Below are the thoughts of students, educators, researchers and parents whom I have worked with over the years. These folks make up my growing global Personal Learning Network (PLN).

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56 thoughts on “References

  1. I met Joe at #EdCamp when he asked me to be his keynote, and I am so glad I did. He truly embodies “do one, see one, teach one” in everything he does. It has been inspiring to watch him build up engaged leaders of self, family, and community, and I have found his feedback and knowledge invaluable in working to start up my own school. When you think about the vulnerability involved for anyone — especially teachers — to admit that they don’t know it all, Joe’s work means that much more, especially as I see increasing numbers of teachers and faculty across the nation identifying themselves as #leadlearners. I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that Joe has changed the paradigm of professional development in an amazingly short time, and I am proud to be his colleague and his friend.

  2. I have come to see the words “Mazza” and “Innovator” as synonyms. Joe serves as one of the foremost educational innovators in the world. Nary a day goes by that Joe does not teach me something new about education, leadership, or technology. He is a tireless worker who always finds time to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. In addition to his estimable professional qualities, Joe is also an outstanding human being who inspires those with whom he comes in contact. Joe Mazza is a mentor and role model to many educators around the world.

  3. Joe personifies leadership, forward thinking, and innovation. His leadership and insight into successful and impactful home-school connections have made him a national figure in this area. Joe’s work with #PTchat, including a recent collaboration with the US Sec of Ed Arne Duncan, help schools around the world connect with their families. Joe’s recent work with connected educators, through compiling and promoting the various state chats, and Twitter 101 Mooc, help those he’s connected to grow professionally. Joe’s innovative mindset and ability to ‘think big’ push all those around him to be better for kids.

  4. When I think of innovation I think of a leader will to try anything. When I learned that Joe was taking a leap of faith into the World of Innovation and University work I immediately was stunned. Joe was always and will always be someone I look to for information and guidance as a fellow administrator.

    When I focus on the innovative side of things, I look at three specific areas that make Joe stand out. First, his willingness to take risks. Joe will try anything and typically find a way to make it work. Just recently Joe joined Voxer and in the middle of a presentation to fellow educators he shared “live” voxer conversations with the group to show them how this is a useful tool. Second, Joe is very positive and understands the importance of relationships. This is key because innovation and change go hand-in-hand. Joe understands the importance of walking side-by-side. Finally, Joe is a visionary. Joe looks past barriers and finds a way to create connections. Simply put it isn’t all about technology, Joe understands it is about connections, risk taking and a positive mindset. He is a wonderful example of a true innovator!

  5. As someone who knows Joe both personally and professionally, I can honestly say he is one of the most innovative thinkers I know. A person who is always willing to push himself, and those around him, outside of this comfort zone in the hopes that he will learn something new and expand his point of view. Joe constantly reminds me that it is ok to fail as long as you are trying to do something new and different and better!

    In the two years that I have known Joe, he has helped me learn and grow and become a better educator and Lead Learner – in fact, I categorize myself as a Lead Learner because of Joe! Through our connections on Twitter to our current work on #PTchat, Joe has helped me see things through a different lens. He has a positive energy and is dedicated to supporting and encouraging those around him.

  6. I have had the opportunity to connect with and learn from Joe Mazza virtually through Twitter, Leadership 2.0, LinkedIn, and through e-mail communication. To say that Joe is an inspirational leader is an understatement. From January through May, I was working on a graduate level capstone research project on tech-savvy school leaders and their impact on school culture. Joe was instrumental in helping me gather data and connected me with other tech-savvy school leaders throughout the country by sending the link to my survey via Twitter. Joe made an even greater impact on my project by sharing extensively his thoughts on why schools must have tech-savvy school leaders. His contribution is highlighted in my paper. Joe not only cares about cultivating leadership within others in his own district, but he is also dedicated to helping everyone within his Personal Learning Network achieve their professional goals. I am honored to be associated with such an influential school leader and continue to learn and be inspired by Joe and the outstanding work he does on behalf of his students and their parents.

  7. Joe is an innovator and at the forefront of technology in education. His #PTchat was part of my introduction to Twitter which opened a whole new world to me. I love his daily #PTChat newspaper. He is a true educator, sharing his knowledge with the world.

    I especially enjoyed his commentary on his experience in Finland. He has a wonderful way of expressing his observations and driving them home with great meaning.

    Joe is a champion for the Home/School partnership. In the education climate today, his vision is needed and appreciated.

  8. As a teacher, I would want to work for Joe. As a parent, I would want my kids to be in Joe’s school. His dedication to building strong community partnerships between parents and school serves as a model to all school leaders. In addition, Joe is a connected educator that shares his work for all to learn and grow from.

  9. Joe Mazza is a national leader is the effective use of social media for school communications. He is a lifelong learner, recently finishing his doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania. Joe’s work has become a model for other school leaders looking to authentically engage parents on a regular basis using real world tools. He is constantly pushing himself and his school to be better.

  10. Joe and I share a passion for learning how to best create the conditions for parent engagement in schools. His tireless effort in this area has not only helped the parents at his school but also parents and educators from around the world. I look forward to learning from and with Joe in my journey as a principal and parent. I am sure Joe’s new role as a parent will do nothing but add another dimension to his already reflective and knowledgable expertise in the areas of parent engagement and school leadership. (Agassiz, BC, Canada)

  11. As an educational leader, it’s imperative for me to establish professional connections with other principals and school leaders in order to better my practice. It’s been a true privilege to know Joe Mazza and learn from the wonderful work he’s doing in his school and beyond. Joe has become my go-to resource for home-school communications. Joe’s efforts in strengthening home-school connections for his own school community are commendable. I also appreciate his tireless efforts sharing with the educational community at large through his moderation of #ptchat and his incredible blog full of resources. Joe is a professional, a caring educator who always puts the needs of students first. He is a skilled facilitator of professional development and understands what it means to empower teachers. He is extremely hardworking and an inspiration to many. He is an asset to every learning organization and individual educator with whom he works. I am honored to know him as a colleague and friend.

  12. Joe is a true leader for the 21st century. He is connected to educators all over the world and works tirelessly to support others, to share innovative practices, and to build community. His work helping to bridge the communication between parents and educators is particularly impactful. Among all of the other stuff he’s doing, he also finds time to contribute practical, useful, engaging posts for other educators on the Edutopia blog. He’s a superhero, and our kids are better for it!

  13. Joe is an inspiring leader and trailblazer when it comes to building successful parent-teacher-school communities and engaging participants with social media. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Joe on two webinars now and he’s wowed our educator audience with creative best-practices, cases and tips from the halls of Knapp Elementary. He’s building a powerful learning community and showing us all what kind of real world action is possible when schools meet families where they are and find new ways to connect using new media.

  14. I first connected with Joe Mazza through Twitter, and I am incredibly impressed with his parent engagement work…so impressed that we asked him to run a workshop at our annual conference in Toronto. Joe was a tremendous, engaging presenter. At the end of his session, he was surrounded by parents and educators congratulating him for the amazing work he has done in his community, and wanting to learn more. He is the kind of principal we wish every school could have!

  15. Strong leader, tireless worker, exemplary administrator, professional learner, compassionate guider, and fabulous friend – Joe Mazza exemplifies them all. I’ve worked with Joe on his fabulous monthly twitter chats which he started to engage the essential parent/teacher connection that he believes so passionately about. He has been significant in mobilizing teachers, administrators, educational leaders, parents and parent groups and organizations to begin courageous and critical conversations about how schools and homes can work together. Immediately following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, Joe contacted me as to how he could help his parents talk to their children about the school shooting and reduce their fears, and within hours, Joe had those tips posted for his parents with a reassuring letter sent to each home of his school. Joe is a valuable and connected member of our educational community. He represents the dedicated, knowledegable leader we hope is at the helm of any educational community.

  16. There isn’t a day that goes where Joe Mazza isn’t inspiring some teacher, student, or parent. He’s constantly forging ties between people and networks and always acting in the best interest for children. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at the #140edu conference in August, where his talk was arguably one of the best of the day. Joe’s certainly a mover and shaker in education.

  17. Joe Mazza is a connected educators that I have had the privilege of connecting with several months ago. Through the world of Twitter, I have discovered that Joe has a great influence on Twitter, where he dedicates his time to connect with many teachers and parents. Joe also has connected me with teachers in his own school, allowing me the opportunity to connect with more teacher across the country. As a teacher, Joe is the type of school leader I would want to work for and along, to improve the education of the students in order to increase achievement and engagement. Joe is an innovative leader who leads by example of what should be done in a 21st Century School.

  18. Joe Mazza is a wonderful example of the great work educators are doing to improve education. He is dedicated, passionate, engaging and genuine. I have been fortunate to have interacted with Joe through Twitter discussions, including his #PTchat, and at Ed Camp Leadership. Through those experiences I have become a better educator. It’s this ability to make others around him better that makes him an educator I admire and someone I tell others to follow.

  19. Joe Mazza is an inspiring principal with whom I am grateful to be able to learn and to share. I have had the privilege to hear him speak at the #140edu conference in New York City and to learn with him at Edcampleadership in New Jersey, as well as to participate in his weekly #PT chat on twitter about engaging and partnering with parents. Joe is exceptionally skilled in nurturing relationships among adults (educators and parents) in order to enhance the educational and communal experience for children. He is skilled speaker and writer, and is making a profound impact in supporting professional learning among principals and other school leaders.

  20. Joe has been my children’s elementary school principal (or lead learner, as he says) for over 6 years now and I have had the privilege of working with him over the last year on various tasks. His commitment to improving home-school communications and relations is awesome (and one of the reasons I was willing to take on the challenge of home & school president).

    With Joe’s interest in technology and desire to share, we now host online monthly home & school meetings (increasing our number of families participating from a dozen to several dozen). He has trained us parents and school staff on Twitter and its endless possibilities, allowing among other things, for teachers to share what is going on in the classroom on a daily basis as opposed to the few times a year they may meet with parents in person. And this summer he got students excited to continue writing by setting up a summer “edModo” and presenting them with weekly topics to write about.

    It is most amazing to me to see any “criticism” given Joe, turn into an opportunity for improvement. All of his efforts make it easier for parents like me, to volunteer when and where possible; making our children’s education processes a team effort between home and school.

  21. I have had the privilege for almost a year now to have Joe Mazza in my Professional Learning Network where he has challenged me to become a connected educator. As a teacher in the inner city where parental involvement is scarce, I look to Mr. Mazza for guidance on how to build a bridge that brings the partnership between the school and the student’s home closer. His dedication to #ptchat is evident through his blog and school website. One would describe Joe Mazza as an innovative, 21st century, and progressive leader. Although I have never worked with Joe personally, he has influenced me virtually to better myself as an educator and future administrator. Mr. Mazza’s school and community are very fortunate to have a leader so dedicated to education.

  22. For a little over two years now, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Joe Mazza as doctoral students at the University of Pennsylvania. As classmates, we’ve engaged in both philosophical and practical discussions about education, the future and our families. What strikes me about Joe, time and time again, is his enthusiasm and interest in continually getting better at being a leader, or as he refers to himself, “Lead Learner.” He has broadened my horizons in the area of instructional technology and meaningful ways to use social media to engage his students, faculty and community. As the Director of Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network, I’ve had the opportunity to work with quite a few thought leaders in the education field. Joe sets himself apart with his practical approaches and welcoming demeanor. I can only hope that more schools around this country could work with transformational leaders like him.

  23. Educator, Leader, Learner, Professional, Inspirational…. These are the words that come to mind when describing Joe Mazza. I have watched Joe move mountains to help connect the parents and educators in his school district and around the world. His focus on educating his personal and professional makes me proud to call Joe my friend. He is an amazing writer and a model administrator for others to look up to and emulate. Recently, I was approached by an administrator new to social media. Joe was the the first one I recommended as a “must follow.” I am extremely lucky to have Joe Mazza as member of the TeacherCast family.

  24. Joe Mazza is an excellent leader. He inspires and supports many educators and has a passion for learning and sharing. He is also a skillful and effective presenter and public speaker. He communicates ideas effectively. He also is an incredible organizer who energizes any project. Joe Mazza helped breathe new life into our social media parent teacher chat. His ideas and hard work got the project going again.

  25. Joe Mazza is a great educator and a very forward thinking leader in his school and in online spaces amongst thousands of educators around the United States. He had made great advances in bridging the relationship between school and home. Parents at Mr. Mazza’s school feel as valued contributors to making learning better for students. Mr. Mazza’s administrative style knows no physical boundaries between school and home, reaching out to parents and making sure they feel connected to what’s happening with their child’s education no matter what.

  26. It has been a great opportunity to connect with Joe Mazza this past year! My learning and networking have been enhanced by the sharing and connecting with Joe! As a parent supporting other parents in education, I have always had the hope and vision of inclusive outreach to all parents. Joe has helped further inspire this vision by demonstrating and sharing the possibilities of technology and social media to build and sustain relationships will all stakeholders and partners in education. I trust that Joe will continue to lead and inspire ahead.

  27. Joe is someone who embodies a complete educator. He has been, and undoubtedly will continue, modeling for everyone in education. As an administrator I look to him for suggestions, advice, guidance on how to bridge the space between the school and the student’s home. He is an exemplar of the childlike curiosity of learning new things we hope to instill in children by sharing and offering what he knows works best. As a life-long learner, I commend his thirst for knowledge that’s evident in his reflections on Twitter or his blog. As someone who has only met Joe virtually, I tremendously value his insight, his expertise, and his consistent dedication to students, families, and the progress of American education. I am extremely lucky to have Joe Mazza in my Professional Learning Network!

  28. I look forward to Joe Mazza’s Twitter #ptchat Wednesdays. I always learn something new and am encouraged to share my own experiences and perspectives. From all of our conversations, it is clear that he wants to create not only a respectful and positive learning environment for his students and their families, but for other learning communities as well. I am honored to be a part of his efforts to create meaningful family engagement opportunities and for his willingness to listen as well as learn.

  29. After working with Joe Mazza for the last six months, I find him to be a leader amongst administrators. His sense of responsibility, work ethic, and thoughtful, balanced approach to education sets him ahead of most of his peers. His belief and approach to connectedness in education puts him at the forefront of progressive transparency for educators. His success in connecting parents and involving them in the process of education is a testament to his ability to reach out and successfully communicate to groups that have previously been blocked from the system. Joe Mazza’s willingness to search out and deal with the real challenges of education make him a leader as opposed to an administrative bureaucrat so disdained by all who seek real and positive education reform.

  30. I echo the sentiments of numerous others who tremendously value Joe Mazza as a member of their Professional Learning Network (PLN). As I moved from a lurker to a contributor on Twitter, Joe was among the first educators to reach out with encouragement and resources. #ptchat was the first chat in which I participated and to which I return as much as I am able. His use of Epstein’s types of involvement has supported me in being more precise and intentional in reaching the families in my school community. His genuine commitment to helping families and schools connect is inspiring, and his willingness to serve and model for those of us miles away is much appreciated. I look forward to continued collaboration with him and am grateful for the growth I’ve experienced and extended to my school community through our connection.

  31. I had the good fortune to come under Joe’s leadership this past spring. Having known him in various capacities throughout our the district, I was looking forward to working with ‘that techy guy’. Wow! Was I in for it! Joe is both a dynamic leader and innovator in his school. Joe encouraged me to become more involved with twitter and to continue to blog. He continually presents new ideas to ensure staff, student, and family engagement.

    Needless to say, my teaching career has been rejuvenated due to the encouraging words and actions of Joe.

    The #ptchat that Joe hosts each week is where his actions are backed up by his words. The topics and ideas presented each week are then used in his school as he leads the way in making sure that all families are engaged. With an extremely diverse population, Joe strives towards making sure all families are welcome and understand how to be highly engaged with their child’s education.

  32. When I first entered the world of Twitter, Joe Mazza was one of the educators I was recommended to follow. It was a great recommendation. Joe is a passionate leader who strives to offer the best educational experience for his students. He continues to look for opportunities for transformation instead of finding barriers to transformation. I have been most impressed with his work to engage parents through #ptchat. Although we all know that schools are better learning institutions with parental engagement, he makes it happen. His actions demonstrate his commitment to parents.

    Today’s leaders must be innovative and creative. They must be willing to reach out and connect, try and fail and push the envelope. Joe is that type of leader. He is an excellent example of a learner. Joe understands that to be effective as a leader, you must constantly seek to enhance your own informed professional judgment. Joe is also committed to sharing his expertise with others. He is always willing to provide his assistance to educators from around the world. Education is well served with leaders like Joe Mazza!

  33. In the process of planning an iPad work session for principals in my district, I tweeted a question asking if anyone would be interested in speaking to a group of administrators regarding iPad productivity. Joe responded to my request and introduced me to a web conferencing tool called Anymeeting, which he uses for his home and school meetings. He also offered to help me test the tool prior to our meeting. I was thankful to have his support before using a new tool in front of a large group!

    Joe is an innovator who constantly seeks new ways to effectively communicate and collaborate. His passion for learning and growing is evident in his eFace blog and his active participation on Twitter, and I often forward his posts to my colleagues to encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Joe’s ability to experiment with new practices and share his experiences with the world illustrates his desire to improve the state of education. He is an inspiration to all educational leaders.

  34. Joe Mazza is a visionary leader, continuous learner and role model for students, families and educators. Mr. Mazza’s work on family and community engagement has energized a movement world-wide through twitter. I have personally learned from Mr. Mazza, and continue to share his valuable educational advice with colleagues. I am fortunate to have Mr. Mazza in my Professional Learning Network (PLN) and consider him one of the “Best” in the business.

  35. Joe is a key member of my PLN. As the founder and host of Twitter’s #PTChat, Joe has introduced me to many professionals who are eager to improve partnerships between family, parents, teachers, and schools. I have gained valuable insight by participating in many of these chats and have implemented several concepts into improving my school. Joe is a true professional who is dedicated to improving learning for all, students, teachers, and family members.

  36. I first had the opportunity to meet Joe Mazza several years ago when I was fortunate enough to be working in his school district on a district-wide family engagement project. When the project ended, I admit, I lost track of Joe. When I joined the Twitter world, I discovered Joe again. What was thrilling to me was to see that he was now a principal and had taken the basic tenants of family engagement and applied them to the new dimension of social media and technology. Joe was instrumental in helping me understand and navigate the social media world and I have learned a great deal as I watch Joe apply the research that I and others have done, in a manner that will continue to foster successful and healthy engagement with families. Joe is a pioneer, marrying today’s technology with the importance of engaging families in the educational lives of their children. I am so excited about the work that Joe does, that I have included his journey in my newest book, due out this fall. I am proud to know Joe and that he represents the next generation of educational leaders who understand the importance of engaging every family in the quest to ensure that all children are successful.

  37. When I think of family and community engagement, I think of Joe Mazza. He has been my role model and inspiration for school transformation through positive relationships and an authentic sense of community in schools. What’s great about Joe is his willingness to share and be transparent. He openly shares his journey, including both successes and key learnings from past mistrials. Joe models the role of lead learner and shows us all that we can fully engage with our communities as campus principals. My favorite thing about learning from Joe is his focus on kids. He actively seeks to inspire a child-centered culture in his school and certainly in his online family, of which I count myself most fortunate to be a part.

  38. When it comes to leadership either as a learner or community builder you won’t find many like Joe Mazza. His understanding of the Epstein Model of School Family and Community Partnerships is very clear. He takes the school into the community to meet the needs of families. He reaches out to parents in innovative ways using technology. He is fearless in taking steps to develop resources and implement procedures that inspire educators to be better teachers, to help parents be participants in their children’s learning and ultimately benefit all of his students and others around the world.

    His presentation on Classroom 2.0 Live is a good way to see Joe in action. You will see for yourself how Joe influences the attitudes of participants and viewers in identifying best practices in engaging parents in student learning.

  39. Joe Mazza is passionate, accomplished, and an effective school leader with a tremendous track record of working colllaboratively with all members of his school community. Joe genuinely believes that building and nurturing positive relationships with his students, parents, and staff is the key to establishing a caring, healthy and successful school community that focuses on maximizing learning for all children. I had the good fortune of joining Joe’s PLN this past year and felt an immediate connection to his his passion and work as the Lead Learner in his school. As a high school principal myself, I have personally been inspired by his energy, passion, and dedication to the community to which he serves. I feel blessed to have crossed paths with Joe and sincerely consider him a valued colleague and friend.

  40. Joe Mazza has transcended the role of an educational leader especially in the field of parental engagement. The #ptchat weekly discussion and hashtag on Twitter is the go to source for current information related to parent/school relationships. Joe has does an amazing job with curating content for #ptchat that enables users and participants to share, collaborate and ultimately impact student success. There is no doubt that Joe has created a wonderful resource on Twitter and on his website that allow people to gain tremendous insight on what matters in education. Recently at EdCamp Leadership I had the pleasure to meet and chat with Joe about education and life. I am happy to say he is an outstanding person and educator who is deeply committed to doing whats best for kids and moving the state of learning in the right direction.

  41. About six months ago, I had the honor and privilege of connecting with Joe Mazza through the wonderful world of Twitter. As I started exploring the power of Twitter it quickly became apparent that Joe was (and continues to be) a cutting edge Connected Educator who uses social media to personalize his own professional development and strengthen the connections between school and home, which are both extremely important to me. Through his tweets, blog posts and comments, Joe reminded me of the importance of my role as “Lead Learner” in my elementary school where I have been principal for five years. Furthermore, through the facilitation of the weekly #ptchat conversations, Joe, and the many participants of this important weekly chat, have provided me with an abundance of ideas on how to enhance and strengthen the connections between home and school in our daily efforts to do what is in the best interest of children. I recently had the opportunity to meet Joe as part of our doctoral studies program at the University of Pennsylvania where we co-facilitated a presentation for our colleagues on the power of Twitter and it was Joe’s knowledge and enthusiasm that inspired many to take the Twitter plunge. As a fellow elementary school principal, I am inspired and empowered by the work Joe Mazza is doing and consider myself fortunate to have him as an active member of my PLN and to call him a friend.

  42. Joe Mazza is the type of principal I would love to work for as a teacher because he has the energy and motivation to stay ahead of what’s happening with technology and ensure it is being used to strengthen the school as a whole. Through his sharing with his professional learning community, I can see he ensures his students the type of educational experience that supports incredible growth and fosters the collaboration and connectedness that technology, when used thoughtfully, can provide at a completely new level. Most importantly, Joe Mazza is the type of principal I would love to be at the school where I send my own children because he is truly a pioneer for effective parent communication and I believe it’s parent involvement that can turn a good school into a great school.

  43. Joe Mazza is a forward thinking educational leader whose work forwards the cause of educational transformation, in particular those issues related to parent and community engagement. Joe has, in no small way, provided me with many things to consider in this and other areas related to school improvement and 21st century learning. Perhaps Joe’s best quality is his ability to listen to and cheer on the ideas of others. I am constantly reaffirmed by his support, kind words, and re-tweets. I feel fortunate to have connected with you, Joe. I look forward to our continued work together.

  44. Joe Mazza is widely respected as an educational leader and innovator, hosting #PTchat, a great resource for other educators to share best practices regarding building student-parent-school relationships. He is a constant source of information and inspiration in his role as a “lead learner”. He is a valuable part of my own PLN.

  45. Joe Mazza “lead learner” is a new age administrator whose presence in his school, community and online inspires whomever he comes in contact with. He resurrected #ptchat (Parent-Teacher) and made it a wonderful forum for students, parents, teachers and administrators.  The topics and outstanding guest moderators make it one of the best chats for the entire education community.  I am honored to be a part of Joe Mazza’s personal learning network.

  46. There are a lot of buzzwords and positive experiences that I can share about Joe’s work ethic, his ability to help push his staff to great things, his demeanor to lead and support, and many others. Instead, I will share some information that I find even more valuable than what I have to say. I have had the opportunity to teach several teachers who work in Joe’s building during graduate level courses. Every single one of them shares how he is a great leader, approachable, dedicated, intelligent, and driven. As a fellow educational leader, there is nothing I can add that is more important than that.

  47. Joe Mazza is in inspiration to school leaders around the US and the world. He is a font of wisdom and knowledge for increasing meaningful family engagement in schools. His weekly #ptchat on Twitter tackles tough, relevant topics. It’s clear from his moderation of the chat that parental involvement in their children’s education is his core value. Joe is a true star in the field of educational leadership. I enjoy being part of his professional learning community and look forward to learning from him for years to come.

  48. Joe Mazza identifies himself as the ‘lead learner’ in his school community — which, at one level, is really all one needs to know about his core convictions, his example, and his influence. Joe sets an inspiring example for learners, teachers, families, and leaders to understand our interrelationships and interdependencies in our learning and our lives — in his writing, in his presentations, in his leadership, and in his learning. At moments I’ve also wondered if Joe somehow managed to clone himself — for it seems impossible that one person could so effectively invite, support, and inform our collective efforts to welcome student voice in the design of learning, to promote collaboration among educators in schools, to model sharing between professionals across and outside the country, and to engage more authentic, inclusive, and intentional conversations between educators and families about their highest and most important hopes for children. Sometimes folks, for some reason, distinguish ‘service’ from ‘leadership.’ Joe understands, and has helped me to understand, that they are one and the same. -Chris Thinnes

  49. Joe Mazza has been an invaluable resource and mentor for me in many areas as I have striven to become a more “Connected Educator,” but his mastery and insight into the importance of the parent/school connection has made me a true follower of Joe’s advice. He has helped to gather an incredibly powerful team of educators and administrators, and provided us all a network to connect with via Twitter. Wednesday nights at 9pm EST are set aside for #ptchat in my house. My wife is an elementary teacher and we have enjoyed excellent cyber chats with educators from around the US on ways that we can improve the school/community connection. Even my children have joined in on some of the discussions. I agree with Joe wholeheartedly that building a sense of community can start with our public schools and will only help to make our communities, students, teachers and schools even stronger.

  50. Joe Mazza is clearly one of the most effective educators in the United States today in encouraging parent engagement in schools. He does it in his day-to-day work as a principal; in his coordination of weekly online Twitter conversations where he convenes practitioners from around the world; in his workshops that are attended by teachers, principals, and administrators from throughout the country; and in his very popular writings on various online platforms. I’ve learned a lot from him, and look forward to learning more!

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