BARR Spring Gathering 2017

"Excellence through Equity: The Power of BARR to Serve All Students"

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The BARR Center Welcomes Keynote Speaker:

Dr. John B. King, Jr. 
Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama

Current President and CEO of The Education Trust

April 20, 2017

A passionate advocate and inspiring educational leader, former Secretary of Education John B. King considers himself living proof of the transformative power of a great education. According to Dr. King, “New York City public school teachers saved my life and gave me hope.” After losing his mother at age eight, school became the haven of stability, structure and support that sustained him during his father’s struggle and death from Alzheimer’s disease. Parentless at age 12, he continued to immerse himself into a world of learning, theater productions and historical research projects created by caring, inspirational teachers and a safe, supportive school community. To this day, Dr. King never misses an opportunity to celebrate the lifetransforming power of educators. When President Obama named him as Secretary of Education at a White House ceremony, Dr. King once again thanked those teachers that had saved his life. He also shared a core belief that has driven him throughout his career: Education is at the very heart of America’s promise of opportunity.

Dr. King is currently President and Chief Executive of the Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that advocates for high academic achievement for all students, particularly lowincome students and students of color. He was named Secretary of Education in January, 2016, succeeding Arne Duncan. Described as “an exceptionally talented educator” by President Obama, the appointment recognized Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to preparing every child for success as a teacher, principal and leader of schools and school systems. As Secretary, Dr. King focused on advancing excellence and equity throughout pre-school, K-12, and higher education, supporting educators and elevating the teaching profession, and improving college access, affordability and completion. He had previously served the department as Delegated Deputy Secretary, overseeing overall operations and all pre-K-12 education policies, programs and strategic initiatives. This included leading the cross-agency work of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, focused on creating pathways to opportunity for boys and young men of color. Dr. King came to the Department of Education after heading the New York State Education Department (NYSED).


Abby Zier Alyesh, Billions Institute

Abby Zier Alyesh is a vice president at the Billions Institute, which provides training and support to thousands of people and networks seeking innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Abby will demonstrate how to systematically address and solve the problems you face day to day in your schools using the principles of improvement science. Her presentation will expand your impact, inspire creativity, and demonstrate how to use data as a guide to continuously improvise and improve.

Conference Location:

April 20, 2017
DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis – Park Place
1500 Park Place Blvd, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
April 21, 2017
St. Anthony Village High School
3303 33rd Ave NE, St. Anthony, MN 55418

Hotel Information:

DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis – Park Place
1500 Park Place Blvd, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

A block of rooms has been reserved with a special room rate, available until April 5, 2017. 


Photos from Spring Conference - April 20, 2017

Have Questions or Concerns?  Feel free to contact Hannah Scherer at