TodaysLearn Professional Development Directory

TodaysLearn Experts

TodaysLearn Experts are highly qualified, experienced professionals in the field of education who possess specialized skills and knowledge to coach, mentor and inform on various educational topics. These subject matter experts prepare to lead learning labs and share valuable insight, innovative ideas and critical issues relevant to academic communities with the mission to enhance student achievement for all.

Alicia Roberts

Alicia Roberts

Alicia Roberts is the STEM director at Foothills Academy College Preparatory K- 12. She is the founder of Teach2Inspire, LLC, an educational consulting firm working nationally with districts, schools and teachers to support successful implementation of Technology Instruction related to the College and Career Ready Standards and Curriculum Mapping. She has worked with leaders in the industry to design curriculum and workshops inclusive of the best free Web- based education resources for K-12 educators. Alicia has over 20 years of experience in K-12 education and has held technology positions in both the public and private sector. She holds a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Technology from the University of Phoenix. Alicia is known for designing powerful curriculum and leading professional development opportunities that use technology in ways that are real, impactful, global, honoring passion and amplifying talent for the 21st century classroom. 

Cherie Stafford


Cherie Stafford has been a teacher and facilitator for more than 30 years. Her experiences include teaching grades two through five in regular classrooms and special education. She has also been a library media specialist, computer teacher, technology integration facilitator in Paradise Valley Unified School District, and adjunct faculty member for Ottawa University Professional Education Program, Arizona State University Cohort Program, the University of Phoenix Online division and Arizona K-12 Center’s technology workshops. She also provides professional development and mentoring in school districts throughout Arizona through the Statewide Instructional Technology Project. She currently provides consultation services in College and Career Ready Standards integrated with technology, project-based learning and STEM. 

Cindy Daniels

Cindy_Danielscindy danielsCindy Daniels has served in education for many years, most recently as the director of K-3 reading for the AZ State Board of Education. She has been an elementary principal and educator with proven experience in successfully leading, mentoring and training staffs and teachers in behavior, academic and 21st century skills. She has taught almost every grade throughout her career, but focuses on early childhood education, where she was recognized as the AZ Governor’s Master Mentor Teacher, earned her National Board Certification in Reading/Language Arts and was named Rodel Exemplary Principal of the Year of a Title I School in 2010. 

Cristy Diaz

cristy diazCristy Diaz is currently the new century learning coordinator for Dysart Unified School District in Surprise, Ariz., where she oversees the online high school. She supports and teaches educators the importance of integrating today’s technology devices and tools with relevant real-world experiences to engage students using 21st century skills. She has been in education for 20 years both in the classroom and various technology positions, such as technology coordinator and technology training specialist in California, Oregon and Arizona. Cristy holds a Master of Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. She enjoys supporting and encouraging educators and children with 21st century thinking and learning. 

Erik Francis

Erik FrancisErik M. Francis, MEd, MS, is an ASCD author and the lead professional education specialist and owner of Maverik Education LLC, providing professional development, guidance and support on teaching and learning for cognitive rigor. His book “Now THAT’S a Good Question! Promoting Cognitive Rigor Through Classroom Questioning” will be published by ASCD in 2016. His professional development seminars have been featured at national, state and regional education conferences hosted by organizations such as ASCD, Learning Forward and the College Board. He has worked closely with K-12 schools nationwide on aligning curriculum, instruction and assessment to the cognitive rigor of College and Career Ready Standards. For more information, please visit 

Mary Urich


Mary Urich is an experienced classroom teacher, school administrator and adjunct GCU faculty member. Mary has held district leadership positions, including executive director of academic services, director of curriculum and instruction, director of special education services, director of pupil personnel services, director of English Language Learner services, principal and assistant principal. Mary has worked with districts as a turnaround director and turnaround coach with the school improvement and intervention section of the Arizona Department of Education. Additionally, Mary has served as the director of professional development for a County School Office. She has worked with several departments within the Arizona Department of Education and Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center. 

Dr. Stephanie Knight


Dr. Stephanie Knight is an experienced 7th and 8th grade English language arts educator. She distinguishes herself as an educator with a passion to inspire students to read and write—engaging them in the process to think critically and creatively.

Stephanie did not start out in education. In fact, she was in sales and marketing and owned her own business for 10 years before entering the profession. These years of creative marketing experiences have helped her teach and think “outside of the box,” as she inspires her students to do the same. She lives by her mission statement, which is to: 1. Encourage everyone she faces daily; 2. Endeavor to facilitate a lifelong love of learning; and 3. Enrich others’ lives through her inspiration and experiences.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science in Business at the University of Colorado in Boulder, her certification in K-8, 7-12, English as a Second Language, English, Principal and her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Arizona State University. She taught in Title I schools for eight years, helping them grow from underperforming to excelling. She has also worked in an independent school in Phoenix for four years. She not only teaches professional development classes for utilizing innovative writing strategies for educators and coaches them to be more effective in utilizing writing across the curriculum, she also works closely with students in helping them to become published writers. Her classes are always using innovative technologies that aid the students in working up the bloom’s taxonomy pyramid. Challenged, each and every student go from remembering up to creating.

With her friends and family is where she likes to be when she’s not teaching. In fact, she adopted a newborn two years ago and has been enjoying every minute of Tatum’s life. Her interests involve engaging her right brain in some creative outlets such as drawing, decorating and writing. Her website has now turned into a blog about raising her daughter, Tatum. 

 Danielle Root

Danielle RootDanielle Root has an extensive history of improving school and district-level programs and performance as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, curriculum director and teacher. She has demonstrated special expertise in process and change management, program development and performance optimization by building relationships and enhancing communications among administration, teachers, parents and community organizations.

Professionally, Mrs. Root has also worked for the state of Arizona as a capacity coach and faculty member, collaborating with school districts in their improvement efforts and teaching education, communication and SEI courses for various universities and colleges. Currently, Mrs. Root is finishing her Doctorate of Education degree in Organizational Development and completing her National Superintendent Certification. 

 Gordon Grassi

Gordon GrassiGordon Grassi recently retired after 39 years as a teacher and principal in Washington. He has experience teaching at both the elementary and secondary level and has been an assistant principal and principal of a junior high/middle school for the past 17 years. Grassi has worked on educational issues at both the local and state level. He served as an advisor on education to Washington State Senator Mike Padden. Gordon served on a Washington State steering committee that was tasked with developing a statewide evaluation model. He offers support in the areas of classroom management and coaching both teachers and administrators. His greatest passion is working with students, families and faculty in low-income/high-poverty populations. He holds a BA in History and a BA in Education from Eastern Washington University. He holds an MA in Curriculum and Administration from Gonzaga University. 

 Suzanne Hofmann

Suzanne HofmannSuzanne Hofmann is a passionate leader in education who has served in multiple roles for 25 years. Native to Arizona, Suzanne understands the complex needs of both the child and adult learner in diversity-rich environments. She carries a deep passion for others to achieve excellence and reach their full potential through the realization of short- and long-term goals in the class, school and district-level setting. During the past 15 years, she has helped teachers, coaches and leaders in realizing their fullest potential through reflection, analysis of performance and focused professional development. She specializes in designing learning experiences that are based upon the unique needs of the individual or group, while always grounding her approach in research-based practices and keeping an eye on achieved results.

 Von Perot

Dr. Von Perot has 20 years of experience in corporate sales and marketing management, as well as 11 years in education. She currently teaches AP psychology and English at Horizon High School, as well as education courses at a community college. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, a master’s degree in education and a doctorate in organizational leadership. Dr. Von has lived in Minnesota, Utah, New York, Hawaii and Arizona. She has been the recipient of multiple awards in both of her professions, is married and has a 23-year-old son who is preparing to enter the U.S. Navy. Believing in the Chinese proverb, “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” Von enjoys connecting with a variety of audiences. She utilizes her years of real-life experience and expertise to share a message of improved organization, productivity, achievement and happiness. 

Michon Henegar


 Michon Henegar has served in the field of education for the past 24 years. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. Her classroom experience includes teaching pre-K to 3rd grade, middle school and high school. She has also worked in administration and owned and operated her own child care center. Michon has worked as an independent consultant and trainer for the past 12 years. In New Mexico, she is a Master Trainer on the approved trainer registry. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Grand Canyon University in 1992. She then attended the University of Phoenix, where she received specialized training in English as a second language and reading. In 2011, she received her master’s degree in educational administration from Wayland Baptist University. She is licensed to teach and be an administrator in Arizona and New Mexico. Michon enjoys helping other educators grow professionally and reach new goals.


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