2024 Keynote Information

Central States Welcomes Ryan G. Smith as our 2024 Keynote Speaker!

A former high school teacher of Spanish, Ryan Smith is currently the Principal of Glenn Duncan STEM Academy, a Pre-K through 5th grade elementary school in the Washoe County School District, located in the Reno/Lake Tahoe region of Northern Nevada. Previously, Ryan was the Assistant Principal of E. Otis Vaughn Middle School in the Washoe County School District and an Adjunct Professor teaching World Language Teaching Methodologies at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Before being in school site leadership, Ryan was the Career & Technical Education Program Coordinator and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) District Director.  Ryan is also the Past President of PLAN (Professional Language Association of Nevada), Nevada’s 2015 World Languages Teacher of the Year, and most recently the NADSFL (National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages) 2018 Supervisor of the Year.

Ryan advocated for the Seal of Biliteracy in his state, led the statewide implementation of the Seal, and served on the committee to rewrite the Nevada Academic Content Standards for World Languages.  Ryan has been extremely involved in world languages on a local, regional, and national level.  He was an active part of NADSFL, NCCSFL, ACTFL, SWCOLT, and was a member of the first cohort of LILL (Leadership Initiative for Language Learning), which he went on to create and facilitate the annual summer leadership institute for several years.  In 2020, Ryan co-authored the AP Spanish textbook, ¡Qué Chévere 4! (EMC Publishing, 2020). Ryan is a lifelong learner, advocate, and believer of removing barriers to accessing education for all students.

Here's a snapshot of Ryan's keynote: 

"Reclaiming the Joy is not something we can do on our own. This work begins in the classrooms and involves all stakeholders in the process. After the past few very challenging years in education, we must go back and revisit the ‘why’ and the purpose of what we do. Not only must we value ourselves and see that the work we do is absolutely essential, but we must value the experiences of others as well. Reclaiming the joy begins with building strong and positive relationships!"