April 20, 2021
Zoom and Facebook Live
All are welcome, and registration is FREE!
The Honorable Miguel Cardona, United States Secretary of Education
Please see full bio here.
Ronn Nozoe, NASSP Chief Executive Officer
Ronn Nozoe is a lifelong educator and the CEO of NASSP. Nozoe has served as associate executive director, interim executive director, and senior adviser at ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) since 2015. He led the development of some of ASCD’s most high-profile programs, including the ASCD Whole Child Network and ASCD Activate. Nozoe served as Hawaii deputy state superintendent from 2010–15, during which time he amplified principals’ voices in statewide decisions with the creation of the Deputy’s Principal Roundtable; and leveraged federal Race to the Top funds and School Improvement Grants to increase statewide achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment. Nozoe holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education and teaching, both from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
State of American Education
Robert Motley, President, NASSP
Robert Motley is the 2020–21 president of NASSP and principal of Atholton High School in Columbia, MD. During his tenure on the NASSP Board of Directors, Motley chaired the NASSP Programs and Services Committee and served as the board liaison to the Student Leadership Advisory Committee, where he worked with exceptional student leaders from around the country to advocate on Capitol Hill and shape the national student voice initiative. In 2006, Motley was recognized as the Maryland State Assistant Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland–College Park in French language and foreign language secondary education, and a master’s degree at The George Washington University in elementary and secondary educational administration and supervision. He is currently seeking his PhD in instructional leadership at Notre Dame Maryland University.
Richard Gordon, Principal, Paul Robeson High School for Human Services, Philadelphia, PA; 2021 NASSP National Principal of the Year
Richard Gordon has served as the principal of Paul Robeson High School for Human Services since 2013. Gordon’s transformative leadership led the school to be recognized as the “2017 Most Improved High School” in the city of Philadelphia. In 2020, he was recognized as the Pennsylvania State Principal of the Year, and he was given the Distinguished Service to Education Award. He was named the 2021 NASSP National Principal of the Year. Gordon has been an educator since 1996. Prior to becoming a principal, he served as teacher, special education teacher, truancy liaison, and assistant principal. He is a board member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships (Community Advisory Board). Gordon grew up in Camden, NJ, and Philadelphia.
Jennifer McCormick, PhD, former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction
Dr. Jennifer McCormick was Indiana’s 44th State Superintendent of Public Instruction. A nationally recognized educator and innovator, Dr. McCormick has served at every level of the K–12 education system. She was a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and district superintendent prior to serving as Indiana’s State Superintendent. As an education leader, Dr. McCormick is an energetic and tireless advocate for children who is dedicated to improving educational outcomes. She is currently the CEO of Fierce Up! Leadership, focused on school, district, and state-level leadership development, and is also the vice president of EES Analytics.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)
U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill proudly represents New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1994, Rep. Sherrill spent almost 10 years on active duty in the United States Navy. Rep. Sherrill attended law school after leaving the Navy in 2003, working as a lawyer and eventually joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Rep. Sherrill worked to keep our communities safe, prosecuting federal cases and advising law enforcement on investigations. Rep. Sherrill holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy, a master’s degree in Global History from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a law degree from Georgetown University. Rep. Sherrill sits on the House Armed Services Committee; the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee; and the House Education and Labor Committee.
Moderator: Nirvi Shah, Senior Deputy Editor—Politico
Nirvi Shah joined POLITICO in 2013, founding the Pro Education policy team before becoming the deputy editor for all of POLITICO Pro’s policy teams. In early 2016, she joined the staff of POLITICO Europe, overseeing the expansion of policy coverage from the seat of the European Union. Over the years, she’s overseen the successful launch of a wide range of subscription and consumer news products. She returned to POLITICO in the United States in late 2018. Before joining POLITICO, she worked as special education and school climate and culture reporter at Education Week, covering school safety, health, discipline and nutrition. She previously worked for The Miami Herald and The Palm Beach Post, where she won a number of education reporting awards.
Principals Advocate: How school leaders can influence lawmakers to support schools through grassroots activism
Breakout moderators: NASSP State Coordinators
The NASSP State Coordinators are leading volunteer advocates and practicing school leaders in every state. They promote the agenda of principals, schools, and students by regularly meeting and advocating with elected officials and engaging other educators to join them in their activism.
Amanda Karhuse, NASSP Director of Advocacy
Amanda Karhuse has served as the director of advocacy for NASSP since 2006. She coordinates all federal policy and advocacy efforts for NASSP, which include lobbying congressional staff, monitoring legislation affecting school leaders, and participating in coalition-building activities with other national education organizations. Prior to joining NASSP, Karhuse was a senior writer and editor for the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., and worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for former Rep. Karen L. Thurman of Florida. Karhuse has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA, and a master’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Zach Scott, NASSP Senior Advocacy Manager
Zach Scott is the senior manager of federal engagement and outreach for NASSP. He serves as NASSP’s lead lobbyist and advocates on behalf of the organization’s positions to a variety of external audiences. Scott also aids in policy development by monitoring legislation affecting middle level and high school leaders and developing policy positions based on federal legislation. Prior to joining NASSP, Scott worked for more than three years on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan. Scott has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI.
Greg Waples, NASSP Senior Advocacy Manager
Greg Waples is the senior manager of state engagement and outreach for NASSP. He manages grassroots advocacy efforts as he coordinates with NASSP principals, educators, state associations, and partners. Prior to joining NASSP, Waples worked for more than three years as a campaign manager at the Center for American Progress and focused on gun violence prevention issues. He also worked at the White House in the Obama administration and has several years of political campaign experience, including service as a regional field director on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Waples has a bachelor’s degree in history from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.