• Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA

    Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.  He is the author of twelve books and over 250 articles and reports. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues in major national and local media outlets. His editorials have appeared in the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and the Dallas Morning News. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA he served as a professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2003 – 2015) Harvard University (2000 – 2003) and the University of California, Berkeley (1990 – 2000). From 2009 -2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education.


    Rebecca Holcombe, former Secretary, Vermont Agency of Education

    Until recently, Rebecca Holcombe was Vermont's Secretary of Education. As a child, Rebecca attended eight different schools in four countries in grades K-12. Living in diverse contexts taught her that education is power:  it is a precondition for democracy, equity and economic prosperity. Rebecca taught social studies and science at the middle school and high school levels and served in leadership roles at the building and district level.  At the university level, she worked on principal and teacher preparation and taught education policy.

    As the Secretary of Education for the State of Vermont, she supported public school districts as they worked to simplify governance, focus on equity and improve learning. Rebecca believes we have a shared responsibility to ensure every child has access to high quality opportunities to learn, so that every child can grow up and thrive in the civic and economic life of our communities. She also believes successful improvement efforts build on and strengthen local leadership, as local leadership improves equity, learning and child wellbeing. She appreciates the high levels of public engagement that characterize the work of Vermont schools.

    Rebecca has an MBA from the Simmons School of Management and an M.Ed. and a Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


    Kathleen Kryza, MA, International Educational Consultant/Coach and Chief Inspirational Officer

    Kathleen Kryza is passionate, informed and committed to bringing the best educational practices to schools and teachers, so that they can help ALL students succeed. She has taught general education, special education, and gifted and talented students. Kathleen has also worked with students of varying socio-economic and multi-cultural backgrounds. She has taught and co-taught a variety of content areas at both secondary and elementary levels. Workshops with Kathleen are highly practical, brain-based and inspirational. When Kathleen coaches and consults in districts, she differentiates instruction to meet needs though modeling lessons and by observing and guiding teachers as they grow their skills.

    Kathleen is an international trainer/coach/consultant and co-author of the new book, Transformative Teaching: Changing Classroom Culturally, Emotionally and Academically. (Solution Tree Press, Oct. 2015). She is also the co-author of Developing Growth Mindsets in the Inspiring Classroom, Inspiring Learners Press (2011) and the Corwin Press books, Inspiring Secondary Learners (2007), Inspiring Elementary Learners, (2008,) Differentiating in the Real Classroom (2009), Winning Strategies for Test Taking (2009). Kathleen is featured in the video, Differentiating Instruction in the Intermediate Grades, Bureau of Education and Research (BER), 2008. She has presented for school districts locally, nationally, and internationally for over 24 years on various educational and motivational topics.

    Kathleen has a Masters Degree in Special Education, and a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. Kathleen is a National Writing Project graduate. She has also done extensive training over the years with giants in the fields of differentiated instruction, brain-based learning, cooperative learning, co-teaching, coaching and content literacy.



    Dave Melnick, LICSW, Program Director, NFI Vermont

    Dave Melnick, LICSW is the Director of Outpatient Services at NFI, Vermont, a statewide mental health agency primarily serving children, adolescents and families. For the past 30 years, Dave has worked in a variety of settings including: outpatient, residential treatment, and in public and day treatment schools. During his 20 year tenure at NFI, Vermont, Dave has held multiple positions, serving as the Director of Residential Treatment before becoming the Director of Outpatient Services (The Family Center). He started The Family Center in 2004, and with the help of a gifted clinical staff, has built the program into statewide and regional recognition. The work at the Family Center focuses on family therapy and trauma-recovery work, and people of all ages are served. In addition to direct clinical work, the staff also provides in-service training, and evaluative and consultative services around the state. The staff works closely with multiple systems including child welfare, education, mental health, law enforcement, courts and medical.

    Along with his focus on Developmental Trauma, Dave has expertise in family therapy, adolescence and attachment. He is trained in EMDR, DDP (Dr. Hughes’ attachment model), and a variety of family systems models. In 2015, the Child Trauma Academy (CTA) acknowledged that Dave had completed NMT Training Certification through the Phase II level, and in April 2017 he was selected as a Fellow at the CTA.

    At this time, most of his work focuses on providing trauma evaluations for individual youth, in-service trainings, and consulting with child welfare, mental health and educational professionals.

    Dave and the Family Center staff are currently refining their Trauma-informed Schools Program; over the past seven years over 75 public and day treatment schools have participated in some form of training to improve educational practices for youth exposed to trauma. Dave received his master’s in social welfare from UC Berkeley in 1988, and he has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Vermont. Dave is licensed in both the state of Vermont and New York as a clinical social worker. Dave teaches graduate classes for the Vermont Higher Education Collaboration, and is a much in-demand presenter and consultant in Vermont and New York.


    Jonathan Miller-Lane, Associate Professor and Director of the Education Studies Program at Middlebury College

    Jonathan Miller-Lane, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Director of the Education Studies Program at Middlebury College.  A child of a Foreign Service Officer he grew up in the Middle East and North Africa and spent two, pivotal years attending the Waterford School in Mbabane, Swaziland from 1974-76 when the battle over apartheid in neighboring South Africa was particularly intense. That experience, ultimately, led him into a career in teaching in which he has focused on how we live together, justly. Currently, his focus is on understanding the particular meaning and role of Whiteness in United States society. How do people who think of themselves as White understand the meaning and place of that Whiteness in a multicultural democracy?  How do we talk about this question in a dynamic, inclusive, compassionate manner?"


    Matt Brooks, K-12 Development Executive, Apple, Inc


    Matt is part of Apple’s Education team, working with school leaders to leverage technology to transform learning. Prior to Apple, Matt served for 13 years as a teacher, grant supervisor, coordinator of instructional technology, and adjunct professor.


    Greg Cameron, Senior Faculty, Societal Advancement, Center for Creative Leadership


    Greg Cameron is a senior faculty member for CCL’s Societal Advancement team. In his current role his focus is on designing, facilitating, and supporting leadership development efforts for education and nonprofit leaders. Specifically, he leads statewide leadership development initiatives and designs leadership development programs in partnership with school districts, professional organizations, universities, and nonprofit organizations across North America.


    Before joining CCL Greg was an executive director for two different international non-profits with an educational leadership focus. In these roles he spent 14 years facilitating leadership development opportunities across North America, Australia, and the Pacific region. He is the co-author of several articles, books, and education evaluation systems that are in wide publication. A Colorado native, Greg began his career as a K-12 educator in his home state where he served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. His academic background includes degrees from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.


    Jeb Spaulding,  Chancellor, Vermont State College System

    Jeb Spaulding began his tenure as Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges System in January, 2015. Since becoming Chancellor, he has focused on creating a more comprehensive and interconnected system of distinctive institutions, in order to increase opportunities and supports for students, create a stronger more diverse community of faculty and staff, and ensure a stronger financial foundation for all VSCS institutions.

    From 2011 to 2014 Spaulding served as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Administration, the senior cabinet position in the Executive Branch, under Governor Peter Shumlin. In 2003, he won his first of five elections to become Vermont State Treasurer and was honored by his peers in 2009 as President of the National Association of State Treasurers.

    Spaulding was a Vermont State Senator from 1985 to 2000, chairing, at various points, the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Education Committee, Joint Fiscal Committee, and Joint Administrative Rules Committee. During his time as a State Senator, he was a trustee of the New England Board of Higher Education and a Commissioner of the Education Commission of the States.

    In assuming the chancellorship, Spaulding, in many ways, returned to his roots in education. Early in his career, he served as the Director of Career and Workforce Development at the Vermont Department of Education, and as Director of the VAST Program—the Vermont Academy of Science and Technology—at Vermont Technical College.

    After graduating from college, Spaulding entered the radio broadcasting industry and became a founder of WNCS-FM, now called 104.7 The Point, and a general partner of Precision Media, Inc. Spaulding earned his BA in Mass Communications in 1975 and an M.Ed. in Administration and Planning in 1993, both from the University of Vermont. Over the years, he has been active in numerous local service organizations, such as Red Cross, United Way, 4-H, and Rotary.