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Presenters, Panelists 
& Interviews

(alphabetical by first name)

 

Alexandria Tannehill-Smith

Alexandria Tannehill-Smith is a teacher-author and 7th year secondary science teacher with a BAS in Biology. She has taught in Colorado as well as the small southeastern Alaskan island communities of Metlakatla and Hoonah during her teaching career. She specializes in unique, innovative, and engaging resources for secondary science students and educators. Digital equity and access to information and resources is a passion of Alexandria's, and she continually advocates these needs for equity in education. Alexandria is driven to share her original and engaging pedagogical techniques with educators near and far. She has facilitated webinars to educators in Alaska on connecting the new Science Standards to existing curricula, with roots developed in culturally responsive teaching practices. She is a member of her district's PBIS team and loves to promote the idea of restorative justice and building meaningful connections with young people. She believes deeply in laughter, exploration of phenomena, and instilling wonder in young people to connect them as contributing global citizens. You can learn more about Alexandria Tannehill-Smith here.

Session:

  • Boom Learning is for BIG Kids Too - High Level & Multi-Step Engagement for Secondary Students
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Amanda Kramer

Amanda is an IB Certified teacher, instructional designer, and the founder of STEM Tactics on TPT where she is building her inventory of teaching resources for social impact. She has taught a variety of subjects, grade levels, and schools, but middle school science has been the bulk of her career. She has also taught in Japan and Sweden and hopes the international list keeps growing. 5 years ago, Amanda discovered the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals. Since then, she has devoted herself to integrating this powerful movement into her curriculum and inspiring other educators to get involved. She has facilitated multiple workshops around the SDGs for educators, entrepreneurs, and children. She is also a lover of Project-Based Learning (PBL), STEAM, and gamification. She is now publishing her teaching resources to help other educators bring the purpose-driven activities into their classroom that sparks excitement to take action! Learn more about Amanda on her website.

Session:

  • Why Every Teacher Needs to Know About the SDGs
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Amy Mezni

Amy Mezni is a teacher-author specializing in ELA and Social Studies resources for grades 3 – 8. She taught in schools around the world for 20 years and homeschooled her son for middle school. Throughout her teaching career, she developed and taught using hands-on, integrated units. Amy earned her National Board Teacher Certification and won many awards for her engaging lessons, including Florida’s Economics Teacher of the Year. Learn more about Amy on her website.

Sessions:

  • Increase Student Learning Through Games: Board & Card Games
  • Increase Student Learning Through Games: Digital Games
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Dr. Blake Brandes

Dr. Blake Brandes is a TEDx speaker, America’s Got Talent performer, and founder of the personal development company, Motivational Millennial. With a Ph.D. in hip-hop and global youth cultures, Blake has spoken to over 300,000 students, parents, and educators around the world, and presents Growth Mindset and Grit assemblies to help students Remix Their Reality. He is also an award-winning beatboxer, rapper, and music producer who produced Number 1 radio songs in Europe and performed over 200 shows around the world, including with the composer of the movie Moana and the hip-hop musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Blake was the recipient of the Marshall Scholarship, one of the more competitive postgraduate awards in the world, and for the past 16 years, he has coached students, parents, and educators on how to create lives filled with passion, resilience, and success. Learn more about Blake and download his music for free
 
Session:
  • Back to School with a Growth Mindset
 
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Brian Lopez

Brian Lopez is an out of this world teacher from Southern California. Brian has been working in education for 18 years with experience inside and outside the classroom. Brian is currently in his 4th year of teaching as the English Language Development & Intervention Teacher for students in grades K - 6. Brian’s teaching passion revolves around finding ways to infuse educational technology into his everyday classroom activities. Brian believes that every student has a voice, and it is his mission to help each and every student that walks through the door find their #studentvoice. You can learn more about Brian on his website hellomrlopez.com or connect with Brian on Twitter
 
Session:
  • Digital Tools for English Language Learners
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Brian Wiltgen

Brian has been an educator for the past 23 years. He has taught at the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade levels. He has a Master of Education degree and continues to learn and take classes to help grow professionally. He has gone through Culturally Responsive Teaching Training, implements Universally Designed Learning into his classroom, and uses AVID strategies as well. He strives to provide the best possible educational experiences for his students by connecting with them, guiding them through inquiry, and helping them to succeed regardless of ability. Learn more about Brian's engaging resources here.
 
Session:
  • SEL Solutions for a Post Covid Classroom
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Cassi Noack

Cassi Noack is an educator who is passionate about teaching and technology. She has years of experience as an upper elementary math teacher and instructional specialist. Over the last year, she has helped thousands of teachers transition into distance learning and loves sharing about helpful technologies that make teaching easier and more fun. You can find Cassi at Minds in Bloom.

 

Session:
  • Must-Have Google Extensions for Teachers
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Chanel Johnson

Chanel Johnson is from Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives in Atlanta as a Science Specialist for the 5th largest district in Georgia. She is the founder of BeStemtastic LLC, focusing on Math and Science instruction, pedagogy, and tech integration. She has served countless students and educators since 2009, focusing on the areas of math, science, instructional technology, curriculum development, and coaching. Whether teaching students or teaching adults, her passion is to teach and ignite all voices so that they are heard and represented. She believes in developing digital age learners and digital age educators by stimulating a culture of empowered learners through applying 5 C’s ( Creativity, Collaboration, Citizenship, Communication, and Critical Thinking). Her passion is to show stakeholders how current researched-based instructional strategies, empowering all learners’ voices, especially those often silenced, will foster a dedicated community. All learners can meet their highest potential. Chanel develops and executes professional development around the implementation of content and instructional technology fluently. She believes instruction consists of Standards-Aligned Content, Appropriate Pedagogy, and Technology Integration. The most crucial factor is to remember we are teaching the child before the content. Chanel believes in the power of community and collaboration through being a part of countless professional learning networks often sparked from social media platforms such as Twitter. You can follow Chanel on Twitter as Dc_stemtastic. She has conducted several professional developments in training coaches, educators, and instructional leaders toward using the most appropriate technology to empower all voices in science education. She has presented at countless national and local conferences, and has served as an ASCD’s Emerging 2019 Leader. Chanel is ISTE Certified, Microsoft Educator Expert, Google Certified Level 1, Nearpod Certified, Flipgrid Ambassador, Discovery Education, and Our Voice Academy. On a personal level, Chanel is a proud wife to her husband, Martin, and mother to three kids; Shaylyn, a set of twins, Christian and Chloe, and a fur baby, Blade. She is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.

Sessions:
  • Engaging Scientists with Jamboard
  • Best Practices Must Be Practiced: Engaging in CER
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Christopher James Reagan

Christopher James Reagan has been working with children for over thirty years. He has served as manager of a children's museum, full time father, substitute teacher, and a classroom teacher covering all grades from second to seventh. Now retired, Chris is happiest when a former student reaches out to him to share their successes in life. He has written over fifty brief essays on subjects ranging from his time as a teacher, his own education, and a series of musings on his imperfect life. You can find the essays on his site

Session:
  • "Do You Remember?"



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Cindy Wong

Cindy Wong has been a NYC public school elementary technology teacher for over a decade, and is a mother of two inquisitive young children. She loves engaging her students in computational thinking, digital applied skills, and digital citizenship. She is an EdTech Model Teacher and a 2019-2020 CSTA Equity Fellow to promote equity and access for all students in computer science. She is also a Certified Google Trainer and Google Innovator, and enjoys providing professional learning on tools in Google Workspace for Education, CS4All, and other EdTech tools. Cindy loves a good latte and a slice of NY-style pizza, which she learned how to make and it’s getting very close to the real deal.
 
Session:
  • Amplifying Student Voice
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Claudio Enriquez

Claudio Enriquez is a veteran elementary teacher of over 30 years who's taught grades 1, 2 and 3. Serving now as a district level Math Coach for grades TK - 8, Claudio has also served in the role of Literacy Coach, Mentor Teacher, and Bilingual Resource Teacher. Additionally, he has taught university level courses to pre-service and inservice teachers. He leads professional development for his district focusing on developing successful math practices based on research and experience to guide students to proficiency in math. A life-long Trekkie and Trekker, Claudio is a single dad of two teenage boys living in Southern California. You can learn more about Claudio on his website.

Session:

  • Fractions - the What, the How, the Why
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Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides is a Spanish primary teacher full-time. She specializes in upper-elementary where she teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art, following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has 15 years of experience in teaching primary, secondary, and college level. She is a passionate teacher who loves hands-on learning and GBL for her students. She has a BA and MA in Translation and Interpreting, and her Spanish Teacher Training Degree. Since Cristina was a kid, she has loved languages and learning about new cultures. Her passion and efforts have allowed her to study and work in the USA, Canada, France, UK, and Switzerland. Thanks to all those experiences, Cristina has become the teacher she is now, and has enhanced how she shows the world to her “niños” (kids/students).

 

Sessions:
  • Graphing: Start-to-Finish
  • Geometry + Arts
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Dayle Callender-Aggor

According to her mom, Dayle’s superpower is the ability to, “make something out of nothing.” (In a good way!) It is Dayle’s mission to live deeper in love, augment joy, and spread beauty. She currently does this by showing frazzled moms and short-on-mojo teachers (yep, Dayle has been both) how to use artistic expression to claim some calm, get new perspectives on sticky situations, and generate joyful solutions through innate creative genius. You can find Dayle meditating outdoors, dancing at random, slurping green drinks or….making things! Visit Dayle on her site.

Session: 

  • 10-Minute Art Brain Breaks for Grades 4 - 8
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Daniel Lopez

Daniel Lopez is tasked with leading the selective college advising and coaching efforts for high school seniors across 46 high schools as a senior manager for the EMERGE program within Houston ISD. EMERGE empowers and prepares high-performing youth from underserved communities to attend and graduate from the nation’s top colleges and universities.

Daniel’s journey into the education space began with his service as a Teach For America corps member where he served as an 8th grade English teacher in Spring Branch ISD. His professional growth and perspective on school district functions also grew with his election and service as the at-large representative for the Spring Branch District Improvement Team.

Daniel graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science. He originally hails from San Bernardino, California. Daniel is passionate about creating access and breaking down barriers which hinder first-generation, low income students from matriculating to selective colleges.

Sessions: 

  • Cultivating Access: Strategies and Pathways for Supporting First Generation, Low-Income Students with Applying and Attending Selective Institutions
  • Panel: Building Relationships with Administrators, Teachers, Parents & Students
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Daniel Otter

Daniel Otter, Ph.D. is a teacher, author, and executive director of www.403bwise.org, a non-profit organization that educates teachers about their retirement plan options, and helps them advocate for better 403(b) and 457(b) investment choices. In 2012, Money Magazine named him a “Money Hero” for his "extraordinary efforts to improve others' financial well-being." Dan has appeared on National Public Radio and the Bob Brinker Show. He is the author of several personal finance books: Teach and Retire RichFinancial Literacy for the Young (and Young at Heart), and The 403(b) Wise Guide. He co-hosts the Teach and Retire Rich podcast with CFP® Scott Dauenhauer.

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Session: 

  • Get Wise to Saving for Retirement
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Debora Marines

Debora is a 33+ year teacher who has taught grades K - 4. She uses research based, best practices to make teaching and learning magical. Learn more about Debora on her website, Teach Magically

Session: 

  • Magical Classroom Management: Developing Memory, Inhibitory Control, and Attention
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Dr. Dieuwertje "DJ" Kast

Dr. Dieuwertje Kast is the Director of STEM Education Programs for the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project. Through her efforts, she has provided STEM instruction to over 26,000 underrepresented minority students, 600 educators, 25 school principals, and countless community members. She coordinates supplemental science programs in Los Angeles for low-income elementary school students of color across a gamut of schools through the Wonderkids,Young Scientists Program, and the Medical STEM Program. She also volunteers with the E.E. Just Program, dedicated to bringing Black youth into marine biology, and the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative, where she teaches research methods to first generation high school Latinx students with expeditions to Catalina Island and research symposiums. Her doctorate research was focused on preparing elementary school teachers how to integrate science and technology into their classrooms in a culturally relevant manner. For her work in educational equity and DEI in STEM, she has received the Forbes 30 under 30 in Science Award in 2016, North American Association for Environmental Education “EE 30 under 30” Award in 2016, The National Association of Geoscience Teachers – Far Western Section (NAGT-FWS) Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award (2017), International STEM Education Association Mike Neden STEM Champion Award (2017), and the USC Rossier Second Century Alumni Award – an award for rising stars in their fields that support educational equity (2019). She has published in dozens of journals on culturally relevant STEM curriculum and instructional activities. Her work makes an impactful difference by leveling the playing field in STEM for low-income students of color in the Los Angeles area.

Session:
 
  • Teaching Sustainability & Climate Change in the Digital Age
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Emma Case

Emma Case is an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California studying Environmental Studies. She teaches STEM education programs to kindergarten through fifth-grade students in the Los Angeles South Central area through USC's Young Scientist Program and Wonderkids Program. Emma is very passionate about the outdoors and the environment. She seeks to share this passion by serving as an outdoor guide and President for SC Outfitters, a student-run outdoors organization.

Session: 

  • Teaching Sustainability & Climate Change in the Digital Age
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Eric Magers

As a teacher and experiential education trainer for over 30 years, Eric Magers has been on the cutting edge of efforts to engage young people in STEM and sustainability. His passion is to motivate others through inventive project-based learning to join the crucial work of caring for our planet. He believes that when we create environments in our schools and communities that promote and value responsible action, youth are encouraged to become leaders in this work. Eric's work has garnered many state and national awards, and he has been recognized at the White House twice for his work in education. He was gratified to be nominated as Science Educator of the Year for developing Green Scholars, a curriculum that grew from one school into a national program to train students to be environmental leaders in their communities. Since leaving his position as a public school teacher, Eric has founded and is now director of two organizations, Seaside Sustainability and the National STEM Honor Society. Both have the ultimate goal of infusing more STEM and sustainability into education systems all over the globe. In addition to two Master’s degrees in education, he holds a Project-Based Learning Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania, a Leading Sustainable Innovation Professional Certificate from the University of Vermont, and a Sustainability Graduate Certificate from Harvard University. Eric was born in the year of the first Earth Day to parents who instilled in him an appreciation of the fragility of our environment and our obligation to protect it. Growing up on the ocean and mountains of New England, he became passionate about being a steward of our earth. Eric likes to educate others with a simple mantra: Never underestimate your power; be an informed consumer; think globally and act locally.

Sessions: 

  • Changing the Face of STEM with IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access)
  • The Astounding Positives of Project-Based Learning (PBL)
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Gregory Herker

Gregory Herker serves as the Director – Program Development at Palmer Hamilton, leading their efforts in delivering turn-key Makerspace solutions. At Gateway Technical College, Mr. Herker developed Makerspace programs that supported students, the community, and local industry. A Board member of the U.S. Fab Lab Network, he has consulted on Maker Learning through the National Science Foundation (NSF), assisted educational programs from K - 12 through post-secondary in developing impactful Makerspaces, and presented on Makerspace Programs at MIT, Stanford, ACTE, ITEEA, and NCATC among many educational conferences. Mr. Herker is also partnering with NC3 (National Coalition of Certification Centers) in developing student certification training for 21st Century skills. Please feel free to connect or contact Gregory through LinkedIn.

Session: 

  • Show Me the STEM Money!
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Ha Dinh

Ha Dinh is an elementary teacher of 14 years.  She has taught in both a traditional and STEM classroom. She is currently a first grade teacher at a nationally-recognized STEM campus in Texas.  She has taught grades first and second and holds bachelor's degrees in English and Humanities and a Master of Art in Teaching with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education from the University of Louisville.  She has presented at the TeachersPayTeachers Conference and is a presenter for Get Your Teach On. She is passionate about STEM, classroom management and organization, inclusivity, and building strong relationships with her students. She is the founder of Happy Days in First Grade and has built a large community of teachers and parents on Instagram, where she shares her teaching resources, tips, and ideas on teaching in the primary grades daily.  You can connect with her on Instagram.
 

Sessions: 

  • Panel: Keeping the Happy of Teaching Alive
  • Panel: All Things Classroom Management
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Heather Hall

Heather is the creator of Special Needs: Embracing Autism. She has been teaching students with autism for 15 years in the state of Arizona. She received her bachelor’s degree in Special Education in 2006 and her master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in consultation and collaboration in 2008 from Arizona State University. She has also received a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University in 2019. She is passionate about advocating for individuals with autism to raise not only awareness about autism, but to help get autism accepted throughout schools and communities. You can connect with Heather on her website.

Session: 

  • Using Building Bricks to Create Fun Educational Activities in a Special Education Classroom
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Dr. Heather Kaiser

Dr. Heather Kaiser is a National Board certified Middle Childhood Generalist with advanced degrees in educational technology and e-learning. She is fully licensed to teach students in grades K - 6 and academically gifted students. Dr. Kaiser has been teaching for 23 years in Cumberland County Schools in North Carolina. While serving as a STEM specialist, she received the coveted Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Science and Math Teachers. She has spoken at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of educational topics. Most recently, she has provided online professional development for teachers through the Cumberland at Home PD and NC Learns Together initiatives. Learn more about Heather on her site.

Sessions: 

  • The World Is Their Audience
  • Take Your Students on a Quest: Gamify Learning with Classcraft
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Hedreich Nichols

Hedreich Nichols is an author, educator and consultant helping educators and districts amplify the voices of all students. Hedreich’s YouTube series and podcast, SmallBites, further helps campuses amplify student voices by focusing on equity in education. Between SmallBites and her work as a writer, Hedreich works to help educators create more culturally responsive classrooms and campuses. Her Cherry Lake trade titles "What is Antiracism?" and "What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?" provide teachers with materials to help students understand systemic inequities; and her upcoming Solution Tree title provides educators with guiding principles to help them become more culturally responsible.

As a speaker at conferences like VASCD, MASCD, CUE, ISTE, etc. Hedreich provides educators with inspiration and a safe space to move beyond conversations around race; giving them hands-on, research-based strategies that can be immediately implemented.

Hedreich received her Master of Education in educational technology at Texas A&M University.

Session: 

  • Who Else Was There?
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Jane Iacobucci

Jane Iacobucci is a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ages PK - 12 and has been developing and implementing individual instructional programs for students for 18 years. She works with students who possess a wide range of hearing losses in classroom settings, using diverse communication systems. She advocates for each individual to ensure access to the curriculum. Jane prepares educational teams and collaborates with professionals to monitor the impact of each student’s unique hearing loss on their educational progress.

Session: 

  • Inclusive Teaching Strategies for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students: One Size “Does Not” Fit All
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Jennifer Kruiswyk

Jennifer Kruiswyk holds a master's in Special Education in Learning Disabilities, bachelor's in Child and Youth Studies, and a Bachelor of Education degree. With 18 years teaching experience, the majority of her career has concentrated on students with significant learning disabilities. Jennifer presents regularly on executive functioning, decoding strategies, phonological processing, and strategic approaches to reading. A central theme of her work is creating literacy-rich opportunities for all students.

Sessions: 

  • Rethinking Decoding Strategies: Practical Approaches for Struggling Readers
  • Adding to Your Intervention Toolbox: Unlocking Decoding, Comprehension, Spelling, and Vocabulary Using Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes
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Jessica Ivey-Smith

Jessica (affectionately known as "Jivey") is passionate about making literacy accessible for all students using research-based strategies. She has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, a Master of Education degree with a Reading Endorsement, and a Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership. Jessica also has 10 years of classroom teaching experience in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, and 10 years of professional development delivery experience in ELA and Social Studies. She is currently running her own business: creating curriculum, sharing ideas, and mentoring other teachers, as well as continuing to deliver professional development sessions on utilizing mentor texts and mentor sentences in the classroom. You can learn more about utilizing mentor texts in your classroom on her website.

Session: 

  • Getting H.O.T. for Grammar!
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Katey Howes

Katey Howes is a children's author and literacy advocate who believes picture books provide ideal openings for discussion, discovery, debate, cross-curricular activities, and socio-emotional growth. She's also convinced they can change the world. Katey has presented at NCTE, Elementary STEM-Con, nErDcamps, state and regional libraries, and ELA conferences across the country. Katey's latest book, Rissy No Kissies, includes back matter for both children and caregivers addressing boundaries, consent, autonomy, sensory processing disorders, and more. It received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly, and glowing recommendations from consent educators, psychologists, teachers, and parents. Katey's previous titles have been awarded ILA's Social Justice Literacy Award and the CDC's Anna Dewdney Read Together Honor. Katey's work as a physical therapist in schools, brain injury, and community re-entry programs, experience supporting neurodiverse friends and family, and personal experience with mental health issues and sexual assault, has provided her with a deep passion for and understanding of the critical role autonomy, boundaries, and consent education play in supporting healthy relationships, personal growth, and safe communities. When not writing children's books, Katey contributes to literacy, STEM, and parenting websites like Nerdy Bookclub, STEAM-powered Family, A Novel Mind, and All the Wonders. Find Katey and free activities to pair with any of her books on her website

Session: 

  • Autonomy, Boundaries, and Consent: New Books to Teach the ABC's of Respect
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Kathie Yonemura

Kathie Yonemura is a fourth grade teacher, education blogger, podcaster, and life-long learner. She loves developing curriculum for her students, as well as mentoring and collaborating with other teachers. She uses her 34 years of teaching to share tried and true strategies and tools. Learn more about Kathie on her website.
 
Sessions:
  • Beyond Anime: Japanese American Artists
  • Hands-on Math Challenges
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Kenneth Hecht

STEM had an enormous impact on Kenneth Hecht's life even before it was called STEM. He is one of five children from the south side of Chicago, the son of a Chicago Firefighter and carpenter. He believes he was lucky. Kenneth did well in math and science in high school, and was accepted to the Civil Engineering program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Illinois turned out to be a top engineering school. That lit the fire. Today that passion for science and math that set him on his way, still burns.  Kenneth has the great honor and pleasure to have been named the President of the National STEM Honor Society by his partner and dear friend, Eric Magers, its CEO and Founder. Their mission is to inspire innovation and recognize student excellence “From K to Career” in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. They believe that STEM needs to start early and continue through all levels of education and into rewarding careers that can change the trajectory of people’s lives...as it did his. They are seeking educators, students, parents, and organizations who believe what they believe. If you believe that STEM education enhancement is vital for our students, our teachers, our parents, our nation, and our world, please feel free to reach out to Kenneth personally. After an early engineering career of building power plants and control towers, he formed his own company aimed at goal setting and time management consulting; teaching a 16 week course in goal setting and an 8 week course in time management, including many motivational speaking engagements. After several years, Kenneth veered again, moving to a long career in commercial real estate brokerage and eventual ownership of a portfolio of office, R&D, and lab buildings. Educationally, in addition to the undergraduate experience at Illinois, while an engineer travelling for projects, he attended the MBA Programs at both Washington University in St. Louis and Northeastern University in Boston. Kenneth had the pleasure of coaching 13 years of youth soccer and baseball and 1 year of being the strength coach for the high school wrestling team. In his current home city of Gloucester, Massachusetts, he was appointed to the Planning Board and was then elected to the Gloucester City Council. Patty, his wife of over 35 years, and Kenneth love living in an old bank building on Main Street in Gloucester, our nation’s oldest seaport. Their two grown children love to visit from their young careers, and they love having them.

Sessions: 

  • Changing the Face of STEM with IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access)
  • The Astounding Positives of Project-Based Learning (PBL)
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Kerry McGarvey

Kerry McGarvey is an elementary STEM teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator in New York City. Kerry's passion for innovative and creative teaching has helped develop a program at her school that fosters equity, accessibility, and future ready skills. She also works with other educators in the city to train schools on how technology can enhance learning in the classroom.

Sessions: 

  • Apple Clips in the Classroom
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Kerry Tracy

Kerry taught grades 2 - 7 in public schools for 10 years and holds a master's degree in Design-Based Learning. She creates teaching resources and delivers professional development to teachers and parents around the world to help them uncover more feel-good teaching moments in their lives, with brain-busting work disguised as fun (AKA: STEM Challenges).  You can learn more about Kerry on her website, Feel-Good Teaching

 

Sessions:

  • Conference Host & Panel Moderator:
    • Post-Covid Priorities: Setting a Course & Managing Expectations for 2021-22
    • All Things Classroom Management
    • Building Relationships with Administrators, Teachers, Parents & Students
    • Navigating Current Events in the Classroom
    • Keeping the Happy of Teaching Alive: Balancing Teacher Life and Personal Life
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Knikole Taylor

Knikole spent 10 years in the classroom teaching grades 2-6. She is a professional development trainer, curriculum developer, author and speaker, who has been privileged to travel the world to speak and work with other educators at conferences, campuses, and district-wide events. It is her firm belief that anyone can succeed with tailored support. Knikole works to assist educators in being their best for the students and teachers they serve each day.
 
You can learn more about Knikole and connect with her on her website.

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Sessions: 

  • Constructing the Culturally Responsive Citizen: Moving Beyond #DigCit
  • Panel: Post-Covid Priorities: Setting a Course & Managing Expectations for 2021-2022
  • Panel: All Things Classroom Management
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Kristin Muse

Kristin has been bringing engaging hands-on inquiry-driven activities into her grades 5 - 8 special education science classes for the past fifteen years. During that time, she has kept current with educational trends by earning a M.Ed. in literacy and completing 90 additional credits in science and technology. In addition to her role as a classroom teacher, her time as a Technology Integration Lead Teacher has allowed her to meld technology with hands-on learning to inspire a love of science within her students.

Session:

  • Top Tech Tools for Today's Classroom
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Kyla Kelly

Kyla is a Ph.D. candidate in the Marine and Environmental Biology program at the University of Southern California. When she isn't studying the effects of climate change on harmful algal blooms, she volunteers her time at the Young Scientist's Program, developing STEM curriculum for local elementary school students.

Session: 

  • Teaching Sustainability & Climate Change in the Digital Age
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Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is an Arts Integration Specialist, Consultant, and Fine Arts educator with over 20 years of teaching experience in all grade levels. She is a Certification Coach and Content Producer for the Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM, and teaches private piano lessons in her music studio. Linda strongly believes in using the arts as a meaningful, relevant, and culturally responsive approach to learning, and is equally passionate about providing teachers with the right tools to change routine education with artistic thinking and expression. Learn more about Linda on her website.

Session: 

  • Raise Your Voice: Leveraging Equity with Music and the Arts
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Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor is a full-time fifth grade teacher and a mother of two very active teenage daughters. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, has her master's in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Lisa loves creating engaging lessons that make even the most disengaged student have fun learning. You can connect with her on her blog Lisa Taylor Teaching the Stars.

Session: 

  • Adding Social Studies to Your STEM
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Lisa Van Gemert

Lisa Van Gemert shares best practices in education with audiences around the world. She is an expert consult to television shows including Lifetime’s "Child Genius," a writer of award-winning lesson plans, numerous articles on social psychology and pedagogy, and four books, including the award-winning Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing Never Good Enough. A former teacher, school administrator, and Youth & Education Ambassador for Mensa, she shares resources for educators and parents on her website.

 

Session: 

  • Through the Roof: Raising Thinking Levels with Depth & Complexity
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Loren Thorpe

With experience as a tutor, substitute teacher, full-time classroom teacher, and mom, Loren Thorpe understands that educators need to be supported in different ways, depending on the stage they are in. She shares insightful content and creates purposeful products to assist teachers and parents as they support, motivate, and encourage their children at home, online, or in the classroom. She specializes in elementary ELA and Math and is passionate about helping teachers cater to the learning needs of their students. She enjoys the opportunity to connect with other teachers around the world from her home in Australia. You can connect with Loren on Facebook.

Session: 

  • Using Student Choice Boards to Encourage Student Agency in Learning
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Marypat Mahoney

Marypat Mahoney's teaching experience includes over 20 years in grades ranging from fourth through college with a focus on teaching writing. She creates ELA resources designed to give teachers the tools they need to be successful – without getting overwhelmed! You can learn more on her blog: Just Add Students

Sessions: 

  • Creating & Fostering Independent Reading
  • Yes, You Can Teach Poetry!
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Melissa Seideman

Melissa Seideman is a 14 year veteran Social Studies teacher in Cold Spring, New York. She currently teaches 12th grade Government & Economics, Sociology, and AP Government and Politics. You can find her on her website: Not Another History Teacher
 
Session:
  • Games in a Social Studies Classroom
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Michelle S. Prospere

Ms. Michelle Prospere is a Science Instructional Coach in Aldine ISD, which is located in Houston, Texas. Prior to this post, she taught middle school science for six years. Ms. Prospere is a curriculum developer for the district where she actively creates instructional documents and supporting resources for teachers to engage students in STEM and inquiry learning. She is heavily involved in hosting professional developments for teachers on implementing strategies and technology tools for engagement in the classroom. Currently, she is building a family engagement platform that keeps families and students virtually engaged in content. Her passion is centered around growing and developing teachers. This is evident as she leads her current school as the mentor coordinator. In this role, she designs programs to help novice teachers through their first instructional years. Ms. Prospere is a proud HBCU graduate of Grambling State University and also holder of a master's degree in Instructional Technology Leadership.

Sessions: 

  • Questioning Strategies
  • Creating a Virtual Content Based Family Night
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Michelle Schaub

Michelle Schaub is an award-winning children’s author and language arts teacher. Her book, Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, won the 2018 Growing Good Kids Award and 2019 Northern Lights Book Award. She is also the author of Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections, a NCTE notable poetry book for 2020, Dream Big, Little Scientists, and Kindness is a Kite String. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including A World Full of Poems and Hop to It: Poems to Get You Moving. Michelle speaks at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy and shares ways to use poetry in the classroom on her blog POETRY BOOST.

Session: 

  • Using Children's Poetry to Boost Vocabulary, Literacy, and SEL in All Learners
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Rachel Lynette

Rachel is a former GAT teacher, author, and curriculum developer. She has written over 100 nonfiction books for children for a variety of publishers as well as several teacher resource books for Evan-Moor and Kagan Publishing. She is most known for innovative and engaging task cards and for her author-written close reading resources. In addition, she is the founder of the teaching website, Minds in Bloom, and an advisor for Boom Learning. Her most recent project is the Teacher YourSelf Care blog where she posts practical and effective strategies to help educators prioritize their own self-care. You can find out more about her (and see a picture of her super-cute terriers) at Teach YourSelf Care.

Session:

  • 5 Essential Self-Care Strategies for Busy Teachers
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Rachelle Archer

Rachelle Archer is an educational consultant and the founder of Artful Leadership Coaching & Consulting. She helps educators prioritize their own well-being so that they can lead with a full tank, and create a culture of community care that will sustain students and staff through challenging times. She has worked for over 25 years at the intersection of arts, education, and healing, primarily in the field of expanded learning and creative youth development. As a founding member of The Monarch School in San Diego, she served youth impacted by homelessness in a unique public-private partnership for over two decades. She helped develop a nationally recognized model for educating unhoused youth, specializing in arts based approaches to community building, mental health, social emotional learning, and leadership development for students and staff. Her belief in the transformative power of the arts imbues everything she does with creative expression, experiential learning, and play. Rachelle’s work is deeply rooted in her values: everyone can be a leader, humans thrive in community, and the well-being of that community starts with us doing our inner work first. Rachelle lives in San Diego, California, where she can often be found having spontaneous dance parties in her kitchen, or getting schooled on baseball by her giant son, Kai.

Sessions: 

  • The Art of Self-Care: Tend to Your Needs with Simple Art and Journal Practices
  • SEL Starts with Self: 6 Steps to a Transformational Self-Care Practice
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Renee Heinrich

Renee is the face behind the Science School Yard. She has over 30 years of teaching experience in grades K - 5. She taught a bit of everything before 17 years at 5th grade. For the past 11 years, she has taught as a K - 5 Science and STEM teacher. She uses FOSS as the main curriculum, finds ways to add more and more ways to tie in NGSS science standards, adds a touch of STEM to each grade level every few weeks, and facilitates a large School Garden. She is known to teach many afterschool classes that include Makerspace, STEM, Adventure Club, Garden Club, and more. In her district, her students are 1:1 iPads, so she has found a ton of great ways to add interactive digital science resources and STEM, too. She has a great facebook group, "Surviving K-5 Science and STEM," that helps educators with support and ideas. She loves sharing her classroom Science and STEM lessons on Instagram, and she loves to blog over at the Science School Yard.
 
Session:
  • Makerspace and STEM Set Up and Challenges
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Scott Dauenhauer

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MPAS, AIF is the founder of Meridian Wealth Management, a fee-only, fiduciary financial planning practice that has primarily served educators for the past twenty years. Scott also helped found the non-profit 403bwise.org and works with Dan Otter, the Executive Director to advocate for educators across the country for better defined contribution retirement plan options.
 
Scott is the author of Wild West: Providing Fiduciary Advice to Public School Employees and the co-author of The 403bwise Guide.
 
Scott has been a featured speaker on topics that affect educator’s retirement and has worked with many large state retirement systems to develop their defined contribution retirement programs.
 
While Scott is not currently taking on new clients, he continues to service his existing clients while promoting the ideals of 403bwise through podcasts, weekly Zoom events, blog posts and interviews with reporters.

Session: 

  • Get Wise to Saving for Retirement
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Shundra Morris

Shundra is the 2nd-3rd Grade Science Specialist for AMSTI-UAH. (Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative-University of Alabama in Huntsville) She has completed her third year in this capacity. Shundra taught 3rd grade for 23 years in Decatur City Schools. She is a governing board member for the AAMU/UAH Regional Inservice Center. As an Engineering is Elementary Ambassador, she helps collaborate with other STEM teachers across the country. She is a member of the Alabama Science Teacher Association and of the National Science Teacher Association. She is also a Common Sense Certified Educator.

Session: 

  • A Snapshot: Using Bots Through Children's Literature
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Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the podcast One Tired Teacher, spent 22 years in education teaching primarily in 2nd grade. Trina has also been a Student Support Specialist and a Media Specialist, and is now back in the Media Center as an Instructional Technology Coach/Media Specialist. Trina has a passion for teaching and creating high engagement activities that motivate and inspire kids to think, wonder, and imagine. Trina demonstrates a love for teaching and learning, and hopes to encourage teachers to believe in their incredible ability to touch lives.
 
Sessions: 
  • Podcasting School for Teachers
  • Social and Emotional Learning With Makerspace
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Vivify STEM

Vivify is a STEM education company that is co-founded by Natasha Wilkerson and Claire Meschkat, two aerospace engineers turned educators who live in Texas. Natasha previously worked launching satellites and testing Navy ship radars for the Department of Defense. Claire designed airplanes and worked for the NASA Space Shuttle program. Claire and Natasha now work full-time in STEM education, teaching and developing curriculum. They love to inspire students with the exciting possibilities of STEM! Learn more about Vivify through their website 

Session: 

  • Bring Math to Life with Engineering Design Challenges
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Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Dr. Daniels is a Policy Scientist working within the US Federal Government, and is also an Adjunct Chemistry Professor at Montgomery College in the state of Maryland. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Daniels conducted most of her work through in-person, face-to-face interactions, however since the pandemic began, Dr. Daniels has moved to 100% virtual means. In her virtual laboratory, Dr. Daniels provides laboratory-based science instruction to her collegiate students and uses similar teaching styles during virtual outreach activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics (STEAM) to youth, ages 5 - 12. Dr. Daniels has spent a considerable amount of time fine-tuning her lessons and virtual STEAM teaching style through a combination of pre-recorded and live instruction, in order to find a “sweet spot” that would enable her students to remain engaged and attentive. She recently published her first children’s book, Building My Self e-STEAM in Science, which is an Amazon Bestseller, teaching youth about the importance of friendship and confidence through an education in STEAM. More about Dr. Daniels can be found on her website.

Session: 

  • Finding the Sweet Spot in Live vs. Pre-recorded STEAM Instruction
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