Programs + Events

Inspiring Keynote Speakers and Presenters

Convention attendees will hear from exciting and powerful keynote speakers and special guests during the annual convention in each action-packed general meeting.

NATIONAL PTA PRESIDENT JAMES L. ACCOMANDO

James L. Accomando was elected as the 55th President of the National PTA Board of Directors at the June 2017 National PTA Convention. Jim has been engaged in fulfilling the Mission of PTA since his oldest child began Kindergarten. For the past 18 years, he has volunteered at every level and has had the pleasure of being President of his child’s High School PTA, the District’s PTA Council and the State of Connecticut Parent Teacher Association. Jim believes that family and community engagement is one of the key strengths of PTA in providing equity and quality in our educational system today. He advocates to look beyond the school community to develop partnerships with other educational stakeholders in order to further the Mission of the Association.

In 2012, Jim was instrumental in the Snow Flakes for Sandy Hook Elementary School Healing Initiative and the fundraising of $1.1 million dollars to support potential mental health issues within the Sandy Hook school community. He is also actively engaged in other civic and youth programming as a Coach, Boy Scout Leader and church.

Jim is a small business owner, the parent of two public school educated children and the husband of a public school teacher.

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2019 CALIFORNIA TEACHER OF THE YEAR ROSIE REID

Rosie Reid one of the five California Teachers of Year and the California representative to the National Teacher of Year program, teaches 9-12 grades at Northgate High School, Mount Diablo Unified School District, Contra Costa County.

Reid teaches English and is part of the English Learner Review Team which supports English learners and mentors their teachers. She recently founded and leads an equity task force at her high school. “I strive to be a status quo disruptor and an agent of social justice, while engaging in a rigorous, standard-based English curriculum,” Reid said.

“Ms. Reid does not just teach English. She inspires us to become involved in our community, to relate curriculum to larger world issues, and to express ourselves by articulating our ideas through writing and public speaking,” said student Lark Chang-Yeh. “Ms. Reid understands that education is far more than just reading a book or writing a paper. It is about the whole development of a person.”

“Each of us also deserves to hear stories of people who are like us and the stories of people who are nothing like us. Yet so often students come to school and feel invisible, unimportant, silenced. I have shadowed students throughout their day to find that they never said a word in any of their classes. They were never asked. And so often our students tune out of the required reading because they do not see themselves in the curriculum, “said Ms. Reid.

“I have a multi-racial family, and that has helped me understand equity in a new way because I have three African American kids and two white kids,” said Reid. “All of these issues that I have known about and cared about theoretically, I now know and care about as a mom. It adds a heightened understanding of how important it is for us to make sure that we are providing students with access and making sure all students feel valued and seen at school. I strive to create the kind of class I would want my own kids to have: engaging, real, rigorous, and inclusive. There is no hiding in my class. We all matter. That’s what my class is all about.”

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GENERATION READY DIRECTOR OF EQUITY ERICK WITHERSPOON

Erick joined Generation Ready in 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Equity Services. His background as a school leader, his doctorate in Educational Justice, and his own life experiences, make him uniquely poised to direct our West Coast partnerships and additionally bring cultural proficiency/equity work to our partner districts throughout the state of California and nationwide.

Erick is an educator, professor and motivational speaker with a career in education that spans the spectrum: classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, district leader, and adjunct professor in Southern California. He has held many local, state and national offices in the National Alliance of Black School Educators, serves on the California Staff Development Council and has received many awards for his work in education.

Erick received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education from Kansas Newman University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Wichita State University and a Doctoral Degree in Leadership for Educational Justice from the University of Redlands.

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