Join us for the Future-Focused Educators’ Summit, a Virtual AESD Opportunity

July 26-29, 2021

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad

Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad

Cultivating Genius and Joy: An Equity Model for Culturally & Historically Responsive Education

The session will blend history, theory, and practical/engaging approaches for understanding and implementing CHRE instructional practices. Dr. Gholdy Muhammad (lead facilitator) will demonstrate researched-based equity practices and offer pedagogical examples of the lesson and unit plans.

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Association of Washington Student Leaders

Association of Washington Student Leaders

Washington State Student Leadership Panel – Highlighting Student Voice, Collaboration, Decision-Making, and Belonging through the lens of Equity, Opportunity, and Access

A group of Washington state student leaders will share their thoughts and have an open panelist discussion around their experience in education and their vision for the future. Their voice will give all insight into what can become as well as hear their passion for Equity, Opportunity, and Access.

Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau

Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau

Developing Leaders of Social Justice in Education

This keynote will reflect on Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau’s experience as an educator, curriculum designer, leader, and activist who set out with two colleagues to apply social justice and educational theory to the creation of a Leaders of Social Justice in Education course. Amber will begin with the context of her work and positionality, the diverse cohort of change agents that were selected to build a movement of leaders, and the defining features of her educational milieu. Second, she’ll explain some of the literature that articulates the theory and research used to frame the overall project and the development of the Leaders of Social Justice in Education course. Third, Amber will share the Leaders of Social Justice Education course curriculum and website used to facilitate the cohort during the COVID-19 school closures. Fourth, she’ll articulate outcomes from the course and lessons learned. This will include a description of the “moral calling” of social justice education leadership, which requires: passionate determination, holding the space, unifying the collective, and a deliberate social justice leadership framework. At the conclusion of the keynote, Amber will offer ideas for other educators and leaders who are interested in developing social justice leaders in their context.

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John Furniss

John Furniss

A Sense of Wonder: Adapting after great loss

At age 16 John attempted suicide. He became totally blind and lost his sense of smell. Through resilience and hard work, John has overcome many physical and mental challenges in his life. He will be sharing his life story, and how woodworking helped save his life. He will address obstacles he faced in the education system as a blind teenager, and how he was able to adapt to his blindness in creative ways.

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Dr. Anthony Craig

Dr. Anthony Craig

Shaping Futures in the Here & Now: Dreams Require Action

We love our students. We love our communities. We are educators because we believe in contributing to society now and into the future–toward justice, abundance, and beauty. My colleague, Dr. William Jackson (principal of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle Public Schools), has written that the the past belongs to our ancestors and elders; we must pick up all they have provided for us and keep moving forward. Therefore, the present belongs to us to learn and act. Why? Because the future belongs to our students and those yet to come. We are all connected across time and we have an obligation to do the work that honors our ancestors and truly values our youth and descendants.

We are living in times full of lessons to learn, questions to answer, and opportunities to claim. A global pandemic, the active resistance to racial injustice, the evidence of Indigenous erasure and genocide through residential/boarding “schools” are calling us to take collective action to reimagine what is possible and necessary to truly serve our students and communities. What are our shared dreams for what is possible as we reshape society toward justice, abundance, and beauty? What is the work necessary right here and right now to make those shared dreams our shared reality? What knowledges, skills, practices, beliefs, structures must we carry and center to transform how we do our work? During our time together we will imagine and dream together! We will reflect and plan for what educators can and must believe and do to keep stepping into this moment. We will aim to collectively answer the call before us to realize a brighter future through education.

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Garett Talcott

Garett Talcott

The Classroom is Our World

This keynote will look at how teaching is evolving and how our classroom environment is a lot bigger than we think. I will share about my past teaching journey and how teaching during a pandemic forced me to step out of my comfort zone and get messy and try new teaching methods to support my students. I will share about how I keep my students engaged, virtual field trips, how teaching is changing and how we can use all educators in our community to inspire our students! Let’s learn together and step outside our classrooms and into our world.

Garett’s Bio
My name is Garett Talcott and I currently teach Kindergarten in Redmond, WA. I graduated from Central Washington University with a double major in Special Education and Elementary Education. My teaching experience consists of developmental preschool, Kindergarten, 4th grade, middle school, and high school special education. Kindergarten is my passion and I love inspiring students to be life-long learners through having fun.

Parfait Bassalé

Parfait Bassalé

Barriers and Keys to Belonging

The COVID 19 pandemic has plunged leaders and educators into a liminal space; The place where what has been will no longer be but what can be has yet to be determined. This emerging new reality requires individuals and organizations to make an important decision: attempt to return to the way things were or transition by designing a new normal. It is Parfait Bassalé’s conviction that it is of the utmost criticality that we design systems and engage relationally in ways that foster belonging. In this keynote, Parfait will discuss the keys and barriers to belonging and how leaders and educators can seize this historical opportunity to intentionally design for belonging for all students.

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