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Speakers at the 2016 Spring Conference
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Speakers

Penny Kittle - Sunday Evening Keynote

Penny Kittle is an English teacher and literacy coach at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire. Her career in teaching began in a third grade classroom in Hesperia, California, and has taken her to Oregon, Washington, Ohio, Michigan, and now to New Hampshire. She has taught grades 3-graduate school. In the summer Penny teaches in Durham at the University of New Hampshire Literacy Institutes.

Penny believes in supporting new teachers and directed her district’s K-12 teacher mentoring program for 12 years. This passion came from her work from 1992-1997 at Eastern Michigan University where Penny supervised student teachers from Detroit to Walled Lake and taught methods courses for the College of Education.

Penny is the author of Public Teaching: one kid at a time,The Greatest Catch: a life in teachingInside Writing: how to teach the details of craft (co-authored with her mentor and friend, Donald H. Graves),Write Beside Them: risk, voice, and clarity in high school writing, and Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. She was a columnist forVoices from the Middle, an NCTE publication, for six years. She is currently co-editing (with Tom Newkirk) a collection of Don Graves’ work for a book to be published by Heinemann in May of 2013.

In 2008, Penny received the Literacy Leader award for the state of New Hampshire, given by the New England Reading Association. In 2009, Penny received the James N. Britton award from the National Council of Teachers of English for Write Beside Them.

Visit Penny's website to learn more.


 

Dr. Mark Edwards - Monday Administrator's Luncheon

Dr. Mark Edwards joined the Mooresville, NC school district in 2007. At the time he arrived, 40 percent of district students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch. Dr. Edwards set a goal of preparing students for life in the 21st century, including providing a laptop for every child in grades 4 through 12 for their 24/7 use and laptops at school for the children in grades K-3. He understood too that in order to sustain the changes he proposed and for the technology to be used effectively, the district also needed to institute comprehensive professional development opportunities for its teachers.

To accomplish these goals, among other things, Edwards
• Created active parent and teacher advisory groups to help guide and support the initiatives,
• Established an “Every Child, Every Day” culture throughout the district,
• Reached out to parents of students of color to create new partnerships, and
• Enlisted the Chamber of Commerce, the town, a foundation and a local church to create a summer STEM program.

As a result, since 2007, MGSD’s academic achievement for students testing proficient or advanced on state end-of-grade tests has increased by 16 percentage points from 73 percent to 89 percent. The 4-year cohort graduation rate has improved by 13 percentage points, with 90 percent of seniors graduating. The college-going rate has increased from 74 to 88 percent. 

Dr. Edwards holds a Ph.D. in education from Vanderbilt University, a M.Ed. in administration and supervision from Tennessee Technical University, and a B.S. in education from the University of Tennessee. He has served as dean for the University of Northern Alabama’s School of Education, superintendent of Henrico Public Schools (VA) and superintendent of Danville Public Schools (VA). Dr. Edwards has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2001 Virginia State Superintendent of the Year, a 2002 Tech Savvy Superintendent by eSchool News, and the Community Leader Award from the Mooresville NAACP. 



Jennifer LaGarde - Tuesday Brunch

Jennifer LaGarde (aka library girl!) is the Lead School Library Media Coordinator/Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist for New Hanover County Schools in Wilmington, NC.  With over 18 years experience in public education, Jennifer has been a classroom teacher, school library media coordinator, district level leader and educational consultant for the NC Dept of Public Instruction.  

She is one of only two school librarians, ever, to both win the ALA, New York Times and Carnegie Corporation’s  "I Love My Librarian Award"  AND be named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker.” Jennifer has published numerous articles on best educational practices for journals like Teacher Librarian and Knowledge Quest.  She is also the author of the award winning blog The Adventures of Library Girl where she proves you don’t have to be super hero to be a teacher librarian, but having a cape sure helps.

Unofficially, she says she is just a teacher whose classroom happens to have lot more books in it than most.  As she likes to tell the groups she works with, school libraries saved her life, so... she's making it her mission to do whatever she can to help librarians do their best work so that school libraries are around for a long time to come.

The Adventures of Library Girl is the spot where she ponders, shares and rubs her thoughts about libraries and student learning together until they catch fire or fizzle out.

 

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