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 they have never imagined, while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx, Stephen’s extended student and community family have grown more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. Just named a 2015 Top Ten Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, Stephen’s accolades include a 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.
To date, Stephen’s work has been featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fast Track, The Guardian, Caring Magazine, Triple Pundit and on ABC, CNN, NBC, TNT, Disney and NPR as well as internationally and regionally across the country. In 2013, the United States Department of State and New York Foreign Press Corps toured representatives from 40 countries across Stephen’s worksites and classrooms. Stephen is an Office Depot featured teacher – Teachers Change Lives! Dedicated to harvesting hope and cultivating minds, Stephen dreams of opening a nationally replicable Career Technical Education public school in the poorest Congressional District in America rooted in urban agriculture, green, and sustainable initiatives. Stephen recently lost more than 100 pounds by modeling positive behavior and eating what he and his students grow in school. Stephen believes that together, via collaboration, coalition and get to yes solutions, we can all prosper!
Destin Sandlin is an American engineer and YouTube Educator. He resides in Alabama and produces an educational video series called Smarter Every Day. As an undergraduate at the University of Alabama, Destin was awarded the University of Alabama’s Outstanding Senior Award. He went on to pursue and complete his graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and is currently a Missile Flight Test Engineer at Redstone Arsenal.
Destin is the creator of the YouTube channel Smarter Every Day. He has credited his fascination with the scientific method and his job as a rocket engineer for having inspired him to make educational videos. Most episodes of Smarter Every day feature scientific experiments with Sandlin hosting or narrating. He has demonstrated experiments such as tracking the movement patterns of a chicken’s head, a do-it-yourself high-speed camera, and other content designed to educate viewers on a variety of scientific topics. As of 2015, the channel has over 2.6 million subscribers and 183 million views.
David A.K. Matlin is the new athletics director of the University of Hawai’i, who has a deep appreciation for the significance of the role that athletics plays in the success of the University and in the lives of the people of Hawai’i.
As a Hawai’i-born kama’āina who lives with his wife and two children in Honolulu, Matlin is a former employee of the UH Athletics Department, an MBA graduate from the UH College of Business, and a local business leader with more than 20 years of sports management experience in Hawai’i. In his 25-year career, he has gained experience in sales, marketing, finance, information technology, and event management while working for the Houston Astros Baseball Club, Arts Center Enterprises, The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, ESPN Regional Television, and his own firm — DAKM Enterprises, Inc.