2020 Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

2021 Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

Motivation, Inspiration and Illumination

The keynote speakers at WSSDA’s Annual Conference are known for inspiring and motivating attendees with their unique perspectives and expertise. This year’s keynote speakers are committed to developing authentic connections and share a belief that each of us can practice compassion and empathy in our daily lives to create a better world, especially in our education spaces.

Houston Kraft – Deep Kindness

We all know Kindness (yes, with a capital K) is a worthwhile pursuit — and something the world needs more than ever. Keynote speaker Houston Kraft’s book Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide to the Way We Think, Talk and Act in Kindness takes an honest look at the gap between our belief in Kindness and our ability to practice it well. In this paradigm-shifting talk, Houston will share through his masterful storytelling what gets in the way of a Kinder world and how we can transform intentions into action.

Houston co-founded CharacterStrong with John Norlin in 2016 to teach students social and emotional skills such as self-regulation and resilience. Together, they have worked with more than 2,500 schools in ten countries and across fifty states to impact more than 1.5 million students worldwide.


Brooke Brown – 2021 Washington Teacher of the Year

2021 Washington Teacher of the Year Brooke Brown has spent the past 14 years teaching English language arts and ethnic studies at Washington High School in the Franklin Pierce School District. She uses her classroom to create a brave, inclusive environment that allows students to show up authentically, centering their experiences and encouraging them to develop empathy and compassion for others.

Brooke believes that learning is done best in community. She works to center student experiences and reminds them how much she learns from them too. She advocates for educating the whole child, often using content to teach life lessons and challenge her students to look for ways to improve their communities.


And meet our general session emcee Erin Jones

In the realm of education in Washington state, Erin needs no introduction. She was the first Black woman in Washington state to run for statewide office in 2016. Erin garnered several awards during her many years as a teacher, including recognition as a “Champion of Change” by the White House in 2013.

As a highly accomplished athlete, educator, and equity champion, Erin now invests her talents and unique experiences to inspire others to examine education systems and practices to help them better serve all students.

In-person health and safety protocols

If you plan to attend conference in-person please take a few minutes to review the Health and Safety Protocols webpage.

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