Jeff Veal (@heffrey) | Co-founder of LeadUpNow | |

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Jeff is a life long learner, speaker, professional learning facilitator, administrator, and connected leader.  He is the co-founder of #LeadUpChat , an educational leadership professional learning network (PLN) via Twitter. He has been a presenter at conferences with an emphasis on effective digital communication. Additionally, he has been an elementary and middle school teacher, and currently serves as a middle school assistant principal in Frisco, Texas. Before his work in public education, Jeff served students and families in the nonprofit sector. Jeff’s passions include leadership development, effective communication, and cultivating meaningful school cultures.
Jeff lives in McKinney, TX.,  with his wife (@vealheidi)  and 2 young boys who keep him him pressing forward to do what is is best for kids.


EDUCATION: Harding University – B.A. Social Sciences & Student Ministry; University of Texas at Tyler – M. Ed. Educational Administration



Nathan Lang, Ed.D. (@nalang1) | Co-Founder of LeadUpNow |

Nathan Lang Twitter Pic Fall2015

Nathan is a divergent, speaker, writer, presenter, professional learning facilitator, and education pioneer. He is the co-founder of Bammy nominated #LeadUpChat, an educational leadership professional learning network (PLN) via Twitter. He has been a speaker and presenter at both local and national professional conferences.

He is currently a National Consultant at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMHCO). Before joining HMHCO, he was the Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.  Additionally, he has been a high school science teacher, elementary assistant principal, high school assistant principal, university adjunct professor, and was an Education Supervisor at the NASA-Johnson Space Center.

Nathan resides in Nashville, TN, and enjoys spending time with his family (wife, 2 kids, & dog), running, biking, hiking, coffee, and connecting with others.


EDUCATION: Harding University – B.A. General Science-Chemistry; University of Houston-Victoria – M.Ed. Administration and Supervision; David Lipscomb University – Ed.D. Learning Organizations and Strategic Change

Nancy Alvarez (@techwnancy) |

NancyMy name is Nancy Alvarez.  I was born in Miami, FL where I grew up.  In 2005, my family and I moved to McKinney, TX and have never looked back.  I have two sons, 21 and 16 and a daughter 12.

I have a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, a M. S. Ed. in Educational Leadership and a Google Educator Certificate. I have taught in both private and public schools.  I also have experience with homeschooling, curriculum design, professional development, instructional coaching, bilingual education, and technology integration.
My passion and specialty are early childhood education.  I was a classroom teacher for 13 years.  I have taught prekindergarten and second grade and was an instructional coach on an early childhood campus for 3 years.  I am currently an assistant principal on a bilingual early childhood campus in Texas with an average of 700 students.


Matt Arend (@matthew_arend) |

mattarendMatt Arend was born in South Dakota and spent his childhood growing up in the midwest, living in South Dakota and Iowa. Upon graduating from college in Nebraska, Matt moved to Texas to take his first teaching job with Plano ISD. He is married to Julie Arend. He has one son, Cooper.

Matt Arend is in his 13th year as an educator and 5th year as a principal, all at Sigler Elementary.

Matt Arend, along with other area educators, helped the Edcamp movement begin in Texas 5 years ago by hosting the first Edcamp in Texas, #EdcampPlano. Since that time #EdcampPlano has grown into @EdcampDallas and countless Edcamps have been held across the state of Texas.

In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, running, time by the pool and vacations to the beach.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and a Coaching Endorsement from Peru State College, in Peru, Nebraska, and a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of North Texas, in Denton, Texas.


Melissa Bahnmiller (@bahnmilm) |


Melissa Bahnmiller is a Texas girl through and through. She was born in SouthTexas (Harlingen, Tx), went to high school in Central Texas (Salado, Tx), and now lives in North Texas (The Colony, Tx).

This is Melissa’s 12th year in education. She has taught almost all elementary grade levels, been an Literacy Coach, Reading Specialist, K-5 Elementary ELAR Curriculum Coordinator, and is currently in her first year as an Assistant Principal at Christie Elementary in Frisco ISD.

Melissa is passionate about learning and lives by these VALUES: Faith, Family, Collaboration, Vulnerability, and Celebration. She has presented nationally and locally in the areas of Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, and Instructional Coaching.

In her free time she loves to spend time with her husband and 2 beautiful children, read, enjoy outdoor activities, and read (yes, she already said that).

Melissa holds a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University, in College Station, and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University, in Commerce.


Daniel Bauer (@_BetterSchools) | |

danielbauerDaniel is an administrator in Chicago Public Schools and founder of Better Leaders Better Schools, a weekly podcast and blog dedicated to serving school leaders.  He loves to help school leaders create winning cultures, focus on the essential, and lead with courage and integrity.  Daniel considers himself an expert in having difficult conversations.  He believes he can help anyone meet their potential by using the foundation of relationship + accountability. In 2013, Daniel founded the first ever high school team to join Team World Vision and run the Chicago Marathon.  Since 2013 nearly 100 kids have finished the grueling 26.2 mile Chicago marathon while raising over $25,000 for clean water projects in Africa

Sanee Bell, Ed.D. (@SaneeBell) | |

saneebellDr. Sanee Bell is the principal of Cimarron Elementary in Katy, TX. She has served as an administrator since 2005 at both the elementary and secondary levels. She has taught middle school and high school English, and has also coached girls basketball. Sanee was recognized as the 2015 Katy ISD Elementary Principal of the Year. She earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Sanee is passionate about authentic, purposeful learning for students and teachers. She also has a strong passion for transformational leadership. Sanee has presented at conferences at the local, state, and national level and has written publications focused on leadership. Sanee recognizes her impact as a leader and uses her role to inspire, motivate and empower others.


Elisabeth Bostwick (@elisabostwick) |


Elisabeth Bostwick combines her passion for teaching and learning with her vision for enhancing a collaborative culture of thought leaders. She strives toward ongoing and evolving excellence for all students. With 12 years of classroom experience in grades Kindergarten through 5, and having worked dually as an instructional coach, Elisabeth continues to be a risk taker in education. She avidly seeks alternative methods to innovate in the classroom, and support systemic change. With a strong emphasis on applying the neuroscience behind learning, she strives to address all angles of student engagement through facilitating dynamic learning experiences. Students in her class are empowered to be leaders by developing their unique gifts and potential. Elisabeth is leading the maker movement with a team at her elementary school. She worked diligently to assist in bringing PBL to her school to support rigorous, relevant, and authentic learning. She has designed and facilitated district professional development on Creating a Caring and Collaborative Classroom to Support Responsible Risk Taking and also Creating Digital Citizens through Social Media. At home her time is spent with her husband Michael and their two sons, Julian and Nolan.


Michael Bostwick (@M_Bostwick) |


Michael Bostwick is committed to providing authentic learning experiences fueled by igniting relentless passion in others. Entering his 14th year in education, he has accumulated a variety of experiences. Michael was a middle level science teacher, STEM curriculum/professional developer, and is beginning his 4th year as Intermediate School Principal. Growing up in a small town in a low-income household, Michael values the power of education in providing the keys to open doors to a bright future. He believes in fostering multiple intelligences, allowing everyone to find and develop their personal talents. As lead learner, he is excited about seeing previously planted seeds growing into fruits of true PBL throughout his school as well as leading the maker movement. Intentional about helping students acquire 21st century skills in a rigorous and relevant curriculum, Michael works hard to instill a culture rooted in Growth Mindset to unlock the potential of all stakeholders in education. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, the outdoors, and coaching Little League baseball.




Jim is the Assistant Superintendent for Learning Support Services in the Boone County Schools, Kentucky. He is a former elementary school principal and music teacher, and frequent Magic Bean Buyer. Jim promotes developing students’ 21st century skills through engaging project based learning and innovative teaching & learning. He is often heard telling students, “Go Make Stuff!” He holds an EdD in Education Leadership with interests in parent engagement and effective teacher dispositions. Jim is most happy when he is with his beautiful wife and two children lost in Orte, Italy. He is a 2014 Bammy Award Nominee and a 2014 Kentucky PTA Outstanding Educator. Jim is the Co-host of “Coloring Outside the Lines” on the BAM Radio Network PULSE and a member of the moderator team for #PTchat Wednesday nights at 9 pm EST on Twitter. Two fun facts about Jim: He walked a tightrope in his High School production of “Barnum”, and he enjoyed 15 minutes of Andy Warhol fame when he and friend Chad made the viral YouTube video “Snowhemian Rhapsody” Nutty School Closing. Contact Jim on Twitter @JimDetwiler1 and on Voxer at JimDetwiler1.


Ben Dickson (@bdicksonNV) |


Ben Dickson is currently the Dean of Students at Veterans Memorial STEM Academy in Reno, Nevada. He started his career in education as a school custodian while in college. He has taught Kindergarten through Sixth grade, served as a site based Instructional Coach, District Level Instructional Coach and Dean. He has a M.S. Ed’s in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership. He is a current America Achieves National Fellow and works with Student Achievement Partners and Great Schools on various educational projects. He is the co-creator of, a site for connecting teachers in Nevada, and co-moderates #tnvacschat. He also designs and provides professional development on a variety of topics, including the Common Core State Standards, Classroom Management and Supporting Educators using Social Media. He is married to an amazing woman who serves as a principal in Reno and has two awesome children who attend the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not working he travels with his family, runs up and down mountains, rides bicycles and skateboards and reads lots of books.


Latoya Dixon, Ph.D. (@latoyadixon5) |

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Dr. Latoya Dixon is a former middle school co-principal and transformational leader. She also served as an elementary school principal in the Rock Hill School District. As a product of Rock Hill School District 3, Latoya began her career as a middle school English Language Arts teacher after graduating from Clemson University in 1999. She received National Board Certification and continued her education receiving a MEd in Educational Leadership in 2007. For five of the six and a half years Latoya was principal at Mt. Gallant Elementary, the school received several Palmetto Silver and Gold awards. Latoya is known across the Carolinas not only for her expertise as a leader, but also for her inspirational spirit. She is dedicated to her staff and her students. Dr. Dixon earned her Ed.S. in 2012 and PhD from the University of South Carolina in 2014. Dr. Dixon was named the 2015-2016 Rowan Salisbury Schools Principal of the Year. She currently serves as a transformational leader in South Carolina.



Paul Erickson (@PrincipalPaul) |


Paul is entering his first year as the principal of Union Valley Elementary School in Hutchinson, KS. This is Paul’s seventh year as a building principal and 12th year in education. Paul has always summed up quality school leadership the same way he has summed up quality classroom teaching–if what you do is all about kids and taking them to unprecedented levels of learning, then you can do NO WRONG! He is passionate about creating and sustaining positive school cultures, maximizing collaborative opportunities for teachers, integrating technology, and Professional Learning Networks. LeadUpNow is at the heart of his own PLN. Paul has led staff development on the concepts of Technology Leadership and Professional Learning Communities. He also has organized and led the Beginning Principals Workshop for the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals from 2012-present. In 2014, he was recognized as KAESP’s National Distinguished Principal.Outside of education, Paul enjoys spending time with family and friends. Paul and his wife, Tasha, have a three-year-old daughter, Stelli. He is also a Big Brother via Big Brothers/Big Sisters and coaches a 5th Grade Dodge Ball team each year at his school through the local YMCA.


Mark French(@principalfrench) |


Mark French is in his 34th year as an educator, 19th year as a principal, and 11th as lead learner at Rice Lake Elementary in Maple Grove, MN. Becoming connected with other educators through Twitter, Voxer, EdCamps and other venues has energized and motivated Mark to share with others. Mark is President of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association and is the 2015 NAESP Minnesota National Distinguished Principal. Mark and his husband enjoy biking, kayaking, traveling and cooking. Mark has known since he was a 4th grader that he wanted a career that encouraged kids to be their best and achieve great things.





Sean gaillard (@smgaillard) |

SeanGalliardSean Gaillard is Principal/Lead Learner at John F. Kennedy HighSchool in Winston-Salem, NC. He is the co-host/founder of #EdBeat, a weekly positive chat for educators. Sean is also the founder of #CelebrateMonday. At the center of his life is his wife and their three daughters.


Laura Gilchrist (@lauragilchrist4) |

laura propic2Laura Gilchrist is Teaching/Learning Coach at Turner High School in Kansas City who spent 20 vibrant years as a middle school science & social studies teacher, doing PBL and storytelling from her room. She was a Missouri Teacher of the Year finalist, Christa McAuliffe Pioneer in Education Award winner, and Bammy finalist. She now works on the Kansas side of Kansas City, serving on the state Education Redesign and Teacher Leadership Teams. Laura moderates edchats (#MOedchat, #KSedchat, #NTchat and #LeadUpTeach) and organizes Edcamps (#edcampKC, #edcampLeadership and school-based edcamps). She is on a mission to grow connected and empowered educational ecosystems to elevate our youth. Laura served on KCMO Mayor Sly James’ Challenge Cabinet and has hosted KC educator meetups for over 2 years, now averaging 50+ people per meetup. Laura is passionate about teacher leadership, teacher-led professional learning, parent-school partnerships and she believes in the need for intentionality around collaborative school leadership and vision.


Marlena Gross-Taylor (@mgrosstaylor) |


Marlena Gross-Taylor is an accomplished K-12 administrator, educational consultant, writer and speaker. A Nashville transplant originally from southern Louisiana, Marlena’s educational experience spans several states allowing her to have served K-12 students in both rural and urban districts. She has been recognized as a middle school master teacher and served as a successful administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Her professional development expertise has garnered both state and national attention most recently as a Summer Leadership Institute Faculty Member of the Association of Middle Level Educators (AMLE). As a proud Louisiana State University alumni, Marlena is committed to excellence and believes all students can achieve.


Naida Grussing-Neitzel, Ed.S. (@naidagn) |


Naida Grussing-Neitzel serves students as Assistant Principal at Maple Grove Senior High in Minnesota. She previously served students as Assistant Principal at Valley View Middle School in Bloomington and as teacher at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School.


Naida resides in Minneapolis, MN She is mom to three girls; two daughters (ages 9 and 11) and auntie/mom to a 20 year old aspiring teacher. Naida comes from a family of educators, including her grandmother, who was a one room school house Teacher and eventually principal in the 1940s. Her husband was a Junior High Teacher and now codes full time for a local education technology firm.!


Neil Gupta (@drneilgupta) |


Dr. Neil Gupta is beginning his first year as the Director of Secondary Education for Worthington City Schools, Ohio. Prior to this, Dr. Gupta served at the District Office level for the past 10 years. He is the Board of Directors President of the Ohio Association of Secondary Schools Administrators Association and a member of the Ohio Educator Leader Cadre, NASSP, and Student Achievement Partners. He is a moderator for #ohedchat and EdCamp Organizer for #edcampldrohio and #edcamppblohio. He is married to Kari and has two boys, Keegan and Jaiden.


Amy Heavin (@AmyHeavin) |


Amy Heavin is the principal/lead learner at Ryan Park Elementary School, MSD of Steuben County in Angola, Indiana. She has been a school administrator since 2010, and taught middle school English for 8 years prior to that in Pasadena, CA, and Kendallville, IN. She holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts from DePauw University, a teaching degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University. Passionate about curriculum and instruction, she pursues learning opportunities to blend 21st century essential skills instruction with best practices, leading through collaboration and coaching efforts. As a presenter, moderator for the #INeLearn Twitter chat, and monthly writer for Fractus Learning and BamRadioNetwork’s EdWords, she promotes integration of strong pedagogy with technology in the classroom. She is the mother of 3 growing boys and wife of Angola High School principal.


Bethany Hill (@bethhill2829) |


Bethany Hill currently serves as Lead Learner/Principal of Central Elementary, a P-4 school in Cabot, Arkansas. She is entering her second year as a principal, and has eighteen years of education experience. Her experiences include teaching Kindergarten through third grades, serving as a curriculum coach, providing professional development for her district in the area of literacy, and serving in an elementary building for five years as assistant principal. Her passion lies in helping all kids build their future story and achieve success, and in empowering teachers. Bethany loves to spend time with her husband and two boys. She also loves to write and enjoys sports.


Aaron Hogan (@aaron_hogan) |


Aaron Hogan currently serves as a high school assistant principal at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, TX. Prior to entering administration, he taught high school English at the same school. Throughout his teaching career, he enjoyed the rewards and challenges of teaching both struggling and high achieving students. As an assistant principal, he values asking great questions. In addition, Aaron enjoys talking through the intricacies of great classroom instruction, the benefits of social emotional learning, and the value of teaching students (and staff) to embrace risks in their learning. He and a colleague are launching #CSISDchat in August to support and challenge educators in College Station ISD; both will serve as co-moderators for this weekly chat.


Sara Holm (@saraholmteacher)


Sara grew up in MA and VT and earned a BA in African Studies and Sociology from St. Lawrence University. After moving to Lake Tahoe for more snow and better skiing, she earned a NV teaching credential from Sierra Nevada College and began teaching soon thereafter. She has taught kindergarten through grade 5 as well as served as an elementary RTI/MTSS coordinator and English Language Development co-teacher and coach. She has a MS Ed. in Equity and Diversity in Education and is currently in an administration and leadership masters program. She is a current America Achieves National Fellow and SAP core advocate. Her free time is spent running, skiing, reading, cooking and enjoying Lake Tahoe with her husband and dog.


Rosa Isiah (@rosaisiah)


Rosa Isiah currently serves students as principal of Lucille Smith Elementary School Principal in California. Her experiences include 21 years in education as teacher, bilingual resource specialist, Language Arts Specialist, Teacher on Special Assignment, Assistant Principal, Coordinator of Federal and State Programs, and Principal. Rosa holds a BA in Sociology, an MA in Educational Leadership, and recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Rosa is passionate about equity, closing the achievement-opportunity gap, and learning with her school community. She believes in the power of relationships and leading with a growth mindset.


Ryan B. Jackson, Ed.D (@RyanBJackson1) |


Ryan B. Jackson, Ed.D has been an educator at Maplewood High School in Nashville, TN for eight years, specializing in one of the nation’s top priorities: urban education. As an assistant principal of the Academy of Energy & Power, Jackson provides high-quality servant leadership to a staff, student-body and community that have historically been under-served. Jackson is committed to ensuring all students receive their civil right of a top-notch, cutting-edge education, regardless of race, class, gender or ethnicity. Furthermore, Jackson’s Competitive Teaching Model is generating considerable buzz, as the model’s penchant for motivating students while producing undeniable student achievement gains has helped turn around a once failing high school.


Michael P. Kelly (@PrincipalMKelly) |


Mike Kelly is the Principal of Eyer Middle School, located in Macungie, PA which is part of the East Penn School District. Mike has a strong focus on school culture, empowering teachers to become leaders, and improving grading and assessment practices. He has facilitated “Getting Connected” professional development sessions on utilizing technology for professional growth. Mike is active user of Twitter, Voxer and other social media for professional growth. He facilitated a Voxer book chat on the book “Influencers” by Joseph Grenny, with a group educators and leaders from all across the country.

Mike is proud husband and father of three awesome kids. He enjoys spending time with them swimming, playing sports and beach vacations.


Sandy King (@sandeeteach) |


Sandy King is an energetic, passionate, 5th-grade teacher in South Jordan, Utah. She is a champion of kids and has worked with kids of all ages for the past 28 years. Her background is in gifted education, and she has volunteered 1,000’s of hours to teach before/after school classes. Sandy engages her students in hands-on learning experiences, simulations, passion projects, and a host of other STEAM activities that immerse her students in learning. Her passion is to teach her students about the growth mindset and she believes strongly in empowering her students. In 2013, Sandy was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Utah Education Association and in 2015 was nominated for the Elementary Teacher of the Year Bammy Award. She has also been recognized locally by several cities/organizations and four times by Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers from her former students. She is an Edmodo Ambassador and Certified Trainer. She graduated from Utah State University and currently is in the LEAD program from SUU.


Christopher M. Longo, Ed.D. (@DRCHRISLONGO) |


Christopher is Assistant Principal at New Milford High School in New Milford, CT. He has been a school administrator since 2010, and taught middle and high school Science for 10 years prior to that in Bethel, CT, where he currently resides. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Iona College; master’s & 6th year degrees from Southern CT State University, and doctorate in Instructional Leadership from Western CT State University.

Chris is passionate about educational technology, blended learning, is certified as a Google Educator, and manages a personal blog. In addition, Chris holds CT administrative certification (092) and CT Superintendent certification (093). Needless to say, Chris is a connected, lifelong learner. He is very interested in the development of effective leadership, as he mentors educators and has served as a secondary advisor for several doctoral candidates.

Chris is a part of the Twitter & Voxer group, #leadupchat, a forum for leaders, and is the founder & moderator for #CTedlead, the CT leaders biweekly chat on Wednesday evenings.

He is the father of 2 boys, ages 3 and 5 and husband to a school psychologist.


Karen Norton (@nortnik) |


Karen Norton is the principal at Carlisle Elementary School in Carlisle, Arkansas. She has been an elementary administrator since 2012. Prior to entering administration, Karen served as a mathematics instructional facilitator and a classroom teacher. She is entering her 20th year in education. Her passion is to develop and foster a love of learning not only in her students, but also in her professional team . As a strong advocate for STEM education, Karen was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. She was named the Arkansas Teacher of the Year in 2002. Outside of education, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She loves antiques, good books and spending time by the pool.



Bill Powers (@MrPowersCMS) |

Bill PowersI’m in my 7th year as Principal/Lead Learner at Cherokee Middle School in Springfield Public Schools (Missouri) and 15th year as an educator. I’m a native of Decatur, Tennessee (southeast Tennessee) and I earned my Bachelor’s degree in English-Journalism from Tennessee Technological University (Cookeville). I then worked as a journalist for four years before moving to Tampa, Florida in 2000 to continue that career.
I began teaching in 2001 and after earning my Masters Degree from the University of South Florida in 2006 my wife, Dana, and I moved to Springfield. We have a 7 year-old son, Seely, and a 10-year-old bloodhound-mix, Trinity.
Before coming to CMS I was an Assistant Principal for two years and teacher for Springfield Public Schools and Hillsborough County Schools (Tampa, Florida) for a total of 5 years. I am currently pursuing my Doctorate (EdD) in Educational Leadership (ABD) from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. I am the co-organizer of #EdCampSGF. 


Lena Marie Rockwood, Ed.D. (@Dr_LMR)


Lena Marie Rockwood serves as an Assistant Principal in the Revere Public Schools in Massachusetts. Revere is an urban district located just North of Boston. She is currently entering her second year at the Rumney Marsh Academy Middle School and completed seven years as an administrator at the Lincoln Elementary School. Prior to becoming a school administrator, her experiences in education span from early childhood through high school. Her start in education began at the early childhood/Pre-K level where she developed curriculum and enrichment programs. Her teaching experiences include middle school mathematics, science, art, and developing an enrichment/study skills course for middle/high school students. She has served as Science Fair Coordinator for the district/region and spent six years as a Lead Math/Science Teacher. She has completed the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) and holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Lena Marie is passionate about literacy and promotes the value of reading whenever she has an opportunity. As a co-founder of #Read4Fun chat, she continues to encourage and inspire the passion for reading in others. In her free time, Lena Marie enjoys spending time with family, reading for pleasure, jigsaw puzzles, word games and listening to music.


Todd Schmidt, Ed.D. (@tsschmidty) |


Dr. Todd Schmidt is currently going into his fourth year as the proud principal/lead learner at Harbor View Elementary (@harborview elem) in Corona del Mar, CA. This is his sixth year in administration following thirteen years in the classroom where he taught everything from 4th grade to AP US History. Early in his career, he spent two years teaching at an American school in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He completed his Ed.D. in K-12 Leadership from the University of Southern California (Fight On!). His dissertation focused on the impact and importance of the school principal in bringing about lasting change at a school site. Passionate about education, Todd’s core value every day is to do what is in the best interest of kids. His mantra as a leader is in developing a positive school culture where students, staff, and parents feel welcome, safe, challenged, and supported. A recent blogger, Todd has seen the value and importance on the development and growth of a powerful PLN using resources such as Twitter, Voxer, Google+, and GHO.

A proud husband and father to two little girls, Callie(10) and Brynn (7), Todd spends his spare time with family and friends. He is an avid reader, exercise enthusiast, mediocre golfer, and diehard San Diego Padres and Chargers fan.


Danny Steele (@SteeleThoughts) |


Danny Steele is in his 24th year of public education, and the 2016-2017 school year will mark his third year as the principal of Thompson Sixth Grade Center in the Alabaster City School System.  Prior to this position, he served as a high school principal for three years, as an assistant principal for ten years, and as a teacher and coach for eight years.  In 2005, Steele was recognized as the Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year for the state of Alabama, and in 2016 he was named Alabama’s Secondary Principal of the Year.  Steele has an undergraduate degree in History from Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA).   He has an M.A. in History from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  He has an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration and an Educational Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership – both from Samford University in Birmingham.  Steele presents at conferences on the state and national level, and he has served on External Review Teams for AdvancED.  He is passionate about connecting with kids, cultivating collaboration among teachers, and building positive school culture.  Steele resides with his wife and three children in Birmingham, Alabama.


Ryan Steele (@R_H_Steele) | |



Ryan is the proud principal of Christie Elementary in Plano, TX. He grew up in Washington where he met my wife Mindy, they are now the happy parents of two beautiful daughters.

Ryan has been in education for 10 years as an…elementary teacher, middle school teacher, middle school adminstrator, elementary assistant principal and now elementary principal.

Ryan is the proud moderator of #EdSlowChat, a huge fan of his #PLN, and Ryan thinks it’s weird typing a bio where he needs to speak in third person…


Heidi Veal (@vealheidi) |


My professional goals have been, and will always be, to compassionately serve students, families, and staff as an instructional and connected learner. This is my 15th year in education, 10 of which have been in my current district McKinney ISD. I have taught multiple grades at the elementary level, served as a Response to Intervention Specialist, Instructional Coach, and now an Assistant Principal Lawson Early Childhood School. Follow me on Twitter at @VealHeidi and with the hashtags #ECEchat and #leadupchat. I also blog with my husband, Jeff who is a school administrator, on jhveal.  Jeff and I have two terrific sons who keep us constantly learning and growing too.


Steven weber (@curriculumblog) |

StevenWeberSteven Weber is the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction with Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. He blogs on ASCD EDge. Connect with Weber on Twitter at @curriculumblog and on Voxer at sweber.





Cat Weers (@edutechchick) |


Cat Weers is a lifelong learner, dreamer, and a HUGE fan all things edtech. She holds a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Old Dominion University (ODU). Cat is almost finished with her ED.s in Educational Leadership (also from ODU) and aspires to open a Virtual High School to serve a diverse population of students- from those seeking Advanced Placement course options to credit recovery. Currently she is the E Learning Coordinator for Chesapeake Public Schools, a large district in Virginia. During the last three years, she has grown the school division’s virtual program by 40% with no additional funding but with a LOT of heart. Prior to being the E Learning Coordinator, Cat was a 9th grade Social Studies for 8 years and the online government teacher for 5 of those years. Her passions include educational technology, providing relevant professional development to her school family, anything history related, blogging, traveling, and spending time with her amazing family- husband, Ben, daughter Norah, and her fur baby, Madison Maxine. Above all, she believes in always doing what is best for kids. Always.


Julie Workman (@Jworkman97)


Julie Workman is currently beginning her first year as Principal of Monticello Intermediate School in Monticello, Arkansas. Beginning her career as an elementary teacher, Ms. Workman has had the opportunity to work with students from a variety of backgrounds. With nineteen years of experience, she has worked in both Texas and Arkansas and has been immersed in literacy and learning. Her passions include empowering students and staff to take on new opportunities and challenges, learning new educational trends and research, and connecting with other educators. Being a mom to three wonderful kids, Hunter (15), Ryan (13), and Libby Grace (7) has been her motivation to be a part of the change in education to improve outcomes for all students.