Keynote Speakers

2019 Keynote Speakers

Kim Potowski

Kim Potowski is a professor of Hispanic linguistics in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a faculty affiliate in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and in the Social Justice Initiative. Also she is the founding ​​director of the Language in Context Research Group. Since 2009 Kim has served as Executive Editor of the journal Spanish in Context.

Most broadly, she is interested in the promotion of minority languages and multilingualism, particularly via elementary schooling. Her work focuses on Spanish in the United States, including factors that influence intergenerational language transmission, connections between language and identity, and heritage language education. Some of her recent research topics include:

* Language development in dual immersion schools
* Mexican and Puerto Rican Spanish in Chicago, and the language and identity of mixed “Mexi-Rican” individuals
* Teaching heritage languages, particularly Spanish in the U.S.
* Spanish use in Chicago quinceañera celebrations
* The use of “Spanglish” in commercially published greeting cards

Here is a list of her invited (non-conference) presentations and some of my current research projects.

Jeff Zwiers

Jeff is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the director of professional development for Understanding Language, a research and professional learning project focused on improving instruction and assessment of all students, with an extra emphasis on serving the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners. He consults for national and international teacher development projects that promote language, literacy, lesson design, and formative assessment practices. His current research focuses on developing classroom instruction that fosters rich communication and productive academic conversations across disciplines and grade levels.

I work with schools, districts, counties, and states on the topics above. I also give professional development workshops, keynotes, and presentations for teachers, instructional coaches, and leaders. I am also an instructor for online professional development courses that are offered by Stanford University.

Panel Discussion with Luis Versalles

Luis is the Director of Pre K-12 District Partnerships with Pacific Educational Group he leads their work in pre K-12 educational systems across the country in making the ideal of racial equity a reality. As a member of the consulting team at PEG, he designs and delivers individualized, comprehensive support for school districts in the form of leadership training, coaching, and consulting. Working at all levels from the superintendent to beginning teachers, he supports educators as they focus on heightening their awareness of institutional racism and developing effective strategies for closing the achievement gap in their schools.

Pacific Educational Group is committed to achieving racial equity in education. They engage in sustained partnerships with educational organizations to transform beliefs, behaviors, and results so people of all races can achieve at their highest levels and live their most empowered lives.

Why Examine and Address Race? Race matters–in society and in our schools. It is critical for educators to address racial issues in order to uncover personal and institutional biases that prevent all students, and especially students of color, from reaching their fullest potential.

One of his personal and professional passions is supporting school systems in the design and implementation of racially, culturally, and linguistically equitable learning environments. His work focuses on organizational coherence and alignment that supports accelerated learning outcomes for all students.