• 2017 Summer Leadership Academy

    Speaker Bios

     Jimmy Casas      Jimmy Casas 

    Jimmy recently completed his 22nd year in educational leadership. He received his BA in Spanish and Master’s in Teaching from the University of Iowa and his Master’s in Administrative Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Jimmy is currently working on his ED.S at Drake University and also serves as an adjunct professor for Drake, teaching a graduate course on Educational Leadership. Jimmy served fourteen years as principal at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. His passion for teaching and learning coupled with a vision for developing a community of leaders has procured a culture of excellence and high standards for learning amid a positive school culture for students and staff. Under his leadership, Bettendorf HS was named one of the Best High Schools in the country three times by Newsweek and US News & World Report. Jimmy’s core purpose lies in serving others. He continues to give back to his profession by speaking and presenting at the local, state and national levels and school districts around the country.

    Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. In 2013 he received the Bammy Educators Voice Award as the Secondary School Principal of the Year. In 2014, Jimmy was invited to the White House to speak on the Future Ready Schools pledge. In 2015, Jimmy received the Bammy Award for National Secondary Principal of the Year. He is the Co-Founder of EdCampIowa and also the Co-Founder of #IAedchat, an on-line discussion chat that takes place every Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. CST.   In 2015, Jimmy co-authored the popular educational book with Todd Whitaker and Jeff Zoul entitled, “What Connected Educators Do Differently.” 

    Jimmy currently serves as a Senior Fellow for the International Center for Leadership in Education and also serves on the Professional Development Faculty for NASSP; the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Finally, he is the co-founder and CEO of ConnectEDD, an educational leadership company aimed at organizing world class professional learning conferences and professional development services for educators across the country.


    Janice Case      Janice Case 

    Janice Case is an educator with 20+ years experience in both private and public school education. Most recently, Ms. Case served as the principal of Potomac Falls High School in Loudoun, Virginia. Her extensive public school experience includes middle and high school principal, high school assistant principal, and special education teacher. Her private school experience includes providing residential and school based instruction, in a K-12 environment, for children and adults with significant disabilities as well as program supervision over multiple sites and programs.

    For more than a decade, Janice has provided consultant services in the way of professional development to schools and school leaders nationwide. She has collaborated with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Virginia Foundation for Education Leadership, the Virginia Department of Education, and state associations for school leaders across the country to provide professional learning experiences on a wide range of topics targeted toward supporting schools throughout the school transformation process.

    In the last three years Janice has expanded her collaborative partnerships to include the National Institute for School Leadership and now serves as the California State Coordinator for the organization. 

    In February 2016 Janice added author to her repertoire upon the release of her first book, From Power Struggles to Conflict Resolution: Transform Your School's Culture Today.


    Janna Osman       Janna Osman 

    Janna Osman, M.Ed. is the Vice President for Advanced Learning at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. She has been at the Stern Center since 2009. She co-developed the Vermont Blueprint to Close the Achievement Gap, a collaborative partnership that develops solutions that actively involve business and education communities, families, and government, with a focus on states’ literacy laws.

    She also created Partners in Excellence, a Stern Center collaboration with schools, supervisory unions, and the Vermont Agencies of Education and Human Services to develop a systems approach to improve teacher knowledge and outcomes for all learners. She is working to expand the opportunities the Stern Center provides in understanding learner profiles, evaluation and instruction. Her goal and the Stern Center’s mission is for learners of all ages and backgrounds to experience personal accomplishment in a world where education as a whole will allow learners to reach even higher levels of success. 

    Prior to the Stern Center she was the Vermont Department of Education Learning Disabilities Consultant, where her work included development of regulatory procedures for learning disabilities and implementation of the Responsiveness to Instruction and Intervention model. As a special education practitioner in a rural elementary school for eighteen years, her knowledge of reading research paired with how children learn, informed practices at the state level. Twelve years of experience as Practicum Coordinator at St. Michael’s College working with graduate students in special education, helped keep her on the cutting edge of educational best practices in the field.


    Andrew Marcinek       Andrew Marcinek 

    Andrew Marcinek is currently the Chief Information Officer at Worcester Academy in Worcester, MA. Most recently, Andrew was the first Chief Open Education Advisor for the US Department of Education. In that role, Andrew focused on accelerating the adoption of open education policies within the Department and across the federal government. As part of this campaign, Andrew organized a White House event that launched a national movement called #GoOpen and brought together EdTech companies, district and state leaders, and nonprofits. His ultimate goal is to increase the curation and sharing of open educational materials by educators throughout the country. Prior to that, he served as Director of Technology, Instructional Technology Specialist, and secondary English teacher in schools in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.


     Joelle van Lent       Joelle van Lent

    Dr. Joelle van Lent is a licensed psychologist with over 15 years of experience working with children, families, and child serving agencies. Dr. van Lent has expertise as a therapist, clinician, evaluator, consultant, and trainer. Her work focuses on child and adolescent mental health, family therapy, trauma, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. van Lent’s approach is geared toward fostering resilience and creating communities that support healthy development. She is currently in private practice based in the northwestern part of Vermont and works across the state with schools and agencies.


    Nathan Levenson      Nathan Levenson 

    Nathan’s experience as a superintendent, school board member, and private sector CEO allows him to bring a unique perspective to his work at DMGroup. As President, he oversees all consulting activities and directs the development of tools and systems to facilitate the implementation of best practices. Nate has worked closely with superintendents and their leadership teams from more than 100 districts across the country to help create practical solutions to pressing challenges and to guide sustained efforts that turn opportunities into realities. He has extensive experience working with districts and supervisory unions in Vermont. Areas of expertise include governance, improving special education and helping schools thrive despite tight finances.

    Publications Include:

    ·    A Better Way to Budget, Harvard Education Press, 2015.

    ·    Contributing author, Spending Money Wisely, The District Management Council, 2014.

    ·    Smarter Budgets, Smarter Schools: How to survive and thrive in tight times, Harvard Education Press, 2012.

    ·    Contributing author, Stretching the School Dollar, Harvard Education Press 2010.

    ·    “Something Must Change: Rethinking Special Education,” American Enterprise Institute, 2011.

    ·    “Declining Resources, Targeted Strategies,” School Administrator Magazine, January 2011.

    ·    “Doing the most good: Academic Return on Investment,” Educational Leadership, 2012. 


    Mark Kostin    Mark Kostin

    Mark Kostin is associate director of the Great Schools Partnership. Mark joined the Partnership in 2003 and co-leads a number of large-scale initiatives including the New England Secondary School Consortium and the NextGen Personalized Learning initiative. He provides direct support to state education agencies and supports districts and schools across the country. Mark’s professional interests include collaborative school improvement, ensuring college and career readiness for all students, the role of policy in large-scale reform, and the importance of schools in a democracy. Mark earned his BSc in chemistry and a DipEd in secondary education from McGill University in Montreal and an MEd in administration and planning and an EdD in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont. Mark has worked as a science teacher in Canada’s largest school system in Toronto and was a school administrator in a large rural school district in Vermont. Mark was a tenured faculty member at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA where he directed an award-winning proficiency-based secondary education program and oversaw the field experiences and partnership in dozens of districts for over 1,000 university students a year. He lives in Yarmouth, Maine, with his wife and three children.