Keynote and featured speakers for the 2001 Connections conference

Tony Wagner, Ed. D.
March 27, 2001
  • Opening Keynote Speaker - Megacenter - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Creating the New Village School

Tony is Co-Director for the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. CLG prepares individuals to be effective "coaches" for systemic change efforts in schools and districts. Tony also chairs the Harvard Seminar on Public Engagement and is a member of the faculty of the Harvard Institute for School Leadership. He is senior advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and consultant to the U.S. Department of Education and numerous schools and districts in the U.S. and internationally. Tony has authored numerous articles, and Routledge Press has just published a second edition of Tony's book, How Schools Change: Lessons from Three Communities. Tony's second book, The New Village School: Winning the Hearts and Minds of Kids and Teachers, will be published next year. Prior to assuming his current position at Harvard, Tony was a classroom teacher for twelve years, a school principal, a project director for the Public Agenda foundation, a university professor in teacher education, co-founder and first executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility, and President and CEO of the Institute for Responsive Education.

Craig Zablocki
March 28, 2001
  • Closing Keynote Speaker - Ballroom - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Humor in the Classroom
  • New Orleans Ballroom - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - We is Greater Than I Plus You
  • New Orleans Ballroom - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 p.m. - We is Greater Than I Plus You

Craig's background as a businessperson, a teacher in an inner-city school, and a performer in a professional improvisational comedy troupe gives him a unique perspective: he understands the tough realities of living a balanced life, yet believes in the importance of lightening up and laughing. His gift is teaching people exactly that - to live every day with positive humor. His web site,, contains tips on how to keep laughter in your life. Craig began displaying his outrageous sense of humor to others at birth. In recent years, he has been sharing with others how to bring more humor into everyday livingand why it's essential. His program participants - teachers, students, healthcare workers, business executives, victim's rights groups and more have learned to let laughter do its magic in their lives. Craig's program has reached people in such organizations as IBM, Oracle, Lucent Technologies, US West, and the National Principals Association. In addition, he has been the featured keynote presenter for dozens of national association conferences.

Mary Byers
March 27, 2001
  • New Orleans Ballroom - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Cultivating Creativity
  • New Orleans Ballroom - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Cultivating Creativity

Mary Byers is a member of the National Speakers Association and has been speaking professionally for over a decade. She specializes in presenting practical and purposeful information designed to help people live and work more fully. Mary has a degree in telecommunications from Indiana University and has been an advertising manager, a senior level association executive and an entrepreneur. She utilized her own creativity in all of these positions and has been teaching others how to be more creative since the late 80's. Mary will challenge you to think; to think differently; and to think upside down and backwards as she focuses on what it takes to be creative - and how full life is when you unleash your own creative powers.

Patrick Grady
March 27, 2001
  • New Orleans Ballroom - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Bored of Education
  • New Orleans Ballroom - 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Bored of Education

Every choice counts. Making strategic decisions that create positive actions is the message of Patrick Grady. Patrick grabs attention with an energetic and challenging presentation that delivers hard-hitting content while captivating students, educators and staff. With a refreshing and engaging approach to humor, Patrick has inspired and motivated audiences across America with his fast-paced and light-hearted messages. His spirited enthusiastic delivery, humor and insights inspire and communicate the qualities necessary to be our best. Patrick will revive memories of your childhood! Through the use of humor and his true-to-life stories, he will provide solutions and keys for improving both your personal and professional lives. His southern style is humorous - yet compelling and meaningful.

Wayne Zako
March 28, 2001
  • Salon IV - 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Proactive Leadership: A Workshop for Administrators, Team Leaders, and Department Chairs
  • Salon IV - 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Proactive Leadership: A Workshop for Administrators, Team Leaders, and Department Chairs
  • Salon IV - 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Teaching Thinking Skills A Necessary Skill
  • Salon IV - 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Teaching Thinking Skills A Necessary Skill
  • Salon IV - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Involving Parents: Important Key to Student Success
  • Salon IV - 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Involving Parents: An Important Key to Student Success

Wayne Zako travels throughout the U.S. and Canada training teachers and administrators in how to make the classroom experience more rewarding for the students and teachers alike. Wayne provides extensive training in how people learn and what teachers can do to create a more natural learning environment. Wayne has his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from South Dakota State University. Wayne is a member of the part-time staff at Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City, South Dakota and is President of Human Options, an educational consulting company committed to individual success. Human Options is built on the premise that Everyone deserves to be successful at school, work, and in relationships. Miracles happen when people feel successful and worthy.