Karen Watts, superintendent of one of largest school districts in the nation, will serve on the workforce development panel at the CFES Brilliant Pathways National Conference on Nov. 2-3 along with national leaders in business and politics.

As executive superintendent of Brooklyn North, Watts overseas school districts in New York City that serves more than 200,000 students. She brings 16 years of educational leadership to the “Building the Workforce of Tomorrow” panel on Nov. 2 at 8:45 a.m. at the Burlington Hilton Hotel.

“We are very fortunate to have Karen Watts participating in our national conference,” said CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton. “She has a deep understanding of the challenges facing students today and how they can become college and career ready.”

Watts joins Carolyn Slaski, EY (Ernst & Young) Americas Vice Chair of Talent, and Kelli Wells, Executive Director of Education and Skills at the GE Foundation. Vermont Lt. Governor David Zuckerman will also serve on the panel, adding his perspective as a longtime legislator, small business owner and organic farmer.

Prior to her current role, Watts served as superintendent of 47 high schools in the Brooklyn North area. She began her career in 1993 as a teacher at Grover Cleveland High School, later serving as assistant principal and principal at CFES’ Wadleigh Secondary School High in Harlem. She was also executive principal at ACORN High School for Social Justice in Brooklyn.

Other speakers at the conference include Rene Godefroy who draws critical connections between growing up in abject poverty in Haiti and his in-depth study of neuroplasticity, and University of Vermont President Thomas Sullivan. More than 400 school superintendents, principals, teachers and other K-12 and college leaders, corporate leaders from 30 states and Ireland will attend the conference.