Conference on Teaching
Always Learning

2016 Conference on Teaching: Teachers Individualizing Learning

The Evaluation Systems 2016 Conference on Teaching brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the Conference theme Teachers Individualizing Learning. Conference topics addressed how teachers can benefit professionally and students can benefit academically from individualized learning. Over the course of the Conference, discussants considered implications of individualizing instruction for future teaching and learning.

Dr. John Hattie

  • Laureate Professor, Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Chair, Board of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, Associate Director, ARC-SRI: Science of Learning Research Centre

    Professor John Hattie is a researcher in education. His research interests include performance indicators, models of measurement, and evaluation of teaching and learning. John Hattie became known to a wider public with his two books Visible Learning and Visible Learning for Teachers. Visible Learning is a synthesis of more than 800 meta-studies covering more than 80 million students. According to John Hattie, Visible Learning is the result of 15 years of research about what works best for learning in schools. TES once called him "possibly the world's most influential education academic."

    John Hattie has been Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. Before, he was Project Director of e-asTTle and Professor of Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, Canada. You can find a full CV of Professor John Hattie at the website of the University of Auckland.

Back to Top

Dr. David P. Driscoll

  • Former Commissioner of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    David P. Driscoll, Ph.D., served as the 22nd Commissioner of Education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1998 to 2007. Dr. Driscoll was appointed Chair of the National Assessment Governing Board by U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan from 2009 to 2014. He currently serves on several boards in Washington, including as Chair of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the U.S. Education Delivery Institute Advisory Board, and the Alliance for Excellent Education Policy Council. Dr. Driscoll also serves on the Teach Plus Board in Boston.

    Dr. Driscoll has a 45-year career in public education and educational leadership. A former secondary school mathematics teacher, he was named Melrose Assistant Superintendent in 1972 and Superintendent of Schools in the same community in 1984. He served in that role until 1993, when he was appointed Massachusetts Deputy Commissioner of Education, just days after the state's Education Reform Act was signed into law. He became interim Commissioner of Education on July 1, 1998, and was named Commissioner on March 10, 1999.

    As Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Driscoll held several key leadership roles, both in the external affairs of the department and in internal management. He was the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation's (NSF) mathematics and science program in Massachusetts, PALMS, and was instrumental in 1997 in gaining the NSF's approval of a second five-year round of funding for this initiative. He was also appointed to oversee the implementation of the state agreement on management and governance of the Lawrence Public Schools.

    As interim Commissioner, Dr. Driscoll worked with then Governor Cellucci, Senate President Birmingham, and House Speaker Finneran to pass the state's "12-62 Plan," a law aimed at enhancing future educator quality. The program gained national recognition for its accelerated teacher education and bonus programs, both aimed at encouraging mid-career professionals to become classroom teachers.

    As Commissioner, Dr. Driscoll oversaw the development of the state's curriculum frameworks, the implementation and expansion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), the development of the state's School and District Accountability System, and the development and administration of the state's educator certification tests and new licensure regulations.

    These initiatives and others have led to consistent annual improvement in student achievement as measured by state standards (MCAS), national measures (NAEP, SAT), and international tests (TIMSS). In 2005 and 2007, Massachusetts was named the first state to ever earn the highest scaled score in the nation on all four NAEP exams. In 2008, Massachusetts's students' performance on TIMSS was among the highest in the world, scoring second to Singapore in fourth-grade science.

    He is past President of the Harvard Superintendent Roundtable and the Merrimac Valley Superintendents Roundtable, was an elected member of the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, and was Vice President of the superintendents association at the time of his appointment as Deputy Commissioner.

    Dr. Driscoll earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Boston College, his master's degree in educational administration from Salem State College, and his doctorate in education administration from Boston College.

Back to Top

Dr. Mary Vixie Sandy

  • Executive Director, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)

    Mary Vixie Sandy is the Executive Director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the nation's oldest independent standards board for teachers. As a leader with more than 25 years' experience working in education and government, she currently oversees public policy related to teacher preparation and licensing and directs an agency that awards over 250,000 credentials per year and accredits more than 250 colleges, universities, and local education agencies offering educator preparation programs.

    Previously, Dr. Sandy served as the Executive Director of the UC Davis School of Education CRESS center, as an Associate Director of Teacher Education and Public School Programs with the California State University chancellor's office, and as a Policy Analyst for the California Department of Education and the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Dr. Sandy holds a doctorate in education from UC Berkeley, a master's degree in education from UC Davis, and a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Sonoma State University. Her professional focus is on building the capacity of teachers, leaders, public schools, and communities to meet the needs of California's diverse student body.

Back to Top

Mr. Kelly C. Henson

  • Executive Secretary, Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC)

    Kelly C. Henson was named Executive Secretary of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) in November 2007. The GaPSC is charged with establishing and enforcing high standards for the preparation, certification, and ethical behavior of educators. Toward its mission, the agency seeks to build the best-prepared, best-qualified, and most ethical education workforce in the nation.

    Before joining the GaPSC, Mr. Henson served as Superintendent of Schools in Floyd County, Principal of Walton High School, Principal of Pope High School, and Associate Superintendent in Marietta City Schools.

    Mr. Henson brought to his role at the GaPSC an unwavering commitment to provide excellent customer service to all Georgia educators and to educator preparation providers (EPPs) that prepare educators, working with them and other agencies, organizations, and legislators to develop and maintain strong, collaborative partnerships. Under his leadership, substantive educator preparation, certification, and ethics reform efforts were initiated, including tiered certification, Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEM), performance-based educational leadership, enhanced ethics instruction and assessment, and the current work in job-embedded professional learning.

    Through his work with the HR 1103 Joint Study Committee and the Alliance of Agency Heads Math/Science Task Force, Mr. Henson played a pivotal role in advancing the preparation and compensation of Georgia mathematics and science teachers. In addition, Mr. Henson co-chaired the House Study Committee on Professional Learning convened by the Georgia House of Representatives, and he served as a key member of Georgia's Race to the Top design team. He is a current member and past chair of the Georgia Alliance of Education Agency Heads.

    In 2014, Mr. Henson received the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders' (GAEL) Fulbright Distinguished Service Award, which is the highest honor awarded by this umbrella association for all seven field-specific educational leadership organizations in Georgia.

Back to Top

Dr. Sharon Robinson

  • President and Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

    Sharon Robinson, Ed.D, has served as AACTE's President and CEO since 2005. In selecting Dr. Robinson, AACTE's board of directors acknowledged her strong commitment to high-quality teaching, rigorous scholarship, and diversity in the nation's teaching workforce. A lifelong civil rights activist, Dr. Robinson has waged a personal crusade to realize the nation's moral and professional responsibility to educate and maximize the potential of minority and disabled students.

    Dr. Robinson was formerly President of the Educational Testing Service's (ETS) Educational Policy Leadership Institute. While at ETS, she also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and as Vice President for Teaching and Learning and for state and federal relations. Before joining ETS, Dr. Robinson was Assistant Secretary of Education with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (now the Institute of Education Sciences). She also held a variety of leadership positions at the National Education Association, including Director of the National Center for Innovation, NEA's research and development arm.

    Dr. Robinson received her doctorate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Kentucky, where she also earned her bachelor's and master's degrees. In 2002, she completed the renowned Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

    She serves on the board of directors for the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation and Jobs for America's Graduates. She is past chair of the Diversity Issues and Testing Committee, National Council on Measurement in Education.

    Among her many awards are an honorary doctorate from the University of Louisville, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kentucky, the Award of Appreciation from the National Head Start Association, the Founders Award from the National Commission for African American Education, the Teacher for America Award from the Rockefeller Foundation-supported Recruiting New Teachers Inc., and the Women of Distinction Award from Girl Scouts.

Back to Top

Ms. Peggy Brookins

  • National Board Certified Teacher and President & CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)

    Former NBPTS Board member Peggy Brookins, NBCT, joined the National Board as Executive Vice President in December 2014 and is currently the President and CEO. Her long career as an educator includes many national leadership positions and accolades. In July 2014, President Barack Obama named Brookins as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. She joined the National Board from the Engineering and Manufacturing Institute of Technology at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, which she co-founded in 1994 and where she served as Director and as a mathematics instructor.

    On the NBPTS Board from 2007 to 2011, Brookins served as audit committee chair and on the CEO Search Committee. In addition, she has served on the board of inBloom, the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences Ad Hoc Committee on Teachers as Professionals, and the Content Technical Working Group for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), and as a commissioner on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). She has served as a national trainer for American Federation of Teachers (AFT) (Thinking Mathematics: K–2, 3–5, and 6–8, collaborator and national trainer for Thinking Mathematics Middle School).

    Brookins also serves on the President's Policy Council at the Alliance for Excellent Education, Partnership for 21st (P21) Century Learning's Executive Board and P21's Strategic Council, Southern Regional Education Board's Commission on Teacher Education, and the International Academic Advisory Committee of the Trump Foundation in Israel.

    Brookins achieved her certification in adolescence and young adulthood/mathematics in 2003 and renewed in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame, is a Florida Education Association "Everyday Hero," and received the association's Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2013, Brookins was named a 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar.

Back to Top

Dr. Stephanie Wood-Garnett

  • Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for Standards, Assessment, and Deeper Learning, Alliance for Excellent Education

    Stephanie Wood-Garnett, Ed.D., is Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for Standards, Assessments, and Deeper Learning at the Alliance for Excellent Education. In this role she leads the identification and development of secondary education policies, practices, and procedures that support all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved, in graduating from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. 

    Dr. Wood-Garnett is an accomplished educator with extensive experience in leading complex P–20 education reform initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. Her previous roles include serving as Managing Director at NewSchools Venture Fund and leading education strategy work for foundations and state departments of education. In 2012, she was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness for the New York State Education Department's Office of Higher Education, where she led Race to the Top initiatives aimed at transforming teacher and leader preparation and strengthening P–20 collaboration. Under her leadership, New York invested $19 million in clinically rich teacher preparation programs and provided $11.5 million to support faculty professional development initiatives. Dr. Wood-Garnett's portfolio also includes state initiatives aimed at elevating the teaching profession, such as New York State's Teacher Centers and the State Teacher of the Year program.

    During her career, Dr. Wood-Garnett has also worked on teacher and principal evaluation systems in Washington state and New York, served as a district leader in the District of Columbia and Washington state, directed three technical assistance centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and taught graduate-level courses.

    Dr. Wood-Garnett earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and women's studies from Dartmouth College, a master of arts in higher education administration from the George Washington University, and a doctorate of education degree in educational and organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Back to Top

Mr. Chris Minnich

  • Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

    Chris Minnich was appointed Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in December 2012. As Executive Director, Chris leads CCSSO's work with states to raise the bar on standards, assessments, and accountability, transform educator preparation programs, design new approaches to teaching and learning, and implement and sustain promising reforms across the country.

    His leadership has centered CCSSO's work on making sure all students in our public education system—regardless of background—graduate prepared for college, careers, and life.

    Chris first joined CCSSO in 2008. In his time with the organization, he facilitated the state-led Common Core State Standards Initiative and worked as Senior Membership Director, serving as the lead contact for all 58 of CCSSO's members.

    Chris has an extensive background in assessment and accountability systems, working to improve assessments for educators in both the public and private sectors since 2003.

Back to Top

Dr. Barnett Berry

  • Founder, Partner, and CEO, Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ)

    Barnett Berry is founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), a nonprofit dedicated to an equitable and excellent public education for all students, driven by the bold ideas and practices of teachers. In 2003, CTQ launched the nation's first virtual network of teacher leaders.

    Barnett is a former classroom teacher, think tank analyst, senior state education agency policy leader, and university professor. His two books, TEACHING 2030 and Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don't Leave,  frame a bold vision for the profession's future. Follow Barnett and CTQ on Twitter: @BarnettCTQ and @teachingquality.

Back to Top

Ms. Katherine Bassett

  • President and Chief Executive Officer, The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY)

    Katherine Bassett is the President and CEO of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of teachers as leaders and to supporting teaching practice through three key focus areas: policy, practice, and advocacy.

    Prior to this position, Bassett served as Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Center for Educator Effectiveness at Pearson, working to support research into educator practice and self-efficacy, and to building partnerships with like-minded organizations to support education.

    Formerly at ETS, Bassett led the development of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificates for library media and literacy, co-developed the Take One! program booklet, led the development of performance-based assessments across the continuum of professional educator practice in four states, and worked with six states to develop a continuum of practice. 

    In addition, she has facilitated the work of a consortium to develop the Teacher Leader Model Standards and served on the committees that revised the InTASC standards and defined learning progressions for those standards. She co-facilitated the development of the Model Code of Educator Ethics and has led the development of the Teacher Leadership Initiative competencies and Capstone project for the NEA, NBPTS, and CTQ.

    Bassett spent 26 years in the classroom and served as New Jersey's 2000 State Teacher of the Year.

Back to Top

Dr. Mary Brownell

  • Director and Professor, College of Education, University of Florida

    Mary Brownell, Ph.D., is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Florida and Director of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center), an OSEP-funded project designed to improve the preparation of teachers and leaders working with students with disabilities. Dr. Brownell has secured multiple grants (totaling over 42 million dollars) from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs and Institute of Education Sciences to support research and technical assistance aimed at improving teaching quality for students with disabilities. Specifically, she has studied issues related to teacher education, teacher assessment, professional development, and teacher attrition. Dr. Brownell's research efforts have culminated in numerous refereed publications, book chapters, books, and presentations. She and her colleagues edited the first Handbook of Research on Special Education Teacher Preparation, and she recently authored a chapter for the prestigious Handbook of Research on Teaching, published by the American Educational Research Association. She has been recognized nationally for her leadership and research, winning the TED/Pearson Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, the Division for Research's Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award, and the David G. Imig Teacher Achievement Award for lifetime achievement in teacher education. Dr. Brownell is also a devoted teacher and doctoral student mentor. She has received two awards for her undergraduate teaching and a university-wide award for mentoring doctoral students.

Back to Top

Ms. Anne Marie Fenton

  • Director of Assessment, Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC)

    Anne Marie Fenton directs the educator assessment program for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), which includes managing the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) educator certification testing program, edTPA, and Title II/Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA), as well as other areas of responsibility including managing the rule-making process for the Commission. Previously at the GaPSC, she served as an education specialist in educator preparation program approval. Prior to joining the GaPSC nine years ago, Anne Marie held several positions in Kennesaw State University's Bagwell College of Education across nine years, preparing preservice candidates, supporting inservice educators, and serving most recently as Associate Director of the Center for Service, Outreach, and Partnerships. She is a former classroom teacher, and she has many years of corporate experience with MCI Telecommunications. Anne Marie serves as the Vice President of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), co-chairs the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics (NCAEE), chaired the NASDTEC Model Code of Ethics for Educators Steering Committee, and co-facilitated the NASDTEC Model Code of Ethics development. In addition, she is a member of the national edTPA Policy Advisory Board and Georgia's ESSA State Advisory Committee. She holds her B.S. from Kennesaw State University, her M.Ed. from the State University of West Georgia, and her Ed.S. from Georgia State University.

Back to Top

Dr. Renée A. Middleton

  • Dean, The Patton College of Education, Ohio University​

    Renée A. Middleton, Dean of the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education at Ohio University, serves on the board of directors of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the voice of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession and raising student achievement. She also serves on numerous boards, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools. She received her bachelor's degree in speech and hearing with a minor in behavioral sciences from Andrews University in 1981. She received her master's degree in clinical audiology with a minor in speech pathology and behavioral sciences from the University of Tennessee in 1983. She received her doctoral degree from Auburn University in 1990, with a focus on rehabilitation administration and a minor in rehabilitation counseling and education.

    Dean Middleton is a distinguished educator with a strong commitment to transforming teaching and learning in our schools. She has spent her career ensuring equity and excellence in education (P-20) and is a tireless advocate for ensuring that every student in America has the chance to learn and grow under teachers whose knowledge and skills have been verified through a peer-reviewed, performance-based process. The Dean has 21 years of experience with consulting on issues such as public school strategic planning for diversity, rehabilitation counseling, and multicultural diversity with the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health; and on issues of ethics and consumer protection with the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling.

Back to Top

Dr. Kantaylieniere "Kandi" Hill-Clarke

  • Dean, Bayh College of Education, Indiana State University

    Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke is Dean of the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University. Prior to joining Indiana State in 2013, she was Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with the Tennessee Board of Regents in Nashville, TN. Dr. Hill-Clarke is President of the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE); is a Lead Faculty Fellow with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Leadership Academy; and serves on the Indiana Blue Ribbon Commission on the Recruitment and Retention of Excellent Educators, the Indiana AdvancED Steering Council, the Superintendent's Cabinet for Vigo County Schools, and the Vigo County Education Foundation Board of Directors. Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Hill-Clarke has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leadership Award, the Igniting Excitement for Academic Excellence Award, the Exceeding Excellence in Education Award, the Kappa Delta Pi Honor an Educator Award, and the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Hill-Clarke has been nominated and selected to participate in various leadership academies, including the International Chair Advanced Leadership Academy, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Leadership Academy, and the Wabash Valley Leadership Institute, and she is currently a protégé in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Initiative.  

    Dr. Hill-Clarke began her career as an elementary teacher with Shelby County Schools in West Tennessee. She earned a B.S. in elementary education at LeMoyne-Owen College, and both an M.Ed in reading education and an Ed.D. in instruction and curriculum leadership with a concentration in reading education at the University of Memphis. She has been a featured presenter at numerous local, state, regional, and national conferences, invited to speak on leadership, educator preparation redesign, and performance-based assessment.

    Dr. Hill-Clarke is married to Mr. Everald Clarke.

Back to Top

Dr. Jon Eckert

  • Associate Professor of Education, Wheaton College, Researcher, Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ)

    Jon Eckert is an Associate Professor of Education at Wheaton College. As a Washington Fellow, he served in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and later in the Office of the Secretary, working on policy issues related to school leadership, teacher compensation, as well as teacher quality. Since then, Eckert has conducted research for the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and the Center for Teaching Quality. He began teaching fifth-grade public school students in 1996. Since that first teaching job, he has taught students in fourth grade through college outside of Chicago and Nashville. After 12 years in the classroom and a year as a 2008 Washington Fellow, Eckert joined the faculty of his alma mater, Wheaton College, a small liberal arts college 25 miles west of Chicago. In addition to preparing outstanding pre-service teachers, Eckert has continued his research and policy work in teaching effectiveness and related issues. Corwin Press recently released his book, The Novice Advantage: Fearless Practice for Every Teacher.

    Eckert has received the 2011 Scholar Award for research he is conducting on teacher preparation from the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. Eckert also received the 2011-2012 Junior Faculty Achievement Award from Wheaton College for outstanding achievement in research and teaching. Eckert has published in Education Week, Phi Delta Kappan, and peer-reviewed journals. He has presented papers to audiences on Capitol Hill, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the University Council for Educational Administration, and the National Press Club.

    He led a team of 12 current and former Teaching Ambassador Fellows to develop case studies of 12 districts around the country that have productive labor-management relationships. These findings have been shared with state chiefs from the 12 Race to the Top States and at AERA. He continues to facilitate teacher leadership work across the United States.

    Eckert holds a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College, a master's degree in curriculum and technology-integrated instruction from Benedictine University, and a doctorate in leadership, policy, and organization from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College.

Back to Top

Mr. Sungti Hsu

  • Director of State Affiliate and Partnership Support, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

    Sungti Hsu has deep experience in program review process at national, state, and institutional levels. His work experience as the Higher Education Program Consultant at Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and a site visitor for the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) afforded him the ability to relate national standards to state standards and state standards to institutional/program standards. He has facilitated and participated in over 400 program reviews and led the revision of over 40 sets of professional and content program standards at the state level as well as participated in the construction of certification assessments that align to national and state standards. He has provided state-wide training, support, and technical assistance to over 100 program reviewers. In addition, through his work at KSDE and New York State Education Department (NYSED), he has grown to be sensitive to the alignment among national, state, and program standards as well as to the evidence-based program continuous improvement practice.

    Evidence-based program improvement has been an essential component of Sungti's professional career. He has worked with institutions and programs to ensure that data collection, analysis, and usage for continuous improvement is explicit for not only program administrators but all stakeholders. Having access to needed data in a coherent and inclusive format is crucial to program improvement. During his tenure with both KSDE and NYSED, Sungti coordinated and participated in the development of statewide data reporting systems in collaboration with the information technology departments at both state agencies. In his current position at American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, he is leading a number of case studies to identify essential characteristics of and an effective data system that informs program improvement. Moreover, he is responsible for closer engagement between many AACTE state chapters and their perspective

Back to Top

Dr. Clara J. Carroll

  • NBCT, Associate Dean, Professor of Education, Harding University

    Clara J. Carroll, Ed.D., NBCT, is currently the Associate Dean of the Cannon-Clary College of Education at Harding University where she chairs the unit assessment and curriculum committee regarding the educator preparation program and related initiatives. She directs the graduate degree program, M.Ed. in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning, which she has aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Five Core Propositions, and she provides National Board candidate support. She supervises the university off-campus locations including educator preparation programs, non-traditional licensure programs, and graduate degree programs. The focus of her work is to ensure educators are equipped for the education world and are led towards continuing their career on the professional continuum from pre-service teacher preparation to accomplished practices with a variety of leadership roles.

    Prior to joining Harding University, Dr. Carroll was a secondary and elementary teacher in both public and private schools for 16 years in both Texas and Arkansas. She has served as President of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association, presented at numerous related conferences, and served on Arkansas Department of Education standards committees. She was selected as the district-level Teacher of the Year, received the community Outstanding Teacher Award, and received the Harding University Cooperating Teacher of the Year Award and Distinguished Teacher Award.

    Dr. Carroll is the Chair of the Arkansas Department of Education National Board Certified Teacher Advisory Committee, serves as the Arkansas Outreach Director for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and has served as a board member since 2009 for the Arkansas Teachers for National Board Certification. She testified at the Arkansas Lt. Governor's Task Force on Common Core, presented data and research to the Arkansas Legislative Joint Education Committee on National Board Certification, and is a leader in utilizing Every Student Succeeds Act funds to support building teacher capacity and leadership.

    She has written and managed grants since 2003 related to educator preparation programs and field experiences, building teacher leadership capacity, and supporting National Board candidates. She speaks on a regular basis at conferences related to her work with National Board candidates, Higher Education and National Board Certified Candidates, and teacher leadership.

    Dr. Carroll completed her B.S. in vocational home economics secondary education from Harding University, her M.Ed. in secondary education from Harding University, and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction with emphasis in elementary literacy from the University of Memphis in Tennessee. She achieved National Board certification in 2003 in the area of Early Childhood: Generalist and renewed National Board certification in 2013. She is married to public school educator Charlie Carroll, and has two adult daughters, a son-in-law, and 2 grandsons.

Back to Top

Mr. Nathan Gibbs-Bowling

  • AP Human Geography and AP Government & Politics Teacher, Lincoln High School, Tacoma Public Schools, 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year

    An eleven-year teacher, Nate Gibbs-Bowling is a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves and a graduate of the Evergreen State College. He was a 2013 recipient of the Milken Family Foundation's Educator Award, is the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year, and was one of four finalists for 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Nate was also a recipient of the 2016 Joseph Albert Dear Distinguished Alumni Award from Evergreen. He blogs about teaching and educational equity issues at, and his writing has been published in the Washington Post, New York Observer, Huffington Post, and Seattle Times. Nathan is a co-founder of Teachers United, a teacher-led education policy advocacy group, and currently teaches AP Human Geography and AP Government & Politics at Lincoln High School in his hometown of Tacoma.

Back to Top

Ms. Megan Olivia Hall

  • Lead Teacher, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Service Learning Programs, Open World Learning Community, St. Paul Public Schools, 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

    Megan Olivia Hall is the 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. In her 15 years of teaching science, Megan has worked with students of many ages and levels, from kindergarten to Advanced Placement. She serves as a lead teacher in the social and emotional learning (SEL) and service learning programs at Open World Learning Community in St. Paul Public Schools, developing SEL curriculum and training colleagues in effective homeroom pedagogies.

    Megan has led SEL master classes and delivered SEL keynotes at the local, state, and national levels, including the EL Education National Conference, Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Congress, and Minnesota School Boards Association. Her writing has been featured in Education Week and The Science Teacher.

    Megan is also a 2015 NEA Foundation Global Fellow. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in education and National Board certification.

Back to Top

Ms. Jozette Martinez

  • Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) Blogger, Business and Student Agency Teacher, Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design, Adjunct Professor, Colorado Community College

    Jozette Martinez is in her third career, as a corporate executive turned entrepreneur turned teacher. She teaches business and student agency to 9th and 10th graders at the Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design (DSISD) and is also an adjunct professor at Colorado Community College.

    She is passionate about utilizing social justice as a way through the broken systems of education, and co-facilitates a national conversation with other social justice teachers for the Teacher Leadership Initiative via NEA and the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ).

    Jozette has been published on Smart Pages, Teaching Tolerance,, and Kappan, and is currently working on an article for EdWeek. She also blogs on CTQ, blogspot "The Bottom Line," and most recently she has been added to the Teaching Tolerance list of bloggers as well. She writes about the things she is passionate about: closing the achievement gap, poverty and education, teaching the whole child, equity and inclusion, student voice and leadership, teacher-powered schools, more and better learning time, and personalized learning plans for students and teachers.  

    She is a self-professed social "movementist" and is a valued member of the America Achieves Fellowship and the CTQ Storytellers; is an active member of #EduColor (A Movement, Not a Moment); and was a keynote speaker at the 2013 ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching) convening in Snowbird, UT. She is also an original co-founder of a social movement group composed of teachers and students: SOCA, Students of Color and Allies.

    Teaching children to be self-sufficient in the global economy is something that inspires Jozette. Her students have opened businesses such as a lunch cart for busy teachers called The Love Sandwich and a student led coffee shop, and her students are currently working on establishing a student-led print shop and tee-shirt company where they market to the schools within the district for local printing needs. Her first-year business students are in the process of designing a cultural cookie company, complete with a social entrepreneurial experience to generate funds for impacting the community during the holiday season. Her passion for teaching and her commitment to cultural responsiveness create a winning combination of industry experience and theory to provide a holistic experience for the students she serves.

Back to Top

Ms. Lori Nazareno

  • Center for Teaching Quality's (CTQ) Teacher Advisory Board, Board of Directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Teacher Advisory Committee for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Education Association (NEA) Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching

    Lori Nazareno is a dually certified National Board Certified Teacher who taught for 25 years. She designed, and took the lead in bringing into form, the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy, a teacher-powered school in Denver. She served on the NEA Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching, the Board of Directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Teacher Advisory Committee for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Center for Teaching Quality's Teacher Advisory Board. She is deeply committed to teacher leadership and believes that the bold ideas of accomplished teachers can and will transform schools, schooling, and the teaching profession.

Back to Top

Ms. Leigh M. VandenAkker

  • Teacher, East High School, Salt Lake City School District, 2012 Utah Teacher of the Year

    Leigh M. VandenAkker is Utah's 2012 Teacher of the Year and winner of Utah's 2011 Golden Apple Award. She is a 2015 recipient of the prestigious Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education. As co-author of Techniques for Tough Times™, Leigh has trained teachers nationwide, providing insight and support by educating teachers in classroom management and how to teach SEL. She presented recently on "Whole Child vs. No Child" at SXSWedu.

    With over 20 years' experience in the educational setting, Leigh has developed strategies and techniques that really work in today's classrooms. Designed to aid classroom teaching of communication and anger-management skills, her curriculum supports the strategies for teaching metacognition. Students learn to self-advocate, have a voice, and use higher order thinking skills to power through life's obstacles. Leigh holds an M.Ed. degree as well as certifications in special education, criminology and corrections, ESL, and conflict resolution (communication, mediation, negotiation). She is highly skilled in program development and coordination. Her particular expertise is with "at-risk" populations, grant proposal writing, and program management.

    As a 2012 Pearson Global Scholar, Leigh visited the country of Brazil, where she had the unique opportunity to examine its education system.

    As a full-time public high school teacher, Leigh is recognized as a consummate professional who cares deeply for students. She is presently teaching at East High School in Salt Lake City School District, and she is currently serving on the Utah Education Association's Teachers Excellence Task Force. You can find out more about her by viewing her recent TED Talk.

Back to Top

2016 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #1


Back to Top

2016 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #2


Back to Top

2016 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #3


Back to Top

2016 Conference on Teaching Question and Answer Session #4


Back to Top