Click on the subtopic or session below to see 2019 sessions.

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Due to Travel Delays, the Zaretta Hammond Keynote has Changed.

9am: Opening Recorded Message

3pm: Closing Live Keynote by

Ms. Hammond



SESSION 3 (1:45-3:05)

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Hosted by

Tim Comer


xEDTalks Competition: “What could schools be? Designing classrooms for the class of 2037.”


The 5-minute Innovation Challenge (formally EDxEDNYC Ignite) is bringing a little competition to PD and giving educators an opportunity to share their big ideas in “bite-sized portions.”  The challenge is, can you improve someone’s practice in only five minutes? This year, we are “igniting” things a little more as the 5-Minute Innovation Challenge will be a (friendly) competition, and it has a theme: "What could schools be? Designing classrooms for the class of 2037.” Come here these amazing Ted Talk-like xEDTalks!


Tim Comer is a natural science teacher who is committed to inquiry teaching, task-based assessment, and educational technology integration. As a teacher leader and leadership scholar, Tim is passionate about promoting continuous school improvements through data analysis and systems design. Tim is also a husband, a father and a competitive martial artist. He is also a cofounder of EDxEDNYC. 



Patrice Duncan: Identifying where you are on the spectrum of racial literacy, as well as seek to bring awareness to culturally responsive teaching.

Sam Williams: A March Madness-style essay tournament with a twist.  Write something nice about the losing essay.


Irosha Pathirage: Developing a passion for math in students!


Irene Arce + Denyse Greenidge + Joenelle Isaac:  A school without walls, meeting students where they are literally and figuratively.


Jessica Walters: Increase engagement and autonomy by building and maintaining rapport with your students throughout the year.


Chrissandra L. Mosby: It is not afraid to be loud, bold or break rules and establish new ones; to evolve; it is fearless. Do you have it... It's School Culture!  


Cassy Thime: Students from Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds have an overabundance of educational resilience. What are they?


Jordan Toma: An inspiring message for young students with learning disabilities.  My story highlights the struggles I endured from 8th grade through high school.  I am sending this message to students of all ages, parents and teachers, and anyone that has ever struggled in school or in life.


Linda Gottfried: Schools are places where students use technology to step into the lives of historical figures to learn important social and emotional skills.


Tim Comer: If we begin to recognize that humans do not come in standard sizes and shapes then we can be more focused on  teaching people and less concerned on teaching standards.


Olinka Crusoe: We can use the Framework to leverage equity, change your lens.



Innovative Non-Traditional Fitness Games for All Learners


Learn several innovative non-traditional, cooperative learning games that promote skill development, tactical awareness, accuracy, and strategic understanding while also developing problem solving, teamwork, and social emotional learning . Also experience several student-tested, teacher-approved instant activities that get students moving and actively engaged quickly, regardless of skill level. Practice using quick assessment tools to monitor student learning and give feedback to students. This session is sure to get you and your students actively engaged.   


Vanessa DiServio is a physical education teacher at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. 

Vanessa DiServio







Jesse Colantuono + Phil Linder

Designing Curriculum for Diverse Learners:

Revealing the What, How, and Why of the Process


Our goal is to help teachers improve awareness of decisions they make for the students in front of them. Curriculum provides guidance for some but it becomes a mechanism of control for others and there are times we need both or neither. It is important to recognize these instances in our teaching and respond appropriately. Reveal the Process attempts to address the what, how, and why of curriculum design and execution throughout a year or a career. Teachers will reflect on their planning process to identify what has pushed and pulled them to make decisions about curriculum models. Within those curriculum models they will explore how they are addressing the things they believe need to be in curriculum. They will explore their voice to address why certain content, activities, and experiences need to be in curriculum for the students and where the opportunities are.


Phil is in his 9th year as a teacher and began working at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies in 2013. He is a cofounder of EDxEDNYC. Phil is the husband of a beautiful wife and has an indisputably handsome dog. 

Jesse is a Social Studies educator who has taught for fifteen years in the New York City Department of Education. As a curriculum writer of the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Grade editions of Passport to Social Studies, as well as the upcoming Civics for All curriculum he has unique insight into the planning process. He believes that a competent educator can change the lives of a student and hopes to support teachers meet the needs within their classroom.




ROOM 101

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JoJo Farrell,

Artis Clemons,

Nick Schepis, Anthony Casasnovas

Christina Basias

DIIT 2.0 - How to Improve the Ed Tech

Experience in Schools


Connect with key members of the NYC Department of Education's DIIT to work smarter to improve the Ed Tech experience in your schools. We are bringing together a cross functional group from DIIT to discuss school's current and desired state. We will guide the conversation around best practice/biggest challenges. Our goal is for DIIT to hear directly from schools and to also ensure that our participants are aware of our resources and escalations.


JoJo Farrell is originally from Bristol, CT (yes that is where Milli Vanilli’s tape skipped and he was there) and lived in the S.F. Bay Area and Caracas, Venezuela before settling in New York City in 2008. He  spent the last 10 years working for the NYC public schools. He’s currently the Deputy Director of Digital Engagement for the NYC DOE where he supports teachers using technology to increase student achievement and teacher effectiveness.  JoJo launched the SPOC Squad program in 2016. SPOC Squads are cohorts of SPOCs (Technology Single Points of Contact) who collaborate onsite at schools to solve common and share solutions to the community of over 1,000 NYC SPOCS. JoJo is also a Google Certified trainer and has helped nearly 300 NYC Teachers become Google Certified. He helped spearhead a collective of 35 trainers that now facilitate learning sessions around the five boroughs.  He was awarded the 2015 Excellence in School Technology Award for his work managing a student technology squad, converting his school to GSuite Education, and for his onsite professional development for his school in W. Harlem to a staff of 70 teachers. Before joining the NYC Teaching Fellows program in 2008, JoJo worked as a journalist and radio reporter in Oakland, Ca, as well as a program director for the human rights group Global Exchange where he managed programs in California, Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela. JoJo lives in Brooklyn with his wife Kate and their 3 young children. Who needs sleep anyway.





ROOM 104


Using Game Theory in the Classroom


This workshop aims to explore mathematical games of strategy which can be brought to students in order to make learning math fun and engaging. This session will be geared towards STEM educators, but is also open to any educators with an interest in learning more about the topic. The focus of the session is Game Theory, an interdisciplinary field with applications to mathematics content, economic theory, and the social and political sciences. Our goal is to expose educators to specific games of strategy (Hex, Nim, and Sprouts) which they can explore and ultimately share with their students.


Alexander has been teaching mathematics at Francis Lewis High School for the past eight years. Teaching students is his passion, and he has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He is a Math for America Master Teacher Fellow, an adjunct at CUNY Queens College, and a doctoral student studying the use of web-based homework in mathematics education.

Alexander Lord

Violetta Pinkhasova


ROOM 106

Josh Gottesmann


ROOM 110

Understanding Autism:

A Guide for High School Teachers


A conversation about the academic and behavior strategies for teaching teenagers with autism in a general education high school. In the 1940s when the term Asperger’s Syndrome was first introduced as a ‘mild’ form of autism, approximately 1-2 children per 10,000 had autism. In the most recent report from the Center of Disease Control 1 in 68 school-aged children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with more and more children getting diagnosed, it’s imperative to have conversations for teaching students with ASD in a general education high school. Specifically, the discussions will center around the experiences of a NYC educator’s successful implementations of academic and behavior management strategies over the past 10 years in NYC high schools. The conversation will be engaging and will feature anecdotes, lesson recordings, and demonstrations. The facilitator will also discuss how ASD students should transition into college life and the job market during the final year of high school.


Joshua Gottesmann is a tenth-year New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching special education at 751M in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan. Gottesmann grew up in Brooklyn and completed his schooling through the New York City public school system. Gottesmann joined the New York City Teaching Fellows program shortly after graduating from Baruch College where he earned a B.A. in history and earned his M.S. in education from Pace University through the NYCTF program. Gottesmann is a two-time recipient of the TeachNet Grant for demonstrating effective technology integration across the curriculum with a special emphasis on early childhood and environmental projects.

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IQ+EQ+AQ = The Innovation Experience


How one school designed a program to build on students’ intellectual, emotional and adaptive capacities through a strengths approach to education. Join us for an engaging dialogue aimed at expanding the way we think about student talent development, teacher collaboration and journey development. The Innovation Experience. How one school designed a program to build on students’ intellectual, emotional and adaptive capacities through a strengths approach to education. Join us for an engaging dialogue aimed at expanding the way we think about student talent development, teacher collaboration and journey development.


Bill Brennan, Ed.D is the Assistant Superintendent for Innovation & Organizational Development in Farmingdale School District. Working with the leadership team in Farmingdale, he instituted an overhaul of professional practices related to organizational learning and successfully established Farmingdale Schools and the leadership team as an incubator for innovation in learning. Bill has published articles and delivered keynotes on school transformation, professional learning, personalized learning, and leadership.

Bill Brennan


ROOM 112

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Clemencia Acevedo, 

Jeannette Toro + Sooji Yoon

Engage Students and Parents

Through Remind and ClassDojo


This session will focus on how teachers can use Remind and ClassDojo, two free and easy to use tech tools, to support classroom management and communicate with parents in an easy, fast and effective manner. ClassDojo gives teachers the opportunity to recognize student’s hard work by giving them points for showing proper behavior, working hard and showing responsibility. Remind allows teachers share in an effective way announcements and reminders for teacher-parent conferences, class trip reminders, etc. Excellent to schedule IEP meetings or one-on-one meeting with parent.


Clemencia Acevedo is a teacher at Don Pedro Albizu Campos (PSMS161) in West Harlem. She is interested in best teaching practices, digital literacy and historical research. She is the recipient of New York City Department of Education Excellence in School Technology Award 2017, Digital Collaborative iHero Award 2016 and The EDTECH DiGEST AWARDS 2018 Finalist-School Leader. In her spare time, just for fun she promotes the work of independent film and filmmakers. She is the author of NYCTeachingThoughts blog where she writes about PD reflections, upcoming Professional Opportunities and relevant technology tools teachers can use in the classroom

Jeannette Toro is a dual language teacher at Don Pedro Albizu Campos (PSMS161M) in West Harlem.  She has been an Apple Teacher since 2016. She is interested in finding innovative ideas to enhance her teaching practices.

Sooji Yoon is a teacher at PSMS161 Don Pedro Albizu Campos in Harlem. She was a classroom teacher in grades K-2, and is now teaching technology for grades K-5. She has been ClassDojo Mentor since 2014-2015 school year. She used her Google Certified Educator Level 2 and Apple Certified knowledge in supporting her colleagues and finding ways to make learning for the students.



@JeannetteToro2 ‏



ROOM 131


Mike Brown


ROOM 133

Culture Killing: The Death of Marginalized Cultures in Educational Curriculum

Participants learn to highlight student culture in daily lessons and create culturally empowering moments that students will never forget. Molefe Kete Asante laments the fact that “an African-American or Hispanic person [student]-in order to master the white cultural information-has had to experience the death of his or her own culture”. And on our best day, we as educators are yet unknowing participants in that cultural death as we stand in front of students to teach what we ourselves were once taught…but no more. Through partner activities, independent reflection, and critical group discussion spanning all core subjects, teachers in this session will learn to highlight student culture in daily lessons and create culturally empowering moments that students will never forget.


Mike Brown, a native of New Jersey, studied Psychology at Hampton University and later earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership at Boston College. He has spent the last 18 years fighting for high quality education for racially and economically marginalized students. His desire to positively impact the life trajectories of black and brown students took him to a classroom of 30 as a teacher, a school of 400 as a Principal, and currently a network of 1,900 as the Chief Schools Officer at Freedom Preparatory Academy in Tennessee.


Ellen Bayer +

S. Nixon


ROOM 134

Like Fine Chocolate, Using Libguides and Databases to Free Your Students from Google Searches


Do your students run to google or wikipedia every time they have a research assignment? Help them get ready for college by showing them there is a faster and more efficient way to research. 5700 libraries across the United States use libguides in their libraries. Find out how you can work with your school librarian to incorporate the research project you create with the resources you want your students to use. Get your students college ready by providing them with the skills necessary to navigate a database and find the best resources for their needs. Libguides are a platform used across colleges and many New York City schools. I will show you how to find the sources you need and how to create an online source to help your students navigate to the right source at the right time. I will also demonstrate various NOVEL databases and give time to the audience to use the FLUSHING HIGH SCHOOL LIBGUIDES to find particular resources for their students.


Ms. Bayer loves to discover new books and write reviews for the Voice of Youth Advocates Journal. She runs a Books With Bite club at FHS which combines her love of reading with great food. She believes learning is a 24/7 activity and students should empower themselves to become self directed learners with all the digital tools available. Ms. Bayer's goals are to create a culture of reading throughout the school and help students become life long learners. 


Miss Nixon's experience as a school librarian has shown her how important it is that students see the connection between library research and the world—both past and present. Miss Nixon’s goals are to create engaging research projects and challenging research publications for students across the curriculum. Her favorite part about Librarianship is collaborating with educators and working with students.



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Will Hart

+ Thomas Rodney


ROOM 136


This session will explore Hudson High School of Learning Technologies' Chi Epsilon Omega High School Fraternity, which helps young men discover makes us strong as men and how we can contribute that strength within the community. The fraternity connects students to adult male role models, who have experienced and gained wisdom through things things like fatherhood, life stressors, interpersonal relationships and personal improvement. The men who visit our fraternity table represent all walks of life, races, classes, sexual orientations and professions. The Chi Epsilon Omega High School Fraternity (CEO) was founded at the Bayard Rustin Education Campus in New York City to create safe spaces for young men of color to explore the meaning of brotherhood and manhood, while setting personal and group goals — both in school and in off-site retreats. CEO also sponsors a young men’s group called S.T.R.O.N.G., a Community Men's Round Table, which is a positive space and supportive outlet for the young men of the B.R.E.C. community. Come learn about this programs from the students themsleves and see how the fraternity and men's group have impacted their lives — both personal and academic.


Will Hart is the parent coordinator and heads up the Dean's Office at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies in New York City. 


Thomas Rodney is a highly motivated and organized graduate with a degree in Mathematics from The City College of New York. He has also attained a degree in Mathematics Education from Columbia University. A proven success with student team building projects and classroom management with urban youth populations. His lesson planning proficiency is continually developing from experience in the education industry. Mr. Rodney has management abilities resulting from extensive experience in the banking industry. He plays point guard in basketball, linebacker in football, so the terms "team player" and "leader" have always been synonymous with his name.

Chi Epsilon Omega High School Fraternity: How We Brought the College Experience Into Our High School

Angela Filarakos, Andrew Stephens


ROOM 140

There Are No Wrong Questions, Only Inquisitive Minds


Students are naturally curious, inquisitive and eager to learn about the world. The toddler mind is a question-generating factory. If you've ever indulged a preschooler in conversation, you know a seemingly innocuous “Why?” can turn into an interrogation scenario. And yet, research shows as we get older, the tendency to ask questions steadily declines. What happens? Well, in a word: school. This too is supported by research. By the time students are eighteen, they are asking less than half as many questions as the average three-year-old! However well-intentioned our efforts are to prepare our students to be college and career-ready in a 21st-century world, the heart of learning truly stems from childlike curiosity. As educators, it is our duty to foster that curiosity throughout a child’s academic life: when inquiry stops, learning stops. So how do we as educators support students to keep asking questions? One answer could be QFT.


My name is Angela Filarakos. I've been at Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance for over five years now where I teach 9th and 10th grade English. There's something special about Bedford Stuyvesant's community and I l love being a part of it. Aside from teaching I have a passion for theater and art. I try to incorporate that as much as possible in our classroom culture, our lessons. I've had to honor and good fortune to win Bed- Stuy's Best award two years ago, which was truly amazing as I didn't think I'd win an award, but thanks to my Bed- Stuy community and family I was recognized with other teachers and principals in our district. Education is so empowering that I hope I at least model that to my students so that they keep questioning, and owning their thinking while cultivating their own voice.


My name is Andrew Stephens, but my students call me Mr. A. For the last three years, I've been a science teacher at Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance in Bed- Stuy, Brooklyn where I've taught conservation and animal science at Queens Zoo and English in Costa Rica and (remotely) in China and Taiwan. I believe education is essential to self empowerment and takes many forms that transcend the boundaries of our traditional paradigm.



Are you interested in increasing your understanding of trauma and its impact on brain development and behavior? Join Re-TIE to examine how trauma effects students’ functioning, behavior, and learning within the classroom. Participants will use case examples to discuss trauma responses and to create trauma-informed classroom management strategies. Come with an open mind and heart, as you may discover new insights about your students and their classroom needs.


Suzy Fauria is a justice-driven conduit for change with six years of experience in education, trauma therapy, and intimate partner violence prevention. Currently working as a Relationship Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator and Child Therapist at Lab Middle School, Suzy serves children and adolescents with the goal to return to peace through restoring human relationships and recovering from ideological and institutional oppression. Suzy's dedication to anti-violence service began prior to graduate school as an educator in Cambodia and while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa.

Leia Petty is a guidance counselor at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. 

Suzy Fauria

+ Leia Petty



Re-TIE: Reimagining Trauma-Informed Education

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Modelling Inquiry Through the

Post-Observation Discussion


This interactive session will explore how to use inquiry as an entry point into professional discussions anchored in the Danielson's "Framework", as a means to develop a collective culture for learning. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect upon their current practice, role play, and discuss, in small and large group, how to make the observation process a learning experience.



Caterina joined the New York City Department of Education in 2001 after a successful career in private industry. She has held several positions in education including English teacher, Chairperson of ELA grades 7-12, and high school principal in NYC and Long Island Schools. Caterina is currently an assistant principal at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies.

Caterina Lafergola



Teacher Assisting a Student
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Melissa Stark



Technologically Applying the Communication
Bill of Rights to All Learners

Todays technology tools can give a voice for all learners to communicate in the school environment. Let’s share how. Regardless of student ability, all students should have the tools needed to successfully get their point across, get their wants and needs met, and feel comfortable sharing their experiences in the school setting. This presentation will review the Communication Bill of Rights and provide Technological tools to support students in individual and group environments facilitate learning. Technology Interventions: FlipGrid Kahoot! Class Flow Microsoft Accessibility Programs Boardmaker/Tobii Dynavox LAMP Words for Life Mood Meter Google Forms Instructional Strategies: Game Based Questions Reviewing Sharing and Discussion Make and Take Share out


Melissa Stark is a special education teacher at P169M in New York City Department of Education which is part of District 75. District 75 serves students with significant disabilities. She is a Tobii Dynavox Ambassador. Melissa has presented at the New York City Department of Education Technology Summit on High and Low Tech Solutions to Support Multiple Learners. She has also supported staff members on using communication supports in the classroom. Melissa will be presenting at ISTE this June in Philadelphia.



Joy Nolan

Unlearning: Getting Free of Old Ideas and Practices to Create Truly Student-Centered Schools


Mastery-based, Culturally Responsive, Student-Centered Learning: In this session, we will dig into areas of unlearning we need to do in order to move toward a more racially just and student-centered approach to school. We will examine, discuss and rethink constraining beliefs, practices and policies regarding grades and grading, groupings, schedules, standardized tests, student identities, discipline, expectations and educator roles. What ideas and practices are holding back your practice as an educator, your school, your students? Let’s explore and rethink, together.


Joy Nolan is Director and co-founder of Mastery Collaborative (MC), a community of New York City public schools that use competency-based, culturally responsive education shifts. The MC is a program of NYC Central Department of Education's Office of Leadership, within the Division of Teaching and Learning. This community of schools works together to create more responsive, racially just, student-centered schools.





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Justine Jackson



Beyond Kahoots!: Online Resources & Tools That You
Can Introduce Into Your Math Classroom Tomorrow


This conversation is geared specifically towards math teachers who are looking to incorporate more technology use into their classrooms. Many teachers are familiar with Kahoot! But do you know about Desmos? PearDeck? Algebra Nation? Join this conversation to find out about resources that can be integrated seamlessly into your math classroom.


Justine Jackson is the Founding Math Teacher and 9th Grade Team Leader at Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy - an all girl, STEAM-centered charter school in BedStuy. She has been teaching high school math for 10 years and has taught in public and charter schools in Queens, Harlem, and Brooklyn. Justine herself, originally from Queens, is a product of NYC public schools and is passionate about serving students who look like her - particularly girls of color.



This session is also available in session 2.


Vincent Deas




Education and the fight for educational equity will be this generation's civil rights movement; how do we leverage teaching as activism. Teaching is a form of activism and to do the work of an activist, just as with the work of a teacher, one must have the historical and racial literacy necessary to understand the people, policies, and practices that have created the current conditions for all marginalized people. In both this country and abroad, we must understand these structures roots to navigate and facilitate the creation and development of equitable systems for all people today. The creation and maintenance of Activating Activist and its continued function will assist teachers in becoming more culturally competent and responsive. More responsive to not only the needs but also more importantly to the realities of their students. By the end of the session, participants will be able to have critical conversations around social consciousness, race, power, privilege, gender, and inequity. Participants will and be able to not only create spaces for, but also facilitate conversations around these topics in a way where marginalized and oppressed identities, voices, and opinions are central. What is activism? Moreover, how do we evoke the social-political consciousness and fervor needed to activate the activist in us all?


My name is Vincent Deas and I am a proud father, an innovator, a thinker, and most importantly, a child of the African Diaspora dedicated to the liberation of Black people. I have had the honor and privilege for the past three years to work as a program coordinator for NYC Men Teach, the nation’s boldest effort to diversify the teaching force.


This session is also available in session 2.

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In this workshop we will discuss how pop culture can be utilized to introduce students to mindfulness practices. We will share activities that expand beyond meditation and yoga. Using media from popular artists such Ariana Grande and NBA Youngboy we can support students in pursuing healthy relationships and building coping skills. We will share activities that not only demonstrate mindfulness, but also increase student engagement.


Puma Simone is an award winning recording artist and producer based in New Haven, CT. She incorporates her knacks for listening and asking important questions within her teaching style. An avid reader and active member in the local and global art community, Simone engages students through honest lyrical content and popular culture references. 




This session is also available in session 2.


"Puma Simone"



ROOM 200

Media + Mindfulness in Alternative Education

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Kryss Shane


ROOM 201

LGBT Allyship, the Learning Experience and You:

Are You Doing It Right?


LGBT people face social stigma, institutional barriers, and discrimination daily. Educators will bring their perspectives about these injustices to the interdisciplinary community. This workshop provides strategies for translating the latest research and best practices into opportunities for participation in classrooms, as well as an honest look into educators' experiences, beliefs, and goals... as well as how those tie into Codes of Ethics and into daily classroom actions.


Kryss Shane, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW (she/her) is a leading LGBT expert with 23+ years of experience. Kryss earned her Bachelors of Science at The Ohio State University, her first Master’s degree in the field of Social Work at Barry University, and her second Master’s degree in the field of Education, specializing in Curriculum and Instruction at Western Governor’s University. She holds social work licenses in the states of Ohio and New York and numerous certifications. She travels the US working as a consultant, educator, and corporate trainer, as well as appearing at events and conferences as a keynote speaker, an author, and a writer, all of which focus on making schools, businesses, and community leaders more LGBT inclusive. In addition, she is currently a Teaching Associate at Columbia University. Kryss has aided in the introduction of Gay Straight Alliances in numerous high schools, participated in the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., rallied for non-discrimination laws in numerous states, and has held or actively participated in meetings with numerous legislators to educate and encourage their participation in the Equality Movement. She has worked in concert with numerous equality-based organizations in a variety of roles to support and celebrate the LGBT+ community. Kryss is well-versed in the areas of sexual and gender minorities including historical and current research. She has significant experience working with transgender youth, transgender military servicemembers, and others. This provides the foundation she uses to educate and guide professionals to better understand, accept, and communicate with the LGBT community. She continues to actively advocate for LGBT rights on the local, state, federal, and international levels. She can be reached via her website: ThisIsKryss.com





De La Cruz,

Delvon Glover, Sarah Bowen, Jeannette Bautista, Christipher Fleming


Find out what happens when you focus entirely on fostering a sense of belonging amongst students and staff in the first week of school. The first year of high school is a “make or break” year. A growing body of research indicates that passing ninth grade courses is a better predictor of graduation than test scores, family income and race. Most high schools have responded by focusing on heavy academic support for their ninth-grade students. However, at South Bronx Community Charter High School, we have chosen a different approach based on research that demonstrates the link between sustained academic achievement and a student’s sense of belonging. SBC, a start-up school completing its third year, is reimagining ninth grade orientation by holding off on academics in the first week and focusing entirely on building community through socio-emotional support. SBC’s one-week Summer Bridge Orientation fosters a sense of belonging amongst all students and staff through daily activities leading to a final project that promotes shared vulnerability and self-expression with a trauma-informed lens. This workshop is an interactive simulation of our first-year orientation where you will personally experience the impact of belonging, by walking through specific activities you can use to foster community at your school. Plus, you’ll have a self-portrait to take home! Experience how you can build the bridge for belonging at your school this year.


Chris De La Cruz is a social justice educator, storyteller, and comedian originally from Dayton, Ohio. He received his MA in English Education from New York University and currently works as a Founding Youth Development Specialist at South Bronx Community Charter High School. Most recently he has been featured on Refinery29 (in a Know Your Rights game show), The Food Network (accidentally slicing his finger on a cooking competition), and SXSWedu (as the 2018 Keynote Speaker with The Moth). You can catch all of his antics on IG @chris_dlc_


ROOM 232

The Bridge! Fostering Belonging in the South Bronx

Sugene Kwon + Tara Cox


ROOM 242

Debunking the Myth of Colorblindness in the Classroom


Very often children are told, “We don’t see color.” They’re falsely led to be believe that we are all the same. This workshop aims to debunk common misconceptions through case studies, children's literature and media developed around the realities of identity and stereotypes. Participants in this workshop will be presented with strategies designed for elementary students and encouraged to reflect on their own identities in the social context of our diverse society. Curriculum will be discussed and vetted by participants so they can leave the workshop with concrete next steps for launching a social justice campaign in their own classrooms.


Tara Cox is an experienced special educator and founding teacher at the Brooklyn Green School located in NYC's district 16. She has been honored as a NYU Astor Fellow in London and is a 2019 candidate for a Masters in Educational Leadership. She is passionate about teaching and learning and teaches pre service teachers as a part time adjunct at New York University. Her interest lie in empowering student achievement through responsive practices that center equity. Tara identifies anti-racism and social (race, class and gender) equity as the driving ideologies in her pedagogy.


Sugene Kwon is an experienced assistant teacher at P.S. 40 Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Manhattan. She is a certified teacher with an educational degree from NYU. With a passion for education, Sugene is no stranger to presenting at educational conferences. She was chosen to present at the NYU Metro Center Decolonizing Education Conference in 2018. Currently, Sugene is enrolled in the Masters of Education program focused on Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia University. In her program, she is working on an action research project about the power of empathy among children in the classroom.





The Role of 3D Modeling and Academic Emotions: A Creative Way to Create Students Classroom Engagement


The role of 3D modeling in enhancing students’ mathematics engagement at the university level. In this session, we will explore the ways that 3D modeling can affect students’ academic engagement by examining their emotions around mathematics.


Matthew Meangru is a mathematics educator who has taught at the community college and university level for past three years. He will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Matthew have received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, and Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is passionate about finding new ways to motivate students to become more engaged in classroom activities.

Matthew Meangru


ROOM 303

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Nadine Lewis-Knight

+ Sabina Nwenyi




This session highlights one of the means to the ultimate goal of educators, reaching students and ensuring student achievement. Participants will understand the foundational tools and methods needed to navigate and empower all educators to understand the role relationship plays in creating Equity and Excellence in student learning. The journey to achieve excellence and equity begins with the magical word, “Relationship.” Research has shown that students will not learn from someone they do not like or trust. Therefore, the key to the human heart and connection is bonding with one another. If relationships are strong between educators and students, instructional strategies will be more effective. The ultimate goal for all educators is to ensure that equity in education begins with building bonds and fostering positive relationships, resulting in students taking risk and challenges in the classroom. Educators cannot access a student’s brain until they have touched their hearts; this is the true meaning of the human connection.


Nadine Lewis-Knight is currently a Peer Collaborative Teacher leader and fifth-grade teacher at P.S 28, The Warren Prep Academy, in District 16. Ms. Knight has been teaching for the past 16 years as an Elementary School Teacher. Ms. Knight’s corporate experiences have equipped her with the passion and interpersonal skills needed to always support her colleagues and students. Ms. Knight’s educational background includes a B.S and M.S in Education; she also has an Advance Degree in Educational Leadership. Some of Ms. Knight’s collaborative work includes working with The New York City Men Teach and New York Teaching Fellows program as a Coach for new and aspiring teachers. Ms. Knight is an intrinsically motivated and passionate educator who values the human connection that supports all youngsters in reaching their greatness. To maintain a balance lifestyle, I quite enjoy swimming, traveling, reading and playing tennis.


Sabina Nwenyi is a Peer Collaborative Teacher leader at P.S. 28K, The Warren Prep Academy, in District 16. Sabina has been an educator for over 20 years. As a teacher leader, she engages in strategic leadership conversations to develop action plans, design professional learning for colleagues, facilitate team meetings through collaborations, and peer coach by building open and trusting relationships. Sabina has a School Building Leader (SBL) license and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. Her academic and professional experiences made her a champion in getting things done by utilizing her in-depth knowledge of student and adult development and learning.

The Human Connection: Building Relationships

Biology Class

Carmela Sivio


Literacy is a fundamental pillar by which people navigate the world. Often times, our students do not see how literacy is a crucial component of the sciences. The session will be a true depiction of how to embed literacy in a science classroom, that goes beyond having students simply provide textual evidence to support a claim. The session will focus around student led, inquiry questions, specifically around gender and reproductive hormones. We will navigate different sources, discuss and write an argument. So, come prepared to be a student for the day!


Carmela Sivio is a Peer Collaborative Teacher who strives to support students via the cultivation of rigorous instruction, both within her own classroom and the classrooms of her peers. As teaching is her second career, Carmela has found that her big WHY is driven by the need to "disrupt" the norms of a traditional science classroom; to push the intellectual boundaries of her students so that they can navigate the world, using advocacy and perspective to be the change makers they were born to be!


ROOM 310

What Do You Get When You Cross Living Environment with Literacy?

Aquilla Raiford-Smith

Amanda Richards


ROOM 314

Striving for Inclusivity and Equity in the

Upper Elementary Math Classroom


Interested in uncovering the inequities that exist in your mathematics classroom? Not sure how to create a rigorous mathematics tasks that engage all learners and lead to universal success? Are you teaching mathematics in the upper elementary grades and struggling to reach all the learners in your classroom? If you answer yes to any of these questions, we welcome you to our session “Striving for Inclusivity and Equity in the Upper Elementary Math Classroom".


Aquilla Raiford-Smith has been a teacher with the New York City Department of Education for over 15 years. Her current primary role is as a 4th and 5th grade math and science teacher at The Brooklyn Brownstone School. She is also the District Master Teacher for Community School District 16.


Amanda Richards is a founding teacher of the Brooklyn Brownstone School. Over the past 15 years Amanda has served as a special education teacher in various settings, Kindergarten through 5th grade. She is currently the school’s Special Education Liaison and Peer Collaborative teacher.

JP Reynolds

+ Xavier Baptiste

The Practice of Possibility:
Mindset & Skillsets to Build the Life of Your Dreams


“The Practice of Possibility” is the action-oriented arm of “Possibility Thinking,” an inspiring process of dreaming and doing in the world. You’ll hear a firsthand experience of this process from a Dream Team student and you’ll get a hands-on opportunity to experience this comprehensive method, which can be applied by anyone to anything. 


Hip-hop artist and 2-time Yale graduate JP Reynolds is a Dream Director with The Future Project at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies in New York City. Additionally, JP Reynolds is the founder of Peace and Power Media, an artistic hub that produces multimedia content and experiences.


Xavier Baptiste is a current junior at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies and a member of Hudson's Dream Team since 2016. The Future Project's aim is to aid students with the support needed to reach their goals. Xavier has found success in their three year long project of studying abroad.




ROOM 318

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Chrissandra Mosby


ROOM 320

Culture Nation - Wave Your Flag


Culture- the heartbeat of the school. The vibration that moves up and down the halls in and out of the classrooms, pushes from the entry way of the school through the lobby, seeps into the main office and floats to the play deck and even hops on to the school bus. This type of culture excites the students, staff and parents. Culture is developed and nurtured and learned and built upon not just by one person in the school but every single person that works or attends the school. Culture is contagious and it has a life of it's own. It is not afraid to be loud, to be bold to break rules and establish new ones; it is just fearless. It attaches itself to those that crave change, acceptance, unity and power to achieve.


In 2015 Chrissandra joined the Lighthouse Academies Network. Lighthouse Academies is a network of charter schools located in in New York, Indiana and Arkansas. Chrissandra joined Bronx Lighthouse Charter School (BLCS) located in the South Bronx. Chrissandra is the Director of School Culture for grades K - 8 at BLCS. Chrissandra is an instructional and strategic leader at BLCS who works to create and enhance a culture of achievement and respect where high expectations and results are the norm. As the Director of School Culture Chrissandra is responsible for demonstrating significant and measurable gains, each year, with all students. Chrissandra’s job responsibilities include: collaborating with the school leadership team to create and manage a safe and welcoming learning environment, design and implement systematic approach to managing and intervening on student discipline issues based on the Lighthouse Academies (LHA) School Culture Guide, Scholar-Family Handbook, and Restorative Practice models. Chrissandra manages the student support team who is composed of deans, social workers and school aides. Over the past three years Chrissandra sphere headed the school’s Crew Life System which is a system that helps stop social isolation and bullying among scholars. Chrissandra leads school wide initiatives and town hall meetings with students and teachers to encourage relationship building, teamwork and healthy competition weekly.


Michael Stoll, Amanda Huza, Constance Bond, Alex Brunner


ROOM 333

How Are We Using District-Charter Collaboration to Facilitate Racial Equity Learnings?


At the District-Charter Collaborative, we strive to facilitate collaboration between district and charter schools with the goals of improving instructional practices and student outcomes while building schools’ capacity to solve their own problems of practice and eliminate disparities along the lines of race. The key drivers of this work are school leaders, who we believe are can be true “leaders for racial equity” and can make the changes necessary in order to ensure equity and access for all students.However, one does not need to be in a place of positional authority to make a lasting impact on school improvement. In this session, you will hear from those school leaders, as well as the DCC Director, about their experiences, then have the opportunity to collaboratively work with them to consider:

- How to be a leader for racial equity in your own school community.

- How to influence your school community even if you do not possess positional authority.

- Concrete actions and next steps you can take to shift the mindsets and practices of your school to take into account the diverse needs of underserved students.


Dr. Bond is currently Principal and Executive Director of St HOPE Leadership Academy, a charter school in central Harlem that serves 300 scholars in grades 6 through 8. Before joining St HOPE in 2012, Dr. Bond was Vice President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, NJ where she launched and directed the Foundation’s multi-state Teaching Fellowship programs. Prior to this, she was Director of the New Teacher Residency Program for the Mercy College New York City Teaching Fellows, Director of the Teach for America Los Angeles office, and a middle school teacher in South Central Los Angeles. Dr. Bond has a BA in Political Science from Wellesley College and a PhD in Politics and Education from Columbia University.

Alex Brunner is the new principal of the Brooklyn Brownstone School, a public elementary school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He began his teaching career at Brooklyn Brownstone School as their art teacher, later becoming their United Federation of Teachers Chapter Leader, a Teacher Leader, and Apprentice Principal through the Department of Education’s Leaders in Education Apprenticeship Program. Alex began his formal leadership career in the District 16 Superintendent’s office as their Teacher Development Evaluation Coach before returning to Brooklyn Brownstone School as principal. He is a self-proclaimed constructivist that believes in project-based learning and fostering the development of the 6 Cs; collaboration, communication, building content knowledge, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence. 


Amanda Huza is the Middle School Principal of Equality Charter School in the Co-Op City neighborhood of the Bronx. She began her teaching career in 2003 and has had the pleasure of working in private, public and charter school settings since. Amanda received her M.S. in School Building Leadership from Mercy College expanding upon her first graduate degree in Reading and Literacy. She became a member of the Equality Charter School family in 2010. In her fifth year as Middle School Principal, Amanda is proud to celebrate Equality's 10th Anniversary. She is inspired each day by the work her organization and teachers do to serve its diverse community of learners, including 25% students with disabilities and currently 10% English Language Learners. Amanda is a firm believer in the importance of collaboration between district and charter schools. Amanda's husband is also an educator working within District 79, and they have two children who attend PS 71 in the Bronx. 


Mike Stoll is the Director of the District-Charter Collaborative (DCC), an initiative of the New York City Department of Education. Mike was a founding Facilitator for DCC, facilitating quads with Learning Focus Areas of Innovative Math Instruction and Restorative Practices. Mike has been proud to work alongside a fantastic team of people to craft an initiative that simultaneously bridges the District-Charter divide, promotes strong collaboration, and builds learning around racial equity . Prior to joining DCC, Mike was a teacher/coach/coordinator at three different schools in the South Bronx: the Highbridge Green School, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, and I.S. 162.





Brandon Corley


ROOM 335

Learning IRL


When our kids said "we won't use this in real life" we challenged them to take over and determine what they need to learn! As school becomes more and more detached from the real world (Even our airplanes now all have wifi, but schools are still often tech free or tech limited), the student experience prepares them less for the skills they need to be successful in college and careers. At South Bronx Community, we do the most to make the student experience feel real. Our Think Tank Challenge positions students as curriculum designers. They take the syllabus for each course and design their own learning projects that they present in a Shark Tank style pitch event to start the school year.


Brandon Corley is the Academic Director of South Bronx Community Charter High School. Before joining SBC he served as Program Manager for NYC Men Teach, an initiative to recruit and retain male teachers of color for NYC public schools. Brandon is a founder and former co-leader of EPIC South High School in South Ozone Park, Queens. Previously he was a mathematics teacher in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He is a graduate of Chicago State University with a BS in Mathematics/Secondary Education and Baruch College, earning a MA in Educational Leadership. Brandon is an established leader, teacher, and child advocate. He was born and raised in Chicago and represents the Englewood community of Chicago’s Southside with great pride.