The three-day gathering of California’s Latino superintendents and administrators culminates with a Shark Tank win by NextLesson
(Sacramento, CA) February 16, 2016 — The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) held its 10th annual Focus on Results Symposium from January 29–31 at the Clement Monterey Hotel in Monterey, CA.
The Symposium kicked off with a welcome breakfast, where former California State Senate Majority leader Richard G. Polanco told the gathered leaders, “The digital divide in communities of color is real.” Polanco encouraged all educators to “support the superintendent” and develop long-term technology plans to present to the state legislature.
The weekend also featured a panel on “How to Market to Underrepresented Educational Leaders” as well as an online learning exchange (OLE) panel, where six administrators shared their favorite tech tools—which included iResults, Symbaloo, Wolfram Alpha, Pepper, Newsela, Gaggle, Vscope Live, Siembre, and P21.org. True to CALSA tradition, every presenter ended their time at the microphone by joining the audience in yelling, “Olé!”
“I am proud to says that the CALSA Focus on Results Symposium has evolved into an event that is unlike any other in the United States,” said CALSA’s Executive Director Dr. David Verdugo. “During this weekend, our CALSA members, superintendents, administrators, and colleagues provided our valued partners with keen insights into how to better serve the K-12 education market, with a special emphasis on our rapidly growing and essential Latino student population.”
The centerpiece of the Symposium was a series of Shark Tank sessions, modeled after the TV show where start-ups pitch their ideas to investors. In the Focus on Results version, 22 educational technology companies presented their products to panels of CALSA member “sharks,” who had to decide whether to adopt them or not. After a day of sessions, the winner was NextLesson, which offers standards‑aligned K‑12 projects and lessons designed to engage students in real-world problem-solving.
“We believe talent is distributed evenly across race, gender, and income levels but opportunities are not," said Dion Lim, Founder and CEO of NextLesson. "This award is a major endorsement of NextLesson and our focus to increase student engagement by making learning personally relevant. We look forward to partnering with CALSA’s leading educators to offer all students authentic exposure to careers, industries, and applied learning.”
CALSA’s next event, the 2016 Summer Institute, will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA, from June 19–22.
The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) is a professional association of diverse educational leaders skilled in addressing the needs of Latino/a students and dedicated to increasing the number of highly effective Latino/a administrators. CALSA advocates for the ongoing development and placement of Latino educational leaders who are committed to quality public education.
For more information, please visit CALSA.org.
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