Summer Conference Keynoters
Dr. Ricki Gibbs II has dedicated a decade and a half to education in his role as a teacher, educational mentor, and school administrator. Through the collaborative team approach, building positive relationships, and a dynamic school culture Gibbs is leading his school into success. In his time as principal of Warner Arts Magnet Elementary, he is internationally recognized for his innovative model school model for implementing a non-traditional approach to student discipline in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The school’s work has been featured on National Public Radio, through the Peabody award winning podcast “The Promise Season 2” by WPLN. This podcast chronicles Gibbs determination for desegregating his school and transforming the culture of teaching and learning. Principal Gibbs has had the honor of presenting Warner’s work to both the Tennessee State Legislative as well as The Tennessee Department of Education Committees. He has also spoken to some of the U.S.'s most influential educators who serve in the National Education Association. In March of 2021, his work was featured in a monthly blog by The Institute for Learning through the University of Pittsburgh titled "Building Allyship Among Educators," where he documented the journey of creating an inclusive culture through allyship in education. He serves as the board chair for the Educator’s Cooperative and has devoted his career to supporting teachers so they can change lives through the power of a great education! In 2019-2020, Dr. Gibbs was chosen as the Elementary School Principal of the Year by 74 of his fellow elementary school principals in Metro Nashville Public School. Gibbs has presented at various conferences internationally, including The Tennessee Educators Symposium, Tennessee Principals Association Conference, Conditions for Learning, National Music City SEL Conference, and many more. He was featured as the keynote speaker of the Trauma Informed Network Conference presenting to over 300 participants from 14 different countries, New Teacher Academy at Tennessee State University, and multiple college courses on diversity and inclusive practices, leadership, and school culture. He provided a motivational speech at the 2018 First Year Teacher Summit at Tennessee State University, which inspired new teachers to find their voice and become advocates for the children they serve. He also recently served on an expert panel as a part of a community event on anti-racist education, Public Education Foundation screening of the documentary “By Design”, and various others. He has served as a facilitator of professional learning at David Lipscomb University, Vanderbilt University, Shelby County Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Rocketship Charter Schools, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Education Association, amongst other organizations. Ricki’s work extends past his educational experience. As a classroom teacher in 2008, he combined his passion for literacy and technology and was featured on the educational show “The Electric Company”.
Dr. Gibbs holds a B.S in elementary education and an M. Ed in Administration and Supervision from Tennessee State University. He completed his Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Change at Lipscomb University.
Dr. Trey Duke is the current Director of Schools for the Murfreesboro City School system. He joined Murfreesboro City Schools in 2019 to coordinate the opening of Salem Elementary and to serve as Principal before being appointed to his current position in March of 2021. Dr. Duke previously served as the Coordinator of Federal Programs and Response to Intervention with Rutherford County Schools. He had also served as the Coordinator of Instructional Technology as well as a principal at Smyrna Elementary.
Dr. Duke holds an Ed.D. in Assessment, Learning, and School Improvement and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Dr. Duke has been recognized throughout his career including being named the 2008 Milken National Educator for Tennessee, the Rutherford County Schools Supervisor of the Year and TNTESOL Administrator of the Year. In addition, he has served on many committees for the Tennessee Department of Education including the Commissioner’s Assessment Task force and the Innovations in Assessment Core Team.