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2018 Annual Conference Presenters

Kathleen Budge and William Parrett - Kathleen Budge is an associate professor at Boise State University, where her research and scholarly activity focuses on educational leadership, leadership development, rural education, school improvement and poverty. She also coordinates Boise State’s Executive Educational Leadership Program. She has conducted numerous presentations at national and state conferences as well as published several journal articles on her research interests. She is co-author with William Parrett of the 2012 award-winning book Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools. She earned her doctorate from the University of Washington in 2005. With 26 years in P-12 education, she continues to maintain that her most important and significant work has been teaching first graders to read.

William H. Parrett has received international recognition for his work in school improvement related to students who live in poverty. He has co-authored nine books, the most recent being the 2012 award-winning Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools, written with Kathleen Budge. Bill is the director of the Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies at Boise State University. He is a frequent speaker at international and national conferences, and his consultancies include state departments, boards of education, state and regional service providers, and school districts in 44 states and 10 nations. Bill holds a Ph.D. in Secondary Education from Indiana University.

Throughout his career, he has worked to improve the educational achievement of all students, especially those less advantaged. Those efforts have positively impacted the lives of thousands of young people.


John Coyle is one of the world's leading experts in Design Thinking as well as an Olympic silver medalist, Stanford d.school grad, Kellogg MBA, NBC Sports analyst, and Professor of Innovation. As a speaker and author, his talent is weaving facts, examples and intellectual principles into engaging stories which bring his topics to life, and leave you with actionable ideas.

The best way to unlock human potential and drive growth is to design lives, careers, and teams maximizing strengths rather than fixing weaknesses.

The best way to innovate your life and business so you can take on greater challenges and grow is to increase personal resilience.

When you design your life around your strengths and cultivate your resilience, you can master "chronoception:" expanding time by creating more meaningful experiences and intense memories. 

In his presentations, John shares real-life stories from his experiences of finding his own strengths and resilience as an Olympian, innovator and father. His metaphors and practical guidelines empower his audience to take extraordinary action to innovate their lives and careers to achieve breakthrough performance and create meaning in the process.

Follow him on Twitter - @coylejohnk


Lori Desautels has been an assistant professor at Butler University since 2016 where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Education. Lori was also an assistant professor at Marian University in Indianapolis for eight years where she founded the Educational Neuroscience Symposium. In its seventh year and now sponsored by Butler University College of Education, educators, parents and the community learn to implement the tools to help our students be successful, and feel a sense of purpose and connection as they walk into our classrooms. 

Dr. Desautels’ passion is engaging her students through neuroscience as it applies to education by integrating Mind Brain Teaching, learning principles and strategies into her coursework at Butler. The Applied Educational Neuroscience Certificate, created by Lori in 2016, is specifically designed to meet the needs of educators, counselors, and administrators who work beside children and adolescents who have, and are, experiencing adversity and trauma. Lori has conducted workshops throughout the United States and Dubai on Mind Brain Teaching and Learning. She has created webinars for educators, clinicians, and administrators illustrating how educators and students alike must understand their neuroanatomy to regulate behavior and calm the brain. She has also authored a series of articles for “Inside the School,” an online publication providing strategies to administrators and educators alike. Lori’s articles are published in Edutopia, Brain Bulletin, and Mind Body Spirit international magazine. She also was published in the Brain Research Journal for her work in the fifth -grade classrooms during a faculty in residence position with Washington Township Schools. 

Dr. Desautels taught emotionally troubled students in the upper elementary grades, worked as a school counselor in Indianapolis, was a private practice counselor and was co-owner of the Indianapolis Counseling Center. Lori was also a behavioral consultant for Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on the adolescent psychiatric unit where she learned that emotional and mental illness can be so challenging for youth, but the brain has the ability to repair and resilience through relationship is critical for emotional, social and cognitive health. You can find Lori’s work, presentation videos, and latest research on her website. Her first book, How May I Serve You,  Revelations in Education was published in March of 2012. Her second book, co-authored with educator Michael McKnight, titled Unwritten, The Story of a Living System has been shared and used as a foundation to create curriculum across the country.

Lori graduated with a BS in Special Education from Butler University, an MS in counseling education from Indiana University and earned her Ph.D. in philosophy with an emphasis in early adolescence/ thought formation from Indiana University and American Institute of Holistic Theology.

Follow her on Twitter - @desautels_phd


Jenni Donohoo is a Provincial Literacy Lead on contract with the Council of Ontario Directors of Education.

In this role she works with system and school leaders to support high-quality professional learning and improve adolescent literacy. Jenni earned a doctorate in education from the Joint Program at the University of Windsor, Brock and Lakehead in 2010. Since then, her passion for research and writing has grown. Jenni has written three best-selling books for Corwin. Her most recent book, Collective Efficacy: How Educators’ Beliefs Impact Student Learning, was released in November 2016. 

Follow her on Twitter @Jenni_Donohoo


Amy Dujon is a practice leader with Learning Sciences International and a former director for leadership development, principal and teacher. Dujon led one of the first Schools for Rigor in Palm Beach County, Florida, which ignited her passion for student-centered, standards-based instruction. She experienced first-hand the power of a new vision to strengthen core instruction. As a result, she is relentless in her focus to grow professionally and personally, and works with districts and leaders across the country to support their transformation and implementation. Dujon holds a, MS Ed, in educational leadership, a BA in drama education, and is currently pursuing her doctorate.


Michelle Gielan, national CBS News anchor turned positive psychology researcher, is the bestselling author of Broadcasting Happiness.

Michelle is the Founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and is partnered with Arianna Huffington to study how transformative stories fuel success. She is an Executive Producer of “The Happiness Advantage” Special on PBS and a featured professor in Oprah’s Happiness course.

Michelle holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her research and advice have received attention from The New York Times, Washington Post, FORBES, CNN, FOX and Harvard Business Review

Follow her on Twitter - @MichelleGielan


Kristina Ishmael is a Public Interest Technology and Education Policy Fellow at New America where she supports states, districts, and educators transitioning to Open Educational Resources (OER) to shift how we think about instructional materials. She previously served as the K-12 Open Education Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, Digital Learning Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education, and a teacher to high risk elementary ELL students in Omaha, Nebraska. Kristina is passionate about changing teaching and learning to provide equitable access and opportunities to all learners.

Follow her on Twitter - @KMIshmael


Joe Sanfelippo is the superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI. The Fall Creek School District was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education.

Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from St. Norbert College, an MS in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MS in Educational Leadership, and a PhD in Leadership, Learning, and Service from Cardinal Stritch University. Joe is also an adjunct professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Viterbo University.

Joe has taught Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 5th grade. He was also a school counselor and high school coach prior to taking on an elementary principal position in 2005. He has served as a principal in suburban and rural Wisconsin. Joe co-hosts the Hacking Leadership podcast and co-authored The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age, and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love. He was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader in 2016 by the US Department of Education. He attended summits at the White House for both distinctions. Joe was named 1 of 5 K-12 administrators to watch in 2018 by Education Dive. He has been a featured speaker in multiple states in the areas of Advancing the Use of Social Media for School Leaders, Telling Your School Story, Creating a Culture of Yes, and Personalized Professional Growth for Staff.  Go Crickets!!

Follow him on Twitter - @Joe_Sanfelippo


Brian Stack is a New Hampshire high school principal and co-author of Breaking With Tradition: The Shift to Competency Based Learning in PLCs at Work. He has been a long-time member of a research, design, and implementation team for a school district that has been nationally-recognized for its K-12 CBL system. He is also the 2017 NH Secondary School Principal of the Year. He has presented his education reform and redesign work in workshops and conferences all over the country.

Follow him on Twitter - @bstackbu