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Conference Program

Keynote Speaker

Salome Thomas-El

Salome Thomas-El: Award-winning Principal, Author and Speaker
Thomas Edison Charter School

Salome Thomas-EL has been a teacher and principal in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE since 1987. He is currently the Head of School at Thomas Edison Public Charter School in Wilmington, DE. Thomas-EL received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. Principal EL was a regular contributor on “The Dr. Oz Show” and the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay and The Immortality of Influence (Foreword by Will Smith). The Walt Disney Company optioned the movie rights to I Choose to Stay. Thomas-EL speaks to groups across the country and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. He has received the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s distinguished Martin Luther King Award. Reader’s Digest Magazine recognized Principal EL as an “Inspiring American Icon” and he has appeared on Oprah Radio!

Featured Speakers

Cheri Stevenson

Cheri Stevenson

Cheri Stevenson has been an educator for 22 years. She has worked as a High School dance teacher, Middle School science teacher, Middle School Assistant Principal and Middle School Principal. She is currently in her fourth year at the Washington County School District office serving as the Director of Educator Effectiveness where she works to train and support building administrators in monitoring the work of teams and their impact on student learning.

Jennifer Mayer-Glenn

Jennifer Mayer-Glenn

Jennifer Mayer-Glenn is currently the Director of Family-School Collaboration at the Salt Lake City School District. She was an Assistant Prin-cipal at Glendale Middle School and Mountain View Elementary Community Learning Center, a community with over 90% of students receiving free or reduced lunch and 85% racial minorities. While Assistant Principal of Glendale Middle School (GMS), the school moved out of improvement/priority school status in one year. GMS earned 466/600 points; higher than the state average of 434/600 in 2012-13. GMS also earned “Top Performing Middle School in the Salt Lake City School District for 2012-2013.”

While rigor and high academic expectations of students and teachers are a must, Ms. Mayer-Glenn is also passionate about the important work of building authentic and sustaining family-school and community partnerships focusing on the varied needs, hopes and dreams of underserved communities in Salt Lake City.

Kenneth Rowley

Kenneth Rowley

Ken has worked for 23 years in the Juab School District. 11 years as a History and Spanish teacher at Juab High School, and 12 years as the principal of Juab Jr. High School. He also coached basketball for 16 years at Juab High School.

Sean Edwards

Sean Edwards

Sean Edwards is an Assistant Principal at Timpview High School in Provo City School District, Utah. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Special Education from Brigham Young University - Provo. He completed an administrative license program through Utah State University. Sean taught special education for five years and was an instructional coach for one year at Timpview High School prior to becoming an administrator.

Kyle Bates

Kyle Bates

Kyle Bates earned his Bachelor’s in History and teaching license from Brigham Young University – Provo. He later earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership from the same university. He served as a classroom teacher both at the junior and high school levels. He is currently serving as Centennial Middle School’s principal. His prior administrative service was as an assistant principal both at Centennial MS and Provo High School.

Jessica Jensen

Jessica Jensen

Jessica has worked in Provo City School District for the past eight years. She began as a 4th grade teacher at Provost Elementary, where she was named the Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year. Beginning in June 2015, Jensen was a Clinical Faculty Associate within the district. In this capacity, she mentored, observed, evaluated and provided feedback to teaching interns, student teachers and practicum students from Brigham Young University. She has spent this school year at Spring Creek Elementary as the Behavior Support Specialist and was recently announced at the new assistant principal at Wasatch Elementary. Jessica received her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a Science Emphasis from Utah State University and Masters of Education, School Leadership from Brigham Young University.

Dixie Garrison

Dixie Rae Garrison is the Principal of West Jordan Middle School in Jordan School District. She is the current UASSP Principal of the Year. Dixie earned her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah in 1998 majoring in Fine Arts. She earned her Master Degree at the University of Utah in Education in 2002 majoring in Education, Culture and Society. She received her Administrative Endorsement from Southern Utah University in 2004. When Dixie was appointed Principal of West Jordan Middle School, the school had a stigma of being a “Ghetto School”. The school needed a change in physical facilities and a commitment to reverse the culture of failure. To achieve this vision Dixie implemented some non-traditional and novel practices including: growth mindset; trauma-informed school practices; mindfulness; yoga; ninth grade credit recovery; inclusion and co-teaching; robust after school programs and enrichments; increased numbers of minority students in advanced courses and Standards-Referenced Grading (SRG).

Christy Fitzgerald

Christy Fitzgerald is the principal of a remote elementary school on the Navajo Nation in Utah. With a historical turnover rate of 40%, her team has been able to increase teacher retention to 95% this year. Christy’s professional background includes teaching, instructional coaching, professional development, technology integration, and administration. She also has 15 years’ experience in corporate management and corporate training. She has a passion for building teacher capacity and leadership.

Ross Lunceford

Ross Lunceford

Principal Lunceford has been in education for 21 years, with 16 of those years as an elementary principal in Title I schools. During that time, he has been recognized as the 2015 National Distinguished Principal for Utah'; that same year, his school Horace Mann Elementary, was also recognized as the National Distinguished Title 1 School. In 2017 Lincoln Elementary was named as the National Distinguished Title 1 School for Utah.

Brian Olmstead

Brian Olmstead is the Executive Coordinator of the Student Advocacy Services for the Utah State Board of Education. A former classroom teacher, building and LEA administrator, Brian has been at the USBE for four years working with Adult Education, CTE, Youth-in-Custody and at-risk programs.

Rodney Shaw

Rodney Shaw is the principal of Fort Herriman Middle School. He has spent 13 years at Fort Herriman and has led the school to highly effective PLC work, MTSS models, and full implementation of standards referenced grading. Fort Herriman has been designated as a National School to Watch three times in the past 10 years.

Iron County School District

Iron County School District has a current student population of 10,020 (including preschools). The attendance rate is 96% with a mobility rate of 9% and over 50% of the student population falling in low income status. ICSD ranks 3rd in the state for intergenerational poverty. There are 1233 students currently receiving special education services. The district population of Ells is 342, 15% of the population. The District Leadership team presenting includes Kevin Garrett, District Special Programs Director, Allen Garrett and Lavona Montgomery, District Psychologists, Janette Stubbs, District Professional Development/ESL Coordinator, Cory Henwood, Digital Teaching and Learning Coordinator, Nathan Jenkins, Elementary School Principal, Bylynda Murray, Middle School Principal, Roy Mathews, High School Principal