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Francis J. Cheney - Educational Issues Conference

Next Summer Conference:

August 9, 2012-Grounding Educational Reform in Compelling Curriculum

Francis CheneyThe Francis J. Cheney Educational Issues Conference is held on the SUNY Cortland campus three times each year in March, August, and November. The free conference is geared for area school administrators and students enrolled in SUNY Cortland's Educational Leadership Department. It is sponsored by the Francis J. Cheney Conference Fund and the Cortland College Foundation.

To register for the event, which includes lunch and refreshments, or to get more information, contact the Educational Leadership Department by calling (607) 753-2444 or by emailing

Kevin Mack, who chairs the Educational Leadership Department, works with an advisory board composed of regional school administrators to organize the conferences. He views it as an opportunity for school principals and other leaders to develop and extend their capability to effectively lead schools. The conferences bring influential and effective leaders in education to the campus to share their strategies for improving teacher education programs and the education of students from kindergarten through college.

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.

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.

Advisory Team Members

  • Kevin P. Mack, Ed.D., Educational Leadership Department, SUNY Cortland
  • Gary Astles, Retired Middle School Principal, Trumansburg Central School District
  • Denise Cook, Elementary School Principal, Deposit Central School District
  • Jeffrey Evener, Middle School Principal/Athletic Director, Groton Central School District
  • Joseph C. Mack. High School Principle, Cortland Enlarged City School District
  • Zane Mahar, High School Principal, Sauquoit Valley Central School
  • Becky Marzeski, Elementary School Principal, New Lebanon Central School District
  • Barbara Phillips, Race To the Top Network Team Coordinator, Broome-Tioga BOCES
  • John Steedle, Homer Central Schools
  • Tom Turck, Junior High School Principal, Homer Central School

Previous Conferences:

August 14, 2013 -  Evidenced-Based Observation

March 8, 2012--The Principal APPR: Evidence Based Leadership to Meet and Exceed the Principal's Evaluation Criteria