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Emerging Scholars & Emerging Professionals Conference Track
Monday, October 9

7:30 am - 8:30 am
Poster Set-Up

Conference Center Foyer

Emerging Scholars & Emerging Professionals set up posters

9:00 am - 10:00 am
Conference General Session II

Veramendi Salons E & F

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Burnout, Balance, Wellness (Oh, My!)

Conference Keynote Speaker: Kaitlin Hopkins

Kaitlin Hopkins is an award-winning educator, director, producer, and actress, and has performed on Broadway, in national and international tours, and in film and television for more than 30 years. Hopkins currently works as a consultant worldwide, and co-founded Abate Hopkins Creative Consultants. Hopkins is also the proud creator and CEO of Fontus Dry Mouth Lozenges. In 2009, she created the BFA musical theatre program at Texas State University and served as head of the program for 14 years. During her tenure at Texas State, Hopkins pioneered groundbreaking research on mental wellness for high-risk demographics, ultimately co-founding Living Mental Wellness, a holistic, evidence-based company that offers educational programs to enhance mental wellness through an integrated scientific life skills model. Hopkins received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Denise Trauth Outstanding Leadership Award from Texas State University. The Broadway Dreams Foundation named her an innovative voice in education and one of the Top 6 women educators in the performing arts. In 2023, Hopkins was honored to receive a Tony Award nomination for Educator of the Year.

10:15 am - 11:15 am
Emerging Scholars & Emerging Professionals: Poster Presentations

Conference Center Foyer

11:30 am - 12:15 pm
Professional Development Session I

San Marcos River Salon A

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Making Connections: The Importance of Educator Support Organizations

Presenter:  Ms. Kelsey Kling

Government Relations Specialist & Policy Analyst, Texas AFT

Kelsey is currently a Government Relations Specialist with the American Federation of Teachers Texas (Texas AFT). She followed a somewhat winding path to public education policy, earning two degrees in theatre (BFA, MA) and teaching, Kelsey worked in educational publishing, before moving to the Texas Education Agency, where she spent 12 years in assessment and then fine arts curriculum policy. Her ongoing professional duties involve working with the Texas Legislature, the State Board of Education, and the State Board for Educator Certification for holistic policies that best serve our public school systems. In addition to her union, Kelsey remains active in her own teacher organization, Texas Education Theatre Association (TxETA), and is the current K-12 Co-chair of the Texas Coalition for Educator Preparation (TCEP). She is a proud parent of two high school juniors at Dripping Springs ISD.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Professional Development Session II

San Marcos River Salon A

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Teacher Truths: Busting Myths about the Teacher Profession

Presenter:  Ms. Alyssa Landreneaux

Stephen F. Austin State University

Alyssa Landreneaux has passionately worked in the field of education for nearly a decade as a K-5 classroom teacher and literacy instructional coach. She currently serves as the Assessment Coordinator for the Department of Education Studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. Alyssa is a lifelong learner and a strong advocate for the teaching profession.    

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