The Educated City: Speakers

Elizabeth GreenKeynote Speaker: Elizabeth Green

Great teachers have the power to change students’ lives—we just need to give them the right tools. Elizabeth Green is the author of New York Times bestseller Building a Better Teacher, a groundbreaking new book that examines the hidden science behind the art of teaching. Her talks equip teachers and policymakers who want to improve the skills of our educators, and show parents what they should expect from the classroom.

We’ve all had great teachers who opened our minds, and maybe even changed our lives. But how can we make every teacher a “star” teacher? Elizabeth Green’s New York Times bestselling book Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) presents teaching as a complex skill—one that requires infrastructure for support and training. She gives examples of the methods America’s best educators are using in the classroom, as well as how Japan’s education system has adopted policies that have changed teachers across the country. Her talks are a must-hear for teachers, parents, and policymakers.

Elizabeth Green is co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization that covers educational change efforts across the country. She previously co- founded GothamSchools, now Chalkbeat New York. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Sun, and U.S. News & World Report. She was an Abe Journalism Fellow studying education in Japan and a Spencer Fellow in education journalism at Columbia University. She serves on the board of the Education Writers Association.


Dan Russ photo2Moderator: Dan Russ

Dr. Daniel Russ is Professor of English at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts where he also served as Academic Dean and the Director of the Center for Christian Studies. Dan is a Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum. From 2002–2003 he was the Executive Director of Christians in the Visual Arts at Gordon College, where the CIVA office is housed. Dan was Headmaster of Trinity Christian Academy, a K–12 College Preparatory School in Dallas, Texas, from 1994–2002, where he previously taught high school for seven years. He is a Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, where he served as Assistant Director and faculty member for five years. Dr. Russ has contributed to a number of books on classics, biblical studies, and cultural leadership. Dan’s book, Flesh-and-Blood Jesus: Learning to Be Fully Human from the Son of Man, originally published in 2008, was published in a second expanded edition in 2013 by Cascade Books. He holds an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M.A. in English from the University of Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Psychology from the University of Dallas. Dan and his wife Kathy have four grown children and live in Danvers, Massachusetts.


Claudia Allums photo2Dual Keynote: Dr. Claudia Allums

Dr. Claudia Allums is Director of the Louise and Donald Cowan Center for Education. She began teaching in 1981 and has served in the high school classroom and administrative offices–as a teacher, department chair, and Dean of Curriculum and Instruction–and also in the university–as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English, and Associate Dean of both the Braniff Graduate School and the Constantin Undergraduate College at the University of Dallas. She holds the Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Dallas and is an alumna of the 1989-1990 Summer Institutes for Teachers. Dr. Allums edited and wrote essays for the Dallas Institute’s 2013 volume, What is a teacher? Remembering the Soul of Education Through Classic Literature.


 Alfonso Correa pic2Panelist: Alfonso Correa

Alfonso Correa is from Brownsville, a small border city in deep South Texas. He attended the University of Texas-Brownsville and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Texas Teaching Certificate in secondary English. Correa is now in his 19th year of teaching and has taught AP English Literature and Composition (currently teaching Language and Composition), African-American Studies, Latin American Studies and Senior Thesis at the School for the Talented and Gifted. This summer will mark his 13th year as an AP English Language and Comp. reader, 9th as a Table Leader and will begin his 4th year as a member of the AP English Lang. and Comp. Development Committee. He also serves on an impressive list of committees and as the coach/sponsor/adviser for a variety of organizations on campus—the necessary benefit of a small faculty. He is a member of NCTE, ATPE (Association of Texas Professional Educators) and the Teachers Academy Advisory Board at the Dallas Institute. He and his wife accomplish this while raising three children, ages 11, 9 and 4. His youngest has Down Syndrome, which has given him a unique perspective on life, parenting and education.


Onyema Nweze2Panelist: Onyema Nweze

Onyema Nweze has been a public school educator for over 20 years. In 2011, she earned a Master’s degree in Humanities from The University of Dallas and is a member of the Teacher’s Advisory Board of the Cowan Center for Education. Onyema is a certified reading specialist and a 2006 and 2007 alumnus of The Sue Rose Summer Teacher’s Institute. She is currently working as a Secondary English/Language Arts Academic Facilitator for the Dallas Independent School District. Onyema lives in Mansfield, Texas and is a proud mother of her sixteen-year-old son, Gabriel.