MEP Conference Session Presenters


MEP Conference Session Presenters 2021-02-25T14:29:53+00:00

Lysandra Alexander, J.D., @lyslalexander

Lysandra Alexander, J.D., Program Coordinator, Migrant Education Program, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Migrant Education Program for more than 15 years. As a Program Coordinator, Alexander specializes in providing training and technical support to the staff that works directly with migrant students. Prior to working for PA MEP, she worked as an Educational Consultant at the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network through the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit, and taught elementary bilingual education, for three years, at Providence Public Schools in Providence, Rhode Island. Alexander is a graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Education. She has two master’s degrees — Guidance Counseling from Slippery Rock University and Library Science from the University of Arizona. She received her Juris Doctor from American University. Alexander is a member of the Maryland Bar since 2003 and is fluent in English and Spanish.

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | I Learned About ACEs, Now What? Trauma-Informed Support and Practices for Youth

Joyce Ramos Gomez de Avila

Joyce Ramos Gomez de Avila, President, CAFÉ Creating and Facilitating Equality, Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, organizes and facilitates workshops in the areas of diversity, life change and transition, leadership, communication, conflict resolution, stress management and self-care. This type of work is not new to her as she was former Director for Northeastern Pennsylvania Diversity Education Consortium, Assistant Director for Diversity Institute, and Diversity Director for Keystone College. De Avila continues work across the nation as a Minority Leadership Trainer for the National Education Association. She received her master’s degree in Bilingual – Bi-Cultural Education. She has been a classroom teacher in Puerto Rico, Brooklyn NYC Public Schools, Bethlehem Area School District and Pocono Mountain School District. At Pocono Mountain she created and implemented the ESL Program.

Wednesday, March 17 at 2:45 p.m. | MEP Virtual Summer Camps: An Interstate Collaboration

David Bateman, Ph.D., @SpedLawBlog

David Bateman, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, teaches courses on special education law, assessment and facilitating inclusion. He is a former due process hearing officer for Pennsylvania for more than 580 hearings. Bateman uses his knowledge of litigation relating to special education to assist school districts in providing appropriate supports for students with disabilities and to prevent and recover from due process hearings. He has been a classroom teacher of students with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disability, and hearing impairments, and a building administrator for summer programs. Bateman earned a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas. He has recently co-authored “A Principal’s Guide to Special Education,” ”A Teacher’s Guide to Special Education,” “Charting the Course: Special Education in Charter Schools,” and the forthcoming “Special Education Leadership: Building Effective Programming in Schools” and “Current Trends and Issues in Special Education.”

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Family Engagement and Progress Monitoring: Supporting Students with Disabilities in Virtual Environments

Kailee Baylor

Kailee Baylor, Marketing Associate for Crayola Education, Crayola, Easton, Pennsylvania, loves cats, books and coloring. Excited to share creative resources for the school, classroom and home with educators across the country.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Creative Confidence and Growth Mindset

Nicholas Bell

Nicholas Bell, Co-Founder, BRAIN STEM, West Chester, Pennsylvania, is an instructor, researcher and Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. He taught for 10 years in the K-12 public school system at the elementary and high school level. His current research expertise includes hierarchical linear modeling, structural equation modeling, Bayesian modeling, and proficiency in applied statistical analysis software, specifically in R programming. Bell works with multiple organizations at Delaware to implement equity-related initiatives, conduct research analyses, and develop research designs. He is interested in researching one or a combination of the following areas: pre-service preparation, education policy, culturally relevant teaching, and K-12 student outcomes. Additionally, Bell is a co-founder of BRAIN STEM, which aims to empower students in math and science.

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Coding with a Purpose

Debra Benitez, Ph.D.

Debra Benitez, Ph.D., Director, Migrant Education Special Projects, WestEd, Sacramento, California, responsibilities include supporting state and local MEP professionals to use their unique migratory student data to inform individual program and policy decisions. She and her team also provide technical assistance and training related to Identification and Recruitment, program requirements, and the cycle of continuous improvement. Benitez is passionate about being in service to migratory students, their families and other diverse youth with distinct educational needs.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | How Leaders Keep Equity at the Center in Their Decision Making

Winnie Black, Ed.D.

Winnie Black, Ed.D., STEM Coordinator, Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, has been an afterschool leader involved in STEM since 1990. Black coordinated the STEM student support program for Kettering University for Engineering, Science and Environmental Science majors. She has designed and implemented a STEM project-based learning curriculum for all different age groups. She was one of the co-developers of the STELAR Career Development Skill Inventory. Currently, Black serves on the leadership team for the Pennsylvania STEM Statewide Ecosystem and a National LEAD STEM for the Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne Ecosystems. She also has served as a member of the national Ecosystem Advisory Council.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Inspiring Girls to Engage in STEM Careers Through STEM Superstar Activities

Monica Burns, Ed.D., @ClassTechTips

Monica Burns, Ed.D., EdTech and Curriculum Consultant, Class Tech Tips, LLC, Jersey City, New Jersey, is besides an EdTech and Curriculum Consultant, an author and former New York City public school teacher. Burns works with schools and organizations around the world to support PreK-20 educators with thoughtful technology integration. Her website and Easy EdTech Podcast help educators place “tasks before apps” by promoting deeper learning with technology.

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Six Tips for Mixing STEM and Play During Distance Learning

Jessica Castaneda

Jessica Castaneda, Director, IDRC Consortium, Fort Scott, Kansas, has worked for Migrant Education Programs in various capacities for more than 20 years. These have included all aspects of the program, such as program coordination, direct programming, working individually with students, and recruiting eligible families and youth. Castaneda has a deep respect for the migrant agricultural worker community and all they give to their communities and this country.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Marketing Strategies That Work for ID&R

Jennifer Conner, @foundations_inc

Jennifer Conner, Director, Center for Afterschool and Expanded Learning, Foundations, Inc., Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, supports out-of-school time programs through the design and delivery of professional development. Conner also collaborates and consults with national organizations on the creation of afterschool content. Before coming to Foundations, she worked with Philadelphia-area youth both in school day and out-of-school time settings. Conner holds a master’s degree in Secondary Education from Chestnut Hill College and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Temple University.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Summer Fun with Virtual Hands-On Learning: Middle School

Alicia Copeland

Alicia Copeland, Director of Youth Programs, Parks and People Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland, began her career as a Spanish teacher and college prep program coordinator in Baltimore County, Maryland. Copeland continued to teach for 10 years at the elementary, middle and high school levels; she considers herself an educator for life. She oversees the Foundation’s middle school sports program, afterschool high school internship program and SuperKids Camp, an environmental literacy summer enrichment program for elementary school students. In her spare time, Copeland is a CollegeBound Foundation mentor, youth advisor, Board member for Goucher College Alumni, mother of two and wedding planner.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Reimagining Summer Programming: How Parks Can Increase SEL

Sarah Eason, Ph.D., @SarahHEason

Sarah Eason, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, received her Ph.D. in Human Development at the University of Maryland. Eason’s research focuses on how social interactions in informal learning settings such as the home environment, can equip children with the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to do well in school. In particular, Eason examines how families engage in activities that support young children’s math learning.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Working With Families to Support Early Math Learning

Matt Flaherty

Matt Flaherty, Education Specialist, ESCORT, Barre, Vermont

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Best Practices for Identification and Recruitment During COVID-19

Kathy Fox, Ph.D.

Kathy Fox, Ph.D., Professor, Watson College of Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, earned her Ph.D. with an emphasis in Cultural Perspectives of Education from the University of California at Santa Barbara, California. Fox is a faculty member in the Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education Department in the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she teaches courses in literacy and teacher education. Fox’s teaching career spans 22 years as a public school teacher, director of a community college early childhood center, HeadStart teacher and a Peace Corps volunteer specializing in nutrition and childcare. Her scholarship includes family and community literacy and teacher education.

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Growing Appreciation for Family Literacy: Bi-Directional Effects of School-Home Outreach

Laura Fridirici, M.Ed.

Laura Fridirici, M.Ed., Career Readiness Advisor, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, brings 21 years of classroom teacher expertise in business and special education with a focus on career and workforce readiness for all students. She also brings a workforce perspective from her previous career experiences in both business and higher education. Fridirici attained her bachelor’s degree in Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in Education and Special Education from Wilkes University. She attained her principal certification from Point Park University; she is the Career Readiness Advisor for the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Special Consultant to the Secretary on Career Readiness. Originally from southwestern Pennsylvania, Fridirici’s career path led her to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Fridirici believes that “every child has a vocation” and is firmly committed to seeing that happen as Pennsylvania’s future depends not only on a well-educated and skilled workforce but youth who are passionate about their work.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Career Ready PA Coalition: Building Collaboration

Laura Gardner, @lauragardner79

Laura Gardner, Founder, Immigrant Connections, Washington, D.C., has nearly 20 years of experience working in education, refugee resettlement and social work. While in education, Gardner worked as a district level manager for immigrant family and community engagement as well as school social worker. She also worked for Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services managing their national technical assistance initiative to federal Refugee School Impact Grantees. Gardner has facilitated professional development on building the capacity of teachers and school systems to engage immigrant families in their children’s education, language access, cultural competency, equity, unaccompanied immigrant children, immigrant family reunification, and refugee resettlement. Laura holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Education. In 2017, she founded her own organization, Immigrant Connections.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Engaging Migrant and English Learner Families in a Virtual World

Lisa Gillette

Lisa Gillette is the director of the Office of Migrant Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Gillette leads the planning and coordination efforts for its four grant programs: Migrant Education Program, Consortium Incentive Grant Program, College Assistance Migrant Program, and High School Equivalency Program. In this capacity, she oversees the activities related to grant and contract administration, policy development, program evaluation, and implementation of special initiatives. In prior roles with the Department, Gillette served as the Team and Policy Lead for the Migrant Education Program and the Policy Lead for the Rural Education Achievement Program. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Gillette worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Tuesday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. | Remarks

Lupi Ginn

Lupi Ginn, Senior ID&R Trainer, ESCORT, Tampa, Florida

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Best Practices for Identification and Recruitment During COVID-19

Jenny Hernandez

Jenny Hernandez, CAMP Director, Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania, has worked in the Migrant Education Program at Millersville University as a Parent Coordinator, Quality Control Reviewer, and later as a Home Visitor. These experiences gave her a good insight into a migrant family’s functions. Hernandez has served as the Director of the Millersville University College Assistance Migrant Program since 2017. Her training as a lawyer, Professional Counselor in Education, Mental Health Professional, and being part of the Leadership Team at the School District of Lancaster, has prepared her to implement and review multiple college readiness programs. During her 10 years of educational setting experience, Hernandez oversaw hundreds of students and implemented multiple activities to promote college awareness and students’ readiness. Also, she led the implementation of Online After School Mentoring Programs, College Visits, College Application Completions, FAFSA Workshops, and many other activities oriented to first-generation college students.

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Are Your Students Ready for Post-Secondary Education? Do They Have the Skills Needed to Succeed?

Phyllis Jordan, @phylliswjordan, @FutureEdGU

Phyllis Jordan, Editorial Director, FutureEd, Washington, D.C. An experienced writer and editor, Jordan served in senior editing positions at the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, where she managed a team of 40 reporters and her responsibilities included editing the newspaper’s education coverage. She is currently the editorial director of FutureEd, an independent think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Jordan has served as the communications director at Attendance Works, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit focused on improving the policy, research and practice around school attendance, and as a vice-president of the Hatcher Group, a communications firm that works exclusively with foundations and nonprofit organizations. At Hatcher, Jordan worked on a range of education initiatives, across print, digital and social media platforms, including the crafting of a communications strategy for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to improve early literacy. Jordan holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Sweet Briar College.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Attendance in the Age of COVID-19

Barbara Kaiser

Barbara Kaiser, Early Childhood Educator and Author, Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada, has worked with early childhood educators, children and their families for more than 40 years. Kaiser is the co-author of “Challenging Behavior in Young Children: Understanding, Preventing and Responding Effectively 4thEdition,” and “Meeting the Challenge: Effective Strategies for Challenging Behaviours in Early Childhood Environments” as well as numerous articles on children’s behavior. She has taught at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec and Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and presented workshops and keynote speeches in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and Mauritius. Kaiser was the chief consultant for “Addressing Youth Violence: An Intersectoral, Integrated Approach for Western Nova Scotia,” and designed webinars and guides for teachers and administrators to reduce and respond to bullying behavior for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. She developed video programs focused on managing children’s challenging behavior with Family Communications Inc. and with the Devereux Center for Resilient Children. Recently Kaiser has provided webinars on leadership, supporting children, families and staff returning to school and childcare after COVID-19.

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Beyond COVID-19: Supporting Children, Families and Staff to Reintegrate to the New Normal

Tracie Kalic

Tracie Kalic, Director, Instructional Services for Out-of-School and Secondary Youth, Fort Scott, Kansas, has more than 20 years of education experience. As director of iSOSY — a Consortium Incentive Grant funded by the Office of Migrant Education (OME) at the United States Department of Education — she is to build capacity in states with a growing secondary-aged migrant out-of-school youth population. Kaiser started her career as a teacher at the high school and university level. She has assisted school districts in implementing and evaluating federal programs, including Title I, Part A, and Title I, Part C. She has provided technical assistance to states across the country to help establish systems of support for at-risk students, both in and out of school. Kalic also assisted in the development of a Multi-Tier System of Support for secondary students in literacy, mathematics and behavior for the state of Kansas.

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | I Learned About ACEs, Now What? Trauma-Informed Support and Practices for Youth

Andrea Kolb

Andrea Kolb, Statewide Multilingual Education Project Manager, Center for Schools and Communities, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, has nearly 10 years of experience in the ELD field and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on the education of English learners. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has experience working with teachers in the United States and abroad. Kolb has served as a university instructor at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, teaching coursework related to the instruction and assessment of ELs, as well as foundations of multicultural education, educational policy, multilingual literacies, and linguistics. She has experience in designing and delivering in-person, online, and blended professional development programs, and has worked as an instructional coach for teachers of ELs in a large urban school district. Additionally, Kolb has leadership experience in early childhood education programs for ELs as well as expertise in program development for high-impact dual capacity-building family engagement.

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Implementing Culturally Responsive Teaching Through Language-Rich Instruction

Bruce Lack

Bruce Lack, Associate Director, Identification and Recruitment Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Lessons Learned for ID&R During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nicole Lady

Nicole Lady, Migrant Technology Support Specialist, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Milton, Pennsylvania, served as a backup Data Specialist for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit when she first started with the MEP program in 2013. Lady later became the primary Data Specialist for Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit. After six and a half years working with the MIS2000 data, she joined the state tech team to provide technical assistance to staff. Lady recently completed her first year in her new role. She is the primary MSIX specialist to assist staff with their MSIX accounts and logins and also the backup Data Specialist for CSIU MIS2000.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Techniques and Tips for Tablet MIS2000

Pathy Leiva

Pathy Leiva, Director of Access and Opportunity Programs, College Assistance Migrant Program, SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, New York, received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish Literature from Hartwick College. Her master’s degree of Science Education: School Counselor K-12, from SUNY Oneonta. Leiva has been with SUNY Oneonta for 16 years. Prior to that, she was an advisor/recruitment coordinator for three years and recruiter for almost 10 years. Leiva has worked extensively with the Latinx/Hispanic community and provides support in different ways, such as advising and working with Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority Latin Incorporated, being MGC advisor, and working with several clubs that promote our community. Leiva has trained several groups on the Latinx/Hispanic community. She has spoken at several conferences on diversity and leadership. She enjoys bringing a variety of students to Oneonta from many backgrounds and cultures. Currently, Leiva is working to expand the access and opportunity programs as well as the Latinx/Hispanic community at SUNY Oneonta.

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | Are Your Students Ready for Post-Secondary Education? Do They Have the Skills Needed to Succeed?

Tara Loew

Tara Loew was appointed as the Director of the Apprenticeship and Training Office for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in early November 2020. She comes to the position with a wealth of experience in and passion for workforce program development targeting underrepresented populations and building partnerships for collective impact. Prior to this position she had most recently served as the Director of Operations at Pennsylvania CareerLink Lancaster County. In addition to overseeing program operations and staff, during her time at CareerLink she worked closely with the instructor team, grew youth programming, and led the development of the Re-Entry Services Department, one of the only of its kind located in a CareerLink/American Job Center. Prior to her time in Workforce Development, Tara has worked in the nonprofit sector and as an educator. Tara has degrees from Temple University in Strategic and Organizational Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and Millersville University in Secondary Social-Studies Education.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Career Ready PA Coalition, Building Collaboration, Apprenticeships

Leslie McConnell

Leslie McConnell, Program Director, Evaluation, Grants and Data, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Homestead, Pennsylvania, has been dubbed a data and reporting harbor pilot and likes to think of herself as a professional problem solver. McConnell has served as the lead state evaluator for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program in Pennsylvania since 2006. She also serves on state evaluation teams for Migrant Education and Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness among other regional and local projects. McConnell’s professional background in data and evaluation, strategic planning, technical writing, project management, and grant development supports her in helping educators create, implement and refine programs to increase success, improve outcomes and communicate that success in meaningful ways. McConnell earned her master’s degree in Education Foundations from Duquesne University and her bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing from LaRoche College. She is currently involved in EPLC’s Education Policy Fellowship Program focusing on increasing equity in school funding.

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Why All the Data? The Importance and Evolution of Evaluation for Migrant Education in Pennsylvania

Carmen M. Medina

Carmen Medina is a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico. After attending the University of Puerto Rico where she majored in mathematics and minored in education, she moved to Pennsylvania. Carmen currently is the Division Chief of Student Services for the Pennsylvania Department of Education under the Bureau of Teaching and Learning. She oversees the statewide administration and implementation of the Migrant Education Program, Refugee Education, Homeless Education (McKinney-Vento), 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, and Teen Parenting Education and Prevention. Also, as part of her responsibilities at the department, she is working on dropout prevention, summer reading and literacy initiatives.

Tuesday, March 16 at 10:30 a.m. | Remarks

Ray Melecio

Ray Melecio, Director, ESCORT, Tampa, Florida

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Lessons Learned for ID&R During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Will Messier

Will Messier, Statewide Support, Identification and Recruitment Director, New York State Migrant Education Program, Saratoga Springs, New York

Tuesday, March 16 at 2:45 p.m. | Lessons Learned for ID&R During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Laura Moran, Ph.D.

Laura Moran, Ph.D., Educational Consultant, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Harrisburg, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the statewide lead for the Pennsylvania State Systemic Improvement Plan to increase graduation rates for students with disabilities. In addition, Moran is the central office lead for Pathways to Graduation, which aims to increase school completion for middle school students with emotional behavioral disorders. Her work also encompasses literacy, Multi-Tiered System of Supports, and special education leadership. Moran is a certified LETRS trainer in Pennsylvania and a national Paideia faculty member. Moran holds a doctorate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Administration and Leadership Studies for the Public Sector and her research focused on teacher efficacy.

Thursday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. | ABCs for Dropout Prevention: Early Warning Systems

Vaughn Murray

Vaughn Murray, Education Programs Information Technology Manager, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Milton, Pennsylvania, has more than 30 years of experience working with education information technology, including over 25 years with the Migrant Education Program. Murray has been involved in Pennsylvania’s use of the MIS2000 database system since its inception in the mid-’90s and has been part of many system enhancements over the years. He and Pennsylvania are known nationally as a leader in MEP data systems. Murray has been involved in many national-level MEP data projects, such as MSIX. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in Computer Science/Systems Programming.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Techniques and Tips for Tablet MIS2000

Thomas Naugle

Thomas Naugle, Senior Technology Consultant, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Milton, Pennsylvania, has 24 years of experience working with education information technology, including 18 years with the Migrant Education Program. Naugle has provided statewide technical support and managed the MEP data server. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Techniques and Tips for Tablet MIS2000

Carlos Ojeda Jr.

Carlos Ojeda Jr., CEO and Creative Force, CoolSpeak, The Youth Engagement Company, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, has been called one of the most dynamic speakers in America today. A former university administrator, professor and small business development center director, Ojeda now focuses his energy on empowering students to succeed by teaching them that their voice is their power. Combining his entrepreneurial spirit with his passion for changing the lives of youth across the country, he started CoolSpeak, a youth engagement company. CoolSpeak provides youth motivational speakers, programs and events designed to keep students inspired, parents involved and teachers engaged. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Marketing and a minor in Law from Bloomsburg University, his master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in business development, entrepreneurship and organization development from Kutztown University.

Wednesday, March 17 at 2:45 p.m. | MEP Virtual Summer Camps: An Interstate Collaboration

Anabel Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Anabel Rodriguez, Ph.D., Research Occupational Epidemiologist, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, San Antonio, Texas, is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and seasonal migrant farmworkers from the South Texas border town of Rio Grande City. Rodriguez received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Edward’s University, her master’s degree in Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Occupational Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in San Antonio. For the past six and a half years, Rodriguez’s research has focused on improving occupational health and safety among vulnerable working groups — dairy workers, logging machine operators and migrant farmworkers. Most recently, her work has focused on bovine tuberculosis and healthcare access and barriers among dairy workers in Texas, as well as, mental health care access and perceptions among migrant farmworker families residing in South Texas.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | COVID-19 Outreach: Working with Agricultural Producers and Workers

Cheri Sterman, @CheriSterman, @CrayolaEdu

Cheri Sterman, Director, Education, Crayola, Easton, Pennsylvania, helps educators build creative capacity. Sterman translates research and best practices into professional learning courses on Creative Leadership, Multiliteracies, Culturally Responsive Learning Environments, STEAM, and Family Engagement. She is Vice-Chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning and served on the board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Prior to joining Crayola, Sterman was the Director of Child Development for the State of Ohio. She taught Child Development to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Cincinnati and Sinclair College in Ohio.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Creative Confidence and Growth Mindset

Susan Villani, Ed.D.

Susan Villani, Ed.D., Senior Program Associate, WestEd, Woburn, Massachusetts, specializes in leadership, instruction, formative assessment, data inquiry and disproportionality, teacher evaluation, mentoring and induction of new teachers and principals, and building collaborative school communities through consulting, professional development, and coaching in schools, districts, and departments of education. Villani has led statewide initiatives in New York, New Hampshire and Maine, and has worked with educators throughout the United States for more than 30 years. Villani has been a classroom teacher, school principal, adjunct faculty and mentor and consultant. She has written several books about mentoring and induction programs for new teachers and principals, including “Are You Sure You’re the Principal?”

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | How Leaders Keep Equity at the Center in Their Decision Making

Elizabeth Weaver-Ronk

Elizabeth Weaver-Ronk, Senior Systems and Data Analyst Coordinator, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Milton, Pennsylvania, began at a Regional Migrant Education Program Office as a temporary Data Specialist. Shortly thereafter she was hired to provide statewide technical support to other Data Specialists and support services to the State Director. As a one-time end-user Weaver-Ronk has unique insight into the needs of staff members. Now she largely focuses on database enhancements, reporting, data quality and extraction, and training. A graduate of Millersville University with a bachelor’s degree in History, Weaver-Ronk has worked with the Migrant Program since, and with the CSIU for more than 18 years. Her crossover with the different components of the MEP gives her a unique and well-rounded understanding of the dynamics of the program, its staff, and the people they serve.

Tuesday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. | Techniques and Tips for Tablet MIS2000

James Wells

James Wells, Innovation Teaching and Learning Manager, Crayola, Memphis, Tennessee, brings his creativity and high energy to every creatED training session, engaging participants to think differently. Wells has been dedicated to supporting arts in schools, working closely with students, teachers and administrators in Tennessee and across the U.S. Prior to Crayola, Wells was the Fine Art Instructional Advisor for Shelby County School District in Memphis and the Director of Arts Access/Art Education Coordinator for the Tennessee Arts Commission in Nashville. He has participated in leading numerous initiatives that kept art at the forefront of education including revising art standards for the state of Tennessee. As the Education Programs Manager for Culture and Heritage Museums in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Wells also designed educational programs for both school groups and families. In addition to his work at Crayola, Wells continues to be involved in art education as a leader within the National Art Educators Association and a member of this Professional Organization’s Art Leaders Program.

Wednesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m. | Creative Confidence and Growth Mindset