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Texthelp Leadership Assembly

Date: March 6th and 7th
Time: 12-3pm EST (both days)
Location: Online

Register now

About the Assembly

Get ready for an exciting 2 day exclusive, customer-only event dedicated to our senior educational leaders and delegates in K-12. We hope the event will help you understand Texthelp tools better, learn more about our latest updates and discover current insights from experts within the education field and beyond.

All of this and more is happening at the 2024 Texthelp Leadership Assembly (TLA) - where leaders come to learn.

Sign up now to attend live or to receive on demand access after the event to watch at a time that’s more convenient for you.

Meet the Keynotes

Ming Shelby, Ed. S

Featured TED-Ed Speaker • Instructional Coach • National Board Certified Teacher

Ming Shelby, Ed.S is dedicated to inspiring students, teachers, and staff through positive learning experiences. She has committed her career to fostering courageous communities where personal and academic transformation thrives.

With her roots as a teacher in the Chicago suburbs, Ming experienced the joys of building a school community and collaborating with families to provide top-notch learning experiences for students.

Her journey led her to become an Instructional Coach, where she transitioned from the classroom to empowering fellow educators. She found profound satisfaction in celebrating teachers’ successes and expanding her impact beyond her students.

In her current role as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Ming collaborates with administrators, staff, and families to make well-informed curricular and instructional decisions for the benefit of students.

Learn more from Ming on Day 1 at her Keynote session, Schools That Thrive: Creating A Culture of Trust, Accountability, and Growth.

Duncan Kirkwood, 1LT, MPA

Duncan Kirkwood is a Veteran, father of four, and recognized authority on psychological resilience.

Duncan is an author, Veteran, and global resilience advocate. He has spent his professional life working to empower young people, educators, organizations, and communities. His mission is to ensure everyone can learn the critical tools to become the most resilient and best version of themselves. 

His passion is helping individuals push through their perceived limits to take control of their futures. 

Education Background: 

  • BA Communications Alabama State University
  • MPA University of Arizona
  • Army National Guard Master Resilience Trainer

Learn from Duncan on Day 2 at his Keynote session, GRIT IN EDUCATION: The Psychological Resilience Critical for Success.

The speakers

We invited leading voices from TedEd, Educational Leaders, CAST, Digital Promise, Texthelp and more to join us for the day.

Get to know them here.

Martin McKay

Founder & CEO, Texthelp

Luis F. Peréz

Disability & Digital Inclusion Lead, CAST

Nicole Nichols, MA CCC-SLP

Assistive Technology Specialist in the School District of Janesville, Wisconsin

Gus Schmedlen

Chief Revenue Officer, Texthelp

Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass

Implementation Specialist in Northern California, CAST

Stefani Pautz Stephenson

Senior Director of Educator Community Partnerships, Digital Promise

Jesse Morgan

Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Professional and Director of the Assistive Technology Center, Minneapolis Public Schools

Ruth Ziolkowski

Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Partnerships, Texthelp

Eric Carter

Assistive Technology Specialist for the Burbank Unified School District in Burbank, California

Sara Vold

Assistive Technology Specialist in the School District of Janesville, Wisconsin

Ryan Graham

Chief Technology Officer, Texthelp

Dr. Lauren McMahon

Mathematics education researcher on the Learning Sciences Research team, Digital Promise

Stephanie Wiseman

Renewals Operations Director, Texthelp

Christian Erfurt

Co-Founder, Be My Eyes & Global AI Lead, JA Worldwide

Makia Alexander

Assistive Technology Coordinator in Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS)

Jason Carroll

Chief Product Officer, Texthelp

Heather Weaver

Augmentative and Alternative Specialist for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tiffani Golladay

Director of Customer Success, Texthelp

Yusuf Ahmad

MIT Media Lab & Co-Founder, Playlab.ai

Stacey Banks

Assistive Technology Coordinator/SE Supervisor at Ypsilanti Community Schools

Ben Johnston

Head of Global Marketing Projects, Texthelp

Dr. Amelia Kelly

CTO of SoapBox Labs

Joni Degner

Customer Account Manager, Texthelp

Michael Trucano

Visiting Fellow in the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution

Register now to attend

If you can't make it live, you can register and watch on-demand at a time that fits your schedule.

What to expect from our virtual 2 day event:

  • Two dynamic keynotes across two days
  • Inspiring customer stories with valuable takeaways
  • Special announcements for TLA attendees
  • A glimpse into the future of Texthelp and the latest and greatest tool updates
  • Insights into our exciting research with Digital Promise
  • And more!

Explore the agenda

Over the course of two days, you’ll experience inspiring sessions on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Diversity, AI in the classroom, digital math, and more, delivered by seasoned experts in the field. You’ll also have the chance to connect and develop your goals and visions to best meet the needs of your district.

If you can't make a session live, they will all be available to watch on-demand.

Day 1: March 6th, 12 pm - 3 pm EST

  • Join us for a quick-fire conversation with our CEO, Martin McKay, and Chief Revenue Officer, Gus Schmedlen, around our core values, mission and commitment to creating inclusive learning environments for all and your key part in it. During the welcome chat you’ll learn more about:

    • Our ongoing journey toward making an inclusive impact from education to life
    • The importance of working together to help everyone understand and be understood - we can’t do it alone, we need your help too
    • The latest developments from Texthelp that will help get us there
    • Personal updates from Martin
    • Thank you for being an essential part of our mission and let’s keep powering change, together.


    • Martin McKay, Founder and CEO, Texthelp
    • Gus Schmedlen, Chief Revenue Officer, Texthelp


    • 12:00 pm ET - 12:15 pm EST
  • Join Yusuf Ahmad, (MIT Media Lab & Playlab.ai Co-Founder), Amelia Kelly, (Soapbox Labs CTO), Christian Erfurt (Be My Eyes Co-Founder & Global AI Lead, JA Worldwide) and Mike Trucano (Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution) for an insightful panel discussion on the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI) in K-12 education.

    Our expert panelists will explore the current landscape of AI applications, share success stories and highlight best practices for integrating AI tools into schools and classrooms. We'll also examine ethical considerations, address potential challenges and discuss how to prepare educators and students for an AI-driven future. 

    You’ll come away from the panel with a better understanding of:

    • The long term impact of AI in education
    • Strategies for AI implementation
    • The importance of collaboration to help create inclusive and effective learning environments.


    • 12:15 pm ET - 12:45 pm EST
  • Join CAST’s Luis Pérez, Disability & Digital Inclusion Lead and Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass, UDL Implementation Specialist to embark on a conversation about  the future of education. Explore the latest in Universal Design for Learning (UDL), get a sneak peek into the upcoming UDL guidelines update and discover 'big ideas' from CAST. By joining this session, you’ll come away with:

    • Actionable DEI + A strategies
    • Quality indicators for the Provision of Accessible Materials and Technologies
    • Insight into the importance of systemic change at every level


    • Luis Pérez, Disability & Digital Inclusion Lead, CAST
    • Sylvia Rodriguez Douglass, Implementation Specialist in Northern California, CAST


    • 12:15 pm ET - 12:45 pm EST
  • In this session, zero in on the world of MTSS as we embrace learner variability with simple and straightforward strategies for educators. Discover how Inclusive Technology simplifies the layered educational landscape, making it easier for learners to thrive. Uncover practical tactics for overcoming challenges and harnessing the power of tech to enhance individual learning experiences. Join us on this journey to turn learner variability into an asset, rather than a challenge. 

    Embrace learner variability with simple and straightforward strategies for educators as we zero in on the world of MTSS. 

    In this session we will…

    • discover how Inclusive Technology simplifies the layered educational landscape, making it easier for learners to thrive
    • uncover practical tactics for overcoming challenges 
    • harness the power of tech to enhance individual learning experiences

    Join us on this journey to turn learner variability into an asset and create environments where learners can thrive. 


    • Ruth Ziolkowski, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Partnerships, Texthelp


    • 12:45 pm ET - 1:15 pm EST
  • Imagine a future where every learner thrives in the world of math…

    It may feel far off, but we’re on the cusp right now—where teachers use new math tools to redefine how students comprehend and communicate math.

    Join Texthelp and Digital Promise leaders in this engaging session that unveils research shaping how Equatio’s digital math tools break down barriers and pave the way for inclusive learning experiences. By sharing and refining teaching methodologies in ‘The Future of Math Inclusion’ study, educators are directly shaping the ongoing evolution of this powerful tool. 

    This session will explore:

    • The power of accessible math through Equatio and the profound impact of digital math tools in breaking barriers and fostering inclusivity
    • How educators are playing a pivotal role in advancing the landscape of math education for diverse learners
    • Insights into the research project and what we’re learning from this Research-Practice-Industry Partnership

    Don't miss out on this chance to dive into our research and learn about the strides we're making. Together, let's collaborate to redefine math education and make it accessible to all.


    • Ben Johnston, Head of Global Marketing Projects, Texthelp
    • Stefani Pautz Stephenson, Senior Director of Educator Community Partnerships, Digital Promise
    • Dr. Lauren McMahon, Mathematics education researcher on the Learning Sciences Research team, Digital Promise


    • 12:45 pm ET - 1:15 pm EST
  • Time:

    • 1:15 pm ET - 1:30 pm EST
  • Join Ryan Graham, Chief Technology Officer and Jason Carroll, Chief Product Officer at Texthelp for a 30-minute session to hear about our latest and greatest updates. We'll reveal our newest AI features, share what we've been working on, give you a sneak peek at the latest improvements to OrbitNote and more.


    • Ryan Graham, Chief Technology Officer, Texthelp
    • Jason Carroll, Chief Product Officer, Texthelp


    • 1:30 pm ET - 2:00 pm EST
  • Join our Director of Customer Success, Tiffani Golladay and Renewals Operations Director, Stephanie Wiseman for insights into how you can better champion inclusive education. Hear about ways their teams can help to empower you, so you can further enrich the lives of your learners and help them reach their full potential. They will also make an exciting new program announcement we think you’ll want to stay tuned for.


    • Stephanie Wiseman, Director of Customer Success, Texthelp
    • Tiffani Golladay, Renewals Operations Director, Texthelp


    • 2:00 pm ET - 2:15 pm EST
  • In this engaging session, you’ll gain valuable insights into the art of creating schools that thrive. We’ll explore the three crucial elements of trust, accountability, and growth that underpin a dynamic and successful learning environment. As we delve into these principles, you’ll uncover actionable strategies and practical wisdom to nurture a culture that empowers both educators and students.


    • Foster Trust and Collaboration: Learn how to build trust among educators, students, and stakeholders, fostering a collaborative atmosphere that enhances communication and teamwork within your school community.
    • Accountability for Excellence: Discover proven methods to instill a sense of accountability among all members of the school community, driving continuous improvement and ensuring that everyone is committed to achieving excellence.
    • Promote Personal and Professional Growth: Explore techniques to encourage personal and professional development for educators and students alike, creating a culture of continuous learning and growth within your school.
    • Empower Students: Gain insights into empowering students to take ownership of their education, fostering a sense of responsibility, and inspiring them to become active participants in their own academic journey.
    • Create a Thriving Learning Environment: Acquire the tools and strategies needed to cultivate an environment where every member of the school community can thrive, ensuring that your school becomes a hub of empowerment, achievement, and success.


    • Ming Shelby, Ed. S, Featured TED-Ed Speaker, Instructional Coach, National Board Certified Teacher


    • 2:15 pm ET - 3:00 pm EST

Day 2: March 7th, 12 -3 pm EST

  • More details to come

    Time: 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm EST

  • Embrace mathematical inclusion through a profound session highlighting educational pioneers. Join us to explore how districts have cultivated an environment where every learner succeeds in math, regardless of their learning needs.

    Through engaging stories, first hand experience and actionable insights, participants will uncover the strategies, methods and collaborative efforts that have propelled Janesville's achievements in promoting math inclusion.


    • Sara Vold, Assistive Technology Specialist in the School District of Janesville, Wisconsin
    • Nicole Nichols, MA CCC-SLP, Assistive Technology Specialist in the School District of Janesville, Wisconsin


    12:30 pm - 1:00 pm ET

  • Join Jesse as he shares how Minneapolis Public Schools uses Read&Write for Google to make learning more accessible and beneficial for every learner. Discover practical insights into:

    • Read&Write’s impact on reducing special education referrals
    • How to enhance overall student outcomes
    • MPS’s training materials  for staff, students and families
    • How MPS successfully integrates Read&Write into everyday teaching
    • How Read&Write aligns with district priorities for a better educational experience

    This session offers a straightforward look at practical strategies that have made a positive difference in Minneapolis Public Schools while meeting the district's UDL district goals.


    • Jesse Morgan, Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Professional and Director of the Assistive Technology Center, Minneapolis Public Schools


    • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

  • Join Eric Carter, Assistive Technology Specialist at the Burbank Unified School District (Burbank, CA), as he shares strategies for achieving district-wide, universal access to assistive technology tools that support ALL students using UDL strategies. These tools are not only used to support our special education students but also our English Learners, as well as other students who benefit from Tier 1 and Tier 2 strategies.

    During this session, you will gain insights about:

    • Piloting a program
    • UDL Standards to support universal access
    • Training staff and students
    • Collect qualitative data from teachers
    • Observations
    • Presenting data to district staff to move to district-wide model


    • Eric Carter, Assistive Technology Specialist for the Burbank Unified School District in Burbank, California


    • 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm EST
  • Time:

    • 2:00 pm - 2:15 pm EST
  • Duncan trained soldiers to become more resilient, and now he equips students and educators with the same practical tools. As an expert in developing grit and unleashing human potential, Duncan’s presentation will create a series of “ah-ha” moments and a steady stream of engagement among your group.

    Duncan combines military-tested training on resilience with science-backed tools to transform challenges into opportunities for growth.


    • Presence – Letting go of the past and focusing on bringing your best self into this moment.
    • Grit – Developing the fortitude to overcome every challenge and stick to a goal no matter how long it takes.
    • Resilience – Understanding that resilience is a crucial part of mental health and excelling in your job.
    • Self Discovery – Participants will learn to dis-identify from things titles and roles and that our value comes from the inside.
    • Joy – Discover how each day can bring joy and build your mental health.
    • Gratitude – How using a simple exercise can build appreciation and overcome negativity bias.


    • Duncan Kirkwood, 1LT, MPA, author, veteran and recognized authority on psychological resilience


    • 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Assembly FAQs

  • Once you register, keep an eye on your email for login details. This will include the link you need to access the platform.

  • This content is beneficial for anyone in a leadership role in k-12 and wants to improve their leadership skills and improve the future of education.

  • No. You do not need to download or install any software to take part. You only need to have access to the internet.

  • Send an email to NAmarketing@texthelp.com for any technical help.

  • All attendees have access to captions for every session and presentation slides (where relevant). However, if you have any accessibility issues please reach out to NAmarketing@texthelp.com.

  • Yes! TLA will be recorded to watch on-demand and will be available to watch at your convenience for one month after the live event.