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Can-You-Relate

Held at the completely renovated Millennium Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, our conference theme is Can You Relate? and focuses on the critical relationships of successful teacher leaders.   Four conference strands featured national experts joining with State and National Teachers of the Year to share expertise in the relationship-building skills required for teacher leaders to make an impact on colleagues, students, and the profession.

The dynamic conference agenda focused on four themes:

  1. Relationships with Colleagues and Administrators
  2. Relationships with Students
  3. Relationships with Policy Makers
  4. Relationships with Community

Click on NNSTOY National Conference Agenda to view the full agenda.

CAN YOU RELATE TO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE? Click to check out photos from the conference and start thinking about how you are using your experience from the conference!


Presenters

Katherine Bassett

Katherine Bassett

Katherine Bassett is the Executive Director of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of teachers as leaders and to supporting teaching practice through three key focus areas: policy, practice, and advocacy.

Prior to this position, Bassett served as Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Center for Educator Effectiveness at Pearson, working to support research into educator practice and self-efficacy, and to building partnerships with like-minded organizations to support education.

In addition, she has facilitated the work of a consortium to develop model standards for teacher leadership and served on the committees that revised the InTASC standards and defined learning progressions for those standards.

Formerly at ETS, Bassett led the development of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificates for Library Media and Literacy, co-developed the Take One! program booklet, led the development of performance based assessments across the continuum of professional educator practice in four states and worked with six states to develop a continuum of practice.

Bassett spent 26 years in the classroom and served as New Jersey's 2000 State Teacher of the Year.

Rebecca Synder

Rebecca Synder

Rebecca Snyder chairs the Language Arts Department and teaches English at Greater Latrobe Senior High School in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. A fifteen year veteran of the classroom, Mrs. Snyder has taught multiple grade levels and course types as both a secondary practitioner and adjunct professor, including Advanced Placement, college preparatory, remedial reading, and education methods courses. She also has taught elective courses in creative dramatics, composition, public speaking, and film.
Rebecca serves as President of NNSTOY and has represented the organization at conferences and convenings at the United States Department of Education and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The 2009 Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year and a 2013 Lowell Milken Center Fellow, Mrs. Snyder also has served as a spokesperson for public school teachers across the Commonwealth. In addition to her commitment to the classroom, Mrs. Snyder believes in utilizing every opportunity for teachers to inform decision-making at the state and national level. She has served as a teacher representative on several committees for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, including those engaged in the revision and development of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), the Keystone Exams, and the Pennsylvania Common Core (PA-CC).

Rebecca, currently enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s mid-career doctoral program in education leadership, holds a B.A. in English from Saint Vincent College and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Ligonier, PA where she cherishes time with her husband and son.
Charlotte Danielson

Charlotte Danielson

Charlotte Danielson, a former economist, is an internationally-recognized expert in the area of teacher effectiveness, specializing in the design of teacher evaluation systems that, while ensuring teacher quality, also promote professional learning. She advises State Education Departments and National Ministries and Departments of Education, both in the United States and overseas. She is in demand as a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and as a policy consultant to legislatures and administrative bodies.

Ms Danielson is a graduate of Cornell University (history), Oxford University (philosophy, politics, and economics) and Rutgers University (educational administration and supervision.) She has taught at all levels, kindergarten through university), and has worked as a curriculum director and staff development director, and is the founder of The Danielson Group. Her Framework for Teaching has become the most widely-used definition of teaching in the United States, and has been adopted as the single model, or one of several approved models, in over 20 states.

Ms. Danielson’s many publications range from defining good teaching (“Enhancing Professional Practice: a framework for teaching,” 2007), to organizing schools for student success (“Enhancing Student Achievement: a framework for school improvement,” 2002), to teacher leadership (“Teacher Leadership that Strengthens the Profession,” 2006), to professional conversations (“Talk about Teaching! Conducting Professional Conversations,” 2009), to numerous practical instruments and training programs (both onsite and online) to assist practitioners in implementing her ideas.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Richard Roberts

Richard Roberts

Richard D. Roberts, Ph.D. is a Managing Principal Research Scientist in the Center for Academic and Workforce Readiness and Success in the Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) Research & Development Division, Princeton, New Jersey. A former National Research Council Fellow who conducted research at Brooks AFB, TX, he was also a Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney, Australia, from 1998 to 2003, and an Adjunct Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York in 2009-2010. His main areas of specialization are psychological and educational assessment, with a special emphasis on developing and researching innovative new items types for the measurement of both cognitive and noncognitive factors. Dr. Roberts has published a dozen books, and over 150 peer-review articles or book chapters on these topics in diverse sub-disciplines (including, education, psychology, business, medicine, and wind engineering), with over 200 presentations around the world. He has received significant grants and contracts as a Principal Investigator; funders include the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, Army Research Institute, and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. Among Dr. Roberts’ professional honors are two ETS Presidential Awards and two PROSE book awards. He is currently Associate Editor of The International Journal of Psychology, Section Editor (Personality) for the forthcoming International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Secretary-Treasurer of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Joellen Killion

Joellen Killion

Joellen Killion is senior advisor for Learning Forward, and formerly its deputy executive director. Her work focuses on improving professional learning for all educators. She is currently leading a seven-state initiative focused on transforming professional learning to support implementation of Common Core State Standards.

Killion is a frequent contributor to the JSD and Teachers Teaching Teachers, Learning Forward’s premier magazine and newsletter for teacher leaders and coaches. Her books, What Works in the Middle: Results-Based Staff Development, What Works in the Elementary Grades: Results-Based Staff Development, and What Works in the High School: Results-Based Staff Development, summarize two-year studies of content-specific (social studies, science, mathematics, and language arts) staff development. Her study of schools that have received the U.S. Department of Education’s Model Professional Development Awards sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and WestEd resulted in Teachers Who Learn Kids Who Achieve: A Look at Model Professional Development. She has studied online learning and its role in professional development. This study resulted in E-Learning for Educators: Implementing the Standards. Her most recent books include Assessing Impact: Evaluating Staff Development, 2nd edition; Assessing Impact: Evaluating Staff Development: A Trainer's Manual (co-authored with Linda Munger and Patricia Roy); Collaborative Professional Learning Teams in School and Beyond: A Tool Kit for New Jersey Educators; Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teacher and School-based Coaches (co-authored with Cindy Harrison); The Learning Educator: A New Era in Professional Learning (co-authored with Stephanie Hirsh); Becoming a Learning School (co-authored with Patricia Roy); and Coaching Matters (co-authored with Cindy Harrison, Chris Bryan, and Heather Clifton).

Killion has extensive experience in professional learning. At Learning Forward, she has led a number of initiatives related to examining the link between professional learning and student learning. She has extensive experience in planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of professional learning at the school, system, and state level. She has conducted evaluations of projects funded by federal and private foundation grants including U.S. Department of Education Technology Challenge Grants, and led projects funded by the Washington Mutual Foundation, Dodge Foundation, GE Foundation, Wachovia Foundation’s Teachers and Teaching Initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and Wallace Foundation.

The creed Joellen lives by is:
Excellence can be achieved if you . . .
Care more than others think is wise . . .
Risk more than others think is safe . . .
Dream more than others think is practical . . .
Expect more than others think is possible . . .

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Peggy Allan

Peggy Allan

Dr. Peggy Allan is the 1989 Illinois State Teacher of the Year. A dedicated teacher of English/Language, Social Studies, Gifted Grade(s): 7-8 for many years, Dr. Allen is now working to support teachers through coaching and mentoring. She is a Milken Educator (1988) and was recognized by Learning Magazine with their Professional Best Award. Dr. Allan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University (1971), before going on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Tim Dove

Tim Dove

Product of Ohio Schools… Western Hills and Wyoming Schools (Cincinnati), and Washington Court House Schools.

Earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University, his Masters in Curriculum and Instructional Design from the Ohio State University and a doctoral candidate in global education, technology and teacher education also at OSU.

He has taught 32 years in Worthington, Ohio.
(Perry, Worthingway, McCord, Phoenix Middle Schools)

Helped design and launch Phoenix Middle School. (www.phoenixms.org)
He is a social studies and technology teacher.

Worked with Ohio State since 1983 as Freshman Early Experience coordinator and cooperating teacher. Field Professor for Secondary Social Studies Methods courses since 1992.

Worked with the Mershon Center, OSU and CIVITAS to create curriculum and teaching seminars in Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Morocco since 1994.

Authored, co-authored and edited numerous books, papers and articles regarding teaching methodologies, global education and the use of technology. The latest being a chapter “Globally Connected Social Studies: Making it Real, Making it Relevant” in Technology in Retrospect: Social Studies Place in the Information Age (2011).

He has advised study tours since 1995, taking over 500 students overseas to 20 different countries and over 350 students for a regional experience. Just returned from a trip to Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria.

He has presented a variety of subjects over the years locally, nationally and internationally.

Recognized by many groups as an effective educator. A few examples are, the Columbus Council of World Affairs International Teacher of the year, the Ohio Council for the Social Studies Middle School Teacher of the Year, the Anderson Award and the Career Educator Awards from the OSU college of Education, and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Master Teacher Award.

Recently retired from Worthington schools and began a consulting business TMD Education Concepts, Is working with Battelle for Kids this fall in Hong Kong with formative assessment strategies and using data to improve student learning. Contact information available at TimDove.com.
Christopher Poulos

Christopher Poulos

Christopher Poulos, Connecticut’s 2007 Teacher of the Year, has worked extensively in the fields of Spanish education, teacher leadership, and community development. Chris is a full time Spanish teacher at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, CT. He achieved National Board Certification (WLOE-EAYA) in 2009.

At Barlow, he has advised the Student Council, mentored beginning teachers, and been involved in world language curriculum design and implementation. His contributions have served as the catalyst for a shift into a new paradigm of immersion-based instruction, progressive oral assessment strategies, service learning, and the fusion of technology into all world language curricula. He was responsible for the development of the “Spanish Community Outreach Project.” This course requirement allows seniors to choose a Spanish-speaking organization with which to work, and then design and implement a culminating project aimed at increasing their language proficiency and cultural understanding. Due to the heightened levels of student engagement attained by way of the Spanish Community Outreach Project, Chris has been ask to further develop and facilitate the implementation of Joel Barlow High School’s school-wide Senior Capstone program. In addition to his work at the high school level, Chris works as an adjunct professor of Spanish at Fairfield University and has served on the staff of the Rassias Foundation’s Accelerated Language Programs at Dartmouth College.

Chris earned a BA in Leadership Studies and double minored in Spanish and Business Administration as an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond. Chris’ undergraduate work included a focus on leadership in community and volunteer organizations. He also spent a semester abroad through the New York University in Spain program in Madrid. After college, Chris joined the United States Peace Corps as a volunteer in Honduras, Central America. Throughout his 27 months of service, he worked extensively in the fields of community development and environmental education. Upon returning from Central America, Chris enrolled in the State of Connecticut’s Alternate Route to Certification Program (ARC) and later earned an MA in the Teaching of Spanish at Teachers College, Columbia University. His Masters research focused on foreign language teaching methodologies and immersion-based models for second language instruction. Subsequent to his Masters work, Chris independently founded and served as the Director of a language-training program centering on community service and cultural education. This undertaking involved the development and implementation of an immersion-based curriculum, which maximizes language acquisition over a short period of time. Chris has been teaching since 2000 and has completed the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP). He believes the coursework for his sixth year in administration and his internship at the elementary level have made him a better teacher.

Chris is actively involved on state and national levels as a State Teacher of the Year. Since 2008, he has worked with fellow Connecticut Teacher of the Year award winners and education advocates to incorporate the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, a not for profit organization aimed at growing the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program. In May 2010 Chris was elected President of the organization’s Board of Directors and he is actively working in this role to build partnerships with education stakeholders, secure corporate sponsorship for the program, and develop the role of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year both during and after the year of recognition. Most recently, Chris was nominated and served on a strategic planning committee for the National State Teacher of the Year professional organization (NSTOY). The focus of this committee aimed at restructuring NSTOY in order to position its diverse membership as teacher leaders who can contribute their voice and perspective to the national dialogue on public education. Due to his active role in the planning initiative, Chris was nominated and elected as Vice-President of the revitalized organization’s Board of Directors.

Chris is an AFT Public Education Advocate and a member of NEA’s Expert Teacher Panel. He has also been invited to consult the US Department of Education and Connecticut State Department of Education as to how policy affects different facets of public education including, but not limited to, classroom practice, school leadership, teacher quality, and professional development. In October of 2011, Chris was nominated and chosen as an Aspen Institute Teacher Leader Fellow. He is looking forward to this two-year learning experience and the subsequent contributions he might offer to the teaching profession as a result of the fellowship.
Lee-Ann Stephens

Lee-Ann Stephens

Lee-Ann Stephens, 2006 MNTOY, is an educator of 24 years. She currently teaches at St. Louis Park High School in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. She works specifically with Latino and African American students who take AP/IB/Honors’ classes. She also piloted a single race math class with another teacher. She is currently in her second year of her doctoral studies at Bethel University. Her dissertation will examine how Minnesota colleges and universities prepare their teacher candidates to meet the academic and social needs of Hispanic and African American students in Minnesota’s K-12 system. She is involved with several teacher voice organizations.
Joe Fatheree

Joe Fatheree

Joe Fatheree is an award winning educator and filmmaker. As a teacher, he has received some of the nation's most prestigious educational honors. In

2009, he was named the recipient of the NEA's National Award for Teaching Excellence and honored by the cable industry with the Leaders

in Learning Award. Joe was named Illinois Teacher of the Year in 2007 and the Illinois Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2012. He currently teaches multimedia and web design at Effingham High School.

Joe is involved in a wide array of different activities outside the classroom. His television work has been seen on PBS, the Documentary Channel, and the Major League Baseball network. As a producer, he has received three Mid-America Emmy awards for producing and writing and a Telly Award. He has served as a consultant to National Geographic, ITVS/Independent Lens, and TeachTown. He currently serves as President and Chief Educational Officer for Mutasia Entertainment a creative educational entertainment company. As an author, Joe was a senior developer for the Composition JamBox.

Joe has done extensive work in the field of educational policy. He has served on numerous committees for NNSTOY and was a founding board member of Advance Illinois.
Meredith Curley

Meredith Curley

Meredith Curley currently serves as the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Phoenix. She is in her 19th year with the University; starting her career at the Phoenix Campus. As Dean, she oversees regulatory compliance, program expansion, program development and assessment of educator preparation programs. Meredith holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Argosy University; focusing her research on accreditation and accountability. Meredith is actively involved at the state and national level in efforts to improve teacher education and educator preparation, most recently participating on the federal Teacher Preparation Negotiated Rule Making Committee and the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium to create the Model Teacher Leadership Standards. She serves on the selection committee for Arizona State Teacher of the Year; she sits on the Executive Board for the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), and has served as an accreditation review team member in Arizona and Board of Institutional Reviewer for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She served on the Arizona Certification Advisory Committee reporting to the State Board of Education and represents the university on the State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Josh Stumpenhorst

Josh Stumpenhorst

Josh Stumpenhorst is a 6th grade Language Arts and Social Science teacher at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville, IL which is part of Naperville Community School District 203. In addition to teaching, he is an athletic director, team leader, computer club adviser, track coach, basketball coach, and serves on numerous curriculum and technology committees at the school and district level. He holds a Master’s Degree in curriculum and instruction as well as a National Boards Certification in early adolescence social science.

Beyond traditional professional development, Josh is an active member of the twitter (@stumpteacher) and blogging community as well as a respected presenter. He has presented at technology conferences such as the International Society of Technology Conference, Illinois Computer Educators Conference, Midwest Education Technology Conference and the Illinois Education Technology Conference. Josh has also presented on a variety of education topics at the Illinois Reading Conference, Reform Symposium, a variety of EdCamps as well as numerous other presentations to local and regional school districts and colleges.

Josh is also credited for starting “Innovation Days” based on the motivation theories written by Daniel Pink where students choose and drive their learning activities. In addition to Pink’s acknowledgment of Stumpenhorst’s work, Josh has helped numerous other classrooms around the country and internationally to start their own Innovation Days.

His work has been recognized by the International Society of Technology Educators as they named Josh a member of their “Emerging Leaders Class of 2011”. Josh has also been recognized as the Illinois Computer Educators, “Educator of the Year” for 2012 and he is the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. In addition, he was recognized with a California Casualty Teaching Excellence Award by the National Education Association and was the Illinois Education Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award winner in 2012. Josh was also named as a Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow in 2013.

Stumpenhorst is an active blogger at Stump the Teacher and his work there has received recognition through numerous EduBlog Awards nominations. In addition, you can find written contributions of his at SmartBrief Education and the EdReach Community where he is the lead on the Disruptor Channel. Josh can also be heard as a regular guest commentator on the BAM Radio Network and has also appeared as a guest on Huffington Post Live. As a connected member of the social media community, Josh regularly consults at education conferences and professional development activities as he is seen as one of the more prolific connected educators.
Sarah Brown Wessling

Sarah Brown Wessling

Sarah Brown Wessling is a 15-year veteran of the high school English classroom. While a member of the faculty at Johnston High School she has taught all kinds of courses from at-risk to Advanced Placement and has served the department and district in a variety of leadership roles. Sarah is a National Board Certified Teacher since 2005 and in 2010 was selected as the National Teacher of the Year. In that capacity she worked as an ambassador for education, giving over 250 talks and workshops in 39 different states as well as Japan and Finland. Currently she teaches in the mornings and works for the non-profit Teaching Channel in the afternoons as their Teacher Laureate and host of their PBS show Teaching Channel Presents. She is an author of Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards and blogs on education issues for Huffington Post.
Lauren Marrocco

Lauren Marrocco

For Lauren Marrocco, successful teachers never stop learning, and students are at the heart of everything she does from the time she reports to her school in the morning until the early evening hours and beyond.

Marrocco’s fierce dedication to her young charges and an equally fierce determination to become an inspirational leader and role model for future teachers, have won her state-level recognition.

“Lauren Marrocco represents the type of spirit and drive that inspire her students to realize their full potential. In addition, she extends her love of teaching to encourage her colleagues and future teachers to model best practices.
“She is a fine representative of the many exemplary teachers we have in New Jersey,” Cerf said. “We congratulate her, and wish her well in the National Teacher of the Year competition,” Commissioner Cerf said.

Lauren Marrocco has worked at E.J. Patten for her entire nine-year teaching career. Almost from the beginning, she has been involved in a variety of school- and district-wide teams designed to increase teachers’ knowledge and skills through professional development workshops, to improve parent and school relations, and to mentor new teachers.

She has taught first grade at the K-4, 890-student school for most of her career. She has taught fourth grade since 2010.
“I consider my day-to-day interactions with my students to be the greatest accomplishment in my career,” Marrocco says. “Every day allows me to build rapport with each of my students, leading to positive, productive and trustworthy relationships.”
She has assured herself and her students that she is prepared to meet their needs at the highest level by successfully earning national certification in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts, Early-Middle Childhood, from the National Teaching Standards Board. Achieving national certification involves a long and detailed process of documenting knowledge and practice in the profession, and is the highest academic distinction a classroom teacher can earn.

As she gained experience and continued to have success in the classroom, Marrocco began to share her skills and knowledge by conducting workshops for her colleagues in a variety of areas by working with student teachers, and by mentoring newly hired teachers.

She expanded her interest in student performance last year when she accepted the coordinator position of the summer school program at E.J. Patten. Her first year was successful, with high enrollment and gains in student growth recorded over the four-week program.

Recognizing the critical role that parents play as their children’s first teachers, Marrocco helped create or has worked in community programs that involve parents in what their children are doing in school.

“Providing parents and families time to spend together is a major factor in the success of our students,” she says. “My participation in these activities lets the parents know that I am committed to their children outside of the school day.”
Gaining her students’ trust and providing them with a safe and structured environment are key elements to a successful school year,” Marrocco says. She empowers her students to help set classroom rules and codes of conduct that contain expectations that everyone treats each other with respect and that everyone is accountable for his or her behavior.

Dr. Dulce Rodriguez, the principal of E.J. Patten, describes Marrocco as “an enthusiastic educator who researches and tries new ideas and strategies to help improve her own instruction in order to help her students achieve the high academic performance that she expects from them and from herself.”

School Vice-Principal Althea Rogers-Baker has often observed Marrocco working into the early evening hours when she felt it necessary. She has also observed her in the classroom and has remarked on the excellent rapport she has with her students.
“Offering praise and utilizing varied activities geared toward enhancing positive self-esteem is Lauren’s strength,” says Rogers-Baker. “She fosters individual and collective responsibility for maintaining a positive environment conducive for learning in her classroom.”

Marrocco, a resident of East Windsor, earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Kean University. Her professional associations include the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, SmartBrief, and Quantum Learning.
Leigh M. VandenAkker

Leigh M. VandenAkker

Leigh M. VandenAkker is Utah’s 2012 Teacher of The Year and winner of Utah’s 2011 Golden Apple Award. As co-author of Techniques for Tough Times TM, Leigh has trained teachers nationwide. She provides insight and support by educating teachers in classroom management.

With over 20 years experience in the educational setting, Leigh has developed strategies and techniques that really work in today’s classrooms. Designed to aid classroom teaching of communication and anger management skills, her curriculum supports the strategies for teaching metacognition. Students learn to self-advocate, have a voice and use higher order thinking skills to power through lives opstacles.

Leigh is highly educated in her field. She holds a M.Ed. degree as well as certifications in Special Education, Criminology and Corrections, ESL, and Conflict Resolution (communication, mediation, negotiation.) She is highly skilled in program development and coordination. Her particular expertise is with “at-risk” populations, grant proposal writing and program management. Recognized as a consummate professional who cares deeply for students, Leigh is also a full-time public high school teacher. VandenAkker is presently teaching at East High School in Salt Lake City School District. She is currently serving on the UEA Teachers Excellence Task Force.
Jennifer York-Barr

Jennifer York-Barr

Jennifer York-Barr has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a Professor of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research, teaching, and development work focuses on shared leadership for continuous learning and development, teacher leadership, collaborative teamwork and inclusive education. She has over 135 publications in these areas and has made well over 250 presentations locally, nationally, and internationally. Jen is the primary author of the best selling book, Reflective Practice to Improve Schools, and is the recipient of three distinguished teaching awards, the most recent of which resulted in her being inducted her into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Minnesota. She is also a graduate of the National Staff Development Council’s (now Learning Forward) Academy.

Link to Dr. York Barr’s web-page: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/olpd/people/faculty/York-Barr.asp

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Jane West

Jane West

Dr. Jane West joined AACTE in February 2006 where she directs the department of policy, programs and professional issues. West brings vast experience to this role as a former teacher, education administrator, PTA officer, researcher, university faculty member, and policy expert.
West served as senior policy analyst for the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic under President Ronald Reagan and was staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy under the leadership of Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. of Connecticut. In that capacity she shepherded the reauthorization of several laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, and the Developmental Disabilities Act. She has published several articles on education policy issues and edited two books. She served on the faculties of the University of San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University.
Since joining AACTE, West has led numerous initiatives at the federal level to build a unified voice to secure policy and funding that will support effective educator preparation. Dr. West received her BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara, her MA from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Bill Bland

Bill Bland

Bill has been with People to People Ambassador Programs for 14 years and has been in education for over 30 years. He has taught and coached in secondary education for 10 years in Illinois and Washington and another eight years of higher education in New York (Saint Bonaventure University) and Indiana (Saint Joseph’s College).

Bill is in his second stint with People to People Ambassador Programs. Initially he served as Vice President of Youth Programs overseeing the student international education programs and volunteer teacher leaders who led programs internationally. He also managed the Washington School of World Studies, the accredited curriculum provider for Ambassador Programs. He now maintains external relationships for Ambassador Programs including, CCSSO, National Teacher of the Year, AAU, United States Youth Soccer, AYSO, NRCCUA (National Research Center for College and University Admissions), ERCA, DECA, and National PTA. He is also responsible for maintaining the newly formed ambassador advisory board including executive directors from several major leadership organizations inside education: AASA, NSBA, NASSP, AMLE, NAESP, NPTA, DECA, Pearson Foundation, USA Today Education, Ambassador Scholarship Foundation and Follett Education.

Bill and his family live near Spokane, WA

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Evan Stone

Evan Stone

Evan Stone is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization that seeks to ensure that teachers’ voices are meaningfully included in the policy decisions that impact their classrooms and careers.

While teaching, Evan helped co-found E4E with colleague Sydney Morris in March 2010. In his role, Evan helps to lead E4E’s advocacy, development, and growth strategies. Evan has worked with teachers across the United States to help them identify, draft, and advocate for recommendations on education policy.

As the son of a teacher, Evan was always interested in education. He began his teaching career as a coach - running the VIP soccer team for children with special needs and coaching both a boys and girls AYSO team while in high school. While in college at Yale University, Evan continued to work with students as the head of the Luther House Tutoring Program and focused his studies on education policy, writing his thesis on the impact of No Child Left Behind on urban school systems. After graduating, Evan became a 6th grade teacher in the Bronx while earning his master’s degree in teaching from Pace University. Evan also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Madaline Fennell

Madaline Fennell

Madaline (Maddie) Fennell has been an elementary teacher for 23 years, currently teaching as a Literacy Coach at Miller Park Elementary School in Omaha, NE. She has served as an education advocate at the local, state and national level, including Chairing the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching and presenting at the 2012 International Summit on the Teaching Profession. She is currently serving as a United States Department of Education Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellow, on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska State Education Association, as Secretary of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, and as a teacher representative on the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution K-12 Project. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Creighton University, a Master‘s Degree and a Certificate of Urban Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and an endorsement in assessment from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Her honors include the 2007 Nebraska Teacher of the Year Award, Carol Stowe Humanitarian Award from the National Education Association Student Program, and the Ike Friedman Teacher Leadership Award from the Knights of Aksarben.
Alice Johnson Cain

Alice Johnson Cain

Alice joined Teach Plus in October of 2011, bringing more than 20 years of policy and advocacy experience. Alice’s policy work includes six years as Congressman George Miller’s chief education advisor where she helped develop and secure passage of Race to the Top, the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), and the RENEWAAL Act to assist Gulf Coast schools after Hurricane Katrina. She also led efforts to enact the Teacher Excellence for All Children (TEACH) Act and revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Alice advised Senator Paul Simon on K-12 education and served on the education committee that advised then-Senator Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She developed policy recommendations that were adopted by the New Zealand government through a fellowship awarded by Fulbright New Zealand. 

Alice’s advocacy work includes leading the Children’s Defense Fund’s national grassroots advocacy program through which parents, grandparents, faith leaders and other community leaders successfully pushed for policy changes benefitting low-income children and families, and working at the National Institute for Literacy to build a national network of literacy teachers who successfully advocated for policy changes on behalf of their students. Alice’s policy work is grounded in her experience teaching GED classes to low-income and homeless adults and refugees. Alice has served on the boards of several literacy organizations and is currently on the board of the Success for All Foundation and MarylandCAN.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Kelly Kovacic

Kelly Kovacic

As an experienced classroom teacher and
education leader, Kelly Kovacic is committed to ensuring the right of all children to receive a high quality education.  She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Education Leadership Program (Ed.L.D.) at Harvard University. Her research is focused on understanding
the conditions and policies necessary to support quality teaching and learning, especially for children living below the poverty line.

Prior to her doctoral studies at Harvard,
Kelly spent ten years as a high school teacher, chair of the social studies department, and member of the instructional leadership team at The Preuss School UCSD, a public charter school serving low-income students who will be the first college graduates in
their families.  In 2010, she was named the California Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year.

A proponent of comprehensive and meaningful
policies to support the recruitment, training, and retention of high quality teachers and leaders, Kelly has served on numerous state and national advisory boards, committees, and panels.   She was one of two teachers appointed to the Advisory Commission on
Charter Schools, a statewide commission that advises the California State Board of Education on charter school matters including selective granting of charters, revocation of charters, and establishing appropriate funding levels for charter schools.  She serves
on the steering committee and board for the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.  She was also appointed by the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve on the Educator Excellence Task Force and helped write policy recommendations
for the state supporting leadership and career pathways in the teaching profession.

Kelly is committed to creating equitable learning environments on the cutting edge of achieving educational excellence.
 This summer, she is working with the District leadership team at Tennessee’s Achievement School District to develop a human capital strategy to turnaround the bottom 5% of schools in the state. She is also assisting Baltimore Public City Schools in its implementation
of the new teacher evaluation system.
Justin Minkel

Justin Minkel

Justin Minkel is the 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year and a 2006 Milken Educator. Justin teaches 2nd and 3rd grade at Jones Elementary in Northwest Arkansas, a high-achieving public school where 99% of the students live in poverty and 90% are English Learners.

Justin taught 4th grade at P.S. 192 in West Harlem, New York City, as a member of the Teach For America corps (2000). He completed an undergraduate degree at Cornell University (2000), a Masters degree in teaching at the University of California at Berkeley (2004), and received National Board certification in 2011.

Justin developed The 1,000 Books Project to provide each child in his class with a home library and has begun an initiative to scale up home libraries as a literacy intervention for at-risk readers. Justin is also the author of the forthcoming children’s book Clubhouse Clash.
Ryan Vernosh

Ryan Vernosh

Ryan Vernosh, 2010 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, currently serves as a Peer Assistance Review (PAR) teacher in the Saint Paul Public School district.  In this role, Vernosh works with beginning teachers on developing sound practices to ensure all students are achieving. In addition to serving as a PAR teacher, has taught pre-school and first grade before moving to the middle grades, where he has worked for the majority of his career in single-gender 6th and 7th grade classrooms. 
Vernosh came to teaching as a call to work for equity and social justice in our schools and greater communities. He has an unwavering belief that all children can learn no matter the circumstance. Vernosh believes in the power of culturally responsive teaching as a gateway to equity, closing the opportunity gaps prevalent in many of our schools.
In order to improve educational outcomes for all students, Vernosh understands that teachers need to be at the forefront in the policy making process. Part of this advocacy role has come in the form of being named a 2012 US Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow where he has traveled the country working with teachers to bring greater classroom prospective to the department. Vernosh has also been working with the department in the roll out of President Obama’s Blueprint of RESPECT, detailing a vision to elevate and transform the teaching profession. Vernosh has continued his interest in the intersection of policy and practice to the Minnesota Board of Teaching where, in January of 2013, he was appointed to a 4 year term by Governor Dayton.
Vernosh lives in White Bear Lake, MN with his amazing wife, Sara (a second grade teacher) and 2 beautiful daughters, Rae and Miah.
Suzanne Tacheny Kubach

Suzanne Tacheny Kubach

Suzanne Tacheny Kubach, PhD is the Executive Director for the Policy Innovators in Education Network.  As a founder of a state advocacy organization and a former state policy makers, she brings to this role experience on both side of the public policy dais. From 2002-2005, Dr. Tacheny Kubach served as a member of California’s State Board of Education during the most formative years of California’s developing accountability program, setting policy for the state’s high school exit exam, leading its work on the Early College Placement Program, its innovations in test score reporting, adoption of statewide testing contracts, and NCLB implementation.  During those same years, she also served as a program officer for the San Francisco Foundation.

From 1999 to 2003, Dr. Tacheny Kubach led a statewide coalition of California’s leading businesses and business organizations working to improve standards and accountability in California public schools. She has administrative experience working in California’s largest school district and has served in various roles in leading non-profit service and advocacy organizations, including parent organizations in East and South Los Angeles. She is a passionate advocate for parents and their involvement in their children’s schools. As a nationally recognized advocate for education reform, Dr. Tacheny Kubach is a frequent speaker at education events and has authored articles for publications in periodicals including Education Week, the LA Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Educational Leadership, and numerous business journals.  She holds a Doctorate in Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Southern California’s School of Education and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here


Megan M. Allen

Megan M. Allen

Megan M. Allen is a National Board Certified Teacher and the 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year. Next year she will be happily spending her days as a visiting lecturer at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, focusing on developing leadership capacity in our teacher education programs. As an edugeek, Megan enjoys blogging for the Center for Teaching Quality, where she writes about her students, teacher leadership, and advocating for the effective transformation of education. She serves in various leadership roles, including the Board of Directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a founding board member of the Alliance for Public Schools, the Teacher Advisory Board for the Center for Teaching Quality, and the Teacher Advisory Board of Mutasia, Inc.
Lynn Gaddis

Lynn Gaddis

Dr. Lynn Gaddis graduated from Illinois State University with three degrees: BS in English Literature (71); MS in Curriculum and Instruction; and Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction (02). Dr. Gaddis achieved National Board Certification in Early Adolescent English Language Arts in 2000 and renewed in 2010. She taught students ages pre-school through high school for twenty years in McLean County CUSD No. 5 and Olympia CUSD 16. Lynn was named the 1995 Illinois Teacher of the Year, 1994 Milken Family Foundation Educator in Illinois; 1995 Illinois State University E. Burton Mercier Alumni Service Award; and the 2007 Illinois Women Administrators’’ Dare to Be Great Award.

Dr. Gaddis served as a Field Advisor, Educator-in-Residence, with the Illinois State Board of Education 1995-1999 where she served on the Illinois NBPTS Design Team, chaired the writing of the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, led the Classroom-Based Assessment Initiative and managed the follow-up training for the R2R teachers throughout Illinois. Lynn also coached administrators and teachers in ten schools in Illinois and the United States Virgin Islands to develop strategic plans to improve student performance.

Dr. Gaddis joined Illinois State University in 1999 and served as Director of the National Board Resource Center (NBRC) at Illinois State University until 2010.  The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) designated The NBRC at Illinois State University as one of five National Board Resource Centers in the country along with Bank Street College, Stanford University, Florida A&M University, and the University of Texas, El Paso. Dr. Lynn Gaddis has worked to improve instruction and student achievement through expanding the roles of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in schools.

She collaborated with NBCTs and leaders from the Chicago Public Education Fund, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois Business Round Table, Illinois Principals Association, universities, Regional Offices of Education, businesses, legislators, and school districts in all parts of the state to increase the numbers of NBCTs and their roles in targeted schools. As a leader, she wrote the language for the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program statute; worked with Chicago Public Education Fund and Chicago Public Schools to collaboratively design the Chicago Public Schools NBPTS Candidate Support Program, pre-candidacy classes, application process, and NBCT mentor training course (2000-2003).

From 2002-2010, she designed and directed the work of eight NBCT Regional Coordinators and 35 NBCT Local Coordinators in the ISBE Illinois NBPTS Comprehensive Support System to offer the same services. This latter system was designed to increase educators’ access to system services by moving from a state delivery model in the years prior to 2000 to regional and local delivery with online resources. Dr. Gaddis built the capacity of Illinois NBCTs to effect regional and local delivery of services by designing and training an initial cadre of NBCT mentors in all regions. The cadre of NBCT mentors trained in 2000 has expanded as these NBCTs have assumed responsibility to train other NBCTs locally throughout the state expanding to train and support NBCTs to lead NBPTS Take One! Programs for school development.

During 2006-2007, Dr. Gaddis focused her work with Professional Development School partners with Illinois State University. She advised and mentored administrators and NBCTs to develop their own district and school internal systems to support teachers through a professional development continuum from induction through the NBPTS process including professional development experiences aligned to the NBPTS “Architecture of Teaching” and standards: (a) NBCT-led online induction programs, (b) Architecture of Teaching Course, (c) NBPTS Pre-candidacy Course, (d) NBPTS Candidacy Course, and (e) NBPTS TAKE ONE ENTRY Course. Dr. Gaddis continues to define and develop the work of the National Board Resource Center at Illinois State University as a resource to all those building teacher growth toward National Board Certification.

Dr. Gaddis retired in 2010 and continues to work on projects with the National Board Resource Center at Illinois State University to develop podcasts and training materials for the website. She serves as a member on the NNSTOY research committee and is working on the team to author the research study on teacher continuums.
Philip Bigler

Philip Bigler

Philip Bigler is a history and humanities teacher who is widely recognized for his creativity in the classroom and his innovative methods. He has been involved in public education at both the secondary and college level for over 35 years and is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in education. In 1998, Mr. Bigler was named the National Teacher of the Year in a Rose Garden ceremony hosted by then President Bill Clinton. Bigler also served as the director of the James Madison Center at James Madison University until his retirement in 2010. He continues to teach courses in the College of Education at James Madison University and is actively involved in working with pre-service educators throughout the nation. He is the author of seven books including Teaching History in an Uncivilized World; Be A Teacher: You Can Make a Difference; Liberty & Learning: The Essential James Madison; Hostile Fire: the Life and Death of Lt. Sharon A. Lane; and In Honored Glory: Arlington National Cemetery, the Final Post.

Kathy McKnight

Kathy McKnight

Katherine McKnight received her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Methods from the University of AZ in 2000. She has been Director of Research and Evaluation with Pearson since 2006. As of May 2012, she has been the Principal Director of Research for the Center for Educator Effectiveness in Pearson's Research and Innovation Network. Her work involves developing the research agenda, designing and implementing studies, developing research partnerships, and sharing research results regarding educator effectiveness with the education community. - See more at: http://researchnetwork.pearson.com/author/kathymcknight#sthash.19PZkZJf.dpuf Her most recent published paper is Is Flipped Learning Redefining the Role of the Teacher?
Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is the Vice President of Marketing at People to People Ambassador Programs, the leading provider of global educational travel. He is the author of Social Media Marketing: Game Theory and the Emergence of Collaboration, published by Springer in 2010, and was named one of iMedia’s "25 Digital Marketing Leaders and Innovators" in 2011. Previously he was a partner and lead strategist at digital agency White Horse for 13 years. Prior to his career in marketing, he taught college literature and composition and was an early developer of web-based curricula in 1994. He holds an M.A. in Literature from Marquette University, and a Ph.D ABD in Cultural Theory from Washington State University.
Faye Snodgress

Faye Snodgress

Faye Snodgress, Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, has served this professional organization since 2001, first as Director of Membership and Marketing. In 2005 she earned the designation Certified Association Executive (CAE) and then, in 2007, was asked and approved to step into her current role as director.

Though Ms. Snodgress began her career in finance, first for a bank in Peoria, Illinois, and then as Money and Banking Manager of Digital Equipment Corporation in Switzerland and France, she has long had a heart for education. Building upon that heart and her background in foreign language, Ms. Snodgress has worked in various educational settings including fourth grade, adult ESL classes, and in the College of Education at Butler University. She now serves on that school’s advisory board as well as on the board for the Trust for Insuring Educators.

Ms. Snodgress’ passion for the teaching profession, coupled with her belief in advocacy for its vital role in society, has led her to focus on developing resources and training for newer teachers and providing teacher leader training to empower educational professionals now and in the future.
Wendy Uptain

Wendy Uptain

Wendy Uptain is the Deputy Director of Teacher Engagement at Hope Street Group where she established and now leads the National Teacher Fellowship program. She also oversees a newly launched State Fellowship program and manages several other state partnerships. She is committed to providing educators across the nation with the skills and opportunities to be involved in both local and national reform efforts.

Prior to joining Hope Street Group, she worked as a schoolteacher for four years where she gained experience in both public charter and traditional public schools. Wendy began her work in education policy at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education where she advised the Assistant Secretary on early learning.

In 2011, she was honored as a White House Champion of Change for her work in education. Wendy has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Brigham Young University and an MPA focused in Education Policy from George Washington University.
Bob Feurer

Bob Feurer

Bob Feurer will begin his 35th year of teaching this August at the same school, North Bend Central, that he began his career. He teaches 7-12 science with all classes but one having a life science emphasis. He also served a 10 year stint as head wrestling coach, was an assistant football coach for fifteen years and is entering his 19th year as an assistant track coach specializing in the throwing events for both the boys and girls teams. The North Bend Central Science club had 67 members from a secondary student body of about 175 students this past year; Feurer began the club 20 years ago. He has served in many capacities in the local education association and was chief negotiator for 20 + years. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1978 and earned his BS/E in 1984 from that same institution. He was the president of the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science in 1996 and is the current president of the Nebraska Chapter of NNSTOY. His major hobby is curating The Franklin-Coterrell Greens Arboretum on the school grounds.

Bob’s favorite education quote, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn.” Alvin Tofler
Katy Smith

Katy Smith

Katy Smith, from Minnesota, is a licensed parent educator with two undergraduate degrees in social work and parent education from Winona State University.  She has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Early Childhood Public Policy and Advocacy from Walden University. Katy represents District M on Education Minnesota's Political Action Board. She is the Government Relations Chair for the Winona Education Association, she serves on the local union's Executive Board as well.  Katy is the 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, the first early childhood educator and parent educator to be honored with the award. 
Margaret Holtschlag

Margaret Holtschlag

Margaret Holtschlag is the director/creator of the BIG Lesson Programs (Nature, Zoo, History, Science). She was Michigan Teacher of the Year 2000 and National Teacher of the Year finalist 2000, elementary teacher in Haslett Public Schools, and Michigan State University instructor for the South Africa Teacher Internship program. 

Jeanne DelColle

Jeanne DelColle

2012 NJ State Teacher of the Year Jeanne DelColle, a high school history teacher of 17 years, is also the 2012 NJ History Teacher of the Year and the 2010 New Jersey Council for the Humanities Teacher of the Year. After working at the NJ Department of Education on educator outreach initiatives at the request of her Commissioner, including the design and implementation of the New Jersey Teacher Advisory Panels, she is currently at Richard Stockton College working to bridge the gap between P-12 and higher education as the Instructional Development and Strategic Partnerships specialist in the School of Education. DelColle is also a 2013 National Hope Street Group Fellow.
Leah Lechleiter-Luke

Leah Lechleiter-Luke

Leah Lechleiter-Luke is a high school Spanish and English teacher in Mauston, Wisconsin.

Leah was the 2010 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year and a 2011 U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow. She is currently the president-elect of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance. Leah is also the facilitator for the Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Council hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She has been, and continues to be, a vocal advocate for public education, teachers, and the children they serve.

Leah is a PhD candidate at Walden University specializing in Leadership, Policy, and Change in Education. She is married and has three children ages 16, 13, and 10. Her children are her hobby.

Katie Fergson

Katie Fergson

Katie loves teaching. She has been dedicated to the teaching profession since she joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School of Math, Science, Technology, and Invention as a first grade teacher in 1998. In 2003-2004 Katie’s class participated in more than 10 videoconferences through Project VIEW. The videoconferences were with museums and institutes across the country such as the Buffalo Zoo and The Ocean Institute in California. Her work with videoconferencing was highlighted in a small excerpt in Teaching K-8, a magazine for education, the Daily Gazette, and in a case study by the Evaluation Consortium at the University at Albany. She was also awarded the Red Apple Quality of Life Award in 1998 and 1999.

In 2007, Katie joined the Jessie T. Zoller Elementary School staff as an integrated 2nd grade teacher where she still teaches today. Her work with independent literacy centers has often been observed by teachers throughout her district and others. Katie prides herself in individualizing instruction to meet the needs of her learners and enjoys creating materials to meet the specific needs of her students, from individual behavior charts to songs, chants, or cheers to help children learn new concepts.

Katie believes she, and her students, owe her success in education to the collaboration her wonderful colleagues have given and the many professional development opportunities her district has offered her. In her 15+ years in Schenectady, she has taken more than 25 professional development workshops. In May, 2010, Katie was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Schenectady City School District, which led to her applying for the New York State Teacher of the Year. She was selected as New York State Teacher of the Year 2012.

“Teaching is more than a profession to me. It is a way of life”. She believes that the children entrusted to her, no matter their background, will learn and be independent in her classroom.
Alex Kajitani

Alex Kajitani

Alex Kajitani is the author of The Teacher of the Year Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your Teacher-Leader Role. He is also known around the country as “The Rappin’ Mathematician,” and his CDs and Activity Books are being used in thousands of homes and classrooms around the world. His new book Owning It, explores the many roles today’s teachers play both in and outside of the classroom, and is due out this August. Alex currently coaches teachers in the Escondido Union School District, and travels the country speaking on a variety of educational issues. Visit www.AlexKajitani.com for all he does (and raps!).
Marguerite Izzo

Marguerite Izzo

Marguerite Izzo, whose teaching career spans over 30 years, is a full time fifth grade teacher, specializing in English Language Arts and Social Studies, in the Malverne School District. She has taught Social Studies grades 7-12, Reading, and all subjects in grades one through six. Ms. Izzo is an adjunct professor of education at Adelphi University, and co-director of the Malverne Teacher Center. Ms. Izzo is the 2007 New York State Teacher of the Year and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She is a member of the Teacher Leader Standards Consortium and has been the teacher member of the U. S. delegation at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession (2010 and 2011). In 2013 she was awarded a Lowell Milken Center Fellowship.
 
Ellen Sherrat

Ellen Sherrat

Ellen Behrstock Sherratt, Ph.D., is a senior research and policy associate on the American Institutes for Research educator quality team. Dr. Sherratt has authored or coauthored numerous articles, briefs, and reports on teacher and principal quality and is co-author of two books, Everyone at the Table: Engaging Teachers in Evaluation Reform and Improving Teacher Quality: A Guide for Education Leaders, both published by Jossey-Bass. Dr. Sherratt’s research has focused on teacher engagement in policy reform, Generation Y teachers, educator recruitment and retention, teacher compensation, and equitable teacher distribution. She has provided technical assistance to the Ohio Department of Education, the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Massachusetts Department of Education, among other states and districts. She has supported teacher effectiveness work at the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. Dr. Sherratt earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University and her doctoral degree in education from the University of Oxford, where her dissertation focused on competing approaches to measuring and addressing teacher shortages.
Bob Williams

Bob Williams

Bob Williams began his teaching career as a Peace Corps teacher in Gambia, Africa. He achieved National Board Certification (Math – AYA) in 2011 and currently teaches Geometry, Algebra 1, intervention Math Strategies and two AP Calculus courses at Colony High School in Palmer, Alaska.

Bob is the Alaska 2009 Teacher of the Year, the president of the Alaska Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. He was one of five national finalists for the 2010 NEA Foundation Teaching Excellence award and is an Aspen Teacher Leader Fellow. His highest award was a student’s 2008 graduation stole with the following note: “Mr. Williams, I have a confession to make. Before this year, I didn’t like math. It was a struggle and made very little sense. Calculus was another story entirely. You made it fun, exciting, and easy to learn. I went from despising math to babbling incessantly about integrals and derivatives in the span of 9 months. I sport my [calculus] tee-shirt proudly and will bring my cross-sections project wherever life manages to take me. I haven’t told my parents for fear that they will disown me, but I have every intention of minoring in math.”

Bob has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, an M.A. in Mathematics Education from Columbia University, and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and Administration.
Peter Zamora

Peter Zamora

Peter Zamora is Director of Federal Relations for the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Zamora previously served as Senior Education Counsel for Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Prior to joining Senator Bingaman's staff, Zamora served as Washington, D.C. Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). In this capacity, he developed and implemented MALDEF's legislative and administrative strategies regarding federal education law and policy, voting rights, immigration, and other civil rights priorities. He served as Co-Chair of the Hispanic Education Coalition, which unites 26 organizations in support of improved educational opportunities for Latino students and families.

Zamora is a former bilingual-credentialed public high school teacher who holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the University of San Francisco, and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Powerpoint/PDF: Click here




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