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NESA Fall Leadership Conference 2019

Michael Nachbar & Jamie Steckart

Michael Nachbar

Executive Director

Global Online Academy

MICHAEL NACHBAR is the Executive Director of Global Online Academy, a pioneering network of schools and educators reimagining learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society.

Mr Nachbar is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator at national and international conferences, and presents on such topics as educational trends impacting schools, modern teaching and learning, and global education.


He is an active board member for several education organizations, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Independent School Association Network (ISAnet), and Jump! Foundation. He has served as a board member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium, as well as for Summer Search.

He holds a B.A. in both English and Psychology from Indiana University, and earned an M.A. in Education Leadership through the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Mr Nachbar began his teaching career as a Teach For America corps member.

Jamie Steckart

Head of School

THINK Global School

JAMIE STECKART holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota, and is a licensed teacher, principal and superintendent from the State of Minnesota. He has over twenty years of experience designing schools that use Project Based Learning and Placed Based Learning.

Prior to his coming to THINK Global School, he held the post of Principal of Qatar Leadership Academy, in Al Khor, Qatar.


Mr Steckart has a long history of being on the leading edge in educational reform and innovation. He was part of the initial group of teachers that designed Northwest Passage High School, ending his twelve years there as the school’s Director.

As a former Outward Bound Expeditionary Learning Instructor (ELOB) for Voyageur Outward Bound, he was part of the early implementation of ELOB concepts in St. Paul Schools. He founded Project L.E.A.D., an expedition high school, which won the Minnesota Association of Alternative Program of the Year Award and the Crystal Award from the National Drop-out Prevention Association.

Mr Steckart is passionate about school re-design and student-centered learning. He believes in collaborative leadership and listening to the voices of students.

3-Hour Workshop

Designing Optimal Learning Environments for Modern Learners

A Gap Analysis Workshop: From Theory to Practice

Connect & Engage

During this workshop participants will use the latest theories on optimal learning environments to examine their school’s current practices. We will compare current performance with possible potential, and will dive deeply into the perceived risks for change.


Through key structured activities, participants will develop and share their vision and process to affect organizational change. Participants will employ Design Thinking persona templates, understand and apply the DICE framework for change management, employ gap analysis models, and understand how all these processes support and drive change within their schools.

Reflect & Apply

We will also look at ways to craft a strategy and messaging for the different stakeholders at your school, including parents, students, community, board and teachers, and determine the likelihood of successful implementation using a research-based change-management framework.

Using a Gap Analysis, participants will identify and apply strategies, structures, processes, practices, technologies, and skills that will help their school meet its goals. Together we will create a plan to put their analysis into action.

Target Audience:

School leaders

Continuum Levels:

2, 3, 4

Learn more about how NESA plans Professional Learning
NESA'S Learning Continuum:


Save paper and effort where possible!

For your convenience, and to support our efforts in being "green", all handouts/files posted here have been notated with an A, B, C or D indicating the following:

(A) hardcopies needed at workshop
(B) electronic version on laptop is sufficient (for viewing during the workshop)
(C) required reading PRIOR to the workshop
(D) file not needed for workshop itself, but simply material of additional interest/reference


Updates to handouts may be made until shortly before the start of the conference.