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Keynote Speaker

Mr. Jacob Oliva
Executive Vice Chancellor, K-12 Public Schools 
Standards, Instruction and Student Services 
Florida Department of Education 

Mr. Oliva is a transformational leader who embraces innovation and believes creating access and opportunities for all students to be college and career ready. He started his educational career 17 years ago in Flagler County as a teacher at the elementary level working with special needs students. He went on to serve as an assistant principal, principal at both the elementary and high school level, and as an assistant superintendent before taking the helm as superintendent of Flagler Schools.

Under his leadership, student achievement increased. This achievement was reflected in high school recognition from US News and World Reports. The College Board recognized Mr. Oliva’s vision of making Flagler the Nation’s Premier Learning Organization when they awarded the district the Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll, an award given to school districts for increasing access to traditionally underrepresented populations in more rigorous academic opportunities such as Advanced Placement classes. Mr. Oliva received the recognition as an Apple Distinguished School District for the implementation of a 1:1 imitative as well as several awards for expanding dual enrollment opportunities and developing Classroom to Career Flagship Programs at each traditional school. Mr. Oliva has recently joined the Department of Education as the Executive Vice Chancellor of K12.

Breakout Session Presenters 

Rudy Diaz
Teacher of the Year, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Mr. Diaz is a graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in Journalism and a specialization in TV/Film and Communications. He also holds a Vocational Educational Certification from Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He began his career by working as a cameraman, editor, and producer at Miami’s Univision TV station before moving on to several other local TV stations. During this time, he was a member of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences and earned 3 Emmy awards for his work.

Since then, and for nearly 30 years, Mr. Diaz has used his experience as a former editor and producer to teach his students at Miami-Dade County Public Schools about TV production. Mr. Diaz is currently a TV Production Teacher at South Miami Senior High School. In the past, he has also worked as a TV Production Teacher at South Miami Middle School, served as Lead Teacher for the Magnet program at Brownsville Middle School, and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, where he taught introductory motion picture courses.

Remy Dou, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Education and Human Development

Remy Dou is a visiting clinical assistant professor at Florida International University working on undergraduate and out-of-school STEM education research. Previously, he served at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and at the National Science Foundation as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. From 2011 – 2013, Dou worked on projects related to both engagement and diversity in STEM education, including the development of a design and evaluation framework for federal STEM intervention programs. This framework was used by the White House’s Committee on STEM Education in the development of a five-year Federal STEM education strategic plan. He has presented on these topics in various places including the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to his work as an Einstein Fellow, Dou was an award winning STEM educator, teaching primarily Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. He also served as science department chair of a medium-sized, K-12, private institution.

Laura Adelman. Ph.D.
Instructor, School of Education and Human Development

Dr. Adelman is an instructor in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education, assessment, working with diverse families, technology-based professional development, and culturally responsive instruction. She received her doctorate from the University of Miami after working in several areas in the field of Special Education, including teaching prekindergarten for students with special needs in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Her research areas include Early Childhood Special Education (instructional approaches, training, language , behavioral management), Working with families of diverse background, Early intervention, Assessment, Technology-based professional development, Culturally responsive instruction.

Rene M. Price, Ph.D.
Chairperson, Department of Earth and Environment
Professor, Southeast Environmental Research Center and the Sea Level Rise Solutions Center

Dr. Price is the Chair of the Department of Earth and Environment as well as a Professor in the Southeast Environmental Research Center and the Sea Level Rise Solutions Center at Florida International University. Her research interests include the general areas of hydrogeology, ecohydrology and low-temperature aqueous geochemistry in carbonate terrains. More specifically, her research involves using chemical tracers, including the isotopes of oxygen, hydrogen, and major ions to identify water sources, groundwater flow paths and groundwater-surface water interactions. In addition, she has investigated water-rock interactions associated with seawater intrusion into coastal carbonate aquifers. Dr. Price's research has been conducted extensively in south Florida including the Everglades as well as in the Yucatan of Mexico and Mallorca, Spain.

Aixa Perez-Prado, Ph.D.
Instructor, School of Education and Human Development

Dr. Perez-Prado has been teaching at FIU since 1997 in the area of TESOL. Her background experiences include teaching English overseas in Costa Rica and Morocco and supervising and coordinating language and teaching programs in both countries. She is currently the ESOL Coordinator in the College of Education and her duties include faculty development and work with the Office of Academic Affairs towards accreditation. She is a global learning faculty member at FIU and has an interest in incorporating new technologies into the classroom that are interactive and that offer students access to the global community of learners.

Melanie Morales, M.Ed.
Instructor, School of Education and Human Development

Ms. Melanie Morales was a teacher of students with emotional and behavioral disorders for five years prior to becoming an adjunct faculty at FIU in 1998. Ms. Morales supervised student teachers, served as an adjunct, student advisor, and worked as a Grant Coordinator on various grants awarded by the Florida Department of Education. In 2007, she was offered a position as a Visiting Instructor. In 2008, she was identified by the Florida Department of Education as the Statewide Program Director for the Autism Tuition Support Project. In 2010, she is serving as the Program Leader for the Undergraduate SPED Program.

Participating Schools

Broward County 

Coral Glades High School
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
McArthur High School
McFatter Technical High School
Monarch High School
Nova High School
Piper High School
Stranahan High School
South Broward High School
West Broward High School
Western High School

Collier County

Naples High School

Miami-Dade County 

Felix Varela Senior High School
Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
iMater Academy
John A. Ferguson Senior High School
Mater Academy
Miami Coral Park Senior High School
Miami Palmetto Senior High School
Miami Norland Senior High School
Miami Senior High School
Miami Springs Senior High School
Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High School
St. Brendan High School
School for Advanced Studies-Kendall
Young Women's Preparatory Academy