Conference Presenters

The Leading & Leading Conference 2013 is pleased to present the following keynote and session speakers:

Austin Buffum

Austin BuffumAustin Buffum, EdD, has 38 years of experience in public schools. His many roles include serving as former senior deputy superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District in California. Dr. Buffum has presented in over 500 school districts throughout the country and around the world. He delivers trainings and presentations on pyramid response to intervention. This tiered approach to RTI is centered on Professional Learning Communities at Work™ concepts and strategies to ensure every student receives the time and support necessary to succeed. Dr. Buffum also delivers workshops and presentations that provide the tools educators need to build and sustain PLCs.

Dr. Buffum was selected 2006 Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators. He attended the Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was greatly inspired by its founder, Roland Barth, an early advocate of the collaborative culture that defines PLCs today. Dr. Buffum later led Capistrano’s K–12 instructional program on an increasingly collaborative path toward operating as a PLC. During this process, 37 of the district’s schools were designated California Distinguished Schools and 11 received National Blue Ribbon recognition.

Dr. Buffum is coauthor of Generations at School.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Dr. Buffum earned a bachelor of music and received a master of education with honors. He also holds a doctor of education from Nova Southeastern University.

Wayne Hulley

Wayne HulleyWayne Hulley has worked across North America supporting schools and districts in their efforts to improve learning outcomes for all students for the past 18 years. He has been at the forefront of effective schools research in Canada for over 30 years, and his site-based planning model is used in more than 1,200 schools throughout North America.

Wayne leads the Hulley Centre, which is a developing partnership between the North Star Centre for Personal and Organization Effectiveness and Solution Tree Education Canada Inc. The mission of the Hulley Centre is to support student success, teacher satisfaction, and community collaboration through action-based planning.

Wayne’s expertise encompasses assessment, effective schools research, and best practices for school improvement. He has worked in the schools and as superintendent of the Peel Board of Education in Toronto. Wayne has also taught motivational theory at the Universities of Toronto, York, and Brock.

Assisting in the improvement efforts of nearly every school division in Canada, Wayne has provided skilled guidance on numerous long-term improvement projects, mostly in Alberta. In 2006, he was honored by the Canadian Education Association for his work.

Mike Mattos

Mike MattossMike Mattos is an internationally recognized author, presenter, and practitioner who specializes in uniting teachers, administrators, and support staff to transform schools by implementing response to intervention and professional learning communities.

He is former principal of Marjorie Veeh Elementary School and Pioneer Middle School in California. At both schools, Mike helped create powerful PLCs, improving learning for all students. In 2004, Marjorie Veeh, an elementary school with a large population of youth at risk, won the California Distinguished School and National Title I Achieving School awards.

A National Blue Ribbon School, Pioneer is among only 13 schools in the US selected by the GE Foundation as a Best-Practice Partner, and is one of eight schools chosen by Dr. Richard DuFour to be featured in the video series The Power of Professional Learning Communities at Work™: Bringing the Big Ideas to Life. Based on standardized test scores, Pioneer ranks among the top 1 percent of California secondary schools and in 2009 and 2011, was named Orange County's top middle school. For his leadership, Mike was named the Orange County Middle School Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.

Laurie Robinson

Laurie RobinsonLaurie Robinson uses her expertise and passion for education by helping schools develop sustainable, site-based professional learning communities, which includes fidelity to the standards, a consistent analysis of student work, effective interventions, and differentiated teaching strategies. She also assists school districts across the country understand and implement the Common Core State Standards.

Laurie has served as an outreach specialist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota and has partnered with hundreds of school districts in the United States and Canada to develop accurate and dependable summative and formative assessments aligned to instruction. In addition, she facilitates strategic planning for business communities, school districts, and universities to align their mission, vision, values, and SMART goals to 21st century preparation.

She specializes in the development of common assessments created around essential learning outcomes, leading to standards-based reporting and specific student-feedback tools. Laurie is former district curriculum coordinator of Grand Forks Public Schools in North Dakota. The leadership she provided in this position is the culmination of 35 successful years as a student-focused educator.

Laurie’s career has taken her inside the classroom as a K–9 teacher and middle school reading specialist. Additionally, she has trained teachers nationally in Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies, Understanding by Design, Robert J. Marzano’s instructional strategies, the 6+1 Trait© Writing framework, and differentiated instruction. She was named Teacher of the Year by her colleagues, and in 2002, she received a Fulbright Teacher Scholarship to participate in an exchange program in Japan focusing on educational reform. As an active community member, Laurie has served on many educational foundations, which annually grant thousands of dollars to needs-based educational programs.

Chris Weber

Chris WeberChris Weber, EdD, is an expert on behavior, mathematics, and response to intervention strategies. He is a former high school, middle school, and elementary school teacher and administrator in Calfornia and Chicago. Dr. Weber, a native of Southern California, is also a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and flew C-141s during his military career.

As principal of R.H. Dana Elementary School in the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) in California, Dr. Weber was the leader of a highly effective professional learning community. Together with his staff, he lifted the school to remarkable levels of success. Designated Schoolwide Title I, with over 60 percent of all students English learners and Latino and over 75 percent socioeconomically disadvantaged, R.H. Dana consistently exceeded adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals. The school's gains over four years were among the top 1 percent in the state, and it was the first school in the decades-long history of the CUSD to win the State of California's Title I Academic Achievement Award. Under Dr. Weber's leadership, R.H. Dana earned the first California Distinguished School Award in the school's 42-year history. After the percentage of students meeting AYP in English and math tripled in four years, the school was named a National Blue Ribbon School. Dr. Weber credits these achievements to the daily practice of key principles: focusing on student engagement, maximizing instructional time, reallocating resources, and developing systematic student support programs based on RTI.

He was director of instruction for the Garden Grove Unified School District in California, which was the 2004 winner of the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education. During this time, all groups of students in the district's 47 K–6 schools achieved double-digit AYP gains in mathematics and English language arts.

Dr. Weber earned a master's degree from California State University, San Marcos, and a doctorate of education from the University of California (Irvine and Los Angeles).