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Addressing Teacher Turnover: Challenges and Opportunities for School and District Leaders

Monday, June 12, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

A group of teachers have their hands together.

Presented by Jermar Rountree, Physical Education and Health District Teacher Lead, Center City Public Charter School-Brightwood Campus (DC); Olivia Polk, Grade 6 English Teacher, Richmond Public Schools (VA); Heather Pasko, Visual Art Teacher, Hatboro-Horsham High School (PA); Kristin Gillette, Middle Level Instructional Specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools (VA); Chelsea Jones, Middle Level Special Education Teacher, Chesterfield County Public Schools (VA); and Shanté Knight, Director of Educator Leadership Development, ASCD

Sponsored by ASCD

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By now it’s no secret that the rate in which we are losing teachers across U.S. schools is growing at concerning levels that stand to threaten our existing educational infrastructure as we know it, resulting in dangerously adverse impacts on student growth and achievement.

With the current school year coming to a close and the new year on the horizon, the time is now that we restrategize ideas that not only support district and school leaders with short-term solutions to protect their existing workforce, but also begin the work of unpacking conversations about long-overdue, large-scale industry changes and innovations that might improve the face of teaching as a whole and make recruitment efforts once again achievable.

In this edLeader Panel, K-12 superintendents and school principals hear directly from a virtual panel of teachers who discuss a variety of just-in-time and eventual strategies for improving educator working conditions designed to reduce attrition and spur greater interest in the K-12 teaching profession. Panelists share:

  • Ideas for short-term strategies that school leaders can tackle most immediately like extending planning, reduction in non-teaching duties, offering teachers opportunities to change assignments, grade levels, roles, etc.
  • Long-term systemic solutions designed for district leaders to consider that are believed to be vital to the future of making education a desirable and sustainable profession
  • New ideas and innovations in various districts across our nation that are seeing promising results in teacher satisfaction and student performance that they recommend scaling across a broader range of schools

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to K-12 school and district leaders as well as teachers.

Jermar RountreeAbout the Presenters

Jermar Rountree is a health and physical education teacher at Center City Public Charter School, Brightwood Campus. He also serves as the Athletic Director and the district teacher lead for the physical education and health department. Jermar was named the 2023 Washington DC Teacher of the Year and is the 2023 National Alliance Public Charter Changemaker. He is the first black health and physical education teacher to be named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. Jermar believes that physical movement can be leveraged to increase academic performance and engagement and learning about mental and emotional health is as important as core subjects. He thrives on connecting his students to the community through partnerships and has established in-school, after-school and weekend partnerships with organizations to help kids grow in all facets of life. Jermar serves as a voice of the community and has relationships with every student and family at Center City PCS, Brightwood. He graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts in history in May 2008 and holds a Master of Arts in elementary education from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Olivia PolkOlivia Polk is an English 6 teacher working in a collaborative setting at Henderson Middle in Richmond, VA, where she has proudly served for just under three years. She believes the greatest benefit of teaching is helping the children learn a new skill and building relationships with them. She takes pride in seeing a child actually understand a standard and show that comprehension and believes that is invaluable! She also coaches softball because she loves the opportunity to be able to have more fun with her students outside of the classroom. Though born in Woodbridge, she currently resides in Richmond, VA, and is looking forward to an exciting new year.

Heather PaskoImpacting education for 30 years as a visual art teacher at the high school level, Heather Pasko has been an established curriculum developer and leader for the Hatboro-Horsham High School Art Department for the past 24 years. Her primary expertise is in digital photography/graphic arts and project-based learning curriculum development. Additional roles include department chair tenure, varied student club advisor, local university student teacher cooperative, interdisciplinary grant recipient, professional development facilitator, and liaison for school/community outreach relationships. Her personal goal is to leverage strong creative energies and instructional design experience to inspire growth and change within an ed organization or learning community.

Kristin GilletteKristin Gillette is a self-contained and general education co-teacher in sixth-grade language arts at River Bend Middle School in Sterling, Virginia. She has a bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University in elementary and special education and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in mild to moderate special education. She is currently working on her administration and supervision degree with advanced licensure which will be done this summer. Teaching is her passion and supporting students to do and be their best is her goal. She believes the key to student achievement is teachers and administrators coming together and collaborating on what it will take for students to realize success and how to do so through a lens of equity and collective accountability.

Chelsea JonesChelsea Jones is a career switcher with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and a minor in social welfare from Virginia Commonwealth University. She entered the field of education after completing her coursework at Old Dominion University, where she obtained her special education certification. Following that, she went on to pursue and secure an endorsement in English language arts. During her seven years as an educator, she has worked in both the public school and private school sectors in support of primarily middle-school-aged children and students with disabilities. Supporting students’ academic and social growth and nurturing their passions are her favorite parts of the profession. As a mom herself, she values parent partnerships and believes they are vital to a child’s success academically and beyond. She believes educators are essential to building a strong foundation that positively supports the child’s educational and human journey throughout their life. She currently lives in central VA where she serves as an eighth-grade English language arts teacher at Salem Church MS in Chesterfield, VA.

Shante KnightShanté Knight is a career educator who has served as an elementary and middle school teacher, award-winning principal, and district leader, prior to joining the ASCD team as their Director of Educator Leadership Development. She is a proven school culture and academic transformation strategist who specializes in leadership development and ed innovation. Prior to transitioning to corporate leadership, Shanté led underperforming schools and helped them realize double-digit gains in student performance through strategic leadership. She has an appreciation for the challenges that students in marginalized communities face and sees education as the gateway to a fulfilled life. Her goal now is to support educators with the tools they need to teach and lead happily. Shanté received her undergraduate degree from HBCU, Bowie State University in MD, and her master’s degree in education administration from Trinity College in Washington, DC. She currently resides in Midlothian, VA with her husband and their two boys.

Join the Teacher HELP! community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

ASCDASCD is a passionate community of life-changing educators. For 75 years we have worked side by side with educators from every level in all 50 states and more than 200 countries to help them find their people and amplify their voice to reach many.



Monday, June 12, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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