April 18-22, 2022 - Minneapolis

Hope, Hardship and Healing in Public Schools

A conversation with Minnesota public education leaders

Mural at Global Arts Plus, a St. Paul Public Schools PreK-8 school, created by artist Melodee Strong with assistance from artist Kelsey King and painted in collaboration with the school’s 7th graders. Photo used with permission of artist and Photo courtesy of  Laura Wangsness Willemsen

Thursday, April 21, 2022 6:45-745 PM

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to recede, educators globally are recalibrating, taking stock, and reimagining what is now possible. What have Minnesota’s public education leaders learned over the course of two years navigating a global pandemic, doing racial justice work, and weathering ongoing political instability? What challenges and opportunities do they see for reshaping public education to better serve all Minnesota’s children and families in a post-pandemic era? What systems will need changing, and how?  What – and whose – ideas will guide this work?  What role might public schools play in (re)shaping civil society in Minnesota?

This panel discussion will highlight the experiences, reflections and insights of seasoned educators who lead at district and building levels in Minnesota’s public schools. Panelists include Dr. Bryan Bass, Assistant Superintendent, ISD 297; Megan Paulis de Rangel, Bilingual Reading Interventionist with Richfield Public Schools; Kristine Scallon, Assistant Principal, ISD 196; Sai Thao, School Social Worker, ISD 622; and Justin Tiarks, Primary School Principal, St. Paul City School. Moderated by Laura Wangsness Willemsen, who together with Elisheva Cohen has been following the experiences of Midwestern classroom teachers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this session will offer attendees an in-depth look at local educators’ efforts to use this moment of uncertainty to lead public education toward becoming more innovative, inclusive, healing and just.