Dr. John E. Deasy is the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school district. In this role, Dr. Deasy leads the thousands of teachers, administrators and staff in serving the diverse population of more than 600,000 students so that all youth achieve.
Since becoming LAUSD superintendent, Dr. Deasy has focused his efforts on protecting students’ rights to a high quality education—through education policy, negotiation, legislation, and the courts—while handling the budget crisis caused by the underfunding of California’s classrooms.
Prior to joining the Los Angeles Unified School District in August 2010, Dr. Deasy served as Deputy Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has also served as superintendent in a number of other school districts, including Prince George's County, Maryland, Public Schools, where he earned a national reputation for his leadership in significantly narrowing the achievement gap for low-income and minority students.
Bob Ditter is a highly respected child, adolescent and family therapist from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant and works with organizations that work with young people throughout the United States. He has appeared on the ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America and twice on NBC’s Today Show. He has been quoted in numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated, who called him “…camping’s most articulate spokesman” because of his work with children’s summer camps since 1982.
Bob spends the summer between his psychotherapy practice and visiting camps around the United States, where he has visited over 600 camps. Bob has written a regularly featured column for Camping Magazine continuously since 1987, and has produced over 14 training DVDs for camp professionals. His most recent book, Summer Camp Rules! has earned rave reviews.
Raised and educated in Australia, Chicka earned his degrees in Education and worked in the camping industry for 17 years with the California based Quantum Learning Network - SuperCamp. He has impacted programs in over 30 US states and 10+ countries involving over 50,000 students and 200+ organizations. As a blessed camper and director, Chicka recently launched a new free platform for Camping Professionals to invest in themselves... for their students (you will have to come and see). Chicka now works as Global Manager of Leadership Development for a leading company in Business Travel Management directing L&D for 13,000 employees in 94 countries.
Dr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. He earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997. A dedicated teacher from a young age, Chris has more than 30 years of experience working with camps and independent schools. Chris is also an award-winning contributor to Camping Magazine and Camp Business and has shared his youth development expertise on national radio, television, print media, podcasts and webinars.
In 2007, Chris co-founded ExpertOnlineTraining.com, which quickly became the Internet’s most popular and respected educational resource for youth development professionals. Chris also co-authored the critically acclaimed Summer Camp Handbook and designed the ACA’s homesickness prevention program, a DVD/CD set for new camper families entitled “The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success”. Chris and his wife, Simonida, live in Exeter, New Hampshire with their sons Danilo and Sava.