2016 Keynote

Chris Shade


Idealistic realist. Extroverted introvert. Imperfect perfectionist. Creative bureaucrat. Chris Shade, Director of School Improvement and Support for the Denton Independent School District, is an oxymoron (or perhaps, just a moron). But doing things the way they’ve always been done is not a part of his schtick. As the chair of the Educational Improvement Council, Shade led the Denton ISD through a process of rebranding of its mission, vision, values, and goals utilizing social networking (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and email) to bring input from the students, parents, educators, business and community members in the development of the mission of the district after 20+ years of the same.


Having spent seven years leading an exemplary elementary school campus in West Texas, Shade refers to himself as a “recovering principal.” Despite spending only four years in the classroom prior, he has always been a teacher. For the past nine years, Shade has delivered presentation topics such as engaging children of poverty as well as sessions on the change required for future of education in addition to workshops on strategic planning through district and campus improvement planning and on managing Title funds across the State of Texas in various districts and in a number of Education Service Centers as well as a variety of statewide conferences including ACET, Texas ASCD, TASA Midwinter, NCLB Parent Involvement Conference.


Malcolm Gladwell claims it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in one’s area. Having spent the past 10 years as a presenter, Shade is at the threshold. (This conference just might do it.) Before you attend, there’s only one norm for the session, if you have a smartphone, turn it on. If the session isn’t relevant and engaging, use it. So, bring your phone, you won’t need it.


Consider these words from retired superintendent, Dr. Jeffrey Turner, “The real challenge for education today is we are running a 19th-century system, using 20th-century accountability, and expecting 21st-century skills.” Politicians have unsuccessfully tried to force education to fit into a business model, but kids aren’t widgets; and to that end, I say, “Education is none of your business.” To overcome, we must have innovative district and campus administrators and teacher leaders seeking to push past the tipping point. Let’s start with “why” we must change by examining “how” we got here, and think of “what” we can tip the scales from the heavy-handed “business model” of education to a model designed to meet the needs of the 21st century.


To learn more about Chris, click through his virtual resume at http://www.slideshare.net/chrisshade/chris-shade-presume-what-do-i-do.


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