CUBE 2020 Annual Virtual Conference
Mawi Asgedom

Mawi Asgedom

Founder of Mawi Learning & bestselling author


Jacinto Ramos, Jr.

CUBE Steering Committee Chair & NSBA Board Director

Join us in September for CUBE's premier annual event, curated specifically to provide you with the tools and support you need to effect change as an empowered, impactful urban school board member.


Register Now

The pandemic has forced us to work, live, and think in new ways. One thing remains constant in moving forward: the importance of Community. Now that the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Conference is virtual, there is an opportunity to expand our reach and continue to build and strengthen our community.

The 2020 CUBE Annual Virtual Conference fosters effective school district leadership through practical clinic sessions and inspirational keynote addresses. CUBE has convened school board members from across the nation for the past 52 years to network and share the continually evolving strategies they are using to address the unique educational challenges that exist in our nation's urban centers.

Although the format is different, our commitment to you stays the same. Join us for our premier annual event, curated specifically to give you the tools and support you need to effect change as an empowered, impactful urban school board member.

Registration Fees

   Early Bird (By July 31)  Regular
CUBE District Members/NATCON Participants/State Association Staff    $199  $249
Non-CUBE District Members  $274  $324

Registration Bonus! As a member benefit, CUBE districts receive one complimentary registration. The Equity and Member Services Department will send complimentary registration codes and instructions to each CUBE district. If you have any questions, please contact us at

*Conference registration fees are non-refundable.


1–2 p.m. State of Urban Education Keynote Address: Jacinto Ramos Jr.
2–2:20 p.m. Networking Break
2:20–3:20 p.m. Breakout Sessions
3:20–3:40 p.m. Networking Break & Presentation of AIAN Luminous Eagle Award
Award Sponsored by McGraw Hill
3:40–4:40 p.m.  Breakout Sessions
1–2 p.m.
General Session: Mawi Asgedom 
2–2:20 p.m. Networking Break & Presentation of NBC RISE Award
Award Sponsored by McGraw Hill
2:20–3:20 p.m. Breakout Sessions
3:20–3:40 p.m. Networking Break & Presentation of NHC Abrazo Awards
Awards Sponsored by McGraw Hill
3:40–4:40 p.m. Breakout Sessions
1–2 p.m.  Breakout Sessions 
2–2:20 p.m. Networking Break & Presentation of NHC Abrazo Awards
Awards Sponsored by McGraw Hill
2:20–3:20 p.m. Breakout Sessions
3:20–3:40 p.m. Networking Break
3:40–4:40 p.m. Awards Ceremony: Benjamin E. Mays Award and the CUBE District Awards

Sessions and Descriptions (as of June 24, 2020)


  • Tuesday

    2-20–3:20 p.m. ET

    Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Policy & Protocol
    This presentation will highlight the importance of Atlanta Public School district developing Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking policies and developing protocol where teachers are being educated about warning signs and risk factors so that they can identify and respond early.

    Erika Mitchell, Board Member, Atlanta Board of Education
    Sharnell Myles, Psy.D., LPC, JoyUs Beginnings Child & Family Wellness Center and The Trauma Resource Institute, LLC

    Charting a Pathway to Greatness: Board-Superintendent Partnership to Establish a Foundation for Equity
    With a commitment to equity, the OKCPS governance team began in 2017 to lead the district through a historic realignment of facilities, closing 15 campuses and restructuring nearly every school. This process, the Pathway to Greatness, was a community-wide effort and a necessary foundation for equity-based investments. OKCPS will share the guiding principles for success despite leadership transition and next steps, as well as challenges and critical considerations for other districts facing similar hard choices.

    Rebecca Kaye, Chief of Equity and Accountability, Oklahoma City Public Schools
    Ruth Veales, Board Member, Oklahoma City Public Schools
    Sean McDaniel, Superintendent, Oklahoma City Public Schools

    3:40–4:40 p.m. ET

    Dismantling Institutional Racism in a Large Urban School District
    Fort Worth Independent School District is committed to interrupting institutional racism and interrogating the role race plays in decisions made and the expectations held for students of color. Attendees will gain understanding of the role the Equity and Excellence Division plays to engage, sustain, and deepen conversations about race. Participants will be introduced to the tools used in FWISD to measure the impact of professional learning on changing the beliefs that drive behaviors and outcomes.

    Sherry Breed, Chief, Division of Equity & Excellence, Fort Worth Independent School District+E27
    Dorene Benavidez, Executive Director, Division of Equity & Excellence, Fort Worth Independent School District
    Ashley Paz, Board Trustee, Fort Worth Independent School District
    Quinton Phillips, Board Trustee, Fort Worth Independent School District

    Workforce Impact: Ready to Work
    This session will discuss an approach for making high school graduates ready for work after high school. It is important that school districts prepare all students for college, career and military readiness. Since students deserve choices, an effective curriculum and offering industry certification programs for all students is a must. These students will receive current and relevant skills that will guarantee passing of all certification tests. In addition, industry partners support will be explained.

    Linda Griffin, School Board Trustee, Garland ISD

  • Wednesday

    2:20–3:20 p.m. ET

    Excellent Superintendent/Board of Education Relationships

    For 9 years, the Superintendent and the Board have worked with the staff, parents, students, and community members to standardize the practice of Excellence in Prairie-Hills District 144.We have raised test scores consistently. We have overcome budget deficits to balance the budget. We have written competitive grants, built and remodeled new facilities, incorporated STEM and STEAM programs throughout our district. We will identify systemic goals to change the culture of our district, improve our communication, and increase student achievement.

    Dr. Kimako Patterson, Superintendent, Prairie-Hills Elementary School District 144
    Julia Veazey, Assistant Superintendent, Prairie-Hills Elementary School District 144
    Sharron Davis, Board President, Prairie-Hills D144
    Joyce Dickerson, Board Vice President, Prairie-Hills D144
    Juanita Jordan, Board Member, PHESD 144

    Reimagine Minnesota
    Reimagine Minnesota - How 40 school districts worked together with students, parents, and the community to create A Collective Education Roadmap for Action: A commitment to create lasting equity and excellence in education for all students.

    John Schultz, Superintendent, Edina Public Schools
    Ed Graf, Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools

    3:40–4:40 p.m. ET

    National Update on the Teacher Shortage and Vision Planning for the Future
    Join Kelly Coash-Johnson as she shares what AASPA has been tracking with regards to the national teacher shortage. Learn what is going on in some key states good and bad. Kelly will share some key strategies districts and K12 HR teams can use to improve their recruitment and retention. Learn how to develop your own HR vision statement and utilize it best to reach a more diverse audience.

    Kelly Coash-Johnson, Exec Director, American Association of School Personnel Administrators

  • Thursday

    1–2 p.m. ET

    Promotion and Retention: Transitioning from “Learning to Read” to “Reading to Learn”

    The 3rd Grade Commitment is a collaborative effort between schools, parents and community towards ensuring we work together to best help students reach reading readiness before the third grade. If students are not reading on grade level when they reach the third grade, half of the curriculum they will be taught for the remainder of their school years will be incomprehensible. This session will break down the strategy and how to gain stakeholder support.

    Miska Clay Bibbs, Chair, Shelby County Board of Education
    Joris Ray, Superintendent, Shelby County Schools

    Discipline Policies that Helps Prevent Bias Towards Children of Color
    This session will show the importance of developing a discipline policy that will help to eliminate implicit bias that impact students of color and identify specific student needs that are impeding on their educational success. It will reveal the importance of school leaders examining their own discipline data and practices towards children of color.

    Khem Irby, School Board Member, Guilford County Schools
    Deena Hayes-Greene, School Board Member, Guilford County Schools
    Winston McGregor, School Board Member, Guilford County Schools
    Sharon Contreras, Superintendent, Guilford County Schools

    2:20–3:20 p.m. ET

    Equity in Action: Building a Culture of STEAM
    Are you preparing students for the hottest and highest paying STEAM job market where black and Latinos make up only 4% of the workforce? Learn how Compton Unified is closing the opportunity gap by building a pipeline of students PreK-12 who are prepared for STEAM majors and career opportunities.  Engage in an equity driven process to build a STEAM culture, develop STEAM learning pathways for engagement, and raise parents’ awareness through community events.

    Michele Dawson, Sr. Director Instructional Technology and Innovation, Compton Unified
    Darin Brawley, Superintendent, Compton Unified 
    Micah Ali, School Board President, Compton Unified

    Has Your District Taken an Equity Detour?
    Examine Gorski's four racial equity detours and five equity principles that can help school board members and administrators trade in the illusion of progress for a truly transformational racial equity approach.

    Mary Fertakis, CEO, M Fertakis Consulting LLC
    Kay Douglas, Senior Consultant, Texas Association of School Boards


Enjoy these highlights from past CUBE annual conferences. Learn more about CUBE 2019 Annual Conference in this recap of the event.