Join the conversation as today’s top education leaders and practitioners share their strategies and best practices.
Dr. Pedro Noguera
Author, Education Influencer and Dean of Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California
Dr. Pedro A. Noguera is the Dean of the Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California. Prior to this role, he was the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Faculty Director for the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. He is a critically acclaimed scholar, a dynamic speaker and a committed activist. His work focuses on a broad range of issues related to education, social justice and public policy. He is the author of several best-selling books and is a highly sought-after public speaker and international consultant.
Session: Literacy for All: Understanding and Responding to Racial Injustice in Education
Dr. Doug Fisher
Author and Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University
Dr. Fisher is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College having been an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit, an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design as well as books, such as Visible Learning for Literacy, Building Equity, and Assessment-capable Learners.
Session Title: All Learning Is Social and Emotional: Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for Learning Remotely
Co-owner of Out of Africa Entertainment and Co-founder of nonprofit Africa Rising
Kweku Mandela is the grandson of the former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela. He is the co-owner of Out of Africa Entertainment, a leading TV and film production company in Africa. In 2009, he co-founded the non-profit Africa Rising with Ndaba Mandela. Africa Rising seeks to contribute to the development of the African continent, and to change the perception of Africa by the global community through publications, film, media and social interaction. Kweku attended the APA International Film School in Sydney, Australia. Kweku was born in Transkei, South Africa, and grew up in the US, only to return to his homeland in 1993.
Session Title: A Conversation with Kweku Mandela
Dr. Bill Daggett
Founder and Chairman, Successful Practices Network
Dr. Bill Daggett is a nationally acclaimed author, presenter, thought leader, and adviser to educators and their stakeholders in planning and implementing systemic school change. He has collaborated with educational ministries in several countries, served and consulted for such organizations as the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Governors Association (NGA), USA Today, the U.S. Department of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and district- and state-level administrators in every state.
Session Title: Looking Forward: How Literacy Instructional Delivery is Going to Change
Dr. Gholdy Muhammad
Best-Selling Author and Associate Professor at Georgia State University
Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is a transformative leader in culturally responsive education. She strives to shape the national conversation for educating youth who have been underserved. She works with teachers and young people across the United States and South Africa in best practices in culturally responsive instruction. Her book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy, was released in 2020 and topped the charts as the Number One Release in Language Arts. Dr. Muhammad is currently an associate professor of Language and Literacy at Georgia State University. Additionally, she serves as the director of the Urban Literacy Collaborative and Clinic.
Session Title: Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy
America’s Favorite Rapping Teacher and Consultant
Teaching phenom and educational activist, Dwayne Reed, has been crisscrossing the globe, promoting his message of love and equity in education. After seeing viral success with the release of his educational music video, “Welcome to the 4th Grade,” and appearing on Good Morning America, CNN, and MTV’s TRL, Reed has been on a mission to convince the world that relationships mean everything in education, and that every child, no matter their race or social status, deserves a fair chance at a quality education. Mr. Reed spends his free time writing educational songs, playing basketball, and ‘chillin’ in his neighborhood,’ on the Westside of Chicago.
Session Title: Relationships Matter
Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson
Leader in differentiated instruction and Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia
Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, a renowned leader in education, works nationwide and internationally with educators who seek to create classrooms that are more effective with academically diverse student populations. Prior to joining the faculty at UVA, she was a public school teacher for 21 years, earning recognition as Virginia’s Teacher of the Year. In 2019, Dr. Tomlinson was ranked #8 in the Education Week Rankings for “University-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about schools and schooling.” She is the author of over 300 books, articles and other publications including: How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms.
Session Title: Teachin in Two Worlds: Strategies for Attending to Students’ Differences in a Remote Learning Environment
Dr. Salome Thomas-EL
Noted author, speaker and Head of School at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, DE
Dr. Salome Thomas-El is the Head of School at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington, DE, a high-poverty K-8 school where graduates excel and go on to attend the best high schools in Delaware. They have received the State Academic Achievement Award and Super Stars in Education Award. Principal EL, the highly-praised author of I Choose to Stay and The Immortality of Influence, has been an educator since 1987 where he received national acclaim. Thomas-EL received the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s distinguished Martin Luther King Award.
Session Title: Passionate Leadership in a Changing World: Addressing Equity, Social Justice and Culture
President, Successful Practices Network/National Dropout Prevention Center
Mr. Raymond J. McNulty has been an educator since 1973, as a teacher, principal, and superintendent, as well as Vermont’s education commissioner. In addition to serving as President of SPN and NDPC, Mr. McNulty is a senior fellow to the International Center for Leadership in Education. He also was a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he worked on improving the nation’s high schools. Mr. McNulty is past president of ASCD and author of It’s Not Us Against Them — Creating the Schools We Need. He is committed to raising performance standards and building solid connections between schools and communities.
Session Title: Creating a Systemwide Culture of Literacy (with Dr. Sue Szachowicz)
Dr. Sue Szachowicz
Senior Fellow and Educational Consultant, Successful Practices Network
Currently, a Senior Fellow with Successful Practices Network, served Brockton High School, a comprehensive urban high school for her entire career and is Brockton High’s greatest cheerleader. In 1999, she was appointed the Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction and in that capacity directed the school’s literacy initiatives to improve student achievement. She became Brockton High’s principal in 2004. She has served on many state commissions on education reform particularly regarding the Massachusetts assessment program. Her leadership at Brockton High was committed to “high expectations, high standards – no excuses.” She has taught graduate courses in history and education at Bridgewater State College and the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Session Title: Creating a Systemwide Culture of Literacy (with Ray McNulty)
Author and Education Consultant
Bernadette Lambert is the author of Moving Beyond Quadrant A: Developing Rigor, Relevance, and Learner Engagement in Your Classroom. As a literacy strategist, she works with schools and districts to share and model practical tactics to engage learners. Bernadette taught middle school and worked as a district and site-based literacy coach in Georgia. When she is not traveling to schools, she enjoys writing prose, plays, and poems for children.
Session Title: Writing Rubrics That Drive Instruction When You’re There (And When You’re Not)
Director of Professional Service, Successful Practices Network
John Gailer is the Director of Professional Services for Successful Practices Network. In this role, he designs and delivers professional learning experiences that impact educators, administrators, and youth practitioners nationwide. has more than 30 years of experience in the field of youth development in the contexts of at-risk and third-culture youth. He has extensive experience in higher education leadership, classroom instruction, and nonprofit administration. He is a Certified Trauma Practitioner for Education, a Certified Social Emotional Intelligence Coach, and a John Maxwell Certified Teacher, Trainer and Coach. John has presented and conducted leadership, teambuilding, and educational workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Session Title: Trauma-Skilled Literacy: What’s the Connection?