Home / Spotlight Speakers

Spotlight Speakers

  • John Spencer
    John Spencer
    @spencerideas
  • Rafranz Davis
    Rafranz Davis
    @RafranzDavis
  • Pam Smothers
    Pam Smothers
    Renaissance Learning
  • Michele Flohre
    Michele Flohre
    Edulastic
  • Melissa Lipka
    Melissa Lipka
    Promethean
  • Gracie Lile
    Gracie Lile
    @gracieb_Learner
  • Joe Barry
    Joe Barry
    Follett
  • Keshia Seitz
    Keshia Seitz
    Five-Star
  • Bob Dillon
    Bob Dillon
    @IdeaGuy42
  • Erin Klein
    Erin Klein
    @KleinErin
  • Amber Teamann
    Amber Teamann
    @8Amber8
  • Josh Stumpenhorst
    Josh Stumpenhorst
    @stumpteacher
  • Amanda Dykes
    Amanda Dykes
    @amandacdykes
  • Sherry Gick
    Sherry Gick
    @SherryGick
  • Kyle Pace
    Kyle Pace
    @kylepace
  • Bill Ferriter, Keynote
    Bill Ferriter, Keynote
    @plugusin
John Spencer
@spencerideas

John Spencer is a former middle school journalism and computer-programming

teacher who is now a full-time professor of instructional technology in Oregon. He

is passionate about seeing students embrace creativity and design thinking. His

work has been featured in Kappan Magazine, Edutopia, Slate, and The

Washington Post and he had the honor of delivering a speech at the White

House on the future of education. Spencer is the co-author of several education

books, including Launch: Using the Design Thinking Process to Boost Creativity

and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student. He is also the co-founder of two

educational technology startups, Write About and Blend Education.

Rafranz Davis
@RafranzDavis

Rafranz Davis is the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin ISD. Her passion for creativity and student centered learning has driven her work in supporting Lufkin’s transition to taking more innovative approaches to teaching and learning through integrated computational thinking, makerspaces and community driven personalized professional learning. When Rafranz is not disrupting the status quo in East Texas, she can be found connecting with the global education community as an advocate for STEM education, teacher voice, digital equity and diversity in edtech.

Pam Smothers
Renaissance Learning

Pam is a retired teacher from Graves County, KY.  An avid user and supporter of both STAR Assessments and Accelerated Reader.

Michele Flohre
Edulastic

Michele Flohre has been an educator for 14 years.  Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Dayton in Middle Childhood Education 4-9 concentrated in Math and Science.  She also earned her master degree from the University of Dayton in Technology Enhanced Education.  She taught 8th grade Science at Northmont Middle School in Englewood, Ohio for most of her career.  Within the last few years she has switched to teaching 5th grade Math at McKinley Elementary in Xenia, Ohio.  She is on her district’s technology team and has recently started to speak at different professional development events and teacher workshops.  She lives in Springboro, Ohio with her husband and 3 children.  She aspires to one day be able to speak full time and share her passion of integrating technology to teachers all over.

Melissa Lipka
Promethean

Melissa is an Education Consultant for Promethean, residing in Michigan.

She has been a teacher for 23 years in grades 3rd through 8th.  She earned

her Bachelor¹s and Master¹s Degree in Education from the University of

Michigan.  Her passion for teaching led her to become more involved in the technology movement in schools.  She wanted to excite and engage her students in learning by the use of technology.  She also wanted to encourage her colleagues to do the same.  By joining the team at Promethean, she is now able to excite and engage teachers and instructors and teach them how the use of technology can open so many new paths in minds of children.

Melissa lives in Allen Park, Michigan with her husband Jim and children

Alex and Hannah.  Her career as a teacher also led her to coaching various sports such as basketball and softball.  She enjoys spending time with her family outdoors in her free time.

Gracie Lile
@gracieb_Learner

She’s still a kid!

Since the age of four, Gracie has been exploring ways to create meaningful content on digital devices. Hoping to instill her love of learning in others, she taught her first class at an elementary school during a summer enrichment program at the age of six; since then, she has spoken at several school districts, in classrooms, at community events and conferences across the nation.  Gracie is currently in third grade, the oldest of three children, and loves life! While you can follow Gracie on Twitter (@gracieb_Learner) she says it has limitations to what she is able to share, because her account is closely monitored, filtered and supervised by adults who love her very much!

Joe Barry
Follett

Joe Barry is a Technical Sales Consultant with Follett, covering the Eastern Central US.  He currently lives in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, where he has called home for the last 45 years.    Joe served in the United States Marine Corps from 1989-97, serving in Desert Storm/Desert Shield.  Before joining the Follett team 10 years ago, Joe worked as a server room technician and now prefers talking to people instead.  Having worked in many areas of the Follett organization ranging from Early Childhood sales to a more technical role, Joe is well versed in effectively integrating technology into the education process as a tool.

Keshia Seitz
Five-Star

Keshia Seitz is an Associate Director of eLearning for Five-Star Technology Solutions. Her experiences in the field of education range from Middle School Social Studies Teacher to Grants Specialist to eLearning Coach. Keshia holds a BS in Secondary Education: Social Studies (IU), a MS in Secondary Education: Technology (IUPUI), a MS in Strategic Management (Kelley School of Business at IU), a P-12 Indiana Administrator’s License, and is currently working on her Ed.D in Educational Leadership (IU). Her dissertation centers around the topic of legal and policy implications of technology usage policies in 1:1 environments.

Bob Dillon
@IdeaGuy42

Dr. Robert Dillon is currently the Director of the Research Institute at BrightBytes, a national education think tank dedicated to promoting innovation and best practice in all classrooms. Prior to this role, he served the students and community of the Affton School District as Director of Technology and Innovation.He also has served as an educational leader in a number of public schools throughout the Saint Louis area over the last twenty years. Dr. Dillon has a passion to change the educational landscape by building excellent engaging schools for all students. He looks for ways to ignite positive risk taking in teachers and students and release trapped wisdom into the system by growing networks of inspired educators. Dr. Dillon serves on the Leadership Team for Connected Learning, a Saint Louis based organization designed to reshape professional development to meet today’s needs. Dr. Dillon has had the opportunity to speak throughout the country at local, state, and national conferences as well as share his thoughts and ideas in a variety of publications. He is the author of two books on best practices in learning, Leading Connected Classrooms and Engage, Empower, Energize: Leading Tomorrow’s Schools Today. He is supported by his wife and two daughters, and spends the remainder of his time running, reading, and cycling.

Erin Klein
@KleinErin

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother who has been twice selected to serve on the Scholastic, Inc. Top Teaching Team based in New York.  Her recent publication, Amazing Grades, was a collaboration with experts from 13 countries around the world.  She travels the country speaking about the power of student voice, how meaningful technology integration can enhance learning experiences, and the impact  classroom design has on today’s learner.

She is certified in Brain Gym, Educational Kinesiology, and has studied under consultants from The Center for Effective Learning to understand how design affects cognition and learning.  Klein serves as a classroom design consultant and creative partner for the publishing company, Carson-Dellosa.  Some of her articles and interviews on design for education and technology tools for the classroom can be found on Smartblogs for Education, MindShift, Scholastic, Edudemic, Edutopia, EdSurge, and EdReach.

Klein served for the past three years as the state’s technology chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association and is the 2014 recipient of the MACUL Pre-K – 12 Teacher of the Year for Michigan.  In 2013, Klein was also awarded her district’s Teacher of the Year award.  She currently serves on the advisory board for Remind101 in San Francisco and is an organizer for the EdCamp Detroit Annual Educational unConference.  Among Klein’s accomplishments, she was also recognized as a SMART Technologies Exemplary Educator, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) 2012 Social Media Influencer,  a National Association of Independent Schools Teacher of the Future, ASCD Emerging Leader, and a member of The National Writing Project.  This past summer, Klein was accepted into The Teacher’s College at Columbia University to advance her studies in reading and writing workshop.

Klein has also hosted webinars for The United States Department of Education to share her perspective on Future Ready Schools.  Most recently she was one of nine professionals selected to be a featured speaker on Future Ready Schools at the national Digital Learning Day in Washington D.C.

For the past two years, Klein has been invited to Washington D.C. to represent the BAM 100 Influential Voice in Education.

In 2014, Klein was selected to serve on the state of Michigan’s Voice Fellowship, through America Achieves.  Through this initiative, she was invited to be a part of the national Teach to Lead summits through The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the United States Department of Education where she continues to work on shaping teacher leadership across the country.

She has her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, currently teaches at the elementary level, and lives in Michigan with her family.

Her work can be found on her award-winning educational blog, Kleinspiration.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @KleinErin.  

Amber Teamann
@8Amber8

Hi there! My name is Amber Teamann, and I am the proud principal of Whitt Elementary in Wylie, Texas. Wylie ISD is where we call home and I couldn’t be more honored to work and raise my daughters in this place. I am very proud to work in a district that believes in the power of relationships and puts what is really important at the forefront of education.

Through my years in education, I’ve held leadership positions and served as a Title I Technology Facilitator, which put me on 17 different campuses to help staff and students navigate their digital abilities and responsibilities. Prior to that, I taught 4th grade and loved every single minute.

My credo is that all subjects can be made more engaging to students if we are able to deliver it in a manner in which they want to learn. Whether that includes a website, a device, or presentation style, we should ALL want to be the best we can be for our students, and I try to model that for our staff.

From being a part of district initiatives to sharing innovative ways to connect with our stake holders, I am always striving to make education more meaningful for our campus. Recognizing the power of social media and how we should take control of telling our stories, I have been privileged to work with educators across the globe in making transparency a reality for their campus and districts, as well as ones here locally.

I’ve been on the EdCampDallas planning team since its inception and have been involved in creating digital fluency classes for our Regional Service Center. In 2013, I partnered with George Couros to develop and curate leadership with the “School Admin Virtual Mentoring Project”, which connected over 400 educators worldwide in a digital space that nurtured and cultivated leadership.

Speaking at numerous conference throughout my career, both locally and nationally, including ISTE, ASCD, and Learning Forward, has been an opportunity to share a leadership message I feel strongly about for all learners. In 2015, b v`I had the opportunity to speak in Washington DC about how crucial is it for today’s educators to become strong models of digital leadership. It even included a tour of the White House! In addition to blogging for Connected Principals, I am a firm believer in modeling a digital footprint. My educational philosophy and digital portfolio can be found at  Love, Learn, Lead or on twitter, @8amber8.

Josh Stumpenhorst
@stumpteacher

Josh Stumpenhorst is a junior high history and English teacher in suburban Chicago, IL where he lives with his wife and two sons. In addition to teaching, he is an athletic director,computer club advisor, basketball coach, and serves on numerous curriculum and technology committees at the school and district level. He holds a Master’s Degree in curriculum and instruction as well as a National Boards Certification in early adolescence social science.  Beyond traditional professional development, Josh is an active member of the twitter (@stumpteacher) and blogging community as well as a respected presenter. He has presented at countless local, state and national conferences and was the closing keynote speaker at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in 2015.

His work has been recognized by the International Society for Technology in Education as they named Josh a member of their “Emerging Leaders Class of 2011”. Josh has also been recognized as the Illinois Computer Educators, “Educator of the Year” for 2012 and he is the 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year. In addition, he was recognized with a California Casualty Teaching Excellence Award by the National Education Association and was the Illinois Education Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award winner in 2012. Josh was named as a Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow in 2013 as well as awarded the Outstand Alumni Award from North Central College that same year.

Stumpenhorst is an active blogger at Stump the Teacher and his work there has received recognition through numerous EduBlog Awards nominations. He is also the author of the newly released book titled The New Teacher Revolution: Changing Education for a New Generation of Learners, which analyzes current practices in schools and suggests alternate and more effective strategies for all teachers.

Amanda Dykes
@amandacdykes

Amanda Dykes is an instructional technology coach in Jefferson County Schools in Birmingham, AL, and a former elementary and middle school teacher who is an expert in using technology as an integral part of pedagogy to increase learning as well as training and exciting educators into using technology in a way to increase student learning. She demonstrates knowledge and proficiency of web 2.0 tools and their uses in today’s classroom. Amanda also has an extensive understanding of social networking for building a professional learning network which allows her to stay on the leading edge of shifts in education ideas and the leading edge of technology. She presents on various technology, social networking and STEM topics around the country. You can follow her blog at upsidedown.edublogs.org or on twitter at @amandacdykes.

Sherry Gick
@SherryGick

Sherry Gick is the Library & Instructional Technology Specialist for Rossville Consolidated Schools in Rossville, Indiana.  She is a Teacher-Librarian, Technology Integrator, Tech Coach, international speaker, collaborator, social media lover, YA reader, iPhone fiend, & technology addict.  She’s also known for being an envelope pusher, idea challenger, optimist, and a relocated southern belle. She is President of the ISTE-Librarians Network, the ISTE Board representative for AISLE (Association of Indiana School Library Educators) and a 2015 Library Journal Mover and Shaker.   Follow her on Twitter @SherryGick and her blog The Library Fanatic (thelibraryfanatic.com)

Kyle Pace
@kylepace

Kyle Pace, an Instructional Technology Specialist,  has worked with K-12 teachers in his current school district to provide instructional technology professional development since 2004 with prior experience teaching in the elementary classroom. Kyle holds a Master of Arts degree in Education with an emphasis in Educational Technology. Kyle champions to support teaching and learning with meaningful technology integration using a multitude of technologies.

Kyle is a keynote speaker and presenter at education conferences and individual school districts around North America.

Kyle has also organized all six annual EdcampKC “unconferences” since 2010.

As part of his ongoing commitment to professional growth, Kyle became a Google for Education Innovator in 2011.  In 2013, Kyle was named as one of Education Week’s  “Leaders to Learn From” and joined the other honorees in Washington, D.C. to receive recognition from Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Most recently Kyle contributed to the newly published book The Educator’s Guide to Creating Connections.

Kyle has a strong passion for sharing with teachers, administrators, students, and parents about the impact that educational technology can have on student learning. Find Kyle on Twitter as @kylepace and his blog, “Learning is Leading”, can be found at kylepace.com.

Bill Ferriter, Keynote
@plugusin

“Don’t create fake problems for students to solve; the world has enough real problems.”

 

Bill is a sixth-grade science teacher in a professional learning community (PLC) near Raleigh, North Carolina. A National Board Certified Teacher, Bill has designed professional development courses for educators nationwide on topics ranging from establishing professional learning communities to integrating the Common Core State Standards into Science and Social Studies classrooms.

His educational technology trainings center on using digital tools to give students the opportunity to drive meaningful change in the world around them. Bill has also developed school-wide technology rubrics and surveys that identify student and staff digital proficiency at the building level. He is a founding member and senior fellow of the Collaboratory – a digital home for progressive conversations around the changing nature of teaching and learning – and has served as teacher in residence at the Center for Teaching Quality.

Bill has had articles published in Phi Delta Kappan MagazineJournal for Staff DevelopmentEducational Leadership, and Threshold Magazine. A contributing author to two assessment anthologies, The Teacher as Assessment Leader and The Principal as Assessment Leader, he is also coauthor of Teaching the iGenerationCommunicating and Connecting with Social MediaBuilding a Professional Learning Community at Work™ and Making Teamwork Meaningful.  Bill also maintains a popular blog – The Tempered Radical – where he writes regularly about teaching in today’s world.