We're bringing together the best of the best to share best practices, help you drive innovation, and present case studies of success. Our 2018 Speakers are dynamic and experienced leaders who are excited to spread their wealth of knowledge. Learn more about our sessions.
Aquan is a transformational leader bringing over 10 years of experience in establishing high performing learning environments across diverse student and staff populations. Recognized for talents in strategy development, she motivates and inspires leadership teams into action. Aquan devises and implements new support systems for sustained success in vulnerable student groups.
Becky has worn many hats during her eight year tenure with MAPSA, from new school development, to grassroots, to now communications. Her unique experience in the charter movement has positioned her as a key resource for schools in need of marketing, social media and communications support, As Director of Comms. Strategy, she has helped shape a powerful brand for MAPSA & Michigan's charters.
Brian began his education career as a second-grade teacher in Oakland Unified School District, and eventually became Director of Talent and Growth at Promise Schools in Detroit. In this role, he led talent recruitment and retention for the four-school network, prioritizing teacher's needs. At EdOps, Brian is responsible for service to EdOps’ Michigan partners and growing the impact of EdOps in the state.
Buzz has spent 14 years in the Michigan legislature, including serving as Democratic Floor Leader in the Senate and as Democratic Leader in the House. His past work includes creating rigorous academic standards for Michigan schools, electrical and natural gas deregulation, and creation of tax incentive laws that helped spur development in Detroit.
A Detroit native, Cora began her career in education as a math teacher in the city. She eventually transitioned into an administrative role, and transitioned to the prestigious West Bloomfield traditional public school district. A strong leader, Cora was recruited to lead Henry Ford Academy, a charter school that serves students within the walls of Henry Ford Museum.
J.C.'s passion for business, education, and philanthropy is influenced by a family history of entrepreneurship and service. He founded NHA in 1995, which has become one of the most successful charter school networks in the nation, operating 87 schools across nine states. J.C. has earned numerous career awards, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service and Leadership Award.
Jennifer currently serves as the VP & Chief Schools Officer for Distinctive Schools. Through her many leadership roles, she has developed strong professional expertise in the areas of curriculum & instruction, personalized learning, dual language, and strategic planning and has shared her expertise by presenting and facilitating workshops at the local, state, and national levels.
Jim joined the charter schools movement in 1995, and has played a prominent role in developing and strengthening the performance of the charter schools sector in Michigan and across the nation ever since. Prior to joining the Institute, Jim served as the Executive Director of The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University, where he led the first and largest university authorizer of charter public schools in the nation.
Jin-Soo Huh supports educators in developing and implementing innovative models of instruction that aim to meet the unique profiles of each student. Previously, he did similar work at KIPP Chicago and Alpha Public Schools. He taught middle and high school math in the D.C. area, New Orleans, and Chicago and served as a teacher leader in implementing one of the nation’s first 1:1 iPad programs.
John is the Co-Founder of Celebrate Hope LLC, which partners with parents and educators who are helping kids with unique and special needs. At just two years old, his 16-year-old son, Braeden, was diagnosed with autism, sparking a life-long passion to help families like his.. John is a certified social/ emotional intelligence coach through the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence.
Kayla is a third grade teacher from Creative Technologies Academy. Going on her fifth year at CTA, she was a finalist for the 2018 Charter School Teacher of the Year Award. Kayla is passionate about building meaningful relationships, delivering engaging content to every level and style of learner, and creating a positive climate/culture - not just at CTA, but in education as a whole.
Prior to this current role, Keith was the Principal of CICS Prairie (A k-8 charter school on the south side of Chicago), the Director of STEM for Distinctive Schools, a middle school instructional coach, and spent a decade in a middle school science classroom. Throughout his career in education, Keith has been an outspoken supporter of dynamic education reform.
At EdFuel, Kelly helped launch EdFuel’s overall programmatic model and led numerous engagements with schools, districts and non-profits all over the country. Prior to her work at EdFuel, Kelly focused on charter accountability and academic quality for a portfolio of 540+ charter schools at the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.
As a Director at EdFuel, Kristina leads all Michigan partnerships and supports early-stage charter and education nonprofits to develop the talent management systems needed to recruit and retain their best people. Prior to joining EdFuel, she led special initiatives as K-12 Program Manager for Excellent Schools Detroit.
In addition to co-founding Celebrate Hope LLC, L:isa holds a degree in social work from Central Michigan University and is a certified social/emotional intelligence coach. As a parent of a child with unique and special needs, her shared vision for Celebrate Hope LLC was birthed out of the love for her child along with the desire to fill pockets of need that were not available when her child was struggling.
Margaret “Macke” Raymond is the director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, which analyzes education reform efforts around the country. She is passionate about ensuring our country provides opportunity for all its youth through excellent education in all schools. CREDO is a leader in studying US charter schools.
Moneak Parker serves as Executive Director of Detroit Voice for School Choice, and has worked in the charter school industry for over 15 years. Mrs. Parker has been engaging parents and their faimiles throughout Metro Detroit for the past ten years. She began working for Detroit Voice for School Choice in 2017 facilitating a parent lead school choice organization.
Natalia joined EdOps in 2015 as a finance specialist, and has since managed several strategic consulting projects for charter school clients. Prior to her work at EdOps, Natalia completed an Education Pioneers fellowship, and managed the investment analyst team at Strategic Investment Group, an institutional investment management firm
Pat is the founding CEO of West Michigan Aviation Academy. His leadership has been key in implementing the vision of the school and his leadership influences all facets of the school operation. Prior to his time at WMAA, Pat was Chief Liaison for Presidential Affairs and then Vice President for College Relations at Grand Rapids Community College and served as a leadership coach for the Kent Intermediate School District.