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Monday Mainstage

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Location: New Orleans Theater
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Listen and learn : Mainstage

Tarzan Davis  
Mateo De Obeso  
Luke Mullins  
Kermit Ruffins  
Taryn Southern  
Zhoriél Tapo  
Avery Vavasseur  

Let’s expand our minds together by starting our day with a dose of inspiration with local and Hollywood education celebrities who are making science wonderful, cultivating “big dream” ambitions and off the charts school spirit.

Presenters

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Tarzan Davis, Entertainer

Greg Tarzan Davis is a former elementary school teacher and a TV and film actor. You can see him on screen in “Top Gun: Maverick,” in “Mission: Impossible 7” in July 2023, and currently as Dr. Jordan Wright in the hit TV series “Grey’s Anatomy.” He’s also at work on a major studio feature to be released in 2024. A New Orleans native, Davis was exposed to theater at a young age when his grandmother took him to local plays. He credits one of his high school teachers for encouraging his love for acting, which led to his debut as the lead in the play “By The Way Meet Vera Stark” in college. As he pursued a full-time acting career, Davis followed another of his passions – working with children. He became an elementary school teacher, but his desire to pursue acting became so great that he let his beloved students know he was headed to Los Angeles to become an actor. He made his film debut in 2020 in “The Call of the Wild,” starring Harrison Ford. Other credits include a recurring role on “Good Trouble,” and guest roles on "Chicago P.D.” and “All Rise.”

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Mateo De Obeso, Himalaya International School of Monterrey

Mateo is in seventh grade, he was a member of the winning team of the Huskies Robotic Challenge 2021 contest, he is passionate about technology class, and this year he is part of the "Our Traditions" project, which he will present together with his classmates in this edition of ISTE LIVE 2022.

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Luke Mullins, Kentucky Department of Education

Luke Mullins is a senior at Trimble County High school in Kentucky. Active in FFA and 4-H, he plans to pursue a career in agriculture. Mullins has participated in the Kentucky Department of Education's Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) since fourth grade. He bases his project ideas on problems he’s experienced while working on his family farm, and loves combining his passions for farming and technology.

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Kermit Ruffins, Ruffins Agency

Kermit Ruffins is a jazz trumpeter, singer and composer, and an actor, from New Orleans who’s success bolstered the rejuvenation of the NOLA second-line culture that now flourishes. Dedicated to preserving and passing on the tradition of jazz, he is often compared to his hero, Louis Armstrong. Whether he’s slinging barbecue, adding to his collection of fedoras, or playing at one of his regular weekly shows, Ruffins does it with joy and passion, an example of what it means to be a true New Orleanian.

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Taryn Southern, Taryn Southern Consultant

Taryn Southern is a storyteller, digital anthropologist and media consultant who explores the intersection of emerging technology and human potential. An early YouTube content creator, Southern has been a host/correspondent and producer for numerous networks, including Discovery Channel, NBC, MTV, G4 and Vh1, and has produced content and campaigns for brands like Conde Nast, IBM, Marriott, Dell, Snapchat, Marriott and “The Today Show.”

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Zhoriél Tapo, LJ Alleman Middle School

Zhoriél Tapo is a 13-year-old, seventh grade student at LJ Alleman Middle School in Lafayette, Louisiana. She’s also a Scholastic Kids Press Kid Reporter, an award-winning speaker and an actress. She was recently elected by her peers as the 2022-2023 Louisiana State Jr. Beta president.

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Avery Vavasseur, St. Michael the Archangel High School

Avery Vavasseur is a sophomore at St. Michael the Archangel High School in Baton Rouge. She enjoys art, animation, music and musical theater, and can be frequently spotted learning a new song on the ukulele, piano or guitar. She also enjoys spending time in nature, often gardening or rolling around in the grass with neighborhood dogs. She has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

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