Superintendents Summit

Superintendents Summit, March, 2018

Collaborating to create meaningful action is what a DALI Summit is all about. At the historic Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs this March, that’s what a group of Superintendents from across the U.S. discovered together.

Participants made the most of the chance to interact with top solution providers and collaborate with fellow leaders, mapping out strategies to address persistent challenges and recognize hidden opportunities in their home districts. That’s the DALI Difference.

Group widgets for padding


Speaker(s): Mark Rothschild
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 08:50
Speaker(s): Nigel Nisbet
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 09:20
Speaker(s): Mike Belcher
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 09:50
Speaker(s): Dave MacLeod, Quintin Shepherd, Steve Kennedy, Randall Zimmerly
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 11:10
Speaker(s): Berj Akian, Jan Mills
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 11:40
Speaker(s): Todd Brekhus, Don Haddad, Jackie Kapushion
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 13:25
Speaker(s): Gary Murphy, Jeanne Donadio, LeAnne Gandy, Dr. Brian Hightower
Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 13:55


Speaker(s): Thom Jones
Friday, March 23, 2018 - 09:10
Speaker(s): Andrew Hegedus
Friday, March 23, 2018 - 09:40
Speaker(s): Marcus Lingenfelter
Friday, March 23, 2018 - 10:25


Dr. Andrew Hegedus is a Senior Research Manager at NWEA, where he manages research projects focused on understanding growth drivers in schools. His interests include working with education system leadership to use data and evidence to build their capacity, and improve their system's performance. Andy holds an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Delaware, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University, and B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

Berj Akian founded ClassLink in 1998. What started as an effort to help one local school with their technology plan to improve student learning became ClassLink. Today, ClassLink serves students and teachers around the world. Berj has been a panelist, presenter, and moderator at hundreds of conferences and has hosted hundreds of webinars with industry experts on various aspects of education technology.

Dr. Brian V. Hightower is dedicated to “educating the emerging generation” as Superintendent of Schools for the Cherokee County School District. After 30 years of service as a teacher and administrator, Hightower took office as Superintendent of Schools on February 1, 2016. A member of the State Superintendent of School’s Superintendents Advisory Council, he was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2017 and 2016 “Who’s Who” in Education, and was presented the 2017 Outstanding Leadership in School/Community Relations Award by the Georgia School PR Association.

As President and Co-Founder of Thoughtexchange, Dave MacLeod leads a team responsible for changing the face of online consultation. Leveraging the power of group intelligence and the principles of collaborative negotiation, Dave draws on his previous experience as a town hall facilitator and community development consultant, to help leaders - primarily in K-12 education - engage with stakeholders in a way that redefines what's possible in the public consultation space.

Under Dave’s leadership, a team of facilitation experts and software engineers continue to challenge the status quo and overcome the inherent gaps of traditional listening tools, finding solutions for many of today's critical education and health challenges. Using Thoughtexchange, hundreds of North American leaders have successfully engaged with their stakeholders to inform bond measure development, education assurance models, teacher efficacy and evaluation, and most recently, a public health consultation focused on human rights.

With three boys at home all under the age of five, practicing complex negotiation and mediation is also a big part of Dave's daily personal life.

Dr. Haddad has been successfully involved in an educational career for 33 years. During this time he has benefited from a broad range of experiences in several school districts while working in various teaching, coaching and administrative positions at every level PK-12. Currently he participates in numerous professional organizations and educationally focused activities.

Gary served for 31 years as a Public School Educator, teaching grades K-9 and holding principals’ positions at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He finished his K-12 Education career as the Chief Information Officer for Douglas County Schools, Colorado. Gary was recognized as Administrator of the Year by the Colorado Media Educators Association, and commended by the Governor of Colorado for his work with educational technology.

Jackie Kapushion is beginning her 30th year in public education. She is currently the Deputy Superintendent in St. Vrain Valley School District after serving in various roles including Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, and Director of Professional Development in other school districts in Colorado. She also previously spent five years as an elementary principal and several years as an elementary teacher.

Jeanne Donadio is a 44 year veteran of Career and Technical Education. She began her career in education as a Family and Consumer Science teacher and moved into administration. She has over 20 years of school based administrative experience with 7 years as the principal of a large comprehensive high school. Before retiring, she served as the Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the Clark County School District, fifth largest in the nation. 

LeAnne Gandy is the Superintendent of the Lovington, New Mexico, Municipal School District, where she previously served as Assistant Superintendent, Senior Education Consultant, teacher and gifted coordinator. Gandy is the President of the Southeastern New Mexico Educational Resource Center. She is passionate about continuous learning for adults and students, and is a strong advocate for building community support and collaboration with all stakeholders for the benefit of students.

Marcus joined Edmentum in 2018 as SVP, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships. Marcus previously served as SCP of Advancement for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) – the non-profit established for the purpose of dramatically improving math and science educational outcomes for the country. Additionally he served two international educational associations: The College Board and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Mark Rothschild, Ph.D. is founder and CEO of Right At School, an innovative educational services company focused on educational enrichment programs before, during and after school. Right At School serves more than 25,000 students every day, right in their own schools.

Mark’s career has spanned numerous for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Mark has lead several JCCs, was President of Knowledge Advisors, Sr. Vice President at FastWeb, and a Communication Specialist at both McKinsey & Company and Arthur Andersen. Mark is an ordained rabbi from Hebrew Union College, earned a Ph.D. in education leadership from Indiana University, an MA from Northwestern, and a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mark likes school!

As the Director of EdTech Innovation, Mike is completely focused on how to best support schools in maximizing their most important student outcomes. Mike had been providing guidance and recommendations to School Districts, Legislative bodies and Offices of Education for more than 15 years. Doing so through planning support as well as facilitating the building and delivering the most effective and sustainable Ed Tech programs. He currently resides in northern California and is a Board Member of several education and workforce development organizations.

Nigel Nisbet is the Director of Content Creation at the MIND Research Institute, designing new instructional software that uses a highly visual game-based approach to teach mathematics to students, regardless of their language proficiency. A former High School Mathematics teacher and Mathematics Coordinator with the Los Angeles Unified School District, he is an expert in classroom technology and experiential learning. In addition to a degree in Pure mathematics from the University of London, he has a MA in Educational Administration.

Dr. Quintin Shepherd began his career in education teaching music at Cambridge Community Unit School District in Cambridge, Illinois. He served as principal at Amboy High and Elementary schools, before moving into the superintendent role at Amboy Community School District and then District 69 in Skokie, Illinois. Since joining the Linn-Mar Community School District, Shepherd has led the district in formulating a 10-year strategic plan, a restructuring plan and a bond referendum campaign.

Thom Jones is a former administrator and teacher with more than 19 years of experience in public education. While principal of Dublin Willard Grizell, the school was the only Ohio middle school designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School in 2009. At NaviGate Prepared since 2013, Thom leads his team as they strive to help move school districts to the forefront of emergency preparedness.

Todd Brekhus is an educational leader devoted to introducing innovative technologies to educators and administrators. As President of Digital Solutions of Capstone Publishers, Brekhus leads the digital product vision and strategy as the organization continues to expand its digital solutions in the education market. His prior experiences launching products and services into the education market as well as his thorough understanding on technology provides the foundation to Capstone Digital future growth.

Prior to coming to Capstone Digital, Mr. Brekhus was the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at PLATO Learning, where he was responsible for the entire product library, integration of acquired product lines, and bringing new product ideas to market. In this role he built the vision for the PLATO Learning Environment– a scalable platform for states, districts, and schools to leverage technology for overall student achievement used by more than one million students since inception. During his time at PLATO, Todd authored a book chapter and article on Software as a Service (SaaS) in Education. Prior to his roles at PLATO Learning, he held senior level positions at various companies including President and COO of Learning Elements and MCI WorldCom, where he helped build and implement the MarcoPolo Program (now called Verizon Thinkfinity).

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