She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

The Snoop is super glad it is Friday. This has been "one of those weeks," but in spite of lots of challenges, so much has gotten done, too. That is what we Virgos like to see! And of course, I would not slack off and miss delivering your scoops so go see what I have for you right now!

Ch-ch-ch-changes....

Jennifer Sattem has joined Achieve in the role of Senior Fellow, Policy & Practice. Jennifer brings to Achieve an extensive background in assessment, accountability, research, postsecondary engagement, and college- and career-ready policy more broadly. She previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary John B. King. She worked on the development of federal regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for assessments and data and reporting, and she led the Department's initiatives to expand and sustain Next Generation High Schools.

Prior to her work at the Department, Jennifer was a Fellow for Multiple Pathways and Postsecondary Engagement for the Regents Research Fund of the New York State Education Department. In this role, she led the development of statewide initiatives to offer multiple pathways to graduation and postsecondary readiness, implemented a strategic engagement effort with New York State's postsecondary institutions to establish new policies for supporting the alignment of college- and career-ready standards, assessments, and placement policies, and led the state's transition to computer-based testing.

Earlier in her career, Jennifer worked on college readiness issues at the Educational Policy Improvement Center and the Gateway to College National Network.

Join me in congratulating Jennifer on joining the Achieve team!

Jeff Maggioncalda has joined Coursera as its new CEO. Jeff joins the company after a brief sabbatical following an 18-year tenure as founding CEO and President of Financial Engines (NASDAQ: FNGN). Rick Levin will remain at Coursera as a Senior Advisor.

Jeff started his career with Cornerstone Research before heading to Stanford for his MBA. Upon graduating in 1996, he became the founding CEO of Financial Engines, a company co-founded by Economics Nobel Prize winner Bill Sharpe. Jeff took Financial Engines public in 2010 and led the company to become the largest independent investment advisor in the country. After 18 years as CEO of Financial Engines, he took time off to travel, learn, and spend time with his family. He studied music theory and piano, advised SafeSpace youth mental health services, mentored entrepreneurs, hiked Kilimanjaro with his middle daughter, and traveled the world with his wife. Jeff is currently a member of the Board of Silicon Valley Bank.

Pretty awesome! Join me in congratulating Jeff on his new CEO role at Coursera!

And Cory Reid has joined Tyton Partners as a Managing Director. He will be primarily focused on developing new business relationships with EdTech, SaaS, and emerging tech-enabled services businesses in emerging growth economies in Europe and China over the next 18 months while he supports, in parallel, some unique philanthropic sabbatical projects. During this time, Cory will be based in Romania and China.

Cory has extensive experience creating, leading, growing, and raising capital for companies with rapid expansion goals. Most recently he was CEO of Salt Lake City-based MasteryConnect, a leading provider of K-12 formative and benchmark assessment, curriculum planning, and teacher collaboration. While at MasteryConnect, he raised $30 million in seed, Series A, and Series B capital and grew company revenue over 100% annually. Previously, he was CEO of Instructure, an LMS provider disrupting K-12 and Higher Education. In 15 months, he led Instructure from pre-Beta / pre-business model stage to a venture-funded company with significant Enterprise Value and a dramatic sales pipeline, including the company's first major customer, a consortium of over 10 universities and 150,000+ students.

Congratulations to Cory on his new role with Tyton Partners!

News from a colleague and friend....

I heard from much respected colleague and friend Din Heiman, BrainPOP, this week. Din has decided to take the post-ISTE summer off to both rest and think. I wanted to share much of his message as he sent it....

"On the eve of my tenyear mark as General Manager and COO of BrainPOP, I've decided there won't be a better time to announce my decision to close out one chapter and start my next. Back in 2007 BrainPOP was already a diamond—albeit in the rough, a popular product ripe to become a global company. Led by the efforts of a unique all-star management team, it has since grown to become a staple among elementary and middle school teachers, a premium digital offering subscribed to by well over a quarter of US schools and a brand that means something special to parents through home and app offerings.

Readers of this column may well have heard me say however that (friend and ) visionary founder Dr. Avraham Kadar's vision doesn't stop at the border. An increasing amount of our efforts have been focused on extending our impact to international markets.

I've always felt uncomfortable with the perception that BrainPOP is the exception that proves an alleged rule about it being impossible to build a thriving business based on catering to teachers and schools. Sharing our story within the industry has been a core principal, and many of us are regular speakers on the tradeshow and leadership circuit. My first speaking engagement was symbolically...EdNET!

Since those early days, our unique industry (EdTech? Nah, by now we should just say "Education") has become a treasure trove of unpolished, semi-polished and brilliant diamonds. Underneath the hype and the buzz, entrepreneurship and innovation are regularly spawning enhancements to teaching and learning that were until recently outside our reach. Imaginative educators and motivated business talent are enriching our ranks. Partnership among us opens up yet new horizons. So many more success stories yet to be written. See y'all at ISTE!"

Din is always thoughtful and always passionate about education and our industry. Nicely said, Din, and I know others join me in wishing you all the best and every continued success. Look for Din at ISTE or keep up with him this summer on LinkedIn!

Join the Snoop at EdNET 2017

You know registration is open for EdNET 2017, right? We will be in Scottsdale, Arizona, September 17th-19th. And you can save with advance registration by July 31st—be sure to take care of that right now! 

We will be announcing the full program in another week or so, but I am so jazzed by an exciting line-up of sessions and speakers and greatly expanded programming. As we work to bring you a powerful professional development event for senior executives, you will find 15 breakout sessions this year on:
  • Leadership & Policy
  • Market Trends
  • Ed Tech
  • Marketing
  • Development

And we will be announcing not two—but five—amazing keynote sessions over the course of the conference. Let me tell you about two of them right now!

Jordan Bower, Strategic Storyteller, will kick off the conference on Sunday afternoon with his presentation, Why Trust Has Become Your Business. In what he describes as a bitterly divided world of fake news and augmented reality, more of us than ever before are seeking something we can trust. But what it is it that makes our stories trustworthy? To uncover the answer, Jordan will help EdNET attendees dive into the 35,000 year old art of storytelling to learn how organizations and their leaders can connect with purpose, make meaning, and grow their businesses by creating trusted connections with their employees and customers.

And Monday afternoon before the evening event, we will be honored to hear from Whitney Johnson, recognized as one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world (Thinkers50) and an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption/ In her presentation, Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, she will discuss how with the education landscape changing at an ever faster pace, it's not organizational disruption that's driving innovation, but personal disruption. In this keynote, the EdNET audience will learn about the seven-point framework of personal disruption, what kind of disruptor you are, and if it's time to disrupt. ‚Äč

You are going to want to join us in Scottsdale for EdNET, and I will most surely hope to see you there!

It has been a rough week for the Snoop—amidst a lot of work and other responsibilities, we had quite a scare with my sister's health. But as we move into this weekend, she is making progress, and I am very thankful and also hoping for a little rest. As I told Ben Delaney-Winn with Education Week and also one of my amazing EdNET 2017 Advisory Board members, as I left her hospital room last night, she apologized for making me get so behind in my work, and I told her the work will be there. She matters more —of course! When confronted with conflicting opportunities or challenges, I have always asked myself, "A year from now, what will matter?" It sure simplifies the decision making process!

This is, of course, also Father's Day weekend, and I am wishing a happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there. Some of you are blessed by fathers still with you, some are blessed to be fathers (or maybe fathers-to-be), and some, like me, cherish memories of fathers no longer with us, but we all stop to give thanks for our fathers and those who have been like fathers to us. Have a special weekend, everyone, and as I like to remind you, put some memories in your memory bank! I will see you back here next Friday....Vicki, the Snoop

[Send me your scoops at bighamv@aol.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter @Snoops4Scoops #SheSnoops]