Principals as Transformation Leaders: Serving Urban, Rural, and Alternative Settings

Thursday, October 26, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT

School settings can have important implications for successful leadership. This webinar, the second in a series supported by The Wallace Foundation, will discuss critical strengths and specialized skill sets needed for principals in urban, rural, and special populations. Panelists will also address best practices for retaining high-quality teachers and the principal's role in teacher recruitment in these high-need areas.

This free webinar will include time for Q&A. It will also be recorded and archived for future reference. View the recording of the first webinar in this series here.


Mackenzie Grate is assistant principal at Highland Park Community School in Brooklyn, New York. She has been a middle school educator for the past 11 years in New York City. Graduating from New York University with a master's degree in English Education and TESOL, she is extremely passionate about restoring and creating more engaging literacy opportunities within urban middle school curricula. When not in school she can be found snuggling her two pugs and reading a good book.

Allen Pratt is executive director of the National Rural Education Association. He has served as a high school science teacher and coach, high school principal, assistant superintendent/curriculum director, executive director of the Tennessee Rural Education Association, executive director of the East Tennessee Center of Regional Excellence for the Tennessee Department of Education, and rural outreach liaison for Lincoln Memorial University. His primary interests issues that impact rural schools and the role of instructional leaders at the district and building levels. He is also involved at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Education and Educational Leadership.

Sammi Swennes is the secondary principal for grades 6–12 at Big Sandy School District in Simla, Colorado. This district houses preschool through 12th grade in one building, with a total of just over 300 students. The school district covers 550 square miles and serves a large farming/ranching demographic. Swennes been in education for 17 years, all of those spent in rural school districts in Eastern Colorado; this is her 8th year as principal in the Big Sandy School District. Spending her career in settings that require personnel to be flexible and wear many hats, Swennes has taught 6th grade, junior high science and math, elementary technology, Title 1, kindergarten and middle school physical education, and 8th grade Algebra 1, which she continues to teach while being principal.


Wendy Fothergill, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Principal Licensure, Colorado State University
Donna Cooner, Professor, Colorado State University


Location: Webinar

Call for Entries: 2019 AACTE Awards

AACTE invites submissions for its 2019 awards!

Submission Deadlines:

  • Outstanding Dissertation Award: August 20, 2018
  • Best Practice and Professional Achievement Awards: October 10, 2018

View Call for Entries Submit Online

Award winners will be honored at the 2019 AACTE Annual Meeting, February 22–24 in Louisville, Kentucky, during the general sessions.

Future Annual Meetings

  • 2019 – February 22-24, Kentucky International Convention Center | Louisville, KY
  • 2020 – February 28 – March 1, Atlanta Marriott Marquis | Atlanta, GA
  • 2021 – February 26-28, Washington State Convention Center | Seattle, WA

Site Selection Procedures

Annual Meeting Site Selection Procedures

AACTE considers many factors in determining its future locations for the Annual Meeting, which brings together over 2,000 individuals in the educator preparation field each year. These factors include but are not limited to geographic and cultural diversity, attendee cost, available meeting space, and social justice considerations.

The following priorities guide Annual Meeting site selection:

  1. Location
    1. Selection of a site 4-5 years in advance.
    2. Rotation among U.S. regions, with at least one western region destination every five years.
    3. Urban destination with accessible airlift, affordable airfare, and local travel infrastructure.
    4. Available dates that coincide with AACTE's preferred time frame of late February or early March.
    5. Favorable antidiscrimination and accessibility policies, including those related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, physical ability, health conditions, socioeconomic status, and marital, domestic, or parental status.
    6. Presence of AACTE members in the vicinity of the destination.
  2. Facilities/Space
    1. Adequate amount of meeting rooms, exhibit areas, and other space to meet the Annual Meeting's needs.
    2. Accessibility of facilities/space.
    3. Compact Annual Meeting footprint.
    4. Proximity of hotel partners.
    5. Transportation logistics and cost.
    6. Sizeable block of rooms available at primary hotels.
  3. Cost/Affordability
    1. Guest room rates.
    2. Complimentary facilities or services provided.
    3. Rental rates for facilities.
    4. Food and beverage expenditure requirements.
    5. Labor expenses.
    6. Audio/visual rental costs.
    7. Incentives offered by either the destination or its subsidiary partners.

See What You Missed in 2018

Visit the Learning Center to watch video recordings from previous Annual Meetings. Welcome Sessions and Speaker Spotlight Sessions are public, while other recordings are available only to conference registrants.

Keynote Panel
Opening Session Keynote Panel
Diane Ravitch
Closing by Diane Ravitch
Major Forums
Five Deeper Dives Sessions
70th Annual Meeting Highlights