Jimmy Casas served twenty-two years as a school leader, including fourteen years as Principal at Bettendorf High School. Under his leadership, Bettendorf was named one of the Best High Schools in the country three times by Newsweek and US News & World Report.
Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. In 2014, Jimmy was invited to the White House to speak on the Future Ready Schools pledge. Jimmy is also the author of three books, “What Connected Educators Do Differently,” “Start. Right. Now. - Teach and Lead for Excellence,” and his latest release and best-selling book “Culturize – Every Student. Every Day. Whatever it Takes.”
Jimmy currently serves as an adjunct professor for Drake University, teaching courses in educational leadership. Finally, he is the owner and CEO of J Casas & Associates, an educational leadership company aimed at organizing and providing world class professional learning services for educators across the country.
Dr. Bryan Pearlman
Dr. Bryan Pearlman is a veteran educator with experience as a teacher, administrator and adjunct professor. He is also a co-founder and board member of Distinguished School of Mental Health & Wellness(DSMHW.org). His expertise is helping all children to succeed, challenging behaviors, trauma, school improvement, differentiation, and data-driven decision making.
Dr. Pearlman has presented to over 12,000 educators in the past two years. He has been a featured speaker at the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principal’s conference (MAESP). His most recent presentation was,“I Am Sad, Mad & Traumatized… And You Still Expect Me To Learn.”
Dr. Pearlman is a published author and has written several articles that connect educational struggles with underlying mental health related items.
Amanda Karhuse has served as the Director of Advocacy for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) since 2006. She coordinates all federal policy and advocacy efforts for NASSP, which includes lobbying congressional staff, monitoring legislation affecting middle level and high school leaders, and participating in coalition-building activities with other national education organizations. She also served as the staff liaison for the NASSP IDEA Task Force, which developed recommendations in 2009 for the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Amanda is a founding member of the Women in Government Relations (WGR) Education Task Force, which was formed in 2008 to enhance the knowledge of women working in education policy and provide a forum for discussion among policymakers, advocates, and practitioners. Prior to her tenure at NASSP, Amanda was a senior writer and editor for Women’s Policy, Inc., in Washington, D.C., and worked for four years on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for former Rep. Karen L. Thurman of Florida.
Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA, and a master’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Bob Kefgen has been advocating for Michigan Principals as MASSP's Director of Government Relations since 2012, bringing with him more than a decade of experience in state politics, with a particular focus on education and human services policy.
Bob began his career in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he worked as a legislative aide and eventually chief of staff. He spent two years as legislative liaison for the Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA). Immediately prior to coming to MASSP, Bob worked at the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHHS) where he was involved with a variety of strategic planning and process re-engineering projects, with a focus on child welfare.
Bob has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University where he studied history and German.