Conference keynote speakers

The Capital Conference consistently features an outstanding lineup of keynote speakers that will inspire, inform and enlighten attendees. Keynote speakers are featured at both General Sessions during the conference as well as during the following ticketed events: the OSBA Black Caucus dinner and Monday Lunch and Learn.

Monday General Session, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. – Sonia Manzano

Sonia Manzano

Maria on “Sesame Street” and author

For more than 30 years, Sonia Manzano inspired, educated and delighted children and families as Maria on “Sesame Street.” The award-winning TV writer and children’s book author won 15 Emmy Awards as part of the show’s writing team and wrote for the Peabody Award-winning children’s series “Little Bill.”

Raised in the South Bronx, Manzano was inspired by teachers who encouraged her to audition for the High School of Performing Arts, where she began her career as an actress. A first-generation American of Latin descent, Manzano came to New York during her junior year at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and starred in the original off-Broadway production of “Godspell.” Within a year, she was writing scripts for “Sesame Street.”

Manzano, who was twice nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series, did not have a lot of resources growing up. But she never gave up. Her memoir, “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx,” details her life-changing moments. A staunch advocate for education, she shares her extraordinary talent to help children succeed.

Monday’s Opening General Session sponsors are CompManagement, Ennis Britton Co. LPA, Pepple & Waggoner Ltd., Ross Sinclaire & Associates LLC and Scott Scriven LLP.

Tuesday General Session, Nov. 14, 3 p.m. – Josh Radnor

Josh Radnor

“How I Met Your Mother” actor and writer and director

Josh Radnor is best known for his role as Ted on the Emmy Award-nominated CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother,” but the Ohio native also has established himself as a gifted writer and director. The Bexley City Schools graduate has written and starred in two feature films, “Liberal Arts” and “Happythankyoumoreplease.” Both films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, with “Happythankyoumoreplease” winning the 2010 Audience Award for favorite U.S. drama.

Radnor believes in the importance of a strong liberal arts education, which led to his success. He attended Kenyon College, where he won the Paul Newman Trophy for acting, and earned a Master of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts.

In addition to film and TV, Radnor starred on Broadway in “The Graduate” opposite Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone. He currently is playing Lou Mazzuchelli in the NBC drama “Rise,” based on the inspiring true story about a dedicated drama teacher and family man.

Tuesday’s Closing General Session sponsors are Baird Public Finance, CompManagement Health Systems Inc., Ohio School Plan, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP and Walter Haverfield LLP.

OSBA Black Caucus dinner, Nov. 12, 6 p.m. – Madison Reid

spokesperson, the Little Free Library and the Literacy Cooperative of Cleveland

The OSBA Black Caucus dinner will feature Madison Reid. If childhood reading needs a national spokesperson, Madison might be the perfect candidate. The 11-year-old Cleveland Municipal Schools student gained fame when a local TV station covered an event featuring the Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading through mini neighborhood book exchanges. The interview went viral.

Madison is an avid reader who also enjoys writing her own stories and poetry. Her passion and enthusiasm for reading has made her a powerful spokesperson for the Little Free Library and the Literacy Cooperative of Cleveland. As the youngest student in her seventh-grade class at Cleveland Municipal’s Wade Park Elementary School, she is a scholar in the gifted program.

This event raises funds for the Leo Lucas Scholarship, which provides graduating culturally and ethnically diverse seniors funds for college. Music and networking begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $70; the reservation deadline is Nov. 3. To register for the dinner, notify your district treasurer or indicate your request on the conference registration form. Registration is required; limited tickets will be sold at the door for $75. Please indicate any special accommodations needed. All conference attendees are invited.

Monday Lunch and Learn, Nov. 13, 12:15 p.m. – InSideOut Initiative: Transforming the lives of students

The scoreboard often defines today’s win-at-all-costs sports culture, where youth sports have evolved into an $8 billion industry requiring significant financial and emotional investment by parents. The InSideOut Initiative aims to change this culture, which has become more focused on adults than kids. While winning is an important goal, InSideOut co-founders Joe Ehrmann and Jody Redman encourage the educational, social and emotional well-being of student-athletes across all sports.

Supported by the NFL Foundation, InSideOut has many educational partners, including OSBA, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which are working to reclaim the educational purpose of sports. Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman, is author of “InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives.” Redman, a former collegiate basketball player, oversees education programs for 500 member high schools as associate director of the Minnesota State High School League.

Doors open at noon. Registration is $45; contact your treasurer to register. Please indicate any special accommodations needed. The luncheon sponsors are CompManagement, GradyBenefits, NaviGate Prepared and Ohio School Plan.

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