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Why I make Learning Forward's conference a priority

By Mary Decker
August 2022
How she got involved with Learning Forward: Around 2008, when I was a principal in northern California, a mentor introduced me and several of our colleagues to Shirley Hord’s work about professional learning communities. It was the first time I realized how impactful professional learning can be. Before that, most of my professional learning experiences were one-size-fits-all, and I realized there’s a better way to do it. Then I delved more deeply into the work of [Rebecca and Richard] DuFour. The turning point was when I realized that the best professional learning is directly connected to student outcomes. How she became a professional learning leader: In 2010, my school’s team received the inaugural Shirley Hord Learning Team Award from Learning Forward. We attended Learning Forward’s

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Image for aesthetic effect only - Mary Decker

Mary Decker is associate director of schools for teaching and learning at Franklin Special School District in Franklin, Tennessee. She is also the host committee chair for the 2022 Learning Forward Annual Conference Dec. 4-7 in Nashville, Tennessee. Her previous roles include curriculum and professional learning supervisor, principal, assistant principal, and teacher. 

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