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Speakers

Governor's Summit on Innovative Education
Monday, June 7, 2021

Hadi Partovi, Code.org

Hadi Partovi is a tech entrepreneur and investor, and CEO of the education nonprofit Code.org.

Born in Tehran, Iran, Hadi grew up during the Iran-Iraq war. His school did not offer computer science classes, so he taught himself to code at home on a Commodore 64. After immigrating to the United States, he spent his summers working as a software engineer to help pay his way through high school and college. Upon graduating from Harvard University with a Masters degree in computer science, Hadi pursued a career in technology starting at Microsoft where he rose into the executive ranks. He founded two startups: Tellme Networks (acquired by Microsoft), and iLike (acquired by Newscorp). Hadi now invests and advises other technology startups.

In 2013 Hadi and his twin brother Ali launched the education nonprofit Code.org, which Hadi continues to lead full-time as CEO. Code.org has established computer science classes reaching 30% of US students, created the most broadly used curriculum platform for K-12 computer science, and launched the global Hour of Code movement that has reached hundreds of millions of students spanning every country in the world.

Hadi has served as an early advisor or investor at many tech startups including Facebook, Dropbox, airbnb, and Uber. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Axon and Convoy.

Hadi's family lives in Seattle, Washington and in his spare time he enjoys skiing, water sports, playing music, and playing word games.

Thursday Keynote, June 10, 2021

Dr. Adolph Brown 

Dr. Adolph Brown, III works with schools and corporations around the world to implement best practices that support peak performance and educational excellence.  His honest, humorous and helpful keynotes and workshops have been commonly described as "delightfully different."  He has more than 30 years of experience working with issues of mental wellness, social justice, equity, education and diversity.  Dr. Brown’s solid content and multiple takeaways, insightful humor and parables are appreciated and recognized by business leaders, teachers, administrators, students and parents all over the world.  From extremely humble beginnings, he was the first in his family of five to graduate high school and go on to become a critically acclaimed clinical psychologist, university professor & dean, teacher educator, businessman, investor, research scientist and recovering middle school special education teacher.  Dr. Brown considers his greatest accomplishments to be the joyfully married husband of Marla, father of 8 kind-hearted children and grandpa of Aiden.

Keynote, Friday, June 11, 2021

Kayla Dornfeld, Top Dog Teaching

Kayla Dornfeld is the 2020 Top Educator of the Year, and the 2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year. Kayla is a two-time (2017 and 2018) Global Hundred honoree, recognizing her as 1 of the top 100 innovative educators in the world. The New York Times named her "one of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States".

She has 13 years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Dakota. In September 2018, she received the University of North Dakota Sioux Award, the highest honor of achievement offered by her University.

Governor Doug Burgum has recognized Kayla for her contributions to education in North Dakota, and assigned her a chair on North Dakota's Innovative Education Task Force. 

She has been recognized as both an "ISTE Influencer" and "HarperCollins Publishing Influencer". Additionally, in March 2018, she was named 1 of just 30 "All-Star Digital Innovators" in the United States by PBS. Who's Who in America has also awarded Kayla for her contributions to education by publishing her biography.

Kayla frequently travels around the United States and other countries as a featured and keynote speaker. She has delivered hundreds of keynotes, one of note being at Twitter Headquarters. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners. 

Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is currently writing a book about classroom learning spaces and flexible seating, titled FlexED: Flexible Seating for Flexible Learners, set to release in 2021. She is also a co-author of the best-selling book Education Write Now, published in December 2017, and 10 Perspectives on Learning in Education, available now on Amazon.

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