2021 Super Conference Keynote Speakers

Jack Berckemeyer


A nationally-recognized presenter, author, and humorist, Jack Berckemeyer, began his career as a middle school teacher in Denver, Colorado. After two years of teaching he was named as an outstanding educator at his school, and shortly thereafter he was identified as one of the outstanding educators in the district. In 2003, he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Falcon School District. Jack brings his energy, humor, and expertise to all staff development as he helps teachers and administrators remember why this job makes a difference. Jack has presented in conference and school district settings both nationally and internationally. Jack served as a judge for the Disney American Teacher Awards and served on the selection committee for the USA TODAY All Teacher Team.
Jack Berckemeyer is known for his motivating, practical ideas communicating a message of hope, laughter, and insight into education. Jack was also the Assistant Executive Director for the National Middle School Association for 13 years and is the author of Managing the Madness - A Practical Guide to Middle Grades Classrooms. He is also the co-author of H.E.L.P. for Teachers. His most recent publications are Taming of the Team -How Great Teams Work Together and Deliberate Optimism - Reclaiming the Joy in Education, co-authored with Dr. Debbie Silver and Judith Baenen.
Jack is the owner of the Nuts and Bolts Symposiums, a highly acclaimed, never boring conference for educators.
Jack lives in Denver, Colorado and has no pets or plants.

Dr. Joshua B. Smith


Dr. Joshua B. Smith traces his interest in geology to his sixth birthday, when he received a totally consuming dinosaur book as a gift. This interest grew through his formal education (BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; ScM, PhD, University of Pennsylvania) and a field research career that has spanned eight countries, three Canadian Provinces, and 23 states and territories. He has taught Earth Science courses at multiple levels, from K-12 homeschooled students to PhD candidates. Most recently, this has involved NGSS-aligned field projects that he designed for homeschooling students in Maine. He has managed graduate student research teams, led multiweek international field expeditions, and directed a diverse team of science assessment professionals. Dr. Smith has held three-dimensionally-aligned summative item development responsibility for, or has been involved in, contracts with Delaware, Washington, Utah, Hawaii, West Virginia, Idaho, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the US Virgin Islands. These positions have involved facilitating or leading many dozens of educator meetings related to drafting of phenomena and phenomenon-focused test questions, and the development or review of three-dimensional standards-aligned test blueprints and test items. He has also run professional development short courses on both phenomena and the structure of three-dimensional standards.

Kathie Nunley


Kathie F. Nunley delights teachers from around the world with her practical and inspirational solutions to the challenges of today’s diverse classrooms. Her popular seminars and workshops combine classroom experience with her current brain-imaging research. A noted speaker at state, national and international conferences, Dr. Nunley is the author of many books and articles on the brain and teaching in mixed-ability classrooms. Her work has been used by institutions and publications around the globe, including Family Circle magazine, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, Canadian Living, the Washington Post, and the Boeing Corporation. She is the developer of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction and has spent over 15 years as a classroom teacher in both urban and suburban schools.

Robert Kaplinsky


Robert Kaplinsky has been an educator since 2003 as a classroom teacher, teacher specialist for Downey Unified School District, instructor for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and presenter at conferences around the world. He co-founded the website Open Middle, has been published in Edutopia and Education Week, is the author of Open Middle Math: Problems That Unlock Student Thinking, and created the #ObserveMe movement. He’s also the founder and president of Grassroots Workshops.