National Council of Teachers of English Logo
Literacies for All Summer Institute

Keynote Speakers - Previous Revision


David DiazDavid Diaz has been an illustrator and graphic designer for more than twenty-five years. Díaz discovered his love for drawing when he was in the first grade while working on a vowel worksheet. He used drawing as a way for an emotional output coping from the tragic death of his mother when he was sixteen years old. In high school, Díaz had an inspiring teacher that lead him to competitions where he won awards for his art. Following graduation from Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute, Diaz moved to southern California, where he worked in graphic design firms until establishing his own design and illustration business, Diaz Icon.

Diaz gradually began to turn down design projects in favor of illustration assignments. His first picture book,Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, was awarded the 1995 Caldecott Medal. His children’s book illustrations have earned him many honors and awards. He has illustrated the Newbery Medal winner, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Oates, Angel Face by Sarah Weeks, and Little Scarecrow’s Boy by Margaret Wise Brown, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. His bold, stylized work has appeared in editorials for national publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Learn more about David from the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature.

Learn more about David from Scholastic.



Opal School of Portland Children’s Museum is a private preschool (ages 3-6) and public charter elementary school (grades K-5). Opal School serves as a resource for teacher-research by supporting and provoking fresh thinking about learning environments that inspire playful inquiry, creativity, imagination and the wonder of learning in children and adults.

Opal Charter School is grounded in the belief that education opens opportunities for all children to participate in creating and shaping their own lives and to contribute to the quality of life around them. We value the creativity, interests, ideas and questions of the children and adults at our school. We practice listening, observing, inquiring, staying attentive, and reflecting together with children and families. We value the role of the arts and sciences as languages for thinking, expressing ideas, and communicating stories. We are committed to working in partnership with families to provide a rich and joyful childhood.

Parent participation in the life of the school is essential and takes many forms. The exchange of ideas between families and teachers is vital to development of a learning community. Families have the potential to bring vitality and richness to the school by contributing distinctive life experiences and wisdoms.

The Opal School strengthens public education by provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where creativity, imagination and the wonder of learning thrive.

The Opal School has innovative approaches to literacy such as "Playful Literacy" which drives the question, "What is the connection between literacy, play, and the arts?"

Visit the Opal School at



Kathy ShortKathy Short teaches in the Language, Reading, and Culture program at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and works with graduate teaching assistants on a children’s literature course that is taken by preservice teachers in elementary and early childhood education. Currently director of World of Words, an initiative focused on encouraging thoughtful dialogue around children’s literature to build bridges across global cultures, Short serves on the Notable Books for a Global Society Award Committee as well as the editorial boards of Language Arts, Reading Research Quarterly, and Literary Research Association (NRC) Yearbook. 

Short  has a long history with NCTE and is currently the President Elect. She has been a member of the Commission on Curriculum, served as chair of the Elementary Section Steering Committee, and been the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts Award.

“NCTE has always been my professional home, the place where I replenish my spirit and focus as an educator,” Kathy Short says. “NCTE has taken a leadership role in the public debates about literacy and language in schools and universities. Through dialogue between the communities within NCTE as well as with other professional organizations and public groups, we can develop new possibilities and relationships to make literacy more accessible for all students. Our work together is rooted in the life shared by teachers and students in classrooms and in a shared goal of creating literate, critically-conscious global citizens.” 

Document and Site Resources

Share This On:

Page Tools:

Join NCTE Today

Related Search Terms


Copyright © 1998-2015 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Visit us on:
Facebook Twitter Linked In Pinterest Instagram