General Session Keynote Speakers
Opening General Session
Known to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah,) and was dubbed by Ms. Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man."
Ron Clark brings charisma, energy and devotion to the education profession. Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation to be honored by the President of the United States.
Ron Clark's personality is marked by a sense of challenge and adventure. Upon watching a television piece chronicling low test scores and the lack of teachers in inner-city New York, Ron packed his car and moved to Harlem. After being warned by the principal that his class was the least disciplined group she had seen in years, Ron prepared himself by visiting the home of each student before the first day of school. Ron Clark involved his students in projects in the city and state, and his "low achievers" soon began to excel; and by the end of the year, their scores were higher than the "gifted" classes in his district.
In 2003, Ron Clark released the New York Times Bestselling book "The Essential 55" which includes his 55 expectations of students - as well as all individuals - young and old. Ron's second book, "The Excellent 11," was released in August 2004 and further captured the attention of parents, educators and students alike.
Obviously Ron Clark did not stop there. In 2006, Ron Clark founded The Ron Clark Academy, an inner-city school serving students from across metro Atlanta. The privately-funded institution is unique for its innovative teaching methods and curriculum based on worldwide travel. Each year the students, grades 5 through 8, apply their in-class lessons to international adventures. And, by the time of graduation, each child will have visited six of the seven continents. Teachers from around the world visit the Academy to observe the innovative and "out-of-the-box" methods for achieving student success.
Ron's most anticipated book came in 2011, "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers." This New York Times Best Seller brought to light 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America’s schools and leading our children to greatness. A must read for every teacher and parent.
In addition to his many duties as an educator, Ron Clark is a much sought after keynote speaker. He shares the uncanny adventures he has had in the classroom and speaks of his experiences teaching in Harlem. Within his humorous and heartwarming stories, he delivers a message relevant to each of us. It is a message of hope, dedication and the never-say-never attitude required to achieve goals and dreams.
Closing General Session
Dr. Jimmie Davis
Dr. Jimmie Davis is a Lead Systems Engineer for the MITRE Corporation; a not-for-profit organization that manages federally funded research centers for the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration , and the Internal Revenue Service. His research interests include GPS, PNT (Position, navigation, and timing), and wireless networks. Presently, he supports several forward-looking PNT-related tasks that help the warfighter. Dr. Davis was awarded the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year Award in Community Service in Industry and he also served on the Space Florida Board of Directors. Dr. Davis is currently the President of STEMflorida, Inc., the state-level not-for-profit dedicated to ensuring Florida's competitiveness in STEM. He earned a Doctor of Engineering and a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Physics from Morehouse College.