Todd Whitaker

Professor – Indiana State University

Dr. Todd Whitaker has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. Todd is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, and he has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals.

Twitter Handle:  @ToddWhitaker


What Great Educators Do Differently

What are the specific qualities and practices of great educators that elevate them above the rest? This session reveals what the most effective teachers and administrators do differently than their colleagues.  Participants will focus on what the most successful educators do . . . that others do not. Everyone will leave knowing what great educators do differently, why these things make them more effective, and learn how to immediately implement each of these into your own classrooms and schools.

Jeff Zoul

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning – Deerfield Public Schools

Dr. Jeffrey Zoul is a lifelong teacher, learner, and leader, currently serving as Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with Deerfield Public Schools District 109 in Deerfield, Illinois. Prior to working in this capacity, Jeff served as a district administrator in Rock Island, Illinois, and a school improvement specialist with Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit school improvement network. Jeff also served as a principal with Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Georgia, and with North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, Illinois. Jeff is the author and co-author of many books, including Improving Your School One Week at a Time and What Connected Educators Do Differently.

Twitter Handle:  @jeff_zoul


Great Educators Lead the Way (with Jimmy Casas)

This session will focus on leadership–regardless of your role in education. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, coach, or secretary, if you serve students in any capacity, you are a leader. We will share a framework for exemplary leadership, exploring essential leadership practices and how to live these behaviors on a regular basis. We will discuss key aspects of school climate and school culture and identify ways to create a community of leaders. You will learn not only why this matters, but also how you can enhance your leadership skills.

Jimmy Casas

Leadership Coach, Author, Speaker

Jimmy recently completed his 22nd year in educational leadership, the last fourteen years as principal of Bettendorf High School in Iowa.

Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year.   In 2014, Jimmy was invited to the White House to speak on the Future Ready Schools pledge. He is the Co-Founder of EdCampIowa and also the Co-Founder of #IAedchat, an on-line discussion chat that takes place every Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. CST.  Jimmy is the co-author of two popular educational books with Todd Whitaker and Jeff Zoul entitled, “What Connected Educators Do Differently,” and “Start. Right. Now.  Teach and Lead for Excellence”

Jimmy currently serves as a Senior Fellow for the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and also serves as an adjunct professor for Drake University, teaching a graduate course on Educational Leadership.

Twitter Handle:  @casas_jimmy


Great Educators Teach and Lead for Excellence

Have we reached the point where we are content with the status quo?  What does organizational average mean for our kids, for our schools, and ultimately for our school communities? This begs the more important question we should always ask when we are confronted by the status quo.  What are we doing about it?  As educators it is our responsibility to not allow average to become our standard, but the idea of challenging the status quo can seem daunting, overwhelming to many.  In this session, teachers and administrators will learn how to move beyond the status quo and re-define the purpose of the work you do so you will aspire for nothing short of excellence.

LaVonna Roth

Learning Specialist, Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Self. Heart. Inspire. Navigate. Exceptional.
These are the words that capture the path LaVonna Roth uses in challenging others to find out how they can 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 by helping every individual realize the value they bring. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching, as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. LaVonna taught at the elementary and secondary school levels and is the author of 8 books. She has presented in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East on increasing engagement, the fun factor in learning and fostering the S.H.I.N.E. that every person possesses.  She is the 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.

Twitter Handle: @LaVonnaRoth


Great Educators Ignite the S.H.I.N.E. in All They Do

This is a FUNshop where all will experience PD like never before! Motivating, involved and focused on how EVERY child is gifted and talented in their own way, as is every individual in a school. This experience is all about our obligation in finding, fostering and flourishing that gift so students have pride and a mindset that believes in their ability and future. No student fits into a box of reading, writing, math and science.  They are more than that! They are a whole child. Thus, we focus on Self, Heart (passion), how to Inspire and Navigate our journey to create the Exceptional people our students are meant to be. So how do we meet the demands of school and testing, while meeting the needs of these students? By taking a good look at how each student learns and the gifts they bring to the table. In this FUNshop, be ready to be inspired, leave with an action plan, and the desire to truly watch every child succeed!  But, wait! There’s more. I’m also talking about the staff in your school. We ALL count! So, get ready for a SHINETASTIC culture shift as you experience a great time of celebrating you and those you teach!

Pernille Ripp

Teacher and Author – Oregon, WI Middle School

Pernille Ripp is a teacher, speaker, author, blogger, and passionate advocate for education. She is a Skype Master Teacher; Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert; recipient of the 2015 WEMTA Making IT Happen Award; and the 2015 ISTE Award for Innovation in Global Collaboration. In 2010, Pernille founded The Global Read Aloud, a global literacy initiative that began with a simple goal in mind: one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to connect more than 1,000,000 students in 60 different countries.

She is the author of Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students, now in its second edition, and Empowered Schools, Empowered Students, both focusing on creating learning spaces and communities where students thrive and all stakeholders are empowered and passionate about learning. Her work has also been featured by many print and online journals including Edutopia, School Library Journal, The Guardian, and MiddleWeb.

You can follow Pernille’s work on Blogging Through The Fourth Dimension, her personal blog and a frequent Teach100 top rated education blog. With her mentoring, her own students blogs’ have had more than 600,000 unique views since they began.

Twitter Handle:  @pernilleripp


Great Educators Create Passionate Learning Environments

Would you want to be a student in your own classroom? In this session, based on the book Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students, 7th grade teacher Pernille Ripp will help both novice and seasoned teachers create a positive, interactive learning environment where students drive their own academic achievement. You’ll discover how to make fundamental changes to your classroom so learning becomes an exciting challenge rather than a frustrating ordeal. Attendees will discover practical strategies for how to build a working relationship with your students based on mutual trust, respect, and appreciation, be attentive to your students’ needs and share ownership of the classroom with them, and break out of the vicious cycle of punishment and reward to control student behaviour.  Whether you are just beginning or well on your way in your teaching career, this session is meant to inspire you, help you take some risks, and eagerly pursue your journey toward a classroom filled with passionate learners.

Great Educators Help Students Fall in Love with Reading

We have the books to help us teach reading but how do we create passionate reading environments? In this session, attendees will discover all the extra things we can implement in our classrooms as we help students become more passionate about books and reading.  We will explore how to build meaningful classroom libraries, how to foster a better student reading identity, as well as how to include picture books in our instruction as a means to teach complex reading and writing skills.  Attendees will leave with a plethora of new strategies, tips and tricks to infuse more passion into their literacy classroom.

Joe Sanfelippo

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI. The Fall Creek School District was named 1 of 10 Innovative Districts in 2016 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, a MS in Educational Psychology, a MS in Educational Leadership, and a PhD in Leadership, Learning, and Service.  He is also an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Viterbo University. Joe has taught Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, 5th Grade and was also a school counselor and high school coach prior to taking on an elementary principal position in 2005.  He co-hosts the Successful Schools Podcast and co-authored The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age, and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love.  Joe was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader in 2016 by the US Department of Education. Go Crickets!!

Twitter handle @joesanfelippofc


Great Educators Lead the Learning

Ever feel like you arrive at school, go through the day, and wonder if anything actually got done? The day-to-day operations tend to impede our opportunity for administrators to grow and learn in their position. The administrator in a school is responsible for leading a learning organization. If we are going to lead the learning in schools we need to find a way to do it together. Too often administrators are left on an island because they are the only person in the building with a particular role. This session provides a roadmap for taking ownership of your learning, while still leading the work done at the building level.

Great Educators Tell Their School’s Story

When is the last time something amazing happened in your school?  How many people knew about it?  The work done in schools all across the globe is spectacular.  Kids gather…learn…leave…and make the world we live in a better place.  So…amazing things happen all the time.  Telling the story of schools helps create a narrative that builds culture and gives everyone in your community an identity.  Utilizing social media and being the chief storyteller in your district is a great way to celebrate the success of students with parents and the community. FIND YOUR AUDIENCE…BUILD YOUR BRAND…CELEBRATE KIDS!!

Tom Murray

Tom Murray serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, located in Washington, DC. He has testified before the United States Congress and works alongside that body and the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered, personalized learning while helping to lead Future Ready and Digital Learning Day. Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named one of “20 to Watch” by NSBA, and the 2015 “Education Policy Person of the Year” by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Connect with him online at

Twitter Handle: @thomascmurray


Great Educators are School Innovators

When we analyze today’s classrooms, we see dramatic differences and gaps in innovation. Side-by-side images of classrooms from 1916 and 2016 yield eerie similarities in many schools today, even with the 100-year difference. Some schools are creating dynamic cultures of innovation, while others still resemble those from the industrial area. Why this dichotomy? How are today’s innovators different and what qualities make their schools stand out? Future Ready’s Thomas C. Murray will share key factors in how districts are creating cultures of innovation that empower both teachers and students. Tom will also share a variety of districts and leaders who have gained national attention for creating unique learning experiences for students, who are working to overcome obstacles against all odds, and how all districts can create cultures of innovation inside their schools.

Sanée Bell

Dr. Sanée Bell is the principal of Morton Ranch Junior High in Katy, Texas. She has also served as an elementary principal and was recognized as the 2015 Katy ISD Elementary Principal of the Year. Sanee has served as an administrator since 2005. During Sanée’s tenure as a teacher, she taught English and coached basketball at the middle and high school level. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Sanee is passionate about authentic, purposeful learning for students and teachers, and she also has a strong passion for leadership and its impact on teacher engagement, student learning and school culture.  Sanée recognizes her impact as a leader and uses her role to inspire, motivate, and empower others. Sanée has presented at local, state and national conferences, and has written publications and several guest blog posts focused on leadership and its impact on students and teachers. Sanée shares her thoughts on leadership on her blog and via

Twitter Handle: @SaneeBell


Great Educators Transform Lives

In order to successfully meet the challenging demands facing public school educators, schools are in need of teachers and principals who are intentional about transforming the public school experience for students. This session will focus on how educators can make a significant impact in their classrooms and schools through influence, relationships, inspiration, and empowerment.

Great Educators Challenge the Status Quo

The decisions that we make today about public education will significantly impact the future. Great educators understand that the disruption of the status quo is a necessary gateway to innovation. The narrative of public education can only be written by those who are dedicated to challenging the “system” by being the change they want to see. This session will focus on how educators can use their voice to purposely disrupt themselves and challenge others to grow.

George Couros

George Couros is a leading educator in the area of innovative leadership, teaching, and learning. He has worked with all levels of school–from K-12 as a teacher and technology facilitator, school and district administrator, and is the author of the book “The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity”. He is a sought after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement and has worked with schools and organizations around the globe. George is also the creator of Connected, an initiative that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students.  

Although George is a leader in the area of innovation, his focus is always the development of leadership and people and what is best for learners. His belief that, meaningful change happens when you first connect to people’s hearts, is modelled in his writing and speaking. You can connect with George on his blog, “The Principal of Change.”
Twitter Handle: @gcouros


Great Educators Adopt an Innovator’s Mindset

Carol Dweck’s work has focused on the ideas of “fixed” and “growth” mindset, yet educators will need to go a step further with these notions to create the learning opportunities and that our students and schools deserve. We need to focus not only what we know, but what we do with what we know. In this talk, George will discuss the idea and characteristics of “The Innovator’s Mindset” (as discussed in the book of the same title), and share powerful examples on why this is so crucial for all educators. George’s presentations are known to be emotional, humorous, all while pushing your thinking, and will definitely connect to your heart first, in a way that will last with you long after this keynote.

Great Educators Shape their Digital Footprint

We all have a digital footprint, as do our schools and organizations. “Googling” ourselves makes this apparent whether we have had any say in it or not. As individuals and as organizations, what can we do to actually shape this footprint? With open sharing of our learning, a digital footprint can easily be developed for either an individual, school or organization.  This is not about branding as much as it is about modelling for our students that we are learners along with them.

Great Educators Create Blended Learning Environments

An online component should not be “blended”, but the norm in our classrooms. In our world that is extremely connected and digital, learning to create different opportunities to use online resources is extremely helpful for creating innovative learning environments that really tap into and create a true learning community.  In this session, ideas will be shared to build upon for your own classrooms using different online mediums that are “real world” for our students.

Ken Williams

Kenneth C. Williams shares his experience and expertise as a recognized trainer, speaker, coach, and consultant in education and leadership. He is the chief visionary officer of Unfold the Soul, a company dedicated to helping schools live their posters. Skilled in joining the why of our work to the how of our work, known for his powerful and engaging combination of ‘heart, humor, and hammer,’ Ken is an expert at helping schools build capacity in the collective commitments required of learning for all cultures. He is a distinguished teacher, mentor, public speaker, and school leader. Ken is the author of two books. His latest offering is with Tom Hierck entitled Starting a Movement: Building Culture from the Inside-Out in Professional Learning Communities.


Great Educators Build Culture from the Inside Out

A common challenge for schools is figuring out how to transition from a culture of compliance to a culture of commitment, from ‘learning for some’ to ‘learning for ALL.’  These gaps are bridged in a Culture of Collective Responsibility.  Ken Williams engages teachers, principals, and superintendents in experiential best practices that help schools and districts make a culture of learning for all both their primary lens and guiding North Star.

Kayla Delzer

Kayla Delzer is a 3rd grade teacher and technology champion in North Dakota. She is a columnist for Edsurge and blogger for Edutopia, where she writes about a variety of edtech and design topics. She is also the creator of her blog, Top Dog Teaching. She has nine years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently in the process of becoming National Board Certified, the highest mark of professional accomplishment. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners. Kayla frequently travels around the United States as a featured and keynote speaker, and she is proud to be an international speaker with Best Keynote coalition. Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is highly sought after by educational and technology companies to preview and review their products. Kayla sits on several advisory boards of educational companies, and works closely with Remind, Go Ennounce, GoNoodle, Amazon Education, Seesaw, and Creative Teaching Press to name a few. She was also recently selected as North Dakota’s Lead Digital Innovator by PBS. She is authoring her first book for educators based on best 21st century teaching practices for digital natives, due to be published in December 2016.

Twitter Handle: @TopDogTeaching


Great Educators Redesign Their Classroom Environments

Why do some classrooms look the same now as they did 70 years ago? The world is changing, yet our classrooms are remaining much the same. Revitalizing space is a straightforward way to let students exercise choice in the learning environment and find academic success on their own terms. In this passionate workshop, third grade teacher Kayla Delzer speaks about her mission to revitalize learning and redesign her classroom environment using flexible seating and student-centered methods. Kayla explains how to release the power in the classroom by giving students ownership of their learning and making it relevant to them through student voice and choice.   Leave this session with some easy to implement ideas about how to turn your classroom into a flexible seating, student led “Starbucks for Kids” learning space.

Great Educators Embrace Purposeful Technology

Technology can give even the quietest students a voice and a chance to shine. This workshop will target several of my favorite classroom-tested apps and tools that allow students to demonstrate what they have learned using essential skills like creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and perseverance. The tools of today give all students a common language to speak and when used the right way, can transform your classroom. Come embrace purposeful technology that will bring your classrooms and schools to a new level of innovation.

Alice Keeler

Alice Keeler holds a Masters in Educational Media Design and Technology and is a Google Certified Teacher, New Media Consortium K12 Ambassador, Microsoft Innovative Educator and LEC Admin & Online and Blended certified educator. She is  Co-Author of the books 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom and 50 Things To Go Further With Google Classroom, A Student-Centered Approach both of which continue to be top sellers on Amazon in the Computers and Technology Education section.

She taught high school math for 14 years and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology at California State University, Fresno. Alice Keeler has developed and taught online K12 courses, as well as the course for Innovative Educator Advanced Studies Certification ( She has participated on collaborative teams for Google working on projects such as YouTube teachers and Google Play for Education. She has served on the New Media Consortium Horizon report advisory panel for 2013, 2014, and 2015 ( and has been a lesson developer for Bing in the classroom.

As a believer in the importance of connectivity she founded #coffeeEDU ( and #profchat, two powerful communities for educators to collaborate and share innovative new ideas.  She is passionate about reaching all students and using technology to change the way we approach learning and grading. Alice blogs at

Twitter Handle: @alicekeeler


Great Educators are Student-Centered

Let’s not use new tools in old ways! Technology allows us to rethink how the classroom functions. The person doing the work is the person doing the learning. Help students to have a voice and a choice in their learning. This session goes over strategies for how to shift from a traditional classroom to a student centered classroom.

Great Educators Provide Meaningful Feedback

The faster the feedback the more motivated students are. Research shows that high quality feedback is one of the best things we can do to improve learning for students. Go beyond simply giving a grade and help students to be excited about learning. Google Classroom uniquely allows you to provide faster feedback and build deeper relationships with students.

Great Educators use Google Classroom to Transform Teaching and Learning

Collaboration is a top 21st century skill. G Suite and Google Apps are designed around collaboration. This session will cover tips for having students collaborate along with templates and take aways.