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Speakers (Alphabetical by Last Name)


Stephanie Burgoon is the head teacher at Whittier Community School in Whittier, Alaska where she teaches 5th-12th grades. Stephanie has been teaching in a standards based educational system for the past 13 years. She enjoys helping students take responsibility for their own learning and fostering each student’s creative side. When she’s not in the classroom, she enjoys playing with her two year old, reading, and knitting.

Donna Burkett supervises and directs operations of staff for the Employment and Training Administration Programs under the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The programs are responsible for producing and disseminating labor market information products and services under the guidance and methodology established by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They include: Iowa’s Workforce Information Database, Occupation and Industry Projections, the Employer Database, an annual economic analysis report, and the Iowa Workforce Information Network. Donna also oversees the Bureau of Labor Statistics programs for the Occupational and Employment Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, and Mass Layoff Statistics. She is also responsible for, Iowa Trends, an economic indicator website, and consults with the state and local workforce information boards to provide labor market information training to staff and partners.

Bill Decker is the Superintendent of Schools in Muscatine. Under his leadership, administrator/teacher teams have created an innovative culture of learning. Previously, Mr. Decker was Superintendent in Harlan and Mount Ayr, IA, where the district was the first multi-grade one-to-one computing district in the state. Bill is a native of Sioux City, holds his undergraduate degree from Northwestern College (IA) and pursued his graduate work at the University of South Dakota.

Pat Deklotz has served as superintendent for the Kettle Moraine (WI) School District since 2006. Under her leadership, the district has embraced the challenge of transformi

ng schools to better and more efficiently meet the needs of all students by developing teacher leadership. The district holds the vision of learning without boundaries; acknowledging the need for students, staff, and community to challenge boundaries that have constrained educational progress. Mrs. Deklotz is a participant in the CESA 1 network of Wisconsin school districts collaboratively embracing the CCSSO’s Next Generation Personalized Learning challenge. She was recently elected to serve as chair of a 26 member consortium of school districts dedicated to designing and developing a comprehensive and balanced teacher evaluation system. She brought 20 years of private sector experience in banking and software development to her work in education.

Dr. Sandra Dop currently serves as Iowa's Education Consultant for 21st Century Skills and Schools. In that capacity she works with the State Department, the Area and Local Education Agencies and Institutions of Higher Education to investigate and promote the innovation necessary to embed 21st Century Skills into the experiences and opportunities for all Iowa students.  Dr. Dop’s experience as an educator spans thirty years and includes teaching at the elementary, middle and high school, and post secondary levels. During this time she also fulfilled the roles of: K-12 principal, curriculum director, and superintendent in several states and for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools.

Kevin Fangman has worked at the Iowa Department of Education for the past 4 years and currently serves as Deputy Director and Administrator for the Division of Learning and Results.  Fangman has served as an early childhood and elementary educator, literacy and early childhood consultant and elementary principal before working at the Department.  He was recently appointed President-Elect of the Deputies Leadership Commission at the Council of Chief School State Officers Annual Policy Forum in November.  

Dr. Ronald Fielder is currently Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. Prior, Ron spent the last 24 years as the Chief Administrator of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in East Central Iowa. His first fifteen years were spent in Kansas as a teacher, high school principal, and director of special education. He held numerous leadership positions in state and national education associations. Most recently he chaired the Association of Education Service Agencies Foundation and also served a full term on the governing board of the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Fielder co-founded the Woods Quality Center (currently the Iowa Quality Center), the Contemporary School Leadership Program, & the Midwest Center on Innovation & Systems Design. His interests include: leadership development, systems thinking & design, strategic planning, education transformation, competency-based education, & STEM education.

Jason Glass was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad as director of the Iowa Department of Education in December 2010. Director Glass was born and raised in a family of educators and is married to a teacher. In more than 15 years in education, Director Glass has taught at the high school and university levels in Kentucky, worked at the Colorado Department of Education in ensuring a quality education for students with disabilities and was Director of Human Resources for Eagle County Schools in Colorado. Director Glass also helped develop an early childhood education quality rating system as vice president of Qualistar Early Learning in Denver, Colorado. Before his move to Iowa, as Senior Director of Human Capital for Battelle for Kids, Director Glass counseled states and districts in implementing transformational change as part of the federal Race to the Top program. Director Glass received a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky. He holds a Doctorate in Education from Seton Hall University. 

Terry Kaldhusdal teaches fourth grade at Magee Elementary School. His students think like geologists, mathematicians, authors, electricians, historians, doctors, politicians, and film makers. They have created documentaries that include the history of the Kettle Moraine School District and personal digital stories on everything from responsibility to the three branches of government. One of

Terry’s students was recently featured at the AHA Film Festival, and three of his students were honored with the three top awards at the state’s digital story competition. His students are currently part of the multi-state initiative known as Next Generation Learning. Terry is a Kohl Fellowship Award winner, has been honored as the Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year in 2007, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Teacher of the Year for Wisconsin in 2011.

Paul Leather’s background and experience in Education, Counseling, and Administration in New Hampshire spans three decades. He is the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Education in New Hampshire, and has also served for 18 years as the Director of the Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning for the Department. There, he oversees statewide initiatives such as High School Redesign, Extended Learning Opportunities, and Drop-Out Prevention, as well as the administration of Vocational Rehabilitation, Adult Education, Career and Technical Education, Tech-Prep, School Guidance and Counseling, Apprenticeship Programs, and Career Development efforts, including Workforce Investment Act coordination for the NHDOE. In 1997, as part of the NH School to Career efforts, Mr. Leather began the journey to create a state model for a “competency-based student transcript.” This effort resulted in the development and implementation of the NHCompetency-Based Assessment System and ultimately to the student mastery model now in place as part of NH’s school approval standards.

Jim Lindsay, Ph.D., is a senior researcher with American Institutes for Research. Dr. Lindsay is a co-principal investigator on several projects, including REL-Midwest’s randomized controlled trial of a school wide adolescent literacy intervention and the evaluation of The New Teacher Project’s TEACH Initiative. Dr. Lindsay also serves as a certified reviewer for the What Works Clearinghouse. Previously, he was a research associate at the University of Minnesota, where he designed and managed a randomized multi-cohort, multisite intervention study in collaboration with human service organizations. He also has worked as an evaluator of publicly funded health care delivery systems and child-abuse prevention programs. Dr. Lindsay is the author of 14 articles and book chapters on several psychology and education-related topics. He earned a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Jaella Nelson is a seventeen-year-old junior at Whittier Community School in Whittier, Alaska. She is an aspiring writer and artist. She has lived in Whittier off and on since 1999 (age 5) with her father. She has gone back and forth between traditional and standards based schools since the middle of third grade and gone to both Elementary and High School in both systems. She is graduating in 2013 and is planning to go to college at UAA to study Anthropology.

Susan Patrick is the President and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). iNACOL is the professional association for advocacy and research in K-12 online learning, publishing national quality standards and best practices. Susan previously served as the Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education and published the National Education Technology Plan in 2005. In 2008, eSchool Newsnamed Susan Patrick one of the top 10 national education leaders of the past decade who “have had a profound impact on educational technology” for her iNACOL and USED work. Prior, Patrick worked in Arizona on government technology policy and legislation under Governor Hull. She received the 2001 Governor’s “Spirit of Excellence” Award. Patrick holds a master’s degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC and a bachelor’s degree from the Colorado College. She was the first woman to play in the men’s intramural football league in college.

Alex Phillips is a junior at Whittier Community School. Some of his hobbies include playing sports, listening to music, and getting EMS training. He is aspiring to go to medical school after graduating a year early. Competency-based systems have been his educational system since sixth grade. After having the chance to attend a traditional system, he decided against it and stayed in Whittier.

This is Rick Reinking's18th year in the classroom. He actively uses Modeling Instruction in his science classroom, a teaching method he learned through Dr. Larry Escalada's IPTIR class at UNI. Mr. He previously taught Science (IKM) and was a principal (Elk Horn-Kimballton) before leaving education workforce for 5 years. He then returned as an administrator in the West Sioux School District. His most current position is Physics and Chemistry teacher at Spirit Lake High School where he has taught for four years. In addition, Reinking teaches an online blended Physics course to students at Okoboji High School. Reinking is a 1984 graduate of Westmar College with a degree in Natural Sciences.

Dr. David Smith is in his third year as Superintendent of Schools in Spirit Lake. During this time he has successfully led a voter approved $1.8 million dollar 1:1 technology infusion including over 1125 laptops district wide. He also implemented pilot programs focused on Project Based, Online and Blended Learning and most recently Competency-Based Assessment. Dr. Smith has a passion for creating learning environments that maximize academic growth in preparing students for their futures. He received his Doctorate from the University of Northern Iowa and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Phoenix.

After spending several years in the publishing and advertising field, Mike Steger figured out what he wanted to do when he grew up when his wife suggested he go back to school to become a teacher.  It was the best advice he’s ever gotten and the one of the best decisions he ever made. Mike has taught 6th, 7th and 8thgrade science in the Kettle Moraine School District for 12 years. Currently he is the middle school science department chair and last year became involved in the Next Generation Learning Project sponsored by Wisconsin’s Institute at CESA 1, in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers. Through his school district’s focus on "Learning without Boundaries," and because of his involvement in the NxGL research, he’s been able to focus on student engagement through personalized learning and leveraging technology to enhance this effort.

Circe Stumbo is founder and president of West Wind Education Policy Inc. Under Circe’s direction, West Wind has developed a model for Systemic Equity Leadership, which is grounded in systems thinking, adaptive leadership, Critical Race Theory, and implementation science. Circe has facilitated numerous national and statewide blue ribbon panels and summits, cross-functional working teams, organizational strategic planning processes, and equity leadership teams. For nearly 15 years prior to founding West Wind, Circe worked in non-profit associations in the fields of agriculture, higher education, and K–12 education policy in Washington, D.C. Circe also taught political theory at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in 2001 before investing her efforts in West Wind and her commitment to alleviate inequities in public education. Circe earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, a master’s in government and politics from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s in political science from The University of Iowa.

Dr. Richard A. (Rick) Voorhees has been engaged in community colleges as a faculty member, administrator, and researcher since the 1970’s. Now as principal of an independent higher education consultancy, Voorhees Group LLC, he works with community colleges, state higher education agencies, and national foundations in the areas of institutional performance, quality assurance, and student success. He is a recognized expert in helping colleges to embed data-driven strategies leading to institutional transformation. He began his career in K through 12 education, serving as an elementary and junior high teacher. Rick is past president of the Association for Institutional Research, a 4,000 member international professional body focused on management and data-driven decision making in higher education. He was awarded the Outstanding Practitioner Award by the National Community College Council for Research and Planning, an affiliate group of the American Association for Community Colleges.

Kari Webb has served the students at Spirit Lake High School since 1998, teaching chemistry and AP chemistry. She is now coordinating academic innovation and technology integration at the high school, including pilot programs in Project Based Learning, blended course delivery, project-based Senior Internships and—most recently, Competency-Based Assessment. Webb brings a teacher’s perspective to systemic change, recognizing that genuine education reform happens one classroom, one teacher, and one student at a time.

Sara Wraight, J.D., is a senior policy analyst at AIR. Using her unique background in the fields of education and law, she oversees policy outreach and technical assistance efforts for the Regional Educational Laboratory of the Midwest (REL Midwest). Wraight manages the work of the policy staff and connects researchers to relevant projects that come from outreach work. She provides project management and oversight for various research projects for REL Midwest. In addition to the REL Midwest work, Wraight utilizes her education policy knowledge and skills to provide support to states and districts on school reform and improvement efforts. Wraight also serves as subcontract manager for the AIR component of the U.S. Department of Education’s Reform Support Network (the group of technical assistance providers charged with supporting the Race to the Top grantee states). She has two years of teaching experience, having taught in the upper elementary grades at both a charter school and a private school. Before entering the field of education, she was a practicing attorney. Wraight is a member of the American Educational Research Association. She earned a master’s degree in elementary teaching from Northwestern University and a juris doctor degree from Washington University in St. Louis.


Deb Hansen has been a senior policy analyst at West Wind Education Policy since 2010, after 21 years at the Iowa Department of Education. During her time at the Department she played an instrumental role in developing and supporting state-wide systems and processes to improve professional growth of educators. She began her career as a classroom teacher in Illinois and then became a consultant specializing in early childhood special education in two of Iowa’s regional education agencies before joining the Department. Deb co-authored The Iowa Professional Development Model, a model that is recognized nationally as a resource for administrators and practitioners. In addition, she served on the National Comprehensive Teacher Quality Center Advisory Board from 2007-2010; the National Staff Development Council: State Education Agency Professional Development Directors Network from 2009-present; and the Iowa Staff Development Council executive board from 2001-2008 where she was President in 2003-04. In 2008 Deb received the State of Iowa Governor’s “Dome Award for Excellence” which is presented to state employees for exemplary service. Deb earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education from Northern Illinois University; a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois; and completed graduate course work in Education Administration at the University of South Dakota, Iowa State University, and Drake University.

Jeff Henderson has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Dubuque for the past five years. As superintendent he leads nearly 1,000 professional staff and 70 school administrators in these schools. Previously, Mr. Henderson served as the first principal of Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids from 1997-2004. Prior to that he served as Chief Administrator and was responsible for the consolidation of the former Regis and LaSalle High Schools into Xavier. He began his administrative career as the first lay principal of LaSalle High School. He taught and coached for 11 years at Belle Plaine (Iowa) High School, Norman Central (Oklahoma) Mid-High School, and Titonka (Iowa) High School. Mr. Henderson earned an Ed. Specialist degree from the University of Iowa in 2005. He received his undergraduate degree in Social Studies and Drivers Education from the University of Dubuque and a M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Iowa.

Malik S. Henfield is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program in the College of Education at The University of Iowa. He received a B.A. in Biology from Francis Marion University, a M.Ed. and Ed.S. in K-12 School Counseling from The University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University. Overall, Dr. Henfield’s research agenda is focused on the academic, personal, social and career success of Black students in K - 12 and postsecondary settings. He  teaches courses focused on school counseling and gifted education in elementary, middle, high school and post-secondary settings. He was recently named an Emerging Leader by the Phi Delta Kappa International Education Association for his scholarship on black males and masculinity. Dr. Henfield has published multiple refereed and editor reviewed scholarly publications and delivered many national, regional, state, and local keynote addresses in the areas of counseling, as well as gifted and urban education.

Over the past 24 years, Jeff Herzberg has served Iowa schools as a Teacher, Coach, Assistant High School Principal, Principal, and Superintendent. For the past two years has been the Chief Administrator of Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency. He also worked for two years as an educational salesperson for Nystrom, a division of Herff Jones covering a 56 county territory in central and western Iowa which helped him experience the ‘real world’ and the benefit to his educational career has been immeasurable. Jeff currently serves on the Governor’s Advisory Council for STEM Education, the Iowa AEA On-Line Council, SAI’s 2012 Conference Planning Committee, facilitates for the Instructional Rounds Network for Superintendents in Prairie Lakes AEA and has served on the State Design Team for Competency-Based Education and the Iowa Learning Online Council. Jeff earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern College in Orange City and his advanced degrees from Iowa State University.

Valerie Nyberg is a policy analyst at West Wind Education Policy. She works on various projects providing input, research, and analysis on projects relating to issues of equity and race. She lends to West Wind her background designing and implementing cultural competence professional development at the school district level as well as her background as a teacher educator, mid-level administrator working with SINA schools, a program director, and former classroom teacher. Valerie is also currently finishing her Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Iowa. In addition, she holds a K-12 administrator license in the state of Iowa. Lastly, she is an adjunct professor at Kirkwood Community College, currently teaching Composition. Valerie holds a Master’s in English and a Bachelor’s of Education in English and Communications both from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. She taught high school English in Washington State for three years, Freshman Composition for one year and was the Managing Editor for the Bellingham Review, also for one year.

Bridgette Wagoner began her career teaching high school Language Arts and currently serves the Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District as the Director of Educational Services. Bridgette earned a BA in English Teaching, an MAE in Educational Psychology, and is pursuing an EdD in Educational Leadership—all from the University of Northern Iowa. Nationally, Bridgette has worked to support ASCD’s Whole Child initiative and ensure each and every child is healthy, safe, supported, challenged, and engaged. At a statewide level, she has been involved in the development and implementation of the Iowa Core and Common Core. Bridgette has a passion for educational transformation, working to promote deep change to create a responsive, student-centered system.

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