Sonoma County Office of Education

Fifth Annual ieSonoma Features Sir Ken Robinson; Student Innovators

05/31/2017 -

ieSonoma: Sir Ken RobinsonAn internationally recognized authority in creativity and innovation in education and business, Sir Ken Robinson will be the keynote speaker at ieSonoma 2017 on Monday, June 12. Robinson was the keynote speaker at the inaugural ieSonoma event in 2013, and he returns to commemorate ieSonoma's 5th anniversary.

For registration and event information, visit

ieSonoma 2017 is the fifth annual collaboration between the Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma State University, and Sonoma Country Day School and is meant to foster innovation in Sonoma County schools. For the past four years, the event has entertained and energized local educators and community members with world-renowned speakers like Benjamin Zander, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, Dr. Sugata Mitra, Dan Pallotta, Emily Pilloton, and filmmaker Nirvan Mullick.

In addition to Robinson’s presentation, ieSonoma will feature local student innovators, who will share their inspirational stories in a series of short talks. Their stories are meant to inspire educators to create more opportunities for students to pursue their own unique interests.The local student innovators include:

  • Fatima Aguilar, Piner High School
  • Anamaria Morales, Santa Rosa Jr. College
  • Ethan Paisley, Marin School of the Arts
  • Ellie Ramos, Sonoma Country Day School
  • Luisa Trejo, Rincon Valley Charter School
  • Jaia Foster, Sonoma Academy
  • Learn more about these students below.

    About Sir Ken Robinson

    Called “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine, Robinson has received numerous awards and recognitions for his groundbreaking contributions. Videos of his famous talks to the prestigious TED Conference are the most viewed in the history of the organization and have been seen by an estimated 300 million people in over 150 countries. He was included in Thinkers50 list of the world’s leading business thinkers and has been named one of TIME/Fortune/CNN’s Principal Voices. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. His latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (Viking, 2015), written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style, includes groundbreaking research and tackles the critical issue of how to transform the nation’s troubled educational system.

    About the Student Speakers

    Fatima Aguilar has been an active community volunteer for most of her teen years. She is currently the District Lieutenant Governor for her Northern California Key Club and is the President of Community Action Partnership's DIG Youth Leadership program.

    Anamaria Morales started a cheesecake business called College Confectionista when she was 18. She plans to use the money to attend college. Her motto on her Facebook page is "Baking my way into college one cheesecake at a time."

    Ethan Paisley founded and heads Take18 Entertainment, a self-supporting film production company that employs other teen actors and filmmakers, even though he is only 16 years old.

    Ellie Ramos has earned numerous awards in advanced robotics, engineering, and programming. She is currently volunteering with eNabling the Future, a global network of passionate people using 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb device.

    Luisa Trejo submitted a STEAM Showcase project on turtle conservation. She had information and an action each citizen could take, learned to weld to develop a model that furthered her conservation cause, and raised money for turtle conservation.

    Jaia Foster's ability to translate digital visions into physical reality harnessing a myriad of different tools and systems is inspiring. Jaia recently studied the intricacies of the "Arduino" microprocessor and coding language, and then leveraged the system to develop tools to assist local middle school students with severe physical and mental disabilities in interacting with their computer devices.

    Event Details

    Robinson and the student innovators will deliver their presentations on June 12 beginning at 8:30am in Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School. The student innovators will speak first, and Robinson will take the stage following an intermission—around 10:30am.

    For registration and event information, visit