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Keynote Speakers

Jemelleh Coes
Georgia State Teacher of the Year 2014
Jemelleh Coes, as the youngest member of her school faculty and staff in 2013, was nominated to represent Bulloch County as Teacher of the Year. She went on to become Georgia’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. She spent the next year traveling locally and nationally discussing many of the hot topics in education and being an advocate for the good work being done in education.
A former Special Education English Language Arts and Reading Teacher, she is currently working on her PhD in Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia (UGA). She also serves as a supervising instructor for teacher candidates in the middle grades program at UGA.

She is the daughter of immigrant parents and a first-generation college graduate. While earning her Master’s degree in Education at Georgia Southern University, she traveled nationally and internationally to collect data from various educational systems in order to find ways to make improvements and validate the successes of our local systems. Jemelleh believes that greatness lies within every student, and sometimes it takes a little ingenuity to let it shine through.

Dr. David J. Schonfeld
Director, National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

David J. Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, located at the University of Southern California (USC). He is Professor of Practice in the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and Pediatrics at the USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Schonfeld is a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and served as a Commissioner for both the National Commission on Children and Disasters and the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Connecticut; he was the President of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 2006–2007. Dr. Schonfeld established the School Crisis Response Program in 1990 while faculty at Yale and established the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement in 2005.

Dr. Schonfeld has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and natural disasters within the United States and abroad. He has also conducted school-based research involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, and school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.
Kelly Young
Executive Director, Education Reimagined

Kelly Young is the Executive Director of Education Reimagined and Senior Vice President of Convergence. Education Reimagined is an initiative of Convergence committed to making learner-centered education available to all children across the country. Education Reimagined was launched out of an 18-month Convergence dialogue that she led among 28 ideologically diverse education practitioners and leaders to reimagine education.

Previously, she served as the Interim Chief of the Office of Family and Public Engagement for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), where she helped implement home visits and other high-impact family engagement strategies. During her tenure, she led DCPS’s strategic planning process that started by engaging thousands of students, teachers, parents, and community members in a Hopes and Dreams campaign and ended in a 5-year district-wide plan.

From 1998 to 2007, Kelly served as the Executive Director of a national political organization. Under her leadership, the organization thrived and grew to be one of the largest political action committees in the country—helping elect more than one hundred candidates nationwide. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
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