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2017 Spring Conference Keynote Speakers
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Keynote Speakers


Heidi Hayes Jacobs - Sunday

Bio - Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, creator of Curriculum21, is also the founder and president of Curriculum Designers, Inc. Heidi has served as an education consultant to thousands of schools nationally and internationally. She works with schools and districts K-12 on issues and practices pertaining to creating 21st century learning environment, upgrading curriculum mapping and strategic planning. Numerous articles have appeared in professional journals.Heidi is the author of many books, including The Curriculum Mapping Planner: Templates and Tools for Effective Professional Development, co-authored with Ann Johnson; and Curriculum 21: Essential Education for A Changing World, which was selected as the worldwide member book by ASCD.  She created the first LumiBook with SINET entitled Mapping to the Core:Integrating the CCSS into Your Local School Curriculum in 2012.  Heidi’s most recent series of books, Contemporary Perspectives on the New Literacies (Solution Tree, 2014-2015). 

Working with a range of organizations, Jacobs has online courses with PBS Teacherline and PD360 and has consulted to groups ranging from state education departments, ECIS, the Near East School Association,  Near East School Association, the College Board, the Kennedy Center, the Peace Corps World Wise Schools, Carnegie Hall, the Tri-Association of Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean,   the United Nations Council on Teaching about the UN, the International Baccalaureate, the NY State Higher Education Commission and the CCSSO workgroup on Global Competencies.



Michelle Luhtala - Monday Luncheon

Bio - Michelle Luhtala is the department chair of New Canaan (CT) High School Library, and facilitates a professional learning community for over 8,000 educators at She serves on the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Board of Directors and the Connecticut Digital Library's advisory committee on databases.

Michelle is a New York Times I Love My School Librarian recipient and was one of five school librarians named as a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in 2015.  Michelle is a contributing author to Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers, and she developed curriculum for Rosen Publishing's Digital Literacy database. She blogs at 



John Schumacher (Mr. Schu) - Tuesday Brunch

Bio - John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) is a blogger, a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs®.

Regarding is "new" title, John had this to say:

Don’t I have the coolest title? I still smile from ear to ear whenever I see “Ambassador for School Libraries” written after my name. It sounds so official and diplomatic.

In my new role at Scholastic Book Fairs, I will help evangelize the power and relevance of independent reading by speaking at conferences, developing and leading workshops, visiting schools, and spreading book love in person and online. I see myself as an enthusiastic cheerleader and advocate for children, reading, and authors.

You could say every day is a giant book party for this teacher-librarian! In fact, Library Journal named him "The Xtreme Librarian" for the high level of exertion – along with some gears and stunts – he uses to get kids reading, and Instructor Magazine named him a Cool Teacher for redefining what it means to be a teacher-librarian.
John served on the 2014 Newbery committee, which named the title Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures "the most distinguished contribution to children's literature." He blogs daily at

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