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Better Caring for Your People — Leaning into Female Leadership

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 204C

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Senior Program Manager - Exec Producer
Microsoft Corporation
As Minecraft Education's Senior Program Manager and executive game producer, Laylah Bulman crafts learning experiences that spark curiosity and deepen understanding. She has produced its most successful titles such as Hour of Code, CyberSafe, and LatinExplorers. Laylah leads content direction, program development, and go-to-market strategy in CS, AI, Cyber and esports. Drawing from a decade of shaping game-based learning for K-12 and higher education, Laylah steers her passion and experience towards molding original, breakthrough avenues in education. She is excited to connect with fellow educators and industry partners
Director, ITI
Los Angeles Unified School District
Sophia Mendoza is an innovative systems-level collaborator with 25+ years of experience as an education leader in the Los Angeles Unified School District and a member of the ISTE Board of Directors. As the director of LAUSD’s Instructional Technology Initiative, she leads computer science education and digital citizenship implementation. Mendoza cultivates leaders and learners for the digital world, recognized as the Latina Technology Champion, CUE Administrator of the Year, and for Best Overall Implementation of Technology by Tech & Learning. She is also the Association of California School Administrators Region 16 Technology Administrator, expanding instructional technology opportunities for all students.
Education Consultant
ISTE Past President
Dr. Ray’s career includes designing technology within the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and directing technology research through Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Science Outreach programs and Johns Hopkins University. As a district administrator for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, she led the award-winning design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional technology programs including instructional design for online and blended learning environments, redesigning physical learning environments, establishing the virtual high school, and redefining school libraries. Dr. Ray is published and recognized internationally as an edtech influencer.
SVP, Business Development
Stages Learning, ISTE Board alumni
Ed tech enthusiast and former ISTE board member. SVP of Business Development at Stages Learning. I've been a regular speaker at ISTE for years - presenting on a multitude of topics including computational thinking, equity, STEM, critical thinking, mobile learning, UDL, female leadership and more! Other conference appearances include UNESCO Mobile Learning Week (Paris), SXSWedu (Austin), 21CL (Hong Kong), FETC (Orlando/Miami), and IEI Summit (San Juan). I look forward to engaging with educators and industry experts at this year's ISTE event!

Session description

Teachers and admin shortages, the great resignation, pandemic-fueled emotional fatigue ... As leaders, we are being asked to rethink how we retain and support our team. In this session, we’ll explore examples of elevating team care by tapping into female leadership to help our people feel safe, supported and empowered.

Purpose & objective

Are you worried about teacher shortages and high organizational turnover? Do you want to better care for your people? Are you looking for strategies to help your team feel compelled to stay?

The purpose of this session is to spotlight female leadership skills and traits that can be applied to support school systems during this time of crisis as people leave the profession.

There are a host of research articles that point to the effectiveness of female leadership - whether running successful businesses or school systems. This session aims to pull together a group of female leaders to share examples and dissect strategies so that audience members leave with actionable insights and ideas.

To tap into a diverse set of perspectives and recommendations, this session intentionally pulls female leaders from various professions - all with direct ties to education.

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Ice breakers (3 minutes)

Introduction of Panelists (5 minutes)

A look at the data - What quantitative and qualitative insight has to say about the need for elevated team care, including audience interactivity with the data. (5 minutes)

Female Leadership Traits - A look at what the literature tells us (2 minutes)

Moderated Discussion about themes related to better caring for your people, concrete strategies that have worked, and how to ensure that teams feel empowered and inspired. Pre-submitted questions will also be included. (30 minutes)

Audience Q&A (10 minutes)

Resource List to arm attendees with easy to implement strategies (5 minutes)

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Supporting research

Fierce Conversations

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Session specifications

Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
Connected Learner
  • Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.