Sonja Santelises

Keynote: Leadership for Learning: Excellence in Education for Every Child at Every Level

Sonja Brookins Santelises is CEO of Baltimore City Schools in Maryland. Santelises has spent 30 years focused on building highquality teaching and learning to help students excel.

Santelises previously served as vice president for K-12 policy and practice at The Education Trust, assistant superintendent for a network of 23 pilot schools in Boston with a track record of successfully meeting students’ needs and improving the achievement of low-income students, and executive director of the New York City Algebra Project, the local site of the national math reform program. She also lectured on urban education at Harvard University and coached superintendents and trained school leaders in five major urban districts.

Throughout her career as an educator, academic, and administrator, Santelises has been steadfast in her belief that excellence in urban education is achievable at scale. “Our students have the same capacity for success as any other students,” she says. “We must communicate and demonstrate our complete confidence in that capacity by charting a pathway to success for each individual child. The real challenge is ours — as educators — to hold ourselves and our students accountable for their achievement.”