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Speaker Bios

Bonnie Little Graham, Esquire Associate

Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC

Bonnie Little Graham joined Brustein & Manasevit, PLLC in 2009. Ms. Graham actively represents federal education grantees and subgrantees in the resolution of adverse audit and program review determinations, as well as local charter schools in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) due process litigation. Ms. Graham also works closely with clients on issues pertaining to “high risk” grantee and subgrantee designations.

Ms. Graham regularly assists her clients with the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars and other administrative regulations, such as the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) and the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). Ms. Graham also works with clients on the requirements of IDEA, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

Ms. Graham graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kentucky with Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance and Public Relations in 2004 and graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2007. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Graham worked as an associate at a corporate firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ms. Graham is a member of the District of Columbia bar and the North Carolina bar.

Areas of Practice:

  • Administrative Hearings & Adjudication
  • Administrative Investigations
  • Colleges & UniversitiesPrivate Schools
  • Public Schools Regulatory Enforcement
  • Special Education

Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., is a professor of literacy, language, and culture and a faculty affiliate in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan and a member of the International Literacy Association Literacy Research Panel. Duke received her Bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Duke’s work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator of projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation

Duke was recently awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association. She has also received many awards in the past; all focused in the areas of literacy research.

Duke is author and co-author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-based Instruction. 

Duke has taught preservice, inservice and doctoral courses in literacy education, speaks and consults widely on literacy education, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. She has served as author or consultant on a several educational programs, including Information in ActionBuzz About ITiOpenersNational Geographic Science K-2, and the DLM Early Childhood Express. Duke also has a strong interest in improving the quality of educational research training in the U.S.

Improving Infotext Achievement through a Project-Based Approach
Expectations for informational text reading and writing achievement are unprecedented. In this presentation, Duke discusses ways to address these expectations through research-based practices embedded within a project-based approach.

Building Early Literacy through Family Workshops  
There is a great deal that families of young children can do in their daily lives to lay a strong foundation for literacy. In this session, Duke describes a series of literacy workshops for families of preschoolers and early kindergartners that can help them support their children's literacy development.


George Couros, M.E. started his teaching career in Saskatchewan in 1999. In September, 2006, he joined the teaching team at Greystone Centennial Middle School as the Technology Integration Coordinator. A year later, Mr. Couros joined Parkland School Division’s Administrative Team as Assistant Principal at Muir Lake School and then in August 2009 was appointed the Principal of Forest Green School / Connections for Learning. Along with Mr. Couros’ administrative duties, he co-facilitates Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results leadership training, is a leader on the effective use of social media to improve student learning and create self-directed learning environments. Beyond Parkland School Division, George has become a sought after speaker and resource on the topic of advancing student learning and engagement.

Mr. Couros earned his Bachelor of Education in 1999 from the University of Saskatchewan, followed by a Bachelor of Science, History/English and in 2007, a Master of Education degree, Curriculum and Instruction

I have had the privilege of working with schools and organizations in many places around the world through conferences, keynoting, providing workshops, and consulting on how organizations can move forward by creating innovative environments for all learners in the community.  I have worked with students, parents, educators, school administration, central office administration, school trustees, as well as outside organizations, and believe all are crucial to the important work we do in schools.  Through conversations, both online and face-to-face, I work before, during, and after presentations to empower participants and to build strong connections to not only the content I am discussing, but also to myself as a presenter and educator.  

I believe that through creating an open, transparent, and connected environment in our schools, we are creating learning opportunities for our students that will help them be leaders not only in their future, but also in their world today.  Schools should be leading powerful change and innovation in our communities, not merely trying to catch up to our continuously evolving world.

Learning By Design 
 know that the role of school has change, but it is important for people to understand why it needs to change.  Once that can be established, then we are more likely to embrace this change, and move forward with the learning of ourselves, and more importantly help our students move forward as well. In this talk, George will discuss the "why" of change, and then using the ISTE Nets, give examples on "how" we can make this happen. 

Learning By Design - Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Social Responsibility 
In a follow up to the morning keynote, George will focus on the power of a "digital footprint", not only for learning, but to create opportunity.  This will be a hands on session that will help you create a digital footprint, and help learn how to move from "literacy to fluency" in using technology, to provide great learning opportunities for ourselves, and our students. 

Creating a Blended Learning Environment
An online component should not be “blended”, but the norm in our classrooms. In our world that is extremely connected and digital, learning to create different opportunities to use online resources is extremely helpful for creating innovative learning environments that really tap into and create a true learning community.  In this session, ideas will be shared to build upon for your own classrooms using different online mediums that are “real world” for our students.