Opening Sessions

Opening Session Speakers

Tim_Kanold 2

Dr. Timothy Kanold, Monday

Timothy D. Kanold, PhD is an educator, husband, father, friend, runner, author and presenter. An expert in K-12 mathematics education and school leadership, he has been nationally recognized as a mathematics teacher, a division leader in Mathematics and Science and as a school district Superintendent at award winning Stevenson High School District 125 in Lincolnshire, Illinois. After receiving his Ph.D. in educational leadership at Loyola University Chicago, he served as Past-president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and as co-author of Grades 6-12 mathematics textbooks for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His most recent professional development publications include, a four book series for teachers and leaders: Beyond the Common Core (Solution Tree and NCTM, 2015) and his newest book, HEART: Fully Forming Your Professional Teaching and Leading Life! released in March 2017. Currently he leads intensive and inspirational professional development programs for school administrators, teachers and teacher teams interested in using the professional learning community process to develop a positive and effective culture for student learning. He continues his mathematics leadership as well with a team of 23 mathematics colleagues known as the Mathematics at Work professional development group.


Graham Fletcher, Monday

Graham Fletcher has worked in education for over ten years as a classroom teacher, math coach, and currently as a district math specialist. He graduated from the University of Georgia where he earned his specialist degree in Math Education. Graham’s passion for conceptual understanding through problem-based lessons has led him to present internationally and throughout the United States.​ He is the author of many elementary 3-act tasks, which can be found at It’s in this space and beyond that Graham continues to be an advocate for best practice and a change agent for ​K-5 mathematics.

Dr. Juli Dixon, Tuesday

Dr. Juli Dixon is a professor of mathematics education at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. She coordinates the award winning Lockheed Martin/UCF Academy M.Ed. in K-8 Mathematics and Science and the PhD in Mathematics Education. Dr. Dixon is an active researcher with a history of over $9M in external funding focused on professional development. She has a multitude of publications including books; textbooks; book chapters; and articles and international, national, and state invited keynotes and presentations. She was the chair of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Student Explorations in Mathematics Editorial Panel and on the Board of Directors for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. She provides extensive professional development with teachers (including model teaching) and for school and district administrators.

Karim Ani, Tuesday

Karim Ani is the founder and head of curriculum design for Mathalicious. Mathalicious writes lessons around real-world topics for middle and high school teachers. Mathalicious has been recognized for innovation in applications in mathematics by the U.S. Department of Education, the Buck Institute for Education, the Hewlett Foundation, and others. Prior to Mathalicious, Karim taught 8th grade math in Virginia and New York City and was later a middle school math coach. He has degrees from Stanford University and University of Virginia, and was named in Education Week as one of the Top Young Leaders Transforming Education in America.

Debbie Silver, Wednesday

Debbie Silver is a former Louisiana Teacher of the Year, a best-selling author, and highly acclaimed national and international speaker. This popular keynoter has presented in 49 states, Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East. Debbie’s books include Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers, Fall Down 7 times – Get Up 8, Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education, and her recently released Teaching Kids to Thrive. She is a multiple award-winning educator who has taught almost every grade level and every kind of students along the way. Dr. Silver’s high-energy sessions address both the art and heart of teaching. Her extensive research background gives her keen insights into educational theory and practice, while her trademark humor and candor help her connect with all those involved in education. Audiences delight in hearing this 30-year veteran teacher whose presentations are described as “where learning collides with laughter.

James Burnett, Wednesday

James Burnett is the cofounder and president of ORIGO Education. He started the company because he is passionate about education and is continually striving to mathematics meaningful, enjoyable and accessible by all students. He has authored and co-authored more than 300 mathematics resources for teachers and students aged 5 to 12 and regularly speaks to audiences across Australia and North America. As president, James aims to lift the profile of mathematics through dynamic professional learning and the development of innovative print and digital resources for the classroom. His achievements have been recognized with awards such as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award; the 2017 Elementary Publisher of the Year Award (Australia); and Learning Magazine’s 2018 Teacher’s Choice Award for Stepping Stones 2.0.