April 28th, 2018

Terrycita Perry-Principal of Dixon Elementary

Principal Terrycita Perry is the distinguished leader of Dixon Elementary School in the Chatham community.  A level 1+ school, Dixon was one of only two schools in CPS to receive a perfect 5 point score on the annual SQRP.  Under her leadership, students at Dixon routinely see both growth and attainment metrics that are among the highest in the city.  She will be joining us to share her philosophies on leading an urban school to greatness. 

Matt Lyon- Chief Talent Officer for CPS

As Chief Talent Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Matthew Lyons oversees the district’s human resources work, including recruitment, onboarding, staffing, feedback, evaluation and professional growth, leadership development, health and benefits, and employee retention. He has led multiple successful efforts to improve and revolutionize systems to support school leaders and educators. At the event, he will discuss ways to better support adult learning and leadership in Chicago’s schools.

January 27th, 2018

Utilizing Data Strategically with Nick Free and Luis DeLeon


Nick and Luis work for Innovare, an organization which works to create data systems that can help districts, schools and communities provide the best education for students. Through continuous data-inquiry teachers and schools can target instruction based on individual student needs.


If you are interested in working with Innovare, check out their website!


Helping Students Obtain Destiny with Corey Brooks

Pastor Corey Brooks is the founder of New Beginnings Church and Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), located in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. He will explore the question, “How can we lead a culture that combats negativity and inspires our students and families to obtain stronger destinies for themselves?

Building Capacity for Teacher Leadership with Allison Tingwall

A former teacher at North Lawndale College Prep and Resident Principal at Back of the Yards High School, Allison Tingwall is currently the Principal at Curie Metropolitan High School where she serves over 2,900 students and 270 staff members. Her presentation will examine the question, "How can teacher leaders build capacity to instill a sense of productivity and inspiration in their buildings?"

November 4th, 2017



Leading Cycle of Inquiry Work

Dr. Cynthia Barron and Ms. Didi Swartz will facilitate a discussion on leading cycles of inquiry. They will focus on exploring the question, “How can we lead teacher teams to use inquiry based approaches to achieve optimal outcomes?”




Teaching with Conscience

Dr. Bill Ayers will join us to discuss the importance of teacher-to-teacher discourse and the benefits on maintain a focus on equity in classroom culture. He will address the question, “How do we avoid allowing a culture of complaint to undermine our work as educators?”

September 9th, 2017

Dr. Decoteau Irby and Mr. Daryl Cannon: Leadership for Equity

Dr. Irby and Mr. Cannon team up to present on the topic of pushing equity-focused school leadership as a lever to improve Black and Brown children’s academic and socio-economic experiences and outcomes.

Decoteau Irby serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago where he teachers and advises in the College’s Urban Education Leadership Program. His areas of expertise include school safety and approaches to violence reduction, improving school discipline policies and practices, and culturally responsive leadership.

Daryl Cannon is a torture victim of former Area 2 Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge, who oversaw a “midnight crew” of cops who systematically tortured African American suspects.  He currently serves as the Outreach Director of the Chicago Torture Justice Center and engages torture survivors and their family members to participate in Center activities.

Dr. Gregory Jones: Teacher Leadership Matters

Dr. Jones presented on the topic of distributed leadership and the importance of strong teacher teams. As an expert on promoting teacher leadership, he will explain how teachers can take their influence and affect to a higher level at their schools.

Gregory Jones, the current principal of Kenwood Academy High School, has been an educator in Chicago Public School for 20 years. Jones has led Kenwood, whose graduation rate has increased 11{9f1e548792a631cefc03eb50e2f0ed4377cbec16f951dbd897e3c108dbaeaefc} in his tenure, to become one of the highest performing schools in the district. Before serving Kenwood, he co-founded George Westinghouse College Prep with Chicago Public Schools CEdO Dr. Janice Jackson. During his teaching days at Dunbar Academy, he was featured on CAN-TV as a Most Inspirational Teacher. The recently published New York Time article, Want to Fix Schools? Go to the Principal’s s Office, highlights Dr. Jones’ success.

Dr. Steve Tozer and Dr. Paul Zavitkovsky: The High Price of Poverty

Dr. Tozer and Dr. Zavitkovsky will present on their recently published article, The High Price of Poverty, which has been recognized by NPR, WTTW, NewsWise, Rare Chicago, the Evanston Round Table and other sources. Along with arguing that poverty is an equal-opportunity disrupter, Zavitkovsky and Tozer present data that suggest the Chicago Public School system has dramatically outperformed the rest of Illinois in test scores since 2001.

Steve Tozer is the founding coordinator and director of the UIC Ed.D. Urban Education Leadership Program, which has received national awards for exemplary practice. An expert on urban school leader preparation, he has led several public policy initiatives and is called upon regularly to address national audiences.

Paul Zavitkovksy has 30 years of experience in public education and currently serves as a Principal Leadership Coach and Assessment Specialist in Chicago. As the former principal of Boone Elementary, he led his school to win national awards for its 30-point rise in math and reading scores during years at which the school’s poverty rate increased.

April 1st, 2017

Dr. Alfred W. Tatum


Alfred W. Tatum is the Dean of the College of Education and director of the UIC Reading Clinic. Tatum’s research focuses on the literacy development of African American males, particularly the roles of texts and writing to advance their literacy development. He is interested in how texts can be used as tools to preserve one’s humanity. He is the author of Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap, Reading For Their Life: (Re) building the Textual Lineages of African American Adolescent Males, and Fearless Voices: Engaging the Next Generation of African American Male Writers.


“Alfred Tatum’s expertise as an educator and his national reputation for advancing literacy make him the ideal leader for a college that is committed to urban public education,”

-UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares

January 28th, 2017

Dr. Steve Tozer

 Steve Tozer is founding coordinator of the UIC EdD Urban Education Leadership Program and an expert on urban school leader preparation. Initiated as UIC’s first professional doctorate in Education (Ed.D.), the program has received national awards for exemplary practice. The UIC program is a charter member of the Chicago Leadership Collaborative, the nation’s first higher-education/school district coalition to produce principals for all high-need schools in the district. The UIC program has twice been featured on the cover of Education Week, once on a national PBS broadcast, and in numerous other national publications.

November 5th, 2016

Dr. Decoteau J. Irby

Dr. Decoteau J. Irby is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago where he teaches and advises in the College’s Urban Education Leadership program area. He researches equity-focused school leadership as a lever to improve Black children’s academic and socio-economic experiences and outcomes. In his own words, “My research explores how equity-focused school leadership can be used as a lever to improve Black children and youth’s academic achievement and socio-emotional well-being across a range of K-12 educational settings. Specifically, I am interested in how adults make sense of and use their personal and collective influence and resources to transform educational spaces (including the self) to benefit students of color. My substantive areas of expertise include: school safety and approaches to violence reduction; improving school discipline policies and practices; culturally responsive leadership; and positive school culture and climate. My preferred research methodology is participatory action research. I value and use both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods including “hybrid” methods such as ethnographic content analysis.”

October 1st, 2016

Dr. Paul Zavitkovsky

Paul is a Leadership Coach and Assessment Specialist. He has 30 years of experience in public education, 18 of which were spent as an elementary and middle school principal in three different communities. As principal of Boone Elementary in Chicago, the diverse, high-poverty school became the first in the district ever to receive the International Reading Association’s annual Exemplary Reading Program Award for the State of Illinois. Int he spring of 2000, the school was also one of only six schools nationally to receive the Fordham/Chase National School Change award for its exemplary turnaround effort. This award was based in part on a 30-point rise in math and reading scores during years at which the school’s poverty rate also continued to increase. Paul is committed to urban educational research, and has left a significant impact in the field. His most recent article, Taking Stock, highlights the recent successes of the Chicago Public School system, discusses historical short-comings of the way standardized assessment data is presented, and offers implications for pushing complexity and rigor with students. He is currently serving as principal coach for University of Illinois Chicago’s Urban Educational Leadership Program.