Missouri Legislators Study Education Policy Issues at Two-Day Retreat

November 11, 2019

Jefferson City, MO – Working to find tangible pathways to create the best possible outcomes for all of Missouri’s students, about 30 state legislators are registered to convene for the two-day Missouri Legislators Retreat on Nov. 12-13 at Lincoln University.

The four co-chairs, who led the inaugural Retreat in January, are Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Sec. of State Jay Ashcroft, Sen. Gary Romine, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and Rep. Kathryn Swan, Chair of the House Committee on Workforce Development. They worked closely with The Hunt Institute during both convenings, creating robust agendas with this upcoming event focused on topics that include early childhood systems, school discipline, teacher recruitment and retention, and career and technical education.

“The Legislators Retreat is a great opportunity to focus on strengthening education in Missouri,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. “These national experts in early childhood and K-12, along with some of our state’s top superintendents and principals, will broaden our perspectives as we work to improve education policies that support all students across Missouri.”

All members of education- and workforce-related committees from both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been invited to attend, as well as leadership from both the House and the Senate.

“In the last several years Missouri has made great progress in supporting and improving our education system and I am looking forward to continuing the advancement to ensure Missouri’s students and educators are supported and engaged,” said Sen. Gary Romine.

In addition to some of the state’s top superintendents and principals, legislators will hear from a variety of resource experts and education leaders, including:

  • Erin Brower, Government & Community Affairs Director, Hallmark Cards
  • Tequilla Brownie, Executive Vice President – Client Team, TNTP
  • Michelle Croft, Principal Research Associate, ACT
  • Sheri Gonzales, Director, KC Rising
  • Michael Griffith, School Finance Consultant, Education Commission of the States
  • Blaine Henningsen, Assistant Commissioner for College & Career Readiness, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Lora Hodges, Executive Director, Center for Responsive Schools
  • Laura Jimenez, Director of Standards & Accountability, Center for American Progress
  • Nanci Johnson, Statewide Director, Missouri Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support
  • Julie Leeth, Rural Schools & Education Liaison, Community Foundation of the Ozarks
  • Amy Loyd, Vice President of Programs, JFF
  • Brad Mitchell, Senior Strategist for Partnership & Events, Battelle for Kids
  • Senator David Pearce, Chair, Commissioner’s Education Policy Committee
  • Justin Perry, Dean, University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Education
  • Linda Rallo, Vice President, Aligned
  • Jo Anne Ralston, Coordinator of Early Learning Services, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • John Shikles, Policy Counsel, Office of Governor Mike Parson
  • Margie Vandeven, Commissioner of Education, Missouri Department of Elementary
    & Secondary Education
  • Paul Wagner, Executive Director, Council on Public Higher Education

“Building off of our Education Retreat in January, I’m looking forward to bringing even more legislators together to focus on how we can strengthen our policies to ensure we are providing the best opportunities for our students across the state to reach their full potential,” said Rep. Kathryn Swan. 

“Thanks to the partnership of the Retreat co-chairs, I’m confident that this time together will continue to build legislators’ capacity around timely issues that are impacting school leaders and students,” said The Hunt Institute President & CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi. “Missouri continues to prioritize education, and this Retreat is just one example of policymakers’ commitment to improving outcomes for students across the state.”

The Hunt Institute is no stranger to Missouri’s education landscape. Just recently, The Institute, along with Education Commission of the States and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, partnered with Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven, who formed the Commissioner’s Education Policy Committee that developed a set of recommendations for the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.


About The Hunt Institute
An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since it was established in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. For more information, please visit: http://www.hunt-institute.org/

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