This session provides context and guidance for schools to prepare for the annual Partnership for Assessment
of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam using the Common Core Standards framework. Panelists
will offer guidance on how to prepare administrators, teachers and students for PARCC and instilling a culture
of learning. These experts will examine the challenges and opportunities that schools have in incorporating
standards and assessments into the learning environment.
Dr. Marc Aronson
Assistant Teaching Professor, Library & Information Science School of Communication and Information,
Rutgers- New Brunswick
Dr. Aronson teaches in the Masters of Information program at the Rutgers School of Communication & Information and is a frequent speaker on the Common Core State Standards.
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Dr. Tracey Severns
Director of Student Performance, Mt. Olive School District
Dr. Severns has dedicated her career to the service of students, teachers and administrators in New Jersey since 1992. Dr. Severns is an experienced presenter who has provided professional development on the Common Core State Standards, PARCC, instructional leadership, data analysis, special education, and school improvement on the state and national levels.
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Dr. Raymond Yannuzzi
President, Camden County College
Dr. Yannuzzi is the fourth president of Camden County College. He also serves as the New Jersey Higher Education Leader for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers(PARCC). He has held numerous educational and executive leadership posts in a career that has spanned 36 years and four states.
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This session of the symposia focuses on the roles school leaders play in developing and sustaining
school cultures that are conducive to academic excellence. Beyond the classroom, how can schools create
structures that involve all stakeholders to promote an environment that supports the success of every single
student. A panel of experts will lay out their vision and share their experiences in how to best lead meaningful
change in teaching and learning practices.
Chief Academic Officer for LEAP, Academy University Charter School
Evelyn Nuñez brings to LEAP Academy over 21 years of experience in PreK-12th education, where she has worked in a large public school district as well as with the charter school sector. Under her leadership, Ms. Nuñez was successful in turning around underperforming charter schools and converting district schools that were struggling academically and identified as persistently dangerous schools into safe charter schools offering a quality education. Ms. Nuñez has experience in developing and implementing bilingual (Spanish and English) education programs in PreK-8th grade that resulted in students exiting fully bilingual and performing well academically.
Dr. Kelly Davenport
Head of School, Freire Charter School
Kelly Davenport has led Freire Charter School since its inception 15 years ago, and has built it into the one of the most respected and successful charter schools in Philadelphia. Kelly has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves as a trainer for the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. There, Kelly trains principals across the state of Pennsylvania to become effective instructional leaders. As the current Head of Freire Charter School, Kelly manages ongoing operations for both of Freire’s existing campuses. Her career is supported by nine years of classroom teaching at the secondary and college levels.
Deputy Superintendent of School Support, Camden Public School
Sean Gallagher joined Camden Public Schools in the spring of 2014. Previously, Sean served as the Chief Turnaround Officer for the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University. Sean is not new to Camden—during the 2012-2013 school year, he was the Interim Executive Director at Freedom Academy as it transitioned to becoming Freedom Prep. Sean was a Building Excellent Schools fellow in New Orleans and has 10 years of district and charter teaching experience in Philadelphia. Sean holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degrees in instruction and school administration.
About the Signature Series on Education Equity and Transformation of Schools:
Education of American children in urban settings is at a crossroads as local schools,
elected officials, government, foundations and parents are looking at how to best
educate children for an increasingly competitive global economic landscape.
Schools in Urban Communities have to also adapt to new and rigorous standards.
For urban schools, these efforts are compounded by issues of poverty, that impact on
a child’s ability to learn in creative and adequate environments.
Two issues are at the core of the national and local discourse on education: (1) Preparing districts
for the national PARCC exams using the Common Core Standards, and (2) Developing an inclusive
school culture for teaching and learning. The upcoming symposia will bring together education
stakeholders, including school leaders, teachers, researchers, district officials, families, and
students to engage in new approaches to strengthen schools and their communities. Each half-day
symposium will feature a panel of experts that will discuss the issues, followed by time for questions
and discussion with the audience.