Volume 80 | Issue 5
September 2012

Keynote speakers announced for annual conference in St. Louis

Keynotes are an integral part of the educational experience of the annual conference. The St. Louis Conference Program Team invites you to “Discover New Perspectives” through the presentations of this year’s keynote speakers. The team hopes these messages will spark conversation among attendees about knowledge and issues important to our profession. See you in St. Louis, March 10–14, 2013!

Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas, a multimedia storyteller, is the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.

An award-winning journalist, he was a senior contributing editor at The Huffington Post, where he launched the “Technology” and “College” sections. Prior to that, he covered tech and video game culture, HIV/AIDS in the U.S. capital, the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign for The Washington Post, and was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the Virginia Tech massacre. In Jose2007, Politico named him one of 50 Politicos to Watch. His 2006 series on HIV/AIDS in Washington, D.C., inspired a feature-length documentary “The Other City,” which he co-produced and wrote. It world premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Showtime. In 2010, he wrote an exclusive profile of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a June 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine, Vargas wrote he is an “undocumented immigrant.” He said he revealed his status to promote dialogue about what he feels is a broken immigration system in the United States and to advocate for the DREAM Act, which would help children in similar circumstances have a path to citizenship available to them. A year later, he wrote a cover story for TIME about his continued uncertainty regarding his status since this revelation. Shortly afterward, the Obama administration announced its halt to the deportation of young undocumented immigrants eligible for the DREAM Act, which, although he would not qualify due to his age, Vargas hailed as “a victory for DREAMers.”
Core Competencies: Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership, Communication, Student Learning

Kevin Carroll

Kevin Carroll is the founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC and the author of three highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press, and McGraw-Hill. As an author, speaker, and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Carroll’s “job” to inspire businesses, organizations, and individuals (from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren) to KevinCarrollembrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

With his consulting endeavors, Carroll has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as The National Hockey League, ESPN, Nike, Starbucks (his words appeared on 17 million Grande cups), The National Basketball Association, The Walt Disney Company, Mattel, Hasbro, Procter & Gamble, The Discovery Channel, Capital One, and many others.
In May 2005, a notable moment occurred when Carroll addressed dignitaries from 31 countries at the United Nations about the importance of play in their developing countries. Carroll is also heavily involved with many social entrepreneur organizations that use sports as a catalyst to change lives.
Core Competencies: Human Resource Development, Management, Leadership, Communication

Amy Yurko

Amy Yurko is an architect. She is also an educator, writer, speaker/presenter, and community volunteer. 
She is the founder of BrainSpaces, a consulting firm that offers collaborative visioning, programming, and planning expertise to school districts throughout the country. She is both a licensed architect and educator who believes in applying brain-based strategies to the design of learning environments.

Yurko has developed a keen understanding of the challenges in education today and how they can be addressed through effective learning environments. Her thoughtful integration of education, learning, and architecture allows for fresh approaches to Amy Yurkoprogramming and planning, as well as accurate translations of educational goals into clear and effective directions for school facilities. For more than 20 years, she has planned and designed meaningful places for learners throughout the United States and around the world. She has participated in the planning and design of more than $1 billion of public and private, domestic and international school projects, ensuring that best practices in educational facility planning and design are considered throughout the project’s development.

A recognized expert in her field, Yurko is consistently invited to teach, speak, write, and participate in design juries and summits. As designated advocate for curriculum strategies on the national American Institute of Architects’ Board Knowledge Committee, she is leading efforts to strengthen continuing education for its 80,000 members worldwide. An engaging communicator and facilitator, she demonstrates an innate ability to envision, coordinate, and apply complex solutions to challenging design projects. She is known for her straightforward style and no-nonsense approach, and has a proven talent for bringing people and ideas together in new ways—promoting dynamic collaborations with compelling results. Yurko received her Bachelor of Arts in architecture and her Master of Architecture degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.
Core Competencies: Facilities Management, Student Learning, Planning, Communication