Opening General Session Keynote

Internationally Known Educator
and Innovator Stephen Ritz

Stephen Ritz, a South Bronx educator and innovator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn and earn, will keynote the Opening General Session of our 133rd National Convention & Expo on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Nashville, TN.

A Top 10 Finalist for the prestigious $1 Million Global Teacher Prize in 2015, Stephen enjoys electrifying and inspiring his audiences as to what is possible with “hope, urgency,  resilience and Amer-I-Can innovation.” He has:

  • Moved his school attendance from 40% to 93% daily
  • Helped provide 2,200 youth jobs in the Bronx and
  • Captured the United EPA Award for transforming mindsets and landscapes in NYC.

Dedicated to harvesting hope and cultivating minds, he believes that “together, via collaboration, coalition and get-to-yes solutions, we can all prosper!”

Known Around the World

TED: Stephen Ritz: A teacher growing green in the South Bronx


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