Through the years Tom has taught freshman through senior level ELA courses at five local high schools. He was the English/Language Arts chairman at Lincoln-Way east for eleven years before retiring in 2014. As ELA chairman, he facilitated the CCSS curriculum revision to align curriculum to the New Illinois Learning and Common Core Standards. And, in addition to being a consultant at the Professional Development Alliance, Tom is also an Adjunct Professor of English at Joliet Junior College.
As a former high school English teacher, Tom’s presentation agenda focuses on increasing student achievement by improving instructional effectiveness and exploring activities and strategies that engage learners in student-centered environments.
Over the year Gail Bohnenstiehl has been a teacher, literacy coordinator & adjunct professor. She was also a program coordinator for the first primary year’s program in Illinois of the International Baccalaureate Schools. For the ISBE, Gail has written, scored, & validated the state reading & writing assessments. Gail is also a member of the State Language Arts Assessment Advisory Committee & the IL Reading Council and International Reading Association. Most recently, she has been invited to join PARCC, the national panel for passage review of the 2015 literacy assessment.
DeDe Brenczewski is an experienced educator who specializes in teaching writing. She is a rhetoric professor who has been awarded the Sr. Shiller Award for English. Her years of teaching within the field of English Language Arts has prepared her for guiding educators who wish to improve their teaching writing skills.
Natalie Coleman is a district science and social science coordinator as well as adjunct professor. She has spent numerous hours in helping align her district to NGSS. Natalie also served as a member of the Science Curriculum Writing Team for the Illinois State Board of Education and is also a STEM Program Developer and Instructor.
Maggie has always enjoyed the dual role of being an enthusiastic classroom teacher and an instructional leader passionate about leading students forward to their best potential. Her outstanding resume includes presentations at the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Convention, the Metropolitan Math Club Conference, and the Missouri International Reading Association Convention. She has served on numerous math curriculum teams, such as the Illinois Model Math Curriculum Team, President of the Math Department Heads of Western Chicago Suburbs, as well as being the Math Department Chairperson at Willowbrook High School in DuPage District 88. In her workshops, Maggie focuses on the skills, strategies and core knowledge fundamental to creating the learning framework and environment essential to CCSS math instruction, PARCC preparedness, and most importantly, expanding the capacity of teachers and students to achieve their best.
Jim Harvey has coached teachers in schools that participated in the Standards Aligned Classroom (SAC) initiative. As a coach for schools in the Statewide System of Support (SSOS), he has provided assistance in school improvement planning, development, & implementation. Jim has also developed and designed trainings for the skillful use of teacher-developed classroom assignments & assessments, both formative and summative, to improve student achievement & motivation. In his formative assessment workshops, he strives to involve participants by providing them with practical connections between the training and what they’re facing in their day-to-day activities.
Jill Krysinski is an accomplished high school science teacher and also a Golden Apple Fellow, class of 2013. She applies her years of research, development and experience in the field of science to help districts and teachers align their science programs to NGSS and Common Core.
John Randich retired from Joliet Township High School, District 204 after 34 years as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal. He received the Award of Excellence (Administrator) for Those Who Excel ISBE state award in 2014 and the Award of Excellence in the 2015 Distinguished Service Awards Program by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (ISNPRA, March 27, 2015). He has been working with K-12 principals as a new principal, assistant principal, and new administrator consultant. He also has created workshops for individual districts on “Writing Professional Development Plans for Teachers In Need of Improvement” and “Understanding Danielson for Teachers.” He completed the initial training (2012) that evaluators of Illinois’ teachers must successfully complete prior to engaging in an observation and evaluation of a certified teacher using the Danielson Framework. He attended professional learning to offer five Administrator Academies that meet the retraining requirements for teacher and principal/administrator evaluators.
Melissa Thulin is an accomplished educator who is dedicated to impacting students and fellow educators. She is currently a reading specialist and a literacy leader for her district. Melissa is well versed with Common Core standards and has vast ELA training experience.
Mary A. Warren is a retired educational technology instructor/facilitator. Currently, she works part-time helping teachers and school districts with various technology related topics. She has many experiences in grant writing, hosting and facilitating technology conferences, as well as providing coursework for various educational agencies and universities. She has been involved in many facets of educational technology ranging from writing grant requests, developing Community Based Technology Plans, assisting with the E-Rate process, and has facilitated various professional development courses for the PDA and various school districts.
Mary began her computing career with the Lemont-Bromberek Combined S.D. 113A, working both as a computer teacher and then becoming the district’s Leading Technology Facilitator. After many long years in Lemont, she then began working for the State Board of Education in the capacity of Learning Technology Director for Suburban Cook County. In that role, she assisted many of the 114 school districts throughout that area.
Mary retired from her full time role in 2014 and has since provided workshops and Administrator Academy courses. She has taught various online courses through the Illinois Virtual School’s professional development program. Ms. Warren earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree from Governor State University. Continuing with coursework, she then earned a Certificate of Advanced Study from Lewis University. Coursework was also completed through Illinois State University’s Educational Administration and Leadership program and has worked toward earning a doctoral degree.