Meet Our Presenters
We cannot say enough about our team of presenters! They are the top in their field and they are ready to share their expertise with you in a fun, practical session. If you are interested in bringing one of them to your school...you can borrow them for the day, too!
Janice Kato, MA
Developing Coding Skills through Robotic Play (and Some Serious Competition) Grades K-5
Developing Coding Skills through Robotic Play (and Some Serious Competition) Grades 6-12
Janice Kato is a distinguished educator, technology coach and presenter from Michigan. Her experiences range from innovative elementary classroom teacher in many different grades, to an instructional technology coach in many different school districts. Janice has lead hundreds of educators to innovate, transform and achieve mastery with integrating technology to create student led classrooms. Over the course of many years she has presented to more than 600 teachers on instructional technology strategies, Google Suites for Education, Blended Learning, Makerspace, along with creating and designing two online professional development courses that will reach thousands of educators.
Janice achieved her BA at Western Michigan University in Elementary Education, Early Childhood, Language Arts and Mathematics. She received her Masters in Educational Technology Leadership from Lamar University. As a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, Janice has extensive expertise and training with G Suites for Education. In 2017 she was nominated and awarded the Horace Mann Excellence in Education for her work while in Freeland Community Schools. Janice strives to empower teachers and students with innovative ways to integrate technology into classroom.
Lights, Camera, Action! Using Video to Give Students A Voice (Grades 6-12)
Wendy Michels is an innovative and accomplished classroom teacher. As a certified English Teacher with experience in middle, high school and college level courses, she consistently infuses technology into the classroom to engage and inspire her students. Wendy utilizes a variety of digital tools to differentiate instruction, allow for authentic learning experiences, and ensure success for all learners.
Wendy holds a BA and MA in English and is currently pursuing a MA in Educational Technology. She is a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, and has completed several online courses in Project Based Learning. She serves on the Technology and Flagship Committees in her current New Jersey School District, where she was named Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.
Wendy has provided a great deal of professional develop at the district and state levels on a variety of topics including reading, writing, project based learning, digital assessments, and technology infusion in all subject areas. She prides herself on providing colleagues with ready-to-use strategies and digital tools that will ignite enthusiasm and take any classroom into the 21st century.
Matinga Ragatz, MA
Project-Based Learning With Purpose: New Strategies and Tools (Grades 3-12)
Matinga Ragatz, MA is a Michigan based educator, speaker and consultant. Her experience as teacher and instructional innovator has led her to redefine learning and has developed a trusted voice through which she strives to revolutionize the way children learn and the way teachers teach. international background inspire a unique perspective on classroom instruction, learning and innovation.
Her passion for teaching has lead her to work to inspire, support, and influence creative educators world wide.
Matinga thrives helping educators create ownership and engagement within their classrooms and schools utilizing the the innovative methodologies that she has developed and successfully implemented over 20 years.
Kevin M. Steele, Ed.S
Continuous Improvement in K12 Organizations: A Value-Stream for Efficiency and Process Improvement
Kevin Steele is a passionate and experienced classroom teacher who continually keeps students success at the core of his practice. As a technology specialist and classroom teacher, he has been innovative in teaching his students to be collaborative, creative, communicative and critical thinkers with the use of technology.
Kevin has been providing professional development opportunities at the local, state and national level for many years. He has utilized the principles of the flipped classroom for several years and has practical experience with the strategic implementation. He is the author of FLIPPED LEARNING: Cutting-edge, practical strategies for Igniting Student Engagement and Deeper Understanding (Grades 6-12), the resource handbook that you will receive at the workshop.
Kevin is a highly engaging presenter who infuses real-world experience, humor and a copious amount of best practices to create a presentation that is not only engaging, but also practical and easy to implement upon return to your classroom.
Teresa Turner, Ed.D
You’ve got to know them to teach them: How to best promote equity, create engaging units of study and increase student achievement in our Post-Millennial Generation Classrooms (Grades K-12)
Teresa Turner, Ed.D is a leader for social justice, presenter and project director of magnet programs. For two decades she has held a variety of instructional roles, including teacher, instructional development teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district office director. She has worked at all three levels (elementary, middle and high) and has led three magnet schools (International Baccalaureate, Montessori and Language Immersion). These diverse experiences in both urban and rural schools have given her the skills and knowledge needed to inspire and facilitate change in schools, districts and communities.
Teresa believes schools are the greatest tools to alleviate social injustice and create an equitable society. Her ability to create a strong culture of teaching and learning has deemed her as a turnaround leader who keeps her justice work at the center of all her decisions. She works hard at helping teachers and leaders explore strategies for facilitating critical conversations with students and colleagues that create supportive learning environments that encourage risk-taking in our classrooms and beyond.