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Beth Allen currently teaches in the gifted education program for the Ft. Zumwalt School District. She has been an elementary educator for fourteen years, and is passionate about using the Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures in her classroom. She earned her Bachelor's degree in elementary education from Missouri State University and her Master's degree in elementary education from Lindenwood University. She was recently accepted into the doctoral program at Lindenwood University where she plans to earn a Doctorate in educational administration. Beth was selected as a STARR (Select Teachers As Regional Resources) Teacher by the state of Missouri in 2008. It was during her year as a STARR Teacher that she received her initial training with Kagan Cooperative Learning. After implementing the Kagan structures in her classroom, Beth was a true believer! She sought out additional training and was then selected to become a Kagan School Trainer, which she has done for the past two years. Beth has loved sharing her passion for Kagan Cooperative Learning with other teachers from her district. Now, she is excited to share her experiences implementing Kagan structures in the regular classroom and the gifted classroom with a larger audience.
Sarah Backner has been working in education for the past 8 years. She taught 2nd Grade for over 5 years at a Title One School in North Las Vegas, Nevada. She also created and directed the Mountaineer Academy After School Program which allows students a safe place for free additional academic support as well as enrichment opportunities they otherwise would not have been able to attain. Through the use of Kagan Structures in her classroom and the after school program, she has seen dramatic increases in student achievement, social skills, and overall enthusiasm for school. Sarah has been an Internationally Certified Kagan Trainer since 2009.
“Sarah was welcoming and created a positive climate for the workshop. She was very knowledgeable and you can tell she has a passion for what she is doing. Very helpful!”
—Melissa Williams, 4th Grade ELA/SS Teacher
“Sarah is knowledgeable and professional. She is an excellent presenter.”
— Amanda Holmes, 3rd Grade Teacher
“Sarah is a professional, organized, personable, and a great role model. She definitely practices what she preaches.”
— Shirley Heaton, 6th Grade Teacher
Debby Blankenship has taught in both private and public education for 11 years. She received Bachelorâ€™s degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and she is presently finishing her work towards her Masterâ€™s degree in Educational Leadership at Arkansas State University. As a classroom teacher and Academic Coach, Debby is a true believer in the power of Kagan Structures. She witnessed her students having fun in their learning, being truly engaged in the classroom, and making great gains in student achievement. Debby also credits Kagan Cooperative Learning for renewing her passion for teaching.
Kimberly was first introduced to Kagan as a student at the University of South Florida participating in the Suncoast Area Teacher Training (SCATT) program. The SCATT program was instrumental in providing opportunities to experience best teaching practice. One of those practices was cooperative learning. This solid foundation led her to participate in Kagan trainings so that she could effectively implement Kagan in her own classroom. Throughout her 19 year career spanning Behavior Disorders, elementary education and now middle school science, Kimberly has used Kagan structures. She has seen it work at every level with every student. As a District-level trainer, Kimberly has utilized structures with her participants and has observed noticeable engagement from her adult audiences. Kimberly has delivered science training for her District for the past 2 years and spent the last year as a District level Kagan Trainer. When Kimberly is not in the classroom or delivering training, she enjoys travel throughout the US with a special focus on her birth state, Maryland.
Maryellen Brogan works as an Instructional Specialist for Middle School for Cecil County Public Schools in Maryland. She has been an administrator, professional developer and educator for 29 years. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from West Virginia University, she worked in a variety of special education positions grades K-8. She earned her Masters of Science Degree in Technology from Johns Hopkins University and became a Technology Resource Specialist who provided professional development and support services in the area of instructional technology. She was responsible for co-designing and implementing the LAPTOPS program that has provided over 75% of the teachers in her district with a personal computer intended for instructional use. Since earning her administrative certification she has been working hand in hand with administrators and teachers in the school improvement process. She is charged with facilitating professional development at the county level in the areas of concept based instruction, classroom management, intervention, and content planning. She believes in Kagan Cooperative Learning as the vehicle to build highly effective classrooms and meet the social and academic needs of all students.
Christi Brown has been in education for over 20 years and has been an internationally certified Kagan Trainer since 2003. She was Teacher of the Year for Berkley Elementary School, a Kagan Model School, in 2001. Christi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, Master of Arts in teaching, and Master Class Level of Orff training from the University of Memphis, in Memphis Tennessee. She completed her Orff Apprenticeship at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She is a co-author of two music resource books: Cooperative Learning and Music and Match Mine: Music. Christi has worked with teachers in Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Newfoundland, England, and all over the United States. Christi brings her boundless enthusiasm and practical teaching background into all of her dynamic trainings.
"Christi was fantastic. Her background in teaching allowed her to really identify with us and give us ideas to implement in the class. She was full of energy and good humor. The students in the classroom loved the activities and were delighted to have you!"
— Melissa Weber, 4th grade Reading/Language Arts teacher
"Very helpful! Showed me how to better incorporate the Kagan ideas into my daily routine. The humor exhibited helped to make the time pass rapidly. I believe our staff leaves this workshop feeling a greater sense of community and mutual worth than when we arrived."
— Melvin J. Wert, 1st grade teacher
"Extremely usable! Christi was very energetic, positive and knowledgeable! Kept the pace to where everyone was able to learn, say, do! Love and agree with Kagan so much that I am interested in receiving more training in Florida and perhaps becoming a National Trainer."
— Laura Duhon, University Reading & Curriculum Instructor
Dr. Barbara J. Carlile has been in education for over 30 years working at all grade levels from kindergarten through university. She has served as a teacher, Bilingual Program Resource Teacher, counselor, assistant principal, coordinator of a gifted program, coordinator of student teaching placement at the west campus of Arizona State University, and an instructional program specialist. Additionally, she has taught Spanish, Psychology, Honors Seminar, Introduction to Education, Introduction to the Exceptional Student, and has been a Kagan Nationally Certified Trainer for the past 10 years. As a Kagan consultant, Dr. Carlile has given presentations on various topics including active learning strategies, classroom management, teaching ELL students, multiple intelligences, research-based instructional strategies, essential elements of instruction, and clinical supervision. She has worked with teachers in dozens of states in the United States as well as abroad. She has traveled widely, lived in Spain during college, and spent several summers in Mexico. Barbara lives with her husband in Flagstaff, Arizona, and enjoys reading, traveling, gardening, hiking, and the outdoors.
Shortly after earning his Master's degree in Secondary English Education at the University of Florida, Elia Chesnoff started his career in education at Miami's prestigious New World School for the Arts. After several years, Elia switched careers in order to pursue another passion â€“ performing as a full time magician. Elia, who performed mainly at corporate and private events, also developed a two-hour illusion show called Look Again. In 2006, he opened Camp Cigma: a summer day camp that taught kids magic, juggling, and general performance skills. Elia also became a published author of Fell's Official Know-it-All Guide to Advanced Magic. In 2008, Elia came back to the classroom as an ESE teacher who worked mainly with EBD (Emotional Behavior Disorder) students. It was during this time that he saw the power of how Kagan Cooperative Learning could transform a classroom. In 2009, he began working at the Sarasota Military Academy where he taught grades 9 â€“ 12 in Language Arts. At the Academy, Elia led study groups in Fred Jones' Classroom Management and taught workshops as a certified Kagan School Trainer. Elia has continued to perform magic at private events as well as lecture to local magic clubs. He is excited about the opportunity to combine his performance skills and his enthusiasm for education as a National Kagan Trainer.
“Elia is well organized and prompt in following through. He is creative and fun! This engagement with his students put everyone at ease and created a higher level of participation and learning. Fantastic instructor.”
â€”Deena Mauerman, K-5th Grade Resource Teacher
“Elia speaks from the heart with intelligence and humor. He knows the content and relates his experience to help us understand. He ROCKS!”
â€”Kileen Smith, Teacher
“Elia was amazing!! By far the best presenter in all the years of lectures and training I have received. Thank you for keeping us so engaged and making our learning memorable.”
â€”Ashley Hamilton, K-1st Grade Teacher
Gavin Clowes has worked in education for eighteen years. During that time he has been an outstanding teacher, mentor, and staff trainer with Cheshire County Council in the North West of England. For the past eight years, Gavin has been training and facilitating staff development in Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures both as a Certified International Kagan Trainer and as Director of Teacher To Teacher (UK) Limited, a company that specializes in delivering Kagan workshops in the UK. While working as a Kagan trainer, Gavin has had the privilege to work with teachers on both sides of the Atlantic from kindergarten to university. Gavin is also a Kagan Win-Win Discipline trainer and enjoys the challenge of supporting colleagues who have the daily task of working with difficult clients. Having “lived” Kagan Structures for nine years, Gavin is well aware of the enormous difference Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures make to learning.
Dr. Jason Conway is a program evaluator, data specialist, and professional staff developer for the Capital Area Intermediate Unit located in Harrisburg. He served as the Social Studies Supervisor for the Wilson School District. While at Wilson, he was a National-Top 100 finalist for the Disney Hand Teacher of the Year program. In addition, he was selected as a Fulbright Memorial Scholar to participate in a study visit to Japan. He has extensive staff development experience as a Nationally Certified Kagan Cooperative Learning Trainer, an adjunct professor for Gratz College and College of New Jersey, and a former content production manager for a private company. He is working towards his superintendent letter of eligibility and D.Ed from Temple University.
Jeff Dane has been in both private and public education for over 25 years. His career has led him to work and teach people of all ages from birth through adults. In public school, he taught at varied socioeconomic settings, as well as working in a Title One school. As an International Certified Trainer for Kagan, Jeff has had the opportunity to lead workshops with thousands of teachers throughout the United States, as well as other parts of the world. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Religious Education from Dallas Baptist University, a Master of Science degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University, and has an English as a Second Language teaching endorsement. He has written articles for online magazines, as well as manuals and online courses for the teacher's certification tests in his state. He is a sought after speaker for workshops, camps, and in-service trainings. Participants call him motivating, informative, practical, and inspiring. He has coached competitive soccer for the past 10 years, was elected Competitive Coach of the year in North Texas in 2011, and has teams playing at the highest league level in the Dallas Classic leagues. As a parent, educator, and coach, Jeff believes the goal of anyone working with children should be to mold dreams, build bridges, and change lives.
"Excellent presenter! Very real and down to earth. The material presented by Jeff is very relevant to the realities of my classroom. The strategies are ready to be used and implemented on day 1. Great!"
— Luis Herrero, Jr., Grades 6, 7, and 8 Math
"Jeff was AWESOME! He kept us motivated and learning at the same time. I have never been to such a wonderful workshop in which I learned so very much."
— Mary Kilman, Instructional Facilitator, K-5
"Jeff not only demonstrated his knowledge of the Kagan methods, but showed a true understanding of both teachers and students. The theories and structures shared will positively impact my teaching methods, as well as benefit my students both personally and academically."
— Albert Rodriguez, 1st grade teacher
Heather DeMao is currently a 12th year teacher instructing 7th graders who are below grade level at McIntosh Middle School in Sarasota, FL. Miss DeMao holds a Bachelorâ€™s of Science in Elementary Education from the State University of NY at Fredonia, a Masters in Reading from the State University of NY at Brockport, and is certified in math grades 5â€“9. She has taught all subjects at the 4th and 6th grade levels; math to 6th and 7th graders; several ability levels from below level math, standard level, and pre-algebra through honors algebra to gifted and highly capable students. Miss DeMao also tutors students who have difficulty in Algebra and Geometry. She has served as a Kagan School Trainer for the last five years and appreciates how the structures and strategies helps struggling students, praises the higher-level students, improves social connections, and raises test scores for all learners. Miss DeMao uses humor in her classroom to get through every day and enjoys becoming more proficient using the Kagan model, so kids have fun while learning standards based math objectives. In the little spare time she has, she swims competitively with the Masters Sarasota Sharks Adult Swimming League and sings professionally to help minimize the daily stress that comes with the profession we all love to be in.
"Heather was extremely professional and warm. She was helpful and efficient. She had a lot great ideas and suggestions!"
— Natalie Fondell
"Heatherâ€™s Real World approach was refreshing and helped me believe that I could easily implement so many great ideas to help my class reach it full potential."
— Sunny Vickers, Teacher
"Heather was fantastic! He was prepared, professional, and a pleasure to listen to. It is evident that Heather has used Kagan successfully in her own classroom."
— Emily Brown, Teacher
After earning her Bachelor in the Science of Elementary Education Degree from Emporia State University, Angela Dick served as a classroom teacher for five years, teaching reading and language arts at the middle school level. For the past seven years, Angela has served as a middle school literacy coach, during which time she earned her Master in the Science of Education, Reading Specialist Degree from Washburn University. Angela has provided numerous building and district level professional development on literacy instruction, curriculum, research-based strategies, school improvement, and instructional coaching. She has utilized Kagan Cooperative Learning in her own classroom, during collaborative meetings, and throughout professional development. Additionally, Angela has served as a cooperative learning coach and has been involved in developing district curriculum and assessments for middle school language arts courses.
Laura Duhon has been a teacher for almost 20 years and is a true teacher of teachers. Her career has led her to work with students of all ages from early childhood through adulthood. She currently teaches in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Texas State University, mainly in the area of classroom management. Laura also serves as the Co-Director of the Teacher Fellows Masters Degree Program for beginning teachers. She mentors and educates hundreds of future educators and newly certified teachers each year. She received a Bachelor's of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in Early Childhood Education and a Master's in Education in Elementary Education from Texas State University. Laura is currently a doctoral student at Seton Hall University in the Executive Doctorate in Educational Administration Program. Laura has been awarded numerous "favorite professor" honors at the university level and attributes it to the use of Kagan Cooperative Learning in her teaching method. Not only does she recognize the impact in her students' learning as future teachers but the positive influence Kagan Cooperative Learning has on the achievement of children especially in classrooms of beginning teachers.
Dr. Rick DuVall is an award-winning educator, with over 20 years of teaching experience. He has taught all grade levels, pre-kindergarten through twelve, as well as serving as an instructional coach and as a university professor. He has consulted with schools and school districts in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, and Peru. He frequently speaks at regional, state, national, and international conferences including the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Staff Development Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Middle School Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Title I Conference, and the National Dropout Prevention Conference.
“Rick, you are a wonderful instructor! You are clearly a master educator! I learned more today about how to teach just by watching you than I did in my educational program. Don't change a thing!”
â€”Danielle Petway, 9th Grade English Teacher
“Rick is charming, funny and so knowledgeable. He was able to consider all content areas and teaching styles in his presentation. He also made some poignant remarks that incorporated research which helped me to see why I ought to rethink my delivery and take on Kagan.”
â€”David DePena, 7th Grade Math Teacher
“Rick was a ball of energy the whole week. He made everything fun and light-hearted. He made it safe for us as teachers to learn all this new material as well; which I valued very much being a brand new teacher who didn't know anyone yet.”
â€”Stacey Netini, K-4th Grade Music Teacher
Dr. Heather Eubank has been an educator for almost 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Wichita State University. Heather has worked with students from Pre-K through high school as well as served as an elementary principal and curriculum director in public schools in both Kansas and Missouri. Currently, she is serving as the Head of Lower School at a private school in Wichita, KS. Heather has seen firsthand how Kagan Structures have engaged teachers and students in new and exciting ways. She believes in the Seven Keys for a successful cooperative classroom and has experienced how the Kagan method can close achievement gaps and raise test scores for all students.
Jennifer Evans has been training and facilitating staff development in Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures for nine years. She received her Master's in Teaching and Leadership from St. Xavier University in Chicago in 2001. Jennifer believes Kagan Cooperative Learning makes teaching innovative and fun for the students, as well as for the teacher. Most importantly, students are actively engaged and have an enjoyable learning experience while improving scores and social skills. Jennifer brings classroom experience, a positive upbeat attitude, and enthusiasm to her workshops. She enjoys training teachers how to easily integrate Kagan Structures into their teaching and offers numerous useful management tips and inspirational classroom ideas.
Tom Finegan has been a consultant for Kagan for more than fifteen years. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science and a Master's degree in Learning Disabilities from Michigan State University. Tom presents workshops for Kâ€“12 teachers and is an instructor for Kagan's graduate-level courses. Participants rate his presentations as "excellent, informative, organized, motivating, and exciting." Tom uses Kagan Structures and materials in his middle school science and physical education classes, enabling him to offer many practical and useful management tips to other educators. Tom models and teaches others to create a learning environment that engages all students to learn and to help the students become better people.
Sherry Franklin began her career in rural Pennsylvania receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Penn State University. She has taught in a myriad of diverse public city schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Norfolk, Virginia, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Introduced to Kagan in 2001, Sherry immediately recognized the benefits of Kagan Cooperative Learning and quickly instituted its teaching methods into her instructional style. She then began instructing as a citywide Kagan trainer and was ultimately chosen to become a Certified National Kagan Trainer in 2005. This opportunity has allowed Sherry to lead workshops in a variety of settings around the country. She enjoys teaching during the school year and being a Kagan trainer over the summer, which is truly the best of both worlds. Sherry received her Master of Science degree in Instructional Mathematics in 2008 and was assigned as the Title I Math Specialist at the most transient public school in Virginia Beach, Virginia; a position she still holds today. Sherry's background as a teacher ensures that real-life experiences and examples are shared with others in her field, fostering meaningful feedback and a mutual respect for what they do. It's all about the kids!
Mark started his teaching career in 1978 as a high school biology teacher in Republic School District, Republic, MO. With over 30 years in education, Mark has taught Introductory Biology, Advanced Honors Biology, Human Anatomy, and Human Genetics for grades 9-12. He has also served as prom sponsor for 30 years, a key member in developing the Republic High School A+ program, a new teacher mentor annually, science department chair for 25 years and was accepted as a member of the administration advisory board. Mark has a B.S. in Education from the Missouri State University. Currently, Mark serves as a classroom coach for the Republic School District's cooperative learning initiative. In Mark's 30th year of education he was introduced to the concept of cooperative learning and formally trained in the methods of Kagan Professional Development strategies. This rejuvenated his interest in education and he became convinced that the instructional tools provided by Kagan really do engage students of all abilities in activities that move students from disinterest and disengagement, to involvement and active participation.
Ann Herrell is a Midwestern transplant to Colorado, earning degrees in education at the University of Northern Colorado and Regis University. She has taught elementary through high school, as well as training and mentoring fellow teachers. Her experiences with Kagan Cooperative Learning have transformed the way she plans instruction and facilitates the learning of students and teachers.
I received a B.S. in Biology and M.A. in Secondary Science Education from Georgetown College and a Masterâ€™s degree in Instructional Leadership from Eastern Kentucky University. After my first year of teaching, I attended a Kagan training that completely transformed my classroom. The cooperative learning structures not only engaged students in the content, but strengthened my classroom management as well. Over the past ten years, I have served as a Kagan school and district trainer, as well as a Kagan coach. I currently serve as an Instructional Coach, assisting teachers with implementing instructional strategies to increase student engagement in math and science.
Dawn Hlavsa-Suk travels around the country to present a variety of Kagan workshops and teaches Kagan Cooperative Learning at the graduate level. She is passionate about engaging students with content and helping them build the social skills necessary for jobs in today's information, service-based economy. An eleven-year background in elementary, middle school, and graduate teaching in both inner-city and suburban areas allows her to address educators' concerns at all levels of education. She has trained for Kagan for over 5 years and routinely provides professional development to other teachers in her district. She has facilitated trainings on cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, styles of personality, and responsive design. Her expertise in teaching strategies, practical understanding of classroom dynamics, and her sense of humor make the time you spend with her both educational and entertaining.
Kim has been educating young people for 18 years, the past 13 leading the math department at Golden West Middle School in Fairfield, CA. Kim received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts, and her Master of Arts degree in Education with an emphasis in Psychology, both from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Kim has been implementing Kagan Cooperative Learning structures in her classroom for 15 years. Her attitude, enthusiasm, energy, and passion for engaging students has earned her the respect of both students and peers alike, gaining her the title of Teacher of the Year in both 2008 and 2013. Kim has the unique ability to mentor and coach teachers as well as students; her role as Math Coach for the past two years has provided her the opportunity to share strategies for student success with both newly licensed and highly experienced educators.
Krissi Hunter has taught grades 4th through 8th and is currently teaching Singapore Math, Algebra and Geometry at an International Bachelorette Magnet School in Pueblo, Colorado. She received her Bachelorâ€™s degree from Adams State College and her Masters in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. Krissi is currently working on her Principalâ€™s Licensure. Krissi was introduced to Kagan Cooperative Learning four years ago and has since fully implemented structures in her mathematics classrooms as a way to improve student achievement and increase student participation and motivation. She also has been a Cooperative Learning Coach in her building and a Kagan School Trainer. Ultimately, her experiences with Kagan Cooperative Learning have revolutionized Krissiâ€™s instruction and the way she facilitates learning in her classroom.
David Jones has been in public education for the past twenty-three years. During his tenure, which began in the inner city of Los Angeles, he has taught math at the middle school level (eight years) and at the high school level (eleven years). His teaching career has traversed California, Colorado, and Florida. During his teaching career, David served as the Mathematics Department chairman and the lead math planning team member for a brand new middle school. He was named an "Outstanding Teacher" by the district and was later selected as the Colorado Governor's Award Winner for Excellence in Education.
Mr. Jones has long been interested in helping train his colleagues in effective teaching techniques. He serves as an adjunct professor at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, traveling to the college when his schedule permits to teach classes such as "Classroom Management," "Humor in the Classroom," and "Personal Finance for Educators."
For the past four years, David has served as a high school assistant principal and a middle school principal. He was fortunate enough to have discovered Kagan Cooperative Learning while he was still teaching. Seeing the remarkable gains his students made, he quickly worked to become a school-level trainer. For the past two years, David has been working as a National Trainer, bringing his years of classroom experience, along with his energy, enthusiasm, and passion to teachers in his school and across the nation.
Rob Jutras has worked at elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools as a teacher and instructional coach. He has been a trainer helping teachers increase student engagement and achievement for ten years. He loves the opportunities to help teachers and students. He found success with Kagan Structures in his own classrooms and jumped at the opportunity when asked to share them with others. The simplicity of Kagan Structures is what originally attracted him. Teachers need easy routines that make teaching and learning fun. Whether Rob is helping elementary teachers with science or secondary teachers with mathematics, Kagan Structures have been the obvious answer when wanting to build the skills necessary to be a successful part of the 21st century world. His passion for teaching and learning is contagious. Rob lives in North Carolina with his wife, Betsy, their baby boy, Henry, and their ever faithful yellow lab, Stella.
“Rob was dynamic! Entertaining! Speaks from experience! Eager to share information, resources and support! Clearly understands our learners.”
—Kate Taylor, 6th-8th Grade Teacher
“I cannot say enough good things about Rob! He is personable, witty and a Kagan master. Thank you for sending him our way!”
—Katie Farrin, 9th-12th Grade Journalism Teacher
Rob did a splendid job. He is high energy, knowledgeable and tells the information in a style applicable to the real world. There was nothing presented that came off as canned or by the script. The man practices what he preaches.”
—William Jones, 6th-9th Grade Art Teach
Laurie Kagan is in high demand as a presenter worldwide. Her presentations are dynamic eventsâ€”participants discover the power of simple instructional strategies to use as part of any lesson. Laurie is the author of twelve popular books for teachers and trainers including Multiple Intelligences: Structures and Activities, Teambuilding, and Classbuilding. Her book, Dynamic Trainer, is the single most comprehensive trainer resource and is the basis for her much sought workshop: The Dynamic Trainer. Laurie has developed popular learning games and structures that are used around the globe. As the former Director of Elementary Education for the State of Nevada, Laurie is presently Director of Kagan Professional Development. She develops Kagan workshops and institutes and selects and trains all Kagan consultants. Laurie translates a deep understanding of theory and methods into practical, teacher-friendly strategies and presentations.
"Laurie Kagan was superb! She was full of energy â€” a strong motivator! She displayed a sincere faith and belief in her content. She â€” hands down â€” is the best presenter I've heard. The information will be extremely helpful, as it is a fresh and exciting way to drive instruction."
— Mary Dees, Secondary English Teacher
"Laurie was very energetic and easy to listen to. Her desire to see students receive the best education, beyond just academic, was very evident. I hope to carry that enthusiasm back to my school!"
— Trina Michelle Maner, K-6 Music & Art teacher
"Great motivational and charismatic speaker. She's been there, she cares and she knows what she's talking about!"
— Debbie Schuerer, 8th grade Language Arts teacher
Dr. Spencer Kagan is an internationally acclaimed researcher, presenter and author of over 100 books, chapters, and scientific journal articles. He is a former clinical psychologist and full professor of psychology and education at the University of California. He is the principal author of the single most comprehensive book for educators in each of four fields: cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, classroom discipline, and classroom energizers. His instructional strategies are used in teacher training institutes in many countries. Dr. Kagan provides workshops and keynotes in over twenty countries and his books are translated into many languages. Dr. Kagan developed the concept of structures; his popular brain-based, cooperative learning and multiple intelligences structures like Numbered Heads Together and Timed Pair Share are used in classrooms world-wide. Dr. Kagan has been featured in the leading educational magazines including Educational Leadership, Instructor, Learning Magazine, and Video Journal. He is in high demand as a keynote speaker at national and international conferences.
"Excellent presentation! Dr. Kagan exemplifies what an effective instructor/teacher can do to make learning not only fun but enduring."
— Jeweline Hill, Junior High School Assistant Principal
"Fabulous! Dr. Kagan was engaging, funny and intelligent. He is one of the best public speakers I have ever had the pleasure to hear"
— Mary M Sullivan, High School Teacher
"Superb! Great analytic abilities in addition to seeing the big picture in education. Strong theory-practice connections. Always learning, growing, and making it available to teachers."
— Neil Davidson, Professor
Dan Kuzma is a veteran teacher who taught at Indian Hills Regional High School in Oakland, New Jersey for 38 years. In 2002, Dan received the Outstanding Educator Award from the College of New Jersey and was honored for his accomplishments as an educator by Tufts and Princeton Universities. During the 2000â€“2001 school year, he received the Governor's Teacher Recognition Award and was selected as a C-Span Spotlight Teacher. In 1998, Spectrum (Indian Hill's yearbook) described him as follows: "Mr. Kuzma is the perfect teacher. The tremendous energy with which he excitedly participates in all of his daily events is admired and respected by those who are fortunate enough to meet him."
He began as a trainer and presenter in his local and regional districts and has been a Nationally Certified Kagan Trainer since 1992, facilitating workshops in 30 different states plus the District of Columbia.
During a career of nearly 25 years in public education, Dr. Carol Lohkamp has taught preschool, first, and second grades. Additionally, she has served as an elementary principal for 14 years and started two schools in her hometown community of Republic, Missouri. Dr. Lohkamp completed her undergraduate studies at Missouri State University, and received a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University in 2008. Her background is in elementary education with certification in early childhood development. One of the highlights of her career was starting the Early Childhood Center which housed the district's staff childcare, early childhood special education, preschool and kindergarten programs â€” over 600 students in all, ages six weeks to six years old.
As an elementary teacher, Dr. Lohkamp used cooperative learning strategies to keep her students actively engaged in their learning. As a K-5 elementary principal, she witnessed the power of Kagan Cooperative Learning structures firsthand both in the classroom and during faculty decision making. In her experience, Kagan structures are truly content-free and applicable to every learning situation regardless of age or ability level. The structures provide teachers with a rich set of tools and the flexibility to utilize them in a wide variety of ways in order to meet their students' unique and ever changing needs.
“Carol was truly uplifting. Her energy and enthusiasm made the day fun. She sure knows how to effectively present.”
â€”Diana Baruti, Teacher
“Carol Lohkamp was inspiring and joyful in sharing Kagan structures with our faculty! She is passionate about helping all teachers help their scholars reach the highest levels of academic excellence.”
â€”Lynn Kiser, 2nd Grade Teacher
“Goodness! What a dynamic personality. Loved listening to her share her stories of what she has seen, and how she has used the structures. Always prepared with an answer. Dr. Carol made everyone feel special. She knew our names quickly, and made us all feel like our ideas were unique.”
â€”Cathy Shaffer, Teacher
Mary Matheson currently serves as an educational consultant, dedicated to the professional development of teachers and administrators. Mary has coached and trained hundreds of educators throughout the state of Arizona, as well as across the nation. Mary has been a national trainer for Kagan Professional Development since 1994, training hundreds of teachers and administrators in the areas of Cooperative Learning and Multiple Intelligences. She is also a certified External Facilitator for the Arizona Department of Education. Her role as a facilitator is to assist schools, who have failed to make AYP under the No Child Left Behind Act. Mary has also been an Instructional Program Specialist for the Peoria Unified School District, near Phoenix, AZ, where she coached and mentored new and veteran teachers. Her roots, however, stem from the classroom where she was a Biology and Chemistry teacher. She is married and has 3 children.
Angela was introduced to Kagan Cooperative Learning early in her career as a teacher. She promotes Kagan Structures as the best practice ever in classroom environment.
Understanding the power of cooperative learning, Angela became a site-based trainer for Kagan in an effort to engage more students while learning. She shared her knowledge and trained her colleagues in her school and district, and started a SAM club to keep the momentum going. Angela has been a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal, and is currently the Director of Elementary Schools in the Houston Independent School District. She is energetic and passionate about teaching; and whether conducting a professional development training, or facilitating a meeting, it always includes utilizing and sharing a Kagan Cooperative Learning Structure.
Angela received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Missouri State University, and her Ed. Spec. degree in Urban Leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She embodies the philosophy of being a "life-long learner," and is thrilled by the prospect of sharing with other practitioners the power of Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures that makes learning fun for children as well as teachers.
Kevin McIntyre has been a public school teacher in New York State for 33 years. He has a Masterâ€™s of Science in School Administration from New York State University at New Paltz. He has also been an instructor for Graduate Courses in Education for 27 years working through the New York State United Teachers as an adjunct faculty member for three universities. Kevin has offered courses and workshops to thousands of teachers Kâ€“12 in the areas of Cooperative Learning, Multiple Intelligences, Brain-Based Learning, Critical Thinking, Classroom Management, Mentoring, Peer Coaching, Block Scheduling, and teaching Science Kâ€“8. Kevin has served as a Biology Mentor for the New York Stateâ€™s Biology teachers.
Kevin brings energy, enthusiasm, and passion for what he believes in when it comes to reaching students. With firsthand knowledge of the effects that Kagan Cooperative Learning has on students, he combines practical classroom teaching with the dynamic Kagan Structures.
Dr. Jacqueline Minor currently serves as the Director of School Improvement Programs for Kagan Professional Development. Dr. Minor spent the first 22 years of her educational career in public education serving as an elementary school teacher, middle school English teacher, Kâ€“12 gifted education facilitator, building principal, school improvement specialist, and assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Dr. Minor completed her undergraduate degree in elementary education at Baker University (Baldwin, Kansas), her Master's in Gifted Education at Emporia State University (Emporia, Kansas), and her Doctorate in Educational Administration at Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas). Dr. Minor has been a Kagan trainer for over 19 years. She has conducted numerous staff development sessions on school improvement, effective instruction, new teacher induction, student assessment, and leadership development. Her strong knowledge base, experience, and passion for student learning are evident in her training sessions. Dr. Minor now focuses her efforts on district-level support and implementation planning that includes administrator training, coaching, and monitoring. In addition, she supports the ongoing Kagan trainer program while also working with a non-profit organization to support teachers and students in high poverty schools.
"Jackie is superb! Her style of presenting is very relaxing, there's no pressure. She didn't rush and this is so comforting. I appreciate how she paced each day. I am going to practice this technique in my very next professional development."
— Marilyn Diane Conyers, 5th-8th grade teacher/coach
"THE BEST EVER! So professional. Warm and friendly. she is a blessing to know and learn from. Thanks, Jackie. You put much into this class and I appreciate you!"
— Charlotte Shaw, 2nd-3rd grade Reading Specialist
"Jackie is an awesome instructor. She is motivating, friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. I can't say enough about how great she is."
— Lisa Owens, 2nd grade teacher
Dr. Vern Minor currently serves as Director of Educational leadership for Kagan Professional Development. Dr. Minor served in the public school setting for 30 years before joining the Kagan team on a full-time basis. During those three decades of work, he was employed in an administrative capacity for 23 years, having served at both the building and central levels. He spent 16 years as a superintendent of schools during which time he led Kâ€“12 implementation efforts of cooperative learning in two districts. As the current Director of Educational Leadership for Kagan, his duties include developing district leadership capacity, helping schools address systemic issues which impact teaching and learning, and assisting district leaders with implementation efforts. Dr. Minor brings two decades worth of leadership experience to the table as a background for helping educators as they strive to ensure that all students are successfully engaged in learning. Dr. Minor has conducted professional development on various reform issues, including the following: leadership, educational change, cooperative learning, cooperative meetings, peer coaching, new teacher induction, inclusion of special needs children, site-based management, and the school improvement process.
“Vern, thank you for inspiring us to not settle for less than the best education for all kids.”
â€”Kimberly Bracken, 3rd Grade Teacher
“Vern is professional. Expert level of knowledge. Passionate about topic. Concerned about raising the bar on the teaching profession. (Thank you!) Dedicated to giving the participants a full learning experience.”
â€”Erik Smith, 5th Grade Teacher
“Vern Minor is a dynamic trainer and professional. He has the ability to share himself on a number of levels, personal and professional. He has the experience needed to share from a teacher's, administrator's, and supervisor's point of view.”
— Sandra Dunbar, Principal
Christine Mori is currently a fourth grade teacher, in West Hartford, Connecticut. She has been an elementary teacher for thirteen years, and earned her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and Special Education from Penn State University. Christine has taught in six different states and carried the Kagan Structures with her from place to place. She knows their value and sees the difference they can make in her students, not only academically, but also socially. After six years of attending workshops, Christine is thrilled to be a member of the Kagan Training Staff. Her enthusiasm and passion for teaching will be evident to all she meets!
Kris Osthoff has been in education for 16 years and has been an Internationally Certified Kagan Trainer for the last 3 years. She is incredibly passionate about Kagan Cooperative Learning as she has seen Kagan Structures motivate learners, empower students, boost achievement, improve social skills, and reduce discipline problems. Committed to life-long learning, she realizes the importance of the most effective teaching practices, and she values the research behind cooperative learning. Kris loves the opportunity to share structures with teachers and the opportunity to support teachers in their classrooms while using structures. Prior to becoming an Internationally Certified Kagan Trainer, Kris served as a District Kagan Trainer, Building Department Chair, District Curriculum Committee member, PLC Department Leader, Leadership Committee member, and organized Professional Development. Kris earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at Fort Hays State University and her Master's degree in Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Wichita State University. Her enthusiasm and knowledge are extremely valuable to anyone who participates in her workshops.
“Kris was very engaging and confident as a speaker. She used the whole room and made sure everyone was engaged and ready to move on when necessary.”
—Stephanie Higdon, 2nd Grade Teacher
“Kris was enthusiastic during all 4 days. She was professional and fun at the same time. She knew her audience and adjusted the information accordingly. Great attitude!”
—Learen Wolfe, K-5th Grade ELL Teacher
“Kris was awesome, brilliant, prodigious, an expert, intelligent, supportive, caring, inventive, and was beyond my wildest dreams of an instructor!”
—Janet Dickerson, 6th-8th Grade Teacher
Angela Pinkerton is a true "teachers teacher." During her eight years of public school teaching, Angela has served as a Kagan School Trainer, Mentor, Beginning Teacher Trainer, and Writing Specialist. She has extensive knowledge in Thinking Maps, Write from the Beginning, and Six-Trait Writing. Angela received her Master's in Education from the University of Oregon. During her years in the classroom, Angela saw firsthand how Kagan Structures increased student achievement, communication skills, social skills, and thinking skills, while decreasing behavior problems. Angela's passion and enthusiasm for teaching are evident in her trainings. Teachers walk away with practical and valuable ideas to use the very next day!
"Outstanding. Angela related very well with my staff and used her teacher lens to her advantage. She was very organized and well prepared. She represents Kagan very well."
— Roy Getchell, Principal
"Very knowledgeable and interactive. Professional in all aspects. Very hands-on and respectful. Just GREAT! Please come back!"
— Chino Arvyanwu, 12th grade English teacher
"Angela was very positive and I loved that she had enough classroom experience to effectively talk about real world examples. I am confident that I will use these structures and methods."
— Cheryl Robison, 5th grade teacher
Karen Puga is a Denver , Colorado native and resides in Highlands Ranch with her husband and two sons. She received her undergraduate degree in Humanities and Elementary Education from Colorado College. She obtained her Masterâ€™s Degree from University of Phoenix in Administration. Karen has been an educator for 19 years. During her career, she has been a classroom teacher, a Building Resource teacher, and an Assistant Principal. She believes that all students are life-long learners and enjoys fostering that love of learning in the students she supports.
Tom received his BA in Psychology from Creighton University, BS in Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and his M.Ed in Bilingual/Multicultural Education and Kâ€“12 ESL Endorsement from Northern Arizona University. His first years in education were spent as a teacher, collaborative peer teacher, mentor, recruiter, and staff trainer with the Alhambra School District in Phoenix, AZ. His classroom experiences with inner city and second language learners proved to him that Kagan Structures make a transformative difference in the lives of students and teachers who use the structures. Tom has conducted Kagan trainings throughout the United States, and has presented at conferences such as CABE, NABE, KIPP, and ASCD. Additionally, Tom has conducted extensive international trainings in countries including Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Tom has been a Certified International Kagan Trainer since 2004.
“Tom...Double WOW! Hands down the best presenter I have heard in my 25 years of teaching. He taught us the way I want to teach my students. I felt safe, respected and I had FUN!”
—Sara Nordlund, 3rd Grade Teacher
“Mr. Searl engaged everyone in attendance with the same openness, respect, enthusiasm, and patience. He is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable, able to communicate that knowledge, that any group would be fortunate to have him as a presenter. Thank you, Mr. Searl.”
—Charles Ahrew, 9th-12th Grade Teacher
”Tom was phenomenal! In my 16 years of education, I have never encountered such a wonderful workshop leader. I was so impressed with his energy, knowledge, and presentation skills. He is amazing!!!”
—Caroline Winn, K-5th Grade Instructional Interventionist
Tanya Spillane received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida and Master's of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. She has been a teacher, an academic coach, and a Principal. Tanya has worked in the educational field with grades Kâ€“9 and has seen the impact that Kagan can have on an educational community. She is eager to share her enthusiasm and passion for life long learning with you.
Bill has been involved in education for eight years as a 3rd grade teacher, Learning Strategist, Kagan School Coach, and currently as an Internationally Certified Kagan Trainer. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fresno and earned his Master of Education degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While working at a Title I school in Las Vegas, Bill was introduced to Kagan Structures and witnessed first-hand how they increased student engagement, improved student achievement, and fostered a positive classroom environment. Bill also led his school's Structure- A-Month Club, served as a Master Teacher, coached soccer, was a member of the Behavior Team, presented numerous staff development trainings, and has been a guest speaker for colleges. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports and traveling with his wife. Bill's enthusiasm and ability to connect with educators leave those who attend his workshops excited and ready to use Kagan Cooperative Learning right away.
"Bill was informative, energetic and made sure everyone was engaged in a safe and supportive learning environment. Very knowledgeable of how students act and learn. Excellent representative for your company. Great job."
— Anna Tilles, Teacher
"Bill did a great job. He had the right balance of humor and delivery of content and knew how to read the crowd!"
— Karen McCarthy, Math teacher
"Bill Slater was very knowledgeable, professional, prepared, organized and effective. Kagan should be very proud to have him as a representative!"
— Lucy Escobedo, Third Grade Teacher
Joyce Stiglitz has been a middle and high school classroom teacher in the Sarasota County Public School System for 23 years. She taught self-contained students in special education for 8 years and for 15 years taught mathematics to seventh, eighth, and ninth graders. Joyce has been using Kagan Structures in the classroom since 1998 and continues to use Kagan Structures in her current role as a teacher trainer with the Sarasota County School Board Professional Development Department. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Middle School Math and Science from the University of South Florida. A former Teacher of the Year, Joyce has earned many accolades from teachers and administrators for her limitless energy and unbridled enthusiasm as a Certified Kagan National Trainer. In her free time, she teaches Les Mills Group Fitness classes at Lifestyle Family Fitness.
Rachel Treaster received her Bachelor's degree in Education from Kansas State University and a Master's degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Wichita State University. She has been in public education for 12 years and an Internationally Certified Kagan trainer for the past 5 years. During those years as a Kagan trainer, Rachel has coached and trained teachers in large urban areas, as well as rural areas, assisting with meeting the needs of students through the use of Kagan Structures. Before becoming an Internationally Certified Kagan Trainer, Rachel has seen the benefits of Kagan Structures first hand with her experience as a classroom teacher in a large urban district. She was involved in teaching students of all ages, mentoring new teachers, coaching and facilitating staff development, and designing curriculum and assessments. This experience, along with her enthusiasm and passion for learning, ensure that all learners will leave her workshops motivated, knowledgeable, and eager to implement Kagan Cooperative Learning.
"Rachel was very informative and entertaining. She knew exactly what she was talking about and had answers to our questions. I can easily use this in my classroom on Monday. It was very well organized."
— Lauren Scott, 1st grade teacher
"I enjoyed the workshop immensely. Every component was enlightening. Rachael was extremely well versed in this subject area. She was very competent, secure with her knowledge, patient, helpful and very resourceful."
— Sheila Johnson, Reading Recovery Teacher
"Rachel was friendly and knowledgeable. She was considerate and really thought about our questions before answering. The day went by really quickly!"
— Laura Griffin, 5th grade teacher
Tara Warren is currently a Common Core Coach for the Cincinnati Public School District. She has been teaching for ten years and has a passion for making learning an engaging and fun experience for her students. She received her bachelors of science degree in Biology form Grambling State University and her masters in education from the University of Cincinnati. Tara is dual licensed, PreK - 3 general education and intervention specialist where she has worked the previous 6 years teaching Math. She has used Kagan in her classroom and has also provided Kagan coaching for her district. Tara now uses what she has learned from Kagan Cooperative Learning and Coaching to support teachers in her district on the new standards. Kagan is playing an integral part of her coaching as she understands that the new standards are more geared toward student engagement versus task orientation. Tara brings her fun and enthusiasm to her training and coaching to provide a valuable and engaging experience for all!
Melanie Willette has been involved in education for over 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Florida and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida. She served as an Adjunct Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at USF, teaching Methods courses and supervising Student Teachers Kâ€“12 in seven Florida districts. Additionally, she has worked as a District-Level Trainer in numerous capacities for the School District of Hillsborough County in Florida, the 7th largest district in the United States. Kagan Structures have revolutionized her teaching, impacted student achievement, and created a community of learners in her classroom. She has been training Kagan strategies as a District-level trainer for three years.
Melissa has been an educator for the past 12 years, in both the private and public sector. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, an Early Childhood Certificate from Oakland University, and a Master's degree in Reading from Nova Southeastern University. She is a kindergarten teacher, Kagan school site trainer, coach and new teacher mentor at a Kagan Model School in Cape Coral, Florida. Melissa is also a district trainer for Spalding Phonics and Sopris West Reading Curriculum. Kagan Cooperative Learning changed her life, her students' lives, and her own children's lives. The enthusiasm, love of learning, teamwork skills, increased student engagement and learning gains that her students exhibit is a direct reflection of the impact Kagan Structures have in her classroom.
“Melissa is extremely knowledgeable and has ‘walked the talk’. Very vivacious!”
â€”Lesly Wilson, MTSS Specialist
“Melissa was a great instructor. Full of energy and true compassion for the Kagan system. She had us moving and interacting in a way that was fun for our group even early in the morning. She was excellent!”
â€”Abi Nelson, 1st Grade Teacher
“Melissa was professional, knowledgeable, and a good speaker. Clear that she has taught and experienced everything we have. Funny, consistent, sincere, and smooth delivery.”
â€”Wendy Elias, K-3rd Grade Art Teacher
Diane Wright is a middle school science and language arts teacher in Michigan. For over 25 years, Diane has taught in the public school system in Colorado and Michigan. Her classroom experience includes elementary, elementary and middle school special education, and middle school resource room. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Easter Michigan University. In addition to classroom teaching, she is actively involved in the implementation of her school district’s professional development model, both as a designer and as a presenter. In October 2010, she was chosen teacher of the year for her district in recognition of her exemplary educational techniques. Diane teaches graduate school of education courses for Spring Arbor University in Michigan. Diane established credibility with her profession because she “walks the walk and talks the talk” of collaborative learning every day in her real world classroom. She has accumulated years of evidence and data that engaged students become successful students. Diane has worked as a Kagan Professional Trainer for over ten years. She is a qualified workshop presenter for Cooperative Learning, Win-Win Discipline, and Multiple Intelligences.
Dr. Debbie Yonke currently serves as the Coordinator for Professional Learning Integration for Springfield Public School and as an Associate Professor of Education at Evangel University, both in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Yonke has had the privilege of working with Pre-K to 12th grade teachers and leaders serving as both a Professional Learning Specialist and Instructional Specialist for School Improvement. At the university, she works with Pre-K to 12th grade pre-service teachers both as an advisor, professor, and student teaching supervisor. Dr. Yonke completed her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education with an emphasis in K-8 Communication Arts at Evangel University (Springfield, MO), her Master's in Elementary Education at Missouri State University (Springfield, MO) and her Specialists and Doctorate degrees in Instructional Leadership from Lindenwood University (St. Charles, M0). In all of these roles, it has been exciting to see how Kagan Cooperative learning positively impacts student engagement and has proven critical to helping students engage in skills, such as communication and collaboration, needed for future success!
Joan Zeberlein received her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She taught in Cumberland County School District in North Carolina where she received the honor of Teacher of the Year in her district. She saw the benefits of Kagan Cooperative Learning first hand in her classroom and in her entire district as test scores soared, behavioral problems minimized, and attendance rates increased as children were engaged and thriving in the learning process. Joan has had the awesome privilege of being a part of the Kagan Consulting Team from 1993-2002. Although Joan has taken the past few years to raise her three children in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, her passion and enthusiasm to share Kagan Cooperative Learning has not waivered in the least! She is an extremely effective communicator with the desire to equip teachers to engage their students to go to the next level and beyond.