2017 Keynote Speaker
Ron Suskind Pulitzer
Prize-Winning Journalist, Author
Ron Suskind is one of our most treasured journalists. As a reporter and senior national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal, he has covered capitalism and our nation's capital in addition to penning front-page investigative features on poverty, race and class in America, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. Highly respected by Washington pundits, Wall Street analysts, business leaders and social activists alike, he is also one of the nation's most gifted speakers and performers. Blending monologue with reportage, Suskind's unforgettable and highly entertaining speaking engagements provide insightful analysis on everything from ethics and leadership to the rise and fall of the U.S. economy, managing money and risk in the 21st Century, and the current state of health care in America.
He is the author of six best-selling books, the most recent of which — Life, Animated, A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism — documents his family's two-decade struggle with regressive autism. Using a technique called Affinity Therapy, the book recounts how the Suskinds broke through to their autistic son Owen by exposing him to Disney movies, which Owen memorized and used as a pathway to communication. Ron's technique was demonstrated onstage at Comedy Central’s autism fund-raiser, Night of Too Many Stars, where Owen memorably acted out scenes from Aladdin with Gilbert Gottfried. His previous works include the New York Times bestsellers The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11, and the modern classic, A Hope in the Unseen, An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League.
A globetrotting speaker who NPR hails as "a master storyteller with the lyricism of a poet," Suskind connects with audiences through intellect and humor, sharing unforgettable tales of power, perfidy, tragedy and triumph with astonishing insight and honesty. In keynote speeches and customized presentations tailored to business leaders and corporate groups, he delivers intimate anecdotes and complex global themes culled from his experiences as a journalist, author, teacher, pundit and father to an autistic son. His wildly popular signature keynote, Presenting the World: An Entertaining Evening with Ron Suskind, has been delivered around across the globe, seamlessly fusing politics, ethics and family affairs in a virtuoso showcase from one of the finest writers and speakers working today.
What others have said:
- He was the BEST keynote speaker in all of the conferences I have attended.
- One of best sessions I have ever been to anywhere
- Very inspirational; cried and laughed.
- Absolutely fantastic!!! I bought the book and can't wait to see the movie! He made great connections to education.
- It was one of the best opening sessions/keynote speakers I've ever heard.
- Best I've ever seen!
- Ron Suskind was phenomenal. He deeply moved me.
- Ron Suskind was a powerful and interesting presenter with an inspirational story. It would be difficult not to be touched by his keynote. It was the kind of story you wanted to share with others. Also, left wanting to watch his documentary and read his Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles. Thank you for bringing him . . . Really amazing!
2017 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Barbara Jenkins
Dr. Barbara M. Jenkins, Ed.D.
Orange County Public Schools
Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for more than 25 years. She was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in 2012.
Under Dr. Jenkins' leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The prize earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The district received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and again in 2015 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices in its business. In 2015, OCPS received District Accreditation from AdvancED for its best practices in the education field. Also, for three of the last five years, OCPS was named to the AP District Honor Roll by the College Board, for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning exam scores for college credit.
Dr. Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she was appointed a director on the board of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of Great City Schools, is a member of Chiefs for Change, a national education policy and advocacy transformation group, is a member of the Florida Council of 100, and is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. She was named the 2017 Florida Superintendent of the Year and is one of four finalists for U.S. Superintendent of the Year. The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. In 2014, she was named the Visionary Award recipient by the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, and the Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council.
Recognized for her commitment and influence, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named her as one of the 10 most powerful people in Central Florida; Orlando Magazine ranked her number five overall in 2015, and number two in the Education category in 2016.
Deeply engaged in the community, Dr. Jenkins serves on the boards of Florida Hospital, Orlando Economic Partnership, United Arts of Central Florida, Winter Park Health Foundation, Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness and Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission.
2017 Keynote Speaker
Kerry Gallagher, JD
Kerry Gallagher is a Digital Learning Specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. She’s also the Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely.org and an EdSurge Columnist. Kerry’s passions and the focus of her work include empowering teachers, students and parents to learn with open education resources; educating school communities about the power and privacy concerns that come with social media use; and diving headfirst into learning more about new and effective practices in education.
Kerry received the 2014 Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission on the use of mobile devices for a paperless public school classroom. In 2015, she was a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, the Family Online Safety Institute recognized her with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and she was a MassCUE Featured Educator. In 2016, she was an ASCD Emerging Leader and received the MassCUE Pathfinder Award. Kerry speaks and presents often at conference locations that have included Harvard Law School, Yale School of Management, and Stanford University. She holds a B.A. in Politics from Saint Anselm College and a J.D. from Massachusetts School of Law. Her multi-award winning blog can be found at www.KerryHawk02.com and she is on social media at @KerryHawk02.
Publications: Media Literacy & Fake News
Each exhibit space includes an 8 x 10 area with skirted table, chair, and general cleaning. Internet or electrical access, if needed, must be ordered separately through the facility. General security will be available during exhibit hours.
The tentative conference schedule, lodging, sponsorship brochure and other pertinent information are available on our website. www.blueribbonschools.com/conferences - Select the desired program.