CANCELED - ELEA Innovative Leadership Summit: Developing the Leader Within 2023
This Event has been canceled due to low enrollment
ELEA Innovative Leadership Summit is intense training for leaders of ELCA Schools and Learning Centers who are interested in building a network for themselves, developing new skills and innovative strategies, and re-inspiring passion for your mission. We encourage Pastors and Administrators to attend together and will offer ways to connect if that is not possible.
Our panel of 7 experts (subject to change) in their field will guide your journey of leadership development and personal growth through intense and interactive workshops, exercises, and reflection.
Cheryl Wells Collins is a former teacher and has worked in under-resourced communities for over forty years. In her 16 years of teaching, she taught all grades from pre-kindergarten through eighth. She started her teaching career under the tutelage of her mother-in-law Marva Collins at Westside Preparatory School before moving to Providence - St. Mel School to become Director of the Lower and Middle Schools. She became principal of Holy Family School in 2004. In 2008, she was named the ELCA Principal of the Year and a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Cheryl became CEO Elect of Holy Family Ministries in 2017 and once a school principal was hired to replace her, she became CEO in 2018. Holy Family is a non-profit organization with four youth-focused programs, including a private school that serves children in the North Lawndale neighborhood. Cheryl believes that out of the neighborhoods that have the greatest needs will emerge the greatest leaders ready to lead with compassion, integrity, grace, and wisdom.
Don Gillingham began his career in Lutheran education in 1977. His ministry has taken him to four different schools in these five decades. Don is a big-picture guy focused on developing vision and themes for schools and their programs. Recently retired as Executive Director at Rockford Lutheran School, a PK-12 Pan Lutheran institution, Don is regularly called on to consult, present, comment, and write about topics affecting the changing face of a timeless Lutheran education.
Chris Comella was called and served as Principal of Pilgrim Lutheran School from 2013 to 2023, and has been a teacher and school administrator since 1982. Chris has served the ELEA Board since 2017.In 2018, Chris was the ELCA Schools Principal of the Year and an NAESP Distinguished Principal. Chris is a strong advocate of whole-child education and play-based early learning in diverse and welcoming school environments.
Jennifer Skibba has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from UW-Stout and a Master’s degree in Professional Education from UW - LaCrosse. She was a director for a preschool center before becoming a public school educator and taught in the classroom for over 15 years. Now, as the Early Learning Coordinator for the Verona Area School District, she facilitates student learning for the Verona Area First Five Years and Pre-K programs. A constant advocate for early childhood education, Jennifer serves as a consultant to child care centers and public and private schools at the state and national level, with a focus on topics ranging from culturally responsive education, Pyramid Model, and the importance of play-based classrooms. She serves at the state level on the Community of Practice for the Southern Region and Strengthening Diversity Community of Practice committees.
Michael Rottmann has over twenty-five years of experience as a teacher and administrator in Preschool through 8th-grade Lutheran schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Florida. During such time he has also served as an athletic director, coach, and on various national and district-level teacher and administrator conference committees. He currently serves as a principal at Grace Lutheran school in Florida. He was recognized in 2013 as the ELEA Elementary Principal of the Year, as well as received the National Distinguished Principal award given by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. He holds a Master's in Administration from Cardinal Stritch University, WI, and Bachelor's in Education from Concordia University, WI.
Cody Cotton is the Co-founder and Chief of Heart of A Greater Good Foundation. Through unique community engagement and holistic mentorship, he’s been able to create ongoing impact throughout Chicago. Cody serves on the Community Action Advisory Board for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research Leaders where he oversees cohorts around the country in community engagement and research. He enjoys traveling, serving and connecting with diverse communities, and studying the cause and effect of individual results. His TEDx delves into this topic with excitement! He holds a bachelor's from Valparaiso University and is finishing his graduate degree at Maharishi International University studying Consciousness and Human Potential.
Pastor Janelle Rozek Hooper serves as Program Manager for Ministry with Children for the ELCA where she curates the website elcafaithformation.org. She also works as Pastor of Faith Formation at New Hope Lutheran Church in Missouri City, TX. You can see her preaching and children’s messages at evescuriousgarden.org. She enthusiastically serves on the ELEA board and leads its Diversity and Justice Team.
Date and Time
Friday Oct 27, 2023Sunday Oct 29, 2023
Our program will begin on October 27th at 1:00 pm. There will be an early-bird welcome on October 26th for those arriving early. Our program will conclude on October 29th by Noon. Please schedule travel accordingly.
Your school or center MUST be a current member of ELEA in order for you to participate in this program.
Wyndham Chicago O’Hare hotel, located at 1450 E Touhy Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018, near the Allstate Arena and northwest Chicago. Use the free shuttle to and from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). A fully-equipped fitness center, free wifi, a plethora of nearby restaurants, a lobby bar, and more await you!
Room rates have been secured at $119 per night which includes breakfast. The rate is available for 2 days before and 3 days after the meeting for anyone wishing to stay and enjoy all Chicago has to offer.
This event is offered at a rate of $375/person. This fee covers a multitude of engaging workshop offerings, Saturday Lunch, and breaks as well as resources, panelist time, and much more. Room rates have been secured at $119. Once participants are registered we will share the attendee list in case you would like to share a room.
**Cancellation Policy: cancellations made by September 15th can receive a full refund minus $100 processing fee. Cancellations made after September 15th are not eligible for a refund.