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Hamish Brewer, the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding principal in Northern Virginia isn't your normal principal. Hamish is high octane, constantly calling on his students to "Be Relentless! Mr. Brewer has become known as an educational disrupter who transcends the status quo and typical educational norms. Under his leadership — his elementary school was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Title 1 School, and Hamish has since gone on to turn around one of the toughest middle schools in the state of Virginia.
Tia Martinez has more than 25 years of experience doing social change work in low-income communities and communities of color. She applies her experience in education reform, teacher effectiveness, and racial justice to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and transforming life chances for boys and men of color.
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. Wise is the author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America. Other books include Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority and his highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.
Dr. Donald Grant is a clinical psychologist who served as an administrator in the country's largest child welfare district after a career as a public middle school teacher. He is a published author and socio-cultural analyst connecting mental health and social justice. Dr. Grant currently straddles two roles as the executive director of Mindful Training Solutions and dean of the School of Human Development at Pacific Oaks College.
Dr. Joseph Johnson is the founding executive director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) at San Diego State University (SDSU). NCUST identifies, studies, and promotes the best practices of high-performing urban schools and districts throughout the nation. Specifically, NCUST identifies urban schools that achieve outstanding academic results for every demographic group of students they serve. They award and study those schools and then help other schools pursue similar results. While serving at NCUST, Dr. Johnson served as a professor of Educational Leadership at SDSU, then as the dean of the College of Education, and finally as the university’s provost and senior vice president. In July 2019, he retired from university administration to focus exclusively on NCUST.
Dr. Delores Lindsey is an author and retired CSU San Marcos professor who helps educational leaders examine their policies and practices, individual beliefs, and values about cross-cultural communication.
Dr. Kizzy Lopez is an assistant professor of Social Work at Fresno Pacific University whose research examines practices and policies and the impact on outcomes for college-going foster youth and students of color. Her passion and commitment to serve this population through her research and practice stems from her own experiences with the foster care system as a child and experiences with homelessness while in college.
Dr. Karla Estrada provides technical assistance support for California districts and schools struggling with chronic instructional system challenges as a director of systems improvement and innovation for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence.
With 20 years of experience in education, she also supports the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) leads within the state system of support.
A former teacher and administrator in Los Angeles Unified School District, Estrada has led efforts and collaborated with others to transform systems driven on compliance to be focused on successful student outcomes.
Author of The Latino Education Crisis, Patricia Gándara received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a bilingual school psychologist, a social scientist with the RAND Corporation, director of education research in the California Legislature, and since 1990 a professor of education in the University of California system. She has also served as Commissioner for Post-Secondary Education for the State of California. For nine years, she was associate director of the Linguistic Minority Research Institute and is currently co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.
Byron McClure is a National Certified School Psychologist and member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) who uses his extensive expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. He has served as a member of the Leadership Development Committee within NASP for the past three years. Dr. McClure has helped orient new and returning NASP leaders, identify and assign mentors, promote growth and self-evaluation of leadership skills and activities, and develop leaders within the field of school psychology who are prepared to serve the association. He is the Co-chair of the Awards Sub-committee of LDC and directly assists with the selection and nomination process for the School Psychologist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award for NASP.
Dr. McClure has had the pleasure to be a school psychologist for close to eight years. As a practitioner, he has partnered with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community. Dr. McClure frequently consults with teachers and offers recommendations in areas such as classroom ecology, executive functioning, socialization, childhood development, school discipline, pillars of reading and a host of other school-specific areas. He serves an integral role in ensuring schools are able to maintain special education compliance and meet the needs of special education students as mandated by their individualized education plans. Additionally, his efforts to support and ensure implementation of an effective Response to Intervention (RTI) process, which is also unique to the work of school psychologists, is expected to continue to decrease over identification of students with disabilities.
He has worked to support students’ social emotional and behavioral needs and has done considerable work advocating for fair and equitable discipline practices for all students, particularly, for students of color and for students with disabilities. He served as 504 Coordinator for 6 years and was responsible for ensuring students with disabilities had equal access to the curriculum as non-disabled peers. He has served as districts Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Coach and had the responsibility to track, monitor, and analyze trends in behavior discipline data. He has served as a committee member for a districts disproportionality committee whose goal was to reduce rates of behavior infractions, suspensions, and expulsions for students of color. Additionally, Dr. McClure has conducted research evaluating disproportionate discipline practices and its impact within a PBIS framework. His study sought to determine the extent that high fidelity PBIS implementation affected indices of disproportionate discipline (the rate African-American students received disciplinary infractions when compared to Caucasian students). This was achieved by calculating and then analyzing risk ratios and risk indices. Results from the analyses were shared with school administration and staff, then recommendations were provided to modify and improve existing PBIS frameworks.
Dr. McClure completed his dissertation, which was an investigation of social emotional learning programs with minority students from high-poverty communities. Dr. McClure found specific SEL programs, which increased pro-social behaviors, reduced conduct problems, and improved academic performance for students of color. With the findings from the research study, school districts may begin to identify, select, and use high-quality and evidence-based SEL programs with minority students from high-poverty communities. Dr. McClure has presented at the NASP national conference in San Antonio, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Atlanta, Georgia. He was a keynote speaker at the Florida Association of School Psychologists Summer Institute. Dr. McClure has also spoke at Howard University, the College of Southern, MD, and at EDxED NYC. Dr. McClure is currently working to redesign an underperforming high school located in Southeast, DC.