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 can borrow them for the day, too! 

Todd Babiasz is a certified high school Social Studies Teacher of 20 years.  He believes the foundation of education begins with the recognition of the dignity of each child.  His focus is on engaging his students so they are empowered to engage the world in a positive way. Todd’s classroom bursts with energy, positive relationships, freedom, and student creativity.  


Todd holds a BA from Central Michigan University and a MA from the University of Michigan-Flint in Urban Education and Multiculturalism.  Besides being a current classroom teacher, Todd is also Department Chair and a Certified Instructional Coach. He is dedicated to using his influence and training to support and encourage innovative teaching.


Todd’s presentation style is warm, inspiring, spirited, and practical.  His session will leave you with the belief, knowledge, ideas, and resources to transform your curriculum in order to allow students the opportunity and skills to take action and impact the world around them.   

Unlearning Teaching Practices for Students to UnHate School: Allowing and Empowering your Students to Engage, Create, and Make a Positive Impact

Todd Babiasz

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.

Authentic Assessment: Creating Digital Portfolios

Janice Kato, MA

Grayson McKinney is an upper elementary teacher from Southeast Michigan, USA. His mission as a teacher is to empower students to connect their learning to the world in order to improve their own lives, improve the lives of others, and improve the environment around them. Grayson is known for his innovative approaches to teaching and learning and is a true agent for change. Grayson was named 2012 Elementary Teacher of the Year in the South Lake School District.


Grayson has shared his expertise and knowledge at various universities, conferences, and Edcamps around the midwest, speaking on topics including increasing student voice, providing learners with authentic audiences, mindfulness in the classroom, technology integration, gamification of curriculum, harnessing the power of social media to be a digital leader, creating a (digital) culture of thinking and innovation, and innovating student assessment through project-based learning and portfolio building.


Grayson attended Western Michigan University as an undergraduate and went on to earn his Masters and Education Specialist Degrees in School Leadership from Oakland University. He is both an Apple Teacher as well as a Microsoft Innovative Educator and an ambassador for other Ed Tech companies. Grayson and his students created The 5th-Grade Futurists Podcast with the goal to spread awareness of the United Nations' 17 Global Goals for a Sustainable Future around the world. Check out the students' voices here:


Grayson is a dynamic presenter who loves connecting with teachers to grow his Professional Learning Family. You can connect with Grayson at his blog, or on Twitter: @GMcKinney2.

Reimagined Learning: A Practical Guide to Creating Powerful, Innovative Learning Opportunities for the Elementary Classroom (Grades K-5)

Grayson McKinney, Ed.S.

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.

A Practical Guide to Classroom Technology: Strategies for Utilizing Digital Tools to Transform Your Classroom

Wendy Michels

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. Matinga's 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.

Project-Based Learning With Purpose: New Strategies and Tools (Grades 3-12)

Practical Strategies for "FLIPPING" Your Classroom (Grades 6-12)

Matinga Ragatz, MA

Zach Rondot is a passionate 4th Grade Teacher in Troy, Michigan. His mission is to teach students the mindsets, skills, and attributes that will help them live a happy, successful, and fulfilling life long after they leave his classroom. Zach is known for his positivity and he is a true agent for change. Zach was named 2019 Troy School District and Oakland County Elementary Teacher of the Year.


Zach has a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University and is a member of the program’s Alumni Advisory Board. He utilizes technology to create learning opportunities that otherwise would not be possible. Zach and his students created The 4th Grade Innovators Podcast with the aim to inspire, motivate, and make a positive impact on kids and adults around the world. The podcast has been listened to worldwide in Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, and all over North America. Check it out at:


Zach is a dynamic presenter who has been featured at various educational conferences, universities, and Edcamps over the last five years. He loves connecting with teachers around the world to grow his Professional Learning Network. Connect with Zach at his blog,, on Twitter: @MrRondot, or on Instagram: @ZachRondot.

Reimagined Learning: A Practical Guide to Creating Powerful, Innovative Learning Opportunities for the Elementary Classroom (Grades K-5)

Zach Rondot, MEd

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.

Continuous Improvement in K12 Organizations: A Value-Stream for Efficiency & Process Improvement


Developing Students' Coding Skills

Kevin M. Steele, Ed.S.

Aimee Torok is an experienced elementary teacher and consultant.  She has worked with urban and suburban elementary students and teachers.  


Aimee holds a BA and MA from Michigan State University. She is a Reading Recovery trained teacher.  Aimee has studied with teachers internationally in Plymouth, England and plans to teach in Beijing, China this summer.


Aimee has provided a great deal of professional development at the local and state levels on language arts instruction.   She prides herself on providing practical strategies that teachers can use in their classrooms to develop a love of learning at a very early age.   

Building Best Practices In Balanced Literacy

Aimee Torok

Joanna Van Raden taught at the elementary and middle school level for over 30 years. She served as a special, general, and technology education teacher. She spent the final five years of her classroom teaching career, in a 1:1 iPad classroom where she successfully blended all subjects effectively with technology. She transformed her delivery method by creating recordings of her lessons, using an LMS, and growing a student-centered classroom. She was awarded the 2015 Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Outstanding Technology-Using Pre K-12 Teacher of the Year Award.


She has presented the blended learning model to a variety of Michigan and National conferences, workshops, and school groups including MACUL, the Governor’s Summit: Michigan Innovative Schools Conference, the Michigan Connected Educators Conference (JISD), ISTE, NYSCATE, GAETC, TCEA, and many more.


She was instrumental in the development of the digital assets for a unique blended writer’s workshop program. It is now widely used across the country by teachers and schools who are implementing technology with their writing curriculum.  As an experienced writing educator,  she witnessed dramatic improvements in motivation and writing skills by using a blended writer’s workshop model.

Joanna is passionate about lifelong learning and sharing new educational technology ideas with others. The future of education is exciting and she loves stepping out of the box to find ways to inspire creativity and collaboration with students and colleagues. Joanna’s journey now leads her on a path where she enthusiastically shares her creativity, excitement for blended and student-centered learning, as well as her expertise with the next generation of educators.

Rock the World with Writing: 7 Crucial Steps to take Writing Beyond the Classroom to a Global Audience

Joanna Van Raden

Jennifer Wittrup is an experienced and innovative classroom teacher.  She successfully incorporates brain based techniques in daily lessons and mindful strategies teaching students emotion regulation.  Jennifer continually utilizes techniques from the latest neuroscience research in her classroom pedagogy. She is very passionate about this work.


Jennifer has provided many professional development workshops to teachers and school staff including topics of Quality Schools, Poverty, and Trauma informed Schools/ Educational Neuroscience.


Through the Applied Educational Neuroscience workshop Jennifer will provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to maintain positive relationships and create a calm and safe environment in which students are able to become successful learners.

Applied Educational Neuroscience: Mindful Strategies to Promote Learning & Emotion Regulation

Jennifer Wittrup, BA. M ElEd, and Certification in Applied Educational Neuroscience

Proudly offering graduate professional development credits with our educational partner, Brandman University


Proud Partner of 


Phone: 708-629-6114


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International Center for Education

Hobart, IN  46342