Jennifer Perry Cheatham, Ed.D., is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-chair of the Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard. With over twenty-five years of experience in the field of education, she has served as a teacher, teacher leader, professional developer, central office leader, area superintendent, and superintendent. She held leadership roles in the San Diego Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, and the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin, where she was superintendent. In each of these roles, she focused on creating instructional coherence, cultivating strong teams, designing systems for professional learning, and strengthening routines for organizational learning to achieve accelerated results for students. During her tenure as superintendent, in partnership with the community she served, she also introduced a new, bolder agenda grounded in a commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and alliance to children and families of color. She now teaches about system-level leadership at HGSE with a focus on leading for equity, including a course on leadership entry.
Rodney Thomas journey began as a Teacher in Chicago Public Schools where he was honored as Teacher of the Year. Rodney has worked in multiple leadership roles within various industries. He recently served as the Vice President of National Programs at Surge Institute as well as a Senior Associate at the National Equity Project, where he led complex change efforts focused on educational equity. He's worked for various fortune 500 organizations, like Accenture, Motorola, Unilever, and ABN AMRO, focusing on leadership development, organizational design, executive coaching, and change management. Rodney's experience in human centered design, has led him to partner with some of the nations top academic institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Chicago.
Currently, Rodney works with leaders and institutions across multiple sectors to empower people to generate change and move forward with new approaches that drive impact through his own consulting practice, CenterForward.
Dr. Adam Parrott-Sheffer is a former award-winning special education teacher, principal, and district administrator for early childhood and multilingual learners who has worked in neighborhood, charter, and independent schools for almost two decades. He served as a special assistant to the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education focused on increasing access to high school equivalency programs and improving academic outcomes for court-involved youth. Currently he works with rural, urban, and suburban school and system leaders globally to improve learning through data, design leadership pathways with special attention to entry, and successfully execute strategy. He teaches university and professional education courses focused on anti-racist coaching, entry for equity leaders, and change management.
He is the strategy advisor to Harvard’s Data Wise Project and co-chair of the Data Wise in Action Institute. However, his favorite job in education is serving as a volunteer at the neighborhood school where his children attend.
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