Working alongside and encouraging people to achieve their goals - by truly making a difference in the lives of learners - has led to Anne Davies’ distinguished and internationally-recognized career in Education Leadership and Assessment.

With extensive classroom and consultation experience with education leaders, Anne uses her depth of knowledge and innovative mindset to help educators realize their own potential for positive impact in the classroom, and beyond.

Anne is the author and co-author of more than 30 books and multimedia resources, including the best seller, Making Classroom Assessment Work, now in its fourth edition. She has also published an abundance of chapters and articles, garnering high-profile accolades including the Hilroy Fellowship for outstanding innovation in education and a nomination for the Canadian Education Association’s Whitworth Research Award.

An experienced keynote speaker, Anne has also headed a variety of research projects and was proud to be named Canada’s Team Lead at the International Assessment Symposium in Fredericton, NB (2014). Her work has helped to shape provincial and national educational policy changes and she continues to be a highly sought-after resource for both government and private-sector educational institutions.


Doug Fisher is a Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer Award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for excellence in teacher education.

Doug Fisher has been the lead author on numerous books including The Distance Learning Playbook, The Teacher Clarity Playbook, Becoming an Assessment Capable Visible Learner, Visible Learning for Literacy, Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, and many others. In addition, Doug has published numerous articles on improving student achievement, reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design. He is a board member of the International Reading Association and a past board member of the Literacy Research Association


Thomas R. Guskey, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky where he served as Department Chair, Head of the Educational Psychology Area Committee, and President of the Faculty Council. He has been a Visiting Professor at ten other universities in the U.S. and a Visiting Scholar at universities in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. He began his career in education as a middle school teacher and earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago under the direction of Professor Benjamin S. Bloom. He served as an administrator in Chicago Public Schools before becoming the first director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national research center.

Dr. Guskey is the author/editor of 25 award-winning books and more than 250 book chapters, articles, and professional papers on educational measurement, evaluation, assessment, grading, and professional learning. His articles have appeared in prominent research journals including the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Researcher, and Review of Educational Research, as well as practitioner publications such as Education Week, Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, The Learning Professional, and School Administrator. He served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, on the task force to develop the National Standards for Professional Development, has been featured on the National Public Radio programs Talk of the Nation and Morning Edition.

Dr. Guskey’s work is dedicated to helping teachers and school leaders use quality educational research to help all of their students learn well and gain the many valuable benefits of that success. To learn more about Dr. Guskey’s work, visit http://tguskey.com


An unparalleled depth of experience, in a range of education systems, provides Sandra Herbst with a uniquely qualified viewpoint on leadership and pedagogical practices. Her roles as teacher (Elementary, Secondary, and specialist), school leader, assistant superintendent, and advisor to Ministries of Education, contribute to a broad range of practical insights that serve to enhance her theoretical knowledge. Because of this range of experience, she is as effective in the boardroom speaking to Trustees about governance, as she is doing demonstration lessons in classrooms with students.

Sandra’s body of work is expansive: author, speaker, coach, mentor, and consultant, with extensive experience in educational and system leadership, adult learning, and assessment. She has helped jurisdictions, districts, and schools to reflect on their current programs, identify their long-term aspirations, and strategically plan to achieve their future visions.

Sandra has served as President of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents and as President of the Manitoba Affiliate of ASCD. She is a coaching trainer, promoting the ‘invisible skills’ and cognitive and emotional awareness that strengthen educators’ effectiveness.

As a facilitator of workshops, web conferences, and symposia across North America and internationally – and as a renowned executive coach – Sandra provides educators with a framework to help meet the diverse needs of both student and adult learners. She is a charismatic, humourous, and energetic leader, who expresses her compassion through a deep commitment to equity in education and the advancement of democracy in our communities.


As the former Chief Superintendent for the Calgary Board of Education, the third largest school authority in Canada, Dr. Naomi Johnson led the district of 125000 students and 14000 employees for 5 years. With a focus on teaching each student how she or he learns best and providing equity of opportunity and outcomes for each student in the district, Dr. Johnson led this very diverse school authority to achieve above the provincial average in areas of large-scale assessment for all of the 5 years she was Chief. In her adjacent role to the Chair of the Board of Trustees, policy was developed to lead the public thought on educational matters and to focus all employees on personalizing learning opportunities for each student in their care. These policies reflected the values of the Calgary community.

Naomi completed her doctorate degree at the University of Calgary in the area of Leadership and Governance. A Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Administration was also granted form the University of Calgary. From the University of Winnipeg, Naomi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and from the University of Manitoba, a degree in Education. Dr. Johnson is currently a Director of Leadership with the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) where she has worked in partnership with the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) and the Alberta Independent Schools and Colleges Association (AISCA) to develop professional learning experiences to enable leaders across the province to meet the new provincial standards – the Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) and the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS). Building assessment literacy across the province is a current focus in her work with CASS.

Naomi has also worked as a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary teaching Design Based Learning courses, Professional Learning courses and supervising student teachers in their field placements.

Dr. Naomi Johnson worked for the Calgary Board of Education for 33 years as a teacher, a principal, Director of Student Services, Area Director and finally as the Chief Superintendent.

What an exhilarating and challenging journey!


Jay McTighe brings a wealth of experience developed during a rich and varied career in education. He served as director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, a state collaboration of school districts working together to develop and share formative performance assessments. Prior to this position, Jay was involved with school improvement projects at the Maryland State Department of Education where he helped lead Maryland’s standards-based reforms, including the development of performance-based statewide assessments. He also directed the development of the Instructional Framework, a multimedia database on teaching. Well known for his work with thinking skills, Jay has coordinated statewide efforts to develop instructional strategies, curriculum models, and assessment procedures for improving the quality of student thinking. In addition to his work at the state level, Jay has experience at the district level in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as a classroom teacher, resource specialist, and program coordinator. He also directed a state residential enrichment program for gifted and talented students.

Jay is an accomplished author, having co-authored 17 books, including the award-winning and best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Jay has also written more than 50 articles and book chapters, and been published in leading journals, including Educational Leadership (ASCD) and Education Week. See www.amazon.com/-/e/B001IO9LWA

Jay has an extensive background in professional development and is a regular speaker at national, state, and district conferences and workshops. He has conducted workshops in 47 states within the United States, in 7 Canadian provinces, and internationally to educators in 35 countries on six continents.

Jay received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, earned his Master’s degree from the University of Maryland, and completed post-graduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University. He was selected to participate in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C., and served as a member of the National Assessment Forum, a coalition of education and civil rights organizations advocating reforms in national, state, and local assessment policies and practices.


Ron Ritchhart is a Senior Research Associate and Principal Investigator at Harvard Project Zero where his work focuses on the development of school and classroom culture as prime vehicles for developing students’ as powerful thinkers and learners. Ron's research and writings have informed the work of schools, school systems, and museums throughout the world. His research is largely classroom based, learning from the best practice of teachers to better understand how they create conditions for powerful learning.

Ron’s seminal research presented in the book Intellectual Character, identified thinking routines as a core instructional practice and laid a framework for understanding group culture that is widely used by schools and organizations. His internationally best-selling book, Making Thinking Visible, co-written with Mark Church and Karin Morrison, has popularized the use of thinking routines to facilitate deep learning and high engagement. Ron’s book, Creating Cultures of Thinking, takes readers inside a diverse range of learning environments to show how teachers create classrooms where thinking is valued, visible and actively promoted as part of the day to day experience of all group members. Howard Gardner has called the book “ a tour de force” for Ron’s ability to seamlessly merge theory, research, practice and application together in a highly accessible and engaging manner. Ron’s most recent book is The Power of Making Thinking Visible, which he co-authored with Mark Church. This book presents new research on the power of thinking routines to transform learning, teaching, and schooling while sharing with readers what Ron and Mark have learned about how to use routines most effectively.

Ron splits his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Santa Barbara, California when he is not working in Cambridge or with schools around the world.


Tom Schimmer is an author and a speaker with expertise in assessment, grading, leadership, and behavioural support. An educator for more than 20 years, Tom is a former district-level leader, high school principal, school administrator, and teacher. As a district-level leader, he was a member of the senior management team responsible for overseeing the efforts to support and build the instructional capacities of teachers and administrators.

Tom is a sought-after speaker who presents internationally for schools and districts.

He earned a teaching degree from Boise State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of British Columbia.