It’s always an honor and pleasure getting to connect with incredible educators and leaders to find the right fit for our NETA Conference Keynote Speakers. Our past speakers have continued to impress NETA attendees and have been a group favorite.
This year, our speakers are no different. They are Mike Smith and Kayla Delzer.
Mike Smith hails from Imperial, Nebraska — home of 2,000 people and 10,000+ cattle. Looking back, Mike would classify himself as your average high school troublemaker, but in his senior year of high school, he realized he needed to change.
Since then, Mike has never stopped pushing himself and living out his passions. Because of his reckless pursuit, Mike has since founded two, world-renowned non-profits in The Bay and Skate For Change. On top of that, he’s influenced hundreds of thousands of youth in high schools, colleges, and adults in boardrooms nationwide through his for-profit ventures in Mike Smith Live, Leadership Live, and Find Your Grind. Mike lives his life as a “professional teenager” that doubles as a motivational speaker, brand ambassador, and misfit.
As many of you know, our theme at NETA this year is “Elevate Your Game,” and Mike embodies this message. Mike’s keynote speech is named after his company, “Find Your Grind” (FYG), whose sole mission is to give people (both young and old) a roadmap to discover who they are, where they’re going, and the first steps to get there. Kids are told every day that their unique passion can’t be a job, but Mike and FYG disagree. Through FYG, Mike and his team are illuminating the ever-evolving possible — from lifestyles to careers. FYG is shortening the path to this discovery for both students and educators by flipping the standard script to life planning.
Creating culturally relevant companies and resources for schools is what Mike does. He’s not talking about outdated ideas or issues — he’s speaking to the hearts of millions of young people every day by showing them how they can live out their unique passions. Mike’s carving out his own path in life and he’s here to help you understand how you and your students can do the same.
Our other Keynote Speaker is Kayla Delzer
Kayla is the 2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, as well as a two-time Global Hundred honoree, recognizing her as 1 of the top 100 innovative educators in the world. The New York Times named her “one of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States”.
She has ten years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Dakota. In September 2018, she received the University of North Dakota Sioux Award, the highest honor of achievement offered by her University.
Governor Doug Burgum has recognized Kayla for her contributions to education in North Dakota, and assigned her a chair on North Dakota’s Innovative Education Task Force.
She has been recognized as both an “ISTE Influencer” and “HarperCollins Publishing Influencer”. Additionally, in March 2018, she was named 1 of just 30 “All-Star Digital Innovators” in the United States by PBS.
Kayla frequently travels around the United States and other countries as a featured and keynote speaker. She has delivered hundreds of keynotes, one of note being at Twitter Headquarters. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk.
Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is currently writing a book about classroom learning spaces and flexible seating, titled FlexED: Flexible Seating for Flexible Learners, set to release in 2019. She is also a co-author of the best-selling book Education Write Now, published in December 2017.
Kayla is also someone trying to elevate her game. In this passionate talk, third grade teacher Kayla Delzer speaks about her mission to revitalize learning, relationships, and the classroom environment. Kayla explains how to release the power in the classroom by giving students ownership of their learning and making it relevant to them. Breaking down the four walls of the classroom allows her students to become globally connected – and you won’t believe the endeavors her students conquer by embracing purposeful technology. Published on Oct 13, 2015 via TEDx – This keynote is an expanded version of her popular TEDx talk.
We are so excited to hear all the knowledge that our Keynote Speakers have to offer, and we can’t wait for you to see them March 27th and 28th 2019.