Educational Leadership & Teacher Development Track

Sessions & Descriptions

Track Description:
During this two-day intensive, you will learn to assess your school learning philosophy and culture.  The most important part of school culture and impact are teachers, and since they are the most valuable resource, we want to invest in their growth and development.  Our goal is to equip leaders to create a culture of teamwork between administrators and teachers to create a cycle of feedback and coaching.  When done well, the impact on student learning and transformation is significant.
Session #1: Monday, June 24th 8:30-10am

Teachers: Your most Valuable Asset – In this session we will talk about the importance of teacher observation and coaching as a driver for student learning.  Cohort members will do some reflection on the current practices of their school. 

Presenters: Kori Hockett & Brad Thornton

Session #2: Monday, June 24th 10:15-11:45am

Know and Name Your Why? – In this session, we will work to articulate the educational philosophy for our schools.  We will also discuss how to create a culture of trust between teachers and leaders to work together to create high level learning experiences for students.

Presenters: Kori Hockett & Brad Thornton

Session #3: Monday, June 24th 1-2:30pm 

Observation – The Building Block for Feedback – In this session, participations will discuss how to conduct effective observations.  We will do hands on practical work observing teachers and students and think about how to apply those practices at our schools.

Presenters: Kori Hockett & Brad Thornton

Location: Wheaton Academy

Session #4: Monday, June 24th 2:45-4:15pm

Coaching – Moving Toward Development and Away from Evaluation – In this session, we will discuss how to take feedback from an observation and translate it into an effective coaching session.  We will do mock meetings and simulations to gain practice in the art of giving feedback and coaching.

Presenters: Kori Hockett & Brad Thornton

Location: Wheaton Academy

Session #5: Tuesday, June 25th 8:30-10am

Living Curriculum Teacher Development Model – In this session, we will share the Wheaton Academy process for goal setting, observation, teacher portfolios, student feedback, and evaluation. 

Presenters: Kori Hockett & Brad Thornton

Session #6: Tuesday, June 25th 10:15-11:45am

Case Studies – Four Teacher Journeys toward Professional Growth – In this session, we will walk through four case studies of how to coach and develop teachers with different strengths, weaknesses, personalities, and potential.

Presenters: Kori Hockett & Brad Thornton

Session #7: Tuesday, June 25th 1-2:30pm

Now What?  – In this session, we will help leaders plan for implementation of their learning as they go back to their schools.  We will walk them through a time of planning and consultation utilizing the Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle for change implementation. 

Presenters: Kori Hockett, Brad Thornton & Luke Regan


Kori Hockett, Principal | Wheaton Academy,
West Chicago, IL

Kori Hockett has been at Wheaton Academy for 24 years and began her career teaching social studies. She majored in political science at Wheaton College and went on to earn her master’s degree in teaching and her principal’s certificate from Aurora University. For ten years, Kori served as the Assistant Principal at Wheaton Academy and currently serves as the Principal. Her roles primarily focus on overseeing the day-to-day operations within the school, developing academic policies and curriculum, encouraging and guiding students and families, and encouraging faculty in professional development through observations, evaluations, and meetings.  She has enjoyed the opportunity to lead and present on the Living Curriculum Development Model around the country to help leaders invest in teachers.  Kori also enjoys learning from other leaders in Christian Education through her involvement with CESA and the Converge Conference.


Brad Thornton, Vice Principal | Wheaton Academy, West Chicago, IL

This year marks Brad’s 11th year at Wheaton Academy and 17th year in Christian education.  Brad started at Wheaton Academy as an AP English teacher and head football coach and currently serves as a Vice Principal, supporting classroom instruction and learning through teacher observation and coaching.  Brad helps oversee the curriculum review process, supervises Wheaton Academy’s student services department, and works closely with the English, Bible, and Fine Arts departments.  Brad graduated from Wheaton College in 2007 with a BA in English and furthered his graduate work in 2012 with an MAT from the University of Memphis and a Masters in School Leadership from Baylor University in 2022.  Brad cares deeply about improving student learning through investing in teachers and is excited to work alongside other Christian school leaders at the Best Practices Conference this year.

Luke Regan, STEM Program Director | Wheaton Academy, West Chicago, IL

Luke Regan has been teaching for 11 years and currently serves as the STEM program director at Wheaton Academy. In addition to teaching in the Science and Bible Departments, Luke helps coordinate improvement teams across the school. Through facilitating strategic planning, program development, and data analysis, his primary goals are to help educators see the system they are working in, develop their ideas for improvement, and communicate those ideas effectively. Luke majored in biology and received his MAT from Wheaton College and is currently pursuing an Ed.D at Vanderbilt University.