2018 WATG Annual Conference Keynote Speakers
Thursday, Nov 1
Pre-Con Workshop: Establishing Youth-Adult Partnerships to Improve Learning and Engagement (for youth-educator teams)
Keynote: Nothing About Me Without Me: Student Voice and Partnership at the Center.
ABOUT HELEN BEATTIE
Helen Beattie is the founder and Executive Director of UP for Learning (Unleashing the Power of Partnership for Learning). Her creation of UP for Learning reflects a life-long passion for elevating the voices of those who feel disempowered and voiceless, either in the health or education realms. She specializes in strategies to engage youth in school change efforts to build their learning and leadership capacity.
She is an ardent advocate for reshaping the conception of the role of students in learning and change and contributing to research in this domain, including co-hosting for the third year an “International Seminar: Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership”. This event brings together researchers, educators (higher education and secondary level) community and school-based practitioners and youth from around the world, to elevate youth-adult partnerships in learning and school change.
Helen has written multiple place-based and action research curricula which have been implemented statewide and replicated nationally, facilitated numerous student leadership and faculty development retreats, and taught a variety of Master’s level courses on school redesign, experiential education strategies and the elevation of young people as change agents.
Helen was nominated by the Vermont Agency of Education as the New England Secondary Schools Consortium 2016 “Vermont State Champion,” defined as a “persuasive voice for enhancing learning through strong policy, best practice and supportive public will.”
Previous Professional Positions
ABOUT ASAH WHALEN
Asah is a rising senior from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. The son of two teachers, Asah is passionate about protecting public schools and making sure that students find purpose and meaning in their learning . He was an active participant in UP for Learning's initiatives during his high school years and therefore has first hand experience being an agent of change in a youth-adult partnership context.
At St. Michael’s College, Asah is studying political science and journalism. He is the President of the Model United Nations and the Political Science Honors society. He recently spent the summer in Hong Kong creating curriculum with a NGO committed to education for sustainability in schools. Asah is also a member of the UP for Learning Board of Directors. He enjoys long distance backpacking and alpine skiing in his free time.
FRIDAY, Nov 2
Keynote: Authentic Student Leadership
Teen Conference: Youth-Driven Change: Developing Authentic Leadership to Make a Difference in the World
ABOUT MOLLY MESSENGER
Molly Messenger is the Director of Pittsfield Listens, an organization dedicated to redesigning and reinvigorating the way its community makes educational progress by fostering leadership and empowering residents to develop systems and structures that ensure greater public participation in school decision-making. Molly brings a wealth of experience in education and rural organizing with youth, parents, and families to her work in Pittsfield, engaging residents on issues and polices that impact their education and their lives. She also leads problem solving through roundtable dialogues, collaborating with local organizations to facilitate small group conversations that help the community navigate through a particular issue. On a daily basis, Molly works with youth and families who have been marginalized through historical education structures to ensure that the community’s models of education put all children in a position for future success.
Molly is a Carsey Fellow for New Hampshire Listens, which works to help build, strengthen, and sustain civic infrastructure to support a strong democracy. New Hampshire Listens does this through facilitator training and process design to ensure fair, inclusive, and informed outcomes for local and statewide projects. Molly also serves on the boards of Ossipee Listens and Global Awareness Local Action, a non-profit that strengthens communities by bringing people together to discover passions and cultivate skills that enrich rural lives and livelihoods. She has a B.A. in Anthropology & International Affairs from University of New Hampshire, during which time she spent a semester with the School of International Training in Kenya.
ABOUT STEFNE RICCI
Stefne Ricci is a senior at Pittsfield Middle High School. She is the Vice Chair of the Pittsfield Listens Board, a Team Leader of Pittsfield Youth Voice in it Together (PYViiT) of Pittsfield Listens, and part of Pittsfield Justice Committee.
She loves music and is involved in band and chorus at the school. She is also passionate about social justice work and youth voice. Her favorite thing about Pittsfield is how community-orientated it is.