2022 Keynote Speakers

Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess is a teacher from San Diego, California and aprofessional magician specializing in stand-up comedy magic. 

He was a multiple-year winner of Golden Apple award and honored as the Teacher of the Year at West Hills High School.

He was voted a faculty standout for 17 consecutive years in categories such as Most Entertaining, Most Energetic, and Most Dramatic.

He specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity. 

At a 2014 ceremony in Washington, D.C., he was awarded the BAMMY for Secondary School Teacher of the Year by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences.

As president of Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., Dave has disrupted the publishing industry by releasing over 150 ground-breaking titles from innovative educators from across the globe.

He is the co-author of P is for PIRATE and the New York Times Best-Selling author of Teach Like a PIRATE, which has sparked an educational revolution all over the world.  

Dave speaking on stage
Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker

Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker

Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker is Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System (CTCS). Dr. Tucker is the first person to simultaneously hold these two roles – and the first woman to serve as CTCS Chancellor – that guide and oversee policies and initiatives for the state’s two-year community and technical colleges and four-year higher education institutions. 

Dr. Tucker became Interim Chancellor of HEPC in April 2019 and Chancellor in June 2020. Dr. Tucker has emphasized West Virginia’s Climb initiative, a campaign to equip 60 percent of West Virginians with a certificate or degree by 2030 – nearly doubling the percentage of working-age West Virginians with a high-quality postsecondary credential. Bolstering this effort, the HEPC has launched the Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars program, which is aimed at attracting high-quality educators to communities across the state and represents West Virginia’s largest-dollar financial aid award. 

Under her leadership as CTCS Chancellor since 2015, West Virginia has made enormous strides in taking community and technical education to the next level. A hallmark of her championship on behalf of West Virginia’s students was the State Legislature’s passage of a free community college bill in March 2019. As a result of her hard work and state leaders’ forward-looking investment, the WV Invests program now provides students with last-dollar-in grants that cover the full costs of tuition and fees at the state’s nine community and technical colleges.

Dr. Tucker also has significantly grown and strengthened partnerships with business and industry to create education and training opportunities that meet their workforce demands and connect West Virginians with meaningful careers. She focuses particularly on supporting the dislocated worker population, an effort that was significantly boosted with $10 million in Department of Labor grants to train those who have lost their jobs as a result of West Virginia’s evolving economy and strengthen the state’s IT workforce. 

During her time as CTCS Chancellor, the two-year postsecondary education system has made significant strides in expanding the Learn & Earn Program, the state’s leading workforce, economic development and educational partnership that allows students to earn their credentials while working for employers with current workforce needs. In addition, under her leadership, West Virginia has increased student success by transforming the delivery of remediation courses, gaining national recognition from Complete College America for developmental education reform.

Prior to becoming Chancellor, Dr. Tucker served as Director of Planning and Research for the HEPC and CTCS. She was selected by national peers to be a member of the Executive Committee of Fellows for Complete College America, and she sits on numerous boards, including the West Virginia Business Roundtable, West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust Board, NASA EPSCoR Executive Board, Faculty Merit Board, NC-SARA Board, SHEEO, and the Upper Ohio Valley Boy Scout Board.

Dr. Tucker completed her doctorate at the School of Education at the University of Michigan in 2010. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she was a behavioral specialist and general education teacher in an adolescent girls group home. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University and a M.A. in Quantitative Research Methodology from the University of Michigan.