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Keynote Speakers

Dr. David C. Berliner


Dr. David C. Berliner

Dr. David C. Berliner is Regents’ Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in the division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He has previously taught at the Universities of Arizona and Massachusetts, and Stanford University, as well as at universities in Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

Berliner is a member of several organizations as well as past president of both the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association. He has received numerous awards for his distinguished contributions, including AERA's Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award in 2016. Along with authoring and editing several books, Berliner has written more than 200 published articles, technical reports, and book chapters. His most recent book, 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools (with S. Nichols), was published in 2014.

H. Richard Milner IV


H. Richard Milner IV

H. Richard Milner IV is Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair of Education and Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Milner is a researcher, scholar, and leader of urban education and teacher education. Centering on equity and diversity, he examines the social context of classrooms and schools. His research in urban school contexts has influenced designs and practices of teacher education courses and programs.

Among Milner’s many honors, he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2016, and he delivered the prestigious AERA Brown lecture in Education Research in 2018. His work has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published several books. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Urban Education. Two of Milner’s most widely-read books are Rac(e)ing to Class and Start Where You Are but Don’t Stay There.

Joe Dombrowski


Joe Dombrowski

An educator giving a spelling test with imaginary words may not be the most traditional method of promoting learning, but there isn't much that can be considered conventional in Joe Dombrowski's classroom. While he had been posting creative and innovative messages to social media channels since he began his teaching career, his “April Fool's prank” video was one that captured the hearts of 20 million people.

With a lighthearted fake quiz using hilariously inventive words, his students showed obvious investment, and Dombrowski demonstrated a clear passion for teaching. In days, the viral video made its way to major outlets, including Good Morning America and the Ellen DeGeneres Show, on which he used his platform to speak about selfless teachers using their own money to create a top-notch education experience. DeGeneres said, “He may be one of my favorite teachers ever.”

Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Michigan University, Dombrowski hit the stage as an improv comedy artist, and his comedic timing has translated into the classroom, making curriculum material more relatable and less intimidating. Joe tours with his stand-up comedy show "Indoor Recess” and hosts his own podcast called “Study Hall with Mr. D.” He can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @mrdtimes3 and on YouTube as Joe Dombrowski.

Christine Sleeter



Kappa Delta Pi Laureate Panel
Moderator: Christine Sleeter

“Beyond Color-Blindness: What Does It Mean to Be Fair to All Your Students?”

It is highly likely that you do or will teach in a school that serves minoritized students, students from high-poverty homes, and/or students with disabilities. Virtually all teachers want to be fair to all of their students and, in an effort to do so, teachers commonly claim that they are “color-blind” and treat all their students the same. But virtually no one is actually color-blind in this sense, and treating all students the same is different from treating them all fairly. We also know that despite good intentions, teachers have biases that shape how (and what) they interpret and teach their students. Panelists offer nuggets of wisdom for teachers, based on their own research and practice.

Participants: Angela Valenzuela, David Gillborn, Jacqueline Irvine, Gary Orfield

Dr. Ed Dunkelblau


Dr. Ed Dunkelblau

Dr. Ed Dunkelblau, Director of the Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Learning, is an internationally known speaker and consultant on the topics of Social Emotional Learning, Safe Schools Programming, and Humor in Education. He has authored numerous publications, including the Social Emotional and Character Development reference guide, and has been an organizational consultant to dozens of schools, districts, state boards of education, and corporations.
Dunkelblau’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, and on NPR and CNN. His awards include Alumnus of the Year from Columbia University Teachers College, the Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Kansas, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Applied Humor from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Despite all of this, his father never really understood what he did!

Dr. Dunkelblau’s informative, interactive, and entertaining presentation will provide a framework for all educators to address effective utilization of Social Emotional Learning in the school curriculum, and it will provide immediately applicable “nuts and bolts” practices useable by the entire school community.