Annual Event Experience

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What to Expect at Annual Event

Plan now to join us for the 2024 Annual Event on October 21-23 in Indianapolis. The EdLeader21 Annual Event is an engaging and inspiring experience exclusively for network member districts to accelerate future-ready, deeper learning for every student. It brings together innovative education leaders to build relationships, share ideas, learn from one another, and plan for the future.

  • If you are not a member, but are interested in learning more about the network and Annual Event, click below to email our member concierge, Heather Conlee, to get your questions answered. Don’t miss out!

Register About EdLeader21Email Heather

Keynote Speaker


Carlos Moreno

A proud native New Yorker, Carlos Moreno is a passionate education trailblazer committed to supporting school and district leaders in creating high-quality, innovative schools designed to tackle systemic equity issues. 

He recently authored “Finding Your Leadership Soul,” a series of reflections, framed around letters Carlos writes to three young men whom he had the opportunity to teach and mentor. 

Carlos currently serves as co-executive director for Big Picture Learning, a nonprofit organization that has developed more than 200 such schools in the United States and around the world. He also co-founded and leads the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship in partnership with the Internationals Network for Public Schools as well as the newly created Ashé Leaders Fellowship; and is also the founder and co-producer of the highly acclaimed Leadership Journey’s storytelling initiative; which has featured inspirational figures such as Christopher Emdin, Dena Simmons, Kaya Henderson, Nancy Gutierrez, Meisha Porter, Bettina Love, and many more.  

Carlos holds undergraduate degrees in marketing and business from Johnson & Wales University along with a master’s degree in educational leadership. Most recently Carlos was named a Pahara-Aspen Institute Fellow – a fellowship designed to sustain diverse, senior leaders who are reimagining public education. 

Keynote Speaker


Bill Daggett, Ed.D.

Bill Daggett is the founder of both the Successful Practices Network and the International Center for Leadership in Education. He is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move preK-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. For 30 years, he has crisscrossed our nation, as well as the industrialized world, to lead school reform efforts to effectively prepare students for their future.

While an avid supporter of public education, he also challenges all of us to be more focused on our children’s future than on maintaining the schools of our youth. His insights and leadership have caused nearly every major education association in the country, hundreds of school districts, numerous political and business leaders, publishers, and others to seek out his advice and guidance.

Dr. Daggett began his career as a teacher, local administrator, and then director with the New York State Education Department. He spends much of his time providing leadership and guidance to the National Dropout Prevention Center and the Career and Technical Education Technical Assistance Center, which are part of the Successful Practices Network.

He is the creator of the Rigor/Relevance Framework and the Future-Focused Success Framework which has recently become the cornerstone of much of the nation’s school reform efforts. He is also the author of 26 books about learning and education, textbooks, research reports, and journal articles.

Dr. Daggett has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus by both Temple University and the State University at Albany.


The Portrait of a Graduate Conference

Portrait Exploration

Explore the journey of committing to transform your school district with the strength of a vision that’s supported and driven by the community. Your district might be at the initial phase of considering if adopting a Portrait of a Graduate is the appropriate step forward. Participation in the EdLeader21 Network and attending the Annual Event can assist during this exploratory stage. Featuring sessions on best practices, chances for engaging discussions, and more, this event is a must-attend, spotlighting the path to systemic transformation.

Portrait to Practice

There will be ample opportunities at Annual Event to learn about implementing and scaling future-ready, deeper learning from your peers across the country. Bringing the Portrait of a Graduate to life is central to the impact of this work. Additionally, the event includes our distinctive Portrait to Practice Expo, where member districts have the opportunity to demonstrate their application of these forward-thinking educational visions and how they are turning the Portrait of a Graduate into a tangible experience for their students.

See photos from last year’s Portrait to Practice Expo.

Portrait Leadership

Many member districts within the EdLeader21 Network have dedicated years to initiating, expanding, and maintaining impactful and transformative initiatives centered on their Portrait of a Graduate. The Annual Event serves as a platform for these experienced member districts to guide others within the network, while also offering a chance for members at different phases of their journey to gain insights from their experiences. The event features interactive learning sessions, daily networking opportunities, and designated times for district teams to collaborate on planning. This presents a valuable chance to accelerate the progress of such significant efforts.

Portrait Futurecast

In June 2024, Battelle for Kids will release its “Future of the Portrait of a Graduate” report. As we look to the future, one thing is certain: the landscape of education, employment, enlistment, and entrepreneurship has and will continue to shift. How do leaders create educational experiences that instill hope and resiliency, self-directed learning opportunities, and students prepared for life after graduation? And, what role will the Portrait of a Graduate play as the landscape continues to evolve? Battelle for Kids is ready to start a national conversation about what’s next for these collective, community visions. We invite you to sign up to receive the report first when it is released on June 4, 2024. We look forward to having additional conversations about it during this year’s Annual Event.

Sign up here.

The School Tour Experience

At this year’s Annual Event, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in unique school tours of the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Warren Township, a public PreK-12 school district serving the far east side of Indianapolis. A district that serves more than 12,000 students across 17 schools, participants in the tour will get to experience a showcase of deeper learning practices by touring selected school buildings within the district.

Annual Event attendees have the option of adding on the school tours as a part of their conference experience on Wednesday, October 23. Participants will have their choice to tour Liberty Park Elementary School, Raymond Park Intermediate Middle School, or Warren Central High School, which will also feature a tour of their Walker Career Center.

Explore the DistrictSchool Tour Info


The Indy Experience

Home to thrilling sporting events like the iconic Indy 500, Indianapolis offers a vibrant mix of unique neighborhoods, exceptional cultural experiences, and the world’s largest children’s museum. It’s a city that promises adventure and discovery at every turn.

This event isn’t just about engaging with top educational leaders and innovators from the EdLeader21 Network. It’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Indianapolis. Experience the charm of Monument Circle in the heart of the city or go get some exercise along the Canal Walk or in White River State Park, both adjacent to the conference hotel. Indianapolis is a sports town, and you will be within walking distance of the NCAA Hall of Champions and Lucas Oil Stadium. These are just some of the highlights of the “Circle City.” Get ready for an enriching experience both inside and outside the conference venue.

Discover Indy

The Hotel Experience

As one of the largest JW Marriott’s in the world and recognized by Conde Nast as a Top Midwest hotel, the JW Marriott Indianapolis is the official location for Annual Event in 2024. Located in central downtown, close to White River State Park, the hotel is central to plenty of exciting things to do, including restaurants, shopping, and exploring. It is connected via a climate-controlled skywalk to the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. The room block for Annual Event closes on September 20, 2004. You can book your room(s) at the link below at our special rate for this event.

Book Hotel

2023 Attendee

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“I loved the opportunities for networking between districts, the practical sessions that allowed me to consider how I can replicate in my district, and the overall tone of the conference.”