Log in

  Association of Teacher Educators

Log in

Annual Meeting Keynoters

Mr. Darryl Willie

Darryl Willie is a dynamic education ambassador with experience from K-12 to higher education. He has worked in education for the past 20 years from the front lines as a classroom teacher in the Mississippi Delta; to education administrator in California at UC Berkeley to Executive Director of Teach For America in Jacksonville. Darryl is currently the Chair of the Duval County School Board in Jacksonville, Florida. He has served on the board for four years and has helped to secure monumental funding for the rebuilding of neighborhood schools, chaired the campaign for a successful teacher salary increase vote, and helped to lead the change of confederate school names in the county. Darryl has also been instrumental in the focus on recruitment of black male educators through the creation of “the ones” black male collective in Jacksonville. Darryl won re-election unopposed this year and will serve another four-year term through 2026. 

 Darryl's work has been centered on impacting communities of color, with an intentional focus on sustainable outcomes for students and young adults. In addition to his school board role, Darryl works as a non-profit leader and consultant in workforce development and education, developing community and business partnerships, managing strategic projects and accelerating and facilitating learning spaces across multiple cities and states. His work has not gone unnoticed as he was recognized as a Jacksonville Non-Profit Emerging leader, Leadership Jacksonville selection, School Board Partners National Fellow, Leadership Florida Education Class and Jacksonville Business Journal top 40 under 40.

Darryl is a highly sought public speaker, facilitator, and emcee and enjoys curating collaborative engaging spaces. Darryl brings his relevant, relatable, and refreshing content to audiences of all levels. Darryl also serves on several local boards and has served on advisory boards for university presidents at two institutions. His community involvement includes; Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation, Jacksonville Arts and Music School, Level the Playing Field, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and100 Black Men of Jacksonville.

 Darryl is a proud military brat and has lived in many states and overseas. He attended North Carolina State University where he was Student Body President and holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education from the University of Georgia…Go State and Go Dawgs! Darryl lives on the Northside of Jacksonville with his brilliant and beautiful wife and his 3 inquisitive daughters Angelina (8), Berkeley (6), and Cobie (5).

Dr. Craig Mertler

Craig A. Mertler, PhD is an Associate Professor in the EdD Program in Leadership & Innovation at Arizona State University and has been an educator for 37 years, 27 of those in higher education, and 12 as an administrator (department chair, doctoral program director, and education dean). He teaches courses focused on the application of action research to promote educator empowerment, school improvement, and job-embedded professional development, and also teaches quantitative research methods, statistical analyses, and educational assessment methods. He has served as the research methodology expert on more than 120 doctoral dissertations and master’s theses.

Dr. Mertler is the author of 9 textbooks (including four books on action research, as well as others on quantitative research methods, classroom assessment, and data-driven instructional decision making), 9 invited book chapters, 24 refereed journal articles, and 3 novels. He has presented more than 40 research papers at professional conferences and has delivered 25 keynote or other types of invited addresses. He has consulted with numerous schools, districts, and universities on context-specific and situated action research, and on the broad topic of classroom assessment. Since approximately 2005, much of Dr. Mertler’s work has centered on the notion of integrating action research (i.e., practitioner research) into PK-12 schools and higher education settings.  He has conducted numerous inservice training sessions on the action research process to school districts and IHEs in various states around the country.



Dr. Jon Engelhardt

Dr. Jon Engelhardt is Dean Emeritus of Baylor University’s School of Education, retiring in 2015 after 43 years in higher education. Dean Engelhardt received bachelors and masters degrees in elementary education from Arizona State University before earning a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Texas, Austin in 1972.

He began his professional education career as a middle school math teacher (Tempe, AZ) in the late 1960’s--when middle school was a “new idea”.  He later served as an Education professor at Arizona State University, where he served as a department chair and assistant dean for teacher preparation.

Since the mid-1980’s, Dr. Engelhardt has served as Education Dean at four universities—University of Texas at El Paso, Northern Arizona University, Wichita State University, and most recently Baylor University. Much of his university work as a dean has included redefining teacher education as a clinical enterprise and building partnerships between universities and public schools--focused especially on improving the effectiveness of both schools and educator preparation.

As Education Dean at UTEP, for example, he strengthened a site-based partnership with local school districts to upgrade preparation of emergency-certified teachers. At NAU he expanded an innovative site-based preservice teacher preparation partnerships across Arizona, including in more remote communities on the Mexican border and Native American reservations. And at WSU, he established a partnership with Boeing to retool down-sized aircraft engineers as future math and science teachers, as well as facilitated the creation of an innovative hybrid-delivery school leader development program for South Central Kansas.

At Baylor, he foreshadowed a wider university effort to create formal ranks and practice-focused expectations for clinical faculty, strengthened/expanded site-based teacher education partnerships with area school districts, and provided leadership for a cutting-edged practice doctorate (EdD) in educational leadership.  He also organized a strong Waco-area superintendent network, adopting a common K-12 education mission statement and collectively pursuing political advocacy with the Texas legislature. 

Dean Engelhardt was a major player in a broader community effort to support families and prepare students for success in Waco public schools (called the Education Alliance). He later served as co-chair (with a local superintendent) of the Education Steering Committee for a novel grass-roots community effort to jointly address issues of education, healthcare, and income security (i.e., poverty) in the Waco area.

Nationally, he has served in a variety of leadership roles, including helping found two professional/research organizations and serving on the executive boards of AACTE and NCATE (now CAEP). He was a founding board member of the Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate). Specific to ATE, as a long-time member, he served at a pivotal time on ATE’s Special Task Force on Strategic Planning to Enhance Revenues and chaired the Fiscal Affairs Committee.

For his leadership, service, and accomplishments in a variety of areas, he has been recognized in Arizona with the Distinguished Administrator Award for Higher Education from the Arizona School Administrators Association, and with the Robert Howsam Award (2015) for lifetime achievement from his fellow Texas Education deans (TACTE).

Robert J. Stevenson Lecture Panel

Dr. Brandie Berry serves as a Director of K-12 Literacy in a large metropolitan school district. She leads the development and implementation of high-quality literacy  curricula and instruction. 

Jennifer Shepard, a school district Professional Learning Director, cultivates collective efficacy through an intentional and integrated approach to meaningful learning by leveraging the expertise of multiple perspectives within the organization. 

Dr. Rudy Jamison currently serves as the Director of the Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnic Relations and the Urban Education Scholars Program at the University of North Florida.

Caran Mullins (M.Ed.) is a classroom teacher with 9 years of experience teaching grades K-3. She facilitates teacher professional development and serves as a mentor teacher to teacher candidates.

Easter Brown is Principal in Residence at Tiger Academy, Duval County Public Schools. As a culturally relevant leader, Brown focuses on providing professional learning opportunities centered around teachers' beliefs, reflection, and agency towards social justice change efforts. 

Anti-Racism Summit

Moderated by:  

Photo of Dr. Natalie S. KingNatalie S. King, Ph.D. is an associate professor of science education at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. Her scholarly work focuses on advancing Black girls in STEM education, community-based STEM programs, and the role of curriculum in fostering equity in science teaching and learning. Dr. King is a National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award (#1943285) recipient whose research challenges the capitalist agenda for encouraging girls’ involvement in STEM.

She elevates the identities and brilliance of Black girls in her scholarship, programs, and grant projects. She also serves as Principal Investigator of an NSF Noyce project (# 1852889) seeking to diversify the STEM teaching workforce. Dr. King is the founder and executive director of I AM STEM, LLC and partners with community-based organizations to provide Black and Brown children with access to comprehensive academic summer enrichment programs that embrace their cultural experiences while also preparing them to become productive and critically conscious citizens.

Her work is published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, Journal of Multicultural Affairs, The Science Teacher, and Teaching and Teacher Education.


Photo of Dr. Irvin PeDro CohenDr. Irvin PeDro Cohen is the Executive Director of LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Jacksonville. Dr. Cohen is a Jacksonville, FL native and he received his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of North Florida, an MBA in Marketing from Pfeiffer University and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Urban Education from Nova Southeastern University.

His research is largely centered on the social well-being of the African American community (education, healthcare and economics) and particularly the role the African American church plays within that space. Dr. Cohen serves on the advisory boards of the University of Florida’s Clinical Translation Science Institute and Vanderbilt University’s Recruitment Innovation Center, IDEA Schools and Changing Homeless Coalition. He is a member of the Jacksonville Downtown Rotary Club, the Jacksonville Chapter NAACP, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and a member of Leadership Jax Class of 2014.

His blog can be read at

Photo of Nicholas W. CollinsNicholas W. Collins is a science educator and student-centered educational leader whose work emphasizes the need for Black male educators in urban schools. Mr. Collins attained his Master of Arts in Teaching degree in secondary science education from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Clayton State University. He is a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teaching Fellow through GSU's Developing STEM Educators as Teacher Leaders Program.

Nicholas is a recipient of Fulton County Schools’ 2022-2023 Legacy of Excellence Teacher of the Year award. In his professional pursuits, Mr. Collins has effectively navigated student engagement through the pandemic and led a $30,000 initiative to develop a game room tied to social-emotional learning (SEL) and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). His passion for education drives his commitment to high expectations for all students and eradicating “deficit perspectives” from urban P-12 academic spaces.

Photo of Dr. Rachael Tutwiler FortuneDr. Rachael Tutwiler Fortune serves as President of Jacksonville Public Education Fund. She previously served as Senior Director of the GradNation Campaign at America’s Promise Alliance and a 2013 Presidential Management Fellow and Program Officer at the U.S. Department of Education. 

She earlier served as an Education Pioneers Fellow at the Oakland Unified School District, and led JPEF's community mobilization efforts, launching the ONE-by-ONE campaign to develop a shared community vision for schools. Rachael began her career as teacher at S. P. Livingston Elementary in Jacksonville through Teach for America.    

Rachael holds a master’s in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford, and a bachelor's in Political Science from UNF. Rachael currently serves on the Board of Baptist Medical Center. She was recognized by Jacksonville Business Journal as a First Coast 40 under 40 in 2020. She’s a member of Leadership Florida’s Education Class of 2018 and Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2022. 

Dr. Dione Thomas Webber is a Jacksonville native and product of Duval County Public Schools. Dr. Webber has 11 years of PK-12 experiences with 6 of those years being an educational leader in Duval County Public Schools. Primarily educating students from lower socio-economic status, her current research interests are trauma-informed education, and creating policy for novice teachers and leaders at Title I turnaround elementary schools. In her current role as Clinical Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at UNF, she teaches Intro to Educational Leadership for Equity and Social Justice, Organizational Learning, and Curriculum and Assessment for leaders. She also co-facilitates the UNF AACTE Holmes Scholars program which supports high achieving doctoral students who self-identify as racially and ethnically diverse and are pursuing doctoral degrees in education at AACTE member institutions. As a leader she seeks to empower individuals, schools, and communities by uniting strengths, inviting advocacy, equity, and inspiring innovation. 

Follow our activities

Contact Us -
     Email: Click here
     Phone: (703) 659-1708    

Association of Teacher Educators
     P.O. Box 793
     Manassas, VA 20113