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Keynote Speakers

Dr. B. Grant Hayes

Dr. Hayes is Dean and Distinguished Professor for the College of Education at East Carolina State University. He has published extensively in the areas of technological applications in counselor education, counseling children and adolescents, and character education/moral development in schools and youth settings. He has lectured and presented at numerous national and international conferences, seminars, educational meetings and professional development events.

Dr. Hayes is a fellow of the American Counseling Association and a member of the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. He previously served on the board of examiners for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the executive advisory board of directors of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, and the board of directors for the Association of Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, where he received the Meritorious Service Award. He is a past-president of the Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development and recipient of the association’s Humanistic Processes Award.

Hayes earned his doctoral, master’s and educational specialist degrees from the University of South Carolina, and his bachelor’s degree from Limestone College.

Johnny W. Collett, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 

Color photo of Johnny W. Collett, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Print photo

Johnny Collett is the assistant secretary in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the United States Department of Education. In this capacity, he serves as the advisor to the U.S. education secretary on matters related to the education of children and youths with disabilities, as well as employment and community living for youths and adults with disabilities. The mission of his office is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes, and to raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.

Prior to joining the department, Collett served as the program director of special education outcomes at the Council of Chief State School Officers. Collett also served at the Kentucky Department of Education as the state’s special education director, as an assistant division director, and as an exceptional children consultant.

Collett, a former high school special education teacher and church pastor, graduated from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2005 with a Master of Arts in education. In 1994, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and in 1991 he received an associate degree from Southeast Community College, at that time a part of the University of Kentucky college system. Collett also holds a certification in learning and behavior disorders from Kentucky.

Dr. Jane West

A former teacher and education administrator, Dr. Jane West is visiting professor at the University of Maryland and policy advisor to several national education organizations, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education(http://aacte.org/), the National Network of State Teacher of the Year(http://www.nnstoy.org/), the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education (http://www.hecse.net/) and the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children(http://www.tedcec.org/). For 8 years she led AACTE’s advocacy and policy work as Senior Vice President.In the mid 1980’s she worked as senior education advisor on the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where she led the national effort to craft multiple federal education statutes.

Focusing on bringing the voice of expert education practitioners into the national policy dialogue, West supports professionals – teacher educators, expert teachers, researchers, principals, doctoral students and others — in engaging in the policy making process by honing their message, supporting it with evidence, engaging at the right time during the process and building effective political alliances.

With a focus on teaching quality, West has led the effort to build an influential100 organization coalition – the Coalition for Teaching Quality ( http://coalitionforteachingquality.org/main/) – to advocate for a professional continuum for teaching and education leadership with a focus on a diverse workforce and bringing the most accomplished educators to the students with greatest need.She has organized multiple briefings for policy makers and routinely consults with elected officials to develop education policy which will serve the highest need students.

West contributed to multiple legislative provisions in the new federal education law — the Every Student Succeeds Act — which promote teacher leadership and comprehensive educator preparation as strategies to address critical teacher shortages, teacher recruitment and teacher retention challenges, particularly for diverse student populations and high need schools.

Her scholarship focuses on analyzing education policy and effective strategies for professionals to ensure that their expert practice and scholarship influence national education policy.As co-editor of a recent special issue of Teacher Education for Special Education, she has articulated a powerful analysis of effective advocacy for educators (http://tes.sagepub.com/site/misc/Index/Podcasts.xhtml).

Her extensive publications and national keynote lectures bring education policy to life for teachers and researchers alike.

West has served on the faculties of the University of San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been a special education teacher and administrator and edited two books about the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law she participated in crafting.

West holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Maryland.

 

 

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