2017-18 Featured Speakers

Fall Convening

 

Amanda Britt

Amanda Britt is a rural school superintendent from Arkansas. She is passionate about recruiting, training, and retaining effective teachers.  Amanda began her career as a nontraditional Spanish teacher/coach in the Arkansas Delta. In addition, she has taught 7th and 8th grade math, Arkansas History, coached multiple sports, and even driven a school bus. After 10 years in the classroom, she became a 7-12 principal and has just finished her first year as a superintendent. Amanda was a Class of 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader and has served on the Arkansas Secondary School Principals board and is currently President-Elect of the Arkansas ASCD board. In 2012, her school was selected as a Verizon Innovative Learning School.

 

Sabra Eaton

Sabra is a high school computer science and business teacher at Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale, Arkansas. She is currently teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles, Computer Applications, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. The school she teaches at offers accelerated learning experiences where students are able to earn industry certifications as well as their associate’s degree from Northwest Arkansas Community College. The open learning environment allows for a unique 1:1 Chromebook technology experience for every student. The hybrid learning and virtual learning options offer students statewide, even those in isolated, rural zip codes, to enroll in the school and access the unique options offered directly to on-campus students.  She started her teaching career with Daisy Dyer-Duerr and continues to moderate #ArkEdChat weekly with her. She has presented at Hot Springs Technical Institute, International Society Technology in Education, Innovation Institute, Arkansas Business Educators Association, and EduCon. She is a level 2 Google Certified educator and working on her Google Trainer certification. She is also a certified eMints Innovation leader.  In her current role as a teacher, Sabra continues to push for individualized student and educator learner regardless of where you live. Sabra recently started developing curriculum for a computer science essentials course to be offered as an online option to students in Arkansas.  Sabra has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from the University of Arkansas. She holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Building Level Administration from Arkansas State University. She also has her English as a Second Official Language Endorsement.

 

Erik Francis

Erik M. Francis, M.Ed., M.S. is an author, educator, and speaker who specializes in teaching and learning that promotes cognitive rigor and college and career readiness.  He is the author of Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning published by ASCD.  He is also the owner of Maverik Education LLC, providing academic professional development and consultation on increasing student achievement, teacher effectiveness, overall school performance, and college and career readiness.  He works with K-12 schools on developing learning environments and delivering educational experiences that challenge students to demonstrate higher order thinking and communicate depth of knowledge.  

Erik’s professional development seminars and workshops have been featured at national, state, and regional education conferences hosted by organizations such as ASCD, Learning Forward, the College Board, the New Teacher Center, the Southern Region Education Board, the Association for Middle Level Education, and the National Association for Gifted Children.

Erik has been an educator for over twenty years, working as a middle and high school teacher, a site administrator, and an education program specialist in the Title I and English Language Learner Units of the Arizona Department of Education.  He received his Master’s in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University and Master’s of Science in Film and Television Production and Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  He also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication and English from the University at Albany.

 

Shanna Peeples

Shanna Peeples, the 2015 USA National Teacher of the Year, took the road less travelled on the way to her classroom. She worked as a disc jockey, medical assistant, and journalist before teaching, as she says, chose her.  Shanna taught middle and high school English in low-income schools in Amarillo, Texas for 14 years. Because Amarillo is a resettlement area for refugees, students as diverse as the Karen people of Myanmar to the Bantu people of Somalia, make up classes in her former assignment at Palo Duro High School where students speak 27 languages and dialects.  Currently, Shanna is the ELA curriculum specialist for her district where she designs professional development experiences and co-creates curriculum with more than 200 secondary English Language Arts teachers. She encourages them to speak for those who have no voice in many policy making arenas: children.   A former reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News, Shanna won awards for reporting on health issues, schools, and music criticism. She co-authored the book Best Lesson Series – Literature: 15 Master Teachers Share What Works. She is a frequent contributor to education publications.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from West Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Arlington, and this fall, she will begin doctoral work at Harvard University.  She is a 2016 National Education Association Global Learning Fellow, a member of the Global Teacher Prize Academy, and recipient of Texas A&M University’s Outstanding Educator Award.

 

LaVonna Roth

Creator & Founder of Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® & LaVonna, Inc.

Self. Heart. Ignite. Navigate. Exceptional.

These words capture the path that LaVonna Roth uses to challenge others in finding out how to ignite the S.H.I.N.E. in their students, others and self.  As a learning specialist, author, keynote speaker and consultant, LaVonna bridges her passion for how the brain learns with education and helping every individual realize the value they bring. Through her knowledge and impactful way of helping individuals learn, she assists parents in creating a home that supports students in their personal and academic life, plus helps parents to not rip their hair out or lose their cool!  LaVonna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s in the Art of Teaching and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. LaVonna taught at the elementary and secondary levels and is the author of 8 books. She has presented in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East on increasing engagement and the fun factor in learning.  She is the creator and founder of the Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® movement, where every person is encouraged to use his or her skills, talents and gifts… to illuminate the world.  

 

Ann Rose Santoro

Ann Rose Santoro, a teacher leader from Port Chester, NY, was an elementary classroom teacher for 25 years before becoming an Instructional Coach.  Currently she is an Instructional Support Specialist for Technology K-12.  Additionally, she is a Consulting Teacher for the Center for Responsive Schools.  She trains teachers nationally in the Responsive Classroom Approach to teaching and learning. Ann Rose combines Responsive Classroom practices with 21st Century skills while working with students throughout her school district. She is a Google and BrainPoP Certified Educator.  Ann Rose is an America Achieves New York State Teacher Voice Fellow and has been a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Teacher Advisory Council.  Ann Rose has planned both regional and national ECET2 convenings and is a co-moderator on the weekly #ECET2 Twitter Chat.

 

Spring Convening

 

Meghan Everette

Meghan is a K6 Math Teacher on Special Assignment in the Salt Lake School District. She previously taught in Alabama at George Hall Elementary, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Turn-Around Model and at Daphne Elementary and was the 2013 Alabama Elementary Teacher of the Year. Through the Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellowship, Meghan is working with edTPA to research the programs’ impact on professional competencies in teacher preparation pilot programs. As a Team Lead with Teach to Lead, Meghan led a team to research educator advocacy throughout the country in order to design and develop support systems for increasing educator voice in policy decisions. The report and continued work can be viewed at hurdlesandhopes.com.  Meghan has been a Scholastic Top Teaching blogger since 2012. She is an ASCD Influence Leader, is co-creator of the #EdAdvBecause chat, and is an ASCD Emerging Leader class of 2014. This summer Meghan will work in Finland with Global Education Allies to develop global awareness and foster innovative learning partnerships between teachers and students across the globe. Meghan has both a BA and MA Advertising and PR from the University of Alabama, and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of South Alabama.

 

Jon Harper

Jon Harper is probably best known for his podcast “My Bad” in which he is able to get remarkable educators to share epic mistakes. He is no stranger to mistakes himself and often blogs about them for Edwords, the official blogsite of BAM Radio Network. His focus is on getting people to share their mistakes so that others feel comfortable doing the same. Jon believes that the sooner we start sharing our mistakes with the people we love and the people we serve, the sooner they will stop feeling as if they have to be perfect.  Jon has spent his career teaching, coaching and leading at the elementary level. Early in his career he established a Young Gentleman’s Club that was aimed at helping young men reach their full potential. Jon then went on to create a group called Project 2016 in which he worked with high achieving minority students in middle and high school.  Jon received his National Board Certification as a middle childhood generalist and held this distinction for ten years. While in the classroom he was awarded the Middle States Collins-Skinner Award given to the outstanding Social Studies teacher in Middle States Region and the Excellence for Minority Achievement Award for Talbot County.  Jon’s mission is to share his message with as many people as possible so that they worry less about making mistakes and focus more on reaching for their goals. His story is inspiring and the knowledge he has gained in listening to over 60 leading educators share their epic mistakes is rare.

 

Allison Riddle

Allison Riddle has been an elementary educator in Northern Utah for the past 29 years. She is currently the Elementary Mentor Supervisor for Davis School District where she leads the mentoring of over three hundred new elementary teachers. Allison is the 2014 Utah Teacher of the Year and currently represents Utah’s teachers as a member of Governor Herbert’s Education Excellence Commission. While teaching fifth grade, Allison created a mentor program which has been highlighted on the USDOE Teach to Lead web site. In addition to many traditional provisional educators, Allison has mentored teachers in Utah’s French, Spanish, and Chinese Dual Immersion schools as well as Korean and German student teaching programs. Allison is a recipient of the 2015 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence and the 2015 Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. As an NEA Foundation Global Fellow, Allison studied schools in rural Peru, and she will continue her fellowship in South Africa next June. Allison also currently represents Utah as a Lowell Milken Fellow engaging in project-based learning studies. Allison is a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY), and serves as the Communications Officer for the Utah State Teachers of the Year (UTSTOY) chapter. Allison is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and she has been a consultant for Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks since 2005. Allison conducts K-9th grade mathematics workshops and family math nights for schools, districts, community centers and universities across the country. Allison is a member of the University of Phoenix SLC campus Advisory Committee, and she is currently researching Teacher Leadership with Weber State University.

 

LaVonna Roth

Creator & Founder of Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® & LaVonna, Inc.

Self. Heart. Ignite. Navigate. Exceptional.

These words capture the path that LaVonna Roth uses to challenge others in finding out how to ignite the S.H.I.N.E. in their students, others and self.  As a learning specialist, author, keynote speaker and consultant, LaVonna bridges her passion for how the brain learns with education and helping every individual realize the value they bring. Through her knowledge and impactful way of helping individuals learn, she assists parents in creating a home that supports students in their personal and academic life, plus helps parents to not rip their hair out or lose their cool!  LaVonna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s in the Art of Teaching and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. LaVonna taught at the elementary and secondary levels and is the author of 8 books. She has presented in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East on increasing engagement and the fun factor in learning.  She is the creator and founder of the Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® movement, where every person is encouraged to use his or her skills, talents and gifts… to illuminate the world.  

 

Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, elearning specialist, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and the US and Venezuelan Embassy. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, NPR, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and webinars. She was named Woman of the Year by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Recently, she founded Edspeakers to enrich the field of education with passionate voices from those of diverse experiences and backgrounds. She is also the proud mother of Savannah, her newborn, and Rosco the pug.  Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via TeacherRebootCamp.com and on Twitter (@ShellTerrell).

 

Sarah-Jane Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a Regional Technology Coordinator in Prince George’s County Public Schools.  Sarah is also a Google Certified Innovator, Google Certified Trainer, and founder of the #EduMatch project, which promotes connection and collaboration among teachers around the world.  Sarah holds a Masters degree from Howard University in the field of Curriculum and Instruction.  She is currently a doctoral candidate at George Mason University, with a major in Education.  Her upcoming dissertation, Using Technology to Facilitate Language Acquisition of English Language Learners, is rooted heavily in student-created artifacts through the use of project-based learning.  Sarah was designated an ASCD Emerging Leader in 2016, and also was named Prince George’s County Public Schools Outstanding Educator Using Technology in 2015.  She is also a winner of the 2014 Digital Innovation in Learning Award in the “Sharing is Caring” category, and was named by the National School Board Association as one of the “20 to Watch” in 2015.