Posted in Notes from Forward

Don’t Stop Achievin’

Stan Torzewski, NBCT

Another school week gone
Ready for some teacher fun
Dr. Donna says
6 hours of PD

Issues on our plate
Biggest district in the state
Dr. Donna says
6 hours of PD

Joined arms and spoke some truth
Fed our minds and networks too
Now let’s change the world

Network, recharge
Teaching can at times be hard
Our profession can sometimes feel like a fight

Network, recharge
Breaking out of isolation
Together we’ll bring the LIGHT

Don’t think we’ll ever get our fill
Numbers, standards, reading skills
Starting early & staying late
Each school day

Some teach science
Some teach math
Some teach on the coaching path
Changing lives everyday
We teach on and on and on and on
Network, recharge
Teaching can at times be hard
Our profession sometimes feel like a fight

Network, recharge
Breaking out of isolation
Together we’ll bring the LIGHT

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feeling

Posted in Notes from Forward

ECET2Lou – February 24 & 25

ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers) is part of a teacher leadership movement throughout the country focused on collaboration between highly effective teachers and professionalizing the teacher profession. ECET2Lou is an invitation only event for classroom teachers and instructional coaches in Jefferson County Public Schools. Created by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ECET2 seeks to realize a teacher’s potential by ensuring each convening aligns with its six key ingredients.


The nomination processed utilized the Kentucky Teacher Leadership Framework to create diverse group of attendees reflective of all facets of teacher leadership. Over 700 JCPS classroom practicioners and instructional coaches in all content areas and grade levels were nominated.

As of July 2016, there have been 5 national convenings, over 150 regional convenings in 35 host states, and over 25,000 teachers who have attended an ECET2 event.  In Kentucky, there have been 4 state and 13 regional and district convenings with over 2,000 teachers attending since January 2014.

JCPSForward is proud to bring the movement to Jefferson County Public Schools.  For more information on ECET2Lou, please contact or DM @meme3rat.

KY’s Own Dr. Vicki Phillips to Highlight Friday Night Events

Dr. Vicki Phillips currently serves as an Education Strategist, working with organizations and ed-tech companies devoted to the engagement and professional learning of teachers – i.e., designing high quality, innovative professional development, ensuring teachers have the opportunity to learn from the experts they trust most – other teachers – and developing connected communities of teachers as well as companies and organizations focused on the enabling conditions that advance teacher learning and effective school and district leadership, both nationally (e.g., Teaching Partners, SchoolxDesign) and internationally.

Phillips most recently served as Director of Education, College Ready, for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At the Foundation, she led the work to ensure U.S. high school students graduate ready to succeed in college, career and community and to improve the effectiveness of teachers by increasing their access to quality instructional tools and supports, actionable meaningful feedback and the expertise of their colleagues. In addition, Phillips and her team sought to advance tech-enabled education innovations, including new school designs focused on personalizing learning for students, and to create a more open and robust education market.

Phillips has built a strong education reform record throughout her career, at all levels – from neighborhood schools to the federal government. For nearly three decades, she has endeavored to improve education – as a teacher, state-level policymaker, leader of a nonprofit education foundation, superintendent of a large urban school district and for nearly a decade as the director of education for the world’s largest foundation.

Prior to joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she was superintendent of Portland Public Schools in Portland, Oregon. Earlier, Phillips served as Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s appointed secretary of education/chief state school officer and as superintendent in the Schools District of Lancaster, PA. She previously served at the state level in her home state of Kentucky, helping to implement the sweeping changes demanded by the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990. Phillips has worked with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., and has been a middle and high school teacher.

Born in Kentucky and raised on a small farm, Phillips was the first in her family to go to college, and earned first a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education and a master’s degree in school psychology from Western Kentucky University. She holds a doctorate in international leadership and management from the University of Lincoln in England, and served as a founding member of the governing council for England’s National College for School Leadership. Phillips also holds three honorary doctorates and currently serves as a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

***Click here to read a blog by Brigette Bloom Ramsey, Executive Director of the Prichard Committe for Academic Excellence titled, “Celebrating Vicki Phillips – Visionary and Kentucky Visionary”***

Why ECET2Lou Stands Apart in Professional Opportunities

ECET2 events are planned by teachers, for teachers

  • Solutions oriented, small group discussions called “Colleague Circles” allow the teachers to have honest and meaningful discussions problems of practice with other teachers.
  • The convening agenda features workshops focused on pedagogy, teacher leadership, networking and issues and challenges specific to JCPS to support deeper learning in both students and educators.
  • Inspiring keynotes called “Cultivating a Calling” allow teachers to hear passionate and motivational stories of fellow educators.
  • Why I Teach” and “Lightbulb Moment” booths allow attendees to share their passion through posting their thoughts on social media and learn how to implement these innovative, motivating initiatives in their schools.
  • Stronger professional learning communities are built and attendees can take these pedagogical ideas to take back to their schools to strengthen instructional practices and student instruction.
  • After Dr. Phillips’ keynote, BreakoutEdu icebreaker sessions on Friday evening will be followed by a social in the famous Seelbach Rathskeller Lounge.

Learn More about ECET2