Building a Pathway to Engage Emergent Bi

Keynote Speakers

Ester de Jong is a Professor in ESOL/Bilingual Education and the Director of the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.  Prior to coming to the University of Florida, she worked with Spanish-English and Brazilian-Portuguese bilingual programs as the Assistant Director for Bilingual Education and ESL programs in Massachusetts.  Her research focuses on equity and integration in the context of dual language education and preparing teachers to work with bilingual learners in K-12 schools.  Her book, Foundations of Multilingualism in Education: From Policy to Practicepublished by Caslon Publishing, considers a principled approach to school, program, and classroom decision-making for multilingual learners.  Dr. de Jong is Past-President of TESOL International Association (2018-2019)

Ester de Jong
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Ignacio Ruiz currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of the English Language Learner Division for the Clark County School District, the 5th largest school district in the nation. Mr. Ruiz previously held the position of Director of the Language Acquisition Department in Tucson Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona, overseeing several programs such as English Language Development, Dual Language, World Languages, curriculum and assessment for English Language Learners and the interpreter/translator division. He holds a Masters Degree with distinction from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Prescott College. He brings broad experience in educational leadership where he has held several leadership positions including, assistant principal, principal, director, and his current role as Assistant Superintendent for the English Language Learner Division.

During his first year with the Clark County School District and under his leadership, he successfully collaborated with key stakeholders to analyze the Districts need as it pertain to English language learners, and created a comprehensive Master Plan for English Language Learners. The English Language Learner Master Plan for Success is in its third year of implementation.

Mr. Ruiz was recognized in 2014 by Luz Social Services as Administrator of the Year. He has also presented on dual language programs at several conferences throughout the United States.

Mr. Ruiz is bilingual/biliterate in English and Spanish, and is a big believer in providing equitable learning experiences for all students. As a result, Mr. Ruiz is the president and founder of the Nevada Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, which began in Clark County in 2019. Mr. Ruiz recently completed the McCourt School of Public Policy in Educational Leadership and Management from Georgetown University

Ignacio Ruiz