July 22 - July 24 

2024 National Summer Summit 

Traverse City, MI 

Grand Traverse Resort

The Event Begins In...









Reserve your spot today! 




National Summer Symposium Facilitator

Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross

Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross is a visionary leader who possesses extensive experience in leadership and group collaboration. With a comprehensive background in elementary and secondary instruction, curriculum development, multicultural education, school safety, budget and finance, and community relations.  Dr. Zachery-Ross currently serves as the Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools. Her most notable work has been at Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System, where she was responsible for transforming the entire district’s profile, including student discipline, student and staff attendance, dropout rates, and graduation rates. 

Dr. Zachery-Ross’s education experience is vast. She has served as Superintendent at Okemos Public Schools, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary and Middle School Principal at Van Dyke, Elementary School Teacher, and School Psychologist at Detroit Public School District.

Dr. Zachery-Ross attended Grand Valley State University, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Special Education and Psychology.  She earned a Master's in Education Psychology from Wayne State University.  Dr. Zachery-Ross completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Michigan State University.

Dr. Zachery-Ross is the former pastor of Lane Memorial CME Church in Jackson, MI, and serves as the current President of the Mid-Michigan Ministerial Alliance.  She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Dr. Zachery-Ross continues to be a sought-after speaker, educational consultant, and professional developer.  Because of her expertise in community relations, group facilitation, and leadership, she is a coach and mentor to many.


National Summer Symposium Keynote Speakers

James Miles

Fondly known as Fresh Professor, James Miles worked as an artist and educator in New York City for 20 years before moving to Seattle in 2016. Before joining the faculty of Seattle University as an Assistant Professor, James served as the Chief Executive Officer of MENTOR Washington and the Executive Director of Arts Corps, prior. 

Originally from Chicago, James has worked internationally as an artist and educator and has been featured by NPR, CBS, NBC, and the US Department of Education. He sits on the board of the Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust, and the SXSW EDU Advisory Board. A former NYU professor, James speaks worldwide about the intersection of arts, education, public health, and equity.

James gave a celebrated TED Talk on hiphop pedagogy in November 2019, and is writing a sequel to the nationally recognized book, Fresh Ed: A Guide to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.


James Miles

Mike Kleba

An international speaker, author, artist, and entrepreneur, Mike has been a public high school English teacher and theatre director for 25 years. He serves as co-host of the NYEdTech Meetup (the nation's largest) and sits on the SXSW EDU Advisory Board.

Mike is the co-author of Otherful: How To Change the World (and Your School) Through Others, an earnest and irreverent book about the power of great superintendents, principals, and other school leaders. Interested in courage and vulnerability, he’s run the NYC Marathon, gone hang-gliding in Brazil and bungee jumping in New Zealand, and climbed  Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mike Kleba

Planning for the Future

When K–12 leaders, mission-driven organizations, and innovative thought leaders convene to tackle public education’s most pressing issues, their community approach to problem-solving results in practical, sustainable solutions.

The last two years have been transformative. Still, the Institute for Education Innovation is looking ahead to a bright future with the rest of the IEI Family, including our valued Members and Partners.


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Workshops and Discussions

To make meaningful and sustainable change in the K–12 industry, we need novel ideas, investors to help bring the ideas to life, and school leaders to implement the ideas in classrooms. When an idea lacks the support of any one of these groups, it is destined to fail in the K–12 space.

Yet these three groups rarely have an opportunity to collaborate and fuel educational innovation together, exchanging keen insight from their respective domains that may boost the overall success of the idea.

Participate in productive conversations regarding issues facing K-12 schools specific to your area. Panel discussions will focus on topics such as equity, attendance, and testing.


Event Schedule


Sunday, July 21
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Pre-Conference Activity
Boat Ride
Day 1: Monday, July 22
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Wellness Outing
12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Introduction and Welcome
Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross | Present Michigan Supes'
2:15 PM - 2:25 PM
New Members and Guests
2:25 PM - 2:45 PM
2:55 PM - 3:50 PM
2-Minute Drill
4:05 PM - 4:35 PM
2-Minute Drill
4:40 PM 5:40 PM
Jame Miles | Mike Kleba
6:00 PM
6:30 PM
Day 2: Tuesday, July 23
7:45 AM - 8:30 AM
8:30 AM - 8:40 AM
8:40 AM - 9:40 AM
James Miles | Mike Kleba
9:45 AM - 10:15 AM
Thought Leadership
Breakout Round 1
10:20 AM - 10:50 AM
Thought Leadership
Breakout Round 2
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Ypsilanti PR Team
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
12:20 PM - 1:40 PM
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Supe Round Table
(3) 20 Minute Sessions
3:15 PM - 6:00 PM
Wellness Activity
6:30 PM
Day 3: Wednesday, July 24
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM
8:45 AM - 9:15 AM
Welcome | Member Announcements
Jasmine Graham-Cox | Doug Roberts
9:15 AM - 11:15 AM
11:15 AM - 11:45 PM
Sarah Williamson
Author Panel
11:45 AM - 12:15 PM
James Miles | Mike Kleba
12:15 PM - 12:30 PM
Reflections and Conclusions
Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross
8:00 PM
Optional Outing



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"IEI is all about the connections. The One-on-one time with colleagues and partners makes IEI unique.

Traverse City, Mi

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd, Acme, MI 49610




Register Today!