TEdx dakota ridge speakers

Weston Kieschnick


Weston Kieschnick is an award-winning educator, best-selling author of Bold School: Old School Wisdom + New School Innovation = Blended Learning that Works, host of the critically acclaimed podcast Teaching Keating, and one of education’s most sought-after speakers. Weston has advised teachers and school leaders from every state in the US and more than 30 countries around the world. Districts supported by Mr. Kieschnick have been recognized among the top ten in the nation by the Learning Counsel. You can find Weston’s work published in EdWeek, EdTech Magazine, and featured on the 10-Minute Teacher, Teaching Tales, Kids Deserve It, and LeadUp Teach

Matt Mattson


Matt Mattson is an entrepreneur, a speaker, the author of the book Social Excellence: We Dare You, the host of The People People Podcast, and he can be seen in his previous TEDx talk titled, When We Gather We Matter. Matt and his amazing wife, Meggan, are raising their two daughters in Littleton, Colorado. He's a trail runner (pics on Insta @phiredupmatt), a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, and he believes he was placed on earth to help people gather together to talk about the important things of life. He's on a mission to spread human connection through his work with The Social Excellence Project (www.social-excellence.com).

Phil Stone


Phil Stone is a licensed clinical social worker has who has been healing and changing lives for over 20 years. He blends several styles of behavioral therapy with humor and music to help listeners overcome limiting beliefs and change negative thought patterns. He is the founder of Rockovery: a stage based concert directed toward youth, adults and families in the midst of addiction and mental health issues. Phil is able to being his musical brand of contagious enthusiasm for workshops, seminars, church services and conferences from coast-to-coast in America. He is actively committed to preventing suicide, and works with teens and families in crisis. Phil Stone currently operates a thriving practice in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Shiara Rose


Shiara Rose is an art educator in her 13th year of reminding students not to run with scissors.  She is passionate about teaching problem solving skills through the art-making process.  Above all, she hopes her students discover their own style and love of art by empowering them to make confident decisions while creating. 

When not working with thirty sets of painted hands, Shiara Rose is a wife and mother.  She and her family enjoy camping, hiking, and relaxing by the fire pit. The plan is to enjoy the Colorado outdoors for many more years! 

Jane Chandler


As a survivor, Jane wrote her memoir Thank God I Died to bring awareness to the fact that child abuse/trauma occurs in every neighborhood and in every city. She invites us all to work TOGETHER by asking a simple question differently. Instead of asking “What’s wrong with that kid?” we can now ask “What happened to that child?” That paradigm shift is amazingly powerful. We can respond as partners to increase awareness by providing education, resiliency training and support to kids and families. The TOGETHER Movement invites entire communities to respond to childhood abuse/trauma with a new energy of hope.

Rachael Jayne Groover


Rachael Jayne Groover is the creator of the Art of Feminine Presence ® trainings that are offered worldwide, which help women become more visible, courageous, and fully self expressed. She is the author of the best-selling books Powerful and Feminine: How to Increase your Magnetic Presence and Attract the Attention You Want and Divine Breadcrumbs: A Search for True Love and Enlightenment. The power of her work lies at the intersection of Psychology, Spirituality, and Somatics,

and answers the question: how can we be unshakeable and magnetic when all eyes are on us? For more information about her work visit: RachaelJayne.com

Joe Chavez


The story begins in Los Angeles where a teenaged Jewish girl gave birth to a half-breed named Joe Chavez. This sounds like a harsh, politically incorrect way to describe his birth, but the early 1960’s in L.A. were racially volatile, especially for someone of multiple ethnicities. These factors are threads that run through nearly everything that followed. If life is comprised of unpredictable hands of cards and how we subsequently play those hands, then the

saga that is Joe’s life is filled with tragedy, blessings, humiliating defeats, inexplicable triumphs, and proof that who we are matters most.

Lily Cole


 Lily Cole, 14, began her education in a bilingual Montessori public school in Denver, Colorado, prior to moving Littleton. She is ranked #2 in the state for competitive karate and plays cello in the
Advanced Chamber Orchestra at Dakota Ridge H.S, where she is an honor student. Lily has held many leadership roles and enjoys public speaking. In 8th grade, she initiated the first-ever student-led “Day
Without Hate” rally at her middle school.  Lily has a multicultural background including Korean and Ashkenazi Jewish. She has a passion for culture and will be studying abroad in Peru sophomore year. 

Levi Bartholomew


 Levi Bartholomew has been a Social Studies teacher for the past 17 years, and currently teaches Advanced Placement United States History and History of the Americas as part of the International Baccalaureate Programme at Dakota Ridge High School.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in History from the University of Northern Colorado.  He and his wife, Julianne, live in Arvada, Colorado where they find all of their free time monopolized by their kids, Kaleb (14), Ethan (10), and Bryanna (10). 

Meg North


 Meg North is the Media Ministry Coordinator at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lakewood, Colorado. North devotes her time to bringing St. Paul’s closer together as a community of faith by managing, facilitating and protecting digital communication. As a photographer, videographer and graphic designer, much of North’s work fulfills her purpose and calling: documenting, promoting, and establishing harmony, change and love.

North is a graduate of the Colorado Youth Leadership Initiative (COYLI) after travels to a school in Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti and the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain. Combining her experiences, North challenges us to change the world promoting harmony in grassroots movements.

Olivia Omega Wallace


 Olivia Omega Wallace is a Denver native, attended Smoky Hill High School and the University of Colorado - Boulder, and is a wife and mom to three teenagers. As a branding consultant, Olivia is the Co-Founder of Wallace Marketing Group and the author of Beautifully Branded: The Girl's Guide to Understanding the Anatomy of Brand You. As an entrepreneur herself, she encourages other creative entrepreneurs to walk in their God-given purpose by empowering them to create an authentically unique brand. With 20 years of corporate branding, social media, advertising and digital marketing experience, Olivia has influenced the global brands of Frito Lay, Pepsi and Starbucks among others. 

Matt Rowe


Matt is a graduate of Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Marquette University and has conducted advanced studies in the neuroscience of human behavior, Emotional Intelligence, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Matt is a father, husband, and professional

speaker who was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) in 2017. During his journey of gaining control of the disease and begin reversing the symptoms, he became a Certified Health Coach, host of the podcast “Identity of Health” and is publishing his book Identity of Health (August 2019). Matt is on a mission to help diagnosed individuals develop the Identity of a survivor and the habits necessary to be one.

Aerin Bender


After spending 15 years in United Methodist ministry, Ms. Bender changed her focus to teaching. She has Masters degrees from Duke and the University of Southern California, a Bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville, and an International Baccalaureate diploma from much longer ago than she would care to admit. She has been published in "get born" magazine, and in the literary anthology Notes from the Underground. Ms. Bender has been a teacher in Colorado since 2011, licensed in second Language Arts, Elementary Education, and K-12 ESL. She has two children, two geckos, two cats, a dog, and a snake named Veralidaine Neverfell.

Keith Phillips


Keith Phillips was born on April 9th 2004. He went to Peiffer Elementary, Summit Ridge Middle School, and currently attends Dakota Ridge Middle School he has played lacrosse for 9 years of his life and currently plays junior varsity defense for Dakota Ridge High School. He was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade and started having it medicated when he

hit his first year of high school

Some facts about Keith include:

  • His favorite food is sushi
  • His favorite state is South Dakota
  • His favorite sport is lacrosse
  • He likes movies / TV shows that deal with fantasy
  • He knows more about Harry Potter than any one person should
  • He was 9 weeks early when he was born and was only 4 and a half lb. He is now 5’10 and weighs 185 lb

Jasmine Davis


 Jasmine Davis is a biracial, bisexual, bilingual woman who has taken her experiences of pain and discrimination to speak against the injustices that occur throughout the world, in the form of slam poetry. She has competed and won first place at Slam Nuba,  performed at the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference, Conifer HS, Lakewood HS, Day Without Hate and Diversity assemblies, and our very own Dakota Ridge HS. Jasmine hopes that she can share these ordeals to not only educate people, but to empower all to rise against hate, promote self love, and respect for all walks of life. Although, she has faced hardships due to her identities, she believes in transforming this pain into power, strength, and purpose. She wants to be voice for the silenced and create a space where we are united because of our diversity, rather than divided.