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2018 Keynote Speakers

Karen L. Mapp


Thursday, October 11, 2018-  Karen L. Mapp

Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D., is a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the faculty director of the Education Policy and Management Master's Program. Over the past twenty years, Mapp's research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. She served as the co-coordinator with Professor Mark Warren of the Community Organizing and School Reform Research Project and as a core faculty member in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program at HGSE. She is a founding member of the District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement, is a trustee of the Hyams Foundation in Boston, MA, and is on the board of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, D.C. From 2011 to 2013, Mapp served as a consultant on family engagement to the United States Department of Education in the Office of Innovation and Improvement. She currently serves as a consultant to the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) division of Scholastic, Inc.

She joined HGSE in January of 2005 after serving for eighteen months as the Deputy Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement for the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

While working with the BPS, she continued to fulfill her duties as president of the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE). Mapp joined IRE in 1997 as Project Director for the Boston Community Partners for Students' Success initiative, which focused on the development of activities and programs to familiarize parents with the recently established Boston Citywide Learning Standards. She was appointed vice-president of IRE in May of 1998 and served as president from September 1998 to December 2004.

Mapp holds a Doctorate and Master's of Education from Harvard University in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, a Master's in Counselor Education from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. In 1997, she was awarded a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for her research on how and why families are involved in their children's educational development.

Karen is the author of numerous publications including Having Their Say: Parents Describe How and Why They Are Engaged in Their Children's Learning (2002) and Title 1 and Parent Engagement: Lessons from the Past, Recommendations for the Future (2011). She is the co-author with Mark Warren and the Community Organizing and School Reform Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education of A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform (2011). She is also the co-author of A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement (2002), Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family–School Partnerships (2007), and Partners in Education: The Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (2014).


Daniel R. Venables


Friday, October 12, 2018- Daniel R. Venables

Areas of Expertise:
-- Math Best Practices
-- PLC's
-- Data-based Decision Making
-- Data-based Practices

Daniel R. Venables is an education consultant and the executive director of the Center for Authentic PLCs (professional learning communities), an organization committed to assisting schools in building, leading, and sustaining authentic and well-performing PLCs.

His experiences in education as an award-winning classroom teacher, a speaker and consultant, and a professional development coordinator in the nation's 18th largest district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, span more than 30 years. Venables has spent 24 years as a classroom teacher in both public and independent schools in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Connecticut, serving as a department chair for 18 of those years.

In 2002, Venables was awarded the South Carolina Independent School Teacher of the Year. From 1993 to 1994, he trained as a math/science fellow with the Coalition of Essential Schools, where he began his experience with critical friends groups and their derivative offspring, PLCs. Since that time, he has assisted dozens of rural, suburban, and urban schools across the nation in developing high-functioning teacher teams and PLCs. Venables speaks regularly at educational conferences and provides professional learning to districts and schools across the nation.

Venables is the author of How Teachers Can Turn Data Into Action (ASCD, 2014) and The Practice of Authentic PLCs: A Guide to Effective Teacher Teams (Corwin Press, 2011).

His presentation style is energetic and humorous, and his message is practical and rooted in his experiences in the classroom and in working with teachers. Whether presenting at national conferences or offering ongoing, site-based assistance to individual schools and districts, Venables is always well received by teachers and administrators.