Author - Jon Corippo

New CUE Executive Director is Named

CUE Announcement

Pam Gildersleeve-Hernandez has been named the new Executive Director of CUE, the educational nonprofit devoted to empowering educators, enhancing pedagogical practice, and accelerating learning through the use of educational technology tools.

Gildersleeve-Hernandez, a superintendent, site principal, special educator, and classroom teacher for 17 years has been a member of CUE for 12 years. She has served on the SLOCUE Affiliate Board as vice-president and treasurer. Gildersleeve-Hernandez comes to CUE with a strong background in legislative advocacy, having previously sat down with former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. King to discuss funding under ESSA, meeting with Congressmen and women on Capitol Hill as well as in Sacramento to advocate for the resources and flexibility needed to be able to truly serve the needs of every student in our state’s and country’s schools. She is an advocate for equity in opportunity and choice for all in education.

Gildersleeve-Hernandez’ hiring comes as the CUE board is developing a strategic plan that focuses on increased support for local affiliates and learning networks. She and Jon Corippo, newly appointed Chief Learning Officer, will share a collaborative leadership model that will allow the organization to enhance its conferences, professional learning offerings, Rock Star Camps, Black Label events, legislative advocacy and support for educators.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the CUE team alongside such outstanding educators and advocates for excellence in education. CUE is poised as a leader in supporting the systemic implementation of modern learning structures and pedagogical practice that are designed to prepare today’s students for the workforce of their generation. I look forward to taking the work we do to the next level.”

About the organization:

CUE is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring innovative educators and enhancing instructional practice to support all learners. With 23,000 members of connected educators focused on improving education, CUE is one of the most influential educational organizations in the Western Region of the United States. To find out more about CUE visit cue.org and join the conversation at #WeAreCUE.

Refreshed Speaker Selection Process for Fall and Spring CUE Conferences

A single submission for both main CUE Conferences. A simpler, improved submission process. Updated topics. And no more timer!

The CUE staff and Fall/Spring Conference Planning Committees are excited to announce an updated and refreshed speaker selection process. We feel that this process will increase the quality and diversity of our two flagship conferences that are already known for amazing, member-led sessions.

We’d really like to thank Burt Lo, Jennifer Kloczko and Matt Miller and the entire team for getting these great improvements turned around on such a quick timeframe!

An important thing that’s not changing!

The submissions are blind-read (no names) by CUE volunteers. Each submission will be read two-three times. This ensures a fair entry point for all potential presenters.

Some major highlights as to why CUE is making these changes:

CUE is looking for greater equity, opportunity, and transparency as part of the speaker submission and session selection process.

Every time we announce the acceptance of amazing sessions for Fall or Spring CUE, there is a group of our members who are trying to reconcile why they WEREN’T selected. Our goal is to give our speakers the ability to more fully understand the process and make sure their entries are the best they can be.

Another great development: The CUE affiliates and learning networks will now have the ability to submit session of their own choice via a different, specialized version of this process that will allow the CUE Affiliates and Learning Networks to curate their own content as part of the CUE conference experience. We think that our Affiliates and Learning Networks should be able to bring their best shares to these massive learning events.

Some changes you can expect to see when you use our new process:

  • Going forward, sessions will be read against topics in the same area. In the past, the scoring was a winner-take-all model. Upon reflection, our team recognized
    this was an example of “equality” not actually being “equitable.” Starting this cycle, we’ll be looking for the best sessions in each TOPIC.
  • One of the most common reasons certain sessions are overlooked is because of a missing or weak abstract. In an effort to help everyone perform at their best, we are sharing a high-quality sample abstract so that potential speakers can get a clearer sense of a successful submission.
  • We have clarified and added topics that keep our CUE conferences relevant. New/renamed topics include: Student Equity, UDL and Student Privacy.
  • No more timer; take as long as you like.
  • We are providing a sample form so you can see what you need to consider before submitting.
  • We are using Google Forms. (So easy!)
  • You’ll get email confirmation of your submission so you can remember what you submitted.
  • We’ll share real-time data on what’s been submitted so far.
  • First presenters at the CUE conferences will be scored against submitters with similar amounts of experience

Are you excited to get started sharing and presenting? Head on over to CUE.org/Present right now!

Have questions? Email myself (jcorippo@cue.org) or Cate Tolnai – ctolnai@cue.org, we’ll help!



It’s Not 7 Steps – A BOLD Review Post


CUE Social Media Champion Cori Orlando recently had a chance to sit down with Rob Hunter, educator, school administrator and, son of the legendary Madeline Hunter. He had some very interesting thoughts about the way his mother’s work has been misinterpreted and misused, albeit with the best intentions.

The Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan was explained to me (as a first year, emergency credentialed) teacher as a”7 Step Lesson Plan”. The idea was that all the elements must be shown in order, to my administrator, for my formal evaluation. They even had the”7 Step Lesson Plan” on a 4 part NCR form (filled in by hand) to be submitted to my admin before my evaluation and he filled out another 4 part NCR form during my evaluation. He then put it in my “personnel file”. After I finished my first two lessons and didn’t “pass”, I was reduced to tears. How could I jam all that into ONE hour in a way that was authentic and appropriate for students? I was not a fan of the “7 Step Lesson Plan”.

Even so, Madeline’s elegance and terminology had made an indelible imprint on me.

During the heydey of NCLB, I watched as our craft of teaching was reduced to “getting through the book” and being on a certain page on a certain day. After 10 years of NCLB, we have inherited a group of younger educators who primarily know “lesson design” as getting through the textbook/workbook. Or buying a worksheet online.

So, in the year between 1997, my first as a teacher, and 2016 I wandered in the lesson design desert a lot. Lots of variations. Lots of failure.

But Madeline was in the back of my head, whispering about CFUs and Modeling and Guided Instruction.

When we decided to redo one of our events as a new lesson design-centric event – I blurted out that we should use Madeline’s 7 STEP Lesson Plan, but in a different, new and more flexible way. I proposed we use the idea of the Remix to refresh Madeline’s essential elements. I’m a big fan of innovation (easier and faster than invention), and I love the Remix Manifesto documentary., which is about how the masters in rock music have all stood on the shoulders of their predecessors. And that’s how, as a main strand at the CUE BOLD event last weekend, we were remixing Madeline Hunter.

The Remix Manifesto Elements

Last Fall, I got to hang out with Rob Hunter (thanks Cori Orlando!) and he really gave me some amazing insight into how the 7 STEP Lesson plan was NOT Madeline’s vision. I was so stoked to hear that Madeline’s original thinking was much more fluid and flexible than I had had been indoctrinated into thinking! Madeline WAS A REMIXER back in the day!! The 7 Elements are not ALL required. There’s no order! And the vision was never for the lesson design model to be used for evaluation purposes. I was blown away to hear all this….

Recently Cori caught up with Rob to get his full side of the story, it’s worth a 4-minute watch!

Updated 5/10/18: More details on “Closure” misunderstandings from Rob Hunter (note from Jon: as it was explained to me, closure never made sense – I love knowing Madeline’s feeling on this as well!)

“Just an FYI, Closure is not one of Madeline’s elements. Ernie Stachoski (Sp?) the director of the Long Beach Unified professional development dept. added that. He worked with Madeline back in the day but Madeline didn’t agree with including closure. Closure is a psychological term to denote completion, end, final, etc. In education we most often do not want closure. We want kids to continue thinking about lessons beyond one episode. In other words, we don’t want closure. Ernie actually meant it as a kind of “What did we learn today” statement from the teacher or kids.”

A special #TeacherAppreciation gift for all of you: Over 70 Madeline Hunter Lessons, remixed per the CUE BOLD template:



CUE’s Digital Innovator Program:Educators share the awesomeness

We are Amber Duran and Lindsay Callihan, 8th grade teachers at Winton Middle School in Winton, California. Last fall we both felt it was time to amp up our teaching and build lessons that we could share with other teachers at our school so we decided to enroll in the CUECUE Digital Innovator Program. What a great decision this was! Not only did we earn professional development units, but we came away with strategies and ideas for integrating technology into our lessons, often the next day following the workshop with the awesome presenters. This program fit our needs by advancing our technology skills and lesson design, yet flexible enough that we could manage the coursework with our busy schedules.  

The CUE Digital Innovator Program transformed us as teachers in so many ways. From learning how to effectively implement Google tools, to creating flexible learning environments for our students as well as engaging with so many cool and amazing apps and Web 2.0 tools we are now a greater asset to our students and colleagues!

5 Ways the IEC Transformed Us as Teachers

  1. Pedagogy before Technology– Pedagogy now comes to the forefront, with technology being an afterthought.  Lessons are created with standards and DOK levels in mind and technology is added in for support.
  2. Personal Learning Network– Exposure is gained on Twitter and Community platforms, where ideas are shared and discussed by various members of the educational field.  Our PLN has expanded outside of our school district and we are able to frequently connect with other educators that teach the same grade level and/or subject to share ideas, strategies, technological tools, and lesson plans.
  3. Teacher Toolbox-CUE Digital Innovator Program provides educators with a vast amount of resources that are readily available.  Classes prepare you to use these tools in your classroom the next day by providing a hands-on experience. An ePortfolio is created to curate all resources from the CUE DI.  

Lindsay’s ePortfolio

Amber’s ePortfolio

  1. Differentiated Educational Philosophies– Courses are designed to encourage the use of various educational philosophies in your classroom such as Constructivism, Cognitivism, and Behaviorism.  We personally enjoyed adding gamification strategies to our curriculum and received many resources to do so. The variation of the use of education philosophies lead the creation of our final project, Moving Through the Middle.
  1. Feedback- A major role in an educator’s growth is learning not only to be able to give but receive and learn from constructive feedback.  The IEC allowed multiple opportunities to review the work of our cohort members, provide them with valuable feedback, receive their feedback, and apply feedback to our lesson designs.


Don’t wait! Register now for the 10th cohort, now known as the CUE Digital Innovator Program beginning April 30, 2018.

CUE Spark: Mini-grant for CUE Members

Boxlight is offering a special “mini-grant” to get one Labdisc by completing an easy-to-complete application due by April 13, 2018. Also, the CUE STEAMPUNK mobile loaner lab program allows you to borrow a set of four of the Gensci model for a short period to try them out.

If you are attending Spring CUE 2018, visit Boxlight at the #CUE18 vendor hall.

“Collecting multiple pieces of data at once makes doing labs so much more meaningful” – Kim Calderon, Science Teacher, Fowler USD 2017 CUE Leroy Finkel Fellow

 “It was really cool to see the data instantly on the graph” – Rebecca, student


CoffeeEDU + CoffeeCUE at Spring CUE 2018

If you are coming to Spring CUE and you enjoy “talking shop,” make sure to stop by the CoffeeEDU hosted by Alice Keeler, poolside at the Renaissance. Get up early for awesome, unstructured conversation with like-minded educators. Educators who are motivated show up at 7am are worth knowing! (Take a look at #CoffeeEDU on Twitter

Get up early for some awesome, unstructured conversation with like-minded educators.

CoffeeEDU is based on the EdCamp model of an event that is participant-driven. However, unlike a full-day event, CoffeeEDU is exactly one hour; to the minute. The topic is not selected in advance and all educators are welcome. The CoffeeEDU concept is Alice’s Google Certified Innovator project and was originally known as CoffeeCUE. Alice says, “It feels awesome to bring this project back to where it started: CUE.”

CoffeeEDU is not restricted to CUE or even conference events. Alice usually only does early mornings at large events. Normally she would choose something like 4pm on a Friday. ANYONE can put on a CoffeeEDU. Anytime, anywhere – that’s the flexibility of a CoffeeEDU. When educators self-select the topic, it is always a good conversation. The details of CoffeeEDU are easy:

Pick a time, date, and location that works for you.

Invite some friends.

Talk about your needs, goals and dreams for your classroom.

Keep it to exactly one hour and you have a CoffeeEDU!

NewsELA is excited to sponsor free coffee for a bunch of educators, so get there early! Join Alice at the Friday 7AM CoffeeEDU, and there’s more free coffee and conversations at the CoffeeCUE on Saturday at 8AM, where you can also meet the CUE Board Candidates and coffee will be supplied to the first 100 educators – powered by the University of San Diego.

NEW TITLE for Jason Seliskar, CUE’s Director of Member Engagement

Seliskar named Director of Affiliate Engagement

Jason Seliskar has been with CUE since August of 2017, working in the areas of social media, marketing, exhibitor engagement and growing relationships, sales and sponsorships. Jason has also provided important support to CUE affiliate boards and CUE learning networks.

It is CUE’s priority and mission to support all 22 affiliates around California and Nevada in a greater capacity. CUE’s affiliates are grassroots organizations that provide professional development events and meet-ups at the local level. As a former affiliate president, Jason’s passion and knowledge for affiliates is known to many. He is often sought after for advice from other affiliate leaders. He has served on the Affiliate Planning Committee. He has led president roundtable discussions and has shared marketing strategies at CUE’s Annual Leadership Development Institute the last four years while serving on the San Gabriel Valley CUE board for eight years.

It is CUE’s priority and mission to support all 22 affiliates around California and Nevada in a greater capacity.

CUE Interim Executive Director Jon Corippo shared, “Jason’s work with SGVCUE, growing their events from tiny to over 700 attendees is well respected and speaks volumes for his capacity to assist our affiliates in California and Nevada.”

With his experience and CUE’s focus on affiliates, CUE is excited to announce that Jason Seliskar is now CUE’s Director of Affiliate Engagement and will serve as the point of contact for affiliate support for governing, marketing, event strategies and outreach, and much more. Jason plans to connect with affiliates regularly, provide leadership support, seeking opportunities to engage affiliates, and continue to assist the Affiliate Planning Committee on a monthly basis.

Jason has also been an educator in various roles for thirteen years, is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a former president of SGVCUE and lives in the San Gabriel Valley/Inland Area with his educator wife, Brenda their son Brennan and daughter, Rachelle.

CUE Announces Mary Kopp as Our New Senior Program Manager

The CUE Board is pleased to announce that long-time CUE consultant Mary Kopp is joining the CUE staff with the title of Senior Program Manager. For nearly half a decade, Mary has been working behind the scenes at CUE, doing incredibly important work, coordinating critical functions like CUE board nominations and elections, managing logistics and materials for CUE board meetings, CUE’s awards program, interfacing with CUE’s legal team and maintaining the CUE bylaws as well as managing popular events like the CUE Leadership Development Institute and SuperCUE. Mary also works very closely with CUE’s Legislative Advocacy Committee and is an integral part of the Fall and Spring CUE conference planning teams. 

Mary was doing all that as a 20 hour-a-week consultant.

With this change, Mary will be increasing her commitment to CUE to 30 hours-per-week, bringing her world-class skills at a time when CUE is experiencing significant growth in many areas.

Jon Corippo, CUE’s Interim Executive Director, shares:

Mary Kopp is a major player in the CUE backend services that allow us to take care of the needs of almost 19,000 members in California and Nevada – without her tireless efforts, we’d be far less effective.

Mary has a wide and varied experience with nonprofits, currently working as an independent consultant to the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, a funder collaborative working on behalf of infants and toddlers in Los Angeles County, and the Hope and Heal Fund, a fund to stop gun violence in California, in addition to CUE.

Prior to her work in nonprofits, Mary spent many years immersed in the world of technology, producing interactive media projects for Philips Media and the Walt Disney Company. In the late 1980s, she was a tech pioneer, working on the build-out of TECH 2000 in Washington, DC, the world’s first gallery of interactive media, showcasing over $2MM in contributions from leading technology companies of the time, including Apple, Sony, and IBM.

Mary lives in Los Angeles, with her husband, Dennis, and daughter, Emily. She spends time volunteering with a canine therapy program for at-risk foster teens and serves on the parent board at Alexander Hamilton Senior High School.

Beyond Band Aids: How Do We Heal Education?


Ed note: This blog was co-authored by David Culberhouse, Jon Corippo, and Cori Orlando.


“Is that quick fix, that Band-Aid, what is needed for truly sustainable change? It’s time for a new conversation, time for a different plan of action…we need to look deeper than the surface wound.”- Orlando, Culberhouse, Corippo

Urgency. The time to create educational change is now, it isn’t an option. Our students, our world, and our future are changing, therefore our students’ education must change as well. When organizations feel the urgency to solve or heal a problem, it is easy to look for a quick fix. That is part of human nature, see a problem…fix the problem. Makes sense, right? But let us ask: “How is that working for you?” Is that quick fix; that band-aid, what is needed for truly sustainable change? It’s time for a new conversation, time for a different plan of action…we need to look deeper than the surface wound. We must look under the band-aid. We need to diagnose the origin of the holes to heal them at their core. So what is holding us back?

Gaping Holes: Disconnected systems: Many systems try to increase cognitive loads on individuals in the organization. But adding “one more thing” diminishes space for new learning and creating new knowledge that should be focused on better idea flows. Instead, we should identify things we can let go of – schools are a mile wide and an inch deep. What if we narrowed our scope and dug deeper? Like the quote that’s attributed to Einstein says: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” When is the last time we tried to make the process of education more simple?

Unhealing Holes: Initiative fatigue across organizations: When the focus is on implementing programs more than shifting mindsets, people become fatigued. Their mental bandwidth for change decreases with every new event. So let us increase leadership capacity to make a shift in our educational organizations. Let’s focus our change efforts on mindsets, mind shifts, future and around the corner thinking, internal and external awareness, greater emotional intelligence and empathy, greater understanding of improvement and transformational processes.


“We can change the look to make it more attractive, but it still just covers the wound.” – Orlando, Culberhouse, Corippo

Rather than a short-term, new initiative every year (replacing with a fresh band-aid) let’s think more long range. The president of Honda was once asked how long their long-range plan was by American MBAs. He replied “250 years”. We need to think the same way. We must develop a real plan for raising healthy human beings not test scores. To do this, we need to shift our minds and actions to be student-centric so we can focus on the best ways to help all of our students become their best.

The wound that begets the band-aid: Lack of awareness: If there is not a deep understanding as to the “WHY” change and transformation are even necessary, it will be difficult to create and sustain a plan. It may create an unwillingness to look beyond what we’ve always done to better prepare students to be adaptable and agile to a changing world. It could blind us by not seeing our own “Napster” moment staring us in the face. Educators (all levels of educators, including administrators) should look at books like Dumbing Us Down and The End of Average and films like Most Likely To Succeed and Race To Nowhere and grapple with the idea that to some degree, we are culpable. We can not change unless we are willing to understand our own responsibility and power within the system.

Self-inflicted wounds: Facing the enemy within: We create our own internal divisions (between teachers, administrators, district office, parents, etc.) that inhibit collective transformation and impact. This keeps the system from having any type of momentum as it is constantly stepping on itself. Communication and transparency are key when creating change. Involve those who will be affected. Ask for and listen to ideas, regardless of where they come from. Listen beyond titles, rank, role, age; because amazing ideas can come from the most unforeseen places.

Change is never easy, large change can be painful. “Pain is mandatory, misery is optional”. At all levels, education takes a Herculean effort to be excellent. Education is COMPLEX, INTENSE and requires SACRIFICE. Being an educator means long, hard days. But by keeping our eyes on the prize – a healthy, creative and connected next generation- it is worth the cost. When we believe that and work together, the misery dissipates.

What is the antidote? We can start by ripping away the band-aid to allow holes to scab over. We need people and organizations who have a (disruptive) beta mindset. Those who have a willingness to engage in ongoing learning (should not be an event), as well as a willingness to disrupt mindsets that inhibit change. Those who see and share new possibilities that lead to new learnings and new behaviors. We have to be willing to ask hard questions, have tough conversations and be transparent and honest in doing so. We have to also be in tune and truly listen to what students want and need from their education – it is their future we are creating.

DavidDavid Culberhouse: Educator, Ideapreneurial, Exponential Mindset, Social Architect, CUE Rockstar Admin Faculty, TEDx, Facilitator for NISL, Proactively Designing the Future… @DCulberhouse


JonJon Corippo: CUE Interim Exec Dir. Creator: CUE Rock Star. CUE BOLD. Co-Founder Minarets HS, EdCamp Yosemite.  @jcorippo


CoriCori Orlando: TOSA at Co-mod & #VCHSChat   faculty, CUE BOLD Faculty @CoriOrlando1

Fall CUE Conference – We Will Be There!

Fall CUE Announcement

Affiliate Badges

Dear Fall CUE Attendees, Partners, Speakers, and Vendors,

Northern California has been devastated by the ongoing fires. We know that educators and students have been affected and are in need. Several CUE members have lost their homes entirely.

Some of you are probably wondering about the Fall CUE Conference in American Canyon on October 27-28, 2017. American Canyon is not under any evacuation orders at this time, and the city is NOT under imminent risk.

Therefore, we are moving ahead with the Fall CUE Conference at this time.

We have been monitoring the conditions and will keep everyone updated as developments emerge and new information becomes available. We have been speaking daily with Napa Valley Unified and Napa County Office of Education. (For up-to-date and accurate information, visit American Canyon’s News Alert site.)

We are also looking at opportunities for affiliates and others to help the affected teachers in Northern California. We are planning Friday evening events in the City of Napa to support the community and provide a sense of normalcy for our local educators. These details will be coming soon.

Our thoughts are with everyone, especially educators, in the affected areas. Our North Bay CUE community has been hit hard, and our Orange County CUE community has had some fires in their area as well. Our hearts go out to these two CUE communities and many others who have been impacted as well. Please continue to keep all the people, including the firefighters throughout California, in your thoughts as they continue to battle the fires.  We thank the Cal Fire crews and first responders who are working tirelessly to contain the fires.

I’d like to quote one of my favorite educators, Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

We are helpers here at CUE.

Thank you,

Jon Corippo

Interim Executive Director, CUE

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