KPEC 2016 Keystone's Premier Education Conference

Dubuque, Iowa

Jun 21 - 22, 2016

KPEC 2016 - Keystone's Premier Education Conference with Todd Whitaker and Trevor Ragan!

June 21-22, 2016  
Grand River Center, Dubuque

This comprehensive education conference will offer an array of topics and sessions for ALL educators. The 88 breakout sessions will include topics such as:

• Leadership
• Standards-based education
• Incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards
• Serving the needs of the "whole student"
• Literacy strategies that work
• Behavior
• Leveraging technology to gain student engagement


Todd Whitaker is one of the nation's leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness. Todd has written over 40 books including the national best seller, "What Great Teachers Do Differently." Todd will also host several breakout sessions during the conference, including a session for teachers on how to implement and sustain Whitaker's principles.

Trevor Ragan, founder of Train Ugly, is on a mission to challenge and question everything that we think is known about education, development, and sports. He'll dive headfirst into THE GROWTH MINDSET – how to supercharge the ability to learn, grow, and achieve goals for yourself and how to foster a growth mindset in others.

All educators from the tri-state area are encouraged to attend. The $99 registration fee (early bird pricing ends April 30) includes the two-day conference, plus breakfast and lunch each day!

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Laura Ramaekers

School Psychologist, Keystone AEA

Bio: Laura Ramaekers has been a school psychologist with Keystone for the past 5 years. She has worked with students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and is a member of the Literacy Team. Outside of work, Laura loves exploring books with her 1 year old!

Aaron Maurer

Instructional Coach, Bettendorf Community School District

Bio: Aaron Maurer is an Instructional Coach for Bettendorf Middle School. He has been in education for over a decade teaching sixth grade social studies, literature and computer as well as spending many years teaching gifted education in grades 4-8 before taking on the new role of instructional coach. Aaron is a member of the Lego Education Advisory Panel, PITSCO Tag Committee, Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert, and was a finalist for the Iowa Teacher of the Year in 2014. He is an avid fan of STEM, Makerspaces, and Project Based Learning. He has launched a new engineering program called Young Engineers of Today and also coaches three robotics teams. In his free time he loves to spend time with his three kids, Aiden, Addyson, and Ava, their new bulldog Frankie May, and acting like the fourth child to his wife Amanda. Last, he is an avid coffee consumer frequently spotted wearing bow ties searching for the that perfect cup of joe. You can find all of his work on his website Twitter @coffeechugbooks

Amber Hess

Speech-Language Pathologist, Dubuque/Western Dubuque School District

Bio: Amber is a speech-language pathologist at Keystone AEA in Sector 3. She works in both Dubuque Community School District and Western Dubuque Community School District. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in May 2015 with a Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and emphasis in Childhood Communication Disorders and Neurogenic Communication Disorders.

Amy Bries

Teacher, St. Francis Xavier School

Bio: Amy Bries is currently a first grade teacher at St. Francis Xavier School in Dyersville. She has eight years of experience; three of those eight years employed at St. Francis Xavier School. Within the eight years, she taught special education and first grade. She continuously works with colleagues to analyze data and implement classwide and targeted interventions within her classroom. She has a Masters in Reading Education and has taught in both special and general education.

Amy Holst

Guidance/At-Risk, Keystone AEA

Bio: Hello, my name is Amy Holst, I am a School Improvement Facilitator at Keystone AEA, and spend most of my days in the area of Counseling, At-Risk and Equity. I work with many school districts and have spent a few years examining student behaviors when it comes to having unwanted consequences for moments of carelessness. Topics studied include: School Safety, Sexting, Bullying/Harassment, Digital Citizenship, Trauma, and the practices of the Whole Child. I am excited to share my information with you and offer you professional resources to use after you leave this conference.

Amy Mozena

Teacher-Librarian / Technology Coach, George Washington Middle School

Bio: Amy Mozena is the Technology Coach at Washington Middle School. Prior to being a Tech Coach, she was a language arts teacher and a teacher-librarian. For the past three years her primary focus has been supporting teachers as they implement 21st century skills in their classrooms.

Angie Squires

Early Childhoodhood Coordinator, Keystone Area Education Agency

Bio: Angie Squires is an Early Childhood Consultant that works with districts and early childhood programs throughout Keystone AEA. Her role as a coach, trainer and consultant to help early childhood administrators, directors, teachers, paraprofessionals brings out her passion for early childhood. She has been a trainer for Pyramid Model PBIS, Creative Curriculum and on-going professional development for all 23 districts that are under the SWVPP (Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program). Angie is going into her 10th year at the AEA and her passion for early childhood continues to grow stronger each year. Prior to joining the agency, Angie earned a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood with an emphasis in Special Education and later a Masters Degree in Education. She taught many years in Early Childhood before joining the AEA.

Betsy Nefzger

Curriculum Director, North Fayette Valley

Bio: Betsy Nefzger is in fourth year serving as shared Curriculum Director for North Fayette Valley Schools. Betsy will begin her 16th year in Iowa's education system. She has taught K-3 Bilingual Literacy, K-12 ESL and High School Spanish. Betsy also spent 3 years working with Keystone AEA as a School Improvement Facilitator in the areas of Equity and ELL. Betsy has a BA in Education with a Major in Spanish and an ESL Endorsement from University of Iowa. (Go Hawks!) She also received my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Viterbo University.

Breanna Oxley

Teacher, Dubuque Community Schools

Bio: Breanna Oxley just finished her third year teaching Social Studies at Dubuque Senior High School. While teaching at Senior, Breanna has been a member of the 21st Century Learning Project and the District Social Studies Curriculum Committee. Breanna is also the TEDxDubuqueEd organizer and presented last year at this conference about using Multiple Intelligences in student assessments. Breanna’s interest in Global Education began during her Teacher Education program at University of Iowa and has continued through her participation in the 2015 Global Education Institute for Teachers, hosted by the University of Iowa and the Stanley Foundation. She is also a member of teacher teams currently working to create guidelines for a Global Scholar Certificate Program in the state of Iowa, in conjunction with the University of Iowa and the Longview Foundation.

Brent Pape

Instructional Coach/Teacher, MFL Mar Mac

Bio: Brent is currently a .5 time Instructional Coach as well as .5 time classroom teacher at MFL MarMac Community Schools. Brent teaches in the areas of Social Studies and Special Education. After his first year as an Instructional Coach, Brent is often found working with teachers in the area of student engagement and how it correlates with student behavior in the classroom.

Carrie McCarville

Teacher, Howard-Winneshiek Community School District

Bio: Carrie McCarville has been teaching for 11 years. She received her Bachelors degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She has taught 4th grade, special education, and 3rd grade. She currently teaches 6th grade.

Casey Rausch

Teacher, Howard-Winneshiek CSD

Bio: Casey Rausch has taught in the Howard-Winneshiek CSD for eight years and previously taught at Waverly-Shell Rock for one year. She has taught first grade for five years and kindergarten for three years previously. Casey has her BA in elementary education with an endorsement in early childhood from Wartburg College (2007). Casey graduated with her MA degree from the University of Northern Iowa in May of 2015. Casey is married with three children Jayden (7), Kinzey (4) and Kortlynn (6 months).

Cathy Feldmann

Technology Coordinator, Cedar Valley Catholic Schools-St. Edward Waterloo

Bio: Cathy Feldmann is the Technology Coordinator at St. Edward, Cedar Valley Catholic Schools in Waterloo.

Connie Franzen

Teacher, South Winneshiek Middle School

Bio: Connie Franzen teaches at South Winneshiek Middle School in Ossian, Iowa. She has 25 years of teaching experience and currently teaches math to 5-8 grade students. She can't wait to share her experience at the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy.

Courtney Weydert

Technology and Information Coach, Prescott Elementary School

Bio: Courtney is a Technology and Information Coach at Prescott Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa. She has worked as a technology coach for the last 10 years in the Dubuque area. Courtney is a Seesaw Ambassador. She has worked with teachers to incorporate seesaw and other apps into their classroom.

Cindy Wiese

Director of Student Services, Maquoketa Community School District

Bio: Cynthia Wiese is Director of Student Services at Maquoketa Middle School. A compassionate educator dedicated to helping all students succeed in their learning environments. For 33 years, a teacher, a coach, a leader, a facilitator and an advocate for staff and student educational goals and growth. Recipient of the University of Iowa Phyllis M.Yager Commitment to Diversity Award ISEA Human Relations Award.

Dan Butler

Administrator, Western Dubuque/Epworth and Farley Elementary Schools

Bio: Dan Butler is passionate about leadership, positive relationships, continuous improvement, connected learning, and making differences in the lives of others. He serves as a moderator of #IAedchat, a weekly Twitter discussion at 8:00 PM on Sundays focused on the latest trends in education. Dan has presented at the local, state, and national levels about digital leadership, 21st century public relations/communication, and continuous improvement. When not at school, Mr. Butler enjoys spending time with his family and friends, reading, watching and participating in various sports, and attending a variety of events within the Western Dubuque School District. Dan and his wife, Johna, reside in Epworth with their two sons. Read more about Dan by visiting his educational blog: or follow him on Twitter: @danpbutler.

Daniel Zaccaro

School Psychologist, Keystone AEA

Bio: Daniel is a school psychologist at Keystone AEA, serving schools in Dubuque, Iowa.

Deb Henkes

Instructional technology consultant, Keystone Area Education Agency

Bio: Deb Henkes and Kathy Hay will be hosting STEAM Central on the main floor as you enter the Grand River Center. Both Deb and Kathy have spent the last several years hosting the STEAM days at Keystone and traveling to regional STEAM events to share apps, robots, and more with students and adults. STEAM items from the media library at Keystone will be available for KPEC participants to tinker and play with supported by Kathy and Deb and a host of student volunteers. They combine over 60 years of educational experience with enthusiasm for all things STEAM! Come join Deb and Kathy at STEAM Central!

Deborah Reed

Director and Associate Professor, Iowa Reading Research Center

Bio: Dr. Reed is the Director of the Iowa Reading Research and a member for the College of Education faculty at the University of Iowa. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a teacher and reading specialist. Since 2003, she has been active in the field as a researcher and technical assistance provider. Dr. Reed previously worked with the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University and the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, authored three books, and created numerous professional development programs in reading instruction. Her current research interests include appropriate uses of reading data in instructional decision making and providing effective reading instruction and intervention to vulnerable populations.

Diane Frambach

School Counselors, Dubuque Community School District Hempstead

Bio: Diane has been a school counselor for 25 years and has worked in school districts in Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa. She currently chairs the counseling department at Stephen Hempstead High School in Dubuque, Iowa, and is privileged to work with a team of dedicated, talented colleagues. Diane lives in Dubuque with her husband Nate and sons Garrett and Andres.

Donna Schmidt

Technology Coach, Dubuque Community Schools-Carver

Bio: Donna is a Technology Coach at Carver Elementary. Prior to becoming a Tech Coach, she taught mathematics and computer science at the high school level for 15 years and was also a TAG/Technology instructor. Donna loves working with teachers developing student-centered authentic learning projects and teaching students how fun it can be to write code! She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a SMART Certified Education Trainer.

Elizabeth Dinschel

Education Specialist, National Archives and Records Administration Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Bio: Elizabeth Dinschel works for the National Archives and Records Administration at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum as an Education Specialist. Prior to that, she worked as the Education and Oral History Coordinator for the Seminole Tribe of Florida at their Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. She holds BAs in History and Political Science, an MA in History with a graduate minor in Public Administration. Elizabeth travels the country teaching C3 workshops and helping teachers use primary sources in the classroom. She uses all areas of social studies to develop rich and challenging classroom curriculum and primary-source based assessments.

Elizabeth Tapper

Math Teacher and 6-12 Math Curriculum Leader, Oelwein High School

Bio: Elizabeth Tapper is currently in her 12th year of teaching a wide range of mathematics courses from lower-level high school to concurrent enrollment college-level courses. She is the Oelwein Community School District 6-12 Math Curriculum Leader.

Eva Swatek

Second Grade Teacher, MFL Mar Mac

Bio: Eva has taught 2nd grade for six years in the MFL MarMac Community School District. She does weekly progress monitoring on students that have shown to be at-risk or have a substantial deficiency in reading. Eva has also taught Kindergarten and Early Childhood Special Education.

Evan Abbey

Program Director, AEA PD Online

Bio: A former teacher and administrator in several Keystone area school districts, Evan is now the person you never meet, but whose name is placed on your Mandatory Reporter training records. His primary goal is to work with local district administrators and statewide officials, being an advocate for improving online and blended instruction in Iowa.

Gertie Monat

Keystone AEA Math Consultant, Keystone AEA

Bio: Gertie was a secondary mathematics teacher for the past 20 years at Eastern Allamakee in Lansing before becoming a math consultant for Keystone in 2015. She has taught 7th grade math through Calculus.

Gretchen Conway

Special Education Consultant, Keystone AEA

Bio: I am a daughter, sister, mother, wife, educator, special education consultant, and administrator. I have been trained as a KU SIM Professional Developer and worked on the Keystone AEA Literacy Initiatives Team for a number of years. In addition to interest in the area of literacy, I have a passion for working in the fields of autism, significant disabilities and combining these interests and passions into quality specially designed instruction. I live with my husband and five children in Peosta and am excited to begin a new phase in my professional career as the sector coordinator in Dubuque this July.

Heidi Meyer

K-12 Instructional Coach, MFL MarMac

Bio: Heidi is a resident of Monona, where she lives with her husband, Andy, and 2 year old daughter, Emma. She has taught 3rd grade for 10 years, and also has taught Reading Recovery. She is currently working on her Ph. D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Iowa and taught a reading methods course there this past year. Heidi is excited to be back at MFL Mar Mac this year where she is a K-12 Instructional Coach half time and Early Literacy Interventionist half time.

Holly Fish

Reading Teacher, Decorah Community School District

Bio: Holly Fish has been a K-4 Literacy Coach for the past three years at Decorah Community School District. Prior to becoming a literacy coach, she was a Reading Specialist at Decorah. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and moved to Arizona where she taught 6th grade and 3rd grade at Coyote Ridge Elementary in Glendale, AZ. Holly received her Masters from Grand Canyon University in Reading Curriculum and Instruction. She recently completed the Iowa Principal Leadership Academy (IPLA) in December to earn her administration license.

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