Keynote Speakers


Opening General Session
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 • 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. • Grand Sierra Ballroom ABC

Dr. Dakeyan C. Graham
Executive Director, Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice, Florida Department of Education

Dr. Dakeyan C. Graham

Dr. Dakeyan Cha’ Dre’ Graham, the 2019 Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year, was selected in July 2019 as the 2020 Florida Teacher of the Year, representing 74 school districts and more than 195,000 teachers. During the 2019-2020 school year, Dr. Graham was on sabbatical from teaching and serves as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education. In this role, he toured the state delivering motivational speeches and workshops focused on empowering teachers to create the most impactful learning experience possible for their students.

A product of Hillsborough County Public Schools, Dr. Dakeyan Cha’ Dre’ Graham recently served as the Director of Instrumental Studies at his alma mater, C. Leon King High School in Tampa. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education (University of Florida), a Master’s in Educational Leadership (Concordia University), a Ph.D. in Music Education (University of South Florida), and is currently working on his Ed.D. in Learning Design and Information Technology (Florida State University). During his 10 years in HCPS, his students consistently demonstrated determination, focus and tenacity as they earned a performance position in the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

While serving as the president of the Hillsborough Secondary Music Council and founder of the Eastern Coalition of Music Directors, Dr. Graham travels around the state as an adjudicator for both the Florida Bandmasters and Orchestra Associations. In 2012, Dr. Graham was a finalist for Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year and a semi-finalist for Grammy Music Educator of the Year in 2013. He was also selected as a quarter-finalist for Grammy Music Educator of the Year in 2020. He serves as president of the non-profit organization, Instruments of Change, which brings band programs into Title 1 eligible elementary schools.

Dr. Graham assisted in leading worship at CityLife Church and taught youth and adult martial arts throughout the Brandon area before moving into his new position as Executive Director for Independent Education and Parental Choice at the Florida Department of Education. He is blessed to share life with his wife, Casey (also a former HCPS educator), and daughter, Aaliyah. His passion is to continue positively impacting the next generation of world changers while empowering those around him to become the best versions of themselves.


Closing General Session
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 • 4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. • Grand Sierra Ballroom ABC

FDOE Update

FDOE representatives will provide an update on changes — legislative and otherwise — affecting Florida charter schools.