More than 350 leaders from schools across Jamaica will be equipped with skills to raise stands at their institutions at a summit to be staged by the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation under its iLead Programme.

The event is scheduled for July 25 to 26 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.

Director of Education Programmes at the JN Foundation, Dr. Renée Rattray, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank on July 19, explained that iLead is a school-improvement initiative that the JN Foundation has undertaken in 10 schools that are in need of support based on the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) report.

She informed that the summit, to be held under the theme ‘Innovate. Impact. Lead: Join the Education Revolution’, will target principals, vice-principals, board members, heads of Parent-Teacher Associations and other leaders.

The two-day event will kick off with an opening ceremony, with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, expected to deliver remarks.

Noted education expert and award-winning teacher and principal from Philadelphia in the United States, Salome Thomas-EL, will give the main address on the topic: ‘Failure is Never an Option’.

Dr. Rattray informed that Mr. Thomas-El is a “turnaround principal,” who has transformed several schools.  A chess expert, he uses the strategic board game to reach children in the inner cities, she noted further.

Other overseas presenters include: Science Professor at Columbia University, Dr.  Christopher Emdin, who will present on the topic ‘When Innovation and Magic Collide in Education’.  Dr. Emdin uses hip-hop to teach science to teachers and students.

Instructional leadership specialists Pete Hall and Taj Jenson from Atlanta, Georgia, with provide lessons on how to manage teaching and learning.

The local presenters include Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Maurice Smith, who will speak on the theme ‘Call to Action: Linking Central Office Practices to School Self-valuation and Improvement’.

‘Leading with the Big Picture in Mind’ will be the focus of the presentation by Leadership Consultant and Motivational speaker, Dr. Nsombi Jaja, while Leadership Consultant at Jamalysha Training Company, Jill Chambers will present on ‘Let the Revolution Begin: Bringing it all Together.’

There will also be panel discussions on the topics ‘Turnaround Leadership in Action’; ‘Innovate. Impact. Lead: Lessons for School Leaders’; and ‘Quick Wins: Bringing out Staff and Students’ Best’.

Educational Development Consultant and former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Technology (UTech), Dr. Blossom O’Mealley-Nelson will moderate a discussion session on the topic ‘Enter the Boardroom: Creating and Sustaining a Highly Effective School Board’.

“We are expecting to have robust exchanges and interactive sessions among participants and facilitators,” Dr. Rattray said.

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