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Eric  Sheninger

Eric Sheninger

Senior Fellow at International Center for Leadership in Education

Eric Sheninger

Senior Fellow at International Center for Leadership in Education


Eric is an Associate Partner with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Prior to this, he was the award-winning Principal at New Milford High School. Under his leadership, his school became a globally recognized model for innovative practices. Eric oversaw the successful implementation of several sustainable change initiatives that radically transformed the learning culture at his school while increasing achievement. 

His work focuses on leading and learning in the digital age as a model for moving schools and districts forward. This has led to the formation of the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework for all educators to initiate sustainable change to transform school cultures. As a result, Eric has emerged as an innovative leader, bestselling author, and sought-after speaker. His main focus is using research and evidence-based practices to empower learners, improve communications with stakeholders, enhance public relations, create a positive brand presence, discover opportunity, transform learning spaces, and help educators grow professionally in the digital age.

Eric has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for his work. He is a CDE Top 30 award recipient, Bammy Award winner, NASSP Digital Principal Award winner, PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient, winner of Learning Forward’s Excellence in Professional Practice Award, Google Certified Innovator, Adobe Education Leader, and ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar. He has authored and co-authored the following: Learning Transformed: 8 Keys for Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today, Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids, Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times (2nd Edition), What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science, BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning, Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times, and Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals.

He has also contributed on education for the Huffington Post, sits on the advisory board for many innovative companies, and was named to the NSBA “20 to Watch” list in 2010 for technology leadership. TIME magazine also identified Eric as having one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds in 2014. He now presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders and educators to transform teaching, learning, and leadership. His blog, “A Principal’s Reflections,” was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2013 and 2011 by Edublogs. It was also recognized with an Editor’s Choice Content Award in 2014 by Smartbrief Education.

Eric began his career in education as a Science Teacher at Watchung Hills Regional High School where he taught a variety of subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, Ecology) and coached several sports (ice hockey, football, lacrosse). He then transitioned into the field of educational administration as an Athletic Director/Supervisor of Physical Education & Health and Vice Principal in the New Milford School District. During his administrative career, he has served as District Affirmative Action Officer and was the president of the New Milford Administrator’s Association. During his tenure as high school principal he successfully implemented numerous initiatives including a new teacher evaluation system (McREL), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), oversaw Common Core implementation, and initiated a new grading philosophy. Eric received his M.Ed. in Educational Administration from East Stroudsburg University, B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University, and his B.S. in Marine/Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: Schools That Work for Kids

Speech Topics

Creating Schools That Work For Kids

Schools have traditionally been designed to work well for adults, but the conventional school design hasn't always served our learners. Students today need to be empowered to take ownership of their learning in relevant and meaningful ways to prepare them for a constantly evolving world. This session will explore how to cultivate shared ownership, respect, and trust, creating a school learning culture that student’s value and to which they want to belong in the digital age. Attendees will be exposed to a variety of successful strategies and initiatives implemented at schools with a focus on the purposeful integration of technology, a redefinition of learning spaces, personalized learning, and the whole child.

Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times

The educational landscape is changing as a result of continuous advances in technology and a changing learner. As a result educators must recognize this shift, anticipate needed changes, and lead by example in order to meet the diverse needs of key stakeholders in the 21st Century. Attendees will learn how to harness the power of digital tools and social media accessible today to improve communications, enhance public relations, establish a brand presence, increase student engagement, transform learning spaces, discover opportunity, and grow professionally like never before.

Digital Learning Across the Curriculum

Learning today should unleash the creativity of our students and prepare them with essential skills sets for success in a digital world. Attendees will discover how to seize the opportunity inherent in ubiquitous connectivity, an evolving real-time Web, open-source technology, mobile devices and personalization to integrate digital learning across the curriculum. Eric Sheninger will address how to create a teaching and learning culture that integrates social media, OpenCourseWare, student-owned devices, the flipped instructional model and other digital learning pathways to create schools that students want to be a part of.

Turn the Battleship on a Dime: Keys to Initiating Sustainable Change

Educational change is often perceived as a difficult process fraught with competing ideas that rarely take hold. This session will tackle the issue of initiating cultural school change that is embraced, sustained and celebrated. Eric will address common obstacles to the change process and highlight strategies to overcome them. Examples will be shared that emphasize how one school has moved beyond change to transform the teaching and learning culture in a way that lasts.

Culture Shock: Transitioning to a Better School Culture

School culture describes the environment that impacts the behavior of students, teachers and parents. This environment is created through a combination of changes, which ultimately influences student success. This session will address specific initiatives, programs and strategies that can be implemented to improve school culture in ways that better meet the academic, social, and emotional well being of students. Eric Sheninger will share successful steps taken to improve a school culture that sets students and staff on a path to success. Examples such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), creating a makerspace, grading reform, AP program overhaul, social media integration, an embedded model of professional growth, and others will be shared and analyzed for impact.

The Power of Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s)

Personal Learning Networks (PLN’s) have been around for centuries and can be defined as relationships that individuals leverage for learning. Attendees will learn how 21st Century educators can utilize the Internet and Web 2.0 tools (microblogging services, social networking websites, social bookmarking tools, RSS feed readers digital forums) to create their PLN’s and customize their “always-on” learning networks to better prepare and understand the Common Core Standards, college & career readiness, technology integration, engaging learners and effective leadership strategies.

Educational Options for a Changing World

One of the many challenges that school leaders face is ensuring that all students are college and career ready. The key to overcoming this challenge is to make learning relevant and meaningful to our students. This session will focus on New Milford High School's journey to radically transform the learning culture through the formation of our own Academies. They represent a bold new direction for education, one that considers student interest, national need and global demand for highly qualified graduates capable of competing at the most challenging levels. Participants will learn firsthand how we have created and sustained our own Academy structure and be provided with the tools to create their own in a cost-effective manner.