The 2015 FloridaLearns Foundation/Panhandle Area Educational Consortium has searched the nation to find some of the most influential and respected leaders in education to provide evocative and stimulating keynote addresses to attendees of the 48th Annual Leadership Conference. Meet this year’s speakers:

Dr. Mike Schmoker

Mike Schmoker is a former school administrator, English teacher and football coach and has established himself as one of the nation’s premiere authorities on improving student learning. He is a noted author with more than five books to his credit including his most recent publication, "Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning", which followed his previous best seller "Results Now".

Dr. Schmoker is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) for his work and presentations. He has provided keynote addresses across the United States, Canada, Australia and the Kingdom of Jordan. He lives in Tempe, Arizona with his wife Cheryl.

Lucas Daniel Boyce

As the Director of Business Development and Legislative Affairs for the Orlando Magic, Lucas Boyce has enjoyed an exciting and diverse career ranging from his days working for the White House in the Office of Political Affairs, writing books, and a Trustee of Florida’s Valencia College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communication from the University of Central Missouri and graduated with his Executive MBA from Rollins College in May 2013.

Boyce is the author of the inspirational book, Living Proof: From Foster Care to the White House and NBA, published in 2011. The story highlights his journey to accomplish three major dreams to work for the White House, fly in Air Force One, and work for an NBA team. In 2012, he was honored by the Orlando Business Journal as the 40 under 40 Man of the Year.

Today, aside from his many duties with the Orlando Magic, Boyce travels across the country giving speeches focused on leadership, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, and making a positive impact on the lives of others.

Alan Sitomer

Alan Sitomer is the founder of the Writer’s Success Academy, a former California Teacher of the Year and professor in the Graduate School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. The English teacher turned writer now spends much of his time as a nationally renowned keynote speaker who specializes in engaging underperforming students.

He is an award winning literacy specialist who travels the country helping districts, schools, and students move smartly and competently forward in the quickly shifting landscape of English Language Arts.

A prolific writer, Sitomer has published 16 books with works ranging from "Caged Warrior" and "Hip-Hop High School" to children’s books such as "Daddies Do It Different" and "Daddy’s Zigzagging Bedtime story".

Sitomer lives in Los Angeles where he recently completed the movie script adaptation for his novel "Caged Warrior".

Fredi Lajvardi

Fredi Lajvardi never imagined his students would one day become the subject of a major motion picture and critically acclaimed documentary detailing the story of how they won first place over the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a national robotics championship in 2004. What makes the story even more amazing is that the students were undocumented immigrants from Mexico and had only $800 dollars and used car parts to complete their project. After winning the competition, their story was published in Wired Magazine and ultimately caught the attention of the film industry.

Click Here for the "Spare Parts" Movie Trailer

Lajvardi began his career as a high school science teacher in 1988 in the Phoenix Union High School district in Arizona. It was there that he learned to use his gift to motivate and inspire students beyond their perceived abilities. His students at Carl Hayden Community High School chose to compete in the robotics competition at the college level, rather than against their peers and placed first, second and third in subsequent years but bested MIT each year.

As an esteemed educator and mentor for nearly thirty years, Fredi Lajvardi has won countless regional and national awards, including the IEEE National Outstanding Educator for 2005, the Arizona Department of Education Leadership Award for 2006, and the City of Phoenix Outstanding Teacher of the Year each year from 2005 through 2009.