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Who We Are

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Buddy Berry

Dr. Buddy Berry has a passion for reinventing the K-12 school experience. His School on FIRE (Framework of Innovation for Reinventing Education) model is currently in it's 9th full year of implementation and is seeing dramatic results. Dr. Berry is in his 12th year as Superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools and his team’s success has allowed him to be invited to the White House twice, the first as one of the 100 top school Superintendents in America at their only National Connected Superintendents Summit. Dr. Berry’s work and school district has also been the focus of numerous media and news stories released by Edutopia (George Lucas Films) for several videos. Most importantly, Buddy is married to the amazing Jessica Berry and the father of four, Brooke, Blaze, Bryce, and Brax.


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George Philhower


Dr. George Philhower serves as the superintendent at EasternHancock Schools in Indiana.  He holds a Bachelors in Elementary and Special Education from Cardinal Stritch University, a Masters in Instructional Leadership from the University of Indianapolis, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. from Indiana State University.  George envisions a time when all students and staff wake up excited to go to school each day. He understands this will only happen when they know they will feel safe and free to be themselves, they will get to feel successful, they will do meaningful work, they will get to play and learn with their friends, and they will be surrounded by adults who love them when they get there.  George is convinced that the best way to make this vision a reality is through collaboration among leaders in the field of education who are committed to disrupting the status quo. George works hard to share the work happening in his district and learn from others in the field in order to make his vision a reality.

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Thom Coffee

"The Human Pilcrow"

Mr. Thom Coffee is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Eminence Independent Schools. Coffee began his career as an accomplished middle school language arts and social studies teacher, earning the WHAS Excel Award and Ashland Oil Teacher Achievement Award for the state of Kentucky.  During his 22 years in education Coffee has also served as a Highly Skilled Educator and School Turnaround Specialist for the Kentucky Department of Education, and an Instructional Supervisor.


Thom has a B.A. in English and an MAT in Middle School ELA and Social Studies from the University of Louisville in addition to earning certifications for K-12 Principal, Instructional Supervision and Superintendent from Eastern Kentucky University.

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Additional Speakers

Available Upon Request Or For Specific Needs

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