Meet Conference Blogger Kimberlyn Pratesi

Kimberlyn Pratesi has been serving the students of Howard County, Maryland, schools for just under a quarter of a century. After opening and leading Dayton Oaks Elementary for seven years, Pratesi will take on the leadership of a new school this fall.

“It was truly rewarding to build a school community from the ground up, and I will continue to treasure the experience in the years ahead,” she says.

As an attendee at this year’s NAESP National Conference in Baltimore, she’s sure to discover new strategies to take with her in her new position at Hammond Elementary in Laurel, Maryland.

Pratesi, a longtime member of NAESP and Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals, will be blogging from Baltimore. Here, she shares what topics are on her must-learn list for the conference.


NAESP: What are you looking forward to at this year’s conference?

Pratesi: I have attended five national conferences and have found each invigorating and meaningful. Meeting principals from across the world and sharing stories is quite an intriguing experience. 

What topics are you particularly interested in learning about?

I look forward to hearing speakers present current research on implementing the Common Core curriculum, building STEM-centric classrooms, and closing the achievement gap. My hope is to infuse my professional learning from the conference as I work with staff to prepare students for college- and career-readiness.

What have you considered conference highlights in past years?

Great networking. Great presenters. Great resources. Great professional development. Great fun and socializing. 

What’s one challenge you grappled with at your school this year?

The biggest challenge for last year was implementing our teacher evaluation pilot. Fortunately, I worked with eight committed professionals from our Dayton Oaks team to develop Student Learning Objectives and explore implementation of the Danielson Framework for professional domains. Our group included early childhood and elementary special educators, related arts staff, and classroom teachers, and the experience brought much professional growth. 


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