Journalist, Educator and Activist Soledad O’Brien to Deliver Opening Keynote at ISTE 2015

Keynote speakers for ISTE 2015, June 28-July 1, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia have been announced:

* Journalist and activist Soledad O’Brien;
* Educator, comedian and father of an autistic son Jack Gallagher
* Teacher, coach and blogger Josh Stumpenhorst

Opening the conference on Sunday, June 28, is award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien. She was the originator of the documentary series for CNN “Black in America” and “Latino in America,” now produced by Starfish Media Group. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond, created The Starfish Foundation to help disadvantaged young women successfully pursue college educations. This year they will award scholarships to 25 deserving young women.

On Tuesday, June 30, former elementary educator and comedian Jack Gallagher will inspire with heartfelt humor in the second ISTE 2015 keynote, “Insight into Autism: A Father’s Perspective.” Gallagher and his wife, Jean Dunn-Gallagher, have two sons, Declan, a 23-year-old college student; and Liam, a 19-year-old with autism. A three-time Emmy Award winner for his work on PBS, Gallagher is the author of six plays, including “A Different Kind of Cool,” exploring the differences between his two sons and coming to terms with the fact that “coolness” is a matter of perspective.

On Wednesday, July 1, closing keynote speaker Josh Stumpenhorst, an award-winning teacher, coach, blogger and author, will challenge attendees to throw out the old rulebook. He will challenge ISTE 2015 participants to think outside the box and push themselves to revolutionize learning. A junior high history and English teacher in suburban Chicago, Stumpenhorst is a National Board Certified Teacher in early adolescence social science. His work as an educator has earned him numerous awards, including 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year, 2012 Illinois Computing Educators’ Educator of the Year and 2011 ISTE Emerging Leader.