Ed100 Student Academy Program Guide 2021

by Jeff Camp | April 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
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Sessions and Speakers

The Ed100 Online Academy for Student Leaders will take place June 21-23, 2021. Think of this post as the "conference brochure" for it.

Any student can apply for admission to the Academy, and it's free. The vision is for every high school in California to be represented. Will yours? Don't assume — check here to find out. It's very easy to nominate a student. Faculty advisors are invited to apply, too.

Sessions and speakers are really just the beginning of the Academy.

Leadership opportunities. Students admitted to the Academy will be invited to pursue leadership opportunities (some competitive or selective, others not) in partnership with organizations highlighted in Session 5. Making these connections is a key mission of this conference!

Connections. Participants will be invited to connect with one another in small peer support groups. This is an opt-in program — students who take advantage of it will be formed into groups ahead of the conference. Many students who took advantage of this option last year cited it as a highlight in follow-up surveys!)

Insights journal. During the conference, students will be prompted to take note of what they learn in their own Leadership Insights Journal. These notes can help students, as leaders, to bring what they learn back to their school community and to college advisors.

Civic engagement. Students who participate actively in the Academy will earn a certificate to use as evidence of their civic engagement.

Session 1
California's System
Monday, June 21, 10am - noon

The conference will begin promptly at 10am.

Zaid Fattah

Student member, California State Board of Education

For the last year Zaid Fattah has represented more than 6 million students attending over 10,000 public schools. The student position on the California State Board of Education is a full voting position, appointed by the Governor each fall.

Zaid is a student at Monte Vista High School in the San Francisco east bay area. In the fall he will begin his studies at Yale. You'll get to know him as the host of the Academy. Want his job? If you will be a junior in the coming school year, sign up for Ed100 to get our emails — in the fall we'll announce how to apply.

To Be Announced

Opening Speaker

Mary Perry

Independent Education Consultant

Mary Perry will bring everyone to a shared level of basic understanding about how the education system works, including the critical role of money in it. This is a familiar role for Mary, who has demystified the system for thousands of education leaders.

Mary Perry understands California's school funding system and she knows how to explain it clearly. An independent education consultant, Mary has served many leadership roles for the California State PTA including Vice President for Education. She served as deputy director of EdSource from 1993 to 2011. A former school board member, Perry holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in liberal arts from Stanford University. She has been a longtime adviser to Ed100.

Ted Dintersmith

Change Maker

In his award-winning film "Most Likely to Succeed," Ted Dintersmith pointed out the many ways that the world has changed… but most schools have not. As homework before this session, students are invited to watch it, free.

Dintersmith is a relentless optimist who knows a lot about innovation and innovators; before he became an education advocate he was one of the world's most successful investors in start-up businesses. How can schools and school systems work better? That's the focus of his recent series What School Could Be. Through examples and stories, he showcases the work of educators and schools that are mobilizing their community to reimagine learning. In these schools, students care about what they are learning because teachers connect it to the real world, not just to tests. How can student leaders play a role in transforming their schools into inspiration zones? You'll have the opportunity to ask him at this conference.

Session 2
Equity in Education
Monday, June 21, 2pm to 4pm

California State Board of Education

Brooks Allen, Executive Director

How is education policy changing in a post-COVID world, and what should student leaders prepare to do in the great reopening? Brooks Allen plays a dual role in California's education system. He is both the executive director of the California State Board of Education and education advisor to Governor Newsom.

Allen earned his B.A. in political science from Stanford, where he once served as an admission officer. He earned his law degree from Yale. As a lawyer, he served various roles including 10 years with the ACLU of Southern California, where he worked as the statewide Director of Education Advocacy. More recently he has served as legal counsel for the Marin County Office of Education and for Common Sense Kids Action.

Education Trust-West

Natalie Wheatfall-Lum, Director of K-16 Education Policy

Universal public education is a core element of America's vision of a society that works for all of us, preparing each student for their future. The challenges are not the same for every student. EdTrust-West is a non-profit organization that advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly those of color and living in poverty.

Natalie Wheatfall-Lum is Director of P-16 Education Policy. A proud product of two of California’s higher education systems, Natalie earned an A.A. in Transfer Studies from San Diego Mesa College and a B.A. with honors in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Natalie earned her J.D. from Howard University, School of Law.

Clara Medina Maya, a former student activist themself, will join Natalie to explain California civics in a practical way, including what it takes for student voices to have influence. Born in Mexico and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Clara is the first in their family to graduate college and holds a B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Sociology from the University of California Merced.

Sal Khan

Founder, Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone anywhere. Khan Academy's content and mastery learning platform has more than 100 million registered users from all over the world and has been localized into more than 40 languages.

Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, holds three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. He has been profiled by 60 Minutes, was the only nonprofit leader ever profiled on the cover of Forbes and was recognized as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World. His thought-provoking presentation at the inaugural Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders in 2020 was one of the highest-rated sessions of the conference.

Session 3
Tools for Informed Leaders
Tuesday, June 22, 10am to noon

Carrie Hahnel

Opportunity Institute

As a student leader, will your voice be heard, or will you be dismissed? Credibility matters. When you know your stuff, you are harder to ignore. In this session, Carrie Hahnel will give you a nuts-and-bolts rundown of the tools and data sources that can make you an insider.

Carrie Hahnel is an independent researcher and consultant, and also a fellow with the Opportunity Institute, where her work focuses on improving systems of school finance, resource allocation, and school accountability to be more equitable. Previously, she worked as interim co-executive director and director of research and policy at Education Trust–West, a nonprofit advocacy group focused on educational justice. She also served as director of research and evaluation for the KIPP Foundation. She earned her Master's of Education degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

UC Scout

Priscilla Marino, Outreach Coordinator

The UC Scout program might be the best-kept secret in California's public education system. High school students, counselors and teachers need to know about it.

Students in California who want to attend a 4-year public college must pass a specific set of high school courses. In order to ensure that every student has access to those courses, the University of California offers them online, along with Advanced Placement courses.

Priscilla Marino is Outreach Coordinator for UC Scout. She began her own higher education in California's community college system, working full time to support herself. After transferring to San Jose State University, she advanced to earn her Masters degree in Communications Studies with an emphasis on education and at-risk youth.

MIT Teaching Systems Lab

Justin Reich

During the Pandemic, teachers struggled to motivate their students through two layers of computer screens. For millions, it failed, with predictable results. What's to be learned from this giant, unintended natural experiment? As schools return to a kind of normal, what elements of remote learning should be kept?

Justin Reich is an assistant professor of digital media in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing department at MIT and the director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab, which aspires to design, implement, and research the future of teacher learning. He is the author of Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education, and the host of the TeachLab Podcast. He earned his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was the Richard L. Menschel HarvardX Research Fellow. He is a past Fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. His writings have been published in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other scholarly journals and public venues. He started his career as a high school history teacher, and coach of wrestling and outdoor adventure activities.

Session 4
Issues that need student voice
Tuesday, June 22, 2pm to 4pm

Dirk Tillotson

Great School Voices

More than a tenth of California's public school students attend a charter school.Charter schools operate independently from school districts, with somewhat fewer rules. They are open to any student in the district where they are located. When are charter schools the right answer?

Dirk Tillotson is a fiercely independent voice in education policy who argues that each school is different, and that real success comes from listening to all of the voices in a school community — including the voices of students. He is the founder and executive director of Great School Choices, a non-profit organization based in Oakland that supports communities in telling their own stories and finding their own answers. His blog, Great School Voices, addresses issues of equity and access in education. For more than 30 years he has worked to support communities and families in developing their own schools in highly varied locations including Oakland, New Orleans, NYC and Doha. He received his J.D. degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley.

Katina Peron

Author and Journalist

Many high schools have a student-led school paper, site or blog. It's a huge opportunity for student leaders to develop their voice. What does it take to make student journalism matter?

As a journalism educator and editor, Katina Paron, MJE, has helped thousands of teens earn bylines in professional publications. From the award-winning Since Parkland to supporting student publications, her work elevates the voices and experiences of young people and provides journalism training and mentorship to teens. The author of “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism,” she also manages the Teach for Chicago Journalism program at Medill, teaches journalism at the City University of New York, and edits The Future is Ms. a teen-written column for Ms. magazine. Her articles on scholastic journalism have appeared in the New York Times and WNYC. Find her on Twitter (@katinaparon) and Instagram (@DearTeenJournalist).

Assemblymember Marc Berman

California Assembly District 24

School systems are decentralized. What does it actually take for schools to work together? California's massive system of community colleges is grappling with this challenge in a very concrete way: course numbers. Assemblymember Berman will explain why it matters, and what to learn from the effort.

Marc Berman represents California's Assembly district 24, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County. He grew up in Palo Alto and attended Palo Alto High School. After college and law school, Marc returned to serve on the Palo Alto City Council. While serving on the City Council, he worked for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a non-profit focused on increasing access to high quality STEM education and closing the achievement gap in Silicon Valley public schools.

In the Assembly, Marc serves as chair of the Committee on Elections and Redistricting, and was the Chair of the Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. He has authored legislation related to a number of issues, including elections, the 2020 Census, education, youth mental health, sexual assault, firearm safety, deepfakes, housing, and the environment.

Stella Keating

GenderCool Champion

Stella is the first transgender teen to testify in front of the United States Senate. Her personal story, viewed by millions, has opened minds and hearts — and redefined a national conversation about equality under the law.

A high school sophomore and future politician, Stella is a champion of the GenderCool Project, a youth-led movement helping to replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences by meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving. She is deeply interested in the judicial system and plans to attend law school as part of her journey to becoming an elected official. Stella loves reading, writing, playing chess and the violin and doing artistic DIY projects.

"Less than half of the states in our country provide equal protection for me under the law," Stella pointed out to US Senators in her testimony for the Equality Act. "How is that even American?"

Session 5
Getting Involved - Making a Difference
Wednesday, June 23, 10am to noon

In this session, students will have some decisions to make. They will hear a series of brief, well-crafted "pitch" presentations from organizations that work with student leaders. Each of these presentations will answer four questions:

  • What does your organization do?
  • Why is it important?
  • How can student leaders get involved and help?
  • Why should student leaders choose to get involved with your organization?

Based on these presentations, students will fill out a survey to provide feedback and indicate organizations they want to connect with. Survey responses will directly affect breakout sessions that will take place after the conclusion of the conference.


Alvin Lee, founder

GENup is a California based, statewide student-led social justice organization and student-activist coalition that strives to advocate for education through the power of youth voices.

Alvin Lee is one of the student founders of GENup. He has been deeply involved in California education policy since 9th grade and envisions an interconnected education system where student voice and leadership help drive policy creation. Prior to becoming engaged in ed policy, Alvin interned for then-candidate Gavin Newsom and State Assemblymember Kansen Chu. In both capacities, he helped with policy and legislative research, sparking his interest for public policy and community organizing. In the fall of 2019, he organized youth-led marches for education in three cities (Oakland, SF, San Jose) for the Schools and Communities First Ballot Initiative. After getting involved in local school district issues, board disputes, and helping organize with his local teacher unions; he teamed up with the leader student organizer from the OEA teacher strikes Lauren Kahn to start GENup: a statewide, student led organization that strives to advocate for education reform through the power of youth voices. GENup now operates more than 50 chapters across CA and has more than 2500 student organizers and student leaders. Alvin is also a co-founder of the California Student Board Member Association.

ACLU of Southern California

Irene Rivera, Education Policy Advocate

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defends the fundamental rights outlined in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights through public education, lobbying and litigation.

Irene Rocha Rivera is the Education Policy Advocate and Organizer at the ACLU of Southern California. She focuses on community engagement, advocacy, policy research and litigation support for the statewide education team to ensure that the public education system provides quality education to all students. She is a graduate of UCLA and the first in her family to attain an undergraduate degree. She is a native Spanish speaker and proud daughter of immigrant parents who is committed to working on educational equity issues across CA.

California Student Board Member Association

Zac Patterson

CSBMA is a student-led organization for students who serve on school boards. Each school district in California that includes one or more high schools should include a student member, but many still don't. CSBMA provides support for efforts to expand student board membership and connects student board members to help them work together to better represent their constituents.

Zachary Patterson began working on education reform in 7th grade. Recognizing a fundamental disconnect between students and decision-makers he spent three years leading a campaign to add a student to the San Diego Board of Education. After completing the campaign in September of 2019 Zachary ran for and won the position of Student Board Member. Zachary’s three years of work took him across the spectrum of youth activism as he helped lead the San Diego March For Our Lives and successfully passed student sexual harassment regulation at the state level. Today, Zachary serves as a leader of the California Student Board Member Association, which works to create a unified voice for both elected and appointed student officials in California’s system of education governance.

Black Youth Leadership Project

Lorreen Pryor, President

BYLP is a non-profit and non-partisan educational organization dedicated to developing California's next generation of public policy leaders.

Lorreen is an Alumna of Sacramento State and a veteran Legislative staffer with 15 years under the dome. She serves as the President of Black Youth Leadership Project (BYLP) where she devotes her time pouring into Black students throughout California. BYLP’s programming has expanded to include the NextLevel Luncheon, Social Justice Bootcamp, G.O.A.T (Goals, Organization, Applications, and Transcripts), Black Graduation Celebration, and in direct ongoing services with BYLP Advocacy - which was born to address the needs of Black children and their families to address systemic racism on their school campuses. Nowadays you can find Lorreen at School Board Meetings addressing inequities and attending several types of parent/student meetings with District Administrators advocating for the rights of Black students in multiple Districts.

California Association of Student Councils (CASC)

Michelle Kim, President (Invited)

Established in 1947 by the California Department of Education, CASC is a student-led organization that provides leadership development for elementary, middle, and high school students and their advisors in California and across the world through peer training.

Michelle Kim is president of the California Association of Student Councils. She is a senior at Portola High School in Orange County and a member of the California Student Board Members Association.

Alliance for Climate Education

Speaker to be announced

The climate crisis is an existential threat. Students can have an impact on the future by acting together in coordinated ways.

ACE is shifting the narrative on climate change. We educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. In 2021 ACE is launching a new approach to organizing, which will create new opportunities for student leaders. We're proud to announce it at the Ed100 Academy!

The Student Conservation Association

Jenifer Huckabone, Recruiting Officer

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s conservation corps. Our members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces in all 50 states.

Every day SCA unites young people with environmental challenges. The hands-on work helps to create future stewards of our land, healthier environments and ultimately a better world.

California State PTA

Kathryn Rickard, member of the Board of Managers

Students serve on the governing boards of at least 325 high school PTAs in California. Why not all of them? This school year, Kathryn will lead a statewide organizing effort for students who serve on PTSA boards to make these positions higher-profile and higher-impact.

Kathryn Rickard is a student at San Ramon Valley High School (in 32nd district PTA). She is a graduate of Ed100.org and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA.

Ed100 Academy

Cristina Stewart, co-leader of Outreach and Engagement

Established during the Pandemic of 2020, the Ed100 Online Academy for Student Leaders brings student leaders together to learn, connect, and make a difference. A select team of student leaders plays a central role in planning and carrying out the conference.

Cristina Stewart has been on the Ed100 team for the last year, co-leading monthly discussion sessions for students who have been admitted for the 2021 Academy in partnership. Cristina will explain how the Ed100 Academy volunteer team works, roles available, what is expected, and how to apply. A 2021 graduate of Huntington Beach High School, she will be attending BYU next year on a full scholarship.

Session 6
Uniting for Impact
Wednesday, June 23, 2pm to 4pm

Andrew Sutherland

Founder, Quizlet

Every student at this conference has probably used Quizlet as a learning tool. What you might not know, though, is that the product was originally created by a high school student.

Andrew Sutherland is the founder of Quizlet, an education software company that serves millions of students and teachers every month. Andrew started Quizlet while taking a high school French class, continued working on it studying computer science at MIT, and grew it to a successful company with more than 200 employees.


John Fensterwald, Editor-at-Large

How have changes in the education system affected the lives of the students attending this conference? How might the system change going forward? No one is in a better position to answer these questions thoughtfully (or playfully) than long-time education journalist John Fensterwald.

For anyone who hopes to keep up with California's changing education issues and policies, John's reporting is required reading. Prior to his work at EdSource, he was editor and co-writer for The Educated Guess website, a leading source of California education policy reporting and opinion, which he founded in 2009. For 11 years before then, John wrote editorials for the Mercury News in San Jose, with a focus on education. He worked as a reporter, news editor and opinion editor for three newspapers in New Hampshire before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997. His wife is a retired elementary school teacher, and his daughter is a neurology resident at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Alex Padilla (invited)

US Senator for the State of California

Alex Padilla represents the state of California in the US Senate. He was sworn into office by Vice President Kamala Harris, his predecessor.

Senator Padilla is the proud son of immigrants from Mexico, his father a short-order cook and his mother a housekeeper. Padilla attended Los Angeles public schools and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from MIT, Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council where he served as the youngest Council President in Los Angeles history. He served two terms as California's Secretary of State, launching the state's pre-registration program, which enables the state's 16- and 17-year olds to automatically be registered to vote when they turn 18.

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