Get to Know Our Conference Speakers

We’ve lined up some topnotch speakers—Razia Jan, Michael Fullan, and Kwame Alexander—for NAESP 2019 Pre-K-8 Principals Conference.

The NAESP 2019 Pre-K-8 Principals Conference is July 10-12 in Spokane, Washington, and we’ve lined up some topnotch keynote speakers—Razia Jan, Michael Fullan, and Kwame Alexander.
January 2019, Volume 42, Issue 5

The NAESP 2019 Pre-K-8 Principals Conference is July 10-12 in Spokane, Washington, and we’ve lined up some topnotch keynote speakers—Razia Jan, Michael Fullan, and Kwame Alexander.Over the next few months, we’re giving you the chance to get to know our speakers a little bit better. Find out what makes them passionate about education and where they see the future of education heading. Plus, they’ve shared with us their answers to some rapid fire questions about what they wanted to be when they grew up, their go-to books, and more.

Up first is Razia Jan, founder and president of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation.

Why did you make global education your mission?

When one looks at the world map there are no boundaries. We are all from different parts of the world somehow connected together. I was given the best education as a child and also as an adult. My civic duty was to go back and re-cultivate the seeds of education for girls in my war-torn homeland of Afghanistan.

Why should school and communities think more globally when it comes to education?

Throughout the global history of education, it is clear that communities are the basis for educating their children according to their culture and history. As there is a vast number of immigrants throughout the world, we have to foster a global perspective in our schools and communities.

What is the biggest hurdle to overcome in regard to turning education into the globally focused approach?

The biggest hurdle to overcome regarding global education is the mentality of the community. When educators face illiterate and ignorant people, they have to find a method to persuade them of the benefit of education.

What educator had the most impact on you during your school years, and why did he or she have a lasting impression?

As a student, one comes across many amazing teachers. It is very difficult to give credit to one. The one person that I remember every day of my life is my mother. What she tried to teach me as a child and as an adult is priceless.

What unconventional topic do you wish students could learn as a subject in school and why?

Due to 40 years of war in Afghanistan, somehow the women are treated as second-hand citizens. The only way we can change the perception is through education. It is important to educate young girls about would be how to preserve their self-respect and dignity among their peers and also with their families.

What was your favorite book as a child and as an adult?

Cinderella and the Glass Slipper as a child. Thousand Splendid Suns as an adult.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?


What was your favorite subject in school?


What She’ll Speak About at #NAESP19

Linking our lives with others for the greater good is a common trait of American educators. We consistently strive to lead people to understand connections between their lives within the school and community as well as across the globe. It is no secret that cultural differences affect both teaching and learning. How can today’s leaders expand their scope and lead schools with a greater emphasis on global education? Come take a trip with Razia Jan, founder of Razia’s Ray of Hope, and explore her empowering story of forging connections between Afghans and Americans. Leave with a greater understanding that whether in America or Afghanistan, we share many commonalities and can embrace the differences to create a better world for the students to come.

To learn more about Razia and the other speakers, go to the conference website.

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