Tony Keefer (@TonyKeefer) has more than 20 years experience in education. He currently works with 7th grade ELA students in Dublin, Oh. Tony, a proud member of NCTE, has presented at local, regional and national conferences and is the co-founder of March Book Madness. He also has written for Choice Literacy and The Nerdy Book Club. While Tony has always loved Language Arts, he is more passionate about building classroom communities that empower students to learn and connect with each other.
Brian Wyzlic (@brianwyzlic) has been working in education for over 10 years. In that time, he has taught English and math at every grade level from 6th grade through 12th. While he believes in the power of both English Language Arts and Mathematics, he believes more firmly in the power of positive relationships and community, and has presented on this topic at state and national conferences. He is currently in his first year as the Educational Technology Specialist for Brandon School Division in Brandon, Manitoba. He looks forward to bringing his focus on community to this new position.
Jim Bailey has been an educator for the past 18 years. He is currently the principal at Hemmeter Elementary School in Saginaw, Michigan. Jim was honored by the Michigan Reading Association as Administrator of the Year in 2016. He has a passion for helping all students become lifelong readers. Jim spends his time reading, cheering on the Detroit Tigers, and enjoying time with his family (wife, Laura, and two sons, Evan and Griffin). You can follow him on Twitter at @jcbailey3.
Lynsey Burkins (@lburkins) has been an educator for the past 14 years in Dublin, Ohio. Most recently she has worked as a literacy coach for teachers kindergarten through second grade. Lynsey is excited to enter the classroom again as a second grade teacher in the fall. Lynsey received her master’s degree from The Ohio State University in which she studied critical literacy. Social Justice has always been a passion for Lynsey. She hopes to create a classroom environment that allow all children to see themselves reflected through the conversations that are taken on, the classroom library, the walls around the room, and the relationships that are formed. Each year Lynsey’s focus has been to facilitate the process of student empowerment and the development of strengthening their voice.
Kevin English (@KevinMEnglish) recently joined the administrative team at Wayne Memorial High School as an assistant principal in Wayne, Michigan. He spent five years as a ninth- and tenth-grade English language arts, creative writing, and science fiction teacher, and most recently as the director of academics for his building’s mentoring program. Although he recently left the classroom, he fundamentally believes in the power of relationships to support learning. He does blog infrequently at www.kevinenglish.net.
Jennifer Fountain (@jennann516) has been an educator for eleven years. Each of those years she has taught at the freshman level because she believes that this year sets the tone for a student’s high school career. She strives to build a warm and supportive relationship with all students in her classroom. She was named Teacher of the Year for the 2016-2017 school year and currently serves as the English department head at her campus. An avid reader herself, she is passionate about helping her students use books as mirrors in which they can view themselves as well as windows through which they can see the world around them. She is equally passionate about her Houston Astros.
Angie Huesgen (@ajhueystl) is an educator with over 20 years of teaching experience. Currently she is a K-5 Instructional Specialist near St. Louis, MO and a long time adjunct faculty member at Fontbonne University where she teaches Literacy Methods courses. Angie is a member of NCTE, ILA and MASL and has presented, and consulted, locally and nationally. Her unique combination of classroom literacy expertise and creative coaching style have given her the advantage in transforming her school’s reading community and she was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2016-2017 due to these efforts. Angie advocates for building classroom libraries to emphasize the importance of independent reading and believes choice is a powerful motivator for both students and teachers.
Scott Jones (@escott818) has been an educator for more than 15 years. He currently teaches 5th grade in Hilliard, Ohio. Scott has presented at local, regional and national conferences on various topics, such as empowering and engaging boys as readers and writers & cultivating student-ownership with digital portfolios. He, along with Tony, is the co-founder of March Book Madness. He has written for Choice Literacy and has a chapter in Launching Digital Writing in the Classroom. He is currently “on hiatus” from blogging on his own blog The Lead Goose. When he is not teaching, Scott enjoys reading, writing and traveling the world. Scott advocates for establishing a culture of personalized learning that encourages students to own their learning.
After a decade teaching middle school readers and writers in Chicago, Lea Kelley (@leakelley) has recently returned to the Pacific Northwest and will begin her second year teaching high school students at Chief Leschi School in Puyallup, Washington. This will be her nineteenth year teaching. She believes in her students and is committed to their success both in and out of the classroom. She has a very dusty blog at Miss Kelley Writes.
Mandy Robek (@mandyrobek) has more than twenty years of teaching experience in a variety of primary classrooms. She is currently working with second graders in Powell, Ohio. Mandy maintains a blog, Enjoy and Embrace Learning, writes for Choice Literacy and has a chapter in Launching Digital Writing in the Classroom. She is a co-founder for #pb10for10 and #nf10for10; social media events promoting using picture books. Mandy is on the board of directors for the Literacy Connection, a Central Ohio organization promoting teachers gathering to study and grow their practice. While Mandy enjoys all areas of teaching; reading, writing and mathematics, none of it is possible without relationships and connections.
Andrea Smith (@andreajsmith820) has worked with all ages of learners for the past 30 years. She currently works with 4th grade ELA students in Dublin, Ohio with her teaching partner, Nick Bertrams (@Team4Chapman). Andrea writes for Choice Literacy and is an enthusiastic fan of Chapman U, her school’s teacher-created and teacher-managed PD initiative. Andrea has combined her love of Language Arts with the Genius Hour movement and strives to help each student become passionately empowered by their learning interests.
Aliza Werner (@alizateach) has been a teacher since 2005 and currently teaches 3rd grade students in Glendale, Wisconsin. Aliza serves on the Wisconsin State Reading Association’s Children’s Literature Committee and presents at WSRA’s annual literacy conference. She has presented locally, statewide, and nationally (nErDcampMI), written for Nerdy Book Club, and contributed to articles for Chronicle Books, Smiling Mind, and Donalyn Miller’s blog. Aliza is a Curriculum Writer at Milwaukee Film, also doing year-round work on their Youth Education and Children’s Film Screening Committees. She is passionate about building diverse classroom libraries that provide all children with windows and mirrors, and she is a fierce advocate for choice, access, and time to read. World traveler, reader, photographer, dog mom, and wife.