Preconference Speakers

PC 101

Amy Colton

Center for Collaborative Inquiry, Ann Arbor, MI

Amy is influenced by her experience as a special education teacher and district professional learning consultant. She facilitates professional learning in the areas of collaborative inquiry; teacher leadership; PLC development; cultural proficiency and the design, implementation, and evaluation of professional learning. She currently serves as executive director for Learning Forward MI and as a senior consultant…

Learn more

Zaretta Hammond

Community Solutions Network, El Sobrante, CA

Zaretta is a former classroom teacher who has spent the past 20 years training, coaching, and supporting educators around literacy, equity, and culturally responsive teaching. She is the author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Her current research revolves around the integration of social and cognitive neuroscience into coaching for educational equity.

Learn more

PC 102

Eric Hirsch

EdReports, Durham, NC

Eric is the Founding Executive Director of EdReports.org, an independent non-profit that increases the capacity of teachers, administrators, and leaders to seek, identify, and demand the highest- quality instructional material. Prior to coming to EdReports, Eric was the Chief External Affairs Officer at the New Teacher Center, the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching Quality,…

Learn more

Shanna Estep

EdReports, Durham, NC

Shanna is an outreach specialist for EdReports.org. Estep most recently served as the Director of the Standards, Assessment, and Instruction initiative with the CORE Districts and led a team comprised of 50 senior instructional leaders representing each of those districts. Estep brings more than 25 years of experience in education, including writing curriculum and assessments for…

Learn more

PC 103

Michael Murphy

Learning Forward, San Antonio, TX

Michael is a national educational coach, facilitator, and consultant who is recognized for his leadership training in planning, communication, feedback, long-term change, and motivation strategies. He draws from 40 years of educational experience in urban, suburban, and rural school district settings as he trains and works with teachers, teacher leaders, school leaders, and district leaders across…

Learn more

PC 104

Bonnie Hain

Centerpoint Education Solutions, Washington, DC

Bonnie has 20+ years teaching English language arts. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at University of San Diego, Southeastern Louisiana University and served as the English language arts specialist at the Maryland Department of Education. After working as reading coach, department chair, building leader, and curriculum director, she joined Achieve to lead the design…

Learn more

Kevin Bruney

Centerpoint Education Solutions, Washington, DC

Kevin has over ten years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, department chair, district math coach, and state level math assessment content specialist. Prior to joining CenterPoint, Bruney served as the math lead in the development of the state assessment for Arizona (AzMERIT) and was the Arizona representative on the Math Operational Working…

Learn more

PC 105

Kay Psencik

Learning Forward, Cypress, TX

Kay is a senior consultant for Learning Forward and served in Texas public schools for more than 30 years. She supports school districts and other educational organizations across the nation in efforts to transform their organizations by facilitating and coaching principals to lead high-performing schools. Kay has supported teaching teams in developing professional learning communities that…

Learn more

Stephanie McBride

Clear Creek ISD, League City, TX

Stephanie is the executive director for professional learning in Clear Creek Independent School District in Houston, Texas. Previously, she served as an elementary and intermediate principal for eleven years. In her current role, she supports campus leaders in applying The Standards for Professional Learning in their schools. Recently, she has been a member of a district…

Learn more

PC 106

Karen Norris

Momentous Institute, Dallas, TX

Karen is a passionate advocate for high-quality professional learning for educators at all levels.  With over 20 years of experience in education, Dr. Norris currently serves as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Momentous Institute. Dr. Norris received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Dallas, a Master’s degree in Reading from The University…

Learn more

Rhonda Vincent

Momentous Institute, Dallas, TX

Rhonda is the Director of Educational Training at Momentous Institute. Her work in education spans 25 years. Along with a Bachelor of Science degree, Rhonda earned elementary and early childhood teaching certificates from the University of Texas Permian Basin. She received a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D….

Learn more

PC 107

Katey Arrington

Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin, TX

Katey has extensive experience in educator professional development and as a classroom teacher in the K–12 system and at the community college level. Her prior work includes instructional leadership roles at the campus level as well as leadership roles at the district level, including serving five years as the mathematics coordinator for a diverse district in…

Learn more

Shelly Ledoux

Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin, TX

Shelly works within local and state educational systems to foster equity and access for all students. She exposes teachers, school leaders, and system-level leaders to research-based strategies that nurture students’ intellectual passions and ensure every student leaves school prepared for success in postsecondary education and the contemporary workplace. Ledoux uses current research on effective and culturally…

Learn more

PC 108

Jody Bintz

BSCS Science Learning, Council Bluffs, IA

Jody joined BSCS as a Science Educator, and currently serves as associate director for strategic partnerships and professional learning. She has designed and led a variety of programs to build leadership capacity and enhance the knowledge and skills of professional development providers in various sites across the country. Bintz designs and leads district-based professional development to…

Learn more

PC 109

Diana Ely

Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX

Diana is the director of organizational development and oversees the professional development 10,000 employees in Northside. Her department includes a training facility, a professional library, a teacher resource room, and the staff to run them. In addition, she works with new teacher development, teacher development and leadership development. Diana coordinates multiple teacher and leadership programs. Her…

Learn more

Janet Swan

Learning Forward Texas, Kennedale, TX

Janet has 44 years of experience as a teacher, school administrator, director of professional learning, and educational consultant. In retirement, Swan has continued to work in public schools throughout the country with the American Alliance for School Systems (AAIS), helping teachers and administrators in the planning, teaching and assessing of their state standards. In addition, she…

Learn more

PC 110

Sarah Westbrook

The Right Question Institute, Cambridge, MA

Sarah is the Director of Professional Learning for the Right Question Institute (RQI), an educational non-profit based in Boston, MA. Sarah designs and delivers RQI professional learning, informed by ongoing partnerships and collaborations with teachers and districts across the country. As a high school English teacher in the Boston area, Sarah saw firsthand the tremendous positive…

Learn more

Terese D’Amico

North Olmstead Public Schools, North Olmstead, OH

Terese has been the Principal of Pine Intermediate School for 12 years. She supported the formation, three years ago, of an inquiry PLC, in which teachers volunteered to join in order to experiment with new inquiry-based and student-centered strategies before sharing them with colleagues in the building. After Pine teachers began reporting back powerful results with…

Learn more

Teresa Diaz

Northeast ISD, San Antonio, TX

Teresa is a middle school teacher-librarian and instructional library media specialist in San Antonio, Texas. Her career began at Brown Summer High School, teaching kids in Providence, RI. She has since moved to Texas where she has taught at multiple middle and high schools. Teresa has been writing, teaching, and experimenting with the Question Formulation Technique…

Learn more

Todd Poole

Kent City Schools, Kent, OH

Todd is the Principal of Holden Elementary School in Kent, OH. Over the past several years, Poole has used the Question Formulation Technique for faculty meetings and school-wide initiatives and has successfully overseen adoption in every grade level at Holden Elementary School, to support a larger culture of inquiry-based education.  

Learn more

PC 111

Dena Zook-Howell

Institute for Learning, Pittsburgh, PA

Dena is a fellow with the Institute for Learning at University of Pittsburgh. With a K-12 background, Zook-Howell provides professional development in both elementary and secondary ELA and coaching in districts across the country. The art and science of coaching is her primary focus; she was recently the coach for a three-year IES grant to study…

Learn more

Rosita Apodaca

Institute for Learning, Pittsburgh, PA

Rosita is a key contributor to the IFL in leadership and the education of ELs. Her contributions to EL unit development and teacher training have been implemented districtwide in some of the nation’s largest school districts. Apodaca designed and led programs that raised the achievement of ELs in three large urban school districts and has published…

Learn more

Victoria Bill

Institute for Learning, Pittsburgh, PA

Victoria is a resident fellow with the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh. Bill is the chair of the IFL mathematics team. She designs professional development in mathematics, curriculum, student performance assessments, and teaching and learning tools. Bill was a co-principal investigator on a collaborative research project between researchers from the Literacy Research…

Learn more

PC 112

Thomas Van Soelen

Van Soelen & Associates, Lawrenceville, GA

Thomas enjoys creating and participating in collaborative experiences everywhere he goes – as president of Van Soelen & Associates, a professional development and coaching firm in Atlanta, Georgia; a national facilitator for the School Reform Initiative; and as a music director at his local church. Van Soelen draws on his pre-K-12 teaching experiences in Iowa, California,…

Learn more

Kerise Ridinger

Garland ISD, Garland, TX

Kerise is a professional learning coordinator, in Lewisville ISD. She has over a decade of experience in supporting, developing and empowering learners. Whether working with groups of students during yearly STEM events or coordinating a conference for 1500 educators and campus leaders, Ridinger has served her community through her efforts to make district goals and…

Learn more

PC 113

Michele De Bellis

Institute for Habits of Mind, Leander, TX

Michele strives to support the transformation of systems by prioritizing professional development. Central to all of her work is a commitment to support self-directedness. De Bellis designs and leads professional development for the Institute for Habits of Mind as the North American affiliate and director of professional development. She also serves as a training associate for…

Learn more

PC 114

Adam Rubin

2Revolutions, Burlington, VT

Adam is founder and partner at 2Revolutions. Rubin has spent over two decades catalyzing change through the design and launch of social enterprises across the education and community development sectors. He started 2Revolutions to feed this love, and to reinforce a belief that two critical levers we can pull are the birth and scaling of innovative…

Learn more

Ali Brown

2Revolutions, Burlington, VT

Ali is a senior consultant at 2Revolutions, Brown primarily works as a field-facing leader, working on diverse collaborative teams to foment change at the level of both model and system. Brown’s intellectual energies are at their peak when she is engaged in integrative design, creatively synthesizing existing ideas with new ones to advance what’s possible…

Learn more

Andy Calkins

Next Generation Learning Challenges, Gloucester, MA

Andy is the director of Next Generation Learning Challenges. He heads a leading national catalyst and accelerator in the re-imagining of K-12 education in the United States. An initiative of the nonprofit organization EDUCAUSE, NGLC seeks to dramatically lift and transform student outcomes by helping to spur the development of next gen learning: student-centered, personalized, competency-based,…

Learn more

Antonia Rudenstine

reDesign, Boston, MA

Antonia is a former high school teacher, is now the director of reDesign, LLC, a consulting group that focuses on creating new school designs and program models, in addition to supporting leaders and teachers in the work of instructional and curricular improvement. Antonia began working on these issues in 1993, with the first school she…

Learn more

PC 201

PC 202

Glenn Singleton

Pacific Educational Group, San Francisco, CA

Glenn has devoted more than thirty years to constructing racial equity worldwide and developing leaders to do the same. He is the author of Courageous Conversations About Racebooks (2006, 2012, 2016), creator of a protocol for sustained, deep interracial dialogue, and facilitator of Beyond Diversity, the curriculum that has taught hundreds of thousands of people how…

Learn more

PC 203

Michael Fullan

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Michael is the former dean and professor emeritus of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform, he advises policymakers and local leaders around the world in helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning. Fullan received the Order of Canada in December 2012….

Learn more

Joanne Quinn

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Joanne is an international consultant focusing on whole system change, capacity building, leadership, and professional learning. She leads whole-system change projects for states and districts, consults with governments, foundations and education systems, and is cofounder and coleader of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning: A Global Partnership. Quinn’s previous positions as superintendent of the Halton District School…

Learn more

PC 204

Lacey Robinson

UnboundEd, Waldorf, MD

Lacey has more than 20 years as an educator, principal, and staff development specialist with a focus on literacy, equity, and school leadership. As the senior director of engagement, she designs and conducts professional learning sessions focused on school and district leadership, change management, and effective implementation strategies. Previously, Robinson was the senior director of…

Learn more

Lakisha Covert

UnboundEd, Waldorf, MD

Lakisha has a personal and professional passion for equitable education stemming from more than 20 years as an urban educator. As the director of engagement, she designs and conducts communities of practice sessions focused on school and district leadership, equity through standards instruction, and effective implementation strategies. Covert taught grades K–5 for 11 years before becoming…

Learn more

PC 205

Joellen Killion

Learning Forward, Lakeway, TX

Joellen is the former deputy executive director of and currently senior advisor to Learning Forward. Killion has extensive experience in professional learning planning, design, implementation, and evaluation at the school and system levels. Her most recent books include Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-Based Coaches, 2ndEdition(Learning Forward, 2017) with Cindy Harrison; Assessing Impact:…

Learn more

PC 206

Jim Knight

Instructional Improvement Group, North Loup, NE

Jim has spent more than two decades studying professional learning, effective teaching, and instructional coaching. He is the president of the Instructional Coaching Group and The Impact Research Lab, and a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Knight’s book Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction(Corwin, 2007) popularized the…

Learn more

PC 207

Diana Benner

TCEA, Austin TX

Diana has been involved in education for more than 20 years. She has served as an instructional technologist, instructional designer, and an online learning specialist, supporting districts all over Texas and in state government.Benner loves to offer engaging professional learning activities and working with teachers to get them excited about using digital tools in the classroom…

Learn more

PC 208

Patrice Pujol

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Santa Monica, CA

Patrice serves as president and chief strategy officer of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). She is responsible for the overall implementation and continuous improvement of NIET’s strategic development plan and the advancement of NIET’s brand and mission to improve educator effectiveness. Pujol joined NIET after a prestigious 40-year career in Ascension Public…

Learn more

Dedra Lee-Collins

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Santa Monica, CA

Dedra is a senior program specialist for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching. She serves as the project director for schools implementing the System for Teacher and Student Advancement in Minnesota. Lee-Collins began her 21-year education career as a teacher in the Dallas Independent School District, teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1stgrade. She also served as…

Learn more

PC 209

Carol Brooks Simoneau

Thinking Collaborative, Derby, KS

Carol is the codirector of Thinking Collaborative, the umbrella organization for Cognitive CoachingSMand Adaptive Schools. She has 25 years’ experience as a teacher and reading specialist. She has chaired or served as a member on school improvement and accreditation teams designed to develop school community and facilitate achievement. Brooks Simoneau has received the Kansas State…

Learn more

Jane Ellison

Thinking Collaborative, Denver, CO

Jane is director emeritus of Thinking Collaborative. She presents workshops nationally and internationally to educators on Cognitive Coaching,SMAdaptive Schools, change and transition, presentation skills, facilitation skills, and quality professional development. She is coauthor of Cognitive Coaching: Weaving Threads of Learning and Change into the Culture of an Organization (Christopher-Gordon, 2003); Effective School Leadership: Developing Principals with…

Learn more

PC 210

Kay Psencik

Learning Forward, Cypress, TX

Kay is a senior consultant for Learning Forward and served in Texas public schools for more than 30 years. She supports school districts and other educational organizations across the nation in efforts to transform their organizations by facilitating and coaching principals to lead high-performing schools. Psencik has supported teaching teams in developing professional learning communities that…

Learn more

Wendy Robinson

Fort Wayne Community Schools, Fort Wayne, IN

Wendy is Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In her 35+ years with Fort Wayne Community Schools, she has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and central office administrator. She was one of the members of the inaugural class of Broad Center Fellows, a program designed to prepare and challenge…

Learn more

PC 211

Nancy Gerzon

WestEd, Woburn, MA

Nancy supports education leaders to improve policy and develop systemwide approaches to increasing student learning. She has led teams from state education agencies, districts, and schools to develop policy and practice in formative assessment, data use, and instructional alignment, helping numerous schools develop systems for teacher learning, improve achievement, and exit Program Improvement status. Gerzon cowrote…

Learn more

PC 212

Diane Zimmerman

Fairfield, CA

Diane, Ph.D., has dedicated her entire career to building educators’ collaborative capacity. After 36 years in public schools serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent, she has refocused her energies on writing and consulting. As she has pursued those goals, she has coauthored four books and many articles for The Learning Professional. Zimmerman draws from…

Learn more

William Sommers

Austin, TX

William continues to be a learner, teacher, principal, author, leadership coach, and consultant for multiple educational groups. He is also a certified Stakeholder-Centered Coach with the Marshall Goldsmith Group. He was a member of the Learning Forward Board of Trustees for five years and president of the National Staff Development Council. Sommers has been on several…

Learn more

PC 213

Marcia Tate

Developing Minds Inc., Conyers, GA

Marcia is an educational consultant who has presented at state, national, and international conferences. Previously, she was executive director of professional development for the DeKalb County School System in Decatur, GA. During her 30-year career with the district, Tate was a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator, and staff development director. She is the author…

Learn more

PC 214

Jennifer Abrams

Jennifer Abrams Consulting, Palo Alto, CA

Jennifer began her educational career as a high school English teacher and new teacher coach. Currently, she is a communications consultant who works with educators and others on providing new teacher and employee support, being generationally savvy, developing effective collaboration skills, having hard conversations, and creating identity-safe workplaces. Her publications include Having Hard Conversations(Corwin, 2009),The Multigenerational…

Learn more