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Conference To Focus on Common Core Standards

Professional Educators of Tennessee, a statewide membership organization for teachers, administrators, and non-certified staff from kindergarten through graduate levels, will host a professional development conference focused on Common Core Standards June 22. Leader U 2013 will take place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel in Franklin, TN.

The keynote presentation at Leader U, which is open to educators, parents, and business and community leaders, will be delivered by David Saba, COO of the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit organization launched in 2007 to provide science, technology, engineering, and math-related training programs for teachers. Previously, SABA served as CEO of Laying the Foundation, which eventually merged with the National Math and Science Initiative; CEO and vice president of development and evaluation of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence; and Mid Atlantic regional director for Kaplan Test Prep.

According to PET, "Mr. Saba has helped create a long-term strategy for success, including a message of increased college access, which will positively impact over 100,000 students."

Other presenters will include:

  • Emily Barton, assistant commissioner of curriculum and instruction for the Tennessee Department of Education (TNDOE);
  • Leigh Jones, director of aesthetic education initiatives for Tennessee Performing Arts Center;
  • Christy Ballard, general counsel for the TNDOE;
  • Linda Copas, behavior consultant and director of autism services for the TNDOE;
  • Mark Smith, dean of STEM, CTE department chair, and teacher at Knox County schools;
  • Perry Craft and Mike Sheppard, general counsel for Professional Educators of Tennessee;
  • Tammy Shelton, executive director of content and resources for TNDOE; and
  • Tim Childers, assistant principal at the L&N STEM Academy, 2011 Teacher of the Year and Discovery Educator Network Leader.

"We recognize that quality professional learning for Tennessee's educators will lead to improved student outcomes. Tennessee's involvement with Common Core State Standards existed almost from their inception. It began under a Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen, and it continues today under Republican Governor Bill Haslam," according to PET.

Attending educators can earn professional development credit if they attend at least three out of the nine seminars. Cost is $40 for members and their spouses, and $60 for non-members.

To register, or for more information about Leader U, visit or call (615) 778-0803.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.