Past Conferences


Keynote: Dr. Ariel Taylor

Dr. Taylor spoke about authentic student engagement, differentiation, and effective student accountability, topics that she explores in her 2018 book: Party of Four Please!: Differentiation at Its Best



Keynote: Brianna Rapini

The One Creating Is the One Who Is Learning: Brianna believes that we must allow our students to be creators—when they are creating, they are learning. She discussed obstacles she has faced when encouraging creativity in the classroom and described her work with her sister on the popular Amoeba Sisters YouTube series.



Keynote Panel: Katey Arrington, Daniel FitzPatrick, Andrew Lowry, Janice Trinidad, Dr. Ariel Taylor

Four UTeach Austin alumni discussed their perspectives and experiences with leadership in STEM education. Dr. Paige Evans, teachHouston clinical associate professor, moderated the panel.

  • Katey Arrington (UTeach Austin, 2001) is manager of the K-12 System Services team at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. 
  • Daniel FitzPatrick (UTeach Austin, 2006) is clinical assistant professor and mathematics master teacher at UTeach Austin.
  • Andrew Lowry (UTeach Austin, 2006) is an assistant principal at Obra D. Tompkins High School in Katy ISD. 
  • Janice Trinidad (UTeach Austin, 2007) is was a founding staff member at Manor New Technology High School and now works at Cedars International High School in Austin, where faculty are committed to using PBL with a high needs student population. 
  • Ariel J. Taylor (UTeach Austin, 2011) is the math specialist at Bush High School in Fort Bend ISD. Outside of her educational leadership work, she engages in youth empowerment through the nonprofit organization, The RISE Project, which she founded as an undergraduate student.



Keynote: Mariam Manuel 

Mariam shared her UTeach journey from classroom teaching into leadership roles that ultimately took her back to her stomping grounds at teachHOUSTON. She discussed the challenges and obstacles she's faced, offering UTeach alumni inspiration as well as practical insights about navigating the education system and taking on leadership in a range of settings.

Mariam is a Science Master Teacher for teachHOUSTON and is an alumna of that program. She also serves as the alumni member on the board of the UTeach STEM Educator's Association, which has inquiry-based education for students at the heart of its mission.



Keynote: Michael Ralph

A growing community of educators across the nation is endeavoring to build more engaging and effective classrooms centered on fostering student success. UTeach alumni are joining this community in ever-increasing numbers, and they can affect this exciting movement in dramatic and sometimes unexpected ways. Michael’s story of becoming a contributing education professional yielded lessons that can help other alumni as they become dynamic collaborators themselves.

Michael teaches freshman biology, AP biology, and genetics and biotechnology. He also serves on his district’s curriculum development committee, as his department’s technology support contact, on the Kansas Association of Biology Teachers board as the treasurer, as a College Board AP Insight consultant, and as a master teacher for Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry through the Concord Consortium.



Keynote: Katey Arrington

Katey asked conference attendees to consider how teacher leaders might affect the forces shaping our daily work through leadership roles and participation in professional organizations. 

Arrington is manager of the Charles A. Dana Center’s K–12 Systems Services and oversees the delivery of the center’s services for educators and administrators across the United States.