Meet The Speakers

Dr. Tracy White-WeedenPresident & CEO, Neuhaus Education Center

Weeden is a seasoned leader dedicated to advancing literacy success for all and academic excellence for children. She brings 28 years of experience to a calling of shaping dynamic systems-change so that children are well prepared for the realities of a 21st-century knowledge economy. White is
also a relentless literacy advocate who frames literacy as a fundamental human right that transforms the family tree when evidence-based practices are scaled responsibly. Her life’s work has been to position literacy success for all as a moral imperative that creates a place at the table for every child and adult, regardless of zip code or country of origin.

Dr. Tracy White-WeedenPresident & CEO, Neuhaus Education Center

Weeden is a seasoned leader dedicated to advancing literacy success for all and academic excellence for children. She brings 28 years of experience to a calling of shaping dynamic systems-change so that children are well prepared for the realities of a 21st-century knowledge economy. White is
also a relentless literacy advocate who frames literacy as a fundamental human right that transforms the family tree when evidence-based practices are scaled responsibly. Her life’s work has been to position literacy success for all as a moral imperative that creates a place at the table for every child and adult, regardless of zip code or country of origin.

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Christopher SuchTeacher & Author

Christopher Such is a primary school teacher from Peterborough, England. He has worked in education for over fourteen years, teaching reading to children in every year group from reception to Year 6. Since 2019 he has contributed to the initial teacher training programme at Teach East, delivering courses on evidence-informed reading instruction and mathematics. He is currently a senior leader at Fulbridge Academy responsible for curriculum improvement and professional development. He is also the author of the education blog, Primary Colour

Christopher SuchTeacher & Author

Christopher Such is a primary school teacher from Peterborough, England. He has worked in education for over fourteen years, teaching reading to children in every year group from reception to Year 6. Since 2019 he has contributed to the initial teacher training programme at Teach East, delivering courses on evidence-informed reading instruction and mathematics. He is currently a senior leader at Fulbridge Academy responsible for curriculum improvement and professional development. He is also the author of the education blog, Primary Colour

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Patricia DeGuireChief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Patricia DeGuire is a Black woman who pushes boundaries to ensure access to justice, equality and equity. Before being appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in August 2021, Patricia served as a Deputy Judge with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, on various tribunals and boards, and is known as an impactful mediator. She has played a leading role in many equity organizations, particularly related to racism, in particular anti-Black racism, gender equality and equity, and the wellbeing of youths. She is a constitutional law scholar, and an avid mentor and coach for young people and adults in the legal, medical, and other professions. Patricia is the recipient of many awards for her mentorship and public service.

Patricia DeGuireChief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Patricia DeGuire is a Black woman who pushes boundaries to ensure access to justice, equality and equity. Before being appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in August 2021, Patricia served as a Deputy Judge with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, on various tribunals and boards, and is known as an impactful mediator. She has played a leading role in many equity organizations, particularly related to racism, in particular anti-Black racism, gender equality and equity, and the wellbeing of youths. She is a constitutional law scholar, and an avid mentor and coach for young people and adults in the legal, medical, and other professions. Patricia is the recipient of many awards for her mentorship and public service.

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Ron CadezDirector of School & Classroom Supports

Ron Cadez is currently the Director of School and Classroom Supports for the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Throughout his career as a school and system leader, Ron has maintained a strong focus on literacy assessment and instruction that supports all learners. He is currently working with a team of researchers and teachers from within his school division and from across the country to support and refine the Louis Riel School Division’s implementation of universal screening and structured literacy across the division. His work in literacy has also been featured in the Journal de l’association canadienne des professionnels de l’immersion (ACPI), and by Dyslexia Canada. Ron has been a featured speaker in Microsoft’s Discovering Dyslexia webinar series, and at conferences offered by IDAO and ACPI.

Ron CadezDirector of School & Classroom Supports

Ron Cadez is currently the Director of School and Classroom Supports for the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Throughout his career as a school and system leader, Ron has maintained a strong focus on literacy assessment and instruction that supports all learners. He is currently working with a team of researchers and teachers from within his school division and from across the country to support and refine the Louis Riel School Division’s implementation of universal screening and structured literacy across the division. His work in literacy has also been featured in the Journal de l’association canadienne des professionnels de l’immersion (ACPI), and by Dyslexia Canada. Ron has been a featured speaker in Microsoft’s Discovering Dyslexia webinar series, and at conferences offered by IDAO and ACPI.

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Robert GeorgeSchool Psychologist

Robert is a Doctoral student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (U of T) and practicing School Psychologist for the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba (CDA). For over 15 years he has been supporting and advocating for children, youth, and their families both in the English and French Immersion school systems. Robert has extensive understanding, training, and experience with learning disabilities, conducting bilingual psycho-educational assessments, and developing system level approaches that support diverse learning needs.
His multidisciplinary collaborative projects have been recognized and featured by Microsoft Corp., International Dyslexia Association (IDA – Ontario), l’Association canadienne des professionnels de l’immersion (ACPI), Manitoba Teacher’s Society (MTS), Éducatrices et éducateurs francophones du Manitoba (EFM), Winnipeg Free Press, National Post, and Dyslexia Canada.

Robert GeorgeSchool Psychologist

Robert is a Doctoral student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (U of T) and practicing School Psychologist for the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba (CDA). For over 15 years he has been supporting and advocating for children, youth, and their families both in the English and French Immersion school systems. Robert has extensive understanding, training, and experience with learning disabilities, conducting bilingual psycho-educational assessments, and developing system level approaches that support diverse learning needs.
His multidisciplinary collaborative projects have been recognized and featured by Microsoft Corp., International Dyslexia Association (IDA – Ontario), l’Association canadienne des professionnels de l’immersion (ACPI), Manitoba Teacher’s Society (MTS), Éducatrices et éducateurs francophones du Manitoba (EFM), Winnipeg Free Press, National Post, and Dyslexia Canada.

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Kate WinnTeacher, Writer & Content Creator

Kate Winn has been teaching since 2000 with the PVNCCDSB, and is currently in a kindergarten classroom. She is a passionate advocate for evidence-based literacy instruction for all students, and her IDA Ontario webinar "Structured Literacy in Kindergarten: 5 Changes That Made All My Students Readers" has been viewed by more than 7000 educators worldwide. Kate has presented to the Minister of Education, OCSOA (Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers Association) and teacher federation representatives. Trained in Acadience Reading K-6, she was a panelist for this fall's IDA Ontario Literacy Leaders series on assessment. Kate has facilitated professional development at PVNC and for the Niagara Catholic, Thunder Bay Catholic and Peel District School Boards, and shares education information for parents on shows like CTV's The Social and Global's The Morning Show and in magazines such as Today's Parent and Parents Canada.

Kate WinnTeacher, Writer & Content Creator

Kate Winn has been teaching since 2000 with the PVNCCDSB, and is currently in a kindergarten classroom. She is a passionate advocate for evidence-based literacy instruction for all students, and her IDA Ontario webinar "Structured Literacy in Kindergarten: 5 Changes That Made All My Students Readers" has been viewed by more than 7000 educators worldwide. Kate has presented to the Minister of Education, OCSOA (Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers Association) and teacher federation representatives. Trained in Acadience Reading K-6, she was a panelist for this fall's IDA Ontario Literacy Leaders series on assessment. Kate has facilitated professional development at PVNC and for the Niagara Catholic, Thunder Bay Catholic and Peel District School Boards, and shares education information for parents on shows like CTV's The Social and Global's The Morning Show and in magazines such as Today's Parent and Parents Canada.

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Leigh FettesFrench Immersion & Special Education Teacher

Leigh is a French Immersion and Special Education (Early Reading) teacher in Huntsville. She advocates for and uses evidence-based structured literacy instruction in French Immersion (and all) classrooms. She has taken LETRS (Volume 1), Orton-Gillingham for the Classroom Educator, and Reading Teachers Top 10 Tools. Last fall, she was on the teacher panel for the IDA Literacy Leaders series on assessment and screening. Leigh holds her Special Education and FSL Specialist AQs. She believes strongly in the power of universal screening, and has taken the Acadience Reading K-6 Essential Workshop, Acadience Data Introduction Workshop, and IDAPEL (French Acadience) workshop. She presented to the Minister of Education on two separate occasions with IDA Ontario about the Right to Read and Early Screening. She supports the learning of other educators as a coach for IDA Ontario’s Structured Literacy/Top 10 Tools course, and by facilitating virtual book clubs. A highlight she has enjoyed in doing this work and learning, has been connecting with other like-minded educators, from all around the world.

Leigh FettesFrench Immersion & Special Education Teacher

Leigh is a French Immersion and Special Education (Early Reading) teacher in Huntsville. She advocates for and uses evidence-based structured literacy instruction in French Immersion (and all) classrooms. She has taken LETRS (Volume 1), Orton-Gillingham for the Classroom Educator, and Reading Teachers Top 10 Tools. Last fall, she was on the teacher panel for the IDA Literacy Leaders series on assessment and screening. Leigh holds her Special Education and FSL Specialist AQs. She believes strongly in the power of universal screening, and has taken the Acadience Reading K-6 Essential Workshop, Acadience Data Introduction Workshop, and IDAPEL (French Acadience) workshop. She presented to the Minister of Education on two separate occasions with IDA Ontario about the Right to Read and Early Screening. She supports the learning of other educators as a coach for IDA Ontario’s Structured Literacy/Top 10 Tools course, and by facilitating virtual book clubs. A highlight she has enjoyed in doing this work and learning, has been connecting with other like-minded educators, from all around the world.

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Nellie CarusoFrench Immersion Teacher

Nellie Caruso has been a French Immersion teacher since 1999. In addition to teaching in various elementary grades, she also spent several years working as a Literacy Coach. Nellie has completed the Orton-Gillingham course at the Classroom Educator level. In her current role, Nellie not only provides French structured literacy instruction in her classroom, but she is also actively focused on disseminating knowledge and building teacher capacity in her school and beyond. With a Masters degree in French, Nellie is passionate about the intersection of reading science research and FSL instruction. Nellie has a particular interest in using universal screening to inform instruction in the immersion context; she is trained to administer and interpret the data from IDAPEL and Acadience K-6 measures. She is currently a volunteer for IDA Ontario, showcasing her own journey with universal screening in the Literacy Leaders webinar series, and is in the process of completing LETRS training.

Nellie CarusoFrench Immersion Teacher

Nellie Caruso has been a French Immersion teacher since 1999. In addition to teaching in various elementary grades, she also spent several years working as a Literacy Coach. Nellie has completed the Orton-Gillingham course at the Classroom Educator level. In her current role, Nellie not only provides French structured literacy instruction in her classroom, but she is also actively focused on disseminating knowledge and building teacher capacity in her school and beyond. With a Masters degree in French, Nellie is passionate about the intersection of reading science research and FSL instruction. Nellie has a particular interest in using universal screening to inform instruction in the immersion context; she is trained to administer and interpret the data from IDAPEL and Acadience K-6 measures. She is currently a volunteer for IDA Ontario, showcasing her own journey with universal screening in the Literacy Leaders webinar series, and is in the process of completing LETRS training.

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