Edleader21 Announces New PLC Leadership

January 26, 2017 | Today EdLeader21, the professional learning community (PLC) for leaders committed to 21st century education, announced new leadership appointments. Superintendent of Dysart Unified School District (AZ) Dr. Gail Pletnick and Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools Dr. Aaron Spence have been named PLC Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively.

Superintendent Pletnick, who was recently named Arizona Superintendent of the Year by the Arizona School Administrators, will take over for Dr. Karen Garza (Fairfax County Public Schools, VA) who stepped down in December. During Pletnick’s tenure as Superintendent in the Dysart Unified School District, the district has been recognized at the state and national levels for building a 21st century learning environment that includes innovative approaches, the use of technology to transform teaching and learning, and efforts to personalize education.

“I look forward to serving in the role of chair of the PLC,” said Pletnick. “The Advisory Committee represents the depth and breadth of leadership in the 21st century learning education community. I am thrilled to work with these visionaries with the goal of expanding the impact of all of our work.”

Pletnick will be joined by Dr. Spence who became Superintendent in 2014. As Superintendent, he oversees the operation of 86 schools (serving almost 68,000 students) as well as all administrative support functions for the school division. He returned to Virginia from having served most recently as Superintendent of Moore County Public Schools in North Carolina.

“As one of the newest members of the PLC, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my districts’ experiences and learn from others,” said Spence. “In Virginia Beach, we have seen success with 21st century instructional design as well as providing equitable educational services for every student.”

“We are so honored that Dr. Pletnick and Dr. Spence have agreed to lead the Advisory Committee and will help carry out EdLeader21’s mission,” said EdLeader21 CEO Ken Kay. “We continue to look to leaders like these to guide the organization and take leadership roles to move the important work of 21st century education forward.”

In addition, there are 17 members of the EdLeader21 PLC Advisory Committee, each of whom serve a two-year term.

Phil Downs
Southwest Allen County Schools (IN)

Rich Fry
Big Spring School District (PA)

Rob Glass
Bloomfield Hills Schools (IL)

Kathy Gomez
Evergreen School District (CA)

Jon Gundry
Santa Clara County Office of Education (CA)

Wanny Hersey
Bullis Charter School (CA)

John Jungmann
Springfield Public Schools (MO)

Deb Kerr
School District of Brown Deer (WI)

Lynne Kovash
Moorhead Area Public Schools (MN)

Kym LeBlanc-Esparza
Newberg Public Schools (OR)

Michael McCormick
Val Verde Unified School District (CA)

Dan McMinimee
Jeffco Public Schools (CO)

Jim Merrill
Wake County Schools (NC)

Jennifer Rundles
Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning
Saint Mary's School (NC)

Peter Sanchioni
Natick Public Schools (MA)

Eric Schneider
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
Minnetonka Public Schools (MN)

Dana West
Amarillo ISD (TX)