Meeting of the excellent minds

The Excellent Schools Summit is a yearly gathering of members of the Excellent Schools Network (ESN), a select group of BES schools that have demonstrated strong academic results, sound organizational practices, and the genuine ability to close the achievement gap in their communities.

In addition to celebrating the successes of ESN members, the Summit serves as a forum for members to network and share effective practices. It is also the venue for the presentation of the ESN Annual Awards, granted to outstanding ESN school staff members.

ESN Summit 2014

The third annual Excellent Schools Summit

June 26–27, 2014
Los Angeles, CA


Thursday, June 26

Opening Keynote

  • Speaker: Sundiata Salaam, Head of School, Middle School, Freedom Preparatory Academy

College Persistence in Practice

  • Facilitator: Susan Walsh, Chief Academic Officer, Building Excellent Schools
  • Presenters: Jerome Lucido, Executive Director, USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice, and Ana Ponce, Chief Executive Officer, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

Presentation of the ESN Annual Awards

  • Awards presented by Julia Travers, Chief of the ESN, Building Excellent Schools

Evening Keynote

  • Jeremy Beard, Head of Schools, Yes Prep Public Schools and Elisa Villanueva Beard, Co-CEO, Teach For America

Friday, June 27

Morning Keynote

  • Melissa Wu, Partner, TNTP

Executive Breakout A: Retaining Irreplaceables

  • Melissa Wu, Partner, TNTP

Executive Breakout B: Leading a Culture of Real-Time Feedback

  • Julie Jackson, Managing Director, Uncommon Elementary Schools, Newark/New York City

Operations Breakout A: Operations on a Shoestring

  • Tammy Stanton, Executive Vice President, ExED

Operations Breakout B: Measuring Mission: Building a Strong Dashboard

  • Jennifer Li Shen, Partner and Co-Founder, Blue Garnet, and Sithu Thein Swe, Senior Associate, Blue Garnet

Instructional Breakout A: Delivering Real-Time Feedback

  • Julie Jackson, Managing Director, Uncommon Elementary Schools, Newark/New York City

Instructional Breakout B: Rigorous Instruction from Day One

  • Eileen Callahan and Jill Dunchick, Directors of Leadership Development, Building Excellent Schools

Talent & Recruitment Breakout A: Hiring to Create and Maintain Tight Work Culture

  • Jason Seiden, Chief Executive Officer, Ajax Workforce Marketing

Talent & Recruitment Breakout B: Defining Accountability in Recruitment

  • Annie Messmer-Kurdziel, Director of Talent and Recruitment, Building Excellent Schools

Closing Keynote: Songs in the Key of Urgency

  • Don Shalvey, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation