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Barbara Blackburn
Dr. Barbara Blackburn has dedicated her life to raising the level of rigor and motivation for professional educators and students alike. What differentiates Barbara’s fourteen books are her easily executable concrete examples based on decades of experience as a teacher, professor, and consultant. Barbara’s dedication to education was inspired in her early years by her parents. Her father’s doctorate and lifetime career as a professor taught her the importance of professional training. Her mother’s career as school secretary shaped Barbara’s appreciation of the effort all staff play in the education of every child.

Barbara has taught early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students and has served as an educational consultant for three publishing companies. She holds a master’s degree in school administration and is certified as a school principal in North Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2006, she received the award for Outstanding Junior Professor at Winthrop University. She recently left her position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to write and speak full-time.

In addition to speaking at state and national conferences, she also regularly presents workshops for teachers and administrators in elementary, middle, and high schools. Her workshops are lively and engaging and filled with practical information. Her most popular topics include:

  • Rigor is NOT a Four Letter Word
  • Rigorous Schools and Classrooms: Leading the Way
  • Motivation + Engagement + Rigor = Student Success
  • Instructional Strategies that Motivate Students
  • Content Literacy Strategies for the Young and the Restless
  • Motivating Yourself and Others
  • Engaging Instruction Leads to Higher Achievement
  • High Expectations and Increased Support Lead to Success


John Hattie
Professor John Hattie is currently the Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, a position he has held since March 2011. He is also Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Auckland. John is the Senior Advisor for Visible LearningPlus, a division of Cognition Education Limited. John is one of New Zealand’s most internationally acclaimed academics. He has been both Professor and Chair of Educational Research Methodology at the University of North Carolina.

Professor Hattie regularly advises governments in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. He has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 500 papers.



Lyn Sharratt
Dr. Lyn Sharratt is a highly-accomplished practitioner, researcher, author, and presenter. She coordinates the doctoral internship program in Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Lyn has been a school superintendent, curriculum consultant and administrator, and she has also taught all elementary grades and secondary-age students in inner-city and rural settings.

Lyn is lead author, with Michael Fullan, of Realization: The Change Imperative for Increasing District-Wide Reform (Corwin, 2009) and Putting FACES on the Data: What Great Leaders Do! (Corwin, 2012, published in English, Spanish and Arabic). Lyn is lead author of Good to Great to Innovate: Recalculating the Route K-12, (Corwin, 2015) with Gale Harild and Leading Collaborative Learning: Empowering Excellence (Corwin, 2016) with Beate Planche. Currently, Lyn is an advisor for International School Leadership with the Ontario Principals’ Council, is an Author Consultant for Corwin Publishing and consults internationally, working with leaders at all levels, consultants, and teachers in Chile, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada to systematically increase all students’ achievement by putting FACES on the data and taking intentional action.

There are over 500 “Sharratt Schools” across the globe, representing thousands of students. Lyn is passionate about all students becoming “Literate Graduates”!



Andy Hargreaves
Andy Hargreaves is the Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Before that, he was the co-founder and co-Director of the International Centre for Educational Change at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Canada. He has consulted widely with governments, teacher unions and international organizations including the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Andy has authored or edited more than 30 books. Several of these have achieved outstanding writing awards from the American Educational Research Association, the American Libraries Association, the International Leadership Association, the National Staff Development Council and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and are translated into many languages. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Educational Change and the leading editor of the First and Second International Handbooks of Educational Change. His most recent books are Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Communities and Teams Raise Performance (with Alan Boyle and Alma Harris, Wiley Business 2014), Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School (with Michael Fullan – Teachers’ College Press 2012), and The Global Fourth Way (with Dennis Shirley, Corwin 2012). Andy has received many awards including The Whitworth Award for outstanding contributions to educational research in Canada.



Pasi Sahlberg
Pasi Sahlberg is Finnish educator, author and scholar. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and policies around the world. In his long career in education he has served the World Bank in Washington, DC, the European Commission in Torino, Italy, and the OECD as an education expert. He is an advisor to several governments about education and chairs the Open Society Foundation’s global education advisory board. His recent books include “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland” (2015) and “FinnishED Leadership: Four Big, Inexpensive Ideas to Transform Education” (2018). His new book with William Doyle is “Let the Children Play: Why More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive” (2019).

His professional honours and awards include the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2013 Grawemeyer Award in the United States, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, 2016 Lego Award in Denmark, and 2017 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency. He is a former Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki and visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Pasi is Professor of Education Policy at the Gonski Institute for Education, University of New South Wales in Sydney. More on his website: pasisahlberg.com and Twitter: @pasi_sahlberg.



Michael Fullan
Michael Fullan, O.C., is the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform, he advises policymakers and local leaders around the world in helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning. Michael Fullan received the Order of Canada in December 2012. He holds honorary doctorates from several universities in North America and abroad.

Fullan is a prolific, award-winning author whose books have been published in many languages. His book Leading in a Culture of Change was awarded the 2002 Book of the Year Award by Learning Forward, Breakthrough (with Peter Hill and Carmel Crévola) won the 2006 Book of the Year Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), and Turnaround Leadership in Higher Education (with Geoff Scott) won the Bellwether Book Award in 2009. Change Wars (with Andy Hargreaves) was awarded the 2009 Book of the Year Award by Learning Forward, and Professional Capital (with Andy Hargreaves) won the AACTE 2013 Book of the Year, and the Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2015. Michael Fullan’s latest books are: The Principal: Three Keys for Maximizing Impact, Coherence: Putting the Right Drivers in Action (with Joanne Quinn), Freedom to Change, and Indelible Leadership. He currently serves as an Advisor to the Premier and Minister of Education in Ontario, and is co-leader of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning global initiative.



Alma Harris
Dr. Alma Harris (FRSA) is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the Department of Education, University of Bath. Previously, she held professorial posts at the University of Warwick, University College London and the University of Malaya. She is internationally known for her research and writing on educational leadership and school improvement. In 2009–2012, she was appointed to the Welsh Government as a senior policy adviser to assist with the process of system-wide reform. She co-led the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) programme with Dr. Michelle Jones and also led on the development and implementation of a Master’s qualification for all newly qualified teachers in Wales. Since 2009, she has worked for the World Bank contributing to development and research programmes aimed at supporting schools in challenging contexts in Russia. Professor Harris is a Visiting Professor at the Moscow Higher School of Economics and the University of Southampton. Dr. Harris is Past Presi- dent of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI), which is an organisation dedicated to enhancing quality and equity in education. In January 2016, she received the ICSEI honorary lifetime award. She is currently an international adviser to the First Minister of Scotland.



Todd Whitaker
Dr. Todd Whitaker has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. Todd is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. He has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals. Prior to moving into higher education he was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. Todd then served as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. He was also a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools.

One of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness, Todd has written over 40 books including the national best seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. Other titles include: Dealing With Difficult Teachers, Ten-Minute Inservice, Your First Year, What Great Principals Do Differently, Motivating & Inspiring Teachers, and Dealing With Difficult Parents. Todd is married to Beth, also a former teacher and principal, who is currently a faculty member of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. They are the parents of three children; Katherine, Madeline, and Harrison.