Thomas W. Many, Ed.D, is superintendent of Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He uses the tenets of the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ model to ensure students from his district are prepared to enter Adlai E. Stevenson High School, a nationally recognized PLC. In each of his roles—superintendent, public speaker, and author—he has worked closely with Dr. Richard DuFour, former superintendent of Stevenson and national authority on PLCs. In addition to his extensive experience as superintendent, Dr. Many has served as a classroom teacher, learning center director, curriculum supervisor, principal, and assistant superintendent.

A dedicated PLC practitioner, Dr. Many has been involved in local- and state-level initiatives to achieve school improvement. Under his direction, District 96 has been recognized as one of the highest-achieving and lowest-spending elementary districts in Illinois. Dr. Many has written numerous articles that have received national attention. He is a contributor to The Collaborative Teacher: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community and coauthor of Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work™.

Jim Eck is senior director of field services for McREL. He oversees the organization’s Leadership Workgroup, which provides training, technical assistance, and consultation services focused on research-based leadership strategies. He is also a principal consultant in field services, with primary consulting responsibilities in the Balanced Leadership®: School Leadership That Works program. Prior to joining McREL, Jim was the assessment coordinator for Colorado Reading First through the Colorado Department of Education. Jim has served as an interim superintendent, assistant superintendent, middle school principal and assistant principal, and teacher. He has also provided consulting services and presentations across the country on assessment and data analysis to inform instruction.


John Draper, Ed. D, has been the Chief Executive Officer of Educational Research Service since August of 2008.  “ERS is THE nonprofit providing school leaders with essential research for effective decisions,” Draper shares.  “It is a privilege to help school leaders save money, time and embarrassment utilizing the ERS advantage.”

Since becoming the CEO, Dr. Draper has built on the 35 years of reliable research provided by ERS with a renewed focus on the demands facing school leaders.  “ERS understands that school leaders have too little time and too much information,” says Draper, “so we do the work and let school administrators get the credit.”

Dr. Draper has enjoyed a wide variety of experiences in his lifetime. He has been a newspaper reporter, construction worker, jailer, actor, timber buyer, musician, small business owner, choir director, soccer coach, Sunday school teacher, and door-to-door aluminum siding salesman.   For the last 30+ years he has been a middle and high school teacher, an assistant principal, a middle and high school principal, and executive director of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (the professional association for all Alabama school administrators) before coming to ERS in Alexandria, VA


Pam Williams, an Economics teacher from Appling County High School, has been named the 2011 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Ms. Williams was named the winner of the award at the annual Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet at the Georgia Aquarium. She will spend the 2010-2011 school year serving as an advocate for public education and the teaching profession in Georgia.  "I know that Pam is going to be a great spokesperson for teachers in Georgia," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox.

As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Ms. Williams will represent the Georgia teachers by speaking to the public about the teaching profession and conducting workshops and programs for educators. She will also compete for the 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

Phil Hartley, Attorney, Hartley, Harben and Hawkins, LLC
The Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia was born in Millen, Georgia and attended public schools in Washington County.  He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Mercer University.  Service to state and country is not foreign to Governor Nathan Deal as he previously served as a United States Congressman, a judge, and a prosecutor. He is also a veteran of the United States Military having served in the United States Army from 1966-1968 earning the rank of Captain. Deal served as the Assistant District Attorney, Northeastern Judicial Circuit and Judge of the Juvenile Court of Hall County before establishing a private law practice in Gainesville, GA.  In 1981, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate where he served until running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993.  He was elected to the One Hundred Third and to the six succeeding Congresses until his resignation in March, 2010 to run for Governor of Georgia.  On January 10, 2011 Nathan Deal was inaugurated as the 82nd Governor of Georgia.  

Dr. John Barge started out as an English teacher at Cass High School in Bartow County nearly 20 years ago. Since then, he has been an assistant principal, a Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education program director, a principal, the State Director for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education at the State Board of Education, and now serves as the Director of Secondary Education in Bartow County. He is also an adjunct professor at Berry College


Tentative Agenda

The final agenda has not been posted. The Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia will be speaking on Tuesday, February 8 at 8:00am.


Online Registration has been closed. Please register onsite at the conference.

Member Winter Conference Registration     $240
Non-Member GAEL/GACIS Winter Conference Registration     $440
Non-Member GAEL/GAESP Winter Conference Registration     $440
Non-Member GAEL/GAMSP Winter Conference Registration     $440
Non-Member GAEL/GASSP Winter Conference Registration     $440
Non-Member GAEL/GSSA Winter Conference Registration     $365
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GAEL Non-Member but Member of Affiliate Registration     $365

Registration includes GAEL/Affiliate fees for program, conference materials, refreshments, breakfasts, and Monday Lunch.

Cancellation Policy: $35.00 per person. Cancellations must be in writing either faxed (770-967-2021) by January 28, 2011, e-mailed to bsmith@gael.org by January 28, 2011, or via snail mail postmarked by January 28, 2011.  NO conference registration refunds after January 28, 2011.



Registration has been closed.

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