Keynote Speakers

Stay tuned for information on our 25th Annual Winter Conference coming in January 2018!

24th Annual OACE Winter Conference
January 26-28, 2017

Keynote Speakers

Wally Ybarra

Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Wally Ybarra is a motivating speaker and consultant with experience across the United States. With an energetic and engaging attitude, he helps clients create company culture with intention. Emphasizing core values, vision, and inclusion of all employees, Wally guides companies through a strategic process intended to build an inspiring culture in which the company’s mission motivates employees to be full participants. In addition, Wally has built a reputation as a motivational speaker with the capacity to inspire people in the areas of academics, goals, leadership, and community contribution.

With expertise in the area of student retention, Wally has helped schools and programs develop purposeful strategies and increase contributions to the community made by students, including those identified as at-risk. As a nationally certified Strengthening Families Facilitator, he has helped schools create an inclusive culture where students and families can connect and be involved in the academic process.

Wally is a skilled facilitator of Everything DiSC and Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team profile assessments. With his background in social work and counseling – he is a licensed clinical counselor in drug and alcohol addiction – Wally has a deep understanding of how people can make fundamental, positive changes in their outlooks and their lives. As a coach, he strives to cause a shift in his clients’ way of thinking and initiate a transformation in their lives. He is an engaging teacher who brings meaning and humor to learning situations and is energized by seeing people achieve success and find meaning in the workplace and life.

Dr. Markisha Smith

Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 11:45 am – 1:15 pm

Dr. Markisha Smith joined the Office of Learning Equity Unit in August of 2013. She currently serves as Director for the Equity Team. Her work is specifically focused on best practice in culturally responsive pedagogy and practice, and closing opportunity/access/belief gaps for students of color, English Learners, and students experiencing poverty across the state. Markisha’s previous experience includes working as the Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education at Warner Pacific College, as an Assistant Professor at Western Oregon University and Northern Michigan University, and as a high school English teacher in Houston, Texas for nine years.

Amy Kim – OCR / US Dept of Education

Saturday, January 28, 2017 @ 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Amy Kim has worked for the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Dept. of Education since 2002, and has worked extensively in schools as a civil rights attorney helping students and families resolve discrimination complaints, including special education and disability-related concerns. She is the lead presenter on OCR’s outreach project focusing on the civil rights of Native Youth in schools.

Previously, she worked for the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Amy obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington, and J.D. from the University of Washington, School of Law.

Amy enjoys volunteering in her local community and has assisted a variety of community and civic organizations, including serving as an officer of the International Community Health Services (a community health center), the Civil Rights Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, and the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee. Amy is the child of political refugees from Korea, and grew up in Covington, WA. She currently resides in Seattle.


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