Ed100 Student Academy Program Guide 2021

by Jeff Camp | June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments
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Sessions and Speakers

The 2021 Ed100 Online Academy for Student Leaders took place June 21-23, 2021. This post is the "conference brochure" for it.

See info about the Ed100 Student Academy for 2022

Any student could apply for admission, and it was free thanks to the generous efforts of volunteers and the support of individual donors. We are also grateful for the support of our exclusive sponsor, Zoom Communications. The vision was for every high school in California to be represented. hundreds were. We made it very easy to nominate a student— just by forwarding this page to them. The event has passed, but it was easy for anyone to apply. Some faculty advisors participated, too.

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

Leadership opportunities. Students were invited to pursue leadership opportunities (some competitive or selective, others not) in partnership with 11 partner organizations in Sessions 5 and 6. Making these connections was a key mission of this conference!

Connections. Students were invited to connect with one another in small peer support groups using Discord. This was an opt-in program — students who took advantage of it were formed into groups. Many students who took advantage of this option cited it as a highlight in follow-up surveys!)

Insights journal. During the conference, students were prompted to take note of what they learned in a Leadership Insights Journal. These notes helped students bring what they learned back to their school community and to their college advisors.

Civic engagement. 400 students who participated actively in the Academy earned a certificate to use as evidence of 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 2020-21 year Zaid Fattah 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.

Zaid was a recent graduate of Monte Vista High School in the San Francisco bay area. In the fall he will begin his studies at Yale. Students got 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.

Ask Zaid a question

Hudson Yang


Young people have a lot to offer. Hudson Yang asks: What will you do to make a difference?

Hudson Yang, named by Variety, The Wrap and other publications as a rising star to watch in young Hollywood, spent six years as irrepressible protagonist Eddie on ABC's historic Asian American family sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. His performance garnered him multiple NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Youth, and Teen Choice Awards nominations as Choice Scene Stealer in 2016 and Outstanding TV Comedy Actor in 2017 and 2018. Yang has also appeared on Family Guy, Disney's Sophia the First, Liv and Maddie and The Lion Guard and PBS's Cyberchase. He will next be seen as the lead in director Tamika Miller's highly anticipated feature film debut, Honor Student, shooting this summer. Born and bred in Brooklyn, Yang now lives in Ladera Heights, California. He will begin studies at Harvard in the fall.

Mary Perry

Independent Education Consultant

Mary Perry brought 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.

Ask Mary a question

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 were 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.

Ask Ted a question

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.

Ask Brooks a question

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, a non-profit organization, 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.

Ask Natalie and Clara a question

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 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.

Ask Sal Khan a question

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? When you know your stuff, you are harder to ignore. In this popular session, Carrie Hahnel delivered 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 oneducational 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.

Ask Carrie Hahnel a question


Pat La Morte, Global K12 Education Solutions Lead

The Pandemic had a terrible impact on learning, but it sure would have been worse without Zoom. As in-person learning becomes possible again, how can schools blend in-person and virtual learning?

Pat La Morte has a passion for improving equitable access to education by enhancing technology to engage, inspire and elevate student achievement. At Zoom, he has been instrumental in helping thousands of schools navigate the transition to virtual and hybrid learning. He is an educator and an education leader who previously served as President/CEO of one of Florida’s Catholic High Schools.

Ask Pat La Morte a question

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. She has a passion for supporting underserved communities and ensuring that all students, regardless of background, are prepared for post-secondary education.

Ask Priscilla Marino a question

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 experiment? As schools return to a kind of normal, what elements of remote learning should be kept?

Justin Reich is 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. 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.

Ask Justin Reich a question

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, an Oakland-based non-profit organizationthat 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.

Ask Dirk Tillotson a question

Esther Wojcicki and Katina Paron

Journalism and Student Leadership

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?

Esther Wojcicki, a leading American educator and journalist, is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. Sometimes called the "godmother of Silicon Valley," she is also cofounder of tract.app - the world's first peer-to-peer, gamified learning platform.

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.

Ask Esther Wojcicki a question

Ask Katina Paron a question

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 concrete way: course numbers. Assemblymember Berman explained 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 working 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.

Ask Assemblymember Berman a question

Stella Keating

GenderCool Champion

Stella is the first transgender teen to testify in front of the US 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?"

Ask Stella a question

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

In this session, students had some decisions to make. They heard a series of brief, well-crafted "pitch" presentations from organizations that work with student leaders. Each of answered 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 filled out a survey to provide feedback and indicate organizations that they wanted to connect with. Survey responses directly affected follow-up meetings that took place after the conclusion of the conference.

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.

Ask Zac Patterson a question

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.

Ask Irene Rivera a question

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 16 years under the dome. She serves as the President of Black Youth Leadership Project (BYLP) where she devotes her time in support of 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 helps Black children and their families address systemic racism on their school campuses. 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. The podcast Black v. The Board of Education is available on Apple Podcasts & Spotify.

Ask Lorreen Pryor a question

California Association of Student Councils (CASC)

Michelle Kim, President

Established in 1947, CASC develops skilled, ethical, and sensitive leaders of diverse backgrounds and cultures by providing leadership development for students through peer training. CASC programs emphasize authenticity, ethics, and collaborative decision-making which enhance learning outside of the classroom by fostering self-esteem and civic engagement.

Michelle Kim is president of the California Association of Student Councils. A senior at Portola High School in Orange County, she already has years of experience in local and statewide mental health justice, student representation, and involvement in education government. Michelle is a committed youth advocate who strives to empower other students to take a stand for what they believe in. Whether it be attending disability rights affinity groups, speaking with officials on the Board of Education, or frequenting her favorite boba shops, Michelle loves to be involved anywhere a student voice is needed.

Ask Michelle Kim a question


Adora Zheng and Vienna Lee

What if kids could teach each other, and earn money for doing it? That's the big idea behind Tract, a for-kids, by-kids online community for student-directed learning. At this conference two students from Palo Alto High School who have become early course creators on the platform explained how it works.

Adora Zheng is a student journalist and Editor-in-Chief of The Campanile, the school's award-winning school newspaper. Adora introduces herself: "I’m a student journalist and high school senior who likes to study history, cook, play water polo, and do embroidery on tote bags, masks, and old clothes! I've loved writing since elementary school, and I'm especially passionate about journalism. "

Vienna Lee teaches several popular classes on Tract. Vienna introduces herself: "Growing up, I’ve always been excited and intrigued to learn in different ways. In middle school, I actively participated in Student Government and Model United Nations, and in high school, I joined our speech & debate team, taught at camps, and have experience working as a legislative aide. As for my hobbies, I enjoy dancing, weightlifting, playing piano and listening to different genres of music, fashion (trying different styles), and creating fun tik toks.

Ask Vienna and Adora a question

Alliance for Climate Education

Marco Marquez

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!

Marco Marquez will explain ACE's new youth organizing program and how to get involved in growing it.

Ask Marco a question

The Student Conservation Association

Jenifer Huckabone and Arnold Palomo

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) conserves land and transforms lives by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources. The SCA is America’s oldest and largest youth conservation organization. SCA places participants in fisheries and wildlife management, environmental education, backcountry trail construction, community engagement and more, from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Jenifer Huckabone leads the Student Conservation Association (SCA)’s nationwide recruiting effort that connects young adults with hands-on, career-building opportunities with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, state departments of conservation and natural resources, municipal parks and recreation departments, and nonprofit organizations including The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society. She will be joined by Arnold Palomo, SCA Program Manager.

Ask Jenifer and Arnold a question

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.

Ask Andrew Sutherland a question


Alvin Lee and Michelle Alas

GENup is a national student-led social justice organization and student-activist coalition that strives to advocate for education through the power of youth voices. More than 2,500 student leaders participate across more than 50 chapters.

Alvin Lee is one of the student founders of GENup, and also a co-founder of the California Student Board Member Association. He has been deeply involved in California education policy since 9th grade, but became interested in public service even earlier, as an intern for then-candidate Gavin Newsom and State Assemblymember Kansen Chu. In the fall of 2019, he organized youth-led marches for education for the Schools and Communities First Ballot Initiative. He will soon be a student at Claremont-McKenna.

Michelle Alas is Policy Director of GENup. She will soon be a student at Brown.

Ask Alvin Lee a question

California State PTA

Kathryn Rickard and Shereen Walter

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 effort to connect and organize students who serve on PTSA boards in order to make these positions higher-profile and higher-impact.

Kathryn Rickard is a student at San Ramon Valley High School (32nd district PTA). She is a graduate of Ed100.org and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. She will present together with Shereen Walter, the incoming President-Elect of CAPTA.

Ask Kathryn and Shereen a question


Caitlin Lainoff, Program and Communications Manager

CreateCA advocates for high quality arts education for all students by providing policy expertise and by mobilizing a statewide network of allied partners.

Caitlin Lainoff is the Program and Communications Manager for Create CA and is an advocate for equity in arts education. She has over a decade of experience in the field of arts and education. She graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, and has an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Caitlin designs locally and is a teaching artist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Apply to join the Ed100 team

Ed100 Academy

Cristina Stewart, co-leader of Outreach and Engagement

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 roles in planning and carrying out this conference including outreach, marketing, technology development, social media and more.

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 with Elaheh Khazi. Cristina explained how the Ed100 Academy volunteer team works, the 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.

Apply to join the Ed100 team


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 EdSource, he was editor of The Educated Guess website, 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.

Ask John Fensterwald a question

Alex Padilla

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, 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 16- and 17-year olds to automatically be registered to vote when they turn 18.

Ask Senator Padilla a question

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