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Leading for Equity: Cultivating an Anti-Racist School District

Thursday, February 4, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent, Ithaca City School District (NY); Lily Talcott, Deputy Superintendent, Ithaca City School District (NY); and Deborah Ptak, Principal, Lehman Alternative Community School, Ithaca City School District (NY)
Moderated by Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association

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

Watch the Recording Listen to the Podcast

Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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New York State’s 2017 Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Luvelle Brown, leads a discussion on how to cultivate an anti-racist school district. His transformative leadership style and the powerful knowledge in his book, Culture of Love: Cultivating a Positive and Transformational Organizational Culture, will be shared to help leaders mobilize the kind of student-centered approach that is desperately needed in our education systems. Deputy Superintendent Lily Talcott and Principal Deborah Ptak provide examples of how the district is engineering opportunities for schools and classrooms to be laboratories for social change.

Essential questions for discussion include:

  • How can school districts shift instructional practices to be more culturally responsive?
  • What is a culture of love and how can school leaders cultivate this in schools and school districts?
  • Why is providing time and structure to self-reflect for yourself and others important?
  • Why should and how do leaders cultivate and support constructive conflict in organizations?

Viewers will learn about strategies to address systemic disparities and inequities in order to benefit all students. This recorded presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.


Luvelle BrownAbout the Presenters

Dr. Luvelle Brown has served as the superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York since January 2011. He has received various awards and recognitions including the 2017 New York State Superintendent of the Year and has been listed by various publications as one of the nation’s top educators and thought leaders. Dr. Brown has been recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch” and “Difference Maker,” received the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Award, and received the eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award.

Dr. Brown is a highly regarded speaker and workshop facilitator addressing a range of topics for local, regional, and national audiences. He has published numerous articles and is the author of Culture of Love: Cultivating a Positive and Transformational Organizational Culture. In addition, Dr. Brown has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at the university level and has served on numerous advisory boards including the Ithaca College Board of Trustees.


Lily Talcott

Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Deputy Superintendent Lily Talcott helps oversee principals, instructional technology, mathematics curricula/instruction, APPR teacher evaluation, professional development, and human resources. Lily, an Ithaca native, served as Principal of Northeast Elementary School from 2015 to 2018. She previously served as a district-wide teacher on special assignment with a focus on preK-5 mathematics and then as a master educator supporting preK-12 professional development, curricula, and assessments. Lily began her teaching career in 2004 in the Bronx, New York before coming to the ICSD, where she served as a long-term substitute teacher and teacher aide before teaching first grade at Enfield Elementary School.


Deborah Ptak

Deborah Ptak is the principal of the Ithaca City School District’s Lehman Alternative Community School, a member of the New York State consortium of alternative schools implementing a non-graded portfolio process of student mastery with a focus on democracy and civic engagement. Deborah has been serving public school communities for the last 30 years as a school social worker, administrator and lecturer at both Towson University in Maryland and Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. Her work has encompassed initiatives including RTI and full inclusion for students with mental health struggles, AVID, the Harvard Institute Data Wise Project toward school improvement, the Project ACHIEVE approach to social-emotional learning, responsive school protocols and the development of protocols for confronting systems of oppression within the schoolhouse walls. Deborah has presented at the Council of Chief State School Officers annual conference on high-poverty schools and was appointed to the Dane County Task Force on Mental Health issues. She was awarded the Baltimore City Schools Area Social Worker of the Year for her work with gang-involved youth and was featured by Madison Magazine as an administrator for equity and excellence.


Valerie TruesdaleAbout the Host

Dr. Valerie Truesdale joined AASA early in 2019 as the assistant executive director responsible for guiding leadership development services and programs. With years of experience in the superintendency and roles in instructional technology, she knows that AASA’s Leadership Network can be a substantial resource for school leaders trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing delivery of K-12 education.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

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, February 4, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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