The ED Sessions speaker series exposes Idaho leaders to the best methods, resources and practices in the areas of learning innovation, community investments and awareness. Beginning its third installment in February 2015, the series previously hosted nationally and internationally renowned experts, including Mike Rowe, Sir Ken Robinson and Sal Khan.

During the 2014 luncheon series, guests heard from education innovation leaders, including Adrian Sannier with Arizona State University, David Driscoll, former Massachusetts schools superintendent and Jeanne Allen, founder of The Center for Education Reform, among others.

At the last ED Sessions event of 2014, about 60 frequent ED Sessions attendees, stakeholders and key leaders convened to revisit the presentations. They were asked to identify key points and ideas from the presentations that could benefit Idaho students. In small groups, they identified “low-hanging fruit” — recommendations that can be implemented quickly — relating to the best practices from the series, and developed strategic action plans to move the recommendations forward.


  1. Redesign Idaho’s education funding system to maximize every dollar equitably. This will require recruiting financial experts to explore the current system and provide recommendations for an improved system of funding for Idaho.
  2. Provide broad spectrum (real-world) learning experience to help students identify passions, strengths and career pathways that fit their needs.
  3. Place a clear focus on the proven benefits of early learning, by educating decision makers to develop policies that support proven methods, and make funding decisions based on research and data.
  1. Develop continuous individualized support for teachers at all levels of the profession to ensure highly effective teachers.
  2. Establish admission requirements for teacher and administrator preparation programs that are tied to best or proven practice outcomes.
  3. Advance the use of technology in effective teaching and learning by exploring models of success, effective tools and resources.
  4. All policy must be grounded in research and best practices to ensure students have the best teachers, leaders, curriculum and learning environments.

Jamie MacMillan

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Roger Quarles

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Blossom Johnston

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Terry Ryan

Idaho Charter School Network

Jennifer Swindell

Idaho Education News

Don Keller

Sage International School

Tony Ashton

Teach For America

Bill Parrett

Boise State University

Lauren Necochea


Rob King

Go On Schools

Amy Russell

Idaho Charter School Network

Lisa Kinnaman

Idaho Leads Project

Dan Massimino

Idaho Leads Project

Will Northrop


Kali Kurdy


Tom Wilford


LeAnn Simmons

Idaho Voices for Children

Cory Velasco

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Jennie Sue Weltner

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Suzanne Metzgar

Idaho Charter School Network

Jim Everett

Treasure Valley Family YMCA

Melissa Merritt

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Nick Groff

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation (JKAF)

Jamie Cooper

Drake Cooper

Beth Oppenheimer

Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children

Robert Ball

Idaho Youth Ranch

Kelly Cross

BSU Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies

Ann Heilman

Learning Lab, Inc.

Jessica Ruehrwein

Treasure Valley Education Partnership

Sarah Weppner

Treasure Valley Education Partnership

Rob Winslow

Idaho Assoc. of School Admin.

Beverly Harad

Community Advocate

Keith Donahue

Sage International School of Boise

Molly Lenty

Wells Fargo

Briana LeClaire

Idaho Federation of Independent Schools

Luci Willits

Department of Education

Mike Jung

Idaho Statesman

Cristianne Lane

Lee Pesky Learning Center

Evelyn Johnson

Lee Pesky Learning Center

Shea Andersen

Fahlgren Mortine

Jackie Collins

Idaho Arts Charter

Cindy Orr

Idaho Department of Education

Rich Raimondi

Bishop Kelly High School

Joel Pearsall

Northwest Nazarene University

Marie McGrath

Idaho Arts Charter School

Scott Curtis

Treasure Valley Family YMCA

Rich Osguthorpe

Boise State University

Jeannie Standal

Idaho Commission of Libraries

Jacob Smith

Idaho Digital Learning Academy

Tracie Bent

Idaho State Board of Education

Patricia Northrop

Campfire Foundation

Julie Best

Idaho Digital Learning

Kelci Lynn Lucier

College Parent Handbook