Devorah HeitnerAuthor, Screenwise and Growing Up in Public
Devorah Heitner is the author of Screenwise and Growing Up in Public. Since earning her Ph.D. in media/technology and society from Northwestern University, she has been working with communities, schools, and companies across the United States and beyond. She speaks to schools, organizations, and corporations, leads workshops, and consults with educators on their toughest concerns in teaching kids to use tech in a smart way. Her book, Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World, gives parents new insights into kids’ digital world, so they can stop feeling afraid of tech and become tech-positive parents.
Jared HorvathDirector, LME Global
Jared Cooney Horvath (Ph.D., M.Ed.) is a neuroscientist, educator, and author of the best-selling book Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 Insights from Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick. He has conducted research and lectured at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, the University of Melbourne, and over 750 schools internationally. He currently serves as director of LME Global: a team dedicated to bringing the latest brain and behavioral research to teachers, students, and parents alike.
Michael TennantCEO, Curiosity Lab
Michael is the founder and CEO of Curiosity Lab, a purpose driven venture studio and consultancy that builds products and experiences that teach empathy. Michael is an award-winning media, advertising, and nonprofit veteran for companies like MTV, VICE Media, P&G, and Google. Early in his career, Michael struggled to find advocates and mentors who looked like him and cared to guide him during those early days. It is this lack of representation and mentorship that inspires his commitment to bringing opportunities to communities that need them most. In 2017, Michael founded Curiosity Lab and in 2018, he created the viral conversation card game Actually Curious, which is designed to bring people closer together and teach tools for empathy. He has been featured by the New York Times, Oprah, and the TODAY Show. Michael’s long-term ambition is to turn teaching empathy into a business empire that advocates for diversity, mental health, and well-being through products, content, workshops, and technology. In 2022, Curiosity Lab received an investment from Pharrell and the Black Ambition Prize.
Erin BeachamACTivator/Founder, ACT Consulting
Erin Beacham is an independent equity, diversity, and inclusion consultant and founder of ACT Consulting. She has a proven track record of supporting the creation of equitable and brave communities. She is focused on building relationships, managing projects from concept to outcome measurements, as well as designing and adapting trainings and presentations based on the communities needs and goals. Prior to being an independent consultant, Erin worked at the Anti-Defamation League for 7 years, where her final position was the director of education, Southern division. Erin has a dual-major from Guilford College in psychology and African American studies, as well as a M.A. from University of North Carolina at Greensboro in peace and conflict studies. She is also a member of the advisory board for Alonzo A. Crim for Urban Educational Excellence, a group working to launch a street outreach program for unhoused LGBTQ+ youth.
Susanne CarpenterPrincipal, Carpenter Leadership Consulting
Susanne Carpenter is a strategy and leadership consultant and the principal and founder of Carpenter Leadership Consulting. As an educational leader for more than 20 years, Susanne partners with independent school leaders to develop and advance high-functioning and strategy-focused leadership teams.
Before founding her firm, Susanne served as the assistant head of school at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA. During her tenure, Susanne led the school’s efforts in creating a joint partnership with Boston Ballet School to create Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill. She also developed and implemented a comprehensive enrollment management process, oversaw diversity, equity, & inclusion, and helped create the auxiliary programs division. She began her career in school leadership in admission and enrollment management.
Susanne graduated from Westover School and received her B.A. from Wheaton College. She currently sits on the board of trustees at Westover School.
Greg ChalfinHead of Middle School, The Walker School
Greg Chalfin is the head of middle school at The Walker School in Marietta, GA. Prior to his work at Walker, he held various administrative, teaching, and coaching roles at Stanley British Primary School and Kent Denver School in Denver, CO. He earned in his doctorate in educational studies from the University of Northern Colorado, writing his dissertation about the the work of “reputationally caring teachers,” those teachers who go above and beyond in a school community, and how they approach assessment. He has a deep passion for creative, innovative approaches and trying anew to best serve our students.
Jared ColleyHead of Learning & Innovation & CBE Specialist, The Mount Vernon School
Jared Colley is the upper campus head of learning & innovation at The Mount Vernon School in Atlanta, GA, where he also works as the resident competency based education specialist, coaching teachers on CBE assessment and instructional practices. He also serves as a senior consultant and editor for MV Ventures where he consults with schools on a variety of topics related to teaching and learning and serves as senior editor of MV Ventures’ quarterly white papers, the latest of which will be on AI and education in people-centered organizations. Jared is passionate about authentic assessment, project-based learning, and the idea that collective intelligence is how we solve the world’s wicked problems.
Ira DawsonHead of Upper Elementary Division, Trinity School
Ira Dawson is the head of upper elementary division at Trinity School in Atlanta, GA. He has over 18 years of experience improving scholastic and operational school performance through vision, leadership, and team building. His background includes a history of robust and productive administrative, enrollment management, student life, research/scholarship, and teaching endeavors, with a strong focus on students’ learning experiences and outcomes. He has experience as a classroom teacher, assistant director of admissions, dean of students, and head of middle school.
Sheree Du PreezHead of Early Elementary Division, Trinity School
Sheree Du Preez has 35 years of educational experience, 25 of which are in leadership. She has taught and led schools in the United States, Ghana, and Dubai. Sheree holds a master’s degree in instructional leadership and school administration and an Ed.S. in school leadership. She has been a teacher, librarian, principal, assistant head of school, director of teaching and learning, and head of school.
Tamara HamiltonDirector of Cliff Valley Institute & School Counselor, Cliff Valley School
Tamara Hamilton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose career has spanned more than three decades. For the past ten years, she has served on the administration team as school counselor and director of the Cliff Valley Institute at Cliff Valley School in Atlanta. Tamara earned her master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Social Work and she holds a graduate certificate in mind, brain, and teaching from the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. She has a theoretical focus that is aligned with positive psychology and has advanced training in motivational interviewing. Tamara developed and is the primary instructor for Executive Function Certificate Training, an assessment-based certificate accreditation program that is an annual professional development course at the Cliff Valley Institute. She is a frequent consultant and invited speaker regarding various child development topics.
Mike HanasFounder: Coach/Consultant, Furthering Leadership
Mike Hanas is the founder: coach/consultant of Furthering Leadership. He previously led San Francisco Friends School from 2016-2022 after 16 years at Carolina Friends School, three as upper school head and 13 as head of school. Mike earned his bachelor’s in classics from the College of the Holy Cross, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and his master’s degree in education administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. Mike has also taught Latin, Greek, and humanities, served as a college counselor and assistant director of admissions, and coached basketball, football, and lacrosse. He currently serves on the board of trustees for the Friends Council on Education and the board of advisors for the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Service. Mike completed the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and serves as a certified executive coach for leaders and leadership teams across the country.
Amy HarritonHigh School Assistant Principal, Fellowship Christian School
With 22 years in education, Amy Harriton has worked in school administration since 2015. Currently, she is serving as high school assistant principal at Fellowship Christian School in Roswell, GA. She has a B.A. in English from California State University, Northridge, and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Grand Canyon University.
Cliff HuttoScience Department Chair and DAC Member, Fellowship Christian School
After leaving the business management and marketing world after 11 years, Cliff decided to change his career focus to secondary science education. He has been in education for 9 years and has taught within the public and private sectors. He has been science department chair within both of these sectors, and has also assisted in administrative duties (mainly discipline). Through his tenure in education, he has had a passion to grow relationships with all students while also creating healthy guardrails and policies to foster their success.
Sarah MilesDirector of Research, Challenge Success
Sarah Miles, M.S.W., Ph.D., is the director of research for Challenge Success. She oversees the organization’s research team, leads research efforts on how schools and classrooms can best support student learning and engagement, and partners with Challenge Success member schools to translate research into practice. She has served as a coach with Challenge Success member schools and worked as a teaching and research assistant at Stanford. Prior to receiving her doctoral degree, Sarah taught fifth grade in Oakland, California.
Allison OakesHead of School, Hillel Academy
Allison has been the head of Hillel Academy for five years; a Jewish day school in Tampa, FL. Starting her career as a middle school science teacher and currently in the headship for 14 years, she has developed interpersonal, communication, leadership, and management skills that benefit the organization of schools, the work they do, the parents they serve, and the children they develop. Allison happened to be given the blessing, maybe curse, of a master scheduling brain and has used her experience in teaching and learning and administration to work with a team to develop a schedule that values our teachers and their work when the salary dollars just don’t exist to do that properly.
Renee PrillamanCoach & Consultant, Renee Prillaman Coaching & Consulting
Renée Prillaman began her career as a classroom teacher which cemented her love of experiential learning and building just and caring classroom cultures. Seeing teaching as a calling and an act of creating social justice, Renée spent her career focused on supporting and developing teachers and those who supervise and lead teachers. Her current work as a coach and consultant is centered on how we can be effective and sustain ourselves as teachers and leaders at a time when the art and science of teaching and learning is more demanding than ever.
Renée holds a Ph.D in curriculum and instruction and instructional supervision from UNC-Chapel Hill and coaching certifications in neuro-linguistic programming and Satir Global Coaching. Renée served as a clinical professor in education and child development at Meredith College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke University. For 23 years, she was a Carolina Friends School teacher, head of middle school, assistant head for teaching and learning, and acting and interim head of school.
Matt ScullyDirector of Digital Integration & Innovation, Providence Day School
Matt Scully is an educator with 29 years of experience teaching and supporting students and faculty in grades TK-12. He earned his master’s in education technology leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University and B.A.Ed. from the University of Arizona. He has spent the last 24 years with Providence Day School implementing new instructional models and practices to leverage the benefits of new technology. The goal has been to create the optimal learning environment that prepares students for their future. He helped launch the Center for Art & Science of Teaching, Learning, & Entrepreneurship as well as IDEAS@PD, the school’s new approach to teaching computer science, entrepreneurship, engineering, and design.
Meera ShahExecutive Director, Trey Education
Meera Shah started her career as a very rookie science instructor but quickly fell in love with the art of teaching and the science of learning; she went on to serve several independent schools as a department chair, academic dean, associate head of teaching and learning, and director of studies. She loves to connect the big ideas in school redesign with the practical realities of running a school. Meera founded Trey Education to partner with schools and educators who share a vision that schools should be joyful places for deep and transformative learning for both students and educators. Meera is passionate about professional growth for teachers at all career stages and Trey Education offers customized solutions to independent school teachers and administrators, with a focus on professional learning for early-career teachers and teacher leaders. Meera also supports heads of schools and leadership teams with senior administrative searches via Educational Directions.
Zakaria SherbinyFounder and Principal Coach, First Rodeo Coaching
Zakaria Sherbiny founded First Rodeo Coaching on the premise that every school leader deserves an executive coach to help them fulfill their leadership potential. After beginning his career as an early childhood teacher at the Beauvoir School, Zakaria graduated from the school of education at Harvard University with a master’s in human development and psychology. He began his school leadership career as the inaugural early childhood director at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Jackson, MS. Zakaria also served on the lower school leadership team at the McDonogh School, concurrently earning his master’s degree in private school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University. Trained by the Co-Active Training Institute and certified by the International Coaching Federation, Zakaria is one of the few coaches of color operating in independent schools.
Amy TomblinsonHead of Preschool & Lower School, Episcopal Day School
Amy Tomblinson is the head of preschool & lower school at Episcopal Day School in Augusta, GA. She has over 25 years of experience in public and independent schools. Amy is a passionate advocate of differentiated instruction and has led numerous interactive workshops and coached educators and teams in engaging instructional strategies, curriculum design, and authentic assessment. She has a B.A. in English language and literature, a B.A. in education, and an M.A. in education (literacy K-12) from the University of Michigan, and a micro-credential in differentiated instruction from the University of Connecticut.
Quinton WalkerHead of High School, University School of Nashville
Quinton Walker is in his 7th year as head of the upper school at the University School of Nashville. Quinton also serves as a founding board member of Inclusion | Tennessee, a nonprofit dedicated to making Middle Tennessee a more equitable and just place for LGBTQ+ people. Quinton teaches in the Independent School Master’s Program at Vanderbilt University as well as serving on the Authentic Connections advisory board.
Jill WeinsteinClinical Director/Co-Founder, Ignite at Berman Center
Jill Weinstein, LPC, CPCS, has spent the last 25 years working with adolescents and families in various therapeutic settings. Some of these settings have included community mental health agencies, foster care, hospitals, private practice, and school settings.
Jill has a passion for helping individuals gain the inner strength to learn the necessary skills to turn their struggles into something that makes them stronger. While working with her clients, she enjoys being creative and draws from different therapeutic philosophies including positive psychology, cognitive behavioral, psychodrama, and various experiential therapies.
Seeing a need in the community, Jill founded and developed Ignite through The Berman Center. Ignite is an intensive out-patient treatment program for adolescents struggling with anxiety and depression. Jill understands the need to collaborate with teachers and school counselors to achieve optimal results and create a specific plan for each student. She also helps schools create wellness programs for students, teachers, and parents, and Jill enjoys giving presentations to students and faculty to help raise awareness and decrease the stigma with mental health.
Micah WhitleyAdvisory Coordinator, Palmer Trinity School
Micah Whitley is a passionate and innovative teacher and educational leader. He currently serves at Palmer Trinity School in Miami, FL, as advisory coordinator and instructor in the religious and philosophical studies department. In his tenure as PTS’ advisory coordinator, Micah has led the community through the process of reimagining advisory work.
Jen WhittDean of Students, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Jen is the dean of students for grades 5-12 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland, MS. Over the course of her career, she has worked in a boarding school in D.C. and an all-girls school in New York. Before becoming an administrator, she wore the many hats frequently sported by independent school faculty. She taught all grades from 5-12, was director of a signature program, coached lacrosse, was the yearbook and newspaper advisor, Student Council sponsor, choreographed the musical, sponsored Model UN, and much more. Prior to entering the education field Jen worked at Christie’s Auction House and the Smithsonian Museum.