Next month, they'll share an unexpected adventure they've had in learning — in five minutes tops.

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What do you get when you combine a handful of stellar teachers, a former “mean girl,” and a seventh-grader who has never missed a day of school? Some great stories, and the speaker lineup for Ignite Education Lab, our annual storytelling event, scheduled for Feb. 12.

Over the next month, each of our 10 speakers will create a speedy talk (no more than five minutes) timed to slides that advance every 15 seconds. They were chosen from about three dozen people who submitted ideas — we looked for people who could tell interesting, insightful, personal stories that surprised, delighted and moved us.

We also have two great emcees lined up for the event, which will be held at Seattle University’s Campion Hall this year. They are: Nate Bowling, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year and teacher at Tacoma’s Lincoln High, and Teresa Scribner, an award-winning media studies teacher at Cleveland High who brought down the house at Ignite Education Lab last year with her talk “Black Hair Matters.”

Here’s a full list of the speakers, the titles of their talks, and a link to purchase tickets for the event (they’re $5 online and $10 at the door.)

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Carrie Basas
Talk: “Short Bus to Social Justice”
Carrie Griffin Basas is the director of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Office of Education Ombuds.  She is a former civil rights and labor law attorney, law professor, and disability rights nonprofit leader. She lives in Seattle with her husband and 8-year-old daughter.

Melissa Charette
Talk: “Don’t judge a book by its cover, or students by their first day”
Melissa has been a special-education teacher for two decades. Her dream is for every special education student to be integrated with their peers throughout their entire school day. She teaches students functional life skills at Washington Middle School in the Olympia School District.

Juanita Galloway
Talk: “Student Feelings Matter”
Juanita was born and raised in Seattle’s Central Area before being uprooted and relocated to northeast Seattle at age 13, becoming the first and only African-American student at Bishop Blanchet High School for three years. She taught intermediate special education and regular primary classes in Seattle Public Schools for three decades (her four awesome sons attended school in the same district) and recently started a special education inclusive preschool in Renton. Juanita has six grandchildren.

Melody Ip
Talk: “Regrets of a Former Mean Girl”
Melody is a native of Sacramento and moved to Seattle in 2006 with her husband, Matt. By day, she’s a storyteller, chauffeur, and dance party deejay for her three young kids. By night, she’s a part-time writer and editor.

Katherine Kang 
Talk: “Showing Up for Leadership”
Katherine is a seventh grader at University Prep in Seattle, the city she was born and raised in. Her favorite time of day is 7:45 a.m. because she gets to talk and play with her friends. She loves the arts. 

Gerrit Kischner
Talk: “Where the Boys Are”
Gerrit is a Seattle Public Schools graduate, a parent and the principal at Genesee Hill Elementary School in Seattle.

Aviva Levin 
Talk: “Classrooms Without Scripts: Using Improv to Teach Language”
Aviva is an enthusiastic teacher of French and social studies from Richmond, British Columbia. She has 15 years of experience doing improvisational comedy with TMP Improv and loves how she can merge improv and teaching to make for an enriching classroom experience.

Mandy Manning
Talk: “The Words We Wield”
Mandy is the 2018 Washington State Teacher of the Year, and one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year. She lives and teaches in Spokane, Washington. As an English language learning educator, Mandy is the first teacher for refugee and immigrant students at Joel E. Ferris High School in the Newcomer Center.

Rashad Norris
Talk: “Smell the Ingredients”
Rashad currently devotes his time as the Director of Community Engagement at Highline College, where he travels to elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, community centers, libraries, and youth educational conferences to speak with youth and young adults about the importance of education and how two-year colleges can be a good option.  He also provides educational/cultural relevant workshops and motivational presentations that uplift young people in the community.

Ricardo Perez
Talk: “Knowledge Really Is Power!”
Ricardo is a stay-at-home father, taker of free online classes and an aspiring graduate student. He grew up on a ranch in Freer, Texas, and is an Army veteran.