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Session IX Speakers & Notes

Taking a Systems Approach

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 12:00–2:00pm

Terry Holliday Slides      Gene Schmidt Slides     

Kurt Steinhaus Slides

Session Notes


National Speaker: Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday currently serves as the board chair for the National Professional Teaching Standards Board, advisor to the Council of Chief State Schools Officers (CCSSO), Metametrics and the State Superintendent of North Carolina.

Mr. Holliday served as the Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 2009-2015. During his tenure, the state was recognized as a leader in implementing college and career ready standards, assessments and accountability. At that time, Kentucky was cited as a model for strategic planning and stakeholder communication strategies by numerous national organizations.

He currently works with a number of state agencies to develop statewide strategic plans focused on the “Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015”, implementation of the CCSSO and JP Morgan Chase “New Skills for Youth” grant and economic competitiveness plans.

Local Context Speakers:

Gene Schmidt

Dr. Gene Schmidt is the Superintendent of Farmington Municipal Schools. The district is often recognized as the most diverse school system in New Mexico and was noted for academically significantly outperforming other districts in the state in the growth of students in proficiency of English Language Arts in 2015-2018. More recently, San Juan College High School – in just its 3rd year of operation – was ranked the number 1 highest academic performer of all schools in New Mexico as measured by student achievement on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career. 

He currently chairs the AdvancED New Mexico Advisory Board and serves on the Quality New Mexico Executive Board of Directors. Under his leadership, Farmington Municipal Schools was selected to receive Quality New Mexico’s Roadrunner Recognition (2018-19) as well as AdvancED Systems Accreditation (2018-19).


Kurt Steinhaus

Dr. Steinhaus currently serves as Superintendent of the Los Alamos Public Schools.  His Bachelor’s degree is in music education.  He has two Masters Degrees, a Master of Arts in Music and a more recent Master of Science in Educational Technology from the University of Oregon.  His Doctorate, from the University of New Mexico, is in Educational Leadership and Organizational Learning.

His prior appointment was at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as director of student programs, education, workforce development, scholarships and community giving. Dr. Steinhaus has extensive teaching experience from Pre-K to Doctoral-level courses.  He also served as Deputy Secretary of Education for the state of New Mexico.


Moderator: Bill Wadt 

Bill Wadt retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after 34 years, where he held a wide variety of scientific, project and management positions. He is the co-chair of New Mexico Excellence in Learning, the education initiative of Quality New Mexico, which he helped create, and a member of the State Council for AdvancED New Mexico. He also currently serves on the LANL Foundation’s Board of Directors as its Treasurer.