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Back to School 2020: Maximizing District Budgets to Support Student Safety and Distance Learning

Thursday, August 20, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Back to School 2020

Presented by Susan Gentz, Partner, K20Connect; Arati Nagaraj, Senior Consultant, K20Connect, and School Board Trustee, Saratoga Union School District, CA; Dr. David H. Trautenberg, (Acting) Chief Financial Officer, Garfield Re2 School District, CEO, AlignK12 Education Finance Consulting; and Dr. Lisa Gonzales, Chief Business Officer, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, CA
Hosted by Kecia Ray, Ed.D., Owner and Principal, K20Connect

Sponsored by Gaggle

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Back to school is upon us. In this informative edLeader Panel, industry experts Dr. Kecia Ray and Susan Gentz bring together a panel of education leaders to discuss maximizing district budgets. The panel also dives into strategies for leveraging federal funds to integrate technology including digital collaboration tools like Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams to support distance learning, hybrid models, and in-school learning.

This recorded edLeader Panel will be of interest to K-12 school and district leaders.


Susan GentzAbout the Presenters

Susan Gentz is a partner at K20Connect, a consulting consortium of experts focused on education leadership, technology and policy. Susan comes from a strong policy background as a former staffer in the United States Senate and legislative aide in the Iowa House of Representatives. Along with experience at both federal and state levels, she served as the deputy executive director for the Center for Digital Education, worked for a government relations firm in Arlington, Virginia, and worked on federal and state education policy at iNACOL, where she wrote published reports to move the field forward with innovative learning models, best practices, and policy recommendations.


Arati NagarajArati Nagaraj is an education consultant, edtech advisor and school board trustee in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a 25+ career in education, Arati has used her curriculum design skills to create unique learning experiences in education and nonprofit sectors at Pearson, EdSurge and Silicon Valley Education Foundation. She has also leveraged these skills to create employee onboarding and training programs at Apple, Facebook, Google and Uber. Arati is currently on the edtech advisory board for Central Square Foundation in New Delhi, India. In November 2020, she will complete ten years as a trustee of the Saratoga Union School District Board in California. Arati has an M.Ed. in media and technology from Boston University, and a bachelor’s in early childhood education from India.


David TrautenbergA nationally recognized expert in K12 finance, Dr. Trautenberg is the founder and CEO of AlignK12. Align K12 specializes in assisting school districts in the alignment, allocation and continuous improvement of financial resources to the district’s strategic plan. Employing an entry planning approach to “hit the ground learning,” AlignK12 identifies the relationships, processes, and tools and creates the conditions necessary to optimize resources at the district level to improve student outcomes. Recent notable achievements include restructuring and rebuilding finance teams of the Aurora (CO) and New Orleans Public Schools; forensic review of budget practices and procedures and contributor to Omaha Public Schools’ 2025 Strategic Plan; and acting CFO for the Garfield RE-2 School District to support the Board of Education’s takeover and restructuring of that rural district’s finances. Trautenberg received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s (Penn) GSE Mid- Career Doctoral Program in Organizational and Educational Leadership; an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business; master’s degrees in education from both Penn (Secondary Ed) and Leeds University (Curriculum Theory); and a B.A. from Penn where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Lisa GonzalesDr. Lisa Gonzales was President of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), an 18,000 member organization. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Urban Superintendent’s Academy and the Stanford University Executive Program for Education Leaders. Lisa was one of 100 Superintendents selected as #FutureReady by President Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan. Dr. Gonzales is currently the Chief Business Officer for the Mt Diablo Unified School District in the Silicon Valley. Her advocacy work has resulted in numerous awards, including ACSA Leadership Matters Legislative Award, White House ConnectED Superintendent Award, National “Women in Leadership” Award from the School Superintendent’s Association, and Commendation for Public School Leadership from the City of San Jose. Committed to female leadership, she helped resurrect ACSA’s Women’s Leadership Network and speaks statewide and nationally on a number of topics around women’s issues in leadership, branding, networking, and technology. She has written dozens of articles on topics related to leadership, safe schools, strategic planning, and leadership support programs for principals and other educational leaders.


Kecia RayAbout the Host

Dr. Kecia Ray’s career includes designing technology within the Frist Art Museum and directing technology research through Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Science Outreach programs. She was appointed as a turnaround agent to work with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools from 2003–2007 by the Tennessee Commissioner of Education, and she continued working with the district as a district administrator. In Nashville, Dr. Ray established award-winning instructional technology programs that were recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Harvard University. Dr. Ray was named “20 to Watch” by the National School Board Association, Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, a top 10 EdTech Leaders by Tech & Learning, and most recently named a Top 100 EdTech Influencer by EdTech Digest.


Join the Education Funding community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, and receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels.

GaggleGaggle provides school safety products and solutions to the K-12 market. Using both artificial intelligence and trained safety experts, Gaggle’s early-warning system proactively assists districts 24/7/365 in the prevention of suicide, bullying, inappropriate behaviors, school violence, and other harmful situations. Gaggle has helped hundreds of districts avoid tragedies and save lives, while also protecting their liability.



Thursday, August 20, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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