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Contact Information:
National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement at ECS
700 Broadway, Suite 810
Denver, CO 80203-3442
Phone: 303.299.3608
FAX: 303.296.8332

Paul Baumann

Jan Brennan
Project Leader
(303) 299.3661

DLN 2009District Leaders Network

In 2006 the Education Commission of the States' National Center for Learning and Citizenship, in cooperation with the National School Boards Association and the American Association of School Administrators created the District Leaders Network. This network of district superintendents and school board members from across the nation is committed to high-quality citizenship education, engaging and mentoring other leaders to support effective and sustainable civic education and service-learning for every student. Leaders selected for the network engage in service and scholarship to promote these ideals.
DLN and NCLC board members meet at the 2009 ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Nashville, Tennessee.

California DLN member John Cruz featured in Christian Science Monitor
This article highlights how service-learning in Dr. John Cruz' district is positively impacting student achievement and success.

DLN brochure For more information on the District Leaders Network, download a PDF of the DLN brochure.

dln map
District Leaders Network
: Regional Leads

Pacific Region
Patricia Wood
School Board Director
Kelso School District
Kelso, WA

South Region
Sue Helms
Madison City School Board
Madison, AL
West Region
John Morton
Newton Public Schools
Unified District 373
Newton, KS
Northeast Region
Lou Ann Evans
School Board Member
State College Area School District
State College, PA
Central Region
George Slupski
Raymond #14 School District
Franksville, WI

Application information is available here (PDF or Word version) If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Guilfoile at 303-299-3690 or

Download a roster of all DLN members.

2009 National Forum on Education Policy

July 8-10, 2009
Nashville, TN

DLN Meeting Summary/ECS National Forum

A small yet dedicated group of District Leaders Network members convened on July 8, 2009 at the ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Nashville to further clarify the Network's mission and objectives for the coming year.

Members examined ways the network can move forward in a productive manner and affect real change, with a focus on increasing membership. They later later joined by NCLC staff, Executive Board members, Sharon Adams-Taylor (American Association of School Administrators) and Kari Arfstrom (National Youth Leadership Council) to discuss future collaboration and the direction of our working relationships around service-learning and civic engagement. Board Chair Barb Grohe shared newly adopted NCLC by-laws, which establish a standing committee consisting of three DLN members to provide the Network with representation within NCLC.

On July 9, the following draft was chosen as the Network's official mission statement:
"Our mission is to educate and support superintendents and school boards in fulfilling the civic mission of schools." 

Members later discussed three key components of NCLC's Strategic Plan and ways to support them:

  1. Development/Enhancement of the District Leaders Network
  2. Create laboratories for Innovation in Education
  3. National engagement of policymakers and education leaders. 

Members came away from this meeting with a sense of accomplishment and renewed commitment to the DLN's core mission.

NF2009 DLN
NCLC Board Chair Barbara Grohe leads discussion about the center's goals, mission and vision.

NF2009 DLN
DLN Regional Lead John Morton highlights the DLN's strategic plan.

District Leaders Network Meeting

April 7, 2006
Chicago, IL

The initial cohort of the District Leaders Network (DLN) met on April 7 in Chicago for an afternoon of networking, sharing and planning. Charles Merritt, ECS vice president, conveyed how the network contributes to and is supported by ECS and NCLC. Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center delivered an inspirational and informative keynote address calling on the members of the DLN to advocate for the civic mission of schools and highlighted several successful district efforts.

DLN members spent significant time working in small groups sharing their personal and professional passion and commitment to this important work, best practices and how they can collaborate through regional networking. Paul Houston of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) expressed support for the DLN, and invited the DLN to meet at their conference next February. Elizabeth Partoyan represented the National School Boards Association (NBSA) and demonstrated the organization's commitment to DLN, citizenship education and service-learning. Fred Bay, CEO and president of the Bay and Paul Foundations participated in the meeting, as one funder of the DLN (along with the Carnegie Corporation and State Farm Insurance Companies Foundation). The meeting was co-facilitated by NCLC board members Shelley Berman and Dale Kinsley; board members Barbara Grohe, Steve Hefner, Bill Hughes, Glenys Hill, Randy Collins and Roger Rada led small group activities.

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