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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. 

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Paul Grossman, J.D.

Paul Grossman, J.D. served as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), serving as its Chief Regional Attorney in San Francisco for 30 years. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Disability Law at Hasting College of Law, University of California, and a member of the AHEAD Board of Directors, the Public Policy Committee of the Association for Children and Adults with AD/HD (CHADD), and the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) Expert Advisory Board. He is the coauthor of The Law of Disability Discrimination (8th Edition) and its companion publication, Law of Disability Discrimination Handbook: Statues and Regulatory Guidance.

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.

Photo of Tim McGrath

Tim McGrath is an educational leader with a 20-year record of success in California community college administration, Tim McGrath serves as the 8th President of Golden West College (GWC). GWC is part of the Coast Community College District located in Huntington Beach, California with a student population of more than 18,000. GWC was named Champion of Higher Education for two-consecutive years in 2017 and 2018 by the Campaign for College Opportunity organization for its excellence in transfer; honored as the Best of Huntington Beach by the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2018; and widely recognized for its pioneering leadership in designing learning-centered programs and services for students. Prior to accepting the presidency at GWC in 2018, Tim served as the Vice President of Instruction at San Diego Mesa College. His academic credentials include a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law; a Master of Science in Administration from Pepperdine University; a Bachelor of Science in Law from Western State University College of Law; and an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Monica College.