2010 AVID National Conference

College Readiness for All: Delivering the Dream

2010 AVID National Conference

The 2010 National Conference was a success, with 1500 participants from around the world attending more than 40 concurrent sessions offered throughout two and a half days.

Concurrent Session Descriptions
Featured Panelists

2010 National Conference: Conference Proceedings



AVID & Gifted Education: Making Connections
Shannon Kay Sankstone, Graduate Student, MA in Gifted Education, Northeastern Illinois University

Black Males and Classroom Management: The Teacher's Guide to "De-Maskulating" African American Male Students through Positive Behavior Building Strategies
Dr. Mack Hines, Consultant, Mack Hines Consulting

Creating a Culture of Motivation and Aspiration For All Students
Gene Eakin, Ph.D., Oregon State University, Lewis & Clark College

Creating Math Minds: Strategies that Work
Handout: Linear Inequities in Two Variables
Handout: Tell me Why
Ms. Ana Doughtery, University of Texas Pan American
Alicia Alfonso, Math Teacher, Palmview High School, La Joya ISD

Delivering the Dream: Improving Advanced Placement Success
Gary Kroesch, Advanced Placement teacher, Rancho Bernardo High School
Faatimah Muhammad, AVID Western Division Assistant Director

English Learner College Readiness
Michelle Mullen & Larry Guthrie

Find the Funding, Expanding Rigor and College Readiness Through Powerful Funding Sources
Handout: District Brochure
James K. Lindsay, Director, District Outreach, The College Board, Southwestern Regional Office

From Invention to Reform: The Evolution of AVID in California's Public Schools
Joseph Radding, Ed.D.
Joseph Radding, Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education

From Policy to Practice: The Texas AVID Higher Education Program
Evelyn Hiatt, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Latina Success: Following the Legacy of AVID to College
Gail Bruce, Ph.D., Director of Counseling, Skagit Valley College

Learning What Works in Improving High School Students’ Access to PSE: Implementation of the BC AVID Pilot Project and Impacts to Grade 11
Handout - Interim Report
Handout - Executive Summary
Reuben Ford, PhD

Leveling the Playing Field
Using Data to Improve College Readiness Beginning in Middle School
Frederick Mickle, ACT

What are we schooling them for? Activities to promote higher career aspirations among our youth
Dr. Edward A. Mainzer, EdD, LMHC


About the Conference

stampsParticipants engaged in dialogue, presentations, and sessions from practitioners currently engaged in college-readiness efforts. Superintendents, site administrators, teachers, students, and researchers spoke on topics including:

  • Access to rigorous curriculum for all
  • Strategies to help African American male and English-language learner students navigate their educational path to college
  • Strategies for closing the gender gap
  • Schoolwide and districtwide tactics for closing the achievement gap and increasing college-readiness
  • Parent and community involvement in college-readiness efforts
  • Leveraging AVID strategies across the curriculum



  • Superintendents
  • School Board Members
  • Principals
  • District Leaders
  • AVID Site Team Members
  • Teacher Leaders
  • Higher Education Leaders
  • AVID and Non-AVID Districts


Conference Schedule

Wednesday, December 08
04:00 pm - 06:00 pm Conference Check-in
Thursday, December 09
07:00 am - 06:00 pm Conference Check-in Continues/Exhibits Open
08:00 am - 10:00 pm RD/DD Meeting
09:00 am - 12:00 pm Pre-conference Sessions
10:00 am - 12:00 pm Panel - College Readiness and Rigorous Opportunities for All Students, Sponsored by the College Board
12:00 pm - 01:00 pm Lunch on own
01:00 pm - 02:00 pm Opening General Session with Keynote Addresses by Mary Catherine Swanson and Jonathan Grant Brown
02:15 pm - 03:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
03:40 pm - 04:55 pm Concurrent Sessions
05:00 pm - 06:00 pm Reception (with Exhibits)
Friday, December 10
08:00 am - 02:00 pm Exhibits
09:15 am - 10:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
10:40 am - 11:55 pm Concurrent Sessions
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Lunch on own
01:45 pm - 03:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
03:15 pm - 04:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Saturday, December 11
08:30 am - 10:00 am General Session/Banquet Breakfast with Greg Darnieder and Student Panel
10:15 am - 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions
11:50 am - 12:50 pm Divisional Meetings



Keynote Speaker Biographies

Mary Catherine Swanson

Mary Catherine SwansonKeynoter Mary Catherine Swanson was born in Kingsburg, California, in 1944 the daughter of a newspaper publisher and homemaker. She earned a BA degree in English and journalism from San Francisco State University in 1966 and an MA from the University of Redlands in 1974. She taught English and journalism in four different school districts from 1966-1986.

In 1980 in response to federal court ordered bussing in the San Diego Unified School District, she developed AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Clairemont High School. Convinced that marginal students can meet almost any challenge if they are given the support they need, AVID became  one of the most successful educational reform programs developed in the United States and the only school reform program ever launched and widely disseminated by a public school teacher.

In 1986 she left Clairemont High to join the staff of the San Diego County Office of Education, where under the auspices of state funding she was charged with the responsibility of spreading AVID to every secondary school in the county. 

In 1992 she founded the not-for-profit AVID Center and served as its Executive Director until her retirement in 2006.

Swanson and the AVID program have been widely honored over the past couple of decades. Among the awards are features in every edition of Marquis' Who's Who in America since 1990, being cited specifically for her "outstanding achievement in education, thereby contributing significantly to the betterment of contemporary society." In 1995 the California School Boards Foundation presented its Golden Bell Award to AVID "for an innovative, exemplary program which has been replicated in more than 500 schools within the state by educators whose efforts have made a demonstrated difference for students." In 1993, Swanson received the Freedoms Foundation Valley Forge Teachers Medal for Excellence "for designing a program which allows all students to achieve academically and become contributing members of our democratic society..." In 1991 she earned the Charles A. Dana Foundation $50,000 Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education. The Dana Foundation singled out Swanson "for heeding the teacher's calling at the highest level of professional dedication in your development of AVID, an imaginative restructuring of schools that has given thousands of students the skills, support, and guidance that they need to fulfill their potentials..." In 2002, Swanson was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education, the highest award an educator can receive in the United States, and was featured on 60 Minutes II, CNN and in Time Magazine where she was featured as America's Best Teacher. She has delivered numerous university commencement addresses and has received three honorary doctorates.

Swanson has been married to Tom Swanson, a retired bank president, for 40 years. They have one son who teaches Advanced Placement History and AVID at a San Diego high school.

Jonathan Grant Brown

Jonathan Grant BrownJonathan Grant Brown, a graduate of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, is a highly sought after motivational speaker, and a positive role model and mentor. He is the West Texas AVID Consultant and Master Tutor for the Midland/Odessa area. This extraordinary young man began his journey in the foster care system, and has emerged as the embodiment and the hope of what is possible when any student is nurtured and guided by caring educators, high expectations, a loving family, and a committed community.



Gregory M. Darnieder

Gregory M. DarniederGregory M. Darnieder began his career as a junior high school teacher. He has a BA in Sociology, a K-8 Teaching Certificate from St. Louis University and a MA in Christian Education from Wheaton College.

From the mid-nineties to the present he has acted as President for The Center for Impact Research and Treasurer of The Albert Pick Jr. Fund. He is also on the Board of the Steans Family Foundation, The Roberta Bachmann Lewis Scholarship Fund, Scholarship Chicago, The Illinois Education Foundation and The North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School.

Greg was executive director of the I Have a Dream Foundation which grew from a single program to twelve throughout the Chicago area. He was the founding executive director of the LaSalle St. Community Youth Creative Learning Experience (CYCLE), which was an after-school and summer youth academic and career exploration program for kindergarten through college-aged students in the Cabrini Green Public Housing Development. As executive director, he created numerous scholarship programs that financially supported over 225 students.

In 1992, he was named executive director for the Chicago Cluster Initiative. He coordinated a multi-agency public/private response to the academic achievement needs of students from four neighborhood high schools. In 1994, he became the executive director of the Steans Family Foundation. He designed and implemented a comprehensive initiative in the North Lawndale community in partnership with numerous community-based organizations. He leveraged governmental, philanthropic and business resources to improve and/or develop educational programs, affordable housing, economic development, health and human services, and youth development and employment goals and oversaw the organizational capacity building strategies of over 50 non-profit agencies.

Greg was responsible for the establishment of the Department of Higher Education Education and Student Development and for designing and implementing an assortment of higher education, academic, financial, and social support programs. He was responsible for enhancing the Chicago Public Schools' infrastructure around higher education education and establishing supportive services at every CPS high school. He is also responsible for building university, corporate and civic partnerships to enhance college access. Greg was director of Chicago Public Schools' newly formed Department of College and Career Preparation that consisted of the Department of Higher Education Education and Student Development and the Department of Education to Careers.

In 2009, U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, named Greg the Special Assistant to the Secretary for College Access at the U.S. Department of Education, where he currently serves.


AVID Center is grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

National Conference sponsors


Looking for information about last year's conference? View highlights from the 2009 AVID National Conference.