Sam Seidel is the Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). Sam speaks internationally about innovative solutions to challenges facing schools, community organizations, and prisons. He is a passionate and experienced leader in education transformation.
Sam has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college. He has built and directed programs for young people affected by incarceration. As a consultant, Sam worked with leading national education organizations, including the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Big Picture Learning, and Jobs for the Future, as well as a spectrum of other clients on a diverse set of projects, ranging from redesigning a statewide juvenile justice system to working with the Rockefeller family to repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Sam was the Director of Partnerships, Annual Reviews, and Student Leadership for the Association for High School Innovation, a national network of school developers and replicators funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sam graduated from Brown University with a degree in Education and a teaching certification. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia University's Institute for Urban and Minority Education, and a Community Fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is always learning.
Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx educator / administrator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one. Moving generations of students into spheres of personal and academic successes which they had never
imagined — while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx — Stephen’s extended student and community family have grown more than 40,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. Recently named a 2015 Top Ten Finalist for the $1m Global Teacher Prize, Stephen’s accolades include a 2016 Project Based Learning Champion Award, 2016 Health Champion Award, 2016 Dr. Oz Award, 2015 BAMMY Laureate – Elementary Educator of the Year Award, 2014 Greenius Award, 2014 Green Difference Award, 2013 Latin Trends Award, ABC Above and Beyond Award, Chevrolet / General Motors National Green Educator Award, USS Intrepid Hometown Hero Award, NYC Chancellor’s Award and various others.