Jeff Ronneberg, superintendent of Spring Lake Park District 16, has assumed the role of president of Learning Forward, an international organization of learning professionals.
The mission of the group is to advance educator effectiveness and student results through standards-based professional learning.
Ronneberg was officially installed at Learning Forward’s annual professional conference held in Boston, Mass., Dec. 1-5.
“It’s a unique opportunity to work for an organization I really believe is all about improving student learning and providing professional support to educators,” Ronneberg said in an interview with the Life.
Ronneberg continues his duties as superintendent at SLP while he leads Learning Forward and serves on the organization’s Board of Trustees.
Learning Forward, formerly known as the National Staff Development Council, is a nonprofit organization involved with innovation internally and support of schools nationwide. The group’s priorities are affecting policy, developing school leaders, narrowing achievement gaps, engaging thought leaders and documenting their effectiveness.
Among its many goals, the organization works to improve professional learning coaching nationwide and to develop the learning capacity of principals and teacher leaders to support their colleagues in improving student learning.
Learning Forward actively influences federal legislation, the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, for example. Also, it is working to advocate policies for resources support for professional learning at the federal level.
The group is now championing a plan called Coach Connect, a program to provide real-time support nationwide to instructional coaches working with teachers.
Ronneberg has served as District 16’s superintendent since 2010. Prior, he held such positions as the district’s assistant superintendent, director of teaching learning and accountability and principal at Woodcrest Elementary School.
Before coming to Spring Lake Park, Ronneberg served as dean at Oak Grove Intermediate School for Bloomington public schools. He interned as an administrator at Oak Point Intermediate School in the Eden Prairie School District. He also taught at-risk students in a summer school program in the Minneapolis Public School system.
In addition to his superintendent duties, Ronneberg teaches classes online for Capella University. He works as an adjunct teacher at the University of Minnesota, although he is not doing so at this time.
Ronneberg holds a doctorate in education policy and administration from the University of Minnesota. He earned a master’s degree in education leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
Learning Forward meets twice a year. Last spring Ronneberg and other education leaders met with President Obama’s education staff at the White House in Washington D.C. Among topics discussed were professional learning alternatives, learning coaches in schools and the challenges schools face with federal legislation.
Learning Forward was started in 1969 when a small group of educators interested in promoting staff development gathered in Minneapolis.
The group has grown to international proportions in membership and diversity. Yet, the focus remains the same today as when in its nascent stage.
“They share the same commitment to teacher and students, and the same belief that what and how adults learn is a matter for serious study and dialogue,” according to Learning Forward’s website.
Ronneberg served as president-elect of Learning Forward starting in January of this year. As president, he will preside over the group for 2013. He later will serve on the Board of Trustees as past-president in 2014.
Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]