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AASA Leading for Equity: Leading from the Center by Promoting Equity in Schools and Classrooms

Thursday, March 25, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Leading for Equity

Presented by Sydney Chaffee, Humanities Teacher and Instructional Coach, Codman Academy Charter Public School (MA); Shawn Sheehan, Government Relations Liaison, Lewisville Independent School District (TX); and Dr. Richard H. Warren, Jr., Hazel Professor of Education, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (MD)
Moderated by Sarah Brown Wessling, Interim Director of CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program (NTOY) and Teacher, Johnston High School (IA)

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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If you’re engaged in the crucial undertaking of dismantling racial injustice and creating equity within a school system, you’ve probably used the phrase, “doing the work.” Yet, what does the work actually look like? How do you know if you’re doing it? How do you know if you’re doing the right work?

Please watch moderator and 2010 CCSSO National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, as she leads an important discussion with three former national and state Teachers of the Year on how our nation’s students deserve and receive access to transformative, equitable education. Please join teaching experts Sydney Chaffee, the 2017 National Teacher of the Year; Shawn Sheehan, the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year; and Dr. Richard Warren, Jr., the 2019 Maryland State Teacher of the Year, as they examine promoting equity from leaders who are immersed in the important, daily work inside the nation’s classrooms. Join these four distinguished educators as they offer both practical advice and incisive perspective on what it means to lead for equity throughout a school system.

This recorded presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.


Sydney ChaffeeAbout the Presenters

Sydney Chaffee is a National Board Certified Teacher with a passion for helping diverse learners grow through authentic, relevant, interdisciplinary curricula. Sydney believes that education is an essential tool to work towards social justice. It can transform students’ self-perceptions and arm them to fight for a more just world. Throughout the school year, Sydney and her students seek to answer big questions: What is justice? How have people resisted injustice throughout history? What power do people have to change the world?

In addition to teaching, Sydney has served as Humanities Department Chair, co-coordinator of a weekly all-school Community Circle, and a mentor teacher for pre-service teachers from Tufts University and Boston University. Outside of school, Sydney was a part-time faculty member at Boston University’s School of Education, a Teach Plus Policy Fellow, an edX Policy Fellow, and facilitator of a Boston Educators Collaborative course that brought together teachers from district, charter, and parochial schools to collaborate on curriculum design.

As 2017 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Sydney appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with her colleagues across the state, advocate for the profession to be elevated and respected, and continue to learn from her students. As 2017 National Teacher of the Year, she was able to speak to a wider audience about the value of public education for all students, the possibilities of integrating arts education into traditional academic disciplines, the importance of teacher learning, and the role of education in social justice movements.


Shawn SheehanShawn Sheehan is the government relations liaison for Lewisville ISD in Lewisville, Texas. He has taught math in Texas and Oklahoma and is the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. In 2018, Shawn worked in a congressional office on Capitol Hill as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. Shawn earned his BA in journalism at Arizona State University and his M.Ed. in special education at the University of Oklahoma. A strong advocate for improving public education, Shawn has been featured on CBS This Morning, NPR, and The Economist.


Richard Warren

Dr. Richard H. Warren, Jr. is the 2019 Maryland State Teacher of the Year and a nationally awarded STEM innovator. In fact, Samsung named him “one of the leading solve for tomorrow teachers in the United States.” He has nearly a decade of teaching experience and holds a Bachelor of Science, master’s in teaching, and doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In February 2019, Dr. Warren was inducted into the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Hall of Excellence, the highest honor of achievement offered by the University.

As the eighth-grade science teacher at Crisfield High School and Academy, Dr. Warren led the school’s first-ever STEM program, an award-winning program he designed to meet the challenges of the global society through innovation, collaboration, and creative problem solving. His students were selected as state finalists out of 3,000 applicants in the national Samsung STEM competition. Dr. Warren has been recognized statewide as a top educator by the Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland General Assembly with honors in both the House of Delegates and State Senate.

He is an expert in teacher retention where he has compiled, written, and published over 150 pages of literature and recommendations to school districts that are implementing mentoring programs for beginning teachers. Since 2015, he has worked closely with district teacher mentoring programs, helping beginning teachers find success and gratification in the classroom. Dr. Warren frequently travels around the world as a featured and keynote speaker. He has delivered multiple keynotes, one of note being at the 2018 Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) Convention reaching over 14,000 video views. On April 6, 2019 he delivered his first TEDx Talk, “Breakthrough Teaching: Reimaging Teachable Moments.”

Dr. Warren currently serves as the Hazel Professor of Education at the University of Maryland preparing future teachers to take on the next generation of students, with a special emphasis on educating male students of color to become K-12 teachers. Dr. Warren’s work with students, teachers, and state departments has become well known in the educational world and beyond.


Sarah WesslingAbout the Moderator

Sarah Brown Wessling is the interim director of the CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year Program (NTOY). Sarah is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and has worked with the NTOY Program as a facilitator, designer of professional learning and consultant for the past 10 years. Sarah is also a 23-year veteran of the high school English classroom and former Teacher Laureate for the Teaching Channel. She is a National Board Certified Teacher since 2005 and serves as the vice chair for the NBPTS Executive Board. Sarah is a frequent speaker and facilitator of professional learning around the country and a devoted blogger and writer. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahBWessling and on Instagram @sarahbrownwessling.


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, March 25, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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