Merrill Middle School
Ms. Spizzirri previously taught English at the high school level in her native Ecuador and has spent the last seven years teaching Spanish at Merrill Middle School. She also facilitated middle school Foreign Languages Acquisition Professional Development for DMPS and worked at Drake University with the Languages Department in the DULAP Program (Drake Language Partners) providing conversational Spanish classes at the university level. Clemencia Spizzirri believes in the power of education and volunteering work. She volunteered at Lutheran Services of Iowa teaching English and life skills to refugees and served as a site coordinator of a program called Al Exito helping the Latino Community of Des Moines to learn, promote and advocate for their children’ social, emotional and academic success.
In 2015 Ms. Spizzirri was named Iowa Teacher of the Year, becoming the first Latino Female Immigrant (not born in the USA or USA territories) to receive this honor in the state of Iowa and in the whole country.
During her tenancy as the Ambassador of Education for the State of Iowa, she worked on many educational initiatives across the state and the country. Her working platform is based on promoting and sustaining a culture of achievement for every student, assuring the use of culturally relevant curriculum and empowering teachers to become culturally aware and sensitive to increase student’s academic success through knowledge and innovation.
She is currently a doctoral student for Leadership and Innovation at Walden University. Her research interests include linguistic approaches to bilingualism, the early identification for gifted and talented ELL students through their transition from basic, intermediate to advance levels of language learning, culture and community engagement, multicultural literacy, equity and social justice.
Des Moines Register
Online audience manager, chief digital officer, e-commerce manager - these jobs did not exist when Mr. Chivers was walking the halls of North High School and serving as the editor of the Oracle there during his junior and senior years. Yet, he has found success in these roles and others while working for the Wall Street Journal, Meredith Corp., Jostens, MarketWatch and the Des Moines Register.
Mr. Chivers will draw from these experiences to share on the importance of digital literacy - an area that is only growing.
6th Grade STEM
Cascade School District
Shannon Fallon currently works as a 6th grade STEM teacher and has been Nationally Board Certified in E.A. Mathematics since 2006. She received her MA in Education from the University of Washington in 2001, focused on Mathematics Education. Shannon is a state science fellow and district leader for implementation of the NGSS science standards. Shannon trains teachers and administrators in the Cascade School District on OneNote, Microsoft Classroom and other Office 365 in Education apps. Her belief in and commitment to grass roots technology initiatives, sparked a district wide OneNote integration and began a district philosophical shift in “curriculum adoptions.” Shannon is also a Microsoft Innovative Expert, Microsoft in the Classroom Trainer as well as Certified Minecraft trainer.
of Business Development
i2e (Innovation to Enterprise)
As Senior Manager of Business Development for i2e, Helen Lianos works with schools and education corporations across the world. Her passion is helping every student and teacher achieve their potential and become lifelong learners. Her career has provided Helen the opportunity to know the education space from classroom educator to administrator. Helen has worked with Microsoft as a Fellow and Master Trainer, and she is a Microsoft Certified Educator. She has also developed content for several Microsoft teams and programs with a focus on successful educational application of Microsoft products and services. Helen currently also helps to manage the Microsoft World Wide Teacher Ambassadors.