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Leading for Equity: Empowering All Students with Agency and Voice

Thursday, September 24, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Katrise Perera, Superintendent, Gresham-Barlow School District, Gresham, Oregon and Ms. Lisa Riggs, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Gresham-Barlow School District, Gresham, Oregon
Moderated by Dr. David Schuler, Superintendent, District 214, Chicago, IL, and former AASA President

Hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association 
AASA’s Leadership Network, providing premier professional learning for educational leaders

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In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 100 plus days of protests in nearby Portland, and while wildfires threaten the district’s southern boundary, Dr. Katrise Perera and Ms. Lisa Riggs share how Gresham-Barlow School District is helping students develop agency and voice to advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers. Particular attention has been paid to increasing the engagement of students who are typically underrepresented or marginalized.

Essential questions for discussion include:

  • What is the district’s plan for enhancing equity and inclusion?
  • How do you encourage and collect the voices of students?
  • When do you begin engaging students in career-technical education?
  • How do you align resources for equitable outcomes?

Viewers will hear district-wide K-12 approaches to supporting and enhancing student voice which grows students to become open-minded critical thinkers, compassionate communicators, and culturally aware community members that thrive in an ever-changing global community.


Katrise PereraAbout the Presenters

In May of 2017, the Gresham-Barlow School Board selected Dr. A. Katrise Perera to serve as superintendent of schools beginning July 1, 2017. Dr. Perera is the former national director of urban markets division with McGraw Hill Education. Prior to her work with McGraw Hill, she served as superintendent of the Isle of Wight County Schools in Smithfield, Virginia for four years. During that time, she received the National Association of School Superintendents 2015 Superintendent of the Year Award. Dr. Perera’s extensive experience as an educator includes classroom teacher, middle school principal, and area/regional superintendent of the Houston Independent School District which serves more than 200,000 students.


Lisa RiggsLisa Riggs serves as Gresham-Barlow’s assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Riggs previously served as associate superintendent/chief academic officer in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). Riggs has a master’s of education in educational leadership from the University of Victoria, B.C., Canada. In addition, she earned a master’s of education in curriculum and instruction from Seattle City University. In her role as assistant superintendent, in conjunction with the district leadership team, Ms. Riggs is responsible for supporting building principals, instructional coaches, and the technology department staff.


David SchulerAbout the Host

Dr. David R. Schuler is the 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year. Known for his ability to inspire and build leaders, he spearheaded Redefining Ready!, the national movement to redefine what it means for students to be college, career and life ready while serving as the 2015-2016 President of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Dr. Schuler has served 20 years as a superintendent, 15 of which currently leading High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school district, where he led the development of an innovative instructional philosophy around personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways, early college credit, and industry credentials that enables students to discover their futures while still in high school. In addition, District 214 now teaches computer science to all 12,000 students, and its six schools were among only seven in the nation to pilot an iOS app development curriculum, initiatives which were recognized by the Obama White House.

Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Join the Leading for Equity community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


The AASA Leadership Network drives superintendent success, innovation and growth, shaping the future of public education while preparing students for what’s next. We are the largest, most diverse network of superintendents in America. Passionate and committed, we connect educational leaders to the professional learning, leadership development, relationships and partnerships they need to ensure a long career of impact.


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Thursday, September 24, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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