Sonoma County Office of Education

Multilingual Learner Leadership Conference

Registration is closed. Please email for assistance.

Teachers, administrators, TOSAs, counselors, specialists, and paraprofessionals are warmly invited to attend SCOE’s annual Multilingual Learner Leadership Conference.  Participants will engage with the most current research, tools, and practices needed to ensure that multilingual learners thrive and excel  in our school systems. Sessions will be tailored for elementary, secondary, and TK-12. This year’s conference theme, Voices of Light, asks its presenters and participants to investigate the question, “How might we celebrate and honor the voices of multilingual learners to co-create practices of belonging?” 

Lunch will be provided

Morning Learning Block

Morning Keynote

Valuing Diversity
LTC Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, Ret. 
Learning to accommodate cultural differences is important for administrators and educators to be successful in schools. Moreover, it is important in parenting and education. Aspects of cultural differences, strengths, and challenges will be examined and examples will be provided. LTC Kickbusch provides her personal story of challenges and triumphs as a child of the “barrio” who succeeded in spite of many cultural, social, and educational obstacles. She gently guides her audience to better understand cultural differences and similarities, as she emphasizes that appreciation of diverse cultures and their contributions to today’s society is a very important element of team-building and teamwork, which makes for a successful, productive work environment. LTC Kickbusch provides insights on yet another necessity for successful professional development and personal growth. This introspective keynote will force participants to look inward at themselves, their educational environments, and their communities to motivate them into action.

Elementary Focus

Choosing Honor Over Power
Kelly Matteri | Program Coordinator-UDL and Instructional Equity, Sonoma County Office of Education  
"Are you willing to reconsider your own power, privilege, and practice to truly honor the students you serve?" Andratesha Fritzgerald asks this crucial question in her book, Antiracism and UDL: Creating Expressways for Success. Let your answer be a resounding "Yes!". This session will examine codes of power that uphold an oppressive status quo in our classrooms and throughout our education system. Participants will also explore new codes - codes of honor - that honor the brilliance of multilingual learners and all multilingual members of our school community while taking immediate action to shift at least one of our current practices from being rooted in a code of power to a code of honor.

Secondary Focus

Revolutionizing Multilingual Education Begins with Me
Dr. Daniela Domínguez | Associate Professor, UCSF Counseling Psychology Department, and Founder of On the Margins
Revolutionizing multilingual learner education is not a destination; it is a process that begins with the self. To be in a meaningful and right relationship with multilingual learners, we must ask ourselves the question– What do I need to dismantle within myself to co-create the liberated multilingual education that my students long for? This session will highlight ideological ancestors Grace Lee Boggs and Toni Cade Bambara. It will also involve dialogue and artistic experiential activity that will show that liberation is not untouchable.

TK-12 Focus

Balancing Conviction with Compliance: Developing a Strategic Plan for Multilingual Learners
Hilary Kjaer | Director of Teaching and Learning, Rincon Valley Union School District  
Tasha Lopez | Continuous Improvement Specialist, Rincon Valley Union School District
Brett Wilson | Multilingual Learner Specialist, Rincon Valley Union School District

In this session, you will learn about one district’s journey in revising their English Learner Master Plan, and how through a lens of equity and adaptive change, they intentionally charted their course. They will share their process for bringing educational partners together, to seek understanding and reflect on perceptions, expectations, and assumptions. Walk away with ideas for how to balance state requirements with a collective vision when writing a plan that serves multilingual learners and their families.

TK-12 Focus

LTC Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, Ret.
This session will challenge participants to self-reflect and shift perspectives using the cornerstones represented in Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch’s framework for action: N.O.P.A.L.I.T.O.S. (Never give up, Opportunity, Plan and prepare, Action, Lead, Innovate, Team, Observe, Stay humble.) Participants will learn the power of Kickbusch’s acronym, which will be defined, modeled, and discussed, through the lenses of the student and parent immersion and engagement into successful learning environments partnered with the development of lifelong social-emotional skills and habits.

Afternoon Learning Block

Afternoon Keynote

Cosechando Conexiones: Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Teaching and Learning with Multilingual Children and Youth
Dr. Luz Yadira Herrera | Teacher, Researcher, Author, and Co-founder of the En Comunidad Collective
This keynote explores En Comunidad’s Critical Bilingual Literacies framework. The audience will engage with examples of teaching and learning across elementary, middle, and high school contexts that consider culturally and linguistically sustaining topics, texts, and translanguaging. This keynote also examines translanguaging pedagogy through children’s (and youth) literature and discusses ways to create translanguaging spaces that celebrate multilingual children in all classroom spaces.

Elementary Focus

Creating Effective Designated ELD Lessons to Promote Authentic Communication in the Elementary Classroom
Rocio Miscio | Teacher on Special Assignment, Santa Rosa City Schools
When students are able to communicate in the target language they can be heard and when they are valued for their heritage language, they are seen. Multilingual learners should be respected and valued for their perspectives. This session will focus on helping educators empower students to communicate and express themselves through the creation of intentionally designed Designated ELD lessons. Rocio will guide participants through developing language objectives that lead to rich lessons using academic content.

Secondary Focus

Sustaining the Cultural and Linguistic Wealth of Multilingual Students
Dr. Orlando Carreón | Assistant professor, Educational Leadership, Sonoma State University and expert panel
What does it mean to sustain the cultural and linguistic assets of multilingual youth? For multilingual youth to develop a healthy sense of self, we must affirm their cultural and linguistic identity. In this session, we critique the history of language assimilation in the United States and explore the inextricable link between language and identity. Educators will walk away with ideas of how they can create classrooms that illuminate the cultural and linguistic assets that multilingual students bring to the learning environment.

TK-12 Focus

See You on the Other Side
Erika Lutz | Artist, Educator, Storyteller
Learn the story of the Amarosa mural project and how multilingual students, among others, co-created a place to belong, heal, and grow. An homage to the strange, beautiful, and sometimes difficult transitions teen students navigate, the playful and bold mural is a visual metaphor for their labyrinth-like journey of inner and outer transformation. Through this session, you will learn how student voices were invited to share their journey through this year-long integrated arts program that supports the social and emotional well-being of students by embedding community artists within schools. You will also participate in an interactive arts activity to ground you in the power of collective resilience through the spirit of creativity and the art of human connection.

TK-12 Focus

Cosechando Conexiones con Poesia: Poetry as Teaching, Healing, and Resistance
Dr. Luz Yadira Herrera | Teacher, Researcher, Author, and Co-founder of the En Comunidad Collective
This session presents the En Comunidad framework of “Poetry as Teaching, Healing, and Resistance.” This session will equip participants to support multilingual children’s sense of belonging, literacies, and communities through poetry. Participants will engage in creating their poetry plans that are culturally and linguistically sustaining.


When Friday, January 19, 2024
8:30am - 3:30pm
Location Teacher Learning Center at SCOE
5340 Skylane Boulevard Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Presenter See above information
Cost $180.00
Audience K-12 Admin and Teachers
Registration closes 01/15/2024
Registration Danielle Brusnahan, (707) 524-2823,
Questions Jacob Ramirez, (707) 524-2600,

Online Registration is not available.