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Keynote Speakers and Special Guests

Roni Habib is an expert in helping educators, leaders, and parents become happier, more resilient, more connected to their purpose, and more playful. The founder of EQ Schools, he leads workshops and speaks in schools nationally and abroad. Roni taught many different subjects for 15 years, ranging from Calculus to History, to Positive Psychology. He started his teaching career at Fenway High School in Boston, and spent most of teaching career at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, where he also became a part of the school leadership team.

Early in his career, Roni struggled with the high stresses and demands of teaching even losing touch with why he wanted to be a teacher in the first place. It was so painful that he finally discovered the power of integrating mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology in his own life as well as in his classroom and felt called to share this new approach with the world. In the first three years of establishing EQ Schools, Roni has taught and inspired thousands of Teachers, Principals, Superintendents, and Parents through his TEDx talk, workshops, conferences, and online offerings. Prior to earning his Masters of Education and teaching credential at Harvard University, he lived in Israel and Belgium. Most important though, is that Roni has a huge heart and loves helping people.

“I do what I do for two main reasons:

  1.  I believe that every person in the world deserve to gain skills that allow them to be happier, more resilient, and to believe in themselves so they can live the life they dream of having.
  2.  I believe that schools are meant to be safe, joyful and fun places where relationships and wellbeing are prioritized, passions are cultivated, and vulnerability celebrated.”
Photo of Dianna De La Garza
Dianna De La Garza

Dianna De La Garza, born and raised in Texas, is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and country music recording artist who has opened for music greats George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Hank Williams, Jr.  As mother of three daughters who were interested in show business, she also served as pep coach, adviser, and manager to her children. Her youngest, Madison De La Garza, was a series regular on Desperate Housewivesplaying the role of Eva Longoria’s daughter. Middle daughter, Demi Lovato, is a multiplatinum-recording artist and former Disney actress best known for appearing in Camp Rock, Princess Protection Program, and Sonny with a Chance. Oldest daughter, Dallas Lovato, is currently an acting coach in the Los Angeles area and a voice actress. In addition to being a mom and author, De La Garza is also a well-known speaker who conducts parent seminars around country about the perks and pitfalls of helping children pursue Hollywood careers. CAPED welcomes Dianna De La Garza for our keynote presentation. 

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges

Eloy Ortiz Oakley is best known throughout California and the nation for implementing innovative programs and policies that help students succeed in college. Oakley strongly believes that California’s rapidly changing economy demands a diverse workforce with quality credentials and that the state’s 115 community colleges play a pivotal role in moving California forward. Under Oakley’s leadership, the California Community Colleges published the Vision for Success which lays out a focused strategy on increasing the social and economic mobility of all Californians. Since becoming chancellor, Oakley has positioned the California Community Colleges as a critical player nationally in maintaining the global competitiveness of the nation’s workforce. CAPED welcomes Chancellor Oakley to our 45th Annual Conference.

Reagan Romali, Superintendent-President
Long Beach Community College District

Dr. Reagan Ferragamo Romali serves as the Superintendent-President of the Long Beach Community College District, a Hispanic Serving Institution in Long Beach, California with 25,000 students.  She is a nationally recognized educational leader who has achieved groundbreaking work in student success, increased graduation rates, increased transfer rates and outcomes for students of color.  Prior to coming to Long Beach City College, she served as the President of Harry S Truman College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, where she increased the graduation rate 300% in six years, increased transfer to four year universities by 53% and increased student success for students of color by 38%.  At LBCC, she built behavioral intervention teams for students and employees in need.  She led the creation of a wellness and mental health component for LBCC’s Student Health Center that provides a mental health clinician and interns for students.  Dr. Romali is also working with LBCCD’s Board of Trustees to aid the institution’s homeless student population (10%) and enlisting industry partners to provide internship and career opportunities to students.