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Clarkston Community School District
TedxClarkstonEd Header

May 19 from 10:30am- 4pm
Clarkston Junior High School
6595 Waldon Rd, Clarkston, MI 48346


What is TED?

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Tedx Logo
What is TEDx?

A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at TED conferences are shared with the community. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. The content and design of each TEDx event is unique and developed independently, but all have features in common.

What is TEDx ClarkstonEd?

TEDX ClarkstonEd is an independently organized TED event, organized almost entirely by a group of 15 Junior and Senior students who attend Clarkston High School in conjunction with members of the teaching and administrative staff. In 2014, a group of CHS students came together and called themselves The Thinking Project. They organized the first TEDx event at Clarkston, called TEDXYouth@Clarkston. This was the name of the event up until last year. This year, the event has a broader name, a bigger focus, and the potential to create waves of positive change in education both locally and throughout the entire state of Michigan.

As the name implies, the focus of this year’s event is on education. With a list of speakers that will include people involved with education in a number of different ways, from high-school students to educators and administrators from high schools and post-secondary institutions from all across the state of Michigan, there will be an abundance of unique viewpoints taking the stage. In the spirit of TED, each speaker will bring forth their own powerful ideas in the form of a short, 12-18 minute talk. The focus of each talk will be on what good is taking place in education and how education is moving toward a positive future. These talks will focus on solutions, not problems- and hopefully perpetuate a narrative of Michigan schools that truly reflects the caring and dedication of all those involved. At some point during the day, the speakers will be involved in short Question-and-Answer breakout sessions. This will give event attendees an opportunity to pick the brains of the presenters and perhaps see how the idea of the presenter fits into the specific situation of the attendee. This is a rare TED opportunity that we feel will help solidify the presenter’s ideas into action for many.

If you or someone you know would like to get involved with this event in any way (i.e. speaker, attendee, or sponsor) please email us at

What is TEDxClarkston

About TEDxClarkstonEd

TEDx Clarkston Ed is an independently organized TED event, organized almost entirely by a group of 15 Junior and Senior students who attend Clarkston High School in conjunction with members of the teaching and administrative staff.

As the name implies, the focus of this year’s event is on education. With a list of speakers that will include people involved with education in a number of different ways, from high-school students to educators and administrators from high schools and post-secondary institutions from all across the state of Michigan, there will be an abundance of unique viewpoints taking the stage.

What Is our Goal?

Tedx Clarkston ED's goal is to share the new, education advancements within Michigan with our community. We are looking for superintendents, teachers, and students around Michigan to come and speak at our event.

If you are interested in speaking in our event please click on our speaker application tab above.

Speaker Application

Speaker Application



Luke Wilcox

Luke Wilcox is a math teacher and teacher leader based out of West Michigan. He teaches at the #1 most diverse high school in the state, which has recently made the extraordinary transition from being a priority school to four years later being recognized as an Academic State Champion for high schools with below average incomes. Luke’s teaching has been recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and is currently serving as the 2017-2018 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

Rick Joseph

Rick Joseph, NBCT, has taught 5/6 grade at Covington School in the Birmingham Public Schools since 2003. He previously served as a bilingual educator and trainer for nine years in the Chicago Public Schools. Rick was thrilled to serve teachers and students as the Michigan Teacher of the Year 2016.

Ali Hamka

Ali Hamka first began his professional career in the vast world of commercial real-estate development and entrepreneurial ventures. After teaching children at the Islamic Center of America on the weekends, he quickly discovered his passion for working with kids. He pursued his degree in education and has been an educator and administrator at the secondary level for the past 14 years. Hamka began his teaching career in Rochester, where he taught economics and world religions at Stoney Creek High School and then later became an assistant principal at Hart Middle School. Currently, he is an assistant principal at Seaholm high school in the Birmingham School District. His role allows him to engage the entire learning community with best instructional practices, while maintaining a positive and sustainable learning environment for all students and staff. He continuously advocates for the best interests of his students and families. Ali completed a B.S. in Education from Wayne State University, and completed an M.A in Educational Leadership also from Wayne State University.

Kelly Fuller

Kelly Fuller

Kelly Fuller received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Oakland University. In her role as an instructional leader in Clarkston, Kelly has spent the past sixteen years committed to building, setting, and continuing relationships with students. She holds the firm belief that educators serve in a powerful role that offers students a platform to find their voice, an opportunity to feel valued, and to possess the knowledge of the power they all have to change and impact the world.

Kelly is a member of Clarkston’s Academic Service Learning team, and co-facilitates professional learning workshops that support teachers in designing opportunities to empower students to impact the world through learning and service. She has also been a presenter for several summers at the Oakland County Effective Practices Conference. Kelly lives with her husband and three children in Clarkston, and has a passion for teaching, professional development, and local history.

Nathan Fuller

Nathan Fuller received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in teaching and curriculum, both from Michigan State University. He also holds an Educational Administration certification from MSU. Throughout his career in Clarkston over the past sixteen years both as a classroom teacher and now as the administrator at Independence Elementary School, Nathan has focused on promoting academic success through powerful student, teacher, and family relationships. Through this dedication, Nathan has facilitated collaborative groups of staff to plan, organize, and implement several events focused on students and families. As an educational leader, Nathan has worked in partnership with Oakland Schools in the production of a Reading Workshop series. He strives to empower staff in leadership roles while frontloading with strong relationships to impact the connections students have between school and home. Nathan lives in Clarkston with his wife and three children.

Jay B. Marks, Ph.D.

Jay B. Marks, Ph.D. is a widely-respected educator who has been in education since 1991, where he began his career as a Special Education Teacher at Northern High School with the Detroit Public School System. During his career he has served as a classroom teacher for 17 years with both Detroit and Southfield Public School Systems, as well as an educational consultant on the national level. Currently, Dr. Marks is a Diversity and Equity Consultant with Oakland Schools (the Intermediate School District in Oakland County, Michigan) where he serves and supports the professional development needs of the 28 school districts within Oakland County. He is highly sought after for his work in the areas of Social Justice, Cultural Competence, Courageous Conversations about Race, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Educating African American Males, Closing the Achievement Gap, Student Engagement, Differentiated Instruction, and Urban Education. In addition to his professional work in the field of education, he has been mentoring youth since 1989, and has started several mentoring programs in the Metropolitan Detroit Area as a result of his experiences.

His academic credentials include a B.S. degree from Western Michigan University (1990), M.A. degree from University of Detroit Mercy (1995), and an Ed. Specialist Certificate (1997) and Ph.D. (2005) in Curriculum and Instruction both from Wayne State University. As a graduate student, Dr. Marks studied abroad at Oxford University in Oxford, England as a student in their British Studies Program.Dr. Marks is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the proud father of two beautiful daughters, Amari (15) and Jalia (12).

Martin R. Ballard

Martin R. Ballard-has been teaching since 1999, starting out originally with the Avondale School District as a guest teacher while earning his Master’s Degree in Teaching from Wayne State University.He went on to teach for 15 years in the Pontiac School District. During his time in Pontiac, Mr. Ballard started the Marketing Program at Pontiac Northern High School and then moved on to be part of the original 9 teachers in the Pontiac International Technology Academy (ITA) for the School District of Pontiac, a project-based learning school (PBL) that has seen great success since its inception.

Mr. Ballard left Pontiac in January 2016 to return to Avondale High School and began work on building an IT program that would encompass all five CIP code areas for approved programs in CTE from the State of Michigan. With the approval process now complete, Avondale School District is the only school district in the State of Michigan that has all five IT CIP code areas authorized for teaching according to the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Career and Technology Education.Prior to his teaching career, Mr. Ballard was in the printing, packaging, and advertising industry at his family’s business working on projects for Wendy’s International, General Motors, Big Boy International, Campbell Ewald, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, along with many other advertising agencies and numerous auto dealerships throughout the nation.Mr. Ballard was recently awarded Teacher of the Year for Avondale High School in February 2018 and the Auburn Hills Chamber’s Baker College Education Advocate Award, which is awarded to “the company or institution with the most progressive educational initiatives.”

Eldon Pearson

Eldon Pearson is 17 years old and currently a senior at Lake Orion High School. Next year, he has intentions to extend his education into the Cellular and Molecular

Biology major at either the University of California San Diego or San Diego State University. He has aspirations to attend med school after graduation to become a pediatric anesthesiologist. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and have always had a passion for the allocation and distribution of knowledge, ideas, and opinions as he feels they lay the infrastructure for new ways of life and set the foundation for change and action. Politics and education have always been two areas of engrossment for me, and he always strive to become more and more versed on current global issues on hand.

Evan Hall

For the past 5 years, Evan Hall has been working as a student voice advocate within his community and home state of Michigan. He is working alongside a countless number of educators to gain insight to the complex field of education. While this is going on, Evan dedicates his time to conducting research with students to better understand how schools can be more innovative. Evan enjoys to play his bassoon, and loves cycling around his hometown. He wishes to follow a path in medicine or spend his time as an elementary school teacher, working his way up to an education researcher. Evan Hall is a voice for his fellow peers, and strives everyday to make sure their education is valuable

Rosemary Kendall & Nolan Wright

Rosemary Kendall and Nolan Wright of Saline High school are distinguished, keystone leaders on the rocky path to student advocacy. As juniors, Rosie and Nolan are successful entrepreneurs and both run their own businesses. Leaders within their own communities, Rosie and Nolan created their own student-led school board in hopes of bridging communication and fluidity between students and administration. Following the creation of ESAB (Executive Student Advisory Board), Nolan and Rosie have received a grant for a new learning space in their school to encourage self-dependence, mental fitness, and creativeness among all students. This accomplishment, along with other ESAB ideas, has strengthened the relationship between students and administration, creating a mutual respect and understanding.

Oliver Yu

Oliver Yu of Lake Orion High School is a well-rounded Junior. He is the recipient of The Mars Generation Scholarship and has attended Space Camp in 2017. In addition, He is currently a cadet with the Civil Air Patrol. He is not only passionate serving as an advocate for space exploration, but he is an individual with a passion for the sciences. He aspires to serves as a pilot for the United States Air Force and become an astronaut. He advocates for the alleviation of hunger and malnourishment through one of his numerous science projects: Project Habitat. By inventing and research, he hopes for a positive impact for future generations.

Brock Boze

Brock Boze is currently a junior at Saline High School. In school, he participates in numerous student organizations, including but not limited to Student Council, NHS, and Link Crew. In the spring he runs Track and Field, and this coming fall he will have the honor of serving as a captain on my school's Cross Country team. He has been running competitively since 4th grade and have not stopped in my passion for the sport.Outside of athletics, he is a member of the Saline High School Chamber Choir, where he is also apart of the A Capella group, the "Ten Tones." He is thankful to have been given the opportunity to present today. He is also grateful for the help and guidance of my school's administrators, Theresa Stager, Heather Kellstrom, and David Raft. Without them he would not be introduced to great experiences such as this.


Sponsorship Form

In order to make a sponsorship payment, you must first register as a user of e-Funds, the payment gateway for Clarkston Community Schools. Minimum donation is $20.

TEDxClarkstonEd Partnership

Partnership Opportunities

Level 1 ($20-$99 donation and/or discount or physical donation)

  • Personal thanks on TEDxClarkstonEd social media
  • Logo on sponsor slide
  • Ticket to event

Level 2 ($100-$999 donation)

  • Personal thanks on TEDxClarkstonEd social media
  • Logo on sponsor slide
  • Personal thanks on the TEDxClarkstonEd website partnership page
  • Two tickets to the event
  • TEDxClarkstonEd t-shirt

Level 3 ($1,000+ donation)

  • Personal thanks on TEDxClarkstonEd social media
  • Logo on sponsor slide
  • Personal thanks on TEDxClarkstonEd website
  • Logo on TEDxClarkstonEd t-shirts
  • Four tickets to the event
  • Four TEDxClarkstonEd t-shirts

TEDxClarkstonEd Tickets

Date: May 19
Time: 10:30am-4pm
Location: Clarkston Junior High School
Address: 6595 Waldon Rd, Clarkston, MI 48346
Cost: $20

In order to purchase tickets, click here. Tickets are $20 each.

Sponsorship Payments

Minimum sponsorship donation is $20.