Opening General Session
Kevin P. Chavous is a noted attorney, author and national school reform leader. As a former member of the Council of the District of Columbia and Chair of the Council's Education Committee, Mr. Chavous was at the forefront of promoting change within the District public school system. His efforts led to over 500 million new dollars being made available to educate children in DC.
A leading national advocate for school choice, Mr. Chavous helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation's capital. Under his education committee chairmanship, the DC charter school movement became the most prolific charter school jurisdiction in the country, with over 20% of DC's public school children attending charter schools. In addition, Mr. Chavous assisted in shaping the District's three sector education partnership with the federal government. That partnership led to fifty million new federal dollars for DC public schools, DC charter schools and it funded the first federal scholarship program to allow 2,000 low income children to attend private schools.
Since leaving the Council, Mr. Chavous has emerged as one of the nation's most respected and influential education reform leaders. He is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Education Reform and serves on the board of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. He also is a co-founder and Chair of Democrats for Education Reform and a founding member of the Education Equality Project.
More recently, Mr. Chavous led the team working with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that advocated for the recently passed scholarship program in New Orleans. As a result of that legislation, nearly 1,000 students are now attending private schools of their choice in the New Orleans parish. An early supporter of Barack Obama, Mr. Chavous served as a member on the Education Policy Committee of the Obama Presidential Campaign.
Mr. Chavous is a partner at the law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and he is also an accomplished author, having published Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education. His highly praised book represents a detailed discussion of the charter school movement in both Washington, D.C. and around the country. Mr. Chavous has served on boards of charters schools in Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago. In 2008, Mr. Chavous and his son formed Serving Our Children, Inc. (SOC), a non-profit organization with the simple, yet important mission of providing monetary assistance for teachers to supplement their classroom needs. Mr. Chavous was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated from Wabash College, where he was an NCAA All-American in basketball. He also graduated from the Howard University School of Law, where he was president of his graduating class. He lives in Washington, DC.
Mr. Chavous speaks Wednesday, November 17, 2009, at 8:30 a.m.
Closing General Session
Annette L. Breaux is one of the most entertaining and informative authors and speakers in the field of education. She leaves her audiences with practical and doable techniques to implement in their classrooms immediately. Administrators agree that they see results from their teachers the next day.
Her message is one of practicality and personality in teaching, of feeling and healing in touching students' lives, and of common sense and creative teaching strategies. Her writings and presentations generate instant impact on the relationship between teachers and students.
A former classroom teacher and curriculum coordinator, she now serves as the Teacher Induction Coordinator for Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Annette also developed the FIRST Program, an induction program for new teachers hailed as one of the best in the country. The program has been so successful in training and retaining new teachers that the Louisiana Department of Education has adopted it as a statewide model.
Annette teamed with Dr. Harry K. Wong to coauthor a book on new teacher induction. Her expertise is in student achievement, classroom management, and new teacher induction. Her other books include "101 Answers for New Teachers and Their Mentors," "REAL Teachers, REAL Challenges, REAL Solutions," and "The Poetry of Annette Breaux: Tips and Poems for Teachers and Students."
Her down-south warmth, infectious humor, and ability to touch the hearts and souls of educators invariably bring audiences to their feet. Teachers who have read Annette's writings or heard Annette speak agree that they walk away with user-friendly information, heartfelt inspiration, and a much-needed reminder that they truly have chosen the most noble of all professions--teaching.
Ms. Breaux speaks Wednesday, November 18, 2009, at 11:00 a.m.
November 24, 2014