Select Page

Keynote Speakers

General Session

Wednesday, January 19, 10 am


Ravi Hutheesing

Ravi Hutheesing

Keynote Speaker

Image United Healthcare LogoThe Wisconsin State Education Convention is proud to bring back Ravi Hutheesing as the opening keynote.

Ravi’s journey as a rock star, aviator and U.S. State Department cultural diplomat is an inspiring example of how to pivot and succeed in an ever-changing world.

He is the first American-born descendant of India’s first family (which includes prime ministers Nehru and Gandhi), but his worldwide visibility skyrocketed in 1997 as the guitarist of triple Grammy nominee, Hanson. The group performed at the White House, Madison Square Garden, Saturday Night Live, Today Show and more.

Ravi later became a pilot and aviation speaker, helping the industry attract new student pilots. In 2015, the U.S. State Department began sponsoring his cultural programs in Russia, Indonesia, Iraq and Lebanon.


In his keynote, Ravi talks about how education leaders must re-evaluate the overall goal of education now while committing to teaching the most important life-skills for a global future, including cultural competence and how to continuously pivot. Today’s educators have an unprecedented opportunity and responsibility to not only achieve equity in education, but to defeat generations of implicit biases so that all students can develop a healthy curiosity about the world and truly become global citizens.

“With 40% of today’s jobs about to be automated, we will no longer be defined by what we do, but rather, by who we are,” he says. “We cannot fail to equip all students with the most critical skills of tomorrow—skills that go beyond the current ‘college and career-ready’ focus.”

Ravi is also the founder of Ravi Unites Schools—a large network of international K-12 schools whose classes participate in peer-to-peer, real-time interactions—and author of “PIVOT: Empowering Students Today to Succeed in an Unpredictable Tomorrow.”




General Session

Thursday, January 20, 3 pm


Brandon Fleming

Brandon Fleming

Keynote Speaker

Brandon Fleming’s story of struggle, success, and service has inspired millions around the world.

An at-risk youth and college dropout turned award-winning educator, Fleming is an assistant debate coach at Harvard University and founder/CEO of the Harvard Diversity Project. Fleming was recruited to join the Harvard debate faculty at the age of 26. Harvard later approved Fleming’s proposal to establish a new department within the university system called the Harvard Diversity Project – an unprecedented pipeline program.

Fleming now leads an executive staff and board that has raised over a million dollars to enroll more than 100 students of color into Harvard’s international summer debate residency on full scholarship. Fleming recruits underserved youth with no prior debate experience who he trains to compete against hundreds of elite debaters from more than 25 countries around the world.

For three consecutive years, since the program’s inception in 2017, every cohort trained by Fleming has won the international competition, with one group achieving an unprecedented undefeated record as global champions.

Fleming has established a groundbreaking organization that is pipelining Black youth into Ivy League and elite colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford, on full scholarship. Fleming’s story, erudition and achievements have enabled him to use his voice to inspire and impact lives in places ranging from federal prisons to the United Nations General Assembly.

At the age of 29, Fleming was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. And in May 2021, North Carolina Wesleyan University bestowed upon Fleming the Doctor of Humanities honorary degree.

“Miseducated: A Memoir,” released in June 2021, is about Fleming’s journey – in life and language – from being an at-risk youth and a college dropout to becoming an award-winning Harvard educator.

WASB Breakfast

Thursday, January 20, 7 am


Karyn Buxman

Karyn Buxman

Keynote Speaker

Image The Insurance Center logo

Crises come in all shapes and sizes: personal, family, organizational, community, regional, national and global. Experiencing a crisis is no joke—but it may be a laughing matter. Lack of focus, inability to concentrate, anxiety, forgetfulness, brain fog: all these can be warning signs that your brain has been hijacked, and that can be dangerous, or even deadly for you and your students. Discover how to harness humor to distract, relate, reframe and refuel to empower yourself and those you care for.

In this keynote, Karyn Buxman will cover:

  • How to harness humor and your brain to reverse an amygdala hijack.
  • How to use humor to strengthen and improve your communication so your message can be heard.
  • How to use humor to build your mental bandwidth and boost your physical resilience.




Karyn is a TEDx speaker, successful author, brain-based high-performance coach, former school board member – and a neurohumorist (she lives at the intersection of humor and the brain).

As a global expert in strategic humor for business, Karyn helps high performers go from great to mastery. From the Mayo Clinic to the Million Dollar Round Table, organizations around the world hire Karyn to educate, inspire and entertain their audiences again and again. She’s one of 260 people (and only 55 women) in the world to be inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. Her latest book, “Funny Means Money: Strategic Humor for Influence & World Domination,” will be published by Forbes Books in 2022.

Karyn is serious about humor!




General Session

Friday, January 21, 10:30 am


Governor Tony Evers (Invited)

Governor Tony Evers (Invited)

Keynote Speaker

Tony Evers is the 46th governor of Wisconsin. Prior to his election, he served as the Wisconsin state superintendent of public instruction for a decade, winning statewide elections in 2009, 2013 and 2017. With over three decades of public education experience, Evers has dedicated his life to fighting for Wisconsin’s kids and serving the people of Wisconsin.

Born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Evers graduated from Plymouth High School and earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He began his career as a teacher and media coordinator in the Tomah school district, becoming principal of Tomah Elementary School and Tomah High School.

He became superintendent of the Oakfield school district in 1984 and the Verona Area School District in 1988. From 1992 to 2001, Evers was the administrator of Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA) 6, in Oshkosh.

In 2001, Evers was named deputy superintendent of public instruction, a position he held until being elected superintendent of public instruction in 2009.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, an educator. They are parents of three adult children, all public-school graduates, and have nine grandchildren.

As a life-long educator, the governor believes in bringing people together to solve the problems facing our state and putting the people of Wisconsin first.

Wisconsin State Education Convention
122 W. Washington Ave., Suite 400 · Madison, WI 53703
toll-free 877-705-4422 ph 608-257-2622 · fax 608-257-8386


Print Friendly, PDF & Email