Thursday, August 9, 2018

Conference speakers to deliver messages
of inspiration, bravery, and perseverance

Keynote speakers for the 2018 Joint Announce Conference in Chicago have been selected. Attendees will be inspired by messages of hope, bravery, perseverance, and innovation as presenters share their own vision for the future during the three General Sessions taking place November 16-18.

The 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year will headline the First General Session at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16. Dr. David R. Schuler will bring his 18 years of superintendent experience and innovative instructional philosophy to the Conference stage. As 2015-2016 president of the School Superintendents Association (AASA), Schuler spearheaded the national Redefining Ready! initiative, a movement that aims to redefine what it means for students to be college, career, and life ready. Schuler has continued to champion the initiative that utilizes personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways to enable students to discover their futures while still in high school.

Ruby Bridges will be keynoting the Second General Session on Saturday, November 17 at 8:30 a.m. Bridges is an activist who became a symbol of the civil rights movement at the age of six. She was the youngest of a group of African American students to integrate schools in the south. After being required to pass a test to determine which students could enter all-white schools, Bridges was enrolled at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Of the six students selected to integrate the school, she was the only one to enroll. In 1999, she formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”

Closing out the Third General Session on Sunday, November 18 at 9:45 a.m. will be Darrell Scott. Scott will deliver the story and vision of his daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting. After fellow students shared the stories of the profound impact Rachel had on their lives, the Scotts started the nonprofit organization Rachel’s Challenge. It has touched the lives of 25 million people by creating programs that promote a positive climate in K-12 schools. Rachel Scott’s vision to start a “chain reaction of kindness and compassion” is the foundation for the organization’s mission: Making schools safer, more connected places where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect, and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest.

Additional information about each of the General Session speakers is available on the Joint Annual Conference webpage