Se7en the Poet is a nationally recognized consultant, poet, author and motivational speaker. He has been invited to present his exhilarating prose and poetically motivating educational seminar for more than 200,000 students, parents and professional educators representing a number of public institutions and private school organizations across the United States and Canada.
Pushing the edge of social consciousness, championing the call of education - Se7en, “The Poet” originates from Houston's Southside. Houston’s poetic powerhouse is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University with undergraduate dual degrees in Psychology and Social Work and a Master’s degree in Counseling. Se7en has been in education for over 15 years. During this time he has served in many different capacities within the educational system. He taught special education for eight years in a Houston ISD inner city school. For the past eight years he has served as an at risk school counselor. His ability to reach students, parents and educators is matchless.
Se7en is an outstanding narrator who brings enthusiasm to education. His poetically-explosive workshop is a powerful step in the right direction. He endorses robust respect on all levels to create a campus-wide climate of success. Reliable support among administrators, staff, parents and students are dependable, trustworthy traits which must be nurtured, preached and practiced in order to build the sustainable momentum where educational excellence and excitement can thrive and strengthen the unbreakable bond between teaching and learning. Se7en’s engaging seminar tells exactly how it can be done and how “the snowball of unparalleled success can begin”.
Se7en is constantly elevating himself not only through poetic art forms but also through his community outreach and ability to positively influence others. His upbringing, educational background and passion for his community give way for him to speak on life as it evolves.
Se7en’s poetic body of work includes a mix of trendsetting and thought provoking poetry that delves into issues affecting everyday life. His verses lead audiences to think introspectively about personal issues and experiences that affect them such as inspiration, faith, envy, and love.
Se7en's goal is to bring poetry to the fore of entertainment. “I want people to recognize poetry as a genre of entertainment that not only stands alone, but stands the test of time. “
Se7en has been a feature poet on the NAACP Image Award nominated Lexus Versus and Flow show; he is the proprietor and host of the longest running open mic poetry spot in Houston; Poetry Lounge Sundays at Sugarhill. His raw and riveting talent has given way for him to grace many stages and attain the attention of many educators, parents and students across the United States and abroad.
Dr. Carmen I. Ayala was appointed by the State Board of Education effective March 1, 2019.
Prior to her arrival at the Illinois State Board of Education, Dr. Ayala had served since 2012 as the superintendent of Berwyn North School District 98, where she steadily turned around lower-performing schools.
Dr. Ayala has held a wide variety of roles in her 36-year education career. She was the assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at Plainfield District 202 prior to her service in Berwyn. Additionally, Ayala served as the director of School Improvement and Programs at Community Consolidated School District 300. She also served as an assistant superintendent, director of Bilingual Services, and teacher in Aurora East School District 131. She began her career in education as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools.
She previously served as an executive board member on the Latino Policy Forum, where she championed equitable funding and increased resources for English Learners.
Dr. Ayala has held positions on numerous boards and committees, including the Illinois State Board of Education Bilingual Advisory Council, Illinois Women in Educational Leadership, Illinois Resource Center, and the Illinois Professional Review Panel for Evidence-Based Funding.
Throughout her career, Dr. Ayala has received multiple honors, including the 2018 Leadership Award and the Excellence in Education Award from the League of Latin American Citizens, as well as the Kane County Distinguished Educator award.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mundelein College with a focus on bilingual-bi-cultural education and Spanish literature. She went on to earn her master’s degree in business administration from Dominican University and her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University of Chicago
Dr. Chike Akua is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Clark Atlanta University and one of the most sought-after professional development providers in urban schools, colleges, universities and educational conferences nationally and internationally. As former Teacher of the Year, Dr. Akua was selected as one of Ebony magazine's "50 Leaders of Tomorrow," a distinction he is living up to today. Dr. Akua has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of educational leaders, teachers, parents and students with his riveting and revealing presentations and practical, user friendly books, posters and online training resources.
His book, Education for Transformation: The Keys to Releasing the Genius of African American Students is used as a text in several universities and school systems nationally. Dr. Akua has written 10 books, produced a series of 10 African Origins historical DVDs and 70 Black History and African Proverb Posters. His other books like Reading Revolution and A Treasure Within are used as supplemental texts in many urban school districts.
Dr. Akua earned his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Hampton University, his Master’s degree in Education and School Counseling from Clark Atlanta University and his doctorate in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University. He resides just outside of Atlanta with his wife of 25 years and their two sons. You can learn more about Dr. Akua at www.DrAkua.net.
Anthony Muhammad is an author and international thought leader. He currently serves as the CEO of New Frontier 21 Consulting, a company dedicated to providing cutting-edge professional development to schools all over the world. He served as a practitioner for nearly twenty years. Dr. Muhammad served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. His tenure as a practitioner has earned him several awards as both a teacher and a principal.
Dr. Muhammad is recognized as one of the field’s leading experts in the areas of school culture and Professional Learning Communities (PLC). His work has allowed him to work with schools in all 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces, the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Dr. Muhammad is a best-selling author. He is the author of the books Time for Change: The Four Essential Skills of a Transformational School Leader (2019); Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindsets to Effect Change (2015); The Will to Lead and the Skill to Teach; Transforming Schools at Every Level (2011); Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division 2nd Edition (2017); and a contributing author to the book The Collaborative Administrator: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community (2008). He has published 26 articles in education journals and publications in seven different countries.