Speaker Bios (extended)
Mario Acosta, EdD, spent 20 years of his educational career as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, academic director, and principal leading schools with diverse profiles in the state of Texas. He was named the 2022 Principal of the Year in the State of Texas while he was the principal at Westwood High School, a U.S. News & World Report top-50 campus and member of the High Reliability Schools (HRS) Network.
Dr. Acosta has had success in leading schools of all sizes, with students and teachers from a variety of backgrounds, communities, and socio-economic status. Dr. Acosta has led “school turnaround” in high poverty schools in the State of Texas at both the middle and high school levels which yielded immediate and significant growth in student achievement data. Furthermore, under his leadership, Westwood High School was recognized as a top 1% campus in the nation for their academic achievement and college/career readiness.
In 2022, Dr. Acosta joined the Marzano Resources-Solution Tree team and works as an author and national presenter. Dr. Acosta specializes in campus-level implementation of effective campus culture, High Reliability Schools, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), instructional improvement, response to intervention, effective teaching strategies for English Language Learners (ELLs), and standards-referenced reporting. As an HRS certifier, Dr. Acosta works with K–12 schools and districts across the United States as they progress through the various levels of certification.
Mario holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas and a superintendent certification in the state of Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from Lamar University.
G. Alexander Bryant
Glenward Alexander (“Alex”) Bryant, DMin, serves as the president of the North American Division and vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Prior to his current position, he served as executive secretary of the North American Division and president of the Central States Conference as well as Temperance director, Youth/Pathfinders/National Service Organization director, and superintendent of Education.
Dr. Bryant earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and business administration from Oakwood College in 1981. In 1982, he began his ministry in Springfield, Missouri and in Coffeyville and Independence, Kansas. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1986 and earned his Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in 1988. In December 2011, he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Dr. Bryant also served as a student missionary to Japan for a year. In college, his gift of administration flourished, and he started to serve as director of Adventist Youth at Oakwood College and as president of the Black Students Association of the Seminary (BSAS) at Andrews University.
The General Conference Executive Committee also recognized that God had given Dr. Bryant the special gift of leadership and elected him to serve as executive secretary of the North American Division in October 2008, in Manila, Philippines. He was re-elected in Atlanta, Georgia at the 2010 General Conference Session as executive secretary of the North American Division.
Tina H. Boogren, PhD, is a fierce advocate for educators, particularly for their well-being. She is the author of numerous best-selling books centered around her passion areas of quality instruction, coaching, mentoring, and wellness and is codirector of Solution Tree’s Wellness Solutions for Educators with Dr. Timothy D. Kanold. She also hosts the weekly podcast “Self-Care for Educators with Dr. Tina H. Boogren” and has been recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Gurus in Education.
Dr. Carlton P. Byrd is the President of the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists with headquarters in Dallas, TX. This responsibility gives Dr. Byrd oversight for the churches, schools, and workers of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in the five state regional territory of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Dr. Byrd is a graduate of Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL with dual degrees, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. He is also a graduate of Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN, where he earned the Master of Business Administration Degree, and a graduate of Andrews University (SDA Theological Seminary) in Berrien Springs, MI, where he earned both the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degrees.
In his 27 years of pastoral leadership in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Georgia, Dr. Byrd has baptized over 22,000 persons, constructed and renovated churches and schools, served on numerous denominational and community boards, along with serving as a guest minister on several religious television networks.
From 2010 to 2021, Dr. Byrd also had the privilege of serving as the Speaker/Director of the Breath of Life Television Broadcast for the SDA Church in North America. During his tenure at Breath of Life, nearly 20,000 persons were baptized, four churches planted, six national holiday television specials produced, and financial assets increased by 1,000%.
Laugh Again: 5 Secrets to Sanity, Success & Significance
Education can be serious business. So let award-winning comedian and radio host Phil Callaway remind you how to bring laughter and perspective to your life, home, and workplace. Educators from Canada to Hong Kong have been inspired by the clean humor and practical insights of this international best-selling author. With stories of school pranks, a runaway lawnmower, and two teachers that changed him, you’ll be reminded how to thrive in tough times, chase stuff that lasts, and leave footprints worth following. “I laughed so hard, then the tears came,” says Jean, an elementary school teacher. “My students will be seeing a welcome difference in me.” Don’t forget to bring your funny bone!
The members of this incredible, and well received Trio is blessed with a gift from God, to use their voices to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ, through Christian music in a Southern Gospel style. All three members are singer songwriters, and one is a producer, and another an Audio Engineer.
Cyiza Music Ministry (also referred to as CMM), and is pronounced (Cheeza), have reached thousands around the world through music and multimedia, focused on pointing towards the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. CMM stands on the Word of God as their anchor and guidance.
Dr. Robyn R. Jackson is passionate about building better educators. As the CEO of Mindsteps® Inc. she has helped thousands of k12 administrators and teachers become Master Teachers and High Performing Principals who can help any child and any school be successful.
With over 25 years in the profession, Dr. Jackson is a National Board Certified high school English teacher, an award winning middle school administrator, author, internationally recognized keynote speaker, and highly sought-after consultant in thousands of schools and districts worldwide. Her work has helped teachers and administrators develop rigorous, equitable instructional programs that provide every student with the support and motivation they need to reach or exceed the standards.
A few years ago, Dr. Jackson began to notice that even the most well-meaning, hard-working teachers and administrators struggled to reach their goals for their schools. So, she developed a simple 4-part framework called Buildership® that helps you develop a bold vision, mission, and core values—while using the resources you already have—to create a school where 100% of your students can be successful.
In 2022, Dr. Jackson opened the virtual doors to Buildership® University where she helps K-12 Principals, Superintendents, District Staff and Asst. Principals apply the Buildership® Model to their schools and districts and create alignment, build high- functioning schools and healthy culture, create consistent and tangible teacher growth each year, and achieve their 100% visions for their students in 3 years or less.
Dr. Jackson is the best-selling author of 13 books, including the award-winning Never Underestimate Your Teachers and the international best-seller Never Work Harder Than Your Students. She also hosts the popular podcast School Leadership Reimagined where each week, she offers free training on how to use Buildership® to build a bigger vision, develop a better process, and achieve a brighter future for your schools.
When she’s not traveling the world, Dr. Jackson enjoys cooking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her Husband Charles and their Cane Corsos Nola and Massai.
Kim Strobel is an internationally-known motivational speaker for schools, businesses, and organizations and travels the globe sharing the impact of happiness on well-being and reaching for more fulfillment in our lives.
Kim is a powerhouse, influencer, consultant, and happiness coach, whose work shapes the way schools, businesses, and organizations reclaim their happiness, ignite their passion, and lead with purpose. She focuses on helping them create what she calls work~life flow which means we achieve high levels of fulfillment in ALL areas of our lives.
Companies like Google, The Department of Education, International Tech, Schools, Organizations, and Corporate companies call on Kim to help them prioritize their health and well-being so they can overcome burnout and create a life of meaning, passion, and purpose from the INSIDE-OUT.
As a former teacher, curriculum director, and now happiness and leadership coach, her goal is to inspire you by providing thought-provoking research, heartwarming stories, and simple action steps that get you life-changing results.
During her 25-year education career, she partnered with people at all levels to implement innovative and inspirational practices in the classroom, increase academic achievement, and create positive school-wide climates. She also consults with businesses and organizations on creating happiness and well-being habits while creating the mind shifts that improve the culture and performance of organizations.
When Kim’s not rescuing dogs (as in 171 dogs), she’s a highly sought-after global keynote speaker who uses her contagious high-energy style to empower and emboldens her audiences. Motivational, inspirational, and always approachable, Kim’s “real talk” attitude is a refreshing approach that allows her to authentically connects with audiences everywhere.
It’s hard to imagine how many times Micah Tyler spent his days wondering ‘what’s next,’ while driving a sausage delivery truck across southeast Texas. Surely he was questioning his own discernment to quit his youth pastor gig, sell half of what he owned to move his family into a single-wide trailer, and start traveling the region performing songs he’d written.
Not an easy move for a guy in his late 20s living in somewhat-reclusive Buna, Texas with a wife, three kids, and no strong connection to the music industry at the time. “I just knew I had to be obedient and step out into music full time,” Micah recalls. “I told the Lord, ‘I don’t know how to be a professional musician, but you’ve taught me to be faithful.’ It was a daily decision to wake up every morning and stop worrying about tomorrow.”
Fast-forward down that long road and the same guy behind the delivery truck wheel now has a record deal on the same label as MercyMe, Newsboys, & Skillet as well as multiple Dove Award & KLOVE Award nominations, two BMI Top 25 Christian Songs, an appearance in a major motion picture movie, and five #1 songs.
A big part of Micah’s journey has included traveling 200 days per year, ranging from performances at youth and college aged camps to conferences to touring with other artists. His impact and understanding of his younger audiences was immortalized on a viral parody video titled “Millennials,” which has over 65 million cumulative views on YouTube and Facebook. He has toured with big name artists such as MercyMe, David Crowder, Jeremy Camp, Phil Wickham, and Big Daddy Weave.
Hundreds of nights on the road have certainly honed Micah’s purpose for ministry through a growing list of self-penned tunes borne from a place that’s as real as the person he’s trying to be. “These songs are battle-tested,” says Micah. “I want to live the music I’m writing. There are some songs I can’t write because I haven’t lived there yet. When someone comes up to me after a concert and tells me how my songs affected them, I want to make sure they know I can relate.”
Different seems appropriate for Micah since life looks a lot different than it did ten years ago. But the passion and drive of that original step he took to serve the Lord remains very much the same and we hope that never changes.
While Micah never anticipated releasing his sophomore album during a global pandemic, that is exactly what happened when New Today released in April 2020. Interviews were all via Zoom and instead of a fun album release party, he had to switch gears into producing a fun livestream in partnership with radio stations across the country to successfully launch the record. While this is something Micah would rather not do again, these are songs that needed to be out in the world, especially with so much fear of the unknown.
You have probably heard “AMEN” and “New Today” on your local radio station as they are his two most current singles from this new album. It has been truly inspiring to hear the fans stories and reactions to these poignant songs.
While Micah is grateful for the time he was able to spend at home with his family, which was more time than ever before since becoming an artist, he is looking forward to getting back on the road and interacting with fans in person! Be sure to follow Micah on social media and check out his website www.micahtyler.com for tour dates and other information!