V. Sue Cleveland, Ed. D.
Superintendent, Rio Rancho Public School District, Rio Rancho, NM
Dr. Sue Cleveland has been Superintendent of the Rio Rancho Public School District since its creation in 1994. During that time, the district has grown from 5,900 to almost 16,000 students. The district has been recognized for the quality of its instructional programs, facilities, and outstanding staff, as well some unique partnerships with the New Mexico business community.
Prior to her current position, Dr. Cleveland was Superintendent of Schools in Cherokee County, South Carolina, and held teaching and administrative positions with the Deer Park Independent School District (Houston metro area). Her initial teaching experience was in the Las Cruces Public Schools in New Mexico.
Dr. Cleveland’s recognitions include, among others: 20 Women to Watch in the New Millennium (Sage Magazine) in 2000, the YWCA “Woman on the Move” Recognition in 2000, and Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Woman in 2001. Most recently, in 2007, she was recognized as a Women of Influence by the New Mexico Business Weekly. Dr. Cleveland was one of four national finalists considered for the AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award in 2004. She was featured in the Administrator Profile ofDistrict Administration (periodical) in 2005 and New Mexico Woman Magazine in 2006.
She received her B.A. from the University of New Mexico, M.A. from New Mexico State University, Ed.D. from the University of Houston and post-graduate work at the University of South Carolina.
Christopher J. DeDe, Ed.D.
Professor, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Christoper J. DeDe is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy and leadership. His funded research includes a grant from the National Science Foundation to aid middle school students learning science via shared virtual environments and a Star Schools grant for the U.S. Department of Education to help high school students with math and literacy skills using wireless mobile devices to create augmented reality simulations. In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher.
Dr. DeDe has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and International Steering Committee member for the Second International Technology in Education Study. He serves on advisory boards and commissions for PBS TeacherLine, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, and several federal research grants. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Boston Tech Academy, an experimental small high school in the Boston Public School system, funded by the Gates Foundation.
His co-edited book, Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, was published in 2005. A second volume he edited, Online Professional Development for Teachers: Emerging Models and Methods, was published in 2006.
Chère Campbell Gibson, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Middleton, WI
Dr. Chère Campbell Gibson was born in Canada where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from McGill University. She completed a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Extension Education and a Ph.D. in Continuing and Vocational Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her faculty appointments at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she remained a product of the land grant university with outreach integrated into her work throughout her career. Currently she is professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she continues to work on education and distance education related outreach projects in the Schools of Education, Nursing, Veterinary Sciences and Medicine and Public Health.
With over 30 years of experience in teaching and research on learners and learning at a distance, Dr. Gibson has received campus teaching awards, national awards in both distance education outreach programming and the Wedemeyer Award for Excellence in Research related to distance education and was recently inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association’s Hall of Fame. An author of over 100 research articles and book chapters on teaching and learning at a distance, she also edited a book entitled Distance Learners in Higher Education: Institutional Responses for Quality Outcomes.
Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D.
Executive Director, National Center for Urban School Transformation, San Diego, CA
Dr. Joseph Johnson is the Executive Director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) and the QUALCOMM Professor of Urban Education at San Diego State University. At NCUST, he leads efforts to identify, study, and promote the best practice of high-performing urban schools and districts. As a member of the Education Leadership faculty, he helps develop and teach doctoral and master’s degree programs that prepare leaders to emulate the best practices of leaders in high-performing urban schools and districts. Previously, he served as a classroom teacher in San Diego, as a school district administrator in New Mexico, as a state department official in both Texas and Ohio, as a researcher and technical assistance provider at the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas, and as the Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability at the U.S. Department of Education where he was responsible for directing the federal Title I Program and several related programs.
Dr. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin's Cooperative Superintendency Program. He earned a Master of Arts in Education from San Diego State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.
In 1987 Dr. Johnson received the Special Educator of the Year Award from the New Mexico Council for Exceptional Children. In 1989 he was the founding president of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. In 1993 and again in 2000, he received the Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Association of Compensatory Education. In 2003 he received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from San Diego State University’s College of Education.
Thomas W. Many, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Kildeer Countryside School 96, Buffalo Grove, IL
Thomas Many, Ed. D., is completing his 18th year as Superintendent of Schools, the past twelve at the helm of Kildeer Countryside School District 96 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. His unique perspective on public education has grown from experience in nearly every school role from classroom teacher to principal to district administrator, including a stint as school custodian.
During his tenure as superintendent of District 96, student achievement has improved ten consecutive years; currently, more than 96 percent of all District students meet or exceed state standards. Likewise, special education students have shown significant academic improvement, with special needs students in some District schools moving from 30 percent to almost 80 percent meeting state standards. During the same period, placement of 8th-grade students in honors level or accelerated classes at an academically competitive high school has nearly doubled from 28 percent to 49 percent.
In addition to his career as a practicing administrator, Dr. Many has worked with teachers and administrators to improve student learning in dozens of school districts in thirty-three states and three provinces of Canada. To date, Dr. Many has published ten journal articles, co-authored Learning By Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work, and contributed to the anthology The Collaborative Teacher: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community.
Krista D. Parent, Ed.D.
Superintendent, South Lane School District 4513, Cottage Grove, OR
Dr. Krista D. Parent is in her 8th year as superintendent for South Lane School District. She has been an educator in South Lane for the past 24 years serving as a teacher, coach and school administrator. Krista’s work as a superintendent has focused on developing a professional learning community in South Lane using the content area of literacy.
Dr. Parent was the 2007 National Superintendent of the Year, the first Oregon Superintendent to have received the award. She was also named the 2007 Outstanding Young Alumnus for the University of Oregon. Krista received her Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate at the University of Oregon and was a student-athlete during her undergraduate studies. Krista’s dissertation study was about Women in the Superintendency.
She is the chair of the state’s “Assessing Leadership Performance” work group. She is also the president of the Oregon Association of School Executives (OASE).
Ronald S. Rochon, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
Dr. Ronald S. Rochon, a native of Chicago’s south side, currently serves as the Dean of the School of Education and Associate Vice President for Teacher Education at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York. He obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Sciences from Tuskegee University and Master of Science in Reproductive Physiology and a Doctorate in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Rochon’s primary areas of interests center on the recruitment, retention, and successful matriculation of culturally, linguistically, and racially diverse students. His research and teaching addresses the historical and contemporary perspectives surrounding the politics of race and culture within American society; trends among African Americans with respect to their feelings, attitudes, and perspectives towards ethnic and national identity; and the current educational controversy regarding the role of public schools in examining multiculturalism and addressing ethnic identity.
He works extensively with stakeholders in PK-12 settings and community to develop systemic community building and empowering relationships. Dr. Rochon has secured private, state, and federal grant funding exceeding $5 million to establish educational programming and workshops, long-term scholarships for underserved populations and exchange programs with universities in Ghana and China.
Joseph Siano, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Norman Public Schools, Norman, OK
Dr. Joseph Siano became Superintendent of the Norman Public Schools in August 2000. He took this position after serving as an Assistant Superintendent in the Oklahoma City Public Schools. He has also held the following positions in the Putnam City Public Schools: Assistant Superintendent, Director of Elementary Education, Elementary Principal, and Elementary Assistant Principal.
Dr. Siano received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1976 from Oklahoma City University, his Master of Science in 1979 from the University of Central Oklahoma, and his Doctor of Philosophy in 1985 from the University of Oklahoma. He is certified in guidance and counseling, elementary education, elementary administration, and holds a Standard Superintendent Certificate.
Dr. Siano was named the 2003 Superintendent of the Year by the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE). He received the 2004 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA). Dr. Siano was selected the 2005 Administrator of the Year by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OMEA), the 2005 Administrator of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA) District #7, as well as the 2006 Oklahoma Administrator of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators (OASA).
Clifton L. Taulbert
President and Founder, The Building Community Institute, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Clifton L. Taulbert is the President and Founder of the Building Community Institute, one of America’s leading thought-leaders on the “Power of Community.” He was chosen by CNN at the turn of the millennium to represent one of the voices of “community.” He is a Pulitzer-nominated author, born in the Mississippi Delta, the wellspring setting for his stories and books. He has authored ten books including the internationally acclaimed, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored.
Mr. Taulbert’s college career began in the United States Air Force and was completed at Oral Roberts University with a degree in History and Sociology. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Trustee of the University of Tulsa.
Mr. Taulbert has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the nation’s Outstanding Entrepreneurs. He has participated in the start-up of many companies, including being a member of the initial team that introduced Stair Master Exercise Systems to the world. He is also a former banker and advisory board member for Bank One, now J.P. Morgan Chase and currently serves as a Board member for ONB Bank and Trust in Tulsa, Oklahoma.