Speakers and Presenters
These are just a few of the amazing educators who will be presenting and speaking at #CCIRA2020:
In addition to writing the the recently written WRITERS READ BETTER: NONFICTION, Colleen is the author of several other titles for teachers, including THE UNSTOPPABLE WRITING TEACHER, INDEPENDENT WRITING and A QUICK GUIDE TO REACHING STRUGGLING WRITERS, as well as the author of the young adult novel BORDER CROSSING, a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Finalist. Colleen was a classroom teacher in general education and inclusive settings before joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project where she is Director of Innovation. She is currently support schools, teachers and their students nationally and internationally as a literacy consultant.
John Schu has built a career out of advocating for the people and things he cares about most: kids, books, and the libraries — and librarians! — that connect them. He was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for his dynamic interactions with students and his passionate adoption of new technologies as a means of connecting authors, illustrators, books, and readers. He has served on numerous American Library Association committees, including the Newbery Award selection committee; inspired a new generation of librarians as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University; and shared his love of reading with countless educators and students as the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs.
Katie Keier has been a classroom teacher and literacy specialist in grades K-8 for twenty-seven years. She is currently a kindergarten teacher in an urban, Title I school. Katie has a Literacy Specialist certificate, a master’s degree in Literacy Studies and is Reading Recovery trained. She is the co-author of Catching Readers Before They Fall: Supporting Readers Who Struggle, K-4 and writes the Catching Readers blog. She has participated in Literacy Collaborative and is trained in Leveled Literacy Intervention.
Katie participated in the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program for five years. Katie is an adjunct faculty member for American University in Washington, DC, and conducts staff development workshops as well as presents at national conferences. When she is not playing with her kindergarteners, Katie enjoys running on the trails in the mountains of Virginia.
Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of seven young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and Superman: Dawnbreaker) and five picture books (including Love and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. In 2019 Matt was given an honorary doctorate from UOP. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits schools and colleges throughout the country.
Liz Prather teaches writing at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky. She holds an MFA from the University of Texas-Austin and is the author of Project-Based Writing: Teaching Students to Manage Time and Clarify Purpose (Heinemann 2017) and the forthcoming Story Matters: Teaching Teens the Tools of Narrative to Argue and Inform (Heinemann 2019).
Meenoo Rami, author of Thrive, is a national board certified teacher who taught students English in Philadelphia for ten years, at the Science Leadership Academy and in other public schools in the city. The founder of #engchat, an international Twitter chat for English teachers, Meenoo is a teacher-consultant for the National Writing Project and an instructor in Arcadia University’s Connected Learning Certificate Program. Meenoo has also served as a teaching fellow with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led the portfolio to help teachers refine their practice through collaboration. Currently, Meenoo works as Manager for Minecraft Education at Microsoft where she helps educators, districts, and organizations reimagine game-based learning for classroom practice.
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, technology facilitator, and 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 and his upcoming book, Innovate Inside the Box. 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 a leader in the area of innovation, yet his focus is always on 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 modeled in his writing and speaking. You can connect with George on his blog, The Principal of Change (georgecouros.ca) or through Twitter @gcouros.
Author/astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett is best-known to teachers as the author of six books for elementary and middle-school children that were selected as the first books ever to be read from space by astronauts for the Story Time From Space program (StoryTimeFromSpace.com), but he is also the lead author of best-selling college textbooks in four subjects (astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics) and of critically acclaimed books for the general public on topics including science teaching, the role of math in our everyday lives, Einstein’s theory of relativity, the search for extraterrestrial life, and global warming.
His writing has been recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics. Among other endeavors, Dr. Bennett has served as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters; he proposed and co-led development of both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System at CU-Boulder and the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC; and he created the free Totality app to help educators and the public prepare for and understand upcoming total solar eclipses. Learn more at his personal web site, www.jeffreybennett.com.
Jan Richardson, Ph.D., often called America’s leading expert in guided reading, is a former teacher (K-college), reading specialist, Reading Recovery® teacher leader, and designer of staff development. She is currently an author and education consultant, providing school districts with customized professional development workshops and classroom demonstrations. Dr. Richardson’s best-selling Next Step Collection includes The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading, The Guided Reading Teacher’s Companion, Next Step Guided Reading in Action, Next Step Guided Reading Assessment, Next Step Forward in Reading Intervention, and her newest book, Next Step in Word Study and Phonics, co-authored with Michele Dufresne. Together with Michele Dufresne of Pioneer Valley Books, Dr. Richardson developed Literacy Footprints: A Complete System for Supporting Guided Reading, which has lesson cards that follow her Next Step framework. With electrifying wit and wisdom, Jan leaves audiences, informed, motivated, and inspired.
After graduating from Bucknell University, Clare moved to Boston, MA to pursue her MA in Child Development at Tufts University. During this time, she also taught at the Lab School at Eliot-Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University. After teaching for some years, she became a project manager and consultant for Tufts University’s Center for Applied Child Development where she spent four years helping urban, suburban, and rural schools implement research-based literacy instruction through reading and writing workshops. In 2003, Clare joined Wayland Public Schools as the co-director of curriculum for English Language Arts for Wayland Public Elementary Schools. She then co-founded a private staff development business, Teachers for Teachers. Clare worked with various school systems to implement best practices in the field of literacy and to engage in institutional change through shared leadership. This work will continue under her LLC, as well as, speaking at state and national conferences, and presenting workshops with schools around the country.
Bryan Collier grew up in Pocomoke, Maryland, on the lower Eastern Shore of the state, the youngest of six children. His interest in art started early. "At home and at school, I was encouraged to read. I remember the first books with pictures that I read by myself were The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I liked the stories, but I really liked the pictures." As a teenager he began to paint the world around him - the bay, ducks, water, and marshland.
His interest in art was always encouraged both at home and at school. He began to develop a unique style of painting that incorporated both watercolors and collage. He is a beloved illustrator known for his unique style combining watercolor and detailed collage. He is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient for Trombone Shorty, Dave the Potter, Martin’s Big Words, and Rosa. His books have won many other awards as well, including six Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards. His recent books include By and By, Thurgood, The Five O’Clock Band, and Between the Lines. He lives in New York with his family. Photograph © Filip Wolak
Donalyn Miller is an award-winning teacher, author, and staff development leader who has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade language arts and social studies in the Fort Worth, Texas area. Her teaching awards include TCTELA’s Elementary Language Arts Teacher of the Year (2011), Keller ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year (2010), ESC Region XI Teacher of the Year (2010), TEA State Finalist Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year (2010), Trinity Meadows Intermediate School Teacher of the Year (2010), and Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Region XI Rising Star Teacher (2008). In 2018, Donalyn was awarded TCTELA’s Edmund J. Farrell Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the language arts teaching profession.
A.J. Juliani is a lucky husband and father to four amazing kids. He currently works as the Director of Learning and Innovation at Centennial School District (PA), and he is Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PLN). He previously worked as an Education and Technology Innovation Specialist at Upper Perkiomen School District, as well as a K-12 Technology Staff Developer overseeing a 1:1 initiative, a middle school ELA teachers, and a high school English teacher (as well as a football and lacrosse coach).
More importantly, A.J. is someone who truly believes in the “inquiry-driven” education movement. He has four kids of his own, and he wants them to grow up in a world that values their ideas. A.J.’s blog and site serve as a place where he can share ideas and thoughts around “Intentional Innovation” and the future of learning.
Stephanie Harvey has spent her career teaching and learning about reading and writing. After fifteen years of public school teaching, both in regular education and special education classrooms, Stephanie worked for twelve years as a staff developer for the Denver based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), a partnership of leaders from education and business, who support innovation in public schools.
Insatiably curious about student thinking, she is a teacher first and foremost and currently serves as a private literacy consultant to schools and school districts. In that role, she conducts keynote speeches, presentations, workshops, demonstration lessons, coaching sessions and ongoing consultation to teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, principals and district administrators. With a focus on K-12 literacy, her specialties include comprehension instruction, inquiry-based learning, content area reading and writing, nonfiction literacy, and the role of passion, wonder and engagement in teaching and learning.
Gail Boushey is the co-founder of The 2 Sisters Company/Educational Design LLC and the co-author of the best-selling books The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades; and The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literacy Assessment & Instruction; more than a dozen professional development DVDs; and many articles available on The Daily Cafe website.
Allison first discovered her love for teaching when as a high school student she worked as a dance instructor for young children. During the last 18 years, she has taught everything from preschool through college, working as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and professor of education. A true lifelong learner, Allison has a Masters in Reading and Literacy and is currently working on her dissertation, the final step in completing her doctorate in teacher leadership.