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Marlena Gross-Taylor

Social Commerce Entrepreneur| Leadership Consultant| Founder EduGladiators, LLC

Marlena Gross-Taylor is a dedicated and successful K-12 leader with a proven track record of improving educational and operational performance through vision, strategic planning, leadership, and team building. Marlena is the founder of EduGladiators. She is an educational consultant and founder of www.principalroundtable.com, which she created to further support educational leaders. She has been recognized as a middle school master teacher and served as an administrator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Because of her sound knowledge of both elementary and secondary education, Marlena has broad-based experience creating and implementing dynamic interactive programs to attain district goals while leveraging her flexibility, resourcefulness, and organizational and interpersonal skills to foster learning through a positive, encouraging environment. Marlena's professional development expertise has garnered both state and national attention and serves as an AMLE faculty expert and keynote for the AMLE 2016 National Conference in October. A Nashville transplant originally from southern Louisiana, Marlena's educational experience spans several states allowing her to have served K-12 students in rural, suburban and urban districts.

Ryan B. Jackson

Dr. Ryan B. Jackson is the Executive Artsministrator for the Mt. Pleasant Arts Innovation Zone, the United States' first k-12 STEAM campus. Jackson's passion for education and serving the underdog has propelled him on his quest to move our education system out of the industrial-age model. This passion for education and leadership has exemplified itself through Jackson's #ArtAntidote, #FitLeaders and #EduGladiator movements. As co-founder of EduGladiators, Jackson is charged with rallying educators across the world, creating a consortium dedicated, forward-thinking teachers, principals and school staff personnel. This movement will culminate in the eventual education revolution that looks to secure our future through the power of our youth. Before serving in a leadership role, Jackson was a high school English teacher, where he started Maplewood High School’s first AP Lang & Comp program and revived a student-centered, student-produced school newspaper.

Jackson’s tenure in education has sent him as far as China to exchange leadership philosophies as part of Vanderbilt University and Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Principal Leaders Academy of Nashville (PLAN). Jackson is now on the frontier of education's STEAM movement, leveraging the power of holistic and project-based learning.

Furthermore, Jackson is the creator of the Competitive Teaching Model (CTM), a socio-emotional based teaching strategy that positively impacts students’ perceived sense of belonging and its correlation to student achievement. This model formed the basis for Jackson’s successful TED Talk, A redheaded stepchild’s journey from underdog to advocate.

Sanée Bell

Dr. Sanée Bell is the principal of Morton Ranch Junior High in Katy, Texas, a suburb west of Houston. She has also served as an elementary principal and was recognized as the 2015 Katy ISD Elementary Principal of the Year. Sanee has served as an administrator since 2005. During Sanée’s tenure as a teacher, she taught English and coached basketball at the middle and high school level. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston Clear Lake, where she also serves as an adjunct professor. Sanée is passionate about authentic, purposeful learning for students and teachers, and she also has a strong passion for leadership and its impact on teacher engagement, student learning and school culture. Sanée recognizes her impact as a leader and uses her role to inspire, motivate, and empower others. Sanée has presented at local, state and national conferences, and has written publications and several guest blog posts focused on leadership and its impact on students and teachers. Sanée shares her thoughts on leadership on her blog saneebell.com and via Twitter @SaneeBell.

Derek McCoy

Derek McCoy is currently the principal of West Rowan Middle School in Rowan-Salisbury Schools. He brings a wide range of experiences as a secondary school assistant principal, instructional coach, director of curriculum and innovation, and principal. He helps improve learning and teaching efforts as well as lead best practices with a 1:1 iPad initiative. Derek was named a 2014 Digital Principal of the Year by NASSP and has received recognition from other groups for his efforts to use social media and technology to help connect learners with best practices and experts, create impactful collaboration networks, and ultimately help grow all schools. Using the power of technology and digital tools is an essential means for lead learners to change how we teach and how students learn.

Sean Thom

Sean is currently an 8th grade science teacher and science department head at Camden Promise Middle School, which is a part of the Camden Charter School Network. The goal of the network is to give all children in Camden an equal opportunity to achieve their greatest potential, to raise awareness through educational policy, to expand resources, to build leadership, and support program capacity for the city of Camden. Prior to this, Sean spent 2 years serving as the principal of a private, out-of-district school for students with behavioral and emotional issues. Sean began his educational career by teaching middle school science for 6 years throughout New Jersey (in Hoboken, Camden, and Millville).  Sean completed his undergraduate work at Rutgers University, where he majored in Communication, with a minor focus in Organizational Leadership. He attended graduate school at the University of Scranton, where he earned his MS in Educational Administration.  In addition to being an educator, Sean has received a patent for a student-centered teacher feedback system. This approach takes the focus solely off student output and examines student input. The process allows students to give instant feedback on any one of several key aspects of a lesson. He is currently developing a plan to get this system in the hands of students as soon as possible. If you would like to collaborate with him on this, please reach out!

Sean and his family live in beautiful southern New Jersey. When he is not focused on his professional endeavors, Sean loves to spend time with his wife, their two sons, and their two dogs. He enjoys running, mountain biking, training for and running Spartan Races, riding his motorcycle, and doing whatever he can to stay active and involved.

Colleen Skiles

Colleen Carter-Skiles is a middle school Modern Language Teacher at Troy Middle School and Troy South Middle Schooll in the Troy R-3 School District (Lincoln County, Missouri.) Colleen attended Webster University where she earned BA’s in History/Political Science and Secondary Education (2002) as well as a MAT in Secondary Social Sciences (2007). In 2014, she was elected as the 63 delegate for the Missouri Council for Social Studies and in 2016 was elected President-Elect. As a middle level educator, Colleen is also active in the Missouri Middle School Association and the Association of Middle Level Education. Colleen enjoys sharing her experiences as a Middle Level/Social Studies Educator and lifelong learner through her blog at cskiles80.blogspot.com or on twitter @cskiles80. When not teaching or sharing her love of the Social Studies and the Middle Level, Colleen loves to spend time with her new baby boy, Carter, watching Supercross and camping with her husband, Les and dog, Miller

Paul O'Neill

Paul O'Neill is an educational game changer who will be serving as a Supervisor of Special Education, grades 7-12 this year. Paul enjoys reflective exchanges with other growth-minded thought leaders. This award-winning educator has built educational programs from the ground up by leading without boundaries. With an open-mind and a servant's heart, Paul enjoys collaborating with educators to ensure that all learners receive high quality opportunities for growth and development.

Erik M. Francis

Erik M. Francis is an author, educator, and speaker who specializes in teaching and learning that promotes cognitive rigor and college and career readiness.  He is the owner of MAVERIK EDUCATION LLC, providing professional development and consultation on increasing student achievement, teacher effectiveness, program compliance, and overall school performance.  He is also the author of Now That’s a Good Question! How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning published by ASCD.  Erik's expertise is in rephrasing academic standards and educational objectives into good questions that prompt students to think deeply and express and share the depth and extent of their learning in different academic and real world contexts.  These good questions ​can be used to set the instructional focus and serve as formative, ​summative, and authentic assessments for student learning.  They also can be used to engage students in active learning experiences such as project-based, problem-based, expeditionary, and service learning.

Brendan Fetters

Brendan Fetters is a third generation educator, public education advocate and true lifelong learner. A native of rural Ohio, he grew up up just south of Columbus. Shortly after obtaining his BA in Early Childhood Education from Wilmington College (OH) he relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina upon accepting a teaching position in the Wake County Public School System. Within WCPSS, he taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Brendan obtained his graduate degree in School Administration from NC State University. He spent a total of two years as a curriculum coach (IRT) both at the elementary and middle school level after leaving the classroom. Brendan is currently serving as an Assistant Principal/IRT at Carroll Leadership in Technology Magnet Middle School in Raleigh.

In addition to his work in the school district, Brendan has been connected on Twitter since 2011 and is always growing and learning from his PLN. He has presented many times at his district's annual convergence symposiums as well as the annual NCties conference (ISTE affiliate) You can follow Brendan on Twitter at @BrendanFetters or read his blog.

Rachelle Dene Poth

Rachelle is a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. She is also an attorney and has a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. She serves as the Communications Chair for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network, the President-Elect and Innovations and Resources Co-Chair for the Teacher Education Network and the PAECT Historian. Rachelle was selected as the 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by PAECT (the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications in Technology, the PA affiliate of ISTE) and by the NSBA as one of the "20 to watch" educators. She is a Common Sense Media Educator, an Ambassador for BloxelsEDU, Buncee, CoSpaces, Flipgrid, Hoonuit, an Edmodo Certified Trainer, Nearpod PioNear, Recap Pioneer, and TES Ambassador. Rachelle wrote chapter 3 "Blended Learning" of the Edumatch book “Snapshot in Education 2016”, and is a contributing author to “Gamify Literacy” from ISTE. She enjoys finding opportunities for students to take the lead in and out of the classroom.


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