Keynote Speakers

NAA19 Keynotes Announced!

With general sessions every day of Convention, our keynote speakers inspire, educate, and engage participants. Check out our 2019 Keynote Speakers below.


Friday, March 15, 6:30-8:30pm
We’re opening Convention by bringing the best of Broadway to the NAA stage!

AltonWhite KeynoteAlton Fitzgerald White
Actor, Mufasa in Broadway's The Lion King

Alton Fitzgerald White is a triple talented singer, actor, dancer has starred in six smash Broadway hits, including over 4,000 performances as Mufasa in The Lion King and a stint Mister in Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple. With songs and performance throughout his keynote, Alton will kick off Convention with a powerful speech about giving your all, every day.

In August of 2014, Alton gratefully surpassed a phenomenal milestone of over 4,000 performances as King Mufasa in The Lion King! After a record-breaking 4,308 performances as King Mufasa in The Lion King, Alton added author to his growing list of titles with his recent book release titled MY PRIDE: Mastering Life’s Daily Performance, an inspirational biography filled with secrets to fulfillment and joy in work and life, published by Disney Editions. You may also recognize him from his work on television (“Law and Order”), film (The Invention of Lying), concerts, as well as voice-overs and commercial work. October 2012 marked the release of his critically acclaimed, smash hit CD, Disney My Way, full of wonderful re-imagined Disney classics.

 

GinaWarner KeynoteGina Warner
President and CEO, National AfterSchool Association

Gina Warner is president and CEO of the National AfterSchool Association (NAA). Gina began her afterschool career as a teen in 4-H programs in rural Alabama, and has continued to work at the intersection of education, youth development, public policy, and non-profit leadership throughout her career. She relies on her experience as a classroom teacher, an attorney, a U.S. Senate staffer, and a citywide out-of-school time leader to guide her work. As the leader of NAA, Gina works to meet the needs of both emerging and experienced afterschool professionals through enhanced training and development, increased communication, outreach, and membership engagement.

 

Saturday, March 16, 10:15-11:15am
We’ll dig in to self-reflection to help us find (and hold on to!) what makes us happy.

GretchenRubin KeynoteGretchen Rubin
Author and Podcast Host

Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature. She’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, in a way that’s accessible to a wide audience. She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, and The Happiness Project. On her top-ranking, award-winning podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” she discusses happiness and good habits with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Gretchen Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband; they have two daughters (a college freshman and a seventh-grader).

 

Sunday, March 17, 9:00-10:00am
We’ll discuss healing traumatic events, supporting each other, and working to be the change we wish to see in the world.

MelodyHerzfeld KeynoteMelody Herzfeld
Drama Teacher, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Tony Award Winner, Excellence in Theatre Education

Melody Herzfeld leads the drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Melody understand the power of afterschool first-hand, having led over 50 theatrical productions since joining the school’s faculty in 2003. Tragically, on February 14, 2018, a school shooting ended the lives of 17 students and teachers. During the shooting, Melody sheltered 65 students in her drama classroom.

After the tragedy, the Parkland community underwent a community-wide grieving process and trauma-informed care trainings. Melody has been part of these efforts, with special attention paid to parents and support-staff. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have made headlines for their policy and advocacy work, including fighting for gun control in Florida and developing the national March for Our Lives protest in March 2018.

Melody’s drama students continue to shine, even in the healing process. They performed their original song “Shine,” at the Tony Awards, penned by students Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peña and performed by alum Brittani Kagan. The song is dedicated to the 17 victims of the shooting and their families. You can see their Tony’s performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW6cXVzRnuo

Melody received the Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the 2018 Tony Awards. You can see her Tony acceptance speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO6rs9H3soI

 

Monday, March 18, Keynote Information Coming Soon!
You won’t want to miss this general session, focused on technology and innovation. Check back soon for more!

 

 

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