Ron Clark

Known to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah,) and was dubbed by Ms. Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man."

Ron Clark brings charisma, energy and devotion to the education profession. Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation to be honored by the President of the United States.

Ron Clark's personality is marked by a sense of challenge and adventure. Upon watching a television piece chronicling low test scores and the lack of teachers in inner-city New York, Ron packed his car and moved to Harlem. After being warned by the principal that his class was the least disciplined group she had seen in years, Ron prepared himself by visiting the home of each student before the first day of school. Ron Clark involved his students in projects in the city and state, and his "low achievers" soon began to excel; and by the end of the year, their scores were higher than the “gifted” classes in his district. 

In 2003, Ron Clark released the New York Times Bestselling book "The Essential 55" which includes his 55 expectations of students - as well as all individuals - young and old. Ron's second book, "The Excellent 11," was released in August 2004 and further captured the attention of parents, educators and students alike.

Obviously Ron Clark did not stop there. In 2006, Ron Clark founded The Ron Clark Academy, an inner-city school serving students from across metro Atlanta. The privately-funded institution is unique for its innovative teaching methods and curriculum based on worldwide travel. Each year the students, grades 5 through 8, apply their in-class lessons to international adventures. And, by the time of graduation, each child will have visited six of the seven continents. Teachers from around the world visit the Academy to observe the innovative and "out-of-the-box" methods for achieving student success.

Ron's most anticipated book came in 2011, "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers." This New York Times Best Seller brought to light 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America’s schools and leading our children to greatness. A must read for every teacher and parent. 

In addition to his many duties as an educator, Ron Clark is a much sought after keynote speaker. He shares the uncanny adventures he has had in the classroom and speaks of his experiences teaching in Harlem. Within his humorous and heartwarming stories, he delivers a message relevant to each of us. It is a message of hope, dedication and the never-say-never attitude required to achieve goals and dreams. 

Gwynne Ellen Ash

Gwynne Ellen Ash is a professor at Texas State University who teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary and middle school literacy methods, literacy assessment and Instruction for students who struggle with school based literacies, children's and young adult literature, and creating and evaluating professional development for literacy educators. A former middle school literacy teacher in San Antonio, TX, Gwynne's research is related to teaching literacy in the middle and high school, creating frameworks for literacy Instruction in the middle and high school, and critiquing and analyzing children;s and young adult literature.. In 2017 she has accepted publications in The Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension (2nd ED.), the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Children's Literature in Education, and the Middle School Journal. She was elected to the ILA Board of Directors in 2015.

Juli Dixon - sponsored by Harcourt Houghton Mifflin 

Dr. Juli Dixon is a professor of mathematics education at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. She coordinates the award winning Lockheed Martin/UCF Academy M.Ed. in K-8 Mathematics and Science and the PhD in Mathematics Education.  She is one of the authors of Go Math.  She has presented at many NCTM/NCSM conferences. She is presenting with her daughters who she co-write A Stroke of Luck.


Crissy Lauterbach

Ms. Lauterbach is the Innovative Teaching and Learning Coordinator for Butler Tech in Hamilton, Ohio.  In 1994, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She completed her graduate work in Educational Leadership and Curriculum at the University of Dayton and earned a Masters in Administration.

Ms. Lauterbach is a member of several organizations and has a remarkable amount of experience in public speaking. Crissy was the keynote speaker for the Department of Defense Schools’ International Future Educators Association in Garmisch, Germany, Miami University’s Teacher Academy Symposium, Tedx Yearling Road , and the Anthony Munoz Foundation’s Youth Summit. She was also the Teacher Ambassador at South Craven School in Yorkshire, England, in 2004. Since 2002, Crissy has been an Advisor for the Educators Rising, Phi Delta Kappa, and an annual presenter at the Educators Rising National Conference for the past seven years. In 2014, she became the first National Teacher in Residence for Educators Rising and in 2015 she was named the White House Innovator in Career and Technical Education . Her awards include:  Erin Young Student Voice Award, Ohio Teacher of the Year Semifinalist, Leavey Award Winner, Tri-state Educator of the Year, the Wooster Excellence in education Award, and the ACTE Community Service Educator of the Year for Region 1.  Crissy is a member of ACTE, OACTE, and the Ohio Council of Social Studies.

Crissy’s interest includes traveling, reading and athletics. She currently resides in Centerville, Ohio. You can follow her on facebook at Contact Learning, Twitter @JeanLauterbach or visit her website at

Jennifer Lempp

An experienced elementary teacher who is nationally board certified in mathematics, a math coach, author, and is currently serving as an elementary mathematics resource teacher. She creates and facilitates professional development for resource teachers, instructional coaches, and classroom teachers and has presented on mathematics instructions at the national, state, and local level. She will present on her latest book Math Workshop: Guided Math and Beyond.

Lori Oczkus

Lori Oczkus is a literacy coach, author, and popular speaker across the United States. Tens of thousands of teachers have attended her motivating, fast paced workshops and read her practical, research-based professional books. Lori has extensive experience as a bilingual elementary teacher, intervention specialist working with struggling readers, and staff developer and literacy coach. She works with students every week in classrooms and really knows the challenges that teachers face in teaching students to read!

Lori's two best selling books on comprehension have been featured in the Reading Teacher journal. Reciprocal Teaching at Work:Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension (IRA, 2003 book of the month, Oct.) and is endorsed by noted reading expert, Tim Rasinski. Her video/DVD (IRA, 2005) won the prestigious Association of Educational publishers (AEP) Video of the Year award in 2006.   

P. David Pearson says Lori's second book, "Super Six Comprehension Strategies: 35 Lessons and More for Reading Success." (Christopher Gordon, 2004) is "a marvelous book for teachers.. . . the right book at the right time." (from the forward)

Lori's latest book on comprehension, "Interactive Think Alouds: 25 Ways to Engage Students and Improve Comprehension" (released in Feb. 09) provides teachers with exciting NEW lessons and tools including gestures, props, posters, and a DVD for helping students comprehend.

Researcher Cathy Collins Block says, "Lori Oczkus is the master at translating the latest, research-based practices into daily lessons that every teacher can immediately implement!"

Lori's book, Guided Writing: Practical Lessons, Powerful Results (Heinemann, 07) focuses on bringing voice and personality to student writing while scaffolding writing for success. 

Lori resides in Northern California with her husband, Mark and their three children. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling anywhere by any means, reading historical fiction, walking with friends, and occasionally scuba diving!


Catherine Ousselin

Catherine Ousselin is a graduate of the University of Kansas with an M.A. in French Language and Literature. She is a member of ACTFL, NNELL, IALLT, WAFLT, and the AATF of which she is the current Region IX representative. Catherine is the AATF Social Media manager and curator, the chair of the Technology Commission, an avid blogger on World Language and technology integration, and a frequent participant on #langchat and other Twitter Ed-chats. She teaches French at Mount Vernon High School on Washington State and serves as a Digital Literacy coach for the school district. Catherine is the 2016 WALFT Teacher of the Year and the 2017 PNCFL Teacher of the Year.  

Pat Scales - American Library Association
Pat Scales is a 1966 graduate of the University of Montevallo (AL), and received a MLS from George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University in 1972. She served as librarian at Greenville Middle School for 26 years, and was the first Director of Library Services at the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities. She taught children's and young adult literature for 27 years at Furman University, and has taught special topics courses at the University of Texas, Louisiana State University, Drexel University, and University of South Carolina. She is a past President of the Association of Library Service for Children, a division of the American Library Association, and has served as chair of the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, and Wilder Award Committees. Scales has been actively involved with ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee for a number of years, and served two terms as chair. She is a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, serves on the Council of Advisors of the National Coalition Against Censorship, and acts as a spokesperson for the first amendment issues and they relate to children and young adults. She is the author of Teaching Banned Books: Twelve Guides for Young Readers, Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library; Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, Defending Frequently Challenged Young Adult Books, Scales on Censorship; Real Life Lessons from School Library Journal, and a forthcoming book, Encourage Reading from the Start (Fall 2017 She writes a bi-monthly column, Scales on Censorship, for School Library Journal, curriculum guides on Children's and young adult books for a number of publisher, and is a regular contributor to Book Links magazine.


Kim Stilwell - Sponsored by NSTA Press

Kim Stilwell joins us from the National Science Teachers Association, where she facilitates professional development and conducts workshops across the nation sharing strategies to integrate science and literacy standards in the classroom. The past eighteen years she has spent planning and conducting professional development workshops impacting teachers and administrators in suburban, urban, and rural school districts throughout the nation.  She will be presenting for Picture-Perfect Science authors Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan.  She will also be offering workshops on Argument Driven Inquiry. 


Catlin Tucker - Sponsored By McGraw Hill

Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Teacher, bestselling author, international trainer, and frequent Edtech speaker, who currently teaches in Sonoma County where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010. Catlin’s first book Blended Learning in Grades 4-12 is a bestseller and her second book Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology was published in June 2015. Her newest book Blended Learning In Action was published in September 2016. Catlin writes the “Techy Teacher” column for ASCD’s Educational Leadership

Kristin Ziemke

Kristin Ziemke has spent her career teaching and learning form children in both urban and suburban school districts. As a teacher or primary age learners in Chicago, Kristen engages students in authentic learning experiences where reading, thinking, collaboration and inquiry are at the heart of the curriculum. Author of Amplify : Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom and co-author of Connecting Comprehension and Technology, Kristen pairs best practice instruction with digital tools to transform learning int he classroom and beyond. An Apple Distinguished Educator, National Board Certified Teacher and Chicago's 2013 tech Innovator of the Year, Kristen seeks opportunities to transform education through technology innovation. She collaborates with educators around the globe as a staff developer, speaker and writer. You can follow her on Twitter @KristenZiemke.