Keynote Speakers

Monday, October 28th

Symposium Opening Keynote (3:30pm – 5:00pm)

Dr. Brooke Stafford-Brizard, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Tuesday, October 29th

Morning Keynote (8:00am – 9:15am)

Derek Wenmoth, CORE Education


Luncheon Keynote (12:15pm – 2:00pm)

Jackie Statum Allen, Bush Foundation
Supt. Kirsten Baesler, ND State Supt. of Education
Dr. James Lane, VA Supt. of Public Instruction

Wednesday, October 30th

Morning Keynote (8:00am – 9:15am)

Student Panel


Luncheon Keynote (12:15pm – 2:00pm)

Dr. Pedro Noguera, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA


Speaker Bios

Dr. Brooke Stafford-Brizard, Director of Whole Child Development, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Dr. Brooke Stafford-Brizard is the Director of Whole Child Development at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where she leads work to support a comprehensive, Whole Child approach to learning and development. Before joining CZI, Dr. Stafford-Brizard worked as an independent consultant supporting the integration of cognitive and social-emotional development into school districts and charter management organizations through a connection between research, policy, and practice. As a Senior Advisor with Turnaround for Children, Dr. Stafford-Brizard authored The Building Blocks for Learning, a nationally recognized developmental framework supporting comprehensive student development. She began her career as a teacher with Teach for America at an intermediate school in the Bronx and later co-founded the Young Women’s College Prep Charter School in Rochester, NY. Stafford-Brizard is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.

Derek Wenmoth, Principal Consultant, CORE Education

Derek is currently a Principal Consultant at CORE Education, a not-for-profit education research and development organization that he co-founded with two colleagues in 2013, based in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

He has been a teacher, principal, teacher educator and policy advisor across all parts of the education system, from early childhood to tertiary. Derek is regarded as one of New Zealand education’s foremost future-focused thinkers, and is regularly asked to consult with school leaders, policymakers and government agencies regarding the future directions of New Zealand education. 

Derek has been at the forefront of much of the system level innovation in New Zealand over the past few decades, including setting up the Virtual Learning Network for students in rural and remote schools around the country, assisting with the establishment of new schools and pioneering work in the area of modern learning environments, establishing new models of practice-based initial teacher education and more recently, in pioneering thinking about learning ecologies involving the whole community in the education of our young people.

Derek is regularly invited to speak at conferences both nationally and internationally, and maintains a blog on matters relating to e-learning and other aspects of interest to educators. 

In recognition of his work in this area, Derek was designated one of the “Global Six” in 2008 by the George Lucas Educational Foundation that recognizes individuals making a difference in education.

Jackie Statum Allen, Education Portfolio Director, Bush Foundation

Jackie Statum AllenJackie Statum Allen joined the Bush Foundation as the Education Portfolio Director in 2018. She manages the strategy, programs, and partnerships for the Foundation’s education initiative. The focus of the initiative is to make education more relevant for students in terms of who they are, how they learn, and where they want to go.

Prior to her current role, Jackie spent more than a decade working in public school district administration. Most recently, she led the Office of Strategic Planning, Policy and Grants Development for Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) in Minnesota. In that role, she led several high-impact projects including developing and implementing multiple district strategic plans, developing inclusive policies, and managing informational campaigns for referendum ballot issues. Prior to SPPS, she worked in operations and budget management with Chicago Public Schools. She also has experience working in brand marketing and manufacturing engineering.

Jackie is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and two young daughters.

Kirsten Baesler, State School Superintendent, North Dakota Dept. of Education 

Kirsten Baesler is the state school superintendent of North Dakota. In her position, she oversees the education of more than 121,000 public and private school students. She was elected as state school superintendent in November 2012, and re-elected to her second term in 2016 with 75 percent of the vote.

Before taking office in January 2013, Superintendent Baesler had a 24-year career in the Bismarck public school system as a vice principal, library media specialist, classroom teacher and instructional assistant. She also worked for the North Dakota School Boards Association as the association’s assistant director.

Superintendent Baesler served on the Mandan school board for nine years. Her colleagues chose her as their president for seven of those nine years.

She is one of the nine directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a national organization that represents state education organizations across the nation. CCSSO provides leadership, technical assistance and advocacy on major educational issues.

Superintendent Baesler is one of 25 women leaders chosen from across the country for the Governing Institute’s 2019 Women in Government Leadership Program, which provides training for participants to serve as mentors and advisers for other prospective female leaders.

She is a member of the advisory board of the Civics Education Initiative, an organization that advocates for a proposal to require high school students to pass a civics exam before they may graduate. Superintendent Baesler successfully backed this idea during the North Dakota Legislature in 2015.

She serves on more than a dozen boards, including the Education Standards and Practices Board, the Educational Technology Council, the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement Board, and the Board of University and School Lands, which manages state land holdings and oversees a $4.2 billion trust fund that benefits North Dakota’s public schools.

She earned two associates’ degrees from Bismarck State College, a bachelor’s degree in education from Minot State University, and a master’s degree in library and information technology from Valley City State University. She holds Valley City State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the Rising Star Award from Bismarck State College. She has completed the Graduate School Educational Leadership Program at Harvard University.

Superintendent Baesler is a native of Flasher, N.D. She lives in Mandan, N.D., and has three adult sons.

Dr. James F. Lane, Superintendent of Instruction, Virginia Dept. of Education

Dr. James F. Lane was appointed Virginia’s 25th superintendent of public instruction by the Governor of Virginia, effective June 1, 2018.

As state superintendent, Dr. Lane serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, which is the administrative agency for the commonwealth’s public schools. He also serves as secretary of the state Board of Education.

Prior to his appointment as the commonwealth’s chief school officer, Dr. Lane served as a division superintendent in Chesterfield County, Goochland County and Middlesex County. He was recognized as the 2017 Virginia Superintendent of the Year for his leadership in Goochland County.

Dr. Lane was one of 100 superintendents in the nation selected to attend the 2014 ConnectEd Superintendents Summit at the White House in recognition of his leadership in the use of instructional technology by his schools.

In 2015, the national Data Quality Campaign awarded its annual Flashlight award to Goochland County in recognition of the division’s achievements under Lane’s leadership in using data to empower educators and communicate with parents and the public.

Dr. Lane holds a doctorate in education from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in school administration from North Carolina State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lane and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two elementary school students in Chesterfield County.

Pedro Noguera, Ph.D, Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA

Pedro Noguera is a distinguished professor of education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. A sociologist, Noguera’s research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional, and global contexts.

He is the author, co-author and editor of 13 books. His most recent books are The Crisis of Connection with Niobe Way, Carol Gilligan and Aisha Ali (NYU Press) and Race, Equity and Education: The Pursuit of Equality in Education 60 Years After Brown (Springer Press), and he has published over 250 research articles, book chapters, research reports, and editorials.

He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute, the National Equity Institute and The Nation Magazine. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on several national media outlets, and his editorials on educational issues have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News and Los Angeles Times.

Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2003 – 2015), Harvard University (2000 – 2003), and the University of California, Berkeley (1990 – 2000). Noguera was recently appointed to serve as a special advisor to the Governor of New Mexico on education policy. He also advises the state departments of education in Washington, Oregon, and Nevada, and from 2009 – 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor.

In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education and Phi Delta Kappa honor society. Noguera has received seven honorary doctorates from American universities, and he recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, from the National Association of Secondary Principals, and from the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.