General Sessions are not ticketed and are included in your conference registration. Arrive early for the best seats!
Speaker 1 - Monday, September 18
Robert Pratt, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert A. Pratt is currently Professor of History at the University of Georgia, where he has served as a faculty member since 1987. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has served formerly as Director of the Institute of African-American Studies and Chairman of the Department of History. His area of expertise is the African-American Experience in the Americas, with an emphasis on school desegregation, education, and the civil rights movement. He is the author of The Color of Their Skin: Education and Race in Richmond, Virginia, 1954-89, winner of an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, We Shall not Be Moved: The Desegregation of the University of Georgia, Selma’s Bloody Sunday: Protest, Voting Rights, and the Struggle for Racial Equality, and contributor and subject editor to African American National Biography (Henry Louis Gates and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Editors in Chief). He has served as a historical consultant for several documentaries, and appeared most recently on HBO’s The Loving Story—the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple who successfully challenged Virginia’s law prohibiting such marriages, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling unanimously on their behalf in Loving v. Virginia (1967).
Speaker 2 - Tuesday, September 19
Barry L. Bogan, Ph. D.
Dr. Barry Bogan works as a professional consultant for School of Americas. He provides Title I expertise, educator preparation, professional development, and curriculum design along with special education instructions for local education agencies. He started his higher education career at Kennesaw State University (KSU) as an Assistant Professor of Special Education. While at KSU he attained the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in the department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Dr. Bogan earned his Ph.D. in Special Education with major cognates in Reading and Early Childhood Education from the University Of Florida. Dr. Bogan has also served as the AYP Student Achievement Liaison for Georgia Learning Resources System (GLRS) and the School Improvement Specialist for Metro RESA. Prior to entering higher education, he worked as a K-5 teacher at Powell Elementary School (Birmingham, AL) and Duval Elementary School (Alachua County, FL).
Dr. Bogan’s research interest includes differentiated instructions for K-12 students, developing reading models to foster differentiated instructions, and teaching reading at the in-service level using research-based best practices. He is also working on developing models that integrates science and math for differentiated instructions. Dr. Bogan has published research in Reading Fluency, Differentiated Instructions, and English Language Learning. In addition, he has conference presentations that range from state, national, and international levels.
Speaker 3 - Tuesday, September 19
2017 State of Georgia Teacher of the Year
Casey M. Bethel is a passionate educator, an accomplished scientist and a mentor to students of all ages. Prior to teaching he earned a Master’s degree in Plant Genetics and conducted experimental research at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. Mr. Bethel enjoys scientific research, but it does not bring him nearly as much fulfillment as teaching does. He tried out education as a one year experiment. Luckily he found his truly calling, and has never felt so alive.
Mr. Bethel is proud to be involved in science education on every level. He has hosted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) exhibitions for various elementary schools. For two years he tutored science students at Turner Middle School in Douglasville, GA and helped to raise their state assessment scores. At New Manchester High School, he teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Physics, where he aims to inspire the next generation of scientists. He is also an Adjunct Professor at a local university.
Lessons he designed have been published in The Journal of Chemical Education. In 2015, he was nominated for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. As a scientist he now conducts experimental research in Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, hoping to find cures for Alzheimer’s disease and Inherited Glaucoma. He believes in educating the whole child, so character education is an important goal of his. At New Manchester High, he sponsors the Leader Academy and Project Manhood, a male mentoring group. He even finds time to coach Varsity Boys Soccer. Mr. Bethel is the current Georgia State-wide Teacher of the Year.