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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dr. Karen Cheser Named Vice-Chair of Professional Learning Community Board

Today EdLeader21, the professional learning community (PLC) for leaders committed to 21st century education, announced new leadership appointments to the Advisory Committee. Superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools Dr. Aaron Spence and Superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools (KY) Dr. Karen Cheser have been named PLC Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively.

Cheser, who was hired by the Fort Thomas Independent School Board earlier this year, brings many years of experience to the positon including most recently being the Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer of Boone County Schools, a KY Distinguished District of Innovation.

She began her career in education in 1988 with positions that included teacher, coach, literacy and math specialist, principal, distinguished educator and district administrator. Prior to her years in education, she worked for Procter & Gamble Inc. in sales and brand management.

“I am excited to be a part of the PLC and to have the opportunity to share my experiences while learning from this seasoned group,” said Cheser. “Building community and providing opportunities for students is at the core of my mission for Fort Thomas and I will bring those values to this group.”

Dr. Spence became Virginia Beach Superintendent in 2014. As Superintendent, he oversees the operation of 86 schools (serving almost 68,000 students) as well as all administrative support functions for the school division. He returned to Virginia from having served most recently as Superintendent of Moore County Public Schools in North Carolina.

“We are so honored that Dr. Spence and Dr. Cheser have agreed to lead the Advisory Committee and will help carry out EdLeader21’s mission,” said EdLeader21 CEO Ken Kay. “They each bring a unique perspective which will benefit the organization and help move our important work of 21st century education forward.”

The EdLeader21 PLC Advisory Committee is made up of 19 members, each of whom serve a two-year term.

Phil Downs, Superintendent, Southwest Allen County Schools (IN)

Rich Fry, Superintendent, Big Spring School District  (PA)

Rob Glass, Superintendent, Bloomfield Hills Schools (IL)

Kathy Gomez, Superintendent, Evergreen School District (CA)

Jon Gundry, Superintendent, Santa Clara County Office of Education (CA)

Wanny Hersey, Founding Superintendent, Bullis Charter School (CA)

John Jungmann, Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools (MO)

Deb Kerr, Superintendent, School District of Brown Deer (WI)

Lynne Kovash, Superintendent, Moorhead Area Public Schools (MN)

Kym LeBlanc-Esparza, Superintendent, Newberg Public Schools (OR)

Michael McCormick, Superintendent, Val Verde Unified School District (CA)

Jim Merrill, Superintendent, Wake County Schools (NC)

Gail Pletnick, Superintendent, Dysart Unified School District (AZ)

Jennifer Rundles, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, Saint Mary’s School (NC)

Peter Sanchioni, Superintendent, Natick Public Schools  (MA)

Eric Schneider, Associate Superintendent, Minnetonka Public Schools (MN)

Dana West, Superintendent, Amarillo ISD (TX)

To learn more about EdLeader21, visit

PHOTO: Dr. Karen Cheser on the set of Fox 19. FTM file.

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