We’re thrilled to announce that nearly 1,000 attendees have attended PowerSchool EDGE, our first-ever annual customer event, in Orlando, Florida. From start to finish, EDGE focused on themes of unification, empowerment, and potential—and a collaborative passion to improve K-12 education and student success. The event brought together all educator roles—from curriculum leaders, tech directors, and operations staff to administrators, HR and finance directors, and superintendents—to connect, learn, and grow.
In all, attendees came from 48 states, seven countries, and more than half of Canadia’s provinces.
“I was thrilled to be able to come here in the collaborative spirit of PowerSchool EDGE and meet other like-minded professionals who want to move education forward,” said Dr. Resia Brooks, Human Resources Coordinator at Shelby County Board of Education.
Another customer, Elaina Wrzesniewski, Data Services Specialist of Montgomery County Intermediate Unit 23, tweeted: “Kudos to @MyPowerSchool for a powerful #PSEDGE conference! Loved meeting new people, making connections & learning! Now to rest up for next year, already looking forward to it!”
“At PowerSchool, we’ve made it our mission to unify the educational ecosystem to empower educators to unlock student potential—from enrollment and reporting to HR, finance, and classroom solutions. EDGE brings together all of these educators from our customer base, which is the biggest and most engaged education community on the planet. EDGE connects us all together to collaborate and learn how each educator is solving specific challenges,” said Hardeep Gulati, PowerSchool CEO.
“We couldn’t be more excited with the success of our inaugural customer event. We have amazing, passionate customers and bringing them together in one place has been a rewarding, inspiring experience,” said Anthony Miller, PowerSchool CMO. “We really have assembled the brightest minds in K-12 education in one place, to learn about challenges and successes, dive deeper in the K-12 education issues of today and tomorrow, and work together to figure out how we can improve education for student success.”
PowerSchool EDGE was highlighted by over 60 learning sessions in four different role-specific tracks, networking opportunities for K-12 educators to connect with colleagues and share challenges and successes, and a pair of phenomenal keynote speakers: Erin Gruwell and Alison Levine.
Gruwell, a teacher whose inspiring story was turned into the 2007 film, “Freedom Writers,” starring Hilary Swank, led off the event with her presentation, “Becoming a Catalyst for Change.” She told how she challenged her students to overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems of poverty, racism, and violence. She helped 150 of her students, many of whom were written off by the education system, to use the power of education to write a book, graduate from high school, and attend college.
She spoke about educators needing to have hope in providing students with better futures than they ever could have imagined. “PowerSchool allows us to have that hope,” she said, adding, “Dare to be that bright light for the kids who need it most.”
Alison Levine, team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, spoke about leadership on Wednesday. The New York Times bestselling author of On the Edge, Levine is a polar explorer and mountaineer who’s climbed the Seven Summits and skied to the North and South Poles. She delivered a resounding leadership message that transcends her extreme climbing expeditions and remains relevant in today’s educational environment.
Other event highlights include:
- Launch of the PowerSchool + Microsoft EdTech Showcase, a traveling, interactive K-12 experience showcasing how seamless integration between modern K-12 applications can transform and accelerate teaching and learning. Inside the exhibit, hands-on demonstrations highlighted how a single, unified solution from PowerSchool and Microsoft can give teachers more time and productivity. In six hands-on stations, the EdTech Showcase showed how seamless integration between tools can power your entire education ecosystem, drive student success, engage parents, support teachers, and expand classroom abilities.
- The Transformational Educators Panel featured an interactive discussion with curriculum and instructional leaders, moderated by Marcy Daniel, PowerSchool Chief Product Officer. Panel members shared their perspectives of how education is preparing all students to realize their potential, what they wish to see more of in their school environments, and their hopes and dreams for the future. Panelists included: Amy McIntosh, Associate Vice Chancellor-Academic Strategy, The City University of New York; Glen Warren, Chief Transformation Officer, Encinitas Union School District, CA; Lydia Alvarez, Interim Executive Director for Student Information Systems and the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Testing, Newark Public Schools, NJ; and Stephen Bournes, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.
- In the Transformational Leadership Panel, PowerSchool customers shared challenges and successes as they strive to power brighter futures for the students they serve. K-12 leaders on the panel included: Michael Nicolaides , Chief Information Officer, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; Rod Houpe, National Director of Business Development and former CIO, Cleveland Metro School District, OH; Ahunna M. Akoma, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent for Technology, Hempstead Public Schools, NY; Bruce Patrou, Chief Information Officer, St. Johns County School District, FL; and Adam Larsen, Assistant Superintendent, Oregon CUSD 20, IL. The panel was moderated by Chris Porter, PowerSchool President and K-12 General Manager.
- Tracks for Specific K-12 Roles. Four focused conference tracks featured tailored content curated to guide K-12 leaders to success in 2019. Tracks included: Talent; Operations, Finance, & HR; Classroom; and Administration/SIS. All track sessions focused on insights, best practices, and discussions of issues related to K-12 staff in those roles.
- 60+ Breakout Sessions. Attendees could choose from unique sessions with a balance of thought leader and product-specific topics led by PowerSchool subject matter and product experts, fellow K-12 district leaders, and PowerSchool partners. Some of the breakout sessions included “Harnessing the Power of Predictive Analytics to Recruit, Hire and Retain Teachers” (Talent track), “Maximizing the Impact of Professional Development” (Talent track), “Early Warning Systems: A Proven Tool to Increase Graduation Rates” (Operations/Finance/HR track), “Addressing Student Needs as a Continuum: From Early Warning to College & Career Readiness” (Operations/Finance/HR track), “Today’s Leader: A High Reliability Approach to Improving Student Outcomes” (Administration track), and “Classroom Trends of the Future” (Classroom track).
PowerSchool staff and customers are already gearing up for the PowerSchool EDGE 2020, which promises to be even bigger and better. Watch for updates at https://www.powerschool.com/edge/.
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