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Opening Mainstage

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Mainstage

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Andrew Hamilton School in Philadelphia
Joyce Abbott is a veteran educator and the inspiration behind the name for the hit TV show “Abbott Elementary,” created by Abbott’s former student, Quinta Brunson. She currently serves as the climate manager at Andrew Hamilton School, which has been recognized for “outstanding strides in school climate and culture” by the School District of Philadelphia.
Chief Executive Officer
Richard Culatta is an internationally recognized innovator and learning designer. As the CEO of ASCD and ISTE, Culatta is focused on supporting education change-makers to create equitable and engaging learning experiences for students around the world. Prior to joining ASCD/ISTE, Culatta served as the chief innovation officer for the state of Rhode Island. In this role, he led an initiative to make Rhode Island the first state to offer computer science in every K-12 school, and created a state vision for personalized learning. Culatta was appointed by President Obama as the executive director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. In that capacity, he led efforts to expand connectivity to schools across the country, promote personalized learning and develop the National Education Technology Plan. He also pioneered new opportunities for engagement between the department, education leaders and tech developers, including bringing top game designers from around the world to the White House to help rethink the design of assessments. Culatta also served as an education policy adviser to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, and a resident designer for the global design firm IDEO. Culatta’s book, Digital for Good: Raising Kids to Thrive in an Online World, uncovers the challenges with our current approaches to preparing young people to be effective humans in virtual spaces, and presents a path to a healthier and more civil future digital world. Culatta began his career in the classroom as a high school teacher and has coached educators and national leaders around the world on making learning more equitable. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish teaching and a master's in educational psychology and technology from Brigham Young University.
William D. Kelley School
Crystal M. Edwards, Ed.D., is the principal of William D. Kelley School in the Philadelphia City School District, one of the largest urban school districts in the U.S. As an educational advocate and non-profit founder and CEO of Empowering Single Moms, Inc., she knows the power of education! Dr. Edwards is an active board member for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Temple University Black Alumni Association and Philadelphia Outward Bound School.
Sharif El-Mekki is the founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development (CBED). Prior to founding the center, El-Mekki served as a nationally recognized principal and U.S. Department of Education Principal Ambassador Fellow, and was a volunteer member of the Biden-Harris Education Policy Committee.
DJ HAPA sits at the intersection of music, education, and technology. He’s shared stages with artists as diverse as his musical selection: Michael Jackson to Snoop to Miles Davis’ Electric Band. Dubbed “The DJ Coach,” HAPA leverages his 25+ years of DJ and entrepreneurial experience blended with a sociology degree from UCLA to mentor aspiring DJs from 192 countries with his industry leading, project learning based curriculum and book. With a mission to help others find their passion and unlock their potential, HAPA creates access through building programs for aspiring DJs in schools and online in virtual reality.
Senior Director, Professional Credential
ISTE Certified Educator
Carmalita Seitz, an accomplished professional, bringing over 24 years of experience as a classroom educator, coach, and director. Her four-year tenure at ISTE has seen her spearheading the Certification for Educators program. With a wealth of knowledge in professional learning and working with adult learners, Carmalita guides educators through the certification process, equipping them with vital tools for success. Her deep commitment to empowering educators fuels her belief in purposeful technology integration to enhance teaching practices and maximize learning outcomes. Carmalita holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a Master's degree in Education Leadership.
Performer, Producer
Abbott Elementary
Tyler James Williams is the 2023 Golden Globe winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, Comedy or Drama for his role as Gregory Eddie in the award-winning TV series “Abbott Elementary.” He has also appeared in numerous films, in recurring TV roles, and is a talented musician, songwriter and producer.

Session description

ISTELive is kicking off the week with an exciting session filled to the brim with educational inspiration that is sure to help you jumpstart your ISTELive23 journey.

Session specifications

Additional detail:
Session will be simulcast live