Speakers

Wade Henderson is the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation's premier civil and human rights coalition, and counselor to its sister organization, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF). LCCR has coordinated the national legislative campaign on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957. Mr. Henderson currently he works on issues involving voting rights and election reform; federal judicial appointments; economic justice; issues of immigration and refugee policy; educational equity; and human rights. Under his leadership, the LCCR has become one of the nation's most effective defenders of civil and human rights.

Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia, was named president of the Alliance for Excellent Education in February 2005. His passion for education and experience as a leader and successful coalition-builder is helping the Alliance ensure that every child becomes a high school graduate prepared for success. As governor of West Virginia from 2001-2005, Wise fought for and signed legislation to fund the PROMISE Scholarship Program, which helped thousands of West Virginia students remain in the state for college, established a character education curriculum in all state schools, and created the Governor's Helpline for Safer Schools. During his administration, West Virginia saw a significant increase in the number of students completing high school and entering college. In 2001, Gov. Wise proposed salary bonuses for teachers who achieve National Board Certification, which helped triple the rate of certified teachers in the state. And Education Week's 2004 Quality Counts report gave West Virginia its highest cumulative grade of all fifty states.

Jason Kamras teaches seventh and eighth grade mathematics at John Philip Sousa Middle School, a District of Columbia public school. In April 2005, President Bush named Mr. Kamras the 2005 National Teacher of the Year, in recognition of his work helping his students make historic achievement gains in one of America’s most disadvantaged communities. In response to a number of programs he implemented, the percentage of students scoring proficient in mathematics increased from 20% to 60% in just one year. He was also recognized for co-founding and directing the EXPOSE digital photography program at his school, for which he previously received the Mayor’s Art Award, the highest arts honor bestowed by the District of Columbia. Mr. Kamras graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1995, earning his bachelor’s degree in public policy. In 2000, Mr. Kamras earned his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He began teaching in 1996 as a member of Teach for America.

Kristian Smith, 15, is a graduate of the Higher Achievement Program and a sophomore at Gonzaga College High School, on scholarship. An accomplished public speaker, Kristian has addressed audiences at the Lincoln Theatre and alongside Senator Barack Obama on Capitol Hill. Kristian has served as an intern for Ward 1 Councilmember Graham’s office and the Higher Achievement Program. Growing up in a distressed DC neighborhood, everyday Kristian sees challenges that he and other children in his neighborhood face. In turn, he aspires to commit his life to public service.

Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, one of the founders of the QUALCOMM, has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors since the company began operations in July 1985. Dr. Jacobs served as chief executive officer of the company until July 2005. He served as the Company's president prior to May 1992. Before joining the Company, Dr. Jacobs was executive vice president and a director of M/A-COM. From October 1968 to April 1985, Dr. Jacobs held various executive positions at LINKABIT (M/A-COM LINKABIT after August 1980), a company he co-founded. During most of his period of service with LINKABIT, Dr. Jacobs was chairman, president and chief executive officer and was at all times a director. Dr. Jacobs received his B.E.E. degree from Cornell University and his M.S. and Sc.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Jacobs is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1994.

Larry Rosenstock is the CEO of High Tech High and HTH Learning in San Diego. He taught carpentry for eleven years, after law school, in urban high schools in Boston and Cambridge. He served as staff attorney for two years at the Harvard Center for Law and Education, and was a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for five years. Mr. Rosenstock was principal for six years of the Rindge School of Technical Arts, and of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. He directed the federal New Urban High School Project and was president of the Price Charitable Fund.

Tuyaymya Osuna, 15, is a junior at High Tech High in San Diego, CA. In addition to being fluent in Spanish, Tuyaymya is currently learning both French and Mandarin. In June 2004, she worked for St. John’s Episcopal School as a camp counselor and she has also volunteered in Tijuana, Mexico where she helped build a basketball court. Tuyaymya’s project is a working pinhole camera made from cardboard and duct tape.

Isaac Jackson, 17, is a senior at High Tech High in San Diego, Ca. He has received the Harvard Book Prize, the Presidents Award for academic excellence, and numerous awards in the Model United Nations program. He also won best film in the annual Black Film Festival. He is currently an intern with Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, an international human rights organization. Issac’s project is a projectile motion device capable of shooting objects distances exceeding two football fields.