General Sessions

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo

Keynote: Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI
Under Dr. Sanfelippo’s leadership, the Fall Creek School District was named an innovative district in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe has authored multiple books, including the best-selling Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love and his latest, Lead From Where You Are: Building Intention, Connection, and Direction in Our Schools. He was selected as one of 117 future ready superintendents in 2014 and one of 50 superintendents as a personalized learning leader by the United States Department of Education in 2016. Education Dive named Joe their national superintendent of the year in 2019.

Why Rural Matters

General Session: Report Launch and Interactive Presentation

Why Rural Matters: Making Report Data Applicable and Actionable
Join the National Rural Education Association, in partnership with the Rural School and Community Trust, for the launch of the 2023 Why Rural Matters report. The 2023 edition is the tenth in a series of reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states. Over its 20-year history, the report has provided guidance and direction to policymakers, practitioners, and researchers. Join this interactive general session to learn more about the report, key findings, state-by-state dashboard, and how you can make the report data applicable and actionable in your own state.


Friday, November 17, 2023

General Session: (Not) Belonging and Inclusivity in Rural Education

Rural schools work—but they may not always work equally for all students. Join panelists Dr. Sweeney Windchief, Dr. Shaneka Williams, and Dr. Jeff Carlson who will discuss and explore the place-based nature of inclusivity in rural education, describing both challenges to belonging in and across rural schools and pointing to promising practices and moments of hope for the education of all rural students.

Sweeney Windchief

Sweeney Windchief, Associate Professor in Education, Montana State University

Sheneka Williams

Sheneka Williams, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Educational Administration, Michigan State University

Jeff Carlson

Jeff Carlson, Advisor,
T-Mobile Education Team

 Hamish BrewerKeynote: Hamish Brewer, Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Transformational Change Catalyst, and Business Consultant
Hamish is a powerful and positive disruptor who transcends the status quo and typical norms in leadership and education. Mr. Brewer is a globally recognized advocate who built his reputation on results and performance, becoming affectionately known as the relentless, tattooed skateboarding principal with his galvanizing message to “Be Relentless” and his high-octane delivery style. Mr. Brewer served as an award-winning principal at both the secondary and elementary school levels. Under his leadership, his elementary school was recognized as a nationally distinguished Title 1 school, and Hamish has since turned around one of the toughest middle schools in the state of Virginia. Hamish is the best-selling author of Relentless: Disrupting The Educational Norm, published in 2019.