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Region 8 CC at the 2023 National Elementary and Secondary Education Act Conference

Photo of Amy Colton, Rose Buckley, Corrine Edwards, Rané Garcia, and Bersheril Bailey


The 2023 National ESEA Conference was held in Indianapolis, Indiana this year from February 1 to February 4. State coordinators from the Region 8 Comprehensive Center (CC) team in partnership with representatives from the Michigan and Indiana state education agencies (SEAs) presented three workshops in the span of three days:

  • Partnering to Expand Access to Quality Summer/After School Learning and Enrichment
  • Equitable Integration of Student Voice to Improve Outcomes for All
  • Innovative Approaches to Solving the National Teacher Shortage

On February 1, Michigan state coordinator, Stephanie Irvine, along with Michigan Department of Education (MDE) director of preschool and out-of-school time learning Richard Lower, Chris Dwyer, TA specialist, Region 8 CC, and field consultant for the National Summer Learning Association, Stacy Silverman, on Expanding Access to Quality Summer/After-School Learning & Enrichment through Community Partnerships. Highlights included a discussion about how Michigan is expanding access to summer and after-school learning through partnerships, the value of partnerships for summer and after-school learning, qualities of effective partnerships, and how some Michigan school districts are embracing such partnerships. Of the overall conference experience, Stephanie expressed, “It was so good to see people representing so many different state and local agencies and even schools in all of the sessions. All of the sessions were well attended, and we were thrilled to connect with so many folks from school districts in particular during the summer learning session.”

For the presentation on February 2, Ohio state coordinator and TA specialist, Rose Buckley, along with MDE education consultant, Bersheril Bailey, Michigan state coordinator, Amy Colton, and MDE director of office of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Rané Garcia, presented on Equitable Integration of Student Voice to Improve Outcomes for All. The team discussed the continuum of equitable student voice, Michigan’s interest in empowering students, and strategies for equitable practices for centering student voice. Here is what Rose had to say about the presentation and overall conference experience: “The presentation went so well, as we worked hard to make sure we heard from the audience and gave them time to talk with each other. It was a large crowd and the participants seemed so engaged, talkative, and excited about the topic. I also valued that we were able to embed videos of students sharing their perspectives since it was not feasible for them to attend the session to present with us. The Michigan Department of Education team was great to work with and it was exciting to present on this topic. I also enjoyed ESEA because it provided opportunities for the Region 8 CC team to spend time building our relationships with each other. “

On February 3, Indiana state coordinator, Kerry Hoffman, along with Indiana Department of Education representative Renee Baratta, and Whitley County Consolidated Schools representative, Lori Heuer,  presented on Innovative Approaches to Solving the National Teacher Shortage. As Kerry described the experience, “I had the opportunity to present in two different sessions at the conference. With my colleagues from the National Center’s Accelerated Learning Workgroup, we shared ideas about what accelerated learning could look like in schools. In our session about Grow Your Own (GYO) in Indiana, we started by making our own sunshine (because Indiana tends to be cloudy in the winter) and sharing the story of the state’s focus on innovative ways to address the teacher shortage and Lori Heuer spotlighted Whitley County Consolidated Schools’ GYO program.  Our ‘sunshine’ glow remained throughout both sessions and even afterwards, with attendees sharing ideas, asking questions, and thinking about what’s possible for both learning and the teacher pipeline. I came home from the conference invigorated by conversations with my colleagues and new friends.”

Photo of Beverly Mattson, Renee Baratta, Lori Heuer, and Kerry HoffmanPhoto of group at the 2023 ESEA Conference