2020 Education Summit – Session 1: Early Literacy

Event details

  • October 14, 2020
  • 11:30 am
  • Zoom Webinar (registration required)
  • 304-342-7850

On Wednesday, October 14th, from 11:30am to 1:30pm, the 2020 Education Summit will kick off by exploring the importance and impact of early learning and literacy. Join us for a fireside chat featuring former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as we discuss the topic at the forefront of everyone’s mind: education. Governor Bush is the founder and chairman of ExcelinEd. He has been a long-standing advocate for Early Literacy and helped champion a comprehensive early literacy approach that led to systemic gains in student reading outcomes. His nonprofit organization, ExcelinEd, consistantly aims to achieve high quality, student-centered education through customized support in innovative policy and quantitative research. For more information on ExcelinEd, please visit https://www.excelined.org/.

To provide both practitioners and policymakers valuable lessons learned, our “Policy and Practice” special guest speaker is Kymyona Burk, Ed.D. of ExcelinEd. Dr. Burk is the Policy Director for Early Literacy and will address the fundamental principles of a comprehensive early literacy program. Burk will share strategies relevant to COVID-19 learning loss and explore the importance of being responsive to the current times. Dr. Burk will be joined by Monica DellaMea, Director, WVDA Early and Elementary Learning who will provide a valuable West Virginia perspective on these important issues.

In response to COVID-19, The Education Alliance is hosting the 2020  Education Summit completely online. For updates or more information, subscribe to our email list or sponsor this event contact Sally Barton at sally@educationalliance.org.


Speaker Bios

Governor Jeb Bush
ExcelinEd Founder and Chairman


Jeb Bush is Founder, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Jeb was elected the 43rd governor of the state of Florida on November 3, 1998, and was re-elected by a wide margin in 2002. His second term as governor ended in January 2007.

Jeb earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Florida in 1981. With partner Armando Codina, he started a small real estate development company, which grew to become the largest, full-service commercial real estate company in South Florida.

Jeb served as Florida’s Secretary of Commerce under Bob Martinez, Florida’s 40th governor. As Secretary of Commerce, he promoted Florida’s business climate worldwide. Following an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1994, Jeb founded the nonprofit Foundation for Florida’s Future, which joined forces with the Urban League of Greater Miami to establish one of the state’s first charter schools. He also co-authored Profiles in Character, a book profiling 14 of Florida’s civic heroes–people making a difference without claiming a single news headline.

After his election, Jeb focused on reforming education. Florida students have made the greatest gains in achievement and Florida is one of a handful of states that have narrowed the achievement gap. In addition, Jeb cut taxes every year during his tenure as governor and Florida led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years. Governor Bush put Florida on the forefront of consumer healthcare advances by signing Medicaid reform legislation “Empowered Care” in June 2006.

Before launching a run for the Republican presidential nomination in June of 2015, Governor Bush led his own successful consulting business, Jeb Bush and Associates, whose clients ranged from small technology start-ups to well-known Fortune 500 companies. He also served as the chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education; co-chairman of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; and chair of the National Constitution Center.

He is the co-author of Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution (March 2013) and author of Reply All (October 2015).

Governor Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. He lives in Miami with his wife Columba, and they have three children and four grandchildren.

Kymyona Burk, Ed.D.
ExcelinEd Policy Director, Early Literacy


In her role as Policy Director for Early Literacy, Kymyona Burk supports states pursuing a comprehensive approach to K-3 reading policy by assisting state leaders in building new or improving existing K-3 reading policies, with a heavy focus on supporting successful policy implementation. Kymyona most recently served in Mississippi as the Executive Director for the Jackson Public School District’s Office of Teaching and Learning and led all aspects of the district’s instructional programming. Prior to this role, Kymyona was the State Literacy Director at the Mississippi Department of Education where she led the implementation of Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act. She began her career as an elementary reading teacher and has also taught middle and high school English. At Jackson State University, Kymyona earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Master of Arts in Teaching English, Master of Science in Education Administration and Supervision, and a Doctor of Education in Early Child Education.