2017 LEAD Conference

The annual LEAD Conference gives school and district leaders a chance to share and discuss effective practices happening every day in Tennessee schools. With valuable first-person examples, educators from across the state share their best ideas for preparing Tennessee's students for college and careers. 

The LEAD Conference will take place Oct. 15-17, 2017 at Music City Center in Nashville, TN. The theme of the LEAD 2017 this year is LEADing the New Normal. The focus of LEAD 2017 will be to prepare and support education leaders in the new normal mindset. Focus strands are Standards Professional Development, High School Pathways, Effective Literacy, Middle School: the Bridge to Success, Educator Effectiveness.

The goal for LEAD 2017 is to offer peer-led sessions that highlight districts and/or schools with an exemplary Kindergarten-to-job commitment. Featured schools and districts will embrace the strategic plan, support strong instructional practices aligned to standards and assessments, and move their students from kindergarten to post-secondary success.

Questions should be directed to Lead.Conference@tn.gov.

Call for Proposals

Call for proposals may now be submitted.

Proposals should be completed by 5 p.m. CDT on April 7, 2017.  All applicants shall be notified if their proposal has been moved into the interview process by May 9.  Short phone interviews will be complete and final notification will be sent by June 2. All presentation materials are due to UTK-CLEE by Sept. 29.


Registration for LEAD 2017 is now open.  Questions about registration should be emailed to LEAD.Conference@tn.gov.

Registration Rates and Date Ranges

  Full Conference Sunday Only Monday Only Tuesday Only

Early: June 28 through Aug. 11

$275 $75 $130 $130

Standard: Aug. 12 through Sept. 30

$300 $85 $150 $150

Late: Oct. 1 through Oct. 13

$325 $100 $175 $175
Onsite: Oct. 15 through Oct. 17 $325 $100 $175 $175
Conference Agenda

Please see below for the agenda of LEAD 2017

  • Sunday, Oct. 15
  • Monday, Oct. 16
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17
  • Sunday, Oct. 15
    12 p.m. Early Bird Check in and On-Site Registration Open
    1-4:40 p.m. Session blocks, A, B, C, and BC
    5-5:30 p.m. LEAD 2017 Commissioner and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) Meet and Greet
    5:30-6:30 p.m.

    Address on the State of Education in Tennessee by Commissioner McQueen

  • Monday, Oct. 16
    7-8 a.m. Breakfast
    7 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration and Check-in
    8-9 a.m. Breakout Session D
    9:05-11:10 a.m. Breakout Session EF (two hours)
    9:05-10:05 a.m.  Breakout Session E
    10:10-11:10 a.m. Breakout Session F
    11:10-11:30 a.m. Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time
    11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

    Lunch and General Session with Keynote

    1:40-2:40 p.m. Breakout Session G 

    2:40-3 p.m.

    Break and Exhibit Prize

    3-4 p.m. Breakout Session H
    4:15-5 p.m. Supervisor Study Council Sessions/Networking


  • Tuesday, Oct. 17
    7-8 a.m. Breakfast
    7 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration and Check-in
    8-9 a.m. Breakout Session I
    8-10:05 a.m. Breakout Session IJ (two hours)
    9:05-10:05 a.m. Breakout Session J
    10:10-11:10 a.m.  Breakout Session K
    11:10-11:30 Dedicated Exhibit Hall Time

    11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Principal Study Council
    12:40-1:40 p.m. Breakout Session L 
    1:40-2 p.m. Break and Exhibitor Prize Drawing

    2:05-3:05 p.m.

    Breakout Session M



Hotels for LEAD 2017 offering a conference rate are:

Renaissance Nashville Hotel - $232/night

Address: 611 Commerce St, Nashville, TN 37203

Phone: (615) 255-8400

Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel - $289/night

Address: 623 Union St, Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 259-2000

Courtyard Nashville Downtown - $249/night - SOLD OUT

Address: 170 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 256-0900

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Nashville Downtown - $239/night - SOLD OUT

Address: 310 4th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201

Phone: (615) 277-5000

Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown - $239/night - SOLD OUT

Address: 305 Korean Veterans Blvd, Nashville, TN 37201

Phone: (615) 251-3013

Hyatt Place Nashville - $239/night - SOLD OUT

Address: 301 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201

Phone: (615) 687-9995

Student Talent Application

There will be an application for musical groups to apply to perform at LEAD 2017. More information on applications will be available in Summer 2017.

You may email LEAD.Conference@tn.gov with any questions regarding the application process.

Exhibitors and Sponsors 

The Tennessee Department of Education is proud to announce the 16th Annual LEAD Conference.  An estimated 2,000 school- and district-level educational leaders participate in the conference annually. This conference will provide a great opportunity for exhibitors and sponsors to network directly with potential customers and clients. 

The full exhibitor prospectus for LEAD 2017 is available here. To secure exhibit space or sponsorship opportunities please register online. The deadline to register for booth and/or sponsorship is Aug. 31. You may email LEAD.Conference@tn.gov for more information.


Sponsorship Information

Corporate Sponsors:

  • Headline Platinum $12,000.00
  • Headline Gold $10,000.00
  • Headline Silver $8,000.00 – Tennessee Book Company

Exhibitor Sponsors:

  • Lunch Table Tent Sponsor $6,500.00 – 2 available (1 sponsor per lunch)
  • Breakfast Sponsor $6,500.00 – 2 available (1 sponsor per breakfast)
  • Registration Sponsor $6,000.00
  • Official App Sponsor $6,000.00
  • Keynote Area Sponsor $5,500.00
  • Lanyard Sponsor $5,500.00 - iStation
  • Conference Bag Sponsor $5,500.00
  • Name Badge Sponsor $5,000.00 - EPS - School Specialty Inc.
  • Snack Break Sponsor $5,000.00 (two available – one sponsor per day)
  • Recharge Lounge Sponsor $3,000.00
  • Assessment Lab Sponsor $3,000.00 (two available)
  • New Testing Coordinators Luncheon Sponsor $2,500.00 - Lexia

The full exhibitor prospectus for LEAD 2017 is available hereTo secure exhibit space or sponsorship opportunities please register online. The deadline to register for booth and/or sponsorship is Aug. 31. You may email LEAD.Conference@tn.gov for more information.

LEAD 2016

The LEAD Conference took place Oct. 23-26 at the Music City Center in Nashville with the theme LEADing for Readiness. Thanks to everyone who attended LEAD 2016. This year’s conference was one of our strongest ever, in large part thanks to the presentations and leadership of our district partners. We are working to secure dates for LEAD 2017 and will communicate that information as soon as it is available. If you have feedback about the conference that was not captured in the daily surveys, please feel free to email LEAD.Conference@tn.gov. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

The full conference program is available here.