Save the Date!

Rethink Ed Women in Leadership Symposium 2019

Save the Date! 2019 Coming Soon!

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2019
Time: TBA
Location: The Robey Chicago, 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL

2018 Guest Speakers:

Christina Cipriano, Ph.D. Ed. M., is an Applied Developmental and Educational Psychologist, and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, and her research focuses on serving vulnerable youth through systematic examination of the interactions within their homes, schools, and communities to promote pathways to optimal developmental outcomes. She is currently an Assistant Professor, Service Learning Fellow, and Community Engaged Research Scholar at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth,  completed three years of post-doctoral training at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and received her Ph.D. from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology, Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Certificate in Human Rights and International Justice from the Boston College Law School. You can learn more about her science at and her practice at

Superintendent James Mitchem, Jr. has been a part of Valley View School District 365U since 1980, serving as a high school physical education teacher, coach, dean, assistant principal and principal before becoming superintendent on July 1, 2011. Dr. Mitchem was called upon by his alma mater, DePaul University, to serve as their Director of Athletic Academic Advising, so he left VVSD for three years before returning in 1999 to serve as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Bolingbrook HS. A year later, he became principal of what was then B.J. Ward Middle School in Bolingbrook. In 2002, he was named principal of Romeoville HS and in 2006, he took over the principal's role at Bolingbrook HS, a position he held until becoming superintendent. Dr. Mitchem holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership from DePaul University and has completed his doctorate degree and earned his Superintendent certification from Argosy University during the Summer 2011.

Patricia Wright, PhD, MPH, BCBA-D; Dr. Patricia Wright’s commitment to ensuring all individuals with disabilities have access to effective services and supports has guided her work over the past 25 years, from her earliest responsibilities as a special educator, to state and national-level program management, to her current role as the Vice President of Professional Services for Rethink. Specific examples of her advocacy include Dr. Wright’s management in the design of a statewide system of support for children with autism for the state of Hawaii, several years as the National Director of Autism Services for Easter Seals, and her current position aimed at leveraging technology and innovative delivery options to increase access to evidence-based practices. Dr. Wright completed her PhD and Master of Public Health from the University of Hawaii. Her research focuses on the delivery of evidence-based practices in schools and healthcare access for people with disabilities. 

Rosemary Cipriano is a writer, comedian, and storyteller based in NYC. She is the winner of two awards from the United Solo Theatre Festival for her one-woman comedy shows. Her first show in 2016 was a collection of cringeworthy stories and characters from growing up on Long Island entitled, "Shit.", and had a three-show sold out run winning her the award for "First Sold Out Show." She was invited back in 2017 as an Encore performer where she presented the world premiere of the "Best Stand Up" winning, "Even Olympians Have Asthma," a one-woman show about her journey from AP kid with asthma to Tinderella with asthma. Cipriano studies long-form improvisation at Upright Citizens Brigade and has performed at UCB, The PIT, and The Creek & The Cave. Her satire and jokes can be found on The Haven and Funny or Die. Cipriano tweets about boys, her allergies, and Strega Nona at @rosiecip.

Felice Hybert, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Kankakee School District # 111 in Kankakee, Illinois. Ms. Hybert is dedicated to providing visionary, engaging learning opportunities for students, families, and staff. Kankakee School District serves 5, 200 students in Grades Prek-12.  Ms. Hybert has more than 20 years of experience in education. She has served as a Director of Curriculum, Principal, Assistant Principal and a classroom teacher in both special education and general education settings. Ms. Hybert has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters of Education in Educational Administration.


Dr. Genevra A. Walters, Superintendent Kankakee School District No. 111. Dr. Genevra Walters vision is to “develop an educational system that creates opportunities for all children to be valued, contributing citizens in a fast-changing global society”.  She is committed to the growth and development of life-long learners.  Dr. Walters attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work.  She completed an educational doctorate at Illinois State University.  Dr. Walters’ emphasis during her doctoral program was teacher education and research. Dr. Walters is the Co-author of the book, “What Works for Special Education and At-Risk Learners: A Framework for General Education Teachers and Administrators”.  The book provides a framework and initiatives that can be used to increase the quality of education for all students. The strategies in this book can be used in school environments regardless of abilities or disabilities. Dr. Walters returned to Kankakee School District 111 as the new Superintendent on May 30, 2014.  She states that she is honored to return home and serve the students, families, and community as the Educational Leader for the Kankakee Community.

Questions? Contact Kristin Folta