Mike Robertson - Friday, 9 a.m.
Mike Robertson’s greatest joy is in helping people find and develop their creative abilities. He practices what he preaches: Mike is a musician, author of four books, gifted storyteller, and has more than 20 years of graphic design experience.
John Tanner - Friday, 11 a.m.
John Tanner is an educational thinker and writer specializing in the structures that drive the educational enterprise. In his book, The Pitfalls of Reform, John outlines how a number of those present structures—most notably tests, standards, and the quality determination for schools—all possess the similar characteristic of having been designed for purposes outside the goal of educational excellence. As a result, educational excellence occurs not because of the formal systems of accountability, but in spite of them, and when it does an educator is at heart of the change. John has served as a state test director, an executive at a leading assessment publisher, and the director of standards and assessments for one of the leading educational organizations in the country. As the Executive Director of Test Sense he works with and supports educators attempting the mind-shift from a stand-and-deliver-test-based culture to one that will actually be good for the student. John lives and works from San Antonio, TX.
Tom Gardner- Friday, 1:30 p.m.
Tom Gardner co-founded The Motley Fool with his brother David in 1993. He now serves as its Co-Chairman and CEO. In 2014 & 2015, Glassdoor ranked The Motley Fool the #1 place to work in the U.S. for companies with between 250-1000 employees. Tom serves as the lead advisor on Motley Fool One -- the company's all-access service. He manages The Everlasting Portfolio, committed to holding every investment for more than 5 years, and has beaten the market soundly since its inception. Tom is a graduate of Brown University
AJ Crabill - Saturday, 8 a.m.
As Deputy Commissioner of Governance at the Texas Education Agency (TEA), Crabill is responsible for the Accreditation and School Improvement Division, as well as Complaints, Investigations and Enforcement. He will share his plans for improving school governance and more.
Mary Fertakis - Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
As a 19-year school board director in Tukwila Washington, Fertakis is a fierce advocate for children. She will challenge the audience to address equity and discuss race, barriers, and disparities.
Raymund Paredes - Saturday, 3:45 p.m.
The 60x30TX higher education plan is bold. As the Commissioner of Higher Education, Parades will share his thoughts about the need for increased collaboration and alignment among K-12 higher education, and local workforce needs to achieve the four student-centered goals of this strategic plan.