Stephanie Hirsh is executive director of Learning Forward. Learning Forward's more than 10,000 members and 40 state and provincial affiliates are committed to increasing student achievement and educator performance through more effective professional learning. Prior to her appointment as executive director, Hirsh served the association as deputy executive director for 18 years. She began her career as a secondary teacher and also served as a school district administrator in the Richardson (TX) Independent School District. In 1996 she was elected to the Richardson school board and served for three terms. Today, Hirsh advises governors, legislators, state and local superintendents, and other policy makers regarding professional development, school improvement, and student learning. Hirsh also presents, publishes, and consults on Learning Forward's behalf across North America. Her recent books include A Playbook for Professional Learning, co-authored with Shirley Hord, The Learning Educator, co-authored with Joellen Killion, and Transforming Schools Through Powerful Planning, co-authored with Kay Psencik. Hirsh writes a regular column for JSD, Learning Forward's bimonthly magazine. She has also written articles for Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, The Record, The School Administrator, American School Board Journal, The High School Magazine, and Education Week. Hirsh serves on several advisory boards including Learning First Alliance, University of Texas College of Education, National Stem Equity Pipeline, and The Teaching Channel. She has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Learning Forward Texas; as a Distinguished Alumnae from the University of North Texas; and as Master Trustee and member of an Honor Board from the Texas School Boards Association. Anne Foster is the Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools (PPS), a national organization of community-based chapters working to strengthen public schools by engaging, educating and mobilizing parents. Foster had a longtime career in real estate in the Dallas area and served as a three-term elected school board member for Richardson (Texas) ISD. She served as board president for seven years and founded Realtors Supporting Richardson Schools (RSRS) as a way to bring Realtors into support of public schools. She graduated from Leadership Texas and became the first ED of the business/public school advocacy group Raise Your Hand Texas. In her current position with PPS, Foster speaks, presents and writes on behalf of parent and community engagement in public schools, as well as school board advocacy. Her commentaries have appeared in Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Horizons, The Dallas Morning News, USA Today, and others. She is a regular commentator on public education issues on KERA Dallas public radio, and she consults with community and municipal groups on parent engagement in schools. Foster received the Outstanding Communicator Award by the National School Public Relations Association. She has been recognized as a Master Trustee and member of an Honor Board from the Texas Association of School Boards. She serves on The National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group, which advises the White House and Department of Education on federal policy.
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