Registration opens in mid-February.

General Sessions

General Sessions are not ticketed and are included in your conference registration. Arrive early for the best seats!

Opening General Session
Saturday, July 15, 8:00 AM

Carmen Agra Deedy is the author of 11 books for children, including The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (Scholastic). An award-winning author and storyteller, Carmen often draws inspiration from her childhood as a Cuban refugee growing up in the United States. She has been a guest speaker for both the TED and TEDx conferences and has appeared on NPR's All Things Considered. She currently hosts the four-time Emmy-winning children's program Love That Book!

Carmen Agra Deedy

Enrique C. Feldman is the founder and director of education for the Global Learning Foundation. He is an artist and educator known for his innovation in combining movement and music with literacy education. These rooted-in-research, play-based, and joy-filled approaches lead to students' increased desire to learn, to read, and to explore their own curiosity. Learn more about Enrique and his work at

Enrique C. Feldman

Precious Symonette teaches creative writing at Miami Norland Senior High School in Florida, where she serves a large population of disadvantaged teens. A certified Freedom Writer with a passion for poetry, education, and community involvement, Precious was named Miami-Dade's 2017 Francisco R. Walker Teacher of the Year and a 2016 National Education Association Superhero Educator. She lives by the principle she imparts to students: "Write yourself into existence."

Precious Symonette


Closing General Session
Monday, July 17, 1:30 PM

Byron V. Garrett is chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance and director of educational leadership and policy for Microsoft. Previously, he was a K–8 principal and served as CEO of the National Parent Teacher Association. Byron is the author of The ABCs of Life (Scholastic) and There's Greatness on the Inside (Life Works Press). In spring 2017, Scholastic will release the Byron V. Garrett Social-Emotional Learning Collection. Learn more about Byron at

Byron  V. Garrett

Katie Lett is an English learner (EL) elementary teacher who was named one of ILA's 2016 30 Under 30 honorees for her work educating and empowering immigrants and refugees. With the strong belief that education happens in collaboration with school, home, and community, Katie works to develop programs that support this philosophy. Her experience teaching both elementary and adult ELs, in addition to teaching English in Thailand, has only fueled her passion.

Katie Lett

Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling series The Young Elites and the blockbuster best-selling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Marie Lu

Please note: Presenters, dates, times, and topics are subject to change.