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RU World Ready Speakers 2017

Sandra Lima Argo is an educator who has developed a passion for international studies and international students throughout her career. In Brazil, her birth country, she worked in all levels of education in K-12 schools as trainee, teacher, coordinator, supervisor, and principal, and for educational organizations and universities as a consultant. During that time, she traveled for other countries to study and improve her understanding about Education, living for short periods in the US, Canada, and England as an international student-teacher. After moving to the US and becoming a permanent resident, she went back to school to understand in depth how Education is organized here. Her first job in the United States was a consultant for international studies at Bluefield College, in Virginia. In 2013, she founded a company with her husband, Trent Argo, an expert in Enrollment Management who lived and worked in Turkey, China and Brazil - Liaison America, LLC - which provides international education services for educational institutions and organizations in the US and in Brazil. “During the last four years, working through Liaison America, we have brought several Brazilian students and educators to the United States, and we have taken several American educators and a group of college students to Brazil. My husband and I understand what it is to live, study and work abroad. We have empathy for those who make the effort to get out of their comfort zone to embrace the unknown. sandra@liaisonamerica.com

Christy Baker earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University. She has taught first through fifth grades during her 18 years of teaching in Burke County North Carolina. Christy is National Board certified and is currently teaching third grade at Valdese Elementary School, and she teaches for the Department of Teacher Education at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. She has been involved with the Global Monster project since 2008. During that time, her classes have Skyped with various classes across the United States and Russia. The first thing that students notice is that the kids in the other class, no matter where that class is on the planet, are very much like themselves. In her free time, she enjoys reading mysteries, crochet, hanging out with her backyard chickens and exploring the world with her 7 year old son. cbaker@burke.k12.nc.us

Lisa Belcher is a Patrick County native and has been employed by Patrick County Public Schools since 1999. She obtained her Bachelor's of Arts in Social Sciences from Gardner-Webb University in 1999 and her Master's in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Averett University in 2010. She teaches primarily geography but has also taught government, history, sociology and civics during her career. Currently, serving as department chair for the past two years at PCHS, she serves on various committees, is co-sponsor of the Beta club and has ties to the Radford University family as an AASIS (Appalachian Arts and Studies in the Schools) sponsor. lisabelcher@gmail.com

Carina Cordero Brossy is a World View Outreach Specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With over 15 years of global education experience, Carina works with K-12 schools and colleges to integrate global competencies across disciplines and grade levels. As World View’s former assistant director for curriculum, she led World View study visit programs to Honduras, Costa Rica, India and Russia. Prior to World View, Carina served as a middle school teacher connecting her students to the world through domestic and international programs. Carina has a B.A. in Spanish and International Affairs and speaks Spanish, French and some Mandarin. @UNCWorldview ccbrossy@gmail.com

Frances Coffey lives in Fairfax, Virginia. After earning her undergraduate degree in International Relations at the College of William and Mary, she earned a M.A. in International Studies from Claremont Graduate University and a M.Ed. from George Mason University. She currently teaches AP Human Geography and AP Psychology at Chantilly High School. Frances has taught geography for several years, and helped expand the AP Human Geography program in Fairfax County. Her high school went 1:1 last year, issuing every student a school-issued laptop. Frances is excited about how this development can improve geographic literacy and allow students to create digital content. In addition to being a Table Leader at the AP Human Geography reading, Frances was selected as a 2016 American Geographical Society (AGS) Teacher Fellow. As an AGS Teacher Fellow, she participated in a symposium about environmental sustainability, an issue about which she cares deeply. In June she traveled with sixteen other educators to South Korea, where they engaged in a field study and presented at the 8th International Conference on Geographic Naming and Geographic Education. Additionally, in July she traveled to Iceland with the National Council of Geographic Education (NCGE) to conduct field research about global environmental change. FACoffey@fcps.edu

Tina Coffey is an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Roanoke County Schools, in Roanoke, Virginia. She has been a public school teacher for twenty years, the last twelve as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher. She holds her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech and her Bachelors from Emory & Henry College. She works with teachers at three schools in Roanoke County, helping them learn to use and integrate technology into their classrooms through inservices, small group training, and co-teaching. She is passionate about STEM activities, Project Based Learning, Makerspaces, and other technology and hands-on methods to engage students, make learning relevant, promote global literacy, and foster 21st Century skills. She presents at various local, state, and regional conferences and was recognized as the Level Up Village US Teacher of the Year in 2017. She blogs about STEM, PBL, Children’s Engineering, and Maker activities at the Learning Collaboratory and the Teaching with Technology blog. tcoffey@rcs.k12.va.us

Barbara Crain, a native of Germany, earned her double M.A. in English Studies and Geography at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. After a decade teaching—2 years for German Secondary Schools and 8 years for the University of Maryland University College on American Army, Navy and Air Force bases—she came to Maryland and earned an M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University. She was the administrator for UMUC’s Overseas Programs for 9 years. She is currently in her 12th year serving as geography faculty and program head at Northern Virginia Community College in Loudoun. Apart from her college responsibilities, Barbara takes her obligations as a geographer rather serious and attempts to understand the world in geographic terms as much as possible. As a result, she has been traveling the world hoping that at her (semi-)professional blogs make her classes more fun for the students (here is one on her experiences in Ghana and one on Newfoundland ). During her sabbatical in 2016 she lived in Germany interviewing recent refugees about their journeys and arrivals in her hometown. These particular findings will be the subject of the workshop at this conference. Barbara lives in Kensington, MD, with her husband and three cats. Her daughter is a graduate student in Norway, a fact that has triggered another blog as of yet unfinished. Bcrain@nvcc.edu

Dalila Dragnic-Cindric is a third-year doctoral student in the Learning Science and Psychological Studies program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Education (SOE). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, and minor in Mathematics, with summa cum laude honors, from North Carolina Central University, as well as a Masters of Engineering Management Degree from Duke University. Before her doctoral studies, Dalila has worked in medical physics in cancer research at Duke University Medical Center and in the high-tech industry at IBM and Lenovo. Her professional experiences in global, multi-cultural work environments inspired her to focus on the effective use of technology in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education with a goal of fostering productive collaboration and improving inquiry-based teaching and learning. Dalila is particularly interested in the socially-shared regulation of learning and how it contributes to the development of students’ collaborative and critical thinking skills in addition to their STEM content knowledge. In 2016 she was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program Fellowship. Dalila is currently serving as the President of the Graduate Student Association of the UNC-Chapel Hill SOE. daliladc@live.unc.edu

Abigail Edwards is from Danville, VA and is a senior at Radford University. Abigail will be student teaching at Christiansburg Elementary School this fall. She completed her blocking internship at Christiansburg Primary School in a second grade classroom this past spring. During Abigail’s blocking internship, she participated in a Global Mentor Project where she was paired with a mentor teacher in Taiwan. The Global Mentor Project gave Abigail an opportunity to learn from a skilled educator while communicating between classrooms across the globe. Abigail developed a new appreciation for the benefits of global partnership while participating in this project. Her students thrived and were eager to learn while completing activities related to the project. This short but valuable experience allowed Abigail to grow as a future educator and as an advocate for global collaboration. She believes that global collaboration increases student engagement while promoting cultural and global awareness in the classroom. In the future, Abigail plans to incorporate global connections into her everyday classroom instruction. Abigail looks forward to sharing more about her experience in the Global Mentor Project with other educators and future educators. aedwards13@radford.edu

Annie Evans transitioned from middle school social studies teacher to K-12 Coordinator of Social Studies for Charlottesville City Schools in 2008. Annie is a National Geographic Society Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, a National Geographic Certified Educator, and Co-Coordinator of the Virginia Geographic Alliance. Prior to moving to Charlottesville, she served as a classroom teacher, and a Teacher Ranger for the National Park Service, developing curriculum for Richmond National Battlefield Park and the Maggie L. Walker Historic Site. With over 25 years of classroom and educational leadership experience, she designs and leads professional development activities for K-16 and museum educators, focusing on Geo-Literacy, Historical Thinking Skills, Instructional Coaching, and Performance Based Assessments. evansa1@charlottesvilleschools.org, @MapM8ker

Maggie Front is a graduate of the Global Competency Certificate program at Columbia Teachers College, where she was a member of the pilot cohort. She recently collaborated on a two-year Teacher Inquiry Project to pilot a middle school program that integrated mathematics, language arts, and social studies – infused with global themes -- to move students deeper into critical thinking, growth mindset, and content. While involved with the inquiry project, she developed a keen interest in using restorative practices and mindfulness theory in the classroom to foster relationships and empathy. She is trained in the use of the Mindful Schools curriculum in the secondary classroom and serves as an active facilitator for her school’s Restorative Justice Program. To continue working toward her primary global competency goal of being a lifelong learner, she is currently part of the California International Studies Project’s Sustainability PLC, and is engaged in developing student action projects focused around social justice at a local level. Maggie has taught in Mill Valley, California for 15 years and currently works with middle school students in the areas of Language Arts, Social Studies, and Global Citizenship. In addition to family adventures, her passions include progressive education reform, urban gardening, beekeeping, and developing common ground with others through their personal stories. maggiefront@icloud.com

Malawi Study Abroad Group The Malawi 2017 Teaching and Learning Group includes RU Adjunct Faculty Member and Classroom Teacher, Kim Rygas, along with Graduate Student, Felicia Freeman, and Undergraduate Teacher Education Students including Nina Ghafori, Alyson Gokey, Erin McGuigan, Tabitha Nelson, Kim Rygas, Catherine Turner, Valerie Wallace, and Emily Warren. Drs. Jean Mistele and Patricia Talbot were the faculty mentors for the trip this year.

Nicholas Gattis currently serves as the Director of Bands at Carmel Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina where he teaches Band for grades 6-8, Jazz Band, and acoustic guitar. Nicholas received his BS Ed. in Music Education from Western Carolina University. This summer he participated in the 2017 Global Education Leadership Conference at World View (UNC-Chapel Hill) and serves on the Global Educators Advisory Council with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.Most recently Nicholas was awarded a 2016 Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions and completed a Circumnavigation of Iceland aboard the National Geographic Explorer collecting field recordings to discover musical connections in the natural world. Additionally, he received a 2012-13 Council Scholar Award from the World Affairs Council Charlotte which allowed him to study in Costa Rica with World View at UNC-Chapel Hill. nkgattis@gmail.com

Bob Greenberg is an educational videographer. He was an elementary teacher for 30 years in Stamford and Bridgeport, CT, and has been an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University. In 2007, the Bridgeport Public Education Fund awarded him the Outstanding Teacher Award. In 2012, the Connecticut Association of School Librarians presented him with the Pellerin Classroom Teacher Award. He prepared his 2nd and 3rd graders for the future using global project based learning. They Skyped with students in: Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, New Zealand, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Russia as well as the USA. He helped organize a Global Newspaper with students from seven countries, and also helped organize a global video project for the International Day of Peace. He enlisted 26 classes from 18 countries from every continent except Antarctica. When not teaching, Bob travels the country filming the best and brightest names in education. His YouTube Brainwaves Channelhas over 540 bite-size videos with nearly 500,000 views. He has traveled the country filming the thinkers and doers in Education including: Sir Ken Robinson, Noam Chomsky, Diane Ravitch, Yong Zhao and Jerome Bruner. Facts about Bob: for 15 years he was a traveling professional magician. He has run the Boston Marathon in under three hours. He has three children and five grandchildren, was born in the Bronx, raised in Stamford, and currently lives in Stratford, CT. @bobgreenberg bobgreenberg01@gmail.com

Georgeanne Hribar became an advocate for geography after attending the James Madison University 1988 Summer Geography Institute sponsored by the Virginia Geographic Alliance. Since that time, she has worked to champion the geographic perspective in all disciplines, because “everything happens somewhere.” As a 2009, 20013, 2017, graduate of Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS, (T3G), conducted by the Environmental Research Science Institute (ESRI) she has conducted numerous workshops throughout the state supporting teachers in using online GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to support student inquiry and exploration of our world. She earned a B.S.Ed. from Duquesne University, a M.A. in Soviet and East European History from John Carroll University and an Ed.D. in Educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. After 35 years of service teaching social studies at the junior high and high levels, she retired from her position as a secondary social studies coordinator for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She currently serves as adjunct assistant professor of geography for Old Dominion University where she teaches Internet GIS, Geography of Russia and the Near Abroad, Geography of Europe, and Cultural Geography. gchribar@gmail.com

Jud Hendrix is the Executive Director of the Global Human Project, a Louisville based nonprofit dedicated to cultivating “glocal” initiatives to cultivate Global Citizenship and the creator of the Walk-A-Mile In My Shoes Migration Simulation. Jud is a PhD student and an adjunct faculty member at Bellarmine University where he teaches Integral Approaches to Social Change, World Religions, and Globalization, Migration and Development. In 2010, Jud was recognized as a Louisville Connector by Leadership Louisville. judhendrix@globalhumanproject.net

Katelyn Henson – elementary student teacher – Radford, University khenson2@radford.edu

Rebecca Jasman kndrtchr42@gmail.com is a Library Media Specialist at Waverly Yowell Elementary School in Madison County. Before being a librarian, Rebecca was a classroom teacher for 18 years, mostly teaching in the primary grades. After she earned her M.Ed. in School Librarianship from Longwood University, she transitioned to working with 3rd-5th graders. Rebecca is a trainer and member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Education Association and serves on the Steering Committee of the Virginia Geographic Alliance as the Giant State Traveling Map Co-Coordinator.

Kathryn Burton Jefferson received her B.S. in sociology and M.S. degree in elementary education from Longwood University. She is a National Geographic certified educator and co-coordinator of the National Geographic State Giant Map of Virginia. She currently teaches a multiage class of 4th and 5th grade classroom and summer camps at Fuqua School in Farmville, VA. She is also a member of the Virginia Geographic Alliance. Her interests are photography, reading, hiking and biking. She is a long time volunteer with Girl Scouts in Prince Edward County. jeffersonk@fuquaschool.com

Edward Kinman is Professor of Geography and Assistant Dean for Assessment and Program Improvement for the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences at Longwood University, located in Farmville, VA. He serves as the Coordinator for the Virginia Geographic Alliance, a group of educators supporting geographic literacy formed by the National Geographic Society and the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1986. He is currently participating in the When We Were British: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Visualize Early America Project. This collaboration of the Virginia and North Carolina Geographic Alliances has geography, history, civics, and language arts educators developing primary source artifacts from the British National Archives. These colonial records are being digitized and illustrated through a series of powerful geospatial resources for inquiry-based teaching. They will soon be available to develop cross-curricular connections for the K-16 classroom. He also participates in the National Geographic Society’s Alliance Pre-Service Initiative Task Force charged with improving geographic instruction for university teacher preparation programs. kinmanel@longwood.edu

Denise Lam is entering her 20th year at Spotswood High School in Rockingham County where she teaches AP Human Geography and World Geography and is the social studies department team leader. She is a graduate of James Madison University where she also earned her Master’s in educational technology. Additionally, she has a graduate certificate in geography education from the University of Northern Colorado. Denise is an active member of the Virginia Geographic Alliance Steering Committee as a previous chair and co-chair for Geography Awareness Week (GAW). She has presented at several state and local conferences as well as led in-service workshops on GAW, geospatial technologies, and other technology tools. dlam@rockingham.k12.va.us

Karen H. Leslie teaches biology for Roanoke City Public Schools. She is a former researcher who completed her Master's and Doctoral work in biological anthropology researching dietary reconstruction using human bone chemistry. Karen entered secondary education after teaching four years at the University level and is interested in curriculum development and instructional design which serves all learners and aligns to skills needed by today's global learners. Karen is currently completing a Master's program in educational leadership at Radford University and is working towards completion of her doctoral dissertation on anthropology and education through the University of Florida. Karen lives with her husband and her two sons in Salem, Virginia. kleslie@rcps.info

Catherine Logan – I am attending Radford University to become an elementary school teacher and will be doing student teaching this fall. I have enjoyed working with children all my life, and I fell in love with teaching early on. When I was in school I enjoyed teaching my friends different ways of understanding problems. I was inspired by my teachers to become the person I am today. As a teacher you have a duty to your students unlike any other profession. I have worked with children many times and there is a brief and beautiful moment when their eyes light up when learning something new. It is those moments that make this profession worthwhile. Those moments are what inspire me to teach. This past experience with international teaching working with mentors in Russia and England helped me to see that teachers around the world share these moments. Although we may teach in different languages and in different ways, we all have the ability to inspire greatness in others. clogan2@radford.edu

Katherine Mangum currently teaches 5th-grade physical science and works with the 6th-grade First Lego League robotics team, G.I.R.L.S., at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, VA. She also serves as president-elect of the Virginia Children’s Engineering Council. Katherine’s interest in fostering global competencies began when she was teaching in Germany at Bad Krueznach American Elementary School. Since that time, she has sought out opportunities where she and her students are able to broaden their perspectives about the world. The 2016-2017 school year was Katherine’s first experience with the Global Monster project, and she cannot wait to have her students participate again this autumn! ln her time away from school, Katherine and her husband enjoy supporting their son’s rugby team, gardening, and long weekends in Rockbridge Baths! kmangum@st.catherines.org

Jean Mistele is a mathematics educator in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Artist College of Science and Technology. She teaches mathematics to preservice teachers and statistics to in service teachers enrolled in the mathematics education master’s program. Her current research projects, with colleagues in the School of Education and Leadership, include Mathematics Comprehension and Integration in Elementary Schools, which joins together mathematics problem solving with reading comprehension to extend problem solving strategies. Other projects focus on probability, motivation, and research methods. She enjoys mentoring students in research. jmistele@RADFORD.EDU

Josh Nease has worked for many years in Virginia and West Virginia to bring diverse groups of stakeholders together to find common ground and consensus for sustainable solutions. He currently serves as the Sustainability Manager at Radford University where he is building a sustainability program that will meet the goals established in the University’s Climate Action Plan. In collaboration with the Sustainability Steering Committee and campus community, Josh is charged with leading the University’s efforts to become carbon neutral and to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the critical challenges of the 21st Century. jnease@radford.edu

Laura Owen - Marketing Coordinator, Glen Allen High School. I have taught in mountain regions of Colorado and in the city and suburbs of Richmond, VA. I believe in engaging students in hands-on projects that will prepare them for the real world. Rather than teaching with a textbook, the world is our classroom. With projects that build global understanding, we partner with businesses to help high school students develop life skills and valuable networking experiences. I don’t test on theory, but on product outcomes. Students become globally competent while embarking upon projects that prepare them with 21st Century skills, honing in on communication, resume building, empathy, and cultural understanding. Through these experiences, students are led down a social and emotional pathway to become productive and successful members of society. lbowen@henrico.k12.va.us

Judith Painter has been teaching for 24 years at the high school and middle school levels. Currently, she teaches 8th graders in Salem, Virginia about World Geography. She prefers a hands-on approach to learning, and integrates technology to assist the students in understanding the world. She has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software in her teaching, and recently acquired a grant to provide Virtual Reality Headsets to help the students 'visit' new regions. Her goal is to help students become well-rounded global citizens. During the 2015-16 school year, she mentored a Chinese program teacher through the State Department TCLP grants. That experience has opened her eyes to additional cultural communications and misunderstandings that can occur through those connections. She currently serves on the Virginia Geographic Alliance Steering Committee, and sponsors several school clubs and groups. Judith was a 2017 nominee for the McGlothlin Teaching Award. @pjm2024 jpainter@salem.k12.va.us

Connie Rensink is a passionate global education consultant dedicated to supporting educators and systems that integrate global issues and perspectives into existing curriculum to foster global collaboration. Connie believes that teaching children to be globally minded requires the teacher to pursue personal global experiences. She has completed graduate coursework in China, a Fulbright – Hays Project Abroad to India, and a Global Competencies Certificate through World Savvy, Columbia University, and Asia Society. She loves to travel, learn about the world, and engage with cultural diversity. connie.rensink@yahoo.com

Kim Rygas I began my education journey right here at Radford University. I graduated in 2007, 2008, and 2016 with degrees in Early Childhood/Special Education, as well as Educational Leadership. I am also an adjunct instructor in the Early Childhood department at Radford University. When I'm not at RU, I'm assistant principal at Auburn Elementary. Previously, I taught third grade for seven years and first grade for two years. Although my life revolves around teaching and learning, I make time for my adorable Yorkie, Beamer and my husband Adrian. We live in Christiansburg, Virginia with dreams of traveling the world! krygas@mcps.org

Terry K. Smith is an assistant professor in the School of Teacher Education & Leadership at Radford University. He teaches methods courses in science, social studies, and technology, and is a pre-service teacher cohort leader. He works with National Geographic as a mentor-trainer in the National Geographic Educator Certification Program. He is an advisor for the Flat Connections Project and for the yearly Global Education Network Conference. He has taken elementary students to Taiwan, connected his student teachers globally in the Global Mentors Project, and runs two global education projects for elementary and middle school classrooms: the Monster Project and the Kidlink Landmark Project. @smithtk tsmith39@radford.edu

Patricia A. Talbot is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership (STEL) at Radford University. After more than 25 years working in public schools, she joined the faculty at RU in 2007. Since that time, she has had the privilege of teaching primarily in Elementary Education, Educational Leadership and the Malawi Study Abroad program. This work has led to a keen interest in the concept of globalizing education for teachers and school leaders so that they will be better prepared to do the same in their roles in K-12 schools. She is working with colleagues in STEL to infuse global themes into existing coursework and to develop affordable opportunities to teach and learn abroad. In addition, this team is exploring domestic field experiences to expose teachers and leaders from Southwest Virginia to greater cultural diversity and taking advantage of technology to create networks and cross-cultural classroom experiences. ptalbot@radford.edu

Michael Thier directed a partnership of four International Baccalaureate programs in North Carolina, where he was also a National Board-certified teacher after working as a journalist in New York. Presently, Thier trains educators to develop school and classroom cultures that emphasize global citizenship, international-mindedness, and intercultural understanding. He is also a Research and Policy Fellow jointly appointed to the Educational Policy Improvement Center and the Center for Equity Promotion at the University of Oregon, where he is pursuing a concurrent Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Master’s in Public Administration. He expects his dissertation to result in a cross-nationally validated measure of secondary students' dispositions toward global citizenship. Thier has degrees from New York University (B.A., Journalism) and Stony Brook University (M.A.T., English, Grades 7–12). He collaborates on research with colleagues in Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Qatar, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, and the United States. His research interests include global citizenship education and the opportunities and challenges inherent in preparing students in rural and remote schools for college and careers. Thier has published in journals such as Learning and Individual Differences; Psychological Assessment; and SAGE Research Methods Cases. His research has won awards from the American Educational Research Association and English Journal. Most importantly, Thier is the proud father of two daughters. mthier@uoregon.edu

Sophie Toner - Born and raised in France, I have been living in Minnesota since 1999. She is a 3rd grade teacher at Normandale French Immersion in Edina, Minnesota. I have been teaching 3rd grade since 2010. I also taught 5th grade at Normandale for four years. I am passionate about service learning and global issues. For the past seven years I have exposed students to French speaking countries cultures and engaged them in service learning for Lougou, a village in Haiti. Professionally being part of the Global Competence Certificate and in a technology cohort challenged me and also helped me refine and develop how I frame service learning for elementary students. Through the help of grants, I have been able to invite an Haitian art company for a residency at Normandale for the last 2 years. I believe in the power of having students connect on a personal level with different cultures and see others through new lenses either face to face or through the use of digital tools. One of my greatest joy is to meet former students of mine who use their French for their profession and/or any humanitarian endeavors. I love to think that I do contribute to bringing cultures together and developing mutual understanding.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my two daughters, Caroline 11 and Loulou 14. Contact: sophie.toner@edinaschools.org

Larissa Tarasevich lives and teaches in Aban, Russia. She is an accomplished global educator, runs the Doves for Peace Internet project, and serves on the Board of the Kidlink Association, an organization of volunteer teachers from around the world. She connects her Russian students with classrooms all over the world via Skype and global projects. She has presented widely online and in conferences throughout Russia, and she has also presented that the National Council of the Social Studies Conference on her first trip to the USA in 2012. She has received many awards including Teacher of the Year for 2010 and 2016; Best Teacher of Krasnoyarsk Territory 2011, Best Teachers of Russia 2007 and 2011; National Geographic Educator of the Week. In 2017, she was awarded a scholarship and invited to present in Japan at the Extensive Reading World Congress.

Lori Towle - After teaching in traditional school settings for the last two decades, I opened a project-based learning micro school in Newbury, MA, in 2014. This micro school has served as a pilot program for creating a student-centered, globally-oriented learning ecosystem for students of various ages. By honing in on global competence, 21st Century skills, and social-emotional learning, students at Full Circle Classrooms have served as Agents of Change as they learn about and connect with the world around them. As an XQ Super School Team Leader for a $10 million grant to Rethink High School, I strive to find ways to share unique learning models and global experiences that can assist teachers in reaching students. This includes those who are differently-abled, incorporating differentiated instruction and social-emotional learning, or EQ, throughout the process. @LoriTowle - fullcircleclassrooms@gmail.com

Jason Van Heukelum, the Superintendent of Winchester Public Schools, has worked in the field of education for 20 years including three years as the director of an international school in La Paz, Bolivia. His experience includes serving as a math teacher, coach, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, and as the Deputy Superintendent in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. Dr. Van Heukelum led his first school to be a most improved school in the state of North Carolina and was named the Middle School Principal of the Year for the Iredell-Statesville Schools. Additionally, the teacher effectiveness rating for the Cabarrus County School district was #1 in the region and top 15 in the state for three years straight under his leadership as the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction. Over the last five years, Dr. Van Heukelum has secured over $10 million in grants for innovative ideas that meet the emerging needs of our future society. This includes global education programs like the International Baccalaureate program, Spanish and Mandarin immersion programs, STEM programs and high school academies. Dr. Van Heukelum earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Cedarville University in Ohio, a Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Doctor of Education from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. He resides in Winchester with his wife, Sara, and daughter, Maggie. vanheukelum@wps.k12.va.us

Veronica van Montfrans has spent her entire life in the field of education, either as a student, teacher, or professional development facilitator. After graduating from Mary Baldwin College and earning her Masters from the University of Virginia, she spent seven years teaching high school science, while simultaneously earning an MA in Communication and Leadership Studies. Veronica came to Blacksburg to start her PhD studies in 2014. During her time Virginia Tech, she’s had the opportunity to supervise pre-service teachers in her previous GAship, helping them develop inquiry-based lesson plans and develop practical pedagogy skills for her students' future careers. Her previous work in the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) provided gateways for her to participate in TEDx as a member of the steering committee, work and co-chair two conferences focused on pedagogy, and manage the Teacher of the Week program for the past two years, among other things. Veronica’s Ed Psych research focuses on exploring “social justice thinking,” and her theoretical manuscript on this topic is currently out for review. Her goal is that Metacognitive Social Justice will help other content instructors integrate content processing through a social justice lens. vanmonv@vt.edu