2017-18 Keynote Speakers

Fall Convening


Richard W. Allen, Ed.S. has been an educator for 34 years, and is currently the Principal at Poseidon Early College High School. In 1989, he was selected as the Governor’s Teacher of the Year at Manalapan HS. He has been an administrator for the past 24 years. His work as an educational leader is featured in Eric Sheninger’s book, Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids (Corwin Press, 2016). Additionally, his innovative academic programming has been featured in several professional journals and on NJTV, the Asbury Park Press, the Star Ledger, News 12 NJ, and ABC TV’s -Channel 7- Above & Beyond. He is a member of the ELC for the NJ State Department of Education and a presenter with the Leadership Academy at NJPSA/FEA. He is an adjunct professor at Monmouth University and a member of the Monmouth University Principal’s Academy. He serves on the Board of the Tesla Community Incubator Space in Rahway, NJ. Over the years, he has presented at NJPSA, NJSBA, IEEE TISP, and ICLE. In 2016, his school was featured as one of 15 high schools nation-wide as a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education. His evening Academy programs, open to students in Monmouth and Ocean County, collaborate with Hackensack/JSUMC/Meridian Health, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Liberty Science Center, and IEEE. He works as an educational consult for school branding, using the BCAT to align schools to their brand and culture.


Allison K. Kreiss is currently an English and Special Education Teacher at Neptune High School in Neptune, New Jersey. She has been teaching for 12 years and has experience teaching English to grades six through twelve in a self-contained, resource, in-class support, and general education setting. Ms. Kreiss graduated from Montclair State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Art degree in English Education with an English K-12 certification. Continuing her education at The College of New Jersey, she graduated with a Master of Education degree in Special Education with a Teacher of the Handicapped K-12 certification in 2006 and a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration in 2010 with a certification for Supervisor and certificate of eligibility for Principal.  Ms. Kreiss has a passion for urban education since growing up in Lakewood, New Jersey, and has taught in New Brunswick, Trenton, and Neptune. Throughout her experiences she has strived to incorporate technology and innovative lessons into her repertoire to best serve the needs of her students. In addition to her teaching experience, Ms. Kreiss has immersed herself in the world of administration; working with building principals, central office administration, and department chairpersons to creatively establish curricula, lessons and professional development for the engagement of teachers and students. She aspires to join the ranks of administration soon.


Matthew J. Murphy, Ed. D. presently serves as the Superintendent of the Ramsey Public Schools – an educational system that has a well-earned reputation for excellence and has garnered recognition at the county, state, and national level.  The district has embarked on developing a pedagogical framework that has become the centerpiece of its instructional design.   A new format for designing curriculum units was instituted to ensure that rigorous content, and the 21st Century competencies and performance assessments, were an integral part of every unit of study. In 2016, he was awarded both Bergen County Superintendent of the Year, and New Jersey Association of School Administrators Northern Regional Superintendent of the Year Award.  In 2006, he received the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association Principal of the Year: Rewarding Visionary Leadership award. He is currently on the American Association of School Administrators Governing Body and is President of the Bergen County Administrator’s Association. Dr. Murphy is also an adjunct professor at Ramapo College.  He earned his doctorate from Fordham University in 2002.  Prior to that, he was the Chief School Administrator in the River Vale Public Schools.  Before becoming a Superintendent, Dr. Murphy served as an Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Elementary Education and Principal in the Westwood Regional School District.  Before that he worked in Wyckoff as a Vice Principal, technology coordinator, and teacher.



Spring Convening


Dr. Reginald Davenport (Reggie) is an educator with more than 20 years of middle school experience.  In that time, he gained both classroom and administrative experience, serving as a teacher of Social Studies, Mathematics and Science, as well as leading in the roles of Assistant Principal and Principal. Dr. Davenport has led in both urban and suburban schools, cultivating his skills working with diverse student populations.  He is a firm believer in the middle school principles and best practices championed by the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE).  Presently, he is serving on the National Board of Trustees for AMLE as the Representative for Diverse Populations and as the President of the state affiliate, NJAMLE.  

Dr. Davenport holds a BA in History from New Jersey City University (formerly Jersey City State) and a MA in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University.  His commitment to excellence and innovation of the classroom experience led him to complete the Doctor of Education degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Davenport’s research focused on the school experience of ethnically, racially, and socio-economically diverse student populations.  Bringing his doctoral research into practice, he developed and launched the inaugural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) academy within Maxson Middle School in Plainfield, NJ in 2013.  An avid cyclist, Dr. Davenport makes his home in Plainfield NJ with his wife Stephanie and their children,  Alexandria and William.


Sean Slade is the Senior Director of Global Outreach at ASCD, a global mission-driven education association. During his more than two decades in education, he has spoken and written extensively on topics related to the whole child and health and well-being, and he has been at the forefront of promoting and using school climate, connectedness, resilience, and a youth development focus for school improvement. He has written for the Washington Post, Huffington Post, published with ASCD, Routledge and Human Kinetics. He is an SEL expert for NBC Education Nation, VP for Advocacy at the International Union for Health Promotion & Education (North America) and a member of the OECD 2030 global task force on the future of education. In 2013-14 he co-lead the ASCD-CDC development and release of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model. Connect with Sean via his e-mail, sslade@ascd.org, or via Twitter @SeanTSlade


Aaron Sams has been an educator since 2000. He operates Sams Learning Designs, is an Instructor at Saint Vincent College, and is an advisor to TED-Ed. In 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Aaron has co-authored seven books on the Flipped Classroom concept. Aaron is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and has trained thousands of educators to integrate technology with sound pedagogy. He is a lifelong learner, reader, and maker. He holds both a B.S. in Biochemistry, an M.A.Ed. from Biola University, and is pursuing a Ph.D. at Texas Tech.