voice and choice, the integration of reading and writing, listening and speaking, and the power of accountable independent reading and cultivating a children's reading identities to make sure all students not only read at grade level by third grade, but see themselves as lifelong readers, leaders and learners.

Lifelong Readership: What Does it Take to Cultivate Courageous Readers?

Pam will share ten innovative strategies for helping all students, especially those who do not yet identify as "readers", become strong, forever readers. Taking a look at what is changing in the teaching of literacy and why it matters, Pam will address participants' most pressing questions about what key shifts can be made in this new era to ensure that every learner identifies as a reader.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration Opens
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free Pre-Institute Sessions
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Exhibits Open

Thursday, September 10, 2015

7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Registration Opens
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Exhibits Open
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Welcome Remarks and Keynote Speaker
Dr. Tim Elmore
9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Break - Visit Exhibitors
10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Breakout Sessions
11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Special Luncheon
Keynote Speaker, Governor Nathan Deal
with remarks from First Lady, Sandra Deal
12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions
2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Break - Visit Exhibitors
2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Plenary Session:
Richard Woods
, State School Superintendent

Amy Jacobs, Commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia
Hank Huckaby, Chancellor of the University System of Georgia
Dr. Charles Knapp, Chairman of the New Education Reform Commission

4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Networking Reception

Networking Reception Info

Friday, September 11, 2015

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Exhibits Open
8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions
9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Break - Visit Exhibitors
10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. General Session, Lunch, Keynote Speaker
Raul Magdaleno
Closing and Door Prizes


Georgia Education Institute

Pre-Registration is now closed, but we have room for you!
Just come to the Institute and register onsite!

Registration Form (Please Print Clearly)

Name (First and Last)_____________________________

Job Title (required please)_________________________


Email (required for confirmation)____________________

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City____________________ State_____Zip_______

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Institute registration ($125) is required to attend one of the FREE Pre-Institute sessions

Pre-Institute (Wednesday, September 9, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) Cost: $0

Please check the Pre-Institute session you plan to attend.
1. Thinking Outside the Book – Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald and Arianne Weldon
2. The Two Faces of Accountability – Melissa Fincher

Institute Registration Fee (September 9-11)        Cost: $ 125.00

Payment Method

Purchase Order
A copy of the purchase order is required. (addressed to *National Center for Youth Issues, P.O. Box 22185, Chattanooga, TN  37422-2185)

Check Enclosed
(made payable to *National Center for Youth Issues*)

Credit Card:    Personal    Corporate

Card Number______________________________

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Please note: There will be no refunds after September 1, 2015.  All cancellations before September 1, 2015 will be refunded less a $25 handling fee.

GA Accomodations

Reserve your hotel room today!
Limited Availability

Marriott Marquis AtlantaTo make hotel reservations:
The Marriott Marquis Hotel has a conference rate of $135 plus tax, which remains valid through the cutoff date of September 1, 2015, as long as rooms are available in the block. Call 1-866-469-5475. Please be sure to tell the hotel that you're with the Georgia Leadership Institute Sep 2015.

To register online:
1. Click here to go the the Marriott Marquis Web Site. Then click on the button that says "MAKE A RESERVATION."

2. Enter your check in/check out dates (ie. 9/9/15 to 9/11/15)

3. Then enter your number of rooms, guests per room, etc.. Then click the "FIND" button. You should then be taken to a page that shows the $135 per night rate.

Parking:  We have special valet pricing for parking at the hotel. The daily price is $15.00. Other parking lots close to the hotel range from $4 to $20 per day.



©2015 National Center for Youth Issues
PO Box 22185, Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185
423.899.5714   800.477.8277   Fax: 423.899.4547   email: info@ncyi.org