Keynote Speakers

Sydney Chaffee

2017 National Teacher of the Year

Sydney Chaffee

 

Sydney Chaffee, a humanities teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, MA, is the first charter school educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. Learn more about Sydney here.

Mike Marriner

Co-Founder, Roadtrip Nation

Mike Marriner

Mike Marriner, co-founder of Roadtrip Nation, leads program management and strategic partnership efforts with national and statewide organizations to bring the Roadtrip Nation experience to millions of people. Learn more about Mike here.

Dr. Bernard Harris

Former NASA Astronaut; Founding Board Member and CEO, National Math & Science Initiative

Dr. Bernard Harris

Dr. Bernard Harris, founding board member and CEO of the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI), leads NMSI’s efforts to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in STEM education across the country. A veteran astronaut for over eighteen years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. On earth, he has been involved in math and science education for more than 25 years through the Harris Institute & Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math/science education and crime prevention programs for America's youth.

Nina Rees

President and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Nina Rees Photo

Nina Rees is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. She is responsible for setting the strategic vision of the organization, fundraising and working with her senior team to foster a climate in which charter schools can grow and have a positive impact on the academic achievement of all students. Learn more about Nina here.

Raven Osborne

Student Speaker

Nina Osborne

Raven Osborne is the nation's first high school graduate to earn her Bachelor's degree from Purdue University before graduating from high school. A resident of Gary, Indiana, Raven attended the 21st Century Charter School of Gary, a school that provides students unlimited opportunity to earn college credits while in high school. Raven started earning college credits during the summer before her 9th grade year and by the time she was a junior in high school, she had already earned her Associate Degree. After earning her Bachelor's degree from Purdue, Raven signed on as a reading interventionist at 21st Century Charter School and recently completed her first full year as a teacher at the school. She is 19 years old. 

Zion Kelly

Student Speaker

Zion Kelly

Zion Kelly, a senior at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C., is a gun violence survivor whose twin brother, Zaire, was killed on his walk home from a college mentoring program. In a coordinated effort with student leaders from Parkland, Kelly has amplified the discussion of gun violence with respect to class, race, and socioeconomics. He spoke at the March for our Lives in D.C., and has made multiple media appearances. He has lobbied to effect change to Washington, D.C., law, announcing his family’s proposal of the Zaire Kelly Public Safety Zone Amendment Act of 2018 (expanding both safety zones and the legal definition of “students”) and using social media to urge specific local Council members to vote in a bill that would to lower the Washington, D.C., voting age to 16—giving youth a stronger voice in political discourse. He fights in the memory of his brother.  In his words from the March, “He was a person. A leader. An inspirer. Not just another statistic.”

Maria Rocha

Third Grade Teacher, KIPP Esperanza, San Antonio, TX

Maria Rocha

Maria Rocha is a fifth year teacher in a third-grade classroom at KIPP Esperanza in San Antonio, TX. Rocha was born in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico and was raised by her grandmother while her parents came to the United States with aspirations of achieving The American Dream. Her parents settled in Stonewall, Texas and at the age of 3, the United States of America became her home. At an early age she was forced to make peace with the fact that her life as an undocumented immigrant was going to be one full of challenges.

When Maria was beginning her field placement hours at UTSA, the institutions field placement coordinator voiced to her that she would never become a teacher because she lacked legal documents. When Maria obtained DACA, she was finally able to work towards attaining her teaching credentials and began working at a Spanish immersion daycare in the King William area. Aside from her leadership within the classroom, she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from UTSA.

Deborah McGriff

Managing Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund 

Deborah McGriff

Deborah McGriff is a Managing Partner with NewSchools Venture Fund where she focuses on closing the demographic gap between students and leaders in education. Through leadership positions at NewSchools Venture Fund and EdisonLearning, she expanded access to innovative, high-quality charter schools for low-income and working class students in 16 of the nation’s largest cities in a dozen states and the District of Columbia.

Her advocacy and governance expertise were tapped as Board Chair of Beyond12, Board Chair and executive committee member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, founder and Vice Chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, President of the Education Industry Association, member of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition board, member of Harvard Kennedy School of Government Program on Education Policy and Governance Advisory Board, and member of numerous charter school boards, including a charter management organization in the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame.

George P. Bush

Commissioner, Texas General Land Office 

George P. Bush

Commissioner Bush has dedicated his life to public service, working as a public school teacher after graduating from Rice University and serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Prior to serving as Texas Land Commissioner, Bush was a successful businessman. He joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP after earning his Juris Doctorate at the University of Texas School of Law. He subsequently co-founded Pennybacker Capital LLC, a real estate private equity firm, in 2007, and St. Augustine Partners LLC, a Fort Worth-based investment firm focused on oil and gas transactions and consulting for private businesses. Commissioner Bush is the grandson of President George H.W. Bush, the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the nephew of President George W. Bush. Serves as Texas Land Commissioner, January 2, 2015 to present, and is also Secretary of the Board for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

 

Breakout Sessions

Our NCSC18 Program Search Tool is now live! 

Use the Search Tool to preview all of the breakout sessions at NCSC. You can also search for specific topics that interest you, browse our session lineup by strand, see who’s presenting at #NCSC18, and even customize your conference schedule using our Personal Conference Planner.

If you're a presenter, please visit the Presenter Page for deadlines and other critical information. 

2017 Highlights

Our NCSC18 Program Search Tool is now live! You can search for specific topics that interest you, browse our session lineup by strand, see who’s presenting at #NCSC18, and even customize your conference schedule using our Personal Conference Planner.

Click here to check out highlights from NCSC17 in Washington, DC!