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Announcing the 2024 Summer Institute Featured Speakers! Register Now to Save $100.

Updated: Feb 13

In just about 159 days (but who’s counting), hundreds of educators from around the nation once again will come together on July 23-24 in Columbus, Ohio at Upper Arlington High School to collaborate, be inspired, encouraged and genuinely refreshed. The 2024 Summer Institute for Authentic Learning and Leadership is shaping up to be the best one yet.


In addition to our esteemed keynote speakers, this year’s “un-conference”, as it has been billed by past attendees, has a dynamic line up of featured speakers ready to add to our “surprise and delight.” Each one will contribute an additional layer to this year’s theme “Creating Beautiful Work.” This list includes some familiar faces as well as some new friends that we know participants are going to love as much as we do.

· Buddy Berry, the Superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools (KY), is back by popular demand with a variety of breakout sessions, such as “Creating the Coolest Lessons Ever!”


· Missy McClain, the Community Education Program Coordinator for School Health Services Department at Akron Children's Hospital, will use a mix of personal experiences and lessons from the road to provide practical resources to any adult looking to make a difference in the life of a child.

· Steve Shapiro, the host of the acclaimed experiential-learning and school reform podcast Experience Matters, will share his passion and enthusiasm for making school more relevant, engaging and empowering for students and teachers alike.

· Annalies Corbin, the Founder, President, and CEO of the PAST Foundation and host of the widely popular Learning Unboxed podcast series, will return this year to share her passion for linking learning to life.

· Jen Lehe, the Beth Crane and Richard McKee Associate Director of Learning Innovation at the Columbus Museum of Art, will help educators plan for community impact through linking art and community engagement.

· Donte Woods-Spikes, a gifted artist, communicator, and community leader, will educate and connect us to the world beyond perceptions and stereotypes through the sharing of authentic experiences.

· Sarah Lagrotteria, the head educator at Just Bloom School,  will empower us to see the importance of solving real-world problems through narrative rather than logic-based methods. 


SPOILER ALERT: Sarah may be joined by Angus Fletcher, professor of Story Science at Ohio State’s Project Narrative, if his schedule permits.



Now it is your turn to consider being an integral part of the Summer Institute. Have you (and perhaps your team) tried an authentic learning experience with your students? We hope you will consider developing a breakout session that helps our participants reimagine education, reconnect with the joy of teaching, and empower students to change the world.  

We’re especially looking for session facilitators who’ve tried authentic approaches with students and/or demonstrated authentic leadership to support innovation—even if they’ve faced some challenges along the way. There’s so much we can learn from each other’s journeys.

We’re also especially looking for sessions that can help participants connect authentic learning and leadership with other current priorities, including literacy, career awareness/workforce development, mental health, and equity. Providing students with real-world skills and experiences can integrate these areas rather than treat them as silos. So, maybe you can help colleagues explore how to accomplish this. (This certainly isn’t a requirement for every breakout session, but we’d like to make sure it’s addressed in several.) 

While previous conferences have focused on the nuts and bolts of authentic learning, this year will take a turn to provide attendees with tools to help overcome challenges and the barriers they may have faced or will be facing as they make the shift to more authentic learning opportunities.

Click here for registration information and to stay informed on all things related to the 2024 Summer Institute for Authentic Learning and Leadership. 


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