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Hosted by Northern Arizona University College of Education, this conference provides a professional development opportunity for our teacher candidates as they interact with recognized outstanding teachers through keynote addresses and breakout sessions. Our teacher candidates will take away best practices used daily in the classrooms they will soon be overseeing as they enter the teaching profession. Please register for sessions below. 
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Friday, March 31 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Building Community in the Classroom and Beyond FULL

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Meet five professionals from across the state and learn how they create community in the classroom and beyond. This moderated panel discussion will highlight tactics utilized to build connections with the local community as well as create a sense of student belonging via the classroom experience.

avatar for Emily McCarthy

Emily McCarthy

Northern Arizona University
Emily McCarthy is the program director for the NAU University College Career Development Team. Ms. McCarthy came to work at NAU after working in the private sector. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Richmond and a M.A. in Human Performance from Marymount University.
avatar for Alysa Ojeda

Alysa Ojeda

Northern Arizona University
Career Development Specialist and NAU alumna with background in marketing and public relations. Worked in corporate marketing and social responsibility for five years before coming back to NAU.

avatar for Curt Craig

Curt Craig

Flagstaff Unified School District
Currently, I teach at Mount Elden Middle School in Flagstaff in a team with other teachers whom I have taught with for many years.  I moved to Flagstaff in 1971 upon graduating from high school, and my experience prior to teaching includes working as a wildland firefighter, KNAU-FM news reporter, and a logger. Our teaching team is successfully involved in engaging students in their learning process.  I... Read More →
avatar for Sara Crawford

Sara Crawford

Digital Promise
Sara Crawford is a Professional Learning Engineer for the Digital Promise. She works with the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Initiative which provides teachers and students in U.S. middle schools with always-available access to technology and empowers them to be content creators, adept problem-solvers, and responsible consumers of digital media and learning resources. Prior to Digital Promise, she worked for the The Arizona K12 Center... Read More →
avatar for Gretchen Downey

Gretchen Downey

Flagstaff Unified School District
First things first - it is a true pleasure to be working as the 8th grade MIT-e teacher at Sinagua Middle School! This is my 2nd year as a teacher after having graduated from Frostburg State University with an MAT degree in the spring of 2015. For the 6 years prior to my student teaching, I was a BS/MS student in Environmental Biology where I taught several undergraduate lab courses at the University of Maryland - and here is where my true... Read More →
avatar for Donnie Dicus, NBCT

Donnie Dicus, NBCT

Cartwright School District
My name is Donnie Dicus and I have been teaching in Arizona for 12 years. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2003 and I got my Master’s from Grand Canyon University in 2015. I taught 2nd grade in Tucson for eight years and I have taught third grade in Phoenix’s West Valley for four years. I achieved National Board Certification in 2012 in Middle Childhood Generalist. In 2010 I was nominated as a Rodel Semi-Finalist for... Read More →
avatar for Maria Plata

Maria Plata

2017 AEF™ AZTOY Ambassador for Excellence, Kyrene School District
Maria Plata is a first grade Spanish teacher in Kyrene del Norte Dual Language Academy in Tempe, Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University and is in her 8th year of teaching. Maria immigrated from Mexico when she was eight-years-old and deeply values language learning. She teaches in a Spanish immersion program where she helps instill a love and passion for language at an early age. She loves teaching in Arizona and being part of... Read More →

Friday March 31, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Eastburn 200