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2020 Annual Conference Keynotes
Sara K. Ahmed - General Session Speaker on March 14
Sara K. Ahmed is currently a literacy coach at NIST International School in Bangkok, Thailand. She has taught in urban, suburban, public, independent, and international schools, where her classrooms were designed to help students consider their own identities and see the humanity in others. Sara is the author of Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension and coauthor with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels of Upstanders: How to Engage Middle School Hearts and Minds with Inquiry. She has served on the teacher leadership team for Facing History and Ourselves, an international organization devoted to developing critical thinking and empathy for others. You can find her on Twitter @SaraKAhmed.
Cornelius Minor - General Session Speaker on March 14
Cornelius Minor is a Brooklyn-based educator. He works with teachers, school leaders, and leaders of community-based organizations to support equitable literacy reform in cities (and sometimes villages) across the globe. Whether working with educators and kids in Los Angeles, Seattle, or New York City, Cornelius uses his love for technology, hip-hop, and social media to bring communities together. As a staff developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Cornelius draws not only on his years teaching middle school in the Bronx and Brooklyn, but also on time spent skateboarding, shooting hoops, and working with young people.
Ernest Morrell - General Session Speaker on March 15
Ernest Morrell is the Coyle Professor of Literacy Education and Director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame. He was formerly the Macy Professor of English Education and Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also an elected member of the AERA Council, elected Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, a past-president of the National Council of Teachers of English, an appointed member of the International Literacy Association’s Research Panel, and convener of the African Diaspora International Research Network. His areas of interest include: The Teaching of English, the African Diaspora, Postcolonial Studies, Media and Popular Culture, and Literature for Children. In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Ernest was ranked among the top 100 university-based education scholars in the Annual EdWeek RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Ernest is also the recipient of the 2017 Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies. Ernest has written more than 80 articles and book chapters that have appeared in publications such as Research in the Teaching of English, Teachers College Record, the Journal of Teacher Education, Reading Research Quarterly, English Education, the English Journal, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Learning, Media, and Technology. He has authored eight books including New Directions in Teaching English, Doing Youth Participatory Research, The Art of Critical Pedagogy, Critical Literacy and Urban Youth, and Critical Media Pedagogy: Teaching for Achievement in City Schools, which was awarded Outstanding Academic Title for 2014 by Choice Magazine of the American Library Association. Ernest has earned numerous commendations for his university teaching including UCLA’s Department of Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He received his BA in English Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his teaching credential, his MA and his PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of California, Berkeley where he was the recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation award in 2001. Ernest is chair of the Planning and Advisory Committee for the African Diaspora Consortium and he sits on the Executive Boards of LitWorld and the Education for Democracy Institute.
Jennifer Serravallo - General Session Speaker on March 16
Jennifer Serravallo is the author of New York Times’ bestseller The Reading Strategies Book as well as other popular Heinemann professional books, The Writing Strategies Book; Teaching Reading in Small Groups; and The Literacy Teacher's Playbook, Grades K–2 and Grades 3–6. Her newest books are Understanding Texts & Readers, and A Teacher's Guide to Reading Conferences.
In Spring 2019, Jen’s new Complete Comprehension: Fiction and Complete Comprehension: Nonfiction was released. This assessment and teaching resource expands upon the comprehension skill progressions from Understanding Texts & Readers and offers hundreds more strategies like those in The Reading Strategies Book.
Additionally, Jen is the author of the On-Demand Courses Strategies in Action: Reading and Writing Methods and Content and Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Matching Methods to Purposes, where you can watch dozens of videos of Jen teaching in real classrooms and engage with other educators in a self-guided course.
Jen began her career in education as a NYC public school teacher and later joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Through TCRWP, and now as an independent consultant, she has spent over a decade helping teachers across the country to create literacy classrooms where students are joyfully engaged and the instruction is meaningfully individualized to students' goals.
Jen holds a BA from Vassar College and an MA from Teachers College, where she has also taught graduate and undergraduate classes.
2020 Annual Conference Luncheons
Luncheon with Donalyn Miller - Saturday Featured Speaker Luncheon on March 14
Donalyn Miller will be speaking at this luncheon. Donalyn Miller is an award-winning Texas teacher and author of several books on engaging children with reading including The Book Whisperer (Jossey-Bass, 2009) and Reading in the Wild (Jossey-Bass, 2013). Donalyn is the co-founder of the community blog Nerdy Book Club and co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat #titletalk. Her articles about teaching and reading have appeared in publications such as Education Week Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership and The Washington Post. Donalyn serves as Scholastic Book Fairs' Manager of Independent Reading and Outreach. This luncheon is only available through online registration. The cost of this luncheon is $45.00.
Luncheon with Mr. Schu - Saturday Featured Speaker Luncheon on March 14
John Schu (aka Mr. Schu) is nationally known for his expertise in children’s literature and for igniting a passion to read. He will share his experiences in promoting a culture of reading among students, staff, and parents. This luncheon is only available through online registration, and will be located in the Ambassador East Ballroom. The cost of the luncheon is $45.00.
Kaleidoscope Student Luncheon - Celebrating Student Authors on March 15
Join our published student authors and their guests as we celebrate student writing in Michigan! Our 2019 – 2020 Kaleidoscope student authors will be honored at this special luncheon on Sunday, March 15 at 11:30 AM at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. Heather Jensen and Amy Romanowski, teachers and avid readers, will be our special guest speakers, sharing their love of reading and writing with our group of student authors. The cost of this luncheon is $45.00 and must be paid for in advance.