People



I3
Team Fresno Unified School District

Nan Yurecko
Nan Yurecko is a senior scholar in Culturally Validating Pedagogy and Leadership (CVP/L) for Intercultural Innovations Inc. (I3) and coordinator of MnEEP’s Race Equity Training Center. She brings over three decades of experience working in public schools as a licensed teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. Nan is passionate about educational equity and excellence. She led the presidential Reading Excellence Act (REA) and Reading First grant initiatives. As a district administrator, Nan has supervised all aspects of teaching and learning while leading E-12 literacy initiatives in urban and suburban school districts.
Nan has a B.S. in Special Education from St. Cloud State University and an M.A. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. She completed her superintendent credentials at Minnesota State University-Mankato, and has participated in further instructional leadership study at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University. In addition to leading race equity training and implementation, Nan currently facilitates MnEEP’s Superintendent Race Equity Network (SREL), and coaches principals and central office administrators in creating racially just schools and systems.
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Regina Seabrook
Regina became an educator because she believes in the power of education to transform lives and uplift society. Like many educators, she finds great joy in seeing students experience “aha” moments as they connect their learning to their lives. As a biracial Black Finnish educator who has worked in rural, suburban and urban schools/districts, she draws upon her two distinct cultural and racial heritages to inform her thoughts and her practice as an American educator. She has a vision for how we must live and learn together in our multiracial and culturally diverse society and how we can prosper together. During her years as a classroom teacher and district level leader, she was fortunate to be able to lead teams and collaborate with cross-sector partners to create learning experiences and environments centered on relationships that grew both academic skills and hope. As a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, she continues to facilitate professional development and organizational learning in collaborative partnership with school leaders and for a network of schools and districts.
Regina’s professional website: www.americandialoguecompany.com
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Robert Seth Price
Robert understands the power of lived stories. His development and collaborations with student voice projects create whole school learning and understanding of the values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students in a school. He incorporates technology, the arts, pedagogy, media, language, photography, video and music into his teaching, trainings and collaborations. His focus on pedagogy and reading/writing/student voice are a core of his collaborations. A strength with early childhood includes phonics and writing as a grounding for reading. Robert’s Mobile Critical Thinking Tools for Equity in Learning and Teaching is currently used as a foundational practitioners guide in multiple projects.  His recent collaborations include:  The Pedagogy of Confidence online Action Guide with Yvette Jackson; The CLEAR Model and Intercultural Innovations Inc. (I3) online with Rev Hillstrom; Thinking Foundation with David Hyerle including research, case studies, and video documentation for visual tools; The National Urban Alliance for Effective Education as a consultant; SuccessfulTeachers online with Augusta Mann; grass roots design and implementation of Thinking Schools Ethiopia and Thinking Design Healthcare Ethiopia over eight years; culturally relevant virtual learning focusing on ELA development with autonomous learners for Learning 1 to 1 Foundation;  teaching over ten years in K-5 urban schools and a public arts high school; adjunct professor for ELA and technology university courses in California and New York City; many amplifying student voice projects; and critical thinking training modules for textile workers in East Africa. Robert has taught and is licensed to teach in California, Connecticut and Indiana. He has facilitated trainings internationally in Sri Lanka, Japan, UK, Denmark, and Ethiopia.
Robert’s professional website:  www.eggplant.org.
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Shana Kwatampora
Shana has worked in three of the largest districts in Minnesota in schools serving scholars and communities that have been historically and pervasively underrepresented, misrepresented, and systemically marginalized. This is seen within our data, our classroom management techniques, our curriculum, engagement with community, and the overarching ways we operate. Shana’s implementation of the CLEAR Model and the CLEAR Solutions Framework have guided her work with districts, schools, and educators to critically reflect and make meaningful changes for scholars to show up as their authentic and brilliant selves. The I3 Equity Tools being asset based, are centered in the humanity of each and every scholar which calls us all to the table as there is no excuse for cracks or pipelines. The asset based tools are healing for educational trauma as a gift to support interrupting systems of dehumanization and cultivating a restorative space together.
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William Kuendig
William (Bill) Kuendig is finishing his 20th year in public education. Seven of those years were spent teaching high school Social Studies in urban and alternative learning environments, where these highly diverse student populations responded well to his differentiated and student-centered approach to teaching. Bill received extensive training in both National Urban Alliance and Courageous Conversations methodologies, which has meaningfully impacted his coaching of other educators. Bill’s partnership with Rev Hillstrom has spanned 11 years and three different school districts. During that time, Bill became immersed in the CLEAR Model and its impact on student learning. Bill currently serves as principal of Island Lake Elementary School, where he employs CLEAR-based tools he designed to foster a more culturally-validating learning environment for his students. On the off chance Bill has any free time, he spends it with his three children: Audrey (16), Simone (13) and Evelyn (9). Bill is an active musician in the Twin Cities, travels whenever and wherever possible, and enjoys relaxing at his cabin.
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Jason Knighton-Johnson
Jason Knighton-Johnson is a passionate and engaging  DEI trainer. He currently serves as the Director of Educational Equity for Mounds View Public Schools. He has a rich background of over 25 years of experience in project management, team leadership, organizational change, and coaching. Jason’s equity work is focused on creating sustainable systems change through intuitive systems tools. By injecting humor and real-world experience into his sessions, Jason creates an engaging environment while training, believing in the indigenous epistemology that all knowledge ever will exist within each of us. Jason views his role as a facilitator to draw out within as we work as Individuals Making Positive for Accelerated Change Together.
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Yvette Jackson
Yvette Jackson, EdD, is internationally recognized for her work in assessing the learning potential of disenfranchised urban students. Her research is in literacy, gifted education, and the cognitive mediation theory of Reuven Feuerstein, PhD. She has applied her research to develop an integrated process to motivate and elicit potential in underachievers. This research was the basis for her design of the New York City Gifted Programs Framework when she was the director of gifted programs. As executive director of instruction and professional development for the New York City Board of Education, she led the development and implementation of the Comprehensive Education Plan, which optimizes the delivery of all core curriculum and support services in the public schools of New York City. Jackson has served as the chief executive officer of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, founded at the College Board and Teachers College, Columbia University. She works with school district administrators and teachers across the country to customize and deliver systemic approaches to literacy development through instructional practices that integrate culture, language, and cognition to expand and accelerate student learning and achievement. She is a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, a member of ASCD’s Differentiated Instruction Cadre, and a keynote presenter at national and international conferences. Jackson received a BA from Queens College of the City University of New York with a double major in education and French. At Columbia University’s Teachers College, she was awarded an MA in curriculum, an EdM in educational administration, and a doctorate in educational administration.
More about Pedagogy of Confidence may be found at www.pedagogyofconfidence.net
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David Hyerle
David Hyerle, Ed.D. (UC Berkeley and Harvard Schools of Education) is an international leader in the field of thinking process development through teaching, learning and leading for equity in education.  He is the creator of the Thinking Maps® language and author of in depth professional development resources published by Thinking Maps, Inc.  He also created and co-authored the early childhood learning approach, pre-k to 3, that animates cognition, communication, and collaboration in classrooms: Thinking Friends (www.thinkingfriends.org). Presently, David is CEO of Thinking Schools International, a group focused on school wide implementation of an integrated approach using multiple, integrated pathways for facilitating thinking.  He has worked in depth in countries such as Ethiopia, South Africa, Thailand, Pakistan, Malaysia, and the UK.  David is known for his engaging workshops and visionary keynote presentations, as well as authoring over 50 books, journal articles, and practitioners’ guides. These include the best-selling books for fully documenting qualitative and quantitative results: Visual Tools for Transforming Information into Knowledge (3rd ed) and Student Successes with Thinking Maps® (3nd edition). His other co-authored books include Pathways to Thinking Schools  and Developing Connective Leadership (Successes with Thinking Maps®).  Research on Thinking Maps® and other approaches for facilitating learner centered thinking and Habits of Mind may be found at www.thinkingfoundation.org.   
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Rev PM Crowley Hillstrom
Rev Hillstrom, Ed.D. is one of this country’s foremost Indigenous scholars leading systemic change for excellence and equity. Through the pillars of
The CLEAR Model (Culture, Learning, Equitable, Achievement and Responsive) and the I.M.P.A.C.T. model (Individuals Making Positive Accelerated Change Together) he guides systems in generating the equity consciousness needed for conceptual, behavioral, and structural transformation. Rev’s undergraduate studies in Music and American Indian Studies at Augsburg University gave rise to his Masters’ studies at Bethel University in Ethnomusicology and eventually lead to a Doctorate in Teaching and Learning from the University of Minnesota. As a systems change innovator, Hillstrom’s approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) connects his own Indigenous worldview, artistic talents, and intuitive insight with the intrinsic values of participants. This approach creates a rich professional learning experience in Culturally Validating Pedagogy (CVP) and Culturally Validating Leadership (CVL), addressing the varied learning styles, perspectives, and assets of stakeholders of all races, ethnicities, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds. This equips the participants to be lifelong learners and leaders. From start-ups to large organizations and institutions (both non-profit and for profit), Hillstrom shares his gifts. He challenges each stakeholder, and administrators to grow in their understanding of who they are and what their relationship is with the world around them. Dr. Hillstrom is the founder of Intercultural Innovations Inc. (I3), home of the I.M.P.A.C.T. Model, The CLEAR Model, and The CLEAR Solutions Framework, and serves Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) as the Senior Director of Research. He also promotes excellence and equity by serving with regional and national organizations including the National Urban Alliance. Dr. Hillstrom’s work includes nationally published articles, presentations at several national conferences, multiple copyrighted system tools and the publication of his book Educational Settings Impact on Minnesota American Indian Academic Proficiency.
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Dennis Draughn
Dennis Draughn is an educational leader focused on his commitment to fostering inclusive environments and advancing equity for all stakeholders. As an African American male, Dennis brings a unique perspective to his work, combining his philosophy of equity and inclusion with extensive experience in culturally responsive instructional leadership. His philosophy centers on empowering individuals and communities to embrace an equitable growth mindset, and challenging systemic inequities at every turn. Through his roles as an Equity Teacher with Osseo Area Schools and as the Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Benilde St. Margaret’s School, Dennis has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to disrupting racial biases and fostering communities of belonging.
Dennis leverages his expertise in restorative practices and strategic planning effectively mediating collaborations with stakeholders to implement sustainable solutions. He is adept at providing strategic direction and consultation to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice principles, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. As a member of the first Racial Equity Advocate cohort under Education Minnesota’s Facing Inequities and Racism in Education program (F.I.R.E), he gained invaluable insights into leading systemic change and supporting educators’ journey towards equity. Dennis’s proactive involvement in committees, such as the diversion committee for suspending students of color, highlights his commitment to addressing systemic challenges and driving meaningful progress. Dennis Draughn’s unwavering commitment to equity and inclusion inspires positive transformation within educational institutions and beyond.
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Maureen Araya
Maureen is passionate about guiding organizations, teams, and individuals to define and achieve their goals. She enjoys partnering together to identify and translate big, bold visions into attainable action steps. Whether it’s through 1:1 coaching, providing dynamic professional learning opportunities, or thoughtful strategic planning her goal is always the same:  Leverage our individual and collective strengths, overcome challenges & create sustainable, positive impact. Maureens areas of expertise include systems change, change management, project management, learning and development, coaching, training and facilitating, designing professional development, equity, diversity & inclusion, educational equity, multilingual education and engaging diverse stakeholders. She is a life-long learner who loves to travel and find the beauty in meeting new people and being in new spaces, and aspires to capture those experiences through photography (which has been a serious work in progress over the last few years). She is always open to honest conversations.
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