Todd Whitaker

Professor – Indiana State University

Dr. Todd Whitaker has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. Todd is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, and he has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals.

Twitter Handle: @ToddWhitaker

Jeff Zoul

Instructional And Leadership Coach, Author, Speaker

Dr. Jeffrey Zoul is a lifelong teacher, learner, and leader, currently serving as an Instructional and Leadership Coach, Author, and Speaker. Prior to working in this capacity, Jeff served as Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in Deerfield, Illinois and Rock Island, Illinois. He also served as a school improvement specialist with Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit school improvement network. Jeff served as a principal with Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Georgia, and with North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, Illinois. Zoul is the author of many books, including Start. Right. Now. Teach and Lead for Excellence. Jeff blogs at: jeffreyzoul.blogspot.com

Twitter Handle: @jeff_zoul

Jimmy Casas

Leadership Coach, Author, Speaker

Jimmy Casas served twenty-two years as a school leader, including fourteen years as Principal at Bettendorf High School. Under his leadership, Bettendorf was named one of the Best High Schools in the country three times by Newsweek and US News & World Report.

Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. In 2014, Jimmy was invited to the White House to speak on the Future Ready Schools pledge. Jimmy is also the author of three books, “What Connected Educators Do Differently,” “Start. Right. Now. – Teach and Lead for Excellence,” and his latest release and best-selling book “Culturize – Every Student. Every Day. Whatever it Takes.”

Jimmy currently serves as an adjunct professor for Drake University, teaching courses in educational leadership. Finally, he is the owner and CEO of J Casas & Associates, an educational leadership company aimed at organizing and providing world class professional learning services for educators across the country.

Twitter Handle: @casas_jimmy

LaVonna Roth

Learning Specialist, Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Self. Heart. Inspire. Navigate. Exceptional. These are the words that capture the path LaVonna Roth uses in challenging others to find out how they can ignite the S.H.I.N.E. in their students, others and self. As a learning specialist, author, keynote speaker and consultant, LaVonna bridges her passion for how the brain learns with education by helping every individual realize the value they bring. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching, as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. LaVonna taught at the elementary and secondary school levels and is the author of 8 books. She has presented in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East on increasing engagement, the fun factor in learning and fostering the S.H.I.N.E. that every person possesses. She is the founder of the Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.™ movement where every person is encouraged to use his or her skills, talents and gifts… to illuminate the world.

Twitter Handle: @LaVonnaRoth

Pernille Ripp

Teacher and Author – Oregon, WI Middle School

Mass consumer of incredible books, Pernille Ripp, helps students discover their superpower as a former 5th grade teacher, but now 7th grade teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin. She opens up her educational practices and beliefs to the world on her blog www.pernillesripp.com and is also the creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, a global literacy initiative that since 2010 has connected more than 1,000,000 students. Her book “Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students” has been published by Routledge. Her second book “Empowered Schools, Empowered Students” was published by Corwin.

Twitter Handle: @pernilleripp

Joe Sanfelippo

Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI. The Fall Creek School District was named 1 of 10 Innovative Districts in 2016 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, a MS in Educational Psychology, a MS in Educational Leadership, and a PhD in Leadership, Learning, and Service. He is also an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Viterbo University. Joe has taught Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 5th Grade and was also a school counselor and high school coach prior to taking on an elementary principal position in 2005. He co-hosts the Successful Schools Podcast and co-authored The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age, and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love. Joe was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader in 2016 by the US Department of Education. Go Crickets!!

Twitter handle @joe_sanfelippo

Kayla Delzer

Kayla Delzer is a 3rd grade teacher and technology champion in North Dakota. She is a columnist for Edsurge and blogger for Edutopia, where she writes about a variety of edtech and design topics. She is also the creator of her blog, Top Dog Teaching. She has nine years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently in the process of becoming National Board Certified, the highest mark of professional accomplishment. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners. Kayla frequently travels around the United States as a featured and keynote speaker, and she is proud to be an international speaker with Best Keynote coalition. Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is highly sought after by educational and technology companies to preview and review their products. Kayla sits on several advisory boards of educational companies, and works closely with Remind, Go Ennounce, GoNoodle, Amazon Education, Seesaw, and Creative Teaching Press to name a few. She was also recently selected as North Dakota’s Lead Digital Innovator by PBS. She is authoring her first book for educators based on best 21st century teaching practices for digital natives, due to be published in December 2016.

Twitter Handle: @TopDogTeaching

Salome Thomas-EL

Head of School, Thomas Edison Charter School

Salome Thomas-EL lives in Delaware County with his wife and two young daughters. He has been a teacher and principal in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE since 1987. Salome is currently the Head of School at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington. Principal EL received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. Principal EL was a regular contributor on the first season of “The Dr. Oz Show” and the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay, about his Vaux Middle School experience, and The Immortality of Influence (Foreword by Will Smith), which stresses the importance of leadership, mentoring, parenting and service to others. The Walt Disney Company optioned the movie rights to I Choose to Stay. Thomas-EL speaks to groups around the world and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. He has studied in Cambridge and London, England and is currently a doctoral candidate. He has received the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s distinguished Martin Luther King Award. Educational Leadership and Reader’s Digest Magazine recognized Principal EL as an “Inspiring American Icon”. Principal EL has also appeared on “The Oprah Radio Network”.

Twitter Handle: @Principal_EL

Tom Murray

Tom Murray serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, located in Washington, DC. He has testified before the United States Congress and works alongside that body and the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered, personalized learning while helping to lead Future Ready and Digital Learning Day. Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named one of “20 to Watch” by NSBA, and the 2015 “Education Policy Person of the Year” by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Connect with him online at thomascmurray.com.

Twitter Handle: @thomascmurray

Sanée Bell

Dr. Sanée Bell is the principal of Morton Ranch Junior High in Katy, Texas. She has also served as an elementary principal and was recognized as the 2015 Katy ISD Elementary Principal of the Year. Sanee has served as an administrator since 2005. During Sanée’s tenure as a teacher, she taught English and coached basketball at the middle and high school level. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Sanee is passionate about authentic, purposeful learning for students and teachers, and she also has a strong passion for leadership and its impact on teacher engagement, student learning and school culture. Sanée recognizes her impact as a leader and uses her role to inspire, motivate, and empower others. Sanée has presented at local, state and national conferences, and has written publications and several guest blog posts focused on leadership and its impact on students and teachers. Sanée shares her thoughts on leadership on her blog saneebell.com and via

Twitter Handle: @SaneeBell

Brian Mendler

Brian Mendler has extensive experience working with challenging students in general ed, self-contained, and inclusion settings. He provides staff development training for K-12 educators throughout the world with the focus on how to be successful with even the most difficult students. He trains tens of thousands of educators every year and is a highly regarded dynamic speaker. You will find that Mr. Mendler has a unique prospective that he teaches from, that of a former student who struggled with a learning disability and severe ADHD. Educators love his seminars, because he is able to provide strategies that work immediately for today’s youth.

Mr. Mendler has recently authored a book titled, That One Kid. The book provides educators with easy to use strategies for preventing and responding to difficult, disruptive, defiant and unmotivated behavior. He has also authored The Taming of the Crew and co-authored books, Strategies for Successful Classroom Management, Power Struggles 2nd Edition, and the best seller Discipline With Dignity 3rd Edition: New Challenges, New Solutions.

Twitter handler: @brianmendler

Jessica Cabeen

Jessica has had the honor of being the Principal of the “Happiest Place in Southeastern Minnesota” since 2012. Prior to leading and learning at the Woodson Kindergarten Center in Austin Minnesota, she was an Assistant Principal at a Middle School and a Secondary Special Education Supervisor. She started her educational career as a Music Therapist and then a Special Education Teacher in the Saint Paul Public Schools in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Jessica is the 2017 Minnesota National Distinguished Principal and in 2016 was awarded the NAESP/VINCI Digital Leader of Early Learning Award in 2016. She is a facilitator of the Minnesota Principals Academy through the University of Minnesota as well as the principal facilitator of the Minnesota P3 Leadership Series jointly hosted by the Department of Education in Minnesota and the Minnesota Elementary Principal’s Association. She co-moderates #ECEChat on tuesday night and presents at state and national conventions on learning, leading and having fun along the way.

Twitter Handle: @JessicaCabeen

Shelley Burgess

Shelley has served as an award-winning teacher, principal, Director of Student Achievement, and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Leadership. Her highly respected work focuses on building leadership capacity through coaching, collaboration, and building a positive culture of change which leads to dramatic improvements in teaching and learning. She now works as a full-time partner in Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. and is the co-author of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff and P is for PIRATE: Inspirational ABC’s for Educators.

Twitter handle @burgess_shelley

Kenneth C. Williams

Kenneth C. Williams shares his experience and expertise as a recognized trainer, speaker, coach, and consultant in education and leadership. He is the chief visionary officer of Unfold the Soul, a company dedicated to helping schools live their posters. Skilled in joining the why of our work to the how of our work, known for his powerful and engaging combination of ‘heart, humor, and hammer,’ Ken is an expert at helping schools build capacity in the collective commitments required of learning for all cultures. He is a distinguished teacher, mentor, public speaker, and school leader. Ken is the author of two books. His latest offering is with Tom Hierck entitled Starting a Movement: Building Culture from the Inside-Out in Professional Learning Communities.

Ken’s background includes a BA from Morehouse College and he also holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of Bridgeport and a Leadership Certificate from the Bowie State University. For nearly 20 years, he has been a teacher, assistant principal, sales manager, educational consultant, trainer, speaker and a leading authority in the areas of collaboration, breakthrough achievement, leadership, and peak performance.

Twitter handle @unfoldthesoul

Marcie Faust

Marcie Faust is a school district leader who is passionate about redefining educational experiences in the modern-day classroom. Marcie currently serves as the Director for Innovative Learning for Deerfield Public Schools District 109 in Deerfield, Illinois where she is also the program director for the Deerfield 109 early childhood program. Prior to these roles, Marcie taught elementary and middle school and also served as a technology coach. She believes in authentic, connected learning to prepare students for their futures.

Twitter handle @mfaust

Katie Martin

Katie is the Director of District Leadership for the Buck Institute for Education (BIE). She works with district partners to support high-quality project-based learning to meet needs of learners in a changing world. Prior to joining BIE, Katie was the Director of Professional Learning at the University of San Diego’s Institute for Entrepreneurship in Education. She has also served as middle school English language, literacy coach, new teacher mentor and coordinator of district programs and enjoys being an adjunct professor in diverse teacher education programs. Katie has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in middle school education and her Ph.D. specialized in new teacher induction and support. As a leader, teacher, and speaker, Katie’s experience in research and practice continue to guide her belief that if we want to change how students learn, we must change how teachers learn. She shares her insights and lessons learned regularly on her blog, katielmartin.com and has a book, Learner-Centered Innovation coming out in winter 2017. As a mom, she wants her kids to have learning experiences in school that build on their strengths and interests and is passionate about making sure we do the same for all of our kids.

Twitter @KatieMartinEdu

Amy Fadeji

Amy Fadeji is the principal of Penngrove Elementary in Petaluma, California. In her sixth year as principal, she continues to find herself reaching out to educators across the country to build a growing network of innovative and inspiring colleagues. After attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and later the University of Southern Mississippi, Amy taught second and third grades for seven years in Mobile, Alabama and San Anselmo, California before launching her career in administration. Amy finds great joy spending her days supporting students and teachers in their learning adventures. She is passionate about modeling and encouraging risk-taking, fostering collaboration, and she delights in helping other administrators and teachers do the same! You can read her latest blog post at mrsfadeji.blogspot.com.

Twitter handle: @mrsfadeji

Tony Sinanis

Dr. Tony Sinanis is currently the Superintendent of Schools in the Hastings-on-Hudson school district in Westchester. Prior to his current position in Hastings, Tony was the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Plainedge Schools and the Lead Learner (Principal) at the 2012 National Blue Ribbon School and the 2015 Model School, Cantiague Elementary in Jericho, New York. Tony was also named the 2014 NYS Elementary Principal of the Year. He is co-author of Hacking Leadership, The Power of Branding and Principal Professional Development.

Twitter handle: @TonySinanis

Garnet Hillman

Garnet is an educational consultant and author who has extensively researched and implemented standards based learning, assessment, and grading on a classroom as well as district wide level. She spent three years as an instructional coach and fifteen years in the classroom as a World Language instructor in the Chicago area prior to shifting to full time consulting. Garnet has worked with educators around the country and presented at a variety of conferences opening minds to the possibilities of a shift to healthier grading practices. She provides a practical approach for implementation of standards based learning, assessment, and grading. Garnet is also a co-moderator of the weekly standards based learning chat (#sblchat) on Twitter.

Twitter handle: @garnet_hillman

Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess is the New York Times best-selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE and co-author of P is for PIRATE: Inspirational ABC’s for Educators. He received national recognition as recipient of the 2014 BAMMY Award for Secondary School Teacher of the Year presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

As an award-winning teacher from San Diego, California, he was recognized as Teacher of the Year, a Golden Apple recipient, and a faculty standout for 17 consecutive years in categories such as Most Entertaining, Most Energetic, and Most Dramatic. He specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity. His dynamic and inspirational message coupled with his outrageously energetic performance style has transformed classrooms and sparked an educational revolution around the world.

Twitter handle: @burgessdave

Erin Klein

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother who has been twice selected to serve on the Scholastic, Inc. Top Teaching Team based in New York. Her recent publication, Amazing Grades, was a collaboration with experts from 13 countries around the world. Klein’s other books include Redesigning Learning Spaces through Corwin and Assessing Students’ Digital Writing through Teachers College Press at Columbia University. She travels the country speaking about the power of student voice, how meaningful technology integration can enhance learning experiences, and the impact classroom design has on today’s learner. Her work can be found on her award-winning educational blog, Kleinspiration.com, and you can follow her on

Twitter handle: @KleinErin

Shannon McClintock Miller

Shannon McClintock Miller is a mom and wife. She served as the K-12 district teacher librarian at Van Meter Community School District in Iowa for 10 years. Shannon is now an international speaker and consultant who has a passion for education, librarianship, technology, social media, and making a difference in the world and lives of others, especially children. She is the Future Ready Librarians and Project Connect Spokesperson working with librarians, educators and students around the country in person and online every day. Shannon is Buncee’s Teacher Librarian Advisor and Cantata Learning’s Teacher Librarian Advocate.

Shannon is the author of the award winning The Library Voice blog and enjoys writing for various blogs, journals and other forums including ISTE, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. She recently published her first 4 children’s books about library skills with Cantata Learning.

In 2014, she was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker. In 2016, she was awarded the Making it Happen Award by ISTE.

Twitter Handle: @shannonmmiller

Joe Mazza

Dr. Joe Mazza is a father, learner, and creative educator who spurs innovation across UPenn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (@MCDPEL). Aside from having teaching responsibilities at UPenn, he is Founder/CEO of MakerDads, a new traveling father and family and community engagement mobile makerspace. He is a frequent speaker, blogger, and podcaster both in the U.S. and internationally on family and community and school partnerships, as well as on innovative leadership and technology integration for personal and professional growth. Joe is a strong relationship builder and communicator committed to on-demand learning and ensuring students, educators, and parents understand the power of utilizing networks throughout the learning process. He is co-author of Lead Learners: Building a Culture of Empathy, Innovation and Empowerment. In his spare time, Joe enjoys retro video games, “making” at home with his four children, and cheering on his alma mater at Beaver Stadium, Penn State each fall.

Twitter Handle: @joe_mazza

George Couros

George Couros is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked with all levels of school, from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school and district administrator, and is the author of the book, The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools and organizations around the globe. George is also the creator of Connected Principals.com, an initiative that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students.

George is a leader in the area of innovation, yet his focus is always on the development of leadership and people and what is best for learners. His belief that meaningful change happens when you first connect to people’s hearts, is modelled in his writing and speaking. You can connect with George on his blog, The Principal of Change (georgecouros.ca).

Twitter Handle: @gcouros

Dwight Carter

Dwight Carter is the Principal at New Albany High School in New Albany, OH and has over 20 years experience as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal. His personal mission statement is to positively change lives and impact futures. He believes in the power of collaboration, continuous learning, hard work, and celebrating progress and achievement of students and Staffulty (staff and faculty). He is passionate about creating the best possible learning environment for all stakeholders to be successful. Dwight was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Educator Hall of Fame in 2010, he was named one of three National Association of Secondary School Principals Digital Principals of the Year in 2013, and he was named the 2014 Secondary School Principal of the Year by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International.

Twitter Handle: @Dwight_Carter

Derek McCoy

Derek McCoy is a champion for middle school education and transforming leader and teacher practices to help our learners excel. He brings a wide range of experiences as a secondary school assistant principal, instructional coach, Director of Curriculum and Innovation and principal. He helps improve the learning and teaching efforts as well as help lead best practices with 1:1 iPad initiative. Derek was named as a 2014 Digital Principal of the Year by NASSP and has received recognitions from other groups for his efforts to use social media and technology to help connect learners with best practices and experts, create impactful collaboration networks and ultimately help grow all schools. Using the power of technology and digital tools is an essential means for lead learners to change how we teach and how students learn.

Twitter Handle: @mccoyderek

Katherine Whitaker

Katherine Whitaker is currently a high school math teacher in Kansas City, Missouri. She was raised in Terre Haute, Indiana and attended the University of Missouri to pursue her dreams of teaching. In 2012, Katherine received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. Her first three years in the classroom were spent at the middle school level teaching 8th grade Math, Algebra, and Reading. She is now teaching Algebra A, Algebra I, and Algebra II Honors at the high school level. Katherine will be graduating with her Master of Science in Educational Leadership K-12 from Northwest Missouri State University in 2016 and plans on starting her doctorate in the near future.

Twitter Handle: @MissWhitaker294

Madeline Whitaker

Madeline Whitaker is currently a 3rd grade teacher in Springfield, Missouri. She was raised in Terre Haute, Indiana, and attended Vanderbilt University to pursue her undergraduate degree at the Peabody College of Education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Child Studies. Additionally, upon graduating, she received the Dorothy J. Skeel Award for Outstanding Professional Promise in Elementary Education. After moving to Columbia to begin her teaching career, she enrolled in a degree program at the University of Missouri. She will be graduating in 2016 with her Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis as well as her elementary and secondary principal certification.

Twitter Handle: @MWhitaker_Ed

Amber Teamann

Amber Teamann is the proud principal of Whitt Elementary in Wylie ISD in Wylie, Texas. During her educational career, Amber’s comprehensive understanding of student learning has resulted in a successful blend of technology and teaching. From a 4th grade teacher at a public school technology center, to her role as a Title I Technology Facilitator responsible for 17 campuses, Amber has helped students and staff navigate their digital abilities and responsibilities. Amber was named the 2014 Region X’s TEPSA Assistant Principal of the Year. As an active TEPSA member she also serves on the standing committee for marketing and PR. She’s contributed to numerous recent publications, including “What Connected Educators Do Differently”, published through Routledge. She also has written vignettes for several of the Corwin’s Connected Educators series. In 2013, she partnered with George Couros to develop and curate leadership with the “School Admin Virtual Mentoring Project”, which connected over 400 educators worldwide in a digital space that nurtured and cultivated leadership.

Twitter Handle: @8Amber8

Kirk Humphreys

Kirk Humphreys is the math teacher at Caruso Middle School in Deerfield, IL. This is his 5th year teaching in a flipped classroom. Kirk holds a BA in secondary math education from Western Illinois University and a MA in Teaching and Educational Leadership from Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Prior to teaching in Deerfield, he taught for 12 years as a junior high math teacher in the Rock Island-Milan School District in Illinois. Kirk serves on the Illinois State Assessment Review Committee and previously worked on the Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) test for the Illinois State Board of Education. Kirk was selected as the Citizen of the Year in Education for Rock Island in 2007. In 2009, he was chosen to receive The Dispatch Master Teacher award. He had the honor of receiving the Illinois Air Force Association Teacher of the Year award in 2011. Two years ago, Kirk started speaking across the state showing how he gives his students ownership of their learning in a flipped classroom. In 2015, he received the the 10th District Exceptional Educator Award by Representative Bob Dold. He has a passion for teaching students and is always looking at ways to continuously improve.

Twitter Handle: @kirk_humphreys

Angela Maiers

Angela Maiers embodies each of these descriptors with passion, commitment and fierce determination. She has been creating and leading change in education and enterprise for 25 years, teaching every level of school from kindergarten to graduate school and consulting with companies around the world. She helps learners and leaders understand the transformative power of technology and the Internet. Her powerful message and down-to-earth style has made her a highly sought-after keynote speaker for education conferences, corporate events and innovation summits.

She is the author of six books, including Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom, and her “You Matter” talk at TEDxDesMoines has been viewed several hundred thousand times. Angela is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems. She is an alumna of The University of Iowa, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Education and her Master’s in Educational Supervision and Reading.

Twitter Handle: @AngelaMaiers

Paul Solarz

Paul Solarz has been teaching fifth grade at Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, since 1999. He advocates for student-centered teaching practices and a focus on twenty-first century skills attainment.

Paul’s students spend time each week pursuing personal interests during Passion Time (a.k.a. Genius Hour) and maintain personal ePortfolios of their work in class. Fortunately for Paul, his school and district administration have given him plenty of autonomy to take risks and be innovative over the years, which has led to his unique style of teaching and the motivation to share his strategies with the broader education community.

Recently, Paul was named a Top 50 Finalist for the Varkey GEMS Global Teacher Prize, widely considered to be the Nobel Prize of Education. He was also named the 2014 Educator of the Year by ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) for his work with integrating technology effectively in his classroom.

Twitter Handle: @PaulSolarz

Kim Hofmann

Kim Hofmann is a former school psychologist who has extensive experience and expertise in the special education arena. Coupled with over 12 years of building and central office leadership experience in the areas of early childhood, curriculum and instruction and special populations, Kim has helped to redefine how schools deliver curriculum and supports for students. Kim’s passion is working with leaders and teachers to develop and implement systemic supports to ensure all students learn at high levels. Kim has presented and consulted both regionally and at the state level promoting and supporting schools to challenge the status quo. Kim challenges organizations to re-imagine the systems and supports offered to students along the prek-12 educational continuum. Her mantra is inspired by Rita Pierson, “every child deserves a champion.” Kim is dedicated to developing systems in schools to ensure every child has a champion.

Twitter Handle: @hofmann_kim

Todd Nesloney

Todd Nesloney is the Principal/Lead Learner of Webb Elementary in Navasota, TX. He is the 2015 Bammy Award Recipient for Elementary Principal and the 2014 Award Winner for Classroom Teacher of the Year, the TCEA Teacher of the Year for 2014, a White House Champion of Change, a National School Board Association “20 to Watch”, and Center for Digital Education “Top 40 Innovators in Education”. Todd is also the author of children’s book “Spruce & Lucy” and the co-author of the Award Winning Book, “Flipping 2.0”. He is also the co-host of the popular education podcast series “EduAllStars” and “Kids Deserve It”.

Twitter Handle: @TechNinjaTodd

Beth Houf

Beth Houf is the proud principal at Fulton Middle School in central Missouri. She is passionate about developing schools that encourage high levels of learning and empowerment for all. In addition to her role as principal, she also serves as a facilitator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Leadership Academy, providing monthly training to state educational leaders. Beth was named a Missouri Exemplary New Principal in 2011 and the Missouri National Distinguished Principal for 2016. Beth is the Co-Author of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff.

Twitter Handle: @BethHouf

Starr Sackstein

Starr Sackstein started her teaching career in Far Rockaway High School, eager to make a difference. Quickly learning to connect with students and develop rapport, she was able to recognize the most important part of teaching, relationships. Fostering relationships with students and peers, to encourage community growth and a deeper understanding of personal contribution through reflection, Sackstein has continued to elevate her students by putting them at the center of the learning.

In 2012, Sackstein tackled National Board Certification to reflect on her practice and grow as an educational English facilitator. After a year of closely looking at her work with students, she achieved the honor. She is also a certified Master Journalism Educator through the Journalism Education Association (JEA). Sackstein also served as the New York State Director to JEA to help serve advisers in New York better grow journalism programs.

Most recently, Sackstein was named an ASCD Emerging Leader class of 2016 and had the opportunity to give a TEDxTalk about throwing out grades called “A Recovering Perfectionist’s Journey To Give Up Grades.”

Starr is the author of Teaching Mythology Exposed: Helping Teachers Create Visionary Classroom Perspective, Blogging for Educators, Teaching Students to Self Assess: How do I help Students grow as learners?, The Power of Questioning: Opening up the World of Student Inquiry , Hacking Assessment: 10 Ways to Go Gradeless in a Traditional Grades School and Empower Students to Give Feedback: Teaching Students to Provide Effective Peer Feedback She blogs on Education Week Teacher at “Work in Progress” where she discusses all aspects of being a teacher and education reform. Sackstein co-moderates #sunchat as well as contributes to #NYedChat. She has made the Bammy Awards finals for Secondary High School Educator in 2014 and for blogging in 2015. In speaking engagements, Sackstein speaks about blogging, journalism education, throwing out grades and BYOD, helping people see technology doesn’t have to be feared.

Twitter Handle: @MsSackstein

Rafranz Davis

Rafranz Davis is the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin ISD. In this role, she supports the growth of district leaders, teachers and students through the lens of personalized learning, creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Microsoft Innovative Education Expert and serves in advisory roles for multiple technology companies and organizations including the ISTE community as the chairperson of the digital equity network.

Rafranz uses her voice in education to speak at local, state and national events on topics such as connected learning, digital equity, student data and privacy, creativity, digital learning tools and diversity in edtech. In 2014, Rafranz was invited to the White House as a speaker for the official launch of the ConnectEd Initiative where she spoke on future ready professional learning through the lens of her district.

She is the author of the book, The Missing Voices in Edtech: Bringing Diversity into Edtech and is a two time Bammy Award finalist for school technologist of the year.

Twitter Handle: @RafranzDavis

John Trautwein

John and his wife Susie are the proud parents of four beautiful children, and President of Source Support Services, in Lawrenceville, GA. John and Susie suffered the tragic loss of their oldest child, their 15 year old Son, Will, who took his own life in October 2010. Will was a freshman at Northview High School, and his death devastated not only the Trautwein’s but the entire North Atlanta community. As a result, John and his wife Susie started a nonprofit foundation called “The Will To Live Foundation” to work closely with kids to not only help spread the message of teen suicide awareness in our community but also help these teens recognize the wonderful bonds of friendship we call “life teammate bonds” that help each other find the good in life! John is a Graduate of Northwestern University and a former professional baseball player (Expos/Red Sox). Since the foundation started, John has made well over 500 speeches and presentations to parents, coaches, teachers and kids communities across America, spreading not only the suicide awareness message, but also the foundation’s message of “love” and “hope” turning the tragedy of the loss of his son, into a positive message that improves the lives and the “Will To Live” of kids everywhere. The Will To Live Foundation has raised over one million dollars in an effort to spread the message of teen suicide awareness, and mental health education through their positive Life Teammates platform.

Twitter Handle: @WillToLiveOrg
Website www.will-to-live.org

Ross Cooper

Ross is the Elementary Principal of T. Baldwin Demarest Elementary School in the Old Tappan School District in Old Tappan, New Jersey, and the coauthor of Hacking Project Based Learning. Previously, he was the Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12 in the Salisbury Township School District in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His work at Salisbury involved practices that include: project based learning, inquiry, assessment and grading, Writing Workshop, and reading comprehension. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Innovator. His passions are project based learning and inquiry-based learning. He blogs about these topics at rosscoops31.com. He regularly speaks, presents, and conducts workshops related to his writings and professional experiences.

Twitter Handle: @RossCoops31
Website rosscoops31.com

Brianna Hodges

Passionate change agent, mother of 2, a true CrAZy One & learning enthusiast, Brianna serves as the Director of Digital Learning and iCHAMPION Evangelist for Stephenville ISD. Recognized as 2017 Texas EdTech of the Year, EdDive’s 2018 K12 Administrator to Watch, she also serves as National Advisor for Future Ready Instructional Coaches. Brianna believes that true learning experiences in every facet of life are amplified by innovation, connection and creativity. Directly responsible for the implementation of pedagogical change in her district, Brianna works with school districts across the country to champion for learning.

Twitter Handle: @bhodgesEDU

Brad Gustafson

Dr. Brad Gustafson married his high school sweetheart. Together, they have three children who remind them of their “why” every single day. Brad was recognized as Minnesota’s Principal of the Year and also serves as a national advisor with Future Ready Schools. He is the best-selling author of “Renegade Leadership” and a NSBA “20 to Watch.” Brad received the Digital Innovation in Learning Award from EdSurge & Digital Promise, and his school was recognized with a Local Government Innovation Award from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He co-hosts a popular education podcast called, UnearthED.

Twitter Handle: @GustafsonBrad

Katrina Keene

Dr Katrina Keene is a National and International speaker and has spent the last 17 years in K-12 technology education. Currently, Katrina is the Senior Strategic Outreach Manager in Education at Wonder Workshop for the Central United States. Prior to this, Katrina was an Education Strategist for CDWG, Director of Technology, Instructional Technology Coach, K-5 Computer Teacher, College Professor, as well as a 3rd Grade, 1st Grade, and Kindergarten teacher. Katrina loves staying connected with educators through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope and other social media platforms and is thrilled to bring her expertise and research to thousands of schools across the nation. Katrina’s passions include Leadership, STEM, Robotics, Coding, Computer Science, and EParenting.

Twitter Handle: @DrKatrinaKeene

Amy Fast

Dr. Amy Fast is a passionate cheerleader and disrupter of public education. She currently serves as an assistant principal at a large comprehensive high school in McMinnville, Oregon. Amy is known for her innovative practices around measuring the less tangible factors of success, such as hope engagement, and student motivation. When she’s not with teachers and students, her passion and research are in the area of redefining the purpose of public education in America. Over the past 17 years, Amy has served as a classroom teacher at the elementary level, an instructional coach at the elementary and mid-level, and an administrator at the high school level. She is also the author of It’s the Mission, Not the Mandates. Defining the Purpose of Public Education.

Twitter Handle: @fastcrayon

A. J. Juliani

A.J. Juliani is the Director of Technology and Innovation for Centennial School District. As a former Engish teacher, football coach, and K-12 Technology Staff Developer, A.J. has worked towards innovative learning experiences for students in various roles. A.J. is also an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author of multiple books including the best-sellers EMPOWER and LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring out the Maker in Every Student.

A.J. has worked at all levels of the K-12 spectrum and has the lens of a parent (of four crazy kids) as well. He will encourage educators to not only be intentional about innovation, but also focus on how our practice needs to always be centered on the student experience.

Twitter Handle: @ajjuliani

Robert Dillon

Dr. Robert Dillon is an author, speaker, educator, and lifelong learner. His twenty plus years in education has seen him serve kids and families as a teacher, principal, technology director, and innovation leader. His primary focus is working to bring synergy to instructional design, technology infusion, and learning space design. He believes that in this synergy is the educational gold that students need to be successful citizens in a modern world. He works through an equity lens and looks to bring excellence to every classroom. For this work, he has been honored by Common Sense Media, The Center for Green Schools, the dSchool at Stanford University, the Buck Institute for Education, and Future Ready Schools. Dr. Dillon has had the opportunity to work with teachers and leaders throughout the country, and he continues to speak at local, regional, and national conferences. Dr. Dillon is the co-founder of ConnectED Learning, a Saint Louis non-profit dedicated to affordable, quality professional learning for teachers. He is the author of four books including his latest, The Space: A Guide for Educators. He is supported in his work by his wife and two amazing daughters.

Twitter Handle: @ideaguy42

 

Trevor Greene

Leading his school to a near 95 percent graduation rate and realizing a 67 percent increase in state science scores, Trevor Greene achieved unprecedented success in a school of 99 percent poverty on the Yakima Indian Reservation. Subsequently, he was selected by his peers as the Washington State High School Principal of the Year and is the only principal from the Pacific Northwest to have ever been recognized as Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Following this national recognition, which included presentations nationwide and meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, Mr. Greene completed the first fellowship for the Association of Washington School Principals as a statewide Principal Professional Development Specialist. He currently serves in the greater Seattle area in a large urban district where over 100 languages are spoken. Trevor’s partnership efforts have resulted in the establishment of a bilingual teacher pipeline for District paraprofessionals to become teachers and a dual-language principal program for teachers to become administrators, only the second of its kind in the United States. Mr. Greene’s leadership has also helped realize over a 10 percent improvement in the graduation rate and successfully addressed equity in hiring practices, resulting in an almost 30 percent increase in diverse, high-quality teaching staff members.

Twitter Handle: @TrevorLTGreene

Dr. Lisa Stevenson

Dr. Lisa Stevenson is the Director of Instruction for Marshalltown Community School District in Marshalltown, Iowa. She has also served as an elementary principal, an early childhood center principal, a preschool director, and curriculum director. Lisa has been a public school administrator since 2005. During Lisa’s tenure as a teacher, she taught English as a Second Language at all levels from K-12 in Texas, Illinois, and Iowa. She also coached volleyball and basketball. Lisa earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from The University of Iowa. She also earned a Master of Arts in Linguistics with a concentration in E.S.L. from Northeastern Illinois University as well as her Master of Arts in Educational Administration from The University of Iowa. She is a licensed PK-12 Superintendent in the state of Iowa. Lisa is passionate about equity and serving underrepresented students and their communities. She recognizes the impact that educational leaders and systems have on making sure that every single decision is made with equity at the forefront. Lisa has presented at local, state, and regional conferences. She continues to share her mission in hopes that others recognize that what they believe, including their biases and prejudices, impacts the outcomes for all of our children. Lisa shares her thoughts on leadership and public education via:

Twitter Handle: @lisamstevenson

 

Jennifer Hogan

Jennifer Hogan has always had a passion for helping others. She has over 20 years experience as an educator, and she is currently an Assistant Principal at Hoover High School in Alabama. She has experience at the high school level as a science teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal. In her various professional roles, she has stressed the importance of creating an engaging learning environment through relationships and respect, high expectations, and student voice.

Jennifer was named the 2018 Alabama Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2018 National Assistant Principal of the Year.
Jennifer is a valuable resource for educators across the globe as a presenter, mentor, and via her professional blog, http://thecompellededucator.com. As a digital and connected leader, she is the co-founder of Alabama Education Chat (#ALedchat) and the quarterly United States Education Chat (#USedchat) on Twitter, and she is a co-creator of the Compelled Tribe, a blogging community for educators.

Twitter Handle: @Jennifer_Hogan

Laura Fleming

Laura Fleming has been an educator in the state of New Jersey for over 20 years. She has been both a classroom teacher and media specialist in grades K-8 and currently as a Library Media Specialist for grades 9-12. She has played a prominent role in education as a writer and speaker and has served as an educational consultant on next-generation teaching methods and tools.

Laura is the author of the best-selling, Worlds of Learning: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School, as well as The Kickstart Guide to Making GREAT Makerspaces. She is also a recipient of the National School Boards ‘20 to Watch’ in Educational Technology Leadership for 2014 and was recently nominated as a White House Champion of Change for Making

Laura currently serves as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University, where she designed and is teaching a graduate course on makerspaces. She is the founder of Worlds of Making, LLC, an educational company designed to offer meaningful professional development makerspace experiences for educators. She is also the co-founder of Hands-On Coding, LLC, which aims to offer kinesthetic coding experiences to children.

Twitter Handle: @LFlemingEDU

Jennifer Gonzalez

Jennifer Gonzalez is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 10 years of classroom experience. Most of this time was spent teaching middle school language arts, and the rest was at the college level, where she trained pre-service teachers for the classroom. In 2013, she created the website Cult of Pedagogy, where she now works full-time to help teachers of all subjects and grade levels practice and perfect the art of teaching.

Twitter Handle: @CultofPedagogy

Shaelynn Farnsworth

Shaelynn Farnsworth is a leader in the convergence between literacy and technology. As a high school teacher, she redefined her classroom using contemporary literacy practices to amplify student voice and connect them with a global audience. She continues this work as an Education Services Consultant in Iowa. There, her primary focus is on technology, literacy, and Authentic Intellectual Work. Shaelynn also partners with Steven Anderson to provide thought-leadership and professional learning around sound, instructional practices to educators and leaders across the nation through their company, Web20classroom. Shaelynn is a staff developer, literacy coach, and supports districts in the implementation of initiatives. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Microsoft Inclusive Classroom Partner, and has training in Project Based Learning from the Buck Institute, Instructional Coaching, and Reading and Writing Workshop from Lucy Calkins. Shaelynn shares her musings at shaelynnfarnsworth.com

Website: shaelynnfarnsworth.com

Twitter Handle: @shfarnsworth

Rick Wormeli

One of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in America, Rick brings innovation, energy, validity and high standards to both his presentations and his instructional practice, which include 39 years teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, and history, as well as coaching teachers and principals. Rick’s work has been reported in numerous media, including ABC’s Good Morning America, Hardball with Chris Matthews, National Geographic and Good Housekeeping magazines, What Matters Most: Teaching for the 21st Century, and the Washington Post. He is a columnist for AMLE Magazine and a frequent contributor to ASCD’s Education Leadership magazine. He is the author of the award-winning book Meet Me in the Middle as well as the best-selling books Day One and Beyond, Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom (Second Edition), Differentiation: From Planning to Practice and Metaphors & Analogies: Power Tools for Teaching any Subject, all five from Stenhouse Publishers, as well as Summarization in any Subject: 60 Innovative and Tech-Infused Strategies for Deeper Student Learning (releasing in fall 2018) published by ASCD. His book, The Collected Writings (So Far) of Rick Wormeli: Crazy Good Stuff I Learned about Teaching Along the Way, is collection of his published articles, guest blogs and more through 2013. His classroom practice is a showcase for ASCD’s best-selling series, At Work in the Differentiated Classroom.

Twitter Handle: @RickWormeli2

David Geurin

David Geurin has served as principal and lead learner at Bolivar High School since 2008. In 2013, the school was named a National Blue Ribbon School and Missouri Gold Star School. More recently, he was honored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) as a 2017 National Digital Principal of the Year.

David is author of Future Driven: Will Your Students Thrive in An Unpredictable World? He’s passionate about leadership, school culture, and authentic learning experiences. He believes we must always be mindful that we’re educating students for the world they’ll live in and not the one we grew up in. He’s on a mission to help others find purpose and build capacity for change and excellence. He earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri in 2008. David shares insights with educators at the local, state, and national level through his keynotes, workshops, and presentations. He also shares his voice regularly via his blog, davidgeurin.com

Twitter Handle: @DavidGeurin

Joy Kelly

Joy Kelly has 25 years of educational experience at the secondary level as a teacher, coach, mentor, associate principal and principal. Joy was named the Iowa Associate Principal of the Year in 2015 where she also provides coaching and training for new administrators in Iowa. With tremendous pride, Joy currently serves as principal of Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, IA. Joy has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Iowa, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa and is a licensed PK-12 superintendent; she also has an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree from the University of Iowa. Joy has presented at local, state and national conferences, including NASSP and ASCD. Joy believes the culture within a school directly impacts student achievement and she remains focused on nurturing trusting and meaningful relationships throughout the school community. Helping young people find their best path forward is her mission and Joy believes educational leadership is her vocation, not merely a job.

Twitter Handle: @joykelly05

Sarah-Jane Thomas

Sarah-Jane Thomas, PhD is a Regional Technology Coordinator in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Sarah is also a Google Certified Innovator, Google Education Trainer, and founder of the EduMatch project, which promotes connection and collaboration among educators around the world. Through EduMatch, Sarah has published several collaborative and individual books, and serves as President on the Board of Directors for EduMatch Foundation, Inc. Sarah is also on the leadership team of the ISTE Digital Equity PLN, and Affiliate Faculty at Loyola University in Maryland.

Sarah recently graduated from George Mason University with a doctoral degree in Education, and a concentration in International Education. She also holds a Master’s degree from Howard University in the field of Curriculum and Instruction.

Sarah was designated an ASCD Emerging Leader in 2016, and was named Prince George’s County Public Schools Outstanding Educator Using Technology in 2015. She is also a winner of the 2014 Digital Innovation in Learning Award in the “Sharing is Caring” category, and was named by the National School Board Association as one of the “20 to Watch” in 2015. She was part of the Technical Working Group that refreshed the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Educators in 2016-2017, and in 2017, she received the ISTE “Making IT Happen” Award.

Twitter Handle: @sarahdateechur