2018 Featured Presenters

Tom Murray

As a leader, presenter, and author, Tom Murray is one of the top thought leaders in the education world. A tireless advocate for digital education and personalized professional learning, Tom is the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools in Washington D.C. and serves as a keynote for organizations across the country. He serves as a school district consultant for digital learning implementation and transformation and has won various awards for his contributions to education. Tom co-authored Learning Transformed, recently published by ASCD in 2017.

Sylvia Martinez

Sylvia Martinez travels the world advocating innovative learning, design thinking, and hands-on creation for students and teachers. She is a global leader in the Maker Movement, co-authoring Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. Sylvia is passionate about advances in STEM education, gender equality and opportunity, and project-based and inquiry-based learning. As a keynote speaker and consultant, Sylvia helps craft professional development opportunities that drive meaningful, practical change in K-12 classrooms.

Dr. Sharroky Hollie

Dr. Sharroky Hollie is a national educator who provides professional development to thousands of educators in the area of cultural responsiveness. Since 2000, Dr. Hollie has trained over 150,000 educators and worked in nearly 2000 classrooms. Going back 25 years, he has been a classroom teacher at the middle and high school levels, a central office professional development coordinator in Los Angeles Unified School District, a school founder and administrator, and university professor in teacher education at the Cal State University. Sharroky has also been a visiting professor for Webster University in St. Louis and a guest lecturer at Stanford and UCLA.

Tara Martin

Tara Martin is an enthusiastic educator who thrives in change and refuses to settle for the status quo. As a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and district curriculum coordinator, she pushes teachers and administrators to apply instructional practices that foster creativity, personalize learning, and increase student engagement. Tara is the creator of #BookSnaps, in which students use Snapchat to annotate books and works of literature. On her educational blog REAL, Tara shares her thoughts on education, innovative pedagogy, and practical tips for teachers.

Julie Smith


Media literacy has been Julie Smith's passion for over two decades, and she will talk about it to anyone who will listen. Julie has been teaching media literacy and media-related classes at the university level and is the author of Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save Our Plugged-In World. She loves researching how and why people share false information online, and she advocates "less preaching and more coaching" when it comes to digital citizenship education. Julie offers her insight on media literacy on her blog.

Shelley Burgess

Shelley Burgess has served as an award-winning teacher, principal, Director of Student Achievement and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Leadership. Her highly respected work focuses on building leadership capacity through coaching, collaboration, and building a positive culture of change which leads to dramatic improvements in teaching and learning. She now works as a full-time partner in Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. and is the co-author of P is for PIRATE: Inspirational ABC's for Educators and Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff.

Aaron Hogan

Since he entered the classroom nine years ago as a high school English teacher, Aaron Hogan has been trying to reimagine education within his sphere of influence to make school great for students. He has been an assistant principal in both the intermediate and high school level and currently serves as the Coordinator for English, Language Arts, and Reading in College Station ISD.In addition, Aaron is a blogger, author, and speaker. He is passionate about social-emotional learning, innovation in education, and connecting educators for professional growth. He recently published Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth In order to help educators THRIVE in and out of the classroom.

Michael Matera

Gamification in the classroom offers an engaging and collaborative environment for all learners, and no one does it better than USM's resident expert, Michael Matera. Michael's book, "Explore Like a Pirate", has become the go-to for all things gamification. Using a combination of inspiring theory and practical examples, Michael's presentations lead attendees rushing to their classrooms to change their approach to teaching. Michael is a power presence on Twitter, with his #XPLAP chat drawing followers every Tuesday. He also has an insightful vlog on his YouTube channel.

Rachelle Dene Poth

The incredibly versatile and award-winning Rachelle Dene Poth is committed to improving student learning. A Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher in Pennsylvania, Rachelle pushes to integrate technology in education.  She is also an attorney, serves as the Communications Chair for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network, and is involved in countless educational communities. As an author, Rachelle wrote a chapter on blended learning in the Edumatch book “Snapshot in Education 2016” and contributed to “Gamify Literacy” from ISTE.

Michael Jaber

Michael Jaber: The Google Voice
Michael Jaber is nationally recognized Google Certified Trainer, Google Certified Innovator,  and Chromebook guru. After 18 years in the classroom as a social studies teacher, he eventually transitioned into a technology coaching role and now leads the Sheboygan, Wisconsin Area School District as their Instructional Technology Coordinator. Michael has trained multiple school districts around the world on how to approach 1:1 initiatives, along with teaching how to fully harness the power of Google Apps and web resources in schools.

Dr. Heidi Kasevich

Dr. Heidi Kasevich designs and delivers programs nationwide that focus on guiding school and workplace communities to foster inclusive cultures where people of all temperaments thrive. A specialist in educating quiet and women leadership, she is passionate about helping students and adults alike to use self-awareness to optimize their ability to lead in today's world. Kasevich, known for her effervescent presentation style, is a frequent speaker at educational conferences and associations, and her Quiet Revolution work has been featured on NPR and in numerous publications, including Huffington Post, New York Magazine, and Harvard Magazine. A member of the DEAK Group, she is the author of the "Guide to Giving," a highly-acclaimed K-12 philanthropy curriculum, and "Closing the Gap," an influential girl's leadership curriculum. Her proficiency is grounded in over 20 years of experience as educator and history department chair at schools in New York City, including Nightingale-Bamford, Dalton, Berkeley Carroll, NYU, and Cooper Union. Kasevich has served as Director of Académie de Paris, an Oxbridge Academic Program, and is Program Director at the Hotchkiss Student Leadership Institute. A gcLi Alumna Scholar, she received her BA from Haverford, and PhD from NYU.
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