2023 Annual Conference Keynote Speakers
The keynote speakers at WSSDA’s Annual Conference are known for inspiring and motivating attendees with their unique perspectives and expertise. This year’s keynote speakers are committed to developing authentic connections and share a belief that each of us can practice compassion and empathy in our daily lives to create a better world, especially in our education spaces.
Kyle ScheeleKyle Scheele is an inspiring speaker, writer, and youth expert who has challenged hundreds of thousands of students across the nation with his speeches, books, and creative projects.
When he’s not on a plane or a stage, Kyle is at home in Springfield, MO, where he lives with his beautiful wife Lindsay and their four amazing children. In his free time, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and helping his kids build forts out of household furniture.
Teacher of the YearDana Miles teaches Work Experience and Bilingual Language Arts. She uses career readiness materials and real-world related English materials and places students in various work settings (school store, on-campus positions, and off-campus positions). She is currently on the state-wide transition committee with the Washington Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth to develop materials created and designed for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students across the state. Dana is also on the School Design Advisory Team (SDAT) for upcoming new academic and gym building designs for her school, with visions for on-site work experience settings to better prepare students for their futures. From her experience as an Employment Consultant with Washington Vocational Services, Dana, as a Deaf person, had to learn how to navigate obstacles with her deaf clients as they sought employment to achieve financial freedom, self-reliance, and independence. Because her Deaf parents provided her with a language-rich environment in American Sign Language and English, Dana was fortunate that she didn’t have to endure the same kind of hardships as many other Deaf people, including her parents. Her parents also suffered discrimination and struggled to overcome obstacles while growing up in a generation with limited services. With all of those experiences combined, Dana decided to come back to Washington School for the Deaf as an advocate for the Deaf community. She works tirelessly to equip her students for the working world by teaching them to advocate for themselves.
— OSPI 2023 Washington State Teacher of the Year
General session emcee – Erin Jones
In the realm of education in Washington state, Erin needs no introduction. She was the first Black woman in Washington state to run for statewide office in 2016. Erin garnered several awards during her many years as a teacher, including recognition as a “Champion of Change” by the White House in 2013. As a highly accomplished athlete, educator, and equity champion, Erin now invests her talents and unique experiences to inspire others to examine education systems and practices to help them better serve all students.