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General Sessions

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GENERAL SESSION KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

David Horsager

David Horsager is bestselling author of The Trust Edge and CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute. With clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to professional sports teams and global governments, David has taken the platform across the United States and on 6 continents. He invented The Enterprise Trust Index™ and leads the charge in the nation’s foremost trust study—The Trust Outlook™.

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Principal EL

Dr. Salome Thomas-EL lives in Pennsylvania with his family and has been a teacher and principal since 1987. He is currently a K-8 principal in Wilmington, DE and received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School in Philadelphia, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. Principal EL was a regular contributor on the “The Dr. Oz Show” and is the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay (Movie rights optioned by Disney Films), and The Immortality of Influence (Foreword by Will Smith), which stresses the importance of leadership, mentoring, parenting and service to others. He is also the co-author of Passionate Leadership (Improving school cultures), Building a Winning Team (Teacher and principal recruitment) and Retention for a Change (Teacher and principal retention). Dr. EL speaks to groups around the country and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. Principal EL has studied at Cambridge University in England, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and holds a doctorate in Education Leadership from Wilmington University in Delaware. He has received the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s distinguished Martin Luther King Award. Reader’s Digest Magazine recognized Principal EL as an “Inspiring American Icon.” Dr. EL has also appeared on Good Morning America and The Oprah Radio Network.

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Dr. Randy Watson

Dr. Randy Watson was named Commissioner of Education by the Kansas State Board of Education in November 2014, while he was still serving as Superintendent of McPherson schools, USD 418. During his tenure with the Kansas State Department of Education, Dr. Watson has rapidly become known for his visionary leadership to position Kansas as an innovator in rethinking a century-old school model. The Kansans Can vision to lead the world in the success of each student continues to drive the work of the Kansas State Board and the state education agency. Among the forward-thinking initatives are balancing the emphasis between academic test scores and the characteristics Kansans identified as ensuring student success. Dr. Watson was instrumental in introducing statewide outcomes for social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, graduation attainment and postsecondary success. Commissioner Watson has been recognized nationally for guiding student-focused, personalized learning through the Kansans Can School Redesign Project, which fuels the State Board’s vision for education. Five cohorts of systems are currently engaged in the redesign process to tailor instruction to students’ strengths, needs and interests.

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