Welcome to the System-Level Leadership Community of Learning and Practice


Now, more than ever, school system leaders are challenged with tackling inequities that perpetuate gaps, especially with our most vulnerable students. In addition, the complexities that exist around the current economic and social climate facing our school systems are overwhelming. This work cannot be done alone. PDK’s Community of Learning and Practice is committed to creating a network of support that increases the opportunity for radical improvement in school districts across the country.


PDK’s Community of Learning and Practice: Navigating the complexity of school system transformation. The inaugural cohort of school systems will consist of system leaders with a proven track record and commitment to leading for social justice, equity, and excellence. Our aim is to provide more support to system leaders with defining problems, designing solutions, and driving transformation through a social justice and equity lens.


The theory of action that will guide the design and implementation of the Community of Learning and Practice is as follows:

If Senior Leaders in School Systems are:
  • Organized in a community of practice that fosters trust, collaboration, support, accountability and learning
  • Engaged in the design, implementation and iteration of solutions to the problems that most impact them and their own local contexts
  • Provided ongoing & meaningful access to research, best practices, thought partnership and leadership
  • Supported in their personal leadership development and growth
Then, Senior Leaders in School Systems will:
  • Develop stronger teams, partnerships and networks within and across systems
  • Feel less isolated in their practice
  • Expand their mental models & leadership perspectives as they continue to lead for impovement, equity, and social justice
  • Inform the design of relevant and readily applicable resources that can be used and contextualized to solve complex challenges in public education
So that:
  • Public school systems are led by leaders who have the knowledge, skills, capacity and commitment to tackle the complex challenges that get in the way of student wellbeing and success
  • School system leaders are better able to leverage their individual and collective powers to bring about radical and systemic change in service of ALL students thriving, especially our most vulnerable populations



Renton School District (WA)

Damien Pattenaude: Superintendent

Shannon Harvey: Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Teaching

John Schmitz: Chief of Schools

Highline Public Schools (WA)

Susan Enfield: Superintendent

Kisa Hendrickson: Executive Director of Student Support & Family Engagement

Duggan Harman: Chief of Staff and Chief of Finance

Howard County Public School System (MD)

Michael Martirano: Superintendent

Karalee Turner-Little: Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Affairs

Theo Cramer: Community Superintendent

Portland Public Schools (ME)

Xavier Botana: Superintendent

Grace Valenzuela: Executive Director for Communication and Community Partnerships

Melea Nalli: Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning/Chief Academic Officer


Madison Metropolitan School District (WI)

Jen Cheatham: Superintendent

Nancy Hanks: Chief of Elementary Schools

Deirdre Hargrove-Krieghoff: Chief of Human Resources

Reading School District (PA)

Khalid Mumin: Superintendent

JuliAnne Kline: Director of Instructional Services

Jennifer Murray: Assistant to the Superintendent

Mount Vernon City School District (NY)

Kenneth Hamilton: Superintendent

Jeff Gorman: Deputy Superintendent

Waveline Bennett-Conroy: Assistant Superintendent

City School District of New Rochelle (NY)

 Brian Osborne: Superintendent

Magda Parvey: Chief Academic Officer

Joe Williams: Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Stay tuned for more!