WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 25, 2014 – What do “Ugly Betty;” an author, speaker, and agent for social change; and the 2013 National Teacher of the Year have in common? All three – actress America Ferrera, former Nike executive Kevin Carroll and teacher Jeffrey Charbonneau – will share their perspectives on empowering learners, engaging in social change and leading transformation in education at ISTE 2014.

Part idea incubator and part collaborative workspace, the ISTE annual conference, to be held June 28 – July 1 at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, is the epicenter of forward-thinking where educators share discoveries and develop solutions for their greatest challenges – all while connecting to a global network of education resources.

“The ISTE community brings passion and innovation together every day to deliver to their students the best of what technology can do for learning and teaching. So when they come to the ISTE conference, it’s an amazing, high-energy happening. That’s why we’re so excited about this year’s keynoters,” said Brian Lewis, ISTE CEO. “From Hollywood, to the world of sports, to a rural classroom, this year’s speakers will bring a unique perspective to ISTE’s vision of a world where all learners thrive, achieve and contribute. America, Kevin and Jeff each have unique insights that will inspire and empower attendees to pursue educational equity, digital transformation and continuous improvement in new and exciting ways.” 

The opening keynote on Saturday, June 28 will be America Ferrera. She is best known for her fearless portrayal of Betty Suarez on the ABC hit comedy “Ugly Betty,” a breakthrough role that earned her an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) and Imagen awards. Her debut in the Patricia Cardoso film “Real Women Have Curves,” which screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, earned her the Special Jury Award for acting, as well as Independent Spirit Award and Young Artist Award nominations.

Focused on the power of education to change lives and the world, particularly for girls, Ferrera served as an artist ambassador for the global humanitarian organization, Save the Children, and recently raised more than $44,000 to build a new elementary school in Mali. She was the 2010 recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's Inspira Award, and the 2011 Global Action Award for Childhood Development and Education for her work with Save the Children in Mali. In March 2011, Ferrera was named the national recipient of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy Award for her commitment to helping lead underprivileged families and youth to a better life and education. 

On Monday, June 30, Kevin Carroll, author of “Rules of the Red Rubber Ball,” “What’s Your Red Rubber Ball?!” and “The Red Rubber Ball at Work,” will bring the power of play and creativity to the stage as he talks about how to maximize human potential and empower us to grow in more meaningful ways. He will share how education and a passion for sports created a foundation for his lifelong dedication to inspiring young people to follow their dreams.

Raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia, Carroll spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground where he found his calling: a red rubber ball. His subsequent pursuit of play and his red rubber ball took him overseas with the Air Force, where he served as a language interpreter and translator, gaining fluency in Croatian, Czech, Serbian and German.

After serving in the Air Force for 10 years and earning his college degree, Carroll became an athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate levels in Philadelphia, ultimately becoming the head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers. Nike tapped him to bring his unique experiences to the sneaker giant in 1997. At Nike, Carroll was instrumental in helping the company develop a deeper understanding of athletic product performance, team dynamics and interpersonal communication. He left Nike in 2004 to create his own company, Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC, committed to elevating the power of sport and play around the world.

As the conference closing keynote on Tuesday, July 1, Jeffrey Charbonneau, the 2013 National Teacher of the Year, will challenge educators to take action and lead transformation in their schools and districts. A biology teacher at Zillah High School in Washington state and a National Board Certified Teacher, Charbonneau has been instrumental in creating a series of demanding science, technology engineering and math (STEM) offerings in his small, rural high school.

Reminding himself that each day is the most important day of the year for his students, Charbonneau fills his plate with responsibilities — both in and out of the classroom — designed to engage all kinds of students. He is an advisor to a host of clubs and, as the yearbook advisor, Charbonneau led his students in an historical preservation project to digitize all of Zillah’s yearbooks from 1919 to 2002. 

Charbonneau has also designed an exciting robotic challenge open to students from across the state, created independent study opportunities and launched a hiking club that completes community service projects.  The robot challenge alone has served more than 850 students from 43 school districts over the past four years. These opportunities, combined with his innovative instruction, have dramatically increased the interest in science at Zillah High School. This year, more than 60 percent of juniors are registered for chemistry and one-third of seniors will take physics.

Additional information about the ISTE 2014 keynote speakers can be found online at: https://www.isteconference.org/2014/program/keynote.php. 

Super-bird early registration for the ISTE 2014 Conference and Expo closes March 31, 2014. Educators interested in hearing these speakers and engaging in professional learning activities are encouraged to register at https://www.isteconference.org/2014/.

About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world. 

ISTE's innovative offerings include the ISTE Conference and Expo — one of the biggest, most comprehensive ed tech events — as well as the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and a robust suite of professional learning resources, including webinars, online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit iste.org. Connect with ISTE via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. 

For more information, media only:

Jodie Pozo-Olano, Chief Communications Officer, 804-986-6911, jpozoolano@iste.org

Lisa Wolfe, L. Wolfe Communications, 773-278-2800,

Source name