Virginia Educational Facility Planners
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
KIM BEARDEN KIM BEARDEN
  • RON CLARK ACADEMY COFOUNDER-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
  • NATIONAL HALL OF FAME TEACHER OF THE YEAR
  • BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF “CRASH COURSE”

Kim Bearden is the cofounder, Executive Director, and language arts teacher at the highly-acclaimed Ron Clark Academy, an innovative middle school and educator training facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the past nine years, over 36,000 educators from around the world have visited Kim’s classroom at the Academy and have attended her workshops to learn better ways to engage students, promote academic rigor, and create a climate and culture that promotes success. Kim was recently honored at the White House for being inducted into to the National Teachers Hall of Fame. She was selected from over 70,000 nominations to be honored as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Middle School Humanities Teacher. The Milken Family Foundation selected her to receive the Award for Excellence in Education, and she was chosen from among 7,000 teachers as Teacher of the Year in Cobb County, Georgia. Women Works Media Group has named her one of Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Women.

Over the past twenty-nine years, she has been a teacher, instructional lead teacher, curriculum director, school board member, staff development trainer, and middle school principal.

Kim’s book, “Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me”, made several bestseller lists, the LA Times Bestseller List being among them.

TODD NESLONEY TODD NESLONEY

  • WHITE HOUSE CHAMPION OF CHANGE
  • BAMMY NATIONAL PRINCIPAL & TEACHER OF THE YEAR
  • AUTHOR OF “KIDS DESERVE IT”

Todd Nesloney (often referred to as TechNinjaTodd) is the Principal/Lead Learner at a PreK-5 school in Texas. He is an award-winning author for his work in co-authoring “Kids Deserve It!” and “Flipping 2.0: Practical Strategies for Flipping Your Class” as well as his children’s book “Spruce & Lucy”. Todd has also been recognized by the White House as a Connected Educator “Champion of Change” and by many national organizations for his innovative ideas about teaching and learning.

Todd is passionate about education and innovation. Todd was a classroom teacher for 7 years before taking the leap straight from classroom teacher to campus principal in Navasota, Texas. He took over a struggling campus, brought in a brand-new staff, and used his creative ideas to transform a school.

The one thing that is clear about Todd when you hear him speak is his immense love for doing what’s best for kids despite limitations. He works in an environment where almost 90% of his students are on a free-and-reduced lunch. His campus and district are 85% minority and face many challenges.

But that’s exactly what Todd thrives on. He loves a challenge. Todd also travels and speaks about his innovative practices and how we have to stop making excuses on why we can’t do things for our students. Todd also speaks about his use of technology and gives all educators ideas on how to continually utilize the tools at our disposal to create the best possible learning environment for children.

Todd was a “Classroom Champions” teacher and worked with Olympic and Paralympic athletes in his classroom and school and is also a part of the Remind Advisory Board. He is the co-founder of “periScopeOut” and the co-founder of “Kids Deserve It”. Todd also hosts an iTunes Top Rated podcast series called “Kids Deserve It” with Adam Welcome as they interview inspiring educators and allow them to share their stories.

YONG ZHAO YONG ZHAO

  • 2005 ELECTED FELLOW TO INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY
  • 1995 WILLIAM CHANDLER BAGLEY SCHOLAR
  • INTERNATIONAL EXPERT ON EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Yong Zhao currently serves as a Foundations Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas and was previously the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education at the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he is also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy and Leadership. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University.

Yong’s works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 20 books, including “Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization and World Class Learners”. He is a recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association and was named one of the 2012 ten most influential people in educational technology by the Tech & Learn Magazine. He is an Elected Fellow of the International Academy for Education. Yong’s latest book, “World Class Learners”, has won several awards including the Society of Professors of Education Book Award (2013), Association of Education Publishers’ (AEP) Judges’ Award, and Distinguished Achievement Award in Education Leadership (2013).

Until December 2010, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the Founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Technology and Executive Director of the Confucius Institute as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence.