Meet Our Presenters
Bindu has worked in public schools, the university system, and educational research organizations across three different states. Students from different demographics in urban schools interest her due to their resilience and unlimited learning capacity. She has skills in implementing UDL, PBL in instructional planning and values standards-based curriculum & grading, and data-driven instruction. While in Kentucky, she worked with schools to implement high-leverage instructional strategies to improve student achievement. She guides teachers and coaches through the backward planning model, facilitating open-ended tasks and utilizing student work and actions as formative assessments to improve student achievement.
Bindu has a MAT, middle grades math and science from Emory University. In addition, she holds an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering and an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is currently a doctoral student at Georgia State University. Her research interest is investigating the impact of principal trust in organizational learning to influence teacher motivation in high-poverty schools.
She is known best for her ability to develop teams that reverse underperforming schools, teachers, and students. She relies heavily on her cognitive sciences and instructional leadership backgrounds to empower leaders and their teams by aligning social-emotional learning and the power of foundational relationships to transform, transcend, and further drive learning and teaching. She believes that this essential work is a call to action to reverse underachievement, disrupt poverty, and ultimately and permanently shift trajectories for children, families, and school communities.
Ms. Senn is an award-winning author, national speaker and conducts research and development for Learning Sciences International. Having experience that spans the United States and Canada in rural and urban districts, Ms. Senn is passionate about creating innovative solutions for all students, teachers, and leaders.
Under her leadership as an elementary principal and through the hard work of committed teachers who embraced Dr. Marzano’s teacher evaluation model, her school rose from one of the state’s 300 lowest-performing schools to scoring in the top 10% in reading. This experience combined with her love of children and learning is the foundation of her strong commitment to supporting schools in their quest to improve student achievement.
In the midst of the pandemic, she implemented innovative pedagogical and student-centered strategies to raise the school grade. As an instructional leader, Dr. Hudson has established and implemented professional learning and common planning communities that have resulted in an increase in student learning and staff retention. She leads by example and by authentically connecting with her staff, students, parents, and community.
As she continues to foster relationships and build capacity, Dr. Hudson will continue to expand the impact and success of McLaughlin Middle and Fine Arts Academy by ensuring an equivalent educational experience for all students.
Diane also has years of experience with formative instructional practices and assessment literacy as well as being an energetic staff developer and curriculum writer. Her strong point is to make the complex easy to understand and implement.
Ms. Stultz attended Bowling Green State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Education and a Master of Science degree in education with an emphasis on adult learning from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Davenport’s 31 years in education include experience as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and in district-level leadership. In each of her roles, she was very active in ensuring teachers and leaders benefited from access to high-quality professional learning experiences to strengthen their instructional practice.
Dr. Davenport earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and her Ed.D. in Educational Program Development, both from the University of South Florida.
Ericka has diverse experience with varying populations both in New York and in Florida. She believes that all students deserve a chance to succeed in education and will meet the challenge when expectations are set high. Through her dedication, she helped her students bridge the gap by helping them achieve the highest learning gains in the Mathematics State Exams in 2011, and once more in 2018. Due to her dedication, she has been awarded Teacher of the Year in 2011 (NY), 2016 (FL), and 2018 (FL). She has also been honored with the New American Hero Award in 2017 (FL).
Ericka has a Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education Grades K-8 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, both from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She holds active Professional Teaching Certificates in Elementary Education in K-5th Grades in New York, and Elementary Education in K-6th Grades in Florida. As well as ESOL endorsement and Reading Endorsement.
She is passionate about supporting LSI's social mission as she describes herself as a product of it. She understands that through data-driven, rigorous standard-based core instruction all students can and will succeed.
Gary has also worked as a School Improvement Facilitator with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a member of Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) School Improvement Initiative “to engage school leaders and school-based teams in a continuous improvement process.” Now through his facilitation of LSI’s “Leadership Academy”, Gary also supports school and district-based teams to develop, implement, and monitor improvement plans that are based on evidence-based practices.
He is committed to the success of at-risk students and has served in schools with high populations of students of poverty and English language learners. Working now as an LSI Staff Developer, Gary delivers professional development in “Ignite Core Instruction” and “Academic Teaming” which has the power to improve academic achievement and social-emotional learning simultaneously, while also closing gaps between students of differing abilities, preparing students for college and the workplace, and promoting equity and access.”
Gary has a robust background in leading standards-based instruction, evidence-based pedagogy, decision-driven data collection, formative assessment, school systems improvement, and PLC facilitation. His diverse experiences give him a broad perspective as he supports systems in refinement and change for successful student achievement.
Before becoming a staff developer, Ms. Bryant served as a middle-school improvement and literacy coach and a district-level lead teacher for Akron Public Schools. This position encompassed training and facilitation, as well as providing support to principals, leadership teams, and K-12 teachers to create individual school improvement plans.
Jennifer has a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on math education. She has a passion for high-quality math instruction. Jennifer is passionate about collaborating with schools to increase student achievement, student agency and school improvement.
Before joining the LSI team, Jennifer worked as a public-school educator and instructional coach in schools with diverse populations. Her 14 years of experience include a range of settings from rural Missouri to urban schools in Hillsborough County, the seventh largest school district in the U.S.
Jennifer received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Drury University in Springfield, MO. Although her experiences lie within all content areas, she has true passion for quality mathematics instruction and proving every child really can learn math concepts. She believes that through the use of strategic data-driven decision making and rigorous instruction for all students, the achievement gap will be eliminated.
As a district leader, Jonathan collaborates with department directors and supports school administrators to ensure improvement efforts are aligned with the district’s vision and mission. He is a passionate advocate for public education and spent most of his teaching career working in turnaround schools as a teacher and instructional coach.
Jonathan holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida and a Bachelor of Music in General Music Education from Lawrence University.
Kara is dedicated to empowering teachers to reach beyond their current vision of instruction and to deepen their understanding of effective instructional strategies that reap positive results for their students. Kara believes that students should not be told that they are important; rather, they should be shown that they are important.
He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Health Science and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership & Counseling. Kenard exemplifies positive, professional leadership that makes a difference in the lives of his students and the staff. This laser focus has led to the implementation of new programs and best practices for instructional delivery. His educational experiences have afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet the common goal of increasing student achievement and well-being.
His educational philosophy is based on his uncompromising belief that all students can learn, given a positive learning environment, strong and knowledgeable leadership, a committed and focused educational team, an encouraging community, and a supportive family.
After teaching for four years, she decided it was time to go back to school and earned her Master of Education degree in Reading Education from Florida Atlantic University. She is committed to supporting educators as they develop and implement rigorous standards-based instruction.
She has led the work to improve core instruction in School District U-46 through the implementation of Academic Teaming, Leadership Coaching, and Instructional Coaching. Lela believes that all students should have daily access to rigorous, standards-aligned and team-based instruction, and works to ensure coherence and alignment throughout the district to make that happen.
While in the classroom, Leslie saw the benefit of designing and facilitating learning experiences using LSI’s research-based best practices. As a PLC facilitator, Department Chair, and New Teacher Mentor, she began assisting other teachers to implement and evaluate these practices in their classrooms.
Later in her career, Leslie partnered alongside district and building leaders as a Professional Development Specialist to successfully turn around several at-risk schools by coaching the implementation of standards-based instruction as well as high-impact strategies that positively influenced student achievement. In this ever-changing profession, she stays consistent with her passion for inspiring teachers and leaders to develop their craft. She strives to foster an environment of collaboration and growth with those she serves by validating the work that has been done, challenging stakeholders to reflect on their current practice through analysis of student outcomes, and ultimately to do better each and every day to prepare all of our students for a future we can’t yet imagine.
She has a passion for project-based learning and deep experience in science and STEM education. Her commitment is to student achievement and strongly believes that every child can succeed. She is committed to helping educators perfect their professional practices and lead students into achieving excellence.
Elizabeth Buzzanca holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Barry University in Miami Gardens FL, and a B.S. degree in Education from Marian College of Fon du Lac, Wisconsin.
Through her many roles, Ms. Neville delivered professional development and was responsible for school improvement planning and implementation, evaluation of support staff, teachers, instructional coaches, site and district administrators. She implemented and used the Marzano Focused Teacher Evaluation Model, School Leader Evaluation and District Leader Evaluation tools in both large and small district settings. Ms. Neville also planned and facilitated school and district-based change efforts K-12.
Ms. Neville has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses as well as supervised teaching practicum students in the field. Ms. Neville believes every student can and should learn and knows that takes great teachers and leaders. She remains committed to realizing that vision.
Today, Ms. Neville is an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University working with international visiting principals and pre-service teaching students. She also serves as a professional developer with Learning Sciences International. Additionally, Ms. Neville stays active in her community as a current member of the City of Chandler Cultural Foundation Board and vice president of the Kyrene Educational Foundation.
Dr. Andrade has held a variety of administrative positions in urban and suburban public education settings. He has been an Assistant High School Principal, High School Principal, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and Superintendent. Mario is passionate about collaborating with School Leaders to increase student achievement and teacher capacity. He is committed to his work with teachers, coaches, and school leaders as they focus on continuous school improvement.
He has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University, a Master of Science in Special Education from Simmons College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut.
Maura is an instructional leader who has over 27 years of experience in public education. She is committed to providing exposure and experiences to teachers and school leaders to the newest evidence-based actions that have proven to change instructional outcomes for all students. Her educational expertise ranges from curriculum writing at the school and district level, developing professional development for teachers and school leaders at school, district, state, and national levels, and analyzing data to ensure that the needs of all students are met focusing on high expectations and rigorous instruction.
Dr. Hobson has held a variety of teaching and administrative positions in urban and suburban public education settings. She has been an Elementary and Middle School Teacher, Assistant High School and Middle School Principal, and High School Principal. Maura is passionate about collaborating and supporting principals and school leaders to increase student achievement for all learners, as well as teacher growth, through professional development and coaching. At her core, she believes in empowering and supporting others to reach their fullest potential.
Dr. Hobson has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from the California University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Scranton, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Shippensburg University.
Dr. Bloom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in School Leadership from the Bradley University, a Specialist degree in School Leadership from Western Illinois University, and a Doctorate in Education from Aurora University.
During her time in Florida, Dr. Fitzgerald worked with some of the most struggling schools. She worked with the instructional leadership team of the schools through school turn around. Due to the systems and structures put into place and an intentional focus on instruction, many of her schools saw great gains and were continuing to see improvements in student achievement.
Dr. Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Illinois State University, a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Aurora University, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University. Her dissertation is titled, Student Involvement in the Formative Assessment Process, drawing upon her belief that students could and should be active participants in their own learning and that all education should be data-driven.
She served as a clinical mentor and was part of various leadership initiatives within the school system. Mindy has diverse experience with varying populations and has experience with teaching multiple subjects throughout the years. She holds an active teaching certificate in Elementary Education, Middle and High School English along with other endorsements.
In addition to public education, she found many rewards while working with children on the Autism spectrum as she was as a Behavioral Specialist. With this role, she created and managed programs to support the special needs of students so they could positively integrate with peers in school and in their community.
In each placement, she thrived knowing that change and growth are possible for all, and this is just one reason she feels passionately about helping others through the coaching process. She believes all students deserve a chance to succeed in public education and knows they can through standards-based instruction and efficient practices. She is passionate about the LSI mission to support all students with rigorous core instruction while supporting their social and emotional needs and skills.
Dr. Watson brings 25 years of experience in education, including 9 years coaching school principals. Prior to leadership coaching, Dr. Watson led a K-8 school serving over 850 students. Under her leadership, a dynamic team of teachers was developed to increase reading and math scores over 20% on standardized assessments. As a result, she was one of only nine Arizona administrators awarded the Gold Medal Award and the title of a “Beat the Odds” school from the Beat the Odds Institute, Center for the Future of Arizona in 2012.
Dr. Watson received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Creighton University, a master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and a doctorate degree from the University of Illinois Chicago.
This is her third year as an administrator, but her first year as the Assistant Principal at Heronville Elementary School in the Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS). Predominately, Ms. Randolph has worked in turnaround schools within her time at OKCPS. Her focus has been on supporting academic achievement for all students to ensure equity in learning.
Prior to joining LSI, she worked for Hillsborough County Public Schools, one of the top 10 largest districts in the nation, as a Coordinator and Peer Evaluator. Her experience includes evaluating instruction and student learning and offering recommendations to teachers to improve core instruction pedagogy. She also taught 6th-grade science and high school ELL.
She also is an author and earned her Masters, Educational Leadership from the American College of Education and her Bachelors, English from the University of South Florida.
Ms. Lunak earned her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Illinois State University, a Master of Arts degree in linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University, and another Master of Arts degree in educational leadership from Roosevelt University
Dr. Surrency has made significant improvements in his district by improving the district graduation rates from 54.9% in 2015 to 92.5% in 2021, the largest increase in the State of Florida during the same time period. In 2017, Putnam County had 11 of its 18 schools in state turnaround status due to poor academic progress. In 2020, through the building of community partnerships, parent engagement and the focus on core instruction, there were zero schools in state turnaround status.
One of the schools in turnaround, Moseley Elementary School worked with an external operator, Learning Sciences International (LSI) to make significant gains and earned a C school grade for the first time in over a decade. The school’s principal was named the Florida Principal of the Year for 2020.
Dr. Surrency has led an initiative to expand acceleration and career and technical opportunities across the district. He has also implemented a K-12 STEM initiative that provides a career path for students to prepare for jobs that do not yet exist.
Dr. Surrency and his wife Penny have 6 children and 10 grandchildren.
She is a member of the U-46 Rising team and a member of the School Improvement Plan Team (SIP). Rocio has been a Kindergarten state presenter and dual language presenter for several years in Illinois. She is a very dedicated mom of twins and always thriving to make everyone smile and stay positive.
Ron retired from the Virginia Beach schools in 2007, vowing to get rid of all his suits and ties, and determined never to attend another meeting of any kind.
Since his retirement, Ron has presented all over the country in scores of schools and districts, and has presented at ASCD, Learning Forward, NBPTS, Eric Jensen’s Learning Brain Expo. He has written 16 books, including two bestsellers. Ron has written four books for LSI.
Ron, his wife Candy, and their kitty Gracie (just turned 18), live in Virginia Beach.
Her educational experiences have afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet the common goal of increasing student achievement and emotional and social well-being. Her educational passion is to create academically engaging learning experiences through an environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, and collaboration.
Ms. Hamilton earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma in 1984. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 2006, from the University of Central Oklahoma. Ms. Hamilton has one son and is a proud “GiGi” to three beautiful grandchildren. She is an avid traveler of destination resorts and loves spending time with her family.
Sarah founded Confianza in 2015 and she is the author of The Language Lens for Content Classrooms: A Guide for K-12 Educators of English and Academic Language Learners published by Learning Sciences International.
She also spent eleven years as a school administrator where she proved to be a successful turnaround principal. Sarajean was named the 2020 Florida Principal of the Year by the Florida Department of Education for her efforts in leading William D. Moseley Elementary School.
Before coaching, Mrs. Fetherolf taught in a wide range of environments, from the emotionally disturbed, autistic, and learning-disabled students of District 75 in the South Bronx, to private schools and university-level abroad, as well as public schools in Florida in a variety of neighborhoods. These diverse experiences have led to an informed and widened perspective.
Mrs. Fetherolf began her education at The State University of New York at Albany with a degree in Sociology and then earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Mercy College.
She has worked with the Putnam County School District to develop standards-aligned curriculum that facilitates student ownership. Her high-quality instructional practices have been used as a model for other teachers in the years since, and she continues to facilitate opportunities for professional development in the area of academic teaming.
Shelby holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Saint Leo University.
Prior to her leadership, the school had persistently remained a D rated school for five consecutive years. Mrs. Connor was given the opportunity to lead at another historically low performing school, Richard Lewis Brown Elementary, where the school’s leadership, faculty, staff, and community worked diligently to improving the school grade from a D to C in one year.
During her time there, she was the recipient of the Laurel Kaden Anderson Award for her commitment and promotion of excellent school counseling programs and earned her Gifted Endorsement. Mrs. Connor was then asked to lead another challenged school, Bayview Elementary, that resulted in the school gaining 50 points to earn a school grade of a B. Her last Principalship was at Joseph Finegan Elementary in Duval County where 90% of the enrollment were students of military families.
Mrs. Connor currently serves as the Region Superintendent of Transformation Schools in Hillsborough County Public Schools. 72% of her 14 transformation schools made significant gains on FSA during the 2020-2021 school year. Four of her schools improved by two letters grades (2 Ds to Bs and 2 Fs to Cs), six schools improved by one letter grade (D to C) and four schools remained the same grade. She is dedicated to school improvement and believes that all students can achieve!
An educator for over twenty years, Theresa’s authentic and empowering persona transcends throughout her work in schools across the country, as noted in her successes with Caroline County Schools in Denton, Maryland, in addition to the extraordinary transformation in the midwestern region of our nation, Grand Island, Nebraska, catapulting both as frontrunner turnaround schools.
Her passion and advocacy for teaching and education is transparent, inspirational, and contagious.
Tracey served as both a building and district administrator focused on curriculum and instruction in Title I schools. She then moved into the non-profit sector in which she led school and district projects focused on strategic planning around curriculum, assessment and professional development for large scale change and impact. Tracey received a BA from Lehigh University, an MAT from the College of New Jersey and an M.Ed. from The Citadel.
Principal and Leadership Coaching to increase student achievement and teacher growth are her passion and areas of focus. Her guidance of administrators to become instructional leaders while working with Demonstration and Turn Around Schools across the country has been very successful in helping teachers and leaders develop strong pedagogical practices, leading to increased student achievement.
In 2018, Dr. Sanders served as the Chair of the Large Countywide and Suburban Consortium, a network of some of the nation's most successful district leaders. Under Dr. Sanders' tenure, U-46 has implemented universal full-day kindergarten, expanded Dual Language and Gifted programming, provided additions to three elementary schools, implemented several new comprehensive curriculum resources in a district where every child now has a device. The District has also implemented a trauma-informed care approach to responding to behavioral issues and supporting students.
Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2014, earning his Superintendent's endorsement in 2020, and most recently his Doctorate, Dr. Sanders served as the District's Chief of Staff. Dr. Sanders joined the District as Chief Communications Officer after holding the same title in St. Louis Public Schools. He brings more than two decades of leadership experience to his current post, having served as Acting Director for Governmental Relations and Public Information for the Illinois State Board of Education and other top posts at the Department of Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Dr. Sanders earned his doctorate in education from Aurora University, his Master of Business Administration degree from New York Institute of Technology – Ellis College, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield. In 2020, he was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of laws from Judson University.
Mr. Knoderer and his wife, Loreda, have been married for nearly 30 years. They have two children, Alexa, who has completed her first year of teaching 7th grade students in Lawrence Township, and Nathan, who has finished his freshman year at the University of Indianapolis.
Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins believes in the power of creating welcoming, safe and collaborative learning environments for students to be successful. She began her career in education as a Bilingual and Special Education Teacher. Since then, she has held a variety of administrative positions including Middle School Principal, Elementary School Assistant Principal, High School Department Chair and Dean of Students and ELL Special Education Administrator. Yvette has valuable experiences that include developing and implementing school improvement plans, promoting inclusive programming, coordinating special education programs, and building collaborations with various stakeholders at the building and district level. The passion for her work in education comes from her own educational journey as an English Language Learner. She is committed to ensure students from all backgrounds have equitable access to educational experiences that will expand their opportunities for personal and professional success.
Mrs. Gonzalez-Collins has earned her Master of Science degrees in Multi-Categorical Special Education and in Education Administration from Governors State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas.