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Leadership Summit
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Sheraton Denver West | 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Monday, September 23


Join the League for its annual Leadership Summit. Charter school leaders from across the state will spend the day discussing relevant charter school topics. At this year's summit, there will also be two general sessions that attendees can participate in.


The event will take place on Monday, September 23, 2019 at the Sheraton Denver West. The Leadership Summit brings together over 250 school leaders and business managers so that they can build knowledge, skill and connectivity around Legislative Policy, Facilities and Governance.
General Session (Morning)

The Politics and PR of Charter Schools: A Moderated Discussion

There have been shifts in the landscape surrounding charter schools in recent years. While many of these have been national in nature, their impacts have certainly been felt in Colorado. What's the national story and what's the local story?
During this session, attendees will hear from some of the foremost experts on the current PR and political environment surrounding charter schools. Where do we stand right now both nationally and in Colorado? What has contributed to the shifts that are occurring? How do we best adjust moving forward to adapt to this changing environment? These and other questions will be addressed during the morning's general session discussion.


Keynote Speaker
Derrell Bradford
Executive Vice President

Derrell is the executive vice president of 50CAN. In his national role, Derrell recruits and trains local leaders across the 50CAN network for roles as CAN executive directors, fellows and YouCAN advocates.


Derrell frequently contributes to education debates in print, digital, radio and TV media. He serves on several boards dedicated to putting the needs of students and families first, including Success Academy Charter Schools, EdBuild, The Partnership for Educational Justice, NACSA and The Parent Coalition for Excellent Education. [Learn More]


Keynote Speaker
Eric Sondermann
Political commentator and public affairs consultant
Former League board member

Eric Sondermann is a high-profile, Denver-based political commentator, writer, pundit, civic leader and consultant.

Having been a frequent columnist in the Denver Post for many years, Eric now writes a regular column for Colorado Politics, a publication of the Gazette. He is a regular panelist on the weekly “Colorado Inside Out” program on Colorado Public Television and co-hosts the “Colorado Decides” political debate series sponsored by CBS/Denver-Channel 4, Colorado Public Television, the Colorado Sun and KOA Radio.

He is regularly called upon as a go-to source of independent political insight by a laundry list of media outlets across the state and nation, and occasionally beyond our borders. He is respected for his candor, his independent thinking, and his ability to distinguish analysis from spin.

As a civic leader, Eric has chaired the Boards of the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, The Logan School, Roots Elementary and Catapult Leadership. He has also served as a Board member of Urban Peak, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, Colorado Public Radio, the Children’s Museum of Denver and the Colorado Symphony. He most recently joined the Board of Judaism Your Way.

Well over two decades ago, Eric founded the well-respected media and public affairs consulting firm, SE2. In 2014, he sold his interest to his long-time business partners to devote his next chapter to these pursuits in addition to some high-level strategic consulting on a handful of critical public policy issues.

Eric and his wife Tracy Dunning are the parents of two (mostly) grown children, Katrina and Clarke.


Hanna Skandera
Founder and CEO, Mile High Strategies

Hanna Skandera brings over two decades of executive leadership experience in private, public and non-profit organizations.

Currently, Skandera is Founder and CEO of Mile High Strategies serving as an education entrepreneur, thought leader, senior adviser and executive coach in leadership development and strategy, growing organizational culture, and delivering impactful results. Skandera is also Editor and Chief of The Line, Founder of Pathway 2 Tomorrow, Chief in Residence with Chiefs for Change, Superintendent in Residence with the Broad Center and a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Skandera served as Secretary of Education for the State of New Mexico under Susanna Martinez and was recently appointed to the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education and Daniels Fund Board of Directors in Colorado.

Known as a tenacious change agent and social entrepreneur, much of Ms. Skandera’s recent success derived from her systemic yet innovative efforts in large, complex, bureaucratic organizations as well as the launch of three grassroots non-profits. These non-profits continue to impact outcomes today. These endeavors capture her clear commitment to realize greater returns on investment, expand choice and competition, develop the human capital pipeline, invest in foundational excellence, transform system incentives and empower user voice. Her efforts provide a road map for states to follow in advancing educational progress and employability.

Skandera is recognized for her ability to grow organizational impact, transform organizational culture and deliver results as well as her extensive network that spans private, public, charitable and academic spheres.

General Session (Afternoon)

Perspective: Superintendents and the Charter School Landscape
In a state where 85 percent of charter schools are authorized by local school districts, superintendents play an important role in shaping both the existing landscape and future trajectory for charter schools in Colorado. What is that trajectory? What do district leaders think about the current position of charter schools in our state, the role they play today and in the future? During our closing general session, these questions and more will be answered by a panel of superintendents representing communities from across Colorado.


Dr. Rob Anderson
Boulder Valley School District

Rob Anderson is a passionate and dedicated educator with deep experience at every level of public education over the last two decades. As a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal, and an administrator, Rob has devoted his career to ensuring that every student gets the same kind of opportunity that allowed him to thrive. Rob was drawn to Boulder Valley School District by the shared commitment to the core values of equity and excellence. He looks forward to building on the hard work of Boulder Valley’s students, families, and educators to continue improving outcomes for all students while closing opportunity gaps.


Terry Croy Lewis, Ph.D.
Colorado School Institute

Prior to my work here at CSI, I worked at the Colorado League of Charter Schools as the Vice President of School Quality and Support. Additionally, I was a founder of High Point Academy (HPA) which opened in 2006 and I served as the Executive Director/Principal at HPA for 8 years. Before my work at HPA, I helped to develop other charter schools in Colorado as an independent consultant and as a consultant with a national organization focused on the creation of new charter schools. In 1997, I helped found my first charter school, Platte River Academy. In total, I have 20 years of experience in the charter school sector working in urban, suburban and rural communities and I have served in a variety of capacities such as founder, school leader, governing board member, and consultant. 


Dr. Chris Fiedler

Dr. Chris Fiedler became 27J Schools Superintendent on July 1, 2012. He previously served as principal of Prairie View High School and Thimmig Elementary, both in 27J. Dr. Fiedler’s career began in 1993 as a social studies teacher and counselor at Limon Jr.-Sr. High School. He was named principal of Limon Jr.-Sr. High School in 1995 and served in that role until 1998.
He served as superintendent of the Gilpin County School District in Black Hawk, Colo. from 1998 to 2001 and then as superintendent of Deer Trail School District 26J in Deer Trail, Colo., from 2001 to 2005 before joining 27J Schools as the principal of then-new Thimmig K-8 in 2005. He was named principal of Prairie View High School in 2008. 


Dan Snowberger
Durango School District 9-R

Daniel J. Snowberger is Superintendent for Durango School District 9-R. Under his leadership, he has led the district through many reforms mandated by Colorado statute, and continues to build systems to address significant achievement gaps that exist for students from a minority background, students from poverty, and students with special education needs.Dan started with 9-R in 2012, helping to see the district and the community through the numerous legislative mandates around academic standards, teacher accountability, assessments and budget during his 3-year tenure. Dan’s leadership has led the district to decrease its deficit spending from more than $4M in years past, to a positive fund balance for the 2015/16 year prior to the Board of Education’s vote to engage in one-time deficit spending to honor staff step increases. He has also amplified teachers’ voice by not only representing the district at state and federal forums, but by also expanding the number of Teacher’s on Special Assignment to help build more teacher support and development, as well as instituting Instructional Leadership Teams in all schools, increasing instructional conversation and support.


Andy Franko
iConnect Zone

Andy Franko is the iConnect Zone Superintendent. The iConnect Zone encompasses eleven “non-traditional” schools within the district portfolio. Franko oversees four district operated schools including an Alternative Education Campus (9-12), multi-district online/blended school (K-12), multi-district online/blended Early College (9-14), and a Homeschool Program (K-12). In addition, Franko manages the authorization of seven charter schools offering K-12 models inclusive of online learning, classical education, expeditionary learning, career and tech, and humanities based education.



[View Sessions]


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Rural Schools Reception

A free reception will be held for staff from rural schools the night before the Leadership Summit on Sunday, September 22. During this time, staff from rural schools will have the opportunity to engage with the League’s staff and network with other school leaders. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. [REGISTER]


Sheraton Denver West
360 Union Blvd, Lakewood, CO 80228

Group rates are available at a first come, first serve basis


Interested in sponsoring the Leadership Summit? Contact to explore sponsorship opportunities. View sponsorship opportunities.


Interested in exhibiting at the Leadership Summit? Contact to explore opportunities. View exhibitor opportunities

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM Registration & Breakfast
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM General Session 1
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM Session 1
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Session 2
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM Session 3
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM General Session 2


Leadership Development

NEW this year!

The Fall Educator Summit is expanding to the same day as the Leadership Summit. Learn more.

Tech Expo and Discussion - There will be a Tech Expo as part of the Leadership Summit. Leaders will have the opportunity to meet with tech providers to find new ways to best serve their school. As an added bonus, at lunch, leaders will be able to have a conversation with tech providers to discuss common problems, new trends, and solutions.


Regular Registration (through September 18): League Members: $135 per person | Non-Members: $160 per person
Late Registration (through September 23): League Members: $160 per person | Non-Members: $185 per person 

New School Developers: $50 per person

Technology Professionals: $100 per person 

Presenters: $0