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2017 Presenters







KURT WOOTTON is the Co-Founder of the Arts Literacy Project at Brown University and Director of Habla: Center for Language and Culture in Merida, Mexico. With a specialty in creative literacy pedagogies, teacher professional development, and organizational change, Wootton works with teachers and administrators helping to design schools and organizations that are creative, meaningful, and welcoming places. Previously he worked as an urban school reform consultant for the Providence School District and has led literacy initiatives for the Boston Public Schools, the St. Paul Public Schools, the Central Falls School District, and Plan Estratégico de Mérida, Mexico. He is the co-author of A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts (Harvard Education Press, 2012). He writes a blog at











GOWRI SAVOOR is a visual artist who creates environmental sculpture, works on paper and performs the Indian art of Rangoli. Born in Manchester, England, she was educated in Manchester and Leeds, and moved to the United States in 2007. Savoor has exhibited in the U.S., the U.K., and internationally. Savoor also works as an arts integration specialist and is dedicated to bringing art to the community. She believes passionately in the power of participatory community art events. See her work here:










LIZ REMINGTON is the Co-Founder and the Director of Professional Development for The Learning Alliance. TLA, in collaboration with the Indian River County School District and the wider community, has set the Moonshot Moment goal of having 90% of third grade students reading at or above grade level. Liz’s efforts reached a world-wide audience when her work with TLA was featured on the PBS NewsHour in September 2014, and TLA/Moonshot Moment has earned the Pacesetter Award from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading four times. Liz earned her BA in English Lit from the University of Delaware and her Master's in Learning Disabilities from American University, where she was one of the last students to work with the legendary Sally Smith, the founder of the Washington Lab School. 










DEBBI ARSENEAUX is the Moonshot Institute Program Manager and an Educational Consultant and Teaching Artist with The Learning Alliance. She has been a classroom teacher in the Washington DC P​ublic S​chool District and worked as a professional Theatre Director​, Stage Manager, Producer​ and​ freelance Teaching Artist in the DC area for over 15 years.  Specializing in arts integration, she believes in the power of the arts to reach and teach students of all ages.











LESLIE CONNELLY is a certified educator in Elementary Education K-6 with a Master's in Educational Leadership. A team member of The Learning Alliance, she serves as an Educational Consultant and Liaison with the Indian River County School District. She is trained in Conscious Discipline, Wilson, Fundations, Backward Design, and many other researched based strategies.  She is excited to be a part of the journey to reach our Moonshot Moment Goal of 90% of third graders reading on grade level.











FRAN MCDONOUGH is a District Liaison for Indian River School District and an Educational Consultant with The Learning Alliance, managing the Moonshot Academy afterschool programs. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University and is a certified K-6 educator, with Clinical Educator training.  She has a strong background in foundational literacy skills, and has received certification in multiple research based programs.  Having taught at the elementary level, her passion lies in providing rich integrated learning experiences for children and quality professional development for teachers. 













WANDA LINCOLN has taught grades K-8.  She also has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in language arts and classroom management.  She has authored (or co-authored) eleven books and many articles.  She has been both a national and international educational consultant, speaking at schools and conferences around the world.  She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.


BRIDGET LYONS is an Arts/Literacy Educator with The Learning Alliance and Manager of the Reading Rocket. Bridget has nearly 25 years of teaching experience, internationally and in the United States.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, and certification in Gifted Education and Visual Arts.  Bridget was named “Teacher of the Year” in two district schools for 2011 and 2017.  She was the first recipient of the Willie C. Reagan Award for Educational Arts Leadership awarded by the Cultural Council of Indian River County. 

SHANTI SANCHEZ is the School, Youth, and Community Impact Programs Manager at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Along with Bridget Lyons, she is a part of bringing Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project to Indian River County. She has facilitated a Reggio Emilia professional learning community with Childcare Resources, taught and managed the Literacy in Motion summer camp, and coordinates powerful enriched literacy experiences at the museum throughout the school year. Shanti is also an accomplished musician and artist committed to building bridges between the arts and education. 

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