Parent Leadership Summit 2015

 TeachersketchThe Imperative for 21st Century Learning

October 2 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm



We are kicking off the school year with a truly wonderful event: our annual Parent Leadership Summit. The education system has been focused on testing for a decade, yet we see little improvement in closing achievement gaps. What is “The Imperative for 21st Century Learning” that research shows has the potential to curb this trend? Hear what Search Institute and Minnesota Humanities Center have discovered makes all the difference for our children’s learning.

Bonus: Join us at 10 am to network with Legislative Action Committee (LAC) members from other school districts. LAC’s are a great way for parents to influence policy makers around issues they care about in education.

Resources for Parents Advocating in their districts:

What is a Legislative Action Committee?

Resources for Organizing



Kent Pekel, President and CEO of Search Institute, will be presenting on the significance of developmental relationships.

Across the past two decades, Search Institute and others have shown that the number and intensity of high quality relationships in young people’s lives is linked to a broad range of positive outcomes, including increased student engagement, improved academic motivation, better grades, higher aspirations for the future, civic engagement, more frequent participation in college-preparatory classes and activities, and a variety of other individual outcomes. We also know that high-quality relationships are characterized as caring, supportive, meaningful, reciprocal, and resulting in young people’s sense of agency, belonging, and competence.”

Kent-PekelKent Pekel, Ed.D., is the President and CEO of Search Institute. Kent has served as the founding E.D. of the University of MN’s College Readiness Consortium and as the E.D. of Research and Development in St Paul Public Schools. Kent also held several positions in the Clinton Administration. Kent has taught at the high school level in MN and at the college level in China. Kent holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale, a Master’s in Education from Harvard and a Doctorate in Education from the University of MN. He serves on the boards of MENTOR and Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.


A team of experts from the Minnesota Humanities Center will be presenting their fascinating work on Absent Narratives and their work in Omaha Public Schools.

The Minnesota Humanities Center practices a relationship-based approach to engagement and achievement. The Strategy is about restoring relationships: to ourselves, to our students, to each other, to our communities, and to the places we live and work. By embracing and including the Absent Narratives that make up each of us and our communities, we can close the relationship gap of human understanding and empathy between us.”

MINNESOTA HUMANITIES CENTER DAVID O'FALLONDavid O’Fallon, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the Minnesota Humanities Center. His vision for the Humanities Center is to transform education and find common ground to renew and strengthen our democracy through key work with partners. Prior to taking over as President of the Humanities Center, Dr. O’Fallon served as President of the MacPhail Center for Music, Executive Director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and Director of Arts in Education for the National Endowment for the Arts.


 rose_mcgeeRose McGee. Knowing the power of story and how convening in circle impact human relations attributes to Rose’s work with the Humanities Center. Since 2012, Rose’s primary role is working with educators in Omaha Public Schools where her skills as a professional storyteller, educator, and playwright enhance her ability to develop, coordinate and facilitate. She is founder of the convening concepts: Headscarf SocietyTM, TeaLitTM, Amazing Grace Stories and co-author of the book Story Circle Stories. She earned a Master’s in Education from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Shandi DiCosimo is a Program Officer for the Minnesota Humanities Center, working collaboratively with communities across the state to plan, design, and execute programs which bring to life the stories of people and place. In her current role, Shandi facilitates content development for the Minnesota Education Strategy. Through a commitment to building foundational relationships, Shandi creates the space for participants to broaden their worldviews and seek out opportunities to amplify community solutions for change. 


Finally, Dan Solomon, Minnesota Education Advisor from U.S. Senator Al Franken‘s office will update us on the Senate’s reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. Many point to NCLB legislation as the reason for the current test mania and it will be interesting to see what reauthorization may mean for the next decade. 



OCTOBER 2, 2015