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For First Time in 10 Years, Regional Education Summit Happening in NKY

For the first time in years, a regional education summit is taking place in Northern Kentucky.

Business, education, and community leaders are gathering at Northern Kentucky University on Wednesday for the 2017 Champions of Education Summit, hosted by the Northern Kentucky Education Council.

Leaders who gather on Wednesday will discuss the notable progress made since 2007, and they will address factors that inhibit acceleration of progress, learn about innovative initiatives taking place now in schools, and influence new regional goals.

“To maximize success for each and every one of our youth we know that education is not the sole responsibility of educators, nor is it the sole responsibility of parents,” said Polly Lusk Page, executive director of the Northern Kentucky Education Council (NKYEC). “In Northern Kentucky we maintain the belief that it is the power of all of us working together.”

“The Summit’s focus on education is really a focus on Northern Kentucky’s future – on the strength of our future workforce, the power of our local economy, the health of our people, and our vigor and resilience as a region,” said Dan Cahill, vice president and Kentucky market leader for Horan Associates, Inc., and chair of the Summit planning committee for NKYEC.

More than 300 professionals are expected to engage in the dialogue about education at the daylong event at NKU.

The keynote speaker is Karen J. Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment and a respected sociologist and leader in youth development. The Forum, which she co-founded, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” that combines thought leadership on youth development, youth policy, cross-system/cross-sector partnerships and developmental youth practice with on-the-ground training, technical assistance and supports. She has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Partners for Livable Cities, joining previous awardees such as President William Clinton and Lady Bird Johnson.

Dr. Richard Gilman, an expert on resiliency in children, will also speak. A professor in the Department of General Pediatrics for the University of Cincinnati Medical School, Dr. Gilman also is the director for the School-Based Mental Health Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as well as the director of Clinical Services and Training at UC Stress Center, for the University of Cincinnati Medical School. He is an author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on risk and resiliency factors that contribute to learning and student functioning. He is on several national and international boards, including the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.

Poverty issues and their effect on children will be addressed by Elaine Waxman, a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute.  Her expertise includes a broad range of issues affecting low-income families and communities.  She is currently coordinating the Institute’s new initiative on the changing social safety net and co-directs the Institute’s cross-center initiative on the social determinants of health.  She has also worked closely with the U.S. Partnership for Mobility out of Poverty to develop recommendations for a future of work that can support an inclusive economy. Prior to joining the Institute, Waxman served for six years as the Vice President of Research and Nutrition at Feeding America.

Other speakers include Mr. Cahill; Karen Finan, president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance and chair of the Northern Kentucky Education Council; Garren Colvin, CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare; James C. Votruba, president emeritus and professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Kentucky University; Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of HealthNorthern Kentucky Health Department; Kurt Reiber, President & CEO, Freestore Foodbank; Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore; Kenton County Judge Executive Kris Knochlemann; Nancy Grayson,  president of the Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky;  Randy Poe, superintendent for Boone County Schools; Kathlyn Burkhardt, superintendent for Erlanger-Elsmere Schools; Karen Cheser, superintendent for Fort Thomas Schools; Shelli Wilson, associate superintendent for Campbell County Schools.

Others taking a leading role at the Summit include: Dave Schroeder, executive director of the Kenton County Public Library; Tammy Weidinger, president and CEO of Brighton Center; Anthony Strong, superintendent of Pendleton County Schools; Mike Stacy, superintendent of Beechwood School District; Barbara Stewart, associate director of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District; Carissa Schutzman, associate vice president at Gateway Community and Technical College; Christy Petroze, associate professor at Thomas More College, Bill Bradford assistant superintendent with Fort Thomas Schools, Michael Shires, principal, North Pointe Elementary School; and Vicki Berling, a director at Sullivan University. 

Gerard St. Amand, interim president of NKU, will welcome participants to the Summit.

-Staff report

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