Thomas Murray, Educator, Author & Speaker
Tom serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools®, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, located in Washington, D.C. He has testified before the United States Congress and has worked alongside that body, the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered learning while helping to lead Future Ready Schools® and Digital Learning Day. An ASCD best-selling author, Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named the "2018 National/Global EdTech Leader of the Year," by EdTech Digest, the "2017 Education Thought Leader of the Year," one of "20 to Watch" by NSBA in 2016, and the "Education Policy Person of the Year" by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. His best-selling book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today, co-authored with Eric Sheninger and published by ASCD, was released in June 2017. His most recent book, Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences that Impact a Lifetime, was released in October of 2019.
Prior to moving to his role in Washington, D.C., Murray served as an elementary teacher, middle school teacher, middle school principal, elementary principal, and at the district level in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is most passionate about creating cultures of innovation where teachers are empowered to create the types of learning experiences today's modern learners need to thrive.
In addition to his role at Future Ready Schools®, Murray works directly with school and district leaders for administrative retreats, opening convocations, and professional learning days. He’s the husband of a school counselor and dad of two children, all of which are far more important to him than anything shared above.
As an author, Murray has released or been a part of four books, with a fifth book being released this fall:
- Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences that Impact a Lifetime (IMPress, 2019)
- 10 Perspectives on Innovation in Education (Routledge, 2018)
- Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today (ASCD, 2017)
- Education Write Now (Volume 1, Routledge, 2017)
- Leading Professional Learning: Tools to Connect and Empower Teachers (Corwin, 2015)
Murray is also one of the cofounders of #edtechchat, a weekly educational technology Twitter forum, where hundreds of educators from around the world discuss topics related to the effective use of educational tech.
Kim Marshall, from the Marshall Memo
Kim Marshall began his career in 1969 teaching sixth graders in a Boston middle school. He used "learning stations" with some success, wrote curriculum materials for his students, gave workshops for teachers in the Boston area, and began to write articles on classroom and school innovation.
During Boston's desegregation crisis in the mid-1970's, Kim became increasingly involved in schoolwide change efforts, delved into the new research on effective urban schools, and eventually went to graduate school for a year to prepare to become a principal.
But a 1980 Massachusetts tax-cutting referendum closed 27 Boston schools, and Kim found himself in the district's central office, first as a policy advisor and speechwriter for Superintendent Robert Spillane, then leading a team that wrote new curriculum objectives for the district, and finally serving as director of curriculum and then of planning.
In 1987, Kim finally got his wish and was made a principal. As leader of the Mather Elementary School for the next 15 years, Kim and his colleagues brought about significant improvements in student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and the quality of the curriculum. The school also had a gala celebration of its 350th anniversary - the Mather, established in 1639, is the oldest elementary school in the nation.
Since leaving the Mather in 2002, Kim has coached principals (mostly in New York City) and spoken and consulted on teacher supervision and evaluation, time management, curriculum unit design, differentiation, effective use of during-the-year student assessments, and middle-school sex education.
Kim and his wife, Rhoda Schneider, have two children - a daughter teaching humanities in a Boston secondary school and a son teaching high-school history in Seattle.
Bob Kefgen, Director of Government Relations, MASSP
Bob Kefgen has been advocating for Michigan Principals as MASSP's Director of Government Relations since 2012, bringing with him more than a decade of experience in state politics, with a particular focus on education and human services policy.
Bob began his career in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he worked as a legislative aide and eventually chief of staff. He spent two years as legislative liaison for the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA). Immediately prior to coming to MASSP, Bob worked at the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHHS) where he was involved with a variety of strategic planning and process re-engineering projects, with a focus on child welfare.
Bob has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University where he studied history and German.