Administrators to Focus on Teacher Performance

Administrators to Focus on Teacher Performance


Area school administrators will attend a breakfast conference on the SUNY Cortland campus on Thursday, March 21, to discuss personnel programs that can be used to nurture good teachers and to identify and assist underperforming ones.

Their dialog — during three different interactive discussion sessions that day with a panel of experienced school principals — will encompass several aspects of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) of their teachers, a subject that continues to generate hot debate at schools nationwide.

These pressing topics of interest to district and building administrators, curriculum teams, certificate of advanced studies candidates and curriculum area coordinators are part of the 2013 Francis J. Cheney Educational Leadership Breakfast Conference, taking place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Corey Union.               

The free conference is geared for area school administrators and students enrolled in SUNY Cortland’s Educational Leadership Department. The Cheney Conference, one of three held annually at SUNY Cortland, is sponsored by Louise M. Conley, Ph.D., and the Cortland College Foundation.

Participant registration is required to attend the conference. To register for the event, which includes breakfast, or to receive more information, contact the Educational Leadership Department by calling 607-753-2444 or by emailing The deadline to register is Monday, March 18.

The conference marks its fourth year as an annual event. At this year’s conference, titled “Reflecting on APPR Implementation Conferencing and Developing an Improvement Plan,” the educational administrators informally will discuss areas where educational leadership may be demonstrated, such as:

• recognizing the essential components of an effective improvement plan;

• planning and staging an effective administrative conference for teachers who are rated “ineffective” or “developing”;

• keeping effective and highly effective rated teachers growing and improving professionally.

The morning will feature three panelists, including:

• Rebecca Marzeski, an elementary school principal in the New Lebanon (N.Y.) Central School District;

• Barbara Phillips, a member of the Race to the Top Network Team at the Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES); and,

• Tom Turck, the principal at Homer (N.Y.) Junior High School.

Kevin Mack, who chairs the Educational Leadership Department, works with an 11-member advisory board composed of regional school administrators to organize the Francis J. Cheney leadership conferences. He views these conferences as an opportunity for school leaders to meet and discuss current educational issues.

Named after Francis J. Cheney, who served as Cortland Normal School principal from 1891 until his death in 1912, the educational conference was created and funded by Cheney’s granddaughter, Louise M. Conley of Princeton, N.J. Conley chairs the Cortland College Foundation Board of Directors.

The conference’s mission is to create a learning community for educational leaders that enhances and supports the success of all students through ongoing professional development, refinement of leadership skills and networking.