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Looking Back and Looking Forward: Leading Teaching and Learning in Today’s World

Monday, April 12, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Looking Back and Looking Forward: Leading Teaching and Learning in Today’s World

Presented by Dr. Chris Marczak, Chief of Instructional Leadership, DoDEA Pacific Center for Instructional Leadership, U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity; Dr. David Schuler, Superintendent, Township High School District 214 (IL); and Dr. Donna Wright, Director of Schools, Wilson County Schools (TN)
Moderated by Ann McMullan, Project Director, EmpowerED Superintendent Initiative, CoSN (Consortium for School Networking)

Sponsored by ClassLink
This edWebinar series is co-hosted by CoSN, AASA, and



The recording will be posted on this page after the live session. 
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There is no question that the year 2020 presented a whole new reality to the practices and processes for leading learning in today’s school systems. Old problems and challenges were magnified, as new crises arose almost daily. One positive thing life during COVID-19 did provide was an opportunity to examine the current status of K-12 education and innovate new ways to meet the needs of all students.

During this edWebinar three education leaders, Dr. David Schuler, Superintendent, Township High School District 214, IL, Dr. Donna Wright, Director of Schools, Wilson County Schools, TN, and Dr. Chris Marczak, Chief of Instructional Leadership for the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Center, Japan, reflect on the lessons learned for dealing with a sudden crisis as they recall the steps they took in March and April of 2020 when the world was beginning to deal with the reality of a global pandemic. They will also share strategies, policies and practices they are implementing in their school systems to assure that effective learning for all students continues today and in the future. Join in the conversation as, together, we look back and look forward.

This edWebinar will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.


Chris MarczakAbout the Presenters

Dr. Chris Marczak is the U.S. Department of Defense’s Education Activity Chief of the Pacific Region’s Center for Instructional Leadership. Prior to working for DoDEA, Dr. Marczak served as the superintendent of schools for the Maury County School District in Tennessee and was a 2017 National School Boards Association’s “20 to Watch” educational technology leader award recipient. He led trainings across the United States as a leader of district and principal professional development, SMART goal implementation, professional learning communities, and the impact of social media on the superintendency. Dr. Marczak has also served as an adjunct doctoral professor at both David Lipscomb and Trevecca Nazarene Universities in Nashville, TN. Dr. Marczak’s educational history includes roles as the assistant superintendent in Oak Ridge Schools, as a district lead principal with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, an elementary principal and assistant principal, and an elementary teacher. Dr. Marczak currently serves on CoSN’s Superintendent Advisory Panel.


David Schuler

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. He currently serves as the chair of the CoSN Superintendent Advisory Panel.

Dr. Schuler has served 21 years as a superintendent, 16 of them currently leading High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school district. There, he led the development of an innovative instructional philosophy around personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways, early college credit, and industry credentials that enable students to discover their futures while still in high school. Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Donna WrightDr. Donna Wright has served nearly 40 years as a career educator. She has positively influenced the educational field in many roles, including serving as a classroom teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and deputy director of schools. Prior to being selected as the director of schools for Wilson County in July 2014, she served as the deputy director in two other school districts in Tennessee. Dr. Wright earned her doctorate in leadership studies from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She has earned many awards, including the Women of Achievement Award, named “Superintendent of the Year” by the Professional Educators of Tennessee in 2016, and received the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce “Wilsonian of the Year” award in 2017. Recently, the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents recognized her as the 2020 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year. Under Dr. Wright’s leadership, for three consecutive years, the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association has recognized Wilson County Schools for its innovative use of technology. Wilson County Schools hosted the Digital Consortium Summer Meeting (AASA) in July, highlighting many of the programs that have brought state and national recognition to the district in support of teaching and learning. Dr. Wright serves on the CoSN Superintendent Advisory Panel.


Ann McMullanAbout the Host

Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director for Educational Technology in Klein ISD, near Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the district team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to 4,000 educators serving 50,000 students. She was co-chair of the Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology.

Today, Ann works as a public speaker, writer, and education consultant focused on leadership to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the Advisory Board, ClassLink’s Senior Advisors Group, and is a founding member of ERDI’s Alliance for Education Impact Advisory Council. She also volunteers as a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann is the co-author of Life Lessons in Leadership, available on


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AASAAASA is the premier association for school system leaders and serves as the national voice for public education and district leadership on Capitol Hill.


CoSN CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.


ClassLinkClassLink empowers your students and teachers with instant access to their learning resources. ClassLink® OneClick® includes a library of over 5,000 single sign-on apps and instant links to file folders at school and on Google, Office 365, and Dropbox cloud drives. ClassLink Roster Server easily and securely delivers class rosters to any publisher using open technology standards. ClassLink Analytics gives decision makers the usage data they need. Accessible from any computer, tablet or smartphone, ClassLink is ideal for 1to1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives.


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