A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKYEC hosting Champions of Education Summit of thought-leaders working together on education

Thought leaders from business, education and the community will gather with national and regional experts Wednesday, November 15, for the 2017 Champions of Education Summit hosted by the Northern Kentucky Education Council at Northern Kentucky University. 
It’s been 10 years since the region’s last Education Summit, and the leaders who gather on Wednesday will gain knowledge about the notable progress made since 2007, but even more significantly, they will address factors that inhibit acceleration of progress, learn about innovative initiatives taking place now in schools, and influence new regional goals.
The Summit’s power to effect change and accelerate progress lies in its engagement of thought leaders from all three sectors – business, education and the community.

Karen Pittman

“To maximize success for each and every one of our youth we know that education is not the sole responsibility of educators, nor is it the sole responsibility of parents,” said Polly Lusk Page, executive director of the Northern Kentucky Education Council (NKYEC). “In Northern Kentucky we maintain the belief that it is the power of all of us working together.”

“The Summit’s focus on education is really a focus on Northern Kentucky’s future – on the strength of our future workforce, the power of our local economy, the health of our people, and our vigor and resilience as a region,” said Dan Cahill, vice president and Kentucky market leader for Horan Associates, Inc., and chair of the Summit planning committee for NKYEC.
More than 300 thought leaders are expected to engage in the dialogue about education at the daylong event at NKU. They will be challenged to consider what can be accomplished if new collaborations, resources, attitudes, and possibilities are embraced.

The keynote speaker is Karen J. Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment and a respected sociologist and leader in youth development. The Forum, which she co-founded, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” that combines thought leadership on youth development, youth policy, cross-system/cross-sector partnerships and developmental youth practice with on-the-ground training, technical assistance and supports. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Partners for Livable Cities, joining previous awardees such as President William Clinton and Lady Bird Johnson.

Richard Gilman

Dr. Richard Gilman, an expert on resiliency in children, will also speak. A professor in the Department of General Pediatrics for the University of Cincinnati Medical School, Dr. Gilman also is the director for the School-Based Mental Health Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as well as the director of Clinical Services and Training at UC Stress Center, for the University of Cincinnati Medical School. He is an author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on risk and resiliency factors that contribute to learning and student functioning. He is on several national and international boards, including the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.
Poverty issues and their effect on children will be addressed by Elaine Waxman, a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute.  Her expertise includes a broad range of issues affecting low-income families and communities.  She is currently coordinating the Institute’s new initiative on the changing social safety net and co-directs the Institute’s cross-center initiative on the social determinants of health.  She has also worked closely with the U.S. Partnership for Mobility out of Poverty to develop recommendations for a future of work that can support an inclusive economy. Prior to joining the Institute, Waxman served for six years as the Vice President of Research and Nutrition at Feeding America.

Elaine Waxman

Other speakers include Cahill; Karen Finan, president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance and chair of the Northern Kentucky Education Council; Garren Colvin, CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare; James C. Votruba, president emeritus and professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University; Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health Northern Kentucky Health Department; Kurt Reiber, President & CEO, Freestore Foodbank; Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore; Kenton County Judge Executive Kris Knochlemann; Nancy Grayson,  president of the Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky;  Randy Poe, superintendent for Boone County Schools; Kathlyn Burkhardt, superintendent for Erlanger-Elsmere Schools; Karen Cheser, superintendent for Fort Thomas Schools; Shelli Wilson, associate superintendent for Campbell County Schools.
Others taking a leading role at the Summit include: Dave Schroeder, executive director of the Kenton County Public Library; Tammy Weidinger, president and CEO of Brighton Center; Anthony Strong, superintendent of Pendleton County Schools; Mike Stacy, superintendent of Beechwood School District; Barbara Stewart, associate director of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District; Carissa Schutzman, associate vice president at Gateway Community and Technical College; Christy Petroze, associate professor at Thomas More College, Bill Bradford assistant superintendent with Fort Thomas Schools, Michael Shires, principal, North Pointe Elementary School; and Vicki Berling, a director at Sullivan University;
Gerard St. Amand, interim president of NKU, will welcome participants to the Summit.
The 2017 Champions of Education Summit will be held 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. November 15 in the James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union Ballroom at Northern Kentucky University.  Tickets are $70 and include continental breakfast, lunch, parking and giveaways. To register and for more information, visit the website
or call 859.282.9214.

Follow and post about the Education Summit on social media with #NKYECChamps.
The Northern Kentucky Education Council (NKYEC) is the backbone organization for the alignment of education initiatives in Northern Kentucky. The Council serves as the catalyst for collaboration, change and progress toward regional educational goals in Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties. The Council is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization comprised of education, business and community members.

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