2022 Missouri Legislators Retreat

December 12, 2022

On December 1-2, 2022, The Hunt Institute traveled to Jefferson City, MO, to host the 2022 Missouri Legislators Retreat. This was the fifth annual Retreat, and was co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Senator Lauren Arthur, Senator Karla Eslinger, and House Education Committee Chair Representative Chuck Basye. 

The event kicked off on Thursday, December 1st, with The Honorable Brenda Shields opening a session titled “Child Care Barriers to Workforce Participation.” This session was moderated by our very own Karen McKnight, Deputy Director for Early Childhood Programs, and featured Assistant Commissioner Pam Thomas of Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, President and CEO Barry Ford of Council for a Stronger America, and Founder and Former CEO Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop.  

The Honorable Lauren Arthur then gave introductory remarks to the next conversation, “Embedding Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction Across the Continuum,” moderated by Director Rebecca Haseltine of the Missouri Reading Initiative. Deputy Commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Dr. Tracy Hinds, and Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche, Professor of Teacher Education & Certification at Missouri University of Science & Technology, explored the various components of measuring effectiveness, the policy options for intervening in low-performing schools and districts, and successful models of school turnaround. 

After a short break, legislators heard from Jon Richard, a TNTP partner, who moderated the session “Recruiting and Retaining Effective Leaders” with Parkway Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Marty, and Liberty Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Tucker. In this session, legislators and experts explored how to prepare school leaders for the demands of 21st century schools and highlighted successful programs in the state supporting efforts to attract and retain the best school leaders to schools with the greatest needs. The Honorable Karla Eslinger provided opening remarks.  

Legislators then heard from Missouri School Boards’ Association Director of Governmental Relations Brandt Shields, and Missouri School Boards’ Association Senior Director Janet Tilley, for a session titled “Changing the Narrative for Effective Parent and Family Engagement. The Honorable Maggie Nurrenbern of Missouri gave introductions, and ParentLink Director Bradd Anderson moderated the discussion.  


Before dinner, legislators were given the opportunity to engage directly with Missouri administrators and educators to discuss best practices around the implementation of competency-based curriculum. Practitioners included Clayton School District Superintendent Dr. Nisha Patel, Liberty Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Tucker, Neosho School District Superintendent Dr. Jim Cummins, and Missouri’s Success Ready Student Newtork Lead Facilitator Dr. Mike Fulton.  

To close out Day One, Jobs for the Future Pathways to Prosperity Senior Director Charlotte Cahill moderated the session “Using CTE Programs to Meet Missouri’s Workforce Needs.” In this session, CompetencyBased Education Network’s Executive Vice President Dr. Amber Garrison Duncan, and Missouri Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Education Programs Brian Crouse, discussed how Missouri can best support career and technical education (CTE) and expand opportunities to ensure all students have access to it. 

Day Two of the Retreat took place on Friday, December 2nd, and started with a discussion titled “The Educator Workforce: Public Perceptions and Community Engagement.” The Honorable Ingrid Burnett of Missouri opened the session, and our very own Lucy Berrier Matheson, a Senior Policy Analyst on our K-12 team, moderated. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Chief Communications Officer Mallory McGowin and the Missouri State Board of Education’s President Charles Shields discussed the Missouri Blue Ribbon Commission’s best practices and recommendations for the state in regard to teacher retentions.  

SAS’s Director of Education Industry Consulting Dr. Melody Schopp moderated the second discussion, “School Effectiveness, Accountability, and Improvement.” Resource experts included The Education Trust’s Assistant Director of P-12 Policy Nicholas Munyan-Penney and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundations Vice President of Education Aaron North. This session explored the various components of measuring effectiveness, the policy options for intervening in low-performing schools and districts, and successful models of school turnaround. The Honorable Chuck Basye, one of our Retreat co-chairs, provided introductory remarks.  

For the Retreat’s final session, Missouri’s Honorable John Black introduced the Education Commission of the States Senior Policy Analyst Damion Pechota, who moderated “Achieving Missouri’s Postsecondary Attainment Goal.” HarrisStowe State University’s President Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith, University of Missouri College of Education and Human Development’s Joanne H. Hook Dean’s Chair in Educational Renewal Dr. Chris Riley-Tillman, and Lincoln University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Michael J. Self, Sr. discussed important strategies for meeting the state’s attainment goal such as career and technical education, polytechnic education and institutions, as well as highlighted the significance of community colleges and career academies.  

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