Educational Leadership Program Celebrates 20 Years With Symposium, Sept. 28

Tyrone Howard, director of Center X, Black Male Institute will deliver the keynote address.

The Educational Leadership Program (ELP) at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies will host its 20th Anniversary Symposium on Sept. 28, from 8:30 a.m.to 2 p.m. in Covel Commons. Adjunct professor of education Linda Rose says that the Symposium is “a wonderful opportunity for alumni, students and faculty to convene to discuss the important issues that are the focus of many challenges today and to learn from each others’ experiences.”

“During the past 20 years, ELP faculty and I have had the opportunity to work with more than 400 practitioner/students,” says Rose. “Today, they hold a variety of leadership positions in schools and colleges throughout Southern California and beyond. Many have used their dissertations to improve student performance and to improve outcomes in their own workplaces.”

Professor of education Tyrone Howard leads UCLA’s Center X and the Black Male Institute at GSE&IS.

Professor Tyrone Howard, Director of Center X and the Black Male Institute will be the keynote speaker.  More than three dozen faculty, alumni and students will be panelists or will lead roundtables on topics including “The Charter School Movement,” “Community Colleges: The Meaning of Success,” “Diversity K-16: Challenges and Legal Issues,” and “The Gatekeeper: Mathematics and College Access/Success, ” “What’s Next in Technology and Education?” and “Trends in Leadership.”

Several of the event’s organizers look back on their time in the ELP Program as pivotal to their current career paths. Lynette Merriman, who graduated from the program in 2006, is senior associate dean for Student Affairs at the University of Southern California and assistant professor of clinical education at the USC Rossier School of Education. She says that the 20th Anniversary Symposium will showcase and celebrate the research, knowledge, and accomplishments of ELP alumni, disseminate knowledge on best practices for a wide range of issues in K-16 education, and facilitate networking opportunities for alumni and other leaders in the educational community.

“As an administrator and professor I tap daily into some aspect of what I learned – knowledge and/or skills – from ELP,” says Merriman, who will be participating in a panel discussion on “Emergency Planning in K-16” at the symposium. “Understanding the connections and disconnects in the K-16 pipeline has been extremely useful as I work with entering college students and their families. I learned [how] to conduct sound research and develop and analyze projects. ELP also assisted me in exploring and understanding leadership styles. As a result of this knowledge, I have been offered and have accepted exciting professional opportunities both from my institution and within national organizations.”

Tamara Miller graduated from the ELP Program last year, and will be leading a roundtable discussion at the symposium. She has recently moved into an administration position at Brentwood School, where she has taught science and served as her department’s chair for 13 years.

“The ELP program gave me insight into school leadership, evaluation and assessment, and culturally sensitive pedagogy,” says Miller. “The focus of the symposium is similar to the focus of the ELP program.  There is a strong social justice emphasis.”

Angel Barrett, who completed the ELP Program in 2007, is lead instructional director of the Intensive Support and Innovation Center in the Los Angeles Unified School District, working with some of the district’s most challenging schools – including 24th Street Elementary, the first LAUSD school to enact the “parent trigger” law.

“ELP helped me define myself as a leader and determine the leader that I want to be,” says Barrett, who with Miller is one of the Symposium organizers.  “After 15 years as principal at Plummer Elementary School, I decided to embark on a larger role in bringing equity to diverse populations.”

Barrett emphasizes the importance of networking opportunities at events like the ELP Symposium, and the efforts that she and her fellow organizers have taken to make the symposium accessible to everyone despite their school day schedules.

“When I was a student most events were during my workday,” she says. “That is one reason that this symposium [being held] on the weekend is important. However, the events I did attend as well as conversations with professors and other students helped me understand the breadth and depth of opportunities for supporting educational change.”

For more information about the ELP 20th Anniversary Symposium, please email Shan Boggs or contact (310) 206-0558.