The 2022 conference includes an exciting lineup of general session speakers passionate for North Carolina’s greatest commodity – our children!

Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr.

Opening General Session
Monday, November 14

James H. Johnson Jr. is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. He has published more than 100 scholarly research articles and three research monographs. His latest book is “Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles.”

Ravi Hutheesing

Second General Session
Monday, November 14

Ravi’s journey as a rock star, aviator, cultural diplomat for the U.S. Department of State, and keynote speaker is an inspiring example of how to succeed in an ever-changing world. Ravi is also the founder of Ravi Unites Schools—a large network of international K-12 schools whose classes participate in peer-to-peer real-time audio-video interactions—and author of “PIVOT: Empowering Students Today to Succeed in an Unpredictable Tomorrow”.

Dr. Christy Hovanetz

Third General Session
Tuesday, November 15

Christy Hovanetz is a Senior Policy Fellow for ExcelinEd focusing on school accountability policies. Hovanetz served as the Assistant Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Education and Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the Florida Department of Education. She graduated from St. Cloud State University with a BS in Education and is a certified teacher in the state of Minnesota. She earned her MPA at the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University.

Leah Carper

Closing General Session
Wednesday, November 16

Leah Carper, an English teacher at Northern Guilford High School, was named the 2022 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Carper has been an English teacher at Northern Guilford High since 2016. She started her teaching career in 2006 at Western Guilford High after earning a bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Queens University of Charlotte.

Ramona PowersSpeakers