2019 TLS Keynote Speakers

Dr. Anthony J. Perkins


 Dr. Perkins was born and raised in Connecticut. He is in his 26th year as an educational leader which he served as a teacher, vice-principal, principal, district director, and now superintendent for the Gila Bend Unified School District. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Diverse Learners and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Dr. Perkins is a part-time professor for Northern Arizona University and author.  

Keylah Boyer, Ph.D.


Keyla is a second generation Oregonian who has demonstrated her commitment to education and community her entire career. Her expertise is in the area of access & college readiness; her dissertation was focused in this area (Increasing College Access and Career Readiness for African American College Students). Keylah has engaged in many community-based and supported levels of service, including her tenure as President of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators.  

Kathy Hoffman, AZ Superintendent


Kathy Hoffman was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November 2018 and assumed office in January 2019. Superintendent Hoffman has spent her entire career working in public education. Her experience as both an educator and advocate for students with disabilities informs her vision for public education. Throughout her career, she has fought tirelessly for equal access to high-quality public education regardless of a student’s race, gender, or zip code. 

Jacqui Clay


   Ms. Clay currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools in Cochise County in Arizona. Her responsibilities spans 21 school districts, and over 23,000 students. She also provides supports for private, homeschool, detention and students in the county jail.  She has been recognized as Teacher Of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars aand Arizona's Career and Technical Education Administrator of the Year.   

Lois Brown, Ph.D.


  Dr. Brown is director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and Foundation Professor of English at Arizona State University. She is a public historian and a scholar of African American literature and culture whose groundbreaking research reshapes our understanding of race, class, gender, education, faith, and place in America. 

Colin Seale, Esq.


Tackling inequity has always been personal to Colin, because of the amazing educational opportunities he received in gifted and talented courses despite his underprivileged background in Brooklyn, NY .  Colin created thinkLaw to give all students access to a game-changing 

critical thinking education.

2019 TLS Speakers

Dr. Louis Laffitte, Jr.,


Dr. Laffittis an instructional trailblazer who partners with thought leaders across the country to improve outcomes for learners of all ages and demographics. With more than two decades dedicated to the field of education, Laffitte’s critical insight into what drives teaching and learning has benefited students and colleagues alike.  He is currently the superintendent at an award-winning school system in Arizona. 

EMCEE: Lloyd Hopkins


Lloyd, Founder/Executive Director of the Million Dollar Teacher Project, is an organizational leader with extensive experience in community and nonprofit work.  He graduated from ASU with his degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and took his passion for ensuring quality education for all to launch the teacher recruitment and retention program, Million Dollar Teacher Project. 

Clottee Hammons


  Clottee A. Hammons grew up in the segregated downtown Phoenix area. She is the granddaughter of a 10th Calvary Buffalo Soldier and views that legacy with pride and a strong sense of social responsibility. She is a Visual Artist, Curator, Writer, Poet, Activist, Educator and Prevention Specialist.  She is Founder and Creative Director of Emancipation Art.   

Courtney Johnson, Ph.D.


 Dr. Johnson is a former teacher, math coach, and school administrator.  He is currently the CEO of Johnson Learning Systems, and the Author of "Math Fluency in Problem Solving, Grades 3-5" which is a test prep series that helps students to become fluent in the language of math!    

EMCEE: Devin Del Palacio


Devinis a member of the Governing Board of the Tolleson Union High School District. Devin was raised by a single mother, and due to financial situations, attended 8 different public schools while growing up. He was taught the value of hard work from a young age, and raised to take positive action in his community. In 2015, Devin was elected to serve as the Regional Pacific Director for the National Black Council of School Board members.

Marcelino Quiñonez, MFA


 Marcelino earned his B.A. and MFA in Theatre from Arizona State University. He has performed with Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Tempe’s Childsplay, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, Teatro Bravo!, New Carpa Theatre and ASU Gammage. His play “El Che” was published as part of an anthology titled “Latina/o Heritage on Stage: Dramatizing Heroes and Legends.”  

2019 TLS Speakers

Ghazi Muhammad


  Ghazi is an empowerment speaker, published author and  professional story teller. He teaches clients throughout the country to pull back and eliminate the masks and manifest the power of their authentic self. In the 80’s, Ghazi  began his speaking career among at-risk youth. Surviving the harsh realities of a troubled past, Ghazi became committed to helping others.   

Deirdre D. Bruce


    Deirdre is a native from Detroit, who is a  math educator with almost two decades of teaching in her toolbox. She has a proven track record and a wealth of experience working at Title I Schools, ensuring that all students have access to equitable educational options. Deirdra has vast knowledge in teacher coaching, building relationships, being culturally responsive and classroom management.  

David Jefferson


  David, Civil Rights Advocate: As a parent of special needs children, he understands and appreciates all of the difficulties parent’s face as they try and navigate the special education maze; attempt to access supports in the developmental disability system and work to identify resources to meet their children’s behavioral health needs.  David formed Parent Support Arizona to ensure parents have access to education  and civil rights advocacy. 

Speaker Information


Will be updated soon

Wade Antonio Colwell


Wade's calling to education involves serving school communities as a "creative catalyst" for deepening and healing relationships across generation and difference. As a rising advocate for systemic equity, inclusion and excellence, Wade understands the power in engaging the artistic modalities of song, spoken-word, movement, ceremony and restorative practice.    

Speaker Information


Will be updated soon