Past Conferences

Keynote & Invited Speakers

Keynote & Invited Speakers

Pre-conference institute speaker Wednesday, October 12, 2016: Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld

Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld is Associate Dean and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY. Before entering the field of teacher education, she was an English as a Foreign Language teacher in Hungary (grades 5-8 and adult), an English as a Second Language teacher in New York City (grades K-3 and adult), and taught Hungarian at New York University. A Fulbright Scholar and sought after national presenter, Andrea is the coauthor or coeditor of over 15 books on education and numerous chapters and research articles related to the needs of ELLs.


Conference opening remarks Thursday, October 13, 2016: Pedro A. Rivera, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education

Secretary Pedro A. Rivera was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf to serve as the Secretary of Education on January 20, 2015, and was confirmed by the state Senate in June 2015. He most recently served as Superintendent of The School District of Lancaster, a position he held from 2008-2015. Under Rivera's leadership, The School District of Lancaster developed and implemented a new curriculum, an aggressive professional development plan, and innovative teacher observation tools. These initiatives resulted in an increased graduation rate, notable improvements in math, science and writing proficiency scores, and enhanced the level of participation from high-performing students in programs that help prepare them for college and other post-graduation opportunities. In September 2014, Rivera was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education – one of ten recipients nationwide to receive the prestigious honor. He brings extensive experience in public education to his role as a member of Governor Wolf's cabinet and has spent his entire career helping students. Prior to serving as superintendent of The School District of Lancaster, he served as a classroom teacher, staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia.
Rivera is a first generation college graduate and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master's degree in Education Administration from Cheyney University, and his Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University.
Rivera was raised in the Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia and resides in Lancaster with his wife Erika, son Lucas and daughter Elena.

Conference keynote speaker Thursday, October 13, 2016: Raúl Gonzalez III, Visual Artist

Raúl Gonzalez was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up going back and forth between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, México. As a first generation Mexican American, Gonzalez creates art to tell stories about diversity and belonging. In his own words, “My work revolves around teaching, community and the making of artwork that shines a light and gives a voice to those who may not have it.”

Gonzalez is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper which was published by Chronicle Books. Lowriders in Space was nominated for the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet award (2016-2017) by the Texas Library Association. Book two in the series, Lowriders to the Center of the Earth is slated for release on July 5, 2016. Camper and Gonzalez are currently working on a short story for the Guys Read anthology published by Walden Media. He is also a regular contributor to SpongeBob Squarepants Comics.

Gonzalez is committed to introducing youth to the visual arts and has taught in the education departments of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2015 he received a fellowship from the Brother Thomas Foundation. In 2011 Gonzalez collaborated with over 125 kids from all over the city of Boston to create a work titled “and their Families” for the Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was voted Boston’s best visual artist for 2010 by readers of The Boston Phoenix and in 2010 he worked on his first large scale mural sponsored by the Boston Arts Commission installed in the neighborhood of East Boston.

Conference keynote speaker Friday, October 14, 2016: Dr. Michael W. Apple

Dr. Michael W. Apple is regarded as one of the world’s most important and influential education scholars of our time. As an educational theorist, his major interests lie in the relationship between culture and power in education and in democratizing educational policy and practice. He is currently the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education, where he has taught since 1970. He is highly regarded as an important voice in "contemporary progressive education" and has written extensively, deconstructing and analyzing our educational system with thought-provoking and illuminating details. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association and the UCLA Medal for Distinguished Academic Achievement. His book, Ideology and Curriculum, has been called one of the most important books in education in the 20th Century and he has been named one of the 50 most influential education writers in the 20th century.

Conference keynote speaker Saturday, October 15, 2016: Guadalupe Valdés

Dr. Guadalupe Valdés is a founding partner of Understanding Language, an initiative that focuses attention on the role of language in subject-area learning, with a special focus on helping English Language Learners meet the new Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. She is currently the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education.

Her research explores many of the issues of bilingualism relevant to teachers in training, including methods of instruction, typologies, measurement of progress, and the role of education in national policies on immigration. Specifically, she studies the sociolinguistic processes of linguistic acquisition by learners in different circumstances--those who set out to learn a second language in a formal school setting (elective bilingualism) and those who must learn two languages in order to adapt to immediate family-based or work-based communicative needs within an immigrant community (circumstantial bilingualism). Her research in these areas has made her one of the most eminent experts on Spanish-English bilingualism in the United States.