Continuing the Conversation Series

 “Continuing the Conversation” Webinar Series 2020-21

(All dates are Tuesdays and will be from 4pm to 5pm. The VPA will send email invites to all 2020 Leadership Academy participants with the relevant zoom link one week ahead of each date).

Nov 17, 2020: Dr. Luvelle Brown, all Academy participants will be invited to attend

Dec 1, 2020: Shane Safir, all Academy participants will be invited to attend

Dec 15, 2020: For Academy Participants: Reconnecting with select Strand Leaders

Jan 19, 2021: Shane Safir, all Academy participants will be invited to attend

March 16, 2021: Dr. Luvelle Brown, all Academy participants will be invited to attend

Canceled: May 18, 2020: For Academy Participants: Reconnecting with select Strand Leaders

Would you like to join?
All registered participants of the VPA 2020 Academy are already considered registered for this series. If you were not registered for the Academy, but would like to join us for 4 additional content hours with Shane Safir and Dr. Luvelle Brown, you can do so here. The fee is $50 and will include invitations to join Shane Safir on 12/1/20 (rescheduled from 9/15) & 1/19/21, and Dr. Luvelle Brown on 11/17/20 & 3/16/21. Each date represents one-time synchronous learning from 4pm to 5pm, for a total of four professional learning hours in leadership.

“Growing Equitable & Thriving School Communities”


TUESDAY: August 4th

Keynote Title: The Listening Leader: Building Will, Skill, and Momentum for Equity

Shane Safir: For more than 20 years, Shane Safir has worked at every level of the school system, from the classroom to the boardroom. In 2003 she became the founding principal of June Jordan School for Equity (JJSE) in San Francisco, an innovative national model identified by scholar Linda Darling-Hammond as having beaten the odds in supporting the success of low-income students of color.

Shane has provided coaching and professional development for schools, districts, and organizations across the country and in Canada. She facilitates workshops on equity leadership development, culturally responsive education, instructional leadership, coaching, and facilitating adult learning. A change agent at heart, with a passion for cultivating student voice and agency, Shane is the author of The Listening Leader: Creating the Conditions for Equitable School Transformation (Wiley 2017) and is currently hard at work on her next book, Street Data: How the Information We Need Will Lead Us to Equity (Corwin Press 2021). To learn more, visit


Keynote Title: Reducing Anxiety in Schools

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a licensed and board certified behavior analyst, special educator, and a consultant to schools internationally. Jessica has over seventeen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems.  She is a blogger on The Huffington Post, as well as the author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, with Nancy Rappaport (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014). To learn more about Jessica, visit


Keynote Title: A Loving Approach to Cultivating Equity and Excellence in Our Schools

Dr. Luvelle Brown: Luvelle Brown has served as the Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York since January 2011.  During his tenure in Ithaca, the Ithaca City School District has experienced some of the most significant qualitative and quantitative student and school achievement shifts in the nation while the district has reached unprecedented levels of success.

Dr. Brown has received various awards and recognitions. The 2017 New York State Superintendent of the Year  has been listed by various publications as one of the nation’s top educators and thought leaders. Dr. Brown has been recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch” and “Difference Maker”, received the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Award, and received the eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award.  He was selected by the US Department of Education as one of the nation’s top 100 innovative Superintendents. Along with that distinction, Dr. Brown was invited to be a featured speaker at President Barack Obama’s 1st National Superintendent Summit at the White House. To learn more about Dr. Brown, visit


(Read the Full Descriptions of Each Strand)

  • The 4 Essential Roles of Leadership: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goal with Gary McGuey of FranklinCovey
  • Culture of Love: Cultivating a Positive & Transformational Organizational Culture with Dr. Luvelle Brown
  • How Can Vermont School Leaders Build Toward Equity & Inclusion with CQ Strategies
  • Practical Strategies for Reducing Anxiety & Defiant Behavior in Our Schools with Jessica Minahan
  • Restorative Practice for Difficult Times: Addressing Implementation Challenges with Jon Kidde, Annie O’Shaughnessy, and Principal Elijah Hawkes
  • The 10 Non-Negotiables of MTSS with Michaela Martin