Two Valley education leaders will join speakers statewide for the second annual “Better Together: California Teachers Summit” expected to draw over 400 pre-K-12 educators from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, at the Student Satellite Union at Fresno State.

Tiffany Castillo of Fresno Unified School District and Joe Marquez of Clovis Unified School District will lead local TED-style EdTalks for the event. Teachers and others will come together to share best practices and tackle issues they face in their profession.

Registration is expected to wind down this week with less than 50 slots still open, said Dr. Anne Murphy, special projects coordinator in Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

The Kremen School is coordinating the local event with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the California State University and the New Teacher Center. The event is also being held at 39 other locations that day throughout the state and will feature two main keynote speakers who will be telecast to each location in addition to local speakers.

Fresno speaker Castillo will discuss “What Really Happens When the Bell Rings (How do you teach curriculum when your students’ home lives are spiraling out of control? Build relationships).”

She has worked as an elementary school teacher, an instructional coach and most recently as a teacher on special assignment, coordinating National Board recruitment and training of candidates for the district. She has presented at the 2016 Teaching and Learning Conference and the 2016 California Educators Excellence Summit.

Marquez, a science teacher and instructional technology coach for Clovis Unified, will discuss “Getting Connected Everyday.”

He will show how teachers connect with teachers and how students connect with students using technology to make this communication connection every day.

He said that “Better Together” means community, collaboration and communication between teachers, students and parents.

“The whole point in teaching is to make students the best they can be in mind, body and spirit,” he said. “We need to connect community so students know we are all in this together regardless of race, religion or creed.”

Marquez also is an adjunct professor for the Fresno Pacific University educational technology master’s program and guest instructor for the Fresno State Teacher Track Academy.

He is a certified Google innovator, certified Google trainer, Prezi Educational Society member, PBS Learning Media Digital innovator and a Nearpod PioNEAR and Microsoft innovative educator. Marquez also was the recipient of the Central Valley Computer Using Educators 2014 Educator of the Year Award and the Clovis Unified Crystal Award.

The summit will also feature discussions on a range of topics, from improving literacy in early education to boosting science, technology, engineering and math education.

Workshops will focus on strategies to implement the California Standards in English/Language Arts and Math and the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers will also take away resources and best practices from the summit that can be used in their own instruction.

Attendees of the local conference will join thousands of fellow California teachers at nearly 40 different public and private universities in a statewide effort to connect and celebrate their work in the classroom to build on the success of last summer’s inaugural event.

Teachers, teacher candidates and school administrators can still register for free at Continuing education credits are available to attendees for a minimal cost.

Event attendees can follow the conversation online, get up-to-date information and share their experience with the tag #CATeachersSummit.

For more information on Fresno State’s California Teachers Summit, contact Murphy at or 559.278.0256.

(University Communications news assistant Erika Denise Castañon contributed to this report).

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Original press release