Leadership+ Keynote Speakers

The 2021 Leadership+ Series connects educators with a variety of nationally known gifted education experts and other speakers vital to your leadership development and equity conversations. Learn more about all of the speakers below.

 March 23 Session Keynote Speakers

Sarah McKenzie, Ph.D., Executive Director, Office for Education Policy, University of Arkansas
Sarah is Executive Director of the Office for Education Policy and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Sarah is passionate about equity and using data to drive changes in school systems in order to better serve students. She has taught Pre-K to university level and presented nationally and internationally on educational statistics. Sarah received her Ph.D. in Educational Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Arkansas.
 
Dustin Seaton, Gifted and Talented Specialist, Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative
Dustin is the Gifted and Talented Specialist at the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative. He earned his B.A in History from the University of Central Arkansas Honors College and his master’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and currently serves as President of Arkansas’ largest gifted organization: Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE). 
 
Jonathan Wai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Endowed Chair in Education Policy, University of Arkansas
Jonathan is the Endowed Chair in Education Policy and Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and also holds a joint appointment in the Dept. of Psychology. His research examines giftedness and education policy and how individual and contextual factors collectively impact the development of expertise across a variety of domains. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University working on the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth.


April 20 Session Keynote Speakers

Emily Mofield, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Lipscomb University
Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor of Education at Lipscomb University teaching gifted education and doctoral research classes in leadership and strategic change. She has served as NAGC Curriculum Studies Chair and is an award-winning educator and co-author of Teaching Tenacity, Resilience, and a Drive for Excellence (winner of 2019 TAGT Legacy Award), units from Vanderbilt PTY advanced curriculum series, and most recently Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education. Emily conducts research related to achievement motivation in gifted students and facilitating curriculum differentiation through collaborative practices. She also regularly provides professional learning regarding curriculum design and differentiation, collaborative teaching, and social-emotional learning.

Vicki Phelps, Ed.D., Lead Consulting Teacher for Gifted Education, Sumner County, TN
Dr. Vicki Phelps is the Lead Consulting Teacher for Gifted Education in Sumner County, TN. She has been involved in gifted education for over 20 years and enjoys writing gifted curricula, leading professional learning, and presenting at state, national, and international gifted conferences. Vicki’s recent publications include Collaboration, Coteaching, and Coaching in Gifted Education (with Emily Mofield), featured work on differentiation in The New Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Common Challenges, and her upcoming new release, Successful Online Learning With Gifted Students: Designing Online and Blended Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners.