2021 National Teacher of the Year
Meet the Presenters
John Arthur is the 2021 Utah Teacher of the Year and was a Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. He teaches 6th grade at Meadowlark Elementary in Salt Lake City, and he is also an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at Westminster College.
Chris Aviles is a teacher at Knollwood middle school in Fair Haven, New Jersey. There he runs the renowned Fair Haven Innovates program he created in 2015. Part of his FH Innovates program includes the FH Knights, the first middle school esports team in the country. As coach of the FH Knights, Aviles and his players take on all comers from around the country including other middle schools, high schools, and even colleges. Chris has been involved in esports since 1998 and he is passionate about growing the esportsedu movement. He has authored The Esports Education Playbook and runs a nonprofit, Garden State Esports, to help other educators start esports teams in their schools.
George Barcenas is the Technology Coordinator/CTE for Bellevue Union School District. A Certified Google Trainer, Educator and Apple Certified Teacher. Trained as a PE teacher he has taught High School English, Spanish and coached Basketball from Middle School all the way to College. Technology has always been in his teaching from creating commercials in Spanish class to work on vocabulary, to creating a production of Romeo and Juliet with zombies… He now teaches coding, G-Suite and web/video design with iMovie and Adobe After Effects. In his current role he also works with teachers to find the right tool to help students. His passion for teaching has found a place with Google apps for education and pushing the boundaries of being geeky.
Dr. Brandon Beck is a National Board Certified educator, speaker, coach, consultant, and author of “Unlocking Unlimited Potential: Understanding the Infinite Power Within to Guide Any Student Toward Success.” He is also the host of the “Unlocking Unlimited Potential Stories Show,” a live show and podcast where he interviews inspiring people sharing their inspiring stories. Brandon also holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He has been an elementary teacher for 18 years and a monolingual, bilingual educator for over 10 years. He is also a college professor and reviewer for AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, a regular keynote speaker at state, regional, and national conferences.
Owen Bondono (pronouns: he/they) teaches 9th grade ELA at Oak Park High School in Oak Park, Michigan. He is the 2020-2021 Michigan Teacher of the Year. As an educator, his goal is growing students as empathetic critical thinkers and communicators in a space where they are safe and empowered.
Owen is focused on bringing anti-racist and queer-affirming practices into the classroom and believes that advocacy drives all good teaching practices. In his spare time, Owen is a writer, the Detroit Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, and a Dungeons and Dragons player.
Mr. Brazier is an award winning veteran Educator who has served as a Science Teacher, Secondary Principal and Central Office Administrator for district and state agencies. He is a leadership & technology integration consultant as well as a featured speaker for conferences across the United States and Canada.
Patricia J. Brown, known as “MsEdtechie”, is the owner of MsEdtechie Consultants LLC. An equity-minded innovative educator with a passionate commitment to student growth and the learning experience through effective technology integration. Eager to bring students of all ages into the digital age by providing enriching, and innovative experiences that address their diverse interests and needs.
As a 19-year veteran educator, she helps break down traditional classroom walls by creating a culture that fosters the 4C’s and authentic learning. She is passionate about closing the digital equity divide through access and opportunity and sharing practical techniques to create meaningful technology interactions and make global connections. Among her many accolades, she was selected as a National School Board Association’s 20 to Watch in EdTech, an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google for Education Certified Innovator & Trainer, a PBS Lead LearningMedia Digital Innovator for Missouri, and in 2006, she was honored as Teacher of The Year for the St. Louis Public Schools. She has served on the advisory panel for ISTE’s member magazine, Empowered Learner, and she currently serves as an ISTE Digital Equity PLN Co-Chair, and a Code.org Facilitator. Her work has been featured in several EdTech publications including, Tech & Learning Magazine, Scholastic Administrator Magazine, Edtech Magazine, Entrsekt Magazine, and she also served as a monthly columnist for many other journals and magazines. She is a national keynote speaker and presenter and was a featured TED Master Class speaker at the ISTE 2018 conference in Chicago Illinois.
On a personal side, she is a proud wife to her husband Brian, and mom-in-chief to their five sons.current member of the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors. As a 19-year veteran educator, she helps break down traditional classroom walls by creating a culture that fosters the 4C’s and authentic learning. She is passionate about closing the digital equity divide through access and opportunity and sharing practical techniques to create meaningful technology interactions and make global connections.
Among her many accolades, she was selected as a National School Board Association’s 20 to Watch in EdTech, an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google for Education Certified Innovator & Trainer, a PBS Lead LearningMedia Digital Innovator for Missouri, and in 2006, she was honored as Teacher of The Year for the St. Louis Public Schools. She has served on the advisory panel for ISTE’s member magazine, Empowered Learner, and she currently serves as an ISTE Digital Equity PLN Co-Chair, and a Code.org Facilitator.
Her work has been featured in several EdTech publications, and she also served as a monthly columnist for many other journals and magazines. She is a national keynote speaker and presenter and was a featured TED Master Class speaker at the ISTE 2018 conference in Chicago Illinois. On a personal side, she is a proud wife to her husband Brian, and mom-in-chief to their five sons.
Steve is an experienced teacher educator, senior leader and lecturer. He is an Apple Professional Learning Specialist, Google Innovator and Microsoft Master Trainer. Currently, researching sleep education for all. Children are at the heart of everything he does, developing learning through digital storytelling, play and fun.
Dr. Monica Burns is a Curriculum and EdTech Consultant, Author and Founder of ClassTechTips.com, and host of the Easy EdTech Podcast. She works with schools, districts, and organizations to provide actionable and engaging professional development. Monica is the author of EdTech Essentials: The Top 10 Technology Strategies for All Learning Environments (2021), Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom (2017), and two quick reference guides for ASCD on Distance Learning Essentials and Classroom Technology Tips, as well as several other publications.
Dave Burgess is the New York Times Best-Selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE, co-author of P is for PIRATE, and the president of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. which delivers powerful, inspirational, and innovative books, keynotes, and professional development.
He specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity. At a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., he was awarded the BAMMY for Secondary School Teacher of the Year by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.
Dave delivers the ultimate professional development experience for your teachers that is perfect for all circumstances from truly inspirational opening keynotes to full-day hands-on workshops. It is a high-energy, interactive, and entertaining experience that will leave your staff unbelievably inspired, motivated, and with the practical skills to dramatically increase student engagement.
His presentations are a unique blend of outrageously energetic performance art and magic, mixed with an inspirational message of how and why to become more passionate in the classroom. All techniques and methods are modeled and fully explained so as to leave no doubt about how to apply the methods in the real-world. Participants will leave with a tool-box full of dynamic presentational ideas that they can immediately use to improve their lessons.
As a teacher in San Diego, California, he was a 2001 and 2012 Golden Apple winner in the Grossmont Union High School District and the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year at West Hills High School. He was voted a faculty standout for 17 consecutive years in categories such as Most Entertaining, Most Energetic, and Most Dramatic.
Nicole Butler-Hooton is a has taught 2nd grade for 15 years at Irving Elementary in the Bethel School District in Eugene, Oregon. She was recently awarded the honor and title of the 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year and is the first Indigenous Teacher in Oregon to receive this recognition. She is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians- Chetco Band (Oregon) and the San Carlos Apache Tribe (Arizona).
Nicole is a first generation college graduate who places a high value on making connections with students, families and the school community while centering equity and cultural competency in her teaching. Further, she is committed to the values of family, friendship, community, and growth, both in and outside of her classroom. Nicole strongly believes that Indigenous children need to have access to a more truthful education that allows them to realize their Indigenous self identity, language, and culture through accurate representation in their lives.
Bobby Carlton is the Director of Immersive Learning for Ready Learner One LLC. Bobby Carlton is the Director of Immersive Learning for Ready Learner One LLC. He studied photojournalism at SUNY Albany because he wanted to use an image to tell a story, which is the foundation of AR and VR. Digital content can be used to supercharge the storytelling experience, and provides layers of information that is otherwise impossible in the real world.
In 2016, Bobby took on the role of Director of the Virtual Learning Project for the Masie Center, working directly with Elliott Masie on the exploration of the impact AR and VR have on corporate learning. From that experience, Bobby went on to publish with the Masie Center, STRIVR, InSync Training, and AIXR, and judge, since 2018, for the annual VR Awards held in London.
Employing his expertise in AR and VR for the corporate learning space, Bobby regularly partners with multiple global organizations on their AR and VR strategies, and serves as a regular guest on the UK’s nationally syndicated radio program TalkSport as their technology expert.”
Holly is an education thought-leader, international speaker, best selling author and an advocate for students. She is a twenty-plus year educator who has spent over 15 years teaching in a 1:1 classroom and over five years as an administrator in both public and private schools. She holds a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from Columbia University in New York City. Her passion is for helping teachers create classrooms where students want to learn and can become the agents of their own thinking and understanding. She is the author of three books: The Google Infused Classroom, The Chromebook Infused Classroom and The Microsoft Infused Classroom.
Michael Cohen, The Tech Rabbi, is a designer, educator and creativity instigator. His mission is to help educators around the world reveal their own creative abilities so they can empower students to solve interesting problems and become positive contributors to our global society. He is the author of the book Educated By Design, which outlines his principles for revealing and nurturing our innate creative courage and capacity. He is a national keynote speaker, advisor, and trainer. When he isn’t traveling the world sharing his message, he serves as the director of innovation for Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys School (YULA) where he manages and teaches at the Schlesinger STEAM and Entrepreneurship Center.
Anthony Coy-Gonzalez is a teacher at the Ohio School for the Deaf and the 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year. He is passionate about hands-on learning and making an impression on students with humor, emotion, a little magic, and opportunities to live through learning. He craves partnership with the community and an outward lens to instruction. He works to connect students with community role-models and encourages students to be civically-minded young citizens. He believes partnership and teacher empowerment can lead to greater equity in education. Anthony earned his BA and MA degrees in Deaf Education from Flagler College. #TeacherDreams
Jennifer Cronk is the Director of Information and Technology for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. She currently oversees and strategically launches innovative instructional practices in her district. Jennifer began her career over twenty-four years ago as a computer teacher and has pursued the fusion of pedagogy and technology ever since. Jennifer presents nationally at conferences, facilitates workshops on integrating instructional technology and assistive technologies into learning. She is a Google Certified Innovator, Google for Education Trainer and certified G-Suite Admin. Also, Jennifer is a NYS certified: administrator, English teacher, elementary teacher, and educational technology specialist. While pursuing further certifications in Assistive Technology, she also blogs about digital parenting, assistive technology, special education, and professional development at www.transparentlyteaching.com and is the host of the Podcast “Assist Learning” that focuses on the uses of technology for special education
Eric has been in education for 29 years, and currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for SPARCC in North Canton, Ohio where he oversees Google for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides training to schools, organizations, and conferences throughout Ohio and across the country. He is a co-leader of the Ohio Google Educator Group at bit.ly/gegohio. Eric runs the award-winning blog www.ControlAltAchieve.com where all of his edtech resources can be found, and is the author of the book “Control Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects”.
My name is Allison Cyr and I am 32 years old. After high school I attended University of Redlands where I earned my BA in Sociology/Anthropology and my teaching credential. While working on my BA, at the age of 20, I found out I was a match and subsequently donated one of my kidneys to a former high school teacher. Thereafter, I earned two masters: Masters of Science in Education from California Baptist University and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration from Concordia University – Irvine. I was awarded Riverside County Teacher of the Year for 2021 and went on to become one of five teachers chosen out of 295,000 to represent California as the 2021 California Teacher of the Year. I teach my students four core values: time, failing forward, vulnerability, and compassion. I focus those core values toward my nonprofit, Twenty4Change, where I teach students that they are capable of producing the change our world needs.
Faye Ellis has worked in the education sector for 13 years, leading digital education programmes and STEAM strategy at the British Museum and in London schools. Faye is an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Innovator, and is also Ready Learner One’s Director of Special Projects. She has led technology workshops for educators across Europe, spoken at education and museum conferences and run children’s workshops at major UK museums and festivals.
Dr. Jim Gamble is a passionate educator with over 50 years of experience. Dr. Jim is a former teacher, principal, superintendent, and adjunct professor. He has also served as Senior Vice President for Research and Program Development at TMI Education. Brain compatible teaching strategies, formative assessment, wellness strategies, and educational leadership are just a few of the topics that Dr. Jim has keynoted at local, national, and international venues during the last 20 years. According to Dr. Jim, “The best learners make the best teachers.”
Mom. Educator. Innovator. Technology Lover. Speaker.
Lachanda Garrison is a 2nd grade teacher leader at Bahrain Elementary School in Manama, Bahrain. Lachanda believes weaving her students’ stories and identities into lessons is the best instructional tool, ensuring all students receive an equitable education. She meets students’ needs by being trauma-informed, resilience-focused, and culturally responsive so students can learn and thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. Because of these beliefs, Lachanda’s students advocate for their learning, celebrate one another’s differences and cultures, and empathize for those around them.
Lachanda has an Associate of Arts in Computer Studies and Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College, Master of Education in Instructional Technology from Troy University, and a Master of Arts in Mathematics Teaching from Mount Holyoke College. She is also a Certified Trauma and Resilient Trainer from STARR Commonwealth.
Jen Giffen is a Teacher Librarian and former Digital Literacy Consultant from Ontario, Canada. She has her M.Ed, is a Google Innovator (#WDC17), Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE), Apple Teacher, HP Teaching Fellow, Student Voice Ambassador, sketchnoter, teacher matchmaker,, mom of three boys, and up for just about anything. Co-host of #ShukesandGiff the podcast, Jen is a believer that you have time to do anything you want – you just need to make time. Former player of the game of school, she now seeks to ensure learning is authentic and relevant, especially for struggling students She wants you to know that while at first, the hokey pokey is hard, eventually you turn yourself around. #Ginger #Canadian #HashtagLover. She can be found @VirtualGiff – everywhere.
Gravity is an educational consultant, author, founder of Gravity Goldberg, LLC, and Co-Founder of the Literacy Alliance, along with her Co-Founder, Dr. Brian P. Chinni, CEO/Founder of The Madison Institute (d.b.a., TMI education).Since its inception in 2014, the Literacy Alliance has served as a transformational force to foster optimal learning environments through exemplary ELA literacy curriculum, instruction and leadership that promotes equity, cultural responsiveness and social-emotional wellness in classrooms across the globe.
While based in the New York / New Jersey metro area, Gravity supports school districts across the country. She specializes in literacy, special education, curriculum, assessment, and learning with technology. Her work ranges from demonstrating lessons and leading workshops on balanced literacy to working with administrators developing curriculum and customizing professional development programs. She works in classrooms from pre-kindergarten through college and in a variety of settings, both urban and suburban. enthusiasm. They have allowed many teachers to make shifts in their practice creating positive impacts for their students. Gravity is co- author of the book, Conferring With Readers: Supporting Each Student’s Growth and Independence (Heinemann). These books show Gravity’s commitment to creating learning environments that are responsive and supportive of students, teachers and leaders alike.
Dr. Goldberg studied at Boston College and Teachers College, Columbia University, pursuing a doctorate in education in Curriculum and Teaching. Her focus on educational policy, school reform, and literacy education still guide her work to this day. She is certified in Elementary Education, Special Education, and as a Reading Specialist (K- 12).
Gravity is a certified yoga teacher which allows her to bring elements of yoga to students and teachers, helping them find balance and focus in their work and lives. Gravity taught in inclusive elementary classrooms, self-contained special education settings, and worked as a reading specialist for pre-K – grade 12. For four years she worked at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, directed by Lucy Calkins, as a staff developer in classrooms across the country. She led workshops, modeled lessons, and created curricula. In addition, she ran a series of workshops for special educators, led literacy coaching courses, and served as a faculty member at the renowned summer institutes.
Amanda Hargreaves is the 2021 South Dakota Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches 6th grade Science and English at Mitchell Middle School. Amanda builds strong relationships with her students and works to provide a safe space for her students to learn and grow: academically, socially, and emotionally. She has been teaching for 11 years: six years in elementary, five years in middle school.
Ben works as a class teacher and Computing and Digital Learning lead in the North East of England. He has developed a definite interest in the ways in which technology can be used to enhance, engage and inspire teaching and learning and in 2019 gained the privilege of becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator. He strives on being a part of a community of like-minded people, which has become a catalyst for much of what he does now: actively seeking out ways in which he can represent this in his own practice.
Jeffery has been an educator for 25 years. He has served as a classroom teacher, an instructional technology coach, an adjunct professor of education, and a Google in Education Trainer and Innovator. In this time he has continued to be an advocate for all students, especially those traditionally underserved by the U.S. educational institution. He sees relationships as the core of education and strives to show all educators meaningful ways to incorporate technology into their curriculum to amplify student learning while not losing sight of the importance of seeing each student as a unique and important member of a classroom or school.
Lisa Highfill describes herself as a thinker, philosopher, debater, and geek. She was a classroom teacher for over twenty years, and is currently Pleasanton Unified School District’s Technology Integration coach. Lisa is the co-creator and co-author of The HyperDoc Handbook and Teachers Give Teachers.
Andrew Jackson is a fourth-grade teacher at Eden Elementary in Pell City, Alabama, with special education and general education experience. As a first-year teacher, he taught a student with special needs whom he would later adopt. The student’s situation served as a catalyst that would spark Jackson’s passion for foster care, mental health advocacy, and special education.
Jackson currently serves on the Counseling and Mental Health Advisory Committee for Pell City Schools. Previously, he served on the Jefferson County Court-Appointed Special Advocates Board of Directors and as a member of the Heart Gallery Alabama Junior Board.
Jackson graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special, Education. He earned a Master of Science Degree from the University of North Dakota in their Special Education Strategist program. Jackson also holds a Doctor of Education Degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Behavioral Health from Grand Canyon University. In December 2018, he became a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and now serves as a candidate support provider for teachers working toward NBCT certification.
Jackson and his wife are foster parents and have adopted several children. Presently, they care for eight children with many strengths and challenges. Jackson’s children have needs ranging from Gifted and Talented to Schizoaffective Disorder and Autism. Jackson’s experiences in and out of the classroom have fueled his unwavering commitment to helping each child, regardless of their situation, grow into the person they were created to be.
Scott Jamieson has spent 17 years as a teacher and administrator in international schools primarily in the Middle East and China. He holds Masters degrees in Education, Educational Leadership, and Special Education. He is a math nerd who is passionate about sustainable development, social justice and impact-driven education. This led him to join Inspire Citizens in December 2020. Inspire Citizens is an independent educational organization working with diverse partners to reimagine schools as thriving community centers of transformative learning. With Inspire Citizens, Scott works with schools, teachers and students to view learning through the lens of Empathy to Impact and allow students to leverage transformative learning to have an impact in their local and global communities. He is also the host of the Empathy to Impact podcast that focuses on learning from a student perspective and features students who are taking ownership of their learning and having an impact in their communities. Another area of focus is Inspire Citizens Futures Media where he works with student journalists, storytellers and artists to published credible work and information, capture underrepresented stories and voices, amplify imagination and take systemic action for sustainable development and equity through themes of harmony with nature, circular economics, social justice, holistic wellness and humane technology.
Carla Jefferson (@mrsjeff2u) is the director of the Darlington County Virtual Academy. A 24 year veteran educator, Carla has been a classroom teacher, curriculum facilitator, a school and district level administrator. Before accepting the role of director for DCVA, she spent 5 years as an Instructional Technology Coordinator for DCSD. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Certified Apple Learning Specialist, Google Certified Educator/Trainer/Innovator, Remind Connected Educator and a member of the Remind Advisory Board. Carla is a bonafide techie geek who loves to support educators and share innovate ways to integrate technology into the curriculum. She currently serves as the past chairperson for the SCASA Instructional Technology Roundtable, and is a member of the ISTE Digital Equity PLN.
Alison Kriel was an Executive Head Teacher with a demonstrated history of high attainment taking her inner city schools to the 0.1% of all schools. She has a passion for change management, social justice leadership, staff and pupil wellbeing, the celebration of the teaching profession, inclusion, equity, and diversity and she enjoys supporting school leaders and schools facing demanding challenges. She advises locally and internationally supporting schools with strategic development through conscious leadership and mentors teachers and school leaders who feel pushed out by the profession but still have a passion for teaching. In May 2021 Alison launched https://aboveandbeyond.education, a one stop shop for education. It’s a platform for schools, school staff, consultants, innovators and service providers to have professional conversations, share and celebrate what they do best, connect, collaborate, support, ask for help and grow together to take collective responsibility for every school to be a great school. She is a fellow of Fellowship (FCCT) of the Chartered College of Teaching, a HundrEd Ambassador and RSA Fellow. She was awarded Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa for attainment and services to education in 2018.
“Jonathan is currently a Lead Teacher and teacher of Social Studies at Bergen County Technical High School. He is the author of “The Teaching Mirror: Lessons Learned as a First-Year Teacher,” which was published in March of 2019. Jonathan has been trained at Phillips Exeter Academy through their Exeter Humanities Institute for Humanities on how to properly conduct whole group discussions in the Harkness format. Jonathan has also written a 40-page “Guide to Harkness” that has been reviewed, edited, and approved by Phillips Exeter Academy’s faculty; this guide has been used by hundreds of teachers internationally. Jonathan has also conducted a study to investigate how the Harkness method influences equity in the classroom.”
“Valerie is an administrator whose belief is that critical learning possibilities should be activated NOW in order to prepare students for skills that will make them future ready. This will enable them to compete on a global scale! Students need to lift their voice and advocate for themselves but this skill should be modeled and taught explicitly and consistently. Lessons should be personalized and student-centered and certainly not just based upon the teacher’s ideals and comforts. In this manner, cater to a variety of learning styles. Valerie is an encourager and motivator and has the mentality that the TEAM is better together.
In order to strengthen the team, she understands that learning MUST create IMPACT. The formula should always be ONE SIZE FITS…ONE! She continues on her mission to show that learning is a daring lifelong journey that ultimately…TRANSFORMS.
Christine Lion-Bailey is the Chief Strategy Officer/Founder of Ready Learner One, LLC, a company that specializes in innovative solutions for learning and training both in education and the corporate space. Christine also serves as the Director of Technology & Innovation and an Elementary Principal in Morris Plains, NJ and as a professor of instructional technology at Ramapo College of NJ. Christine sits on the Advisory Board for the Transformative Leadership Program at Pace University- Lubin School of Business. She is the co-author of Reality Bytes: Innovative Learning Using Augmented & Virtual Reality (Jan 2020) and The Esports Education Playbook: Empowering Every Learner Through Inclusive Gaming (Nov 2020). Christine is a national/international keynote and presenter on innovative solutions for learning and training.
Jesse Lubinsky is currently the Chief Learning Officer of Ready Learner One LLC and has nearly 20 years of public school experience as a teacher and administrator . He is co-author of “Reality Bytes: Innovative Learning Using Augmented and Virtual Reality” (January 2020) and “The Esports Education Playbook: Empowering Every Learner Through Inclusive Gaming” (November 2020). He is also co-host of the Partial Credit Podcast and the Ready Learner One Lounge, a virtual reality show focused on innovations in teaching and learning. He is a Google Certified Innovator & Trainer, a CoSN Certified Education Technology Leader, an Adjunct Professor of Education Technology at Pace University, a member of the Google Earth Education Experts team, and a frequent keynote speaker and presenter who has recently done educational technology presentations across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.
Tara Martin is an enthusiastic educator, speaker, and author who thrives on change and refuses to settle for the status quo. She has served as a classroom teacher, an instructional coach for several years, and most recently as a district administrator.
As the founder of #BookSnaps, the latest reading comprehension strategy currently implemented in seventeen countries, she is always seeking unique ways to make learning fun, relevant and meaningful. Tara is the author of the inspirational book, Be REAL: Educate from the Heart and Cannonball In, a motivating picture book illustrated by Genesis Kohler.
Tara firmly believes machines and artificial intelligence will never replicate an individual’s REAL identity–the unique strengths, talents and life experiences of every human. Tara’s ambition is to lead a culture of innovative change, keep social emotional learning at the heart of our work, and encourage others to Cannonball In and fulfill their true potential!
Currently, Ms. McCarthy, SEL evangelist, is President of ENVISION: Breakthroughs in Learning, a consulting firm she founded in 2000. ENVISION specializes in all areas of human relations, including group dynamics, parent-child relationships, behavioral engineering, self-regulation, quality teaching, Social-Emotional Learning for equity, trauma response, and effective leadership. Ms. McCarthy is well versed in the fields of neuro-linguistics (communications model), educational neuroscience, brain theory and personality styles.
Jake Miller is an edtech and learning enthusiast who hosts the Educational Duct Tape podcast and shares #EduGIFs at @JakeMillerTech and on JakeMiller.net. He works as a science teacher for the Orange City School District in Ohio and previously spent 5 years as a technology integration specialist and an additional 12 years in the classroom teaching math, science & STEM at various grade levels. Jake’s favorite job, however, is his full-time position as a husband and father.
Gerardo A. Muñoz is the 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year, Producer and co-host of the podcast Too Dope Teachers and a Mic, and a doctoral student at the University of Denver. He has been a middle and high school teacher for twenty-two years in Denver Public Schools, the last fifteen at the Denver Center for International Studies. He is mostly interested in classrooms that are centered by students, powered by teachers, and safe spaces for creativity and identity exploration. In this session, teachers will learn some basics of hip hop pedagogy, identity texts, creative self-expression and loving the game.
The 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Donnie teaches fifth grade Lexington, Kentucky. After graduating from Asbury College and earning his master’s from Auburn, he has been teaching since 2007. Donnie specializes in using technology to promote student inquiry, learning, and engagement. Over the past fourteen years of teaching, these interests have given him the unique chance to represent Kentucky around the world. Donnie was the recipient of a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship to Antarctica, and he also represents Kentucky on the inaugural National Geographic Education Teacher Advisory Council. He is the North American lead for the Google Earth Education Experts Network.
Donnie has been invited to keynote and present at schools in thirty-three states and on four continents. In 2017, he co-authored The Google Cardboard Book: Explore, Engage, and Educate with Virtual Reality based on virtual experiences he created for his students. The Bluegrass always calls him home, however, as he regularly leads professional development at school districts around the state. Donnie lives in Lexington with his wife and three children.
Rachelle Dené Poth is an edtech consultant, presenter, attorney, author, and teacher. Rachelle teaches Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology at Riverview High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle has a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. Rachelle is an ISTE Certified Educator and serves as the past-president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network and serves on the Leadership team of the Mobile Learning Network. At ISTE19, she received the Making IT Happen Award and has received several Presidential Gold Awards for volunteer service to education. Rachelle is the author of six books, ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU” “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World” “True Story: Lessons That One Kid Taught Us (EduMatch) and “Your World Language Classroom: Strategies for In-person and Digital Instruction.
Nicholas Provenzano is the Technology Coordinator and Makerspace Director at University Liggett School in Michigan. He is also an author, makerspace builder, international keynote speaker, and consultant. He writes on his website, TheNerdyTeacher.com, Edutopia.org, as well as many other prominent educational websites. He has been featured on CNN, Education Week, and other media outlets. He has been recognized as the Technology Teacher of the Year by MACUL and ISTE.
Nicholas is a Google Certified Innovator, ASCD Emerging Leader, Microsoft Minecraft Mentor, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Sphero Hero, Adobe Education Leader, and a TEDEd Innovative Educator. His best-selling books, Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces, The Maker Mentality, and Beyond the Poster Board can be found on Amazon. Nicholas is sharing plenty of nerdy things on Twitter and Instagram at @TheNerdyTeacher.
Dr. Natasha Rachell, a passionate educator, is an alternatively certified high school science teacher turned edtech enthusiast, currently serving as a Digital Learning Specialist in the Metro Atlanta area. Natasha has immersed herself into the instructional technology space and has earned several certifications, awards and accomplishments, some of which include: Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Google Certified Innovator (#LAX18) and Trainer, Apple Teacher, Flipgrid Ambassador, Buncee Ambassador, and Adobe Creative Educator (to name a few!).
Natasha was selected to take part in the first cohort of Our Voice Academy, a group of minority educational technology leaders from across the nation. Natasha has presented at both the local and national levels and is passionate about working with educators to remember their “”why”” and the importance of teacher self-care. Natasha is also one of the co-authors of The Microsoft Infused Classroom book and one of the co-creators of the Minecraft Good Trouble lessons.
She is ecstatic to lead the work as we transition into 21st century classrooms through blended learning opportunities, professional learning for instructional technology and digitally connected classrooms!
Kristi Reinke is a middle school social studies teacher that is inspired to enhance professional learning through giving her students classroom experiences in and out of her classroom. She is a 16 year veteran teacher (7 years in special education and 9 years in general education), with 2 years prior experience working in the school system as an education support professional (working with at-risk students). She has spent 17 of her 18 educator years at Jim Hill Middle School in Minot, ND. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Science in Education-Social Sciences/History and a Master’s Degree in Special Education-Strategist (supporting students who have learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and autism, and emotional/behavioral disabilities). Kristi is currently the 2021 North Dakota Teacher of the Year.
Susan Richardson (NBCT) fell in love with languages during her undergraduate studies at Carthage College in Kenosha. After living and teaching ESL/EFL in Germany for 8 years, she received her MA in German Language and Linguistics from UW Milwaukee while teaching at the UWM-School of Continuing Education. Richardson employs language learning strategies while immersing her students in various cultures in her current third grade classroom at Milwaukee German Immersion School.
Passionate about teaching the whole child, Richardson coordinates an Art Club and chairs her school’s transition to a green playground. Through her role as Wisconsin 2021 Teacher of Year, she promotes the cognitive and social benefits of language acquisition and its connection to cultural responsiveness. Richardson is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis on teaching future educators.
Nathalie Roy teaches Latin, Roman Technology, and Classical Myth Makers to middle school students in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her courses focus on integrating STEM and STEAM into social studies and world languages classes in which students recreate the products, processes, and stories of ancient Roman daily life through experimental archaeology and hands-on STEM/maker labs. A National Board Certified Teacher, Nathalie is currently serving as the 2021 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year.
Dan joined ViewSonic in 2019 as a PD Trainer to support schools in adoption of new technologies. Leading various rollouts for his own schools, Dan knows what it takes to get traction with new deployments and makes sure that he works closely with teachers and leaders. This ensures that any training is meaningful, hands on and always has at least one thing that teachers can implement immediately. All of this is ultimately for our students, who need us to re-think teaching and learning for the next generation.
Micah Shippee, PhD is the Chief Executive Officer of Ready Learner One LLC operating at the intersection of research and practice. As a professor of planned change and innovation, learning theory, and organizational behavior, Micah’s instruction and academic publications focus on the adoption and deployment of new technological innovations in organizations. He is an author, educator, consultant and keynote speaker that focuses on the adoption of innovation through the development of cultures that embrace change. Micah has served as a middle school teacher for over two decades and further supports the educational community in several capacities including as a Lead for the Google Earth Education Experts team, a Google Certified Innovator, and a National Geographic Educator. He is the author of two books: WanderlustEDU: An Educator’s Guide to Innovation, Change, and Adventure and co-author of Reality Bytes: Innovative Learning Using Augmented and Virtual Reality. Micah, and his colleagues at Ready Learner One, design and develop innovative approaches to training and learning which find them leading efforts for the adoption of innovation around the world.
K-2 Can, TOO is the motto of this lead learner! Susan Stewart is Google Education Innovator and Trainer. She is currently the K-12 Instructional Technology Coach for Fowler Unified School District in Central California. Within her district, Susan has facilitated the implementation of a 1:1 program using iPads, Chromebooks, and the Google Suite. She regularly works with individual and teams of teachers to promote best practices for using technology to enhance instruction, foster creativity, support and supplement content, and improve assessment. In addition to her responsibilities with Fowler Unified, Susan regularly speaks on blended learning and classroom technology at professional learning events and in school districts throughout the country.
Maureen Stover is the 2020 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year (NCTOY) and a 2021 National Teacher of the Year Finalist. Prior to her position as the NCTOY, she taught 9the and 10th grade biology, earth and environmental science, and advancement via individual determination (AVID) at Cumberland International Early College High School in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina.
Stover has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels and worked as an educational consultant for the National Science Teaching Association. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the United States Air Force Academy, Class of 1997, a Master of Arts Education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and instruction from Adams State University in Colorado, a Master of Arts in Teaching in secondary science from Western Governors University North Carolina, and a Leadership Certificate in STEM education from Teachers College Columbia University.
As an educator, Stover is dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for every student through equitable education initiatives and seeks to provide clear pathways for students to successfully enter the career or college program of their choice upon graduation from high school.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Stover served as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force. In this role, she served as a flight commander, watch officer, and executive officer. Her military experience includes directing indications and warnings for 1,000 flights over Iraq, including 25 combat strike missions with zero combat losses. She was lauded by her commander as critical to the USAF’s war on terror.
Knikole Taylor is a teacher cheerleader who is passionate about all things teaching and learning. She uses her experience as a classroom teacher and her love of technology to empower teachers and students to find innovative ways to breathe a fresh breath into their learning experiences.
Sarah Thomas, PhD is a Regional Technology Coordinator in a large district in Maryland, and the founder of EduMatch, a project that empowers educators to make global connections across common areas of interest. She has spoken and presented internationally, participated in the Technical Working Group to refresh the 2017 ISTE Standards for Educators, and is a recipient of the 2017 ISTE Making IT Happen award. She is also an Affiliate Professor at Loyola University in Maryland. Sarah is a co-author of the ISTE Digital equity series, Closing the Gap.
Paul is a 7-12 science instructor from Lyons-Decatur Northeast Public Schools in Lyons, Nebraska. He holds three teaching endorsements in Biology, Agriculture Education, and Health Sciences Education, with a B.S. in Agricultural Education and a M.S. in Entomology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Paul loves the teachable moment and brainstorming how technology can be used to produce and enhance learning opportunities, especially through collaborative efforts between school districts both within the state of Nebraska and around the world.
Mari Venturino is a middle school science teacher in San Diego, CA. She is a Google For Education Certified Trainer and Innovator, a Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2, Apple Teacher, Leading Edge Certified in Online and Blended Instruction, and a National Board Certified Teacher. Mari was awarded the CUE Outstanding Emerging Teacher of the Year and ISTE Emerging Leader awards in 2017, and is a member of the ASCD Emerging Leader Class of 2018. She was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching, and will spend spring 2022 in the Netherlands working on an inquiry research project. Mari is the editor of Fueled by Coffee and Love, a collection of real stories by real teachers. She is currently working toward her EdD at Boise State University.
Jason Webster is the Director of Education Sales for ViewSonic. A tech veteran, Jason has over 25 years’ experience in both enterprise and education sales. Jason has been with ViewSonic for over 17 years and started his career as a regional business manager before moving to education sales. Under his leadership, he has built a strong team that catapulted ViewSonic to the #2 market share position in IFP sales in the education sector. Jason holds [insert degree here] for the University of Alabama. When not providing educators with premium technology solutions, Jason enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and cycling.
Evan is speaker, certified mindset and accountability coach, author, national consultant, trainer, presenter, mental health advocate; mindfulness practitioner; proponent of Equity, Diversity and Intercultural competency and has been an educator for more than 20 years spanning three decades in private, public, and state level education, holding positions ranging from special education paraprofessional to assistant superintendent.
Evan’s 3Bs” Balance, Boundaries, and Breaks” (#BalanceBoundariesandBreaks) framework promotes a lifestyle and self -advocacy in the areas of mental health, mindset, self-care, and wellbeing.
Most recently Evan was named in the Top 50 Education Culture Builders of 2020 by Award Winning Culture, and was also featured as a Champion of Equity in the March/April 2021 issue of “Equity and Access Journal”
“It’s OK to be SELFISH about your mental health and wellness in order to be the best version of yourself so that you can be SELFLESS for others you help and serve”
Brooke Whitlow is a 15 year educator, storyteller, entrepreneur and total renegade who is constantly pushing the envelope. She talks too loud, drinks a lot of coffee, and she’s obsessed with living honestly and authentically as who she was created to be. With a background in K-12 instruction, educational technology, public relations, photography, videography, graphic design and creative marketing, Brooke has most recently created a life dedicated to building capacity and empowering others to tell a powerful story within their organization. Brooke also loves dogs, empowering women, kayaking & exploring with her family, she will never remember to change her air filter and is fiercely loyal to her beloved Peloton pals: Cody and Robin. She loves you already. Let’s create together.
For the last 20 years, Sean has worked in education as a classroom teacher, adjunct professor at the University of La Verne, and Director of Instructional Technology for several districts in Oregon and Connecticut. Sean is a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer, MicroSoft Innovative Educator, and holds an M.A. in education with specialization in language acquisition. He is also an experienced trainer/facilitator; empowering educators and inspiring the creators of tomorrow by creating learning experiences at conferences across North America and internationally including Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. Sean loves working with students directly through student summits and ongoing coaching for teachers in several school districts in the northeast.”
Jessica L. Williams is a Tech Integration Specialist and co-teacher for the IMS News class for Illing Middle School in Manchester, Connecticut. As a Google Certified Trainer, Innovator, Sphero Hero, WeVideo Ambassador, and the 2020-21 District Teacher of the Year, she has presented at numerous conferences all over the world on how to effectively roll out and integrate technology in meaningful ways. Her interests include tinkering, design thinking, video production, improv, and creating!
Jennifer Wolfe, 2021 New York State Teacher of the Year, has been teaching social studies for 24 years at Oceanside High School in Oceanside, NY. Currently she teaches Pre-AP World History, AP Human Geography, and Participation in Government. She is the first teacher in the district to earn National Board Certification. Wolfe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Earlham College in 1991, a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1996 and an honorary doctorate in 2000 from Clarkson University.
Wolfe was named the NYS Council for Social Studies HS Teacher of the Year in 2005, received Fulbright-Hays Scholarships in 2000 and 2004, and was selected for the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program in 2004. Wolfe attended the 2015 US Department of Education’s Teach to Lead Boston Summit and later hosted her own USDOE Leadership Lab at Adelphi University. She co-created the Long Island Teacher Leadership Powered by Teach to Lead Conference in 2017 bringing together educators to work with national, state, and local leaders.
From 2015-2018, Wolfe was the Improvement Lead on the Network to Transform Teaching Grant awarded to Oceanside from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. One of the grant projects was the subject of an article published in the August 2016 edition of Learning Forward’s JSD: Bridging Silos: Novices Partner with Veteran Teachers on the Path to Board Certification.
Wolfe presents at state and national conferences and is featured on TeachingChannel.org. Director of the LI National Board Network, Wolfe helps teachers achieve the profession’s highest certification. An unapologetic proponent of teacher leadership, Jen wholeheartedly believes that the challenges we face today in education can best be solved with a table full of teachers leading the way. Jen spends much of her free time making sure every elected official has, and uses, the number of an accomplished in their cell phone.
Sara Wyffels, the 2021 Arizona Teacher of the year is a Spanish teacher at Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona. Wyffels currently teaches Spanish level 2 for Chandler Online Academy. Wyffels is a national board certified teacher who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Western Washington University and her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland. Wyffels learned Spanish as a second language, which has shown her the power of human connections, adventure, and the beauty of the human spirit, which are themes integrated in her Spanish classes. Since earning her national board certification Wyffels has embarked on a journey for equity and access in her class, school, district and now the state of Arizona.