2021 NDEC Engage Presenters/Moderators/Panelists

Charity Jackson

Charity Jackson (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Charity Jackson is the first Black and Deaf Woman and current Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD).  Charity joined the MSD family on January 4th, 2021. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and her master’s in Public Administration from Gallaudet University. Charity has a strong background in both K-12 education and residential student life. During her almost eighteen years at Clerc Center, she wore numerous hats — teacher’s assistant, teacher, 1-1 instructor, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coach, and mentor. In these varied roles, Charity collaborated with staff, cafeteria personnel, and facilities workers. She also supported organizations such as Black Youth Leadership and most recently was a residential educator point of contact for the high school collaborating with students, families, transportation coordinators, and administrators. 

Charity has been actively involved in the work of equity and inclusion for over five years and received the 2017 Pioneer of the Year Award bestowed by the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), where she was recognized as a respected member of the community for her leadership, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and courage and pioneering vision.


Janette Duran-Aguirre (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Janette Duran-Aguirre is a credentialed school counselor at Marlton School for the Deaf in Los Angeles, CA. Janette is known for her involvement in various organizations and events within the Deaf community. She carried on with the rebirth of California Manos del Corazón, served as the Director of Council de Manos and is currently active as an advisory board member, both which are a state and national level organization servicing the Latinx Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened (DBDDHHLD) community.  Janette is currently the president of California Educators of the Deaf, one of the largest non-profit leading organizations in the west. Cal-ED is composed of educators, teacher trainers, support staff, interpreters, professionals, parents and other stakeholders dedicated to ensure that Deaf students are provided an accessible, appropriate, equitable and just education.  

Janette uses her/she/ELLA pronouns and empowers herself as a valiant multilingual intersectional Deaf Mexicana committed to being an educational abolitionist. Janette continues her work as a social justice agent, eradicating injustices that harms our marginalized communities and advocates for healing of the collective between educators, families & community stakeholders for the freedom of the whole Deaf child’s educational human experience. 

Jayne Kim


Jayne Kim was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Orange County, California. In 2001, Jayne received a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and completed a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Gallaudet University in 2006. Jayne is currently a state of California licensed marriage family therapist (LMFT) with over 15 years of experience working with Deaf individuals and their families. Currently, Jayne is working as a school social worker/counselor at California School for the Deaf, Riverside (CSDR) since August 2020 and she is delving into this new career. Not only this, but Jayne is also involved in an outreach ministry and her high school alumni organization. Jayne loves to spend her free time snowboarding, biking, cooking, gardening, going on foodie adventures, and visiting historical places.

Jennifer Luce

Jennifer Luce (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Jennifer Luce, MA

12+ years as a School Counselor, Edmonds School District, Edmonds, Washington. A Seattle native, Jennifer is a School Counselor for the Edmonds School District; particularly for the Deaf/HH population grades Pre K – 12th at Madrona K-8 School and Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington. Jennifer’s philosophy is each and every student should have a successful school journey and I help identify, address and remove barriers in areas of academics, social-emotional, and personal for the student. Jennifer is a member of the National Counselors for the Deaf, the American School Counselor Association and the Washington State School Counselor Association. Jennifer has dual BA of arts degrees in Psychology and Speech Communications from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and a MA in School Counseling and Guidance from Gallaudet University. Jennifer is also a mother of 3 Deaf children, ages 7, 5 and 4.. Our family are active members of the American Societyfor Deaf Children (ASDC). In addition to Jennifer’s job as School Counselor, Jennifer co-chairs an once a month after school program for Deaf Youth, namely Madrona’s Vineyards. MV is space rich in culture and where Deaf youth from PreK-8th grade have access to their Deaf/HH peers, community Deaf professionals, program staff and families.

Kyle Amber Clark
Keynote Presenter

Kyle Amber Clark (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Kyle Amber Clark brings in 15 years as Mental Health Therapist for the Deaf in a clinical mental health setting before transplanting her clinical experiences inside a university classroom. Through clinical and teaching experience, she discovered her passion for social justice and feminist pedagogy. She entered a doctoral program to study interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in education and social justice.  Her current research focuses on the Deaf Queer Womxn of Color’s Educational Journey in higher education. She co-published a chapter, Deaf and Queer at the Intersections: Deaf LGBTQ People and Communities in the Deaf Identities text edited by Leigh and O’Brien. In the NAD mag’s Fall 2020 Issue, she contributed to the Black Lives Matter, Going beyond the data: Anti-Blackness at school and work with three other distinguished colleagues. 

As a feminist educator, she has seen how the power of storytelling made its place in creating space for multi perspectives using a critical lens for her students. She yearns to share her knowledge and experiences through clinical and teaching practices with the folx outside of higher education. Last Fall, she became the Chief of Equity and Inclusion Officer at The Learning Center for the Deaf, focusing on a cultural shift to create transformative change through an equity lens.

Lisa Montalvo

Lisa Montalvo (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Lisa Montalvo, NCC, LPC, is a Deaf Puerto Rican who grew up going to a school in which she was the only deaf person in the classroom with hearing students. She began using American Sign Language at age 17 when she attended her first deaf camp at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Montalvo earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., and a master’s degree in mental health and rehabilitation counseling from the University of South Florida. She got her certification in play therapy from the University of Central Florida. She has worked as a counselor and therapist for 20 years both in school and mental health settings. She has worked at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf for 13 years. During her spare time, Montalvo is very much involved in the Deaf Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx communities, providing support and resources. She is one of the founders of the National Hispanic Latino Association of the Deaf. Multiculturalism is a passion of hers in providing education and support to the Deaf community. 

Melissa Elmire Yingst

Melissa Elmira Yingst (CLICK TO READ MORE)

All communities have hidden narratives, and Melissa Elmira Yingst is all about finding and bringing awareness to them, especially when they celebrate women and muxeristas.

As a child in Southern California, she sought for deep connections with other people. As she grew, she realized she wanted to do something more. She ventured off to Gallaudet University to earn her Bachelor’s in Psychology, and to Arizona State University for her Master’s in Social Work.Since then, she held different positions as a social worker and school counselor in New York City and Phoenix. She currently teaches at CSUN and works at Convo as an Outreach Strategist.  She also is the co-founder of Alma de Muxeristas, an organization for muxeristas who are Deaf, DeafBlind, Deaf Disabled, Late-Deafened, or Hard of Hearing.

Now back home in Los Angeles with her signature red lipstick (which gives her powers) and her brown Chicana self, she is ready to take on the world with MELMIRA, her new show!

Onudeah Nicolarakis

Dr. Onudeah Nicolarakis (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Dr. Onudeah “Oni” Nicolarakis is an assistant professor at Gallaudet University’s Department of Education. She has been an educator for 15 years, having served DDBDDHHLD and Hearing students ranging in ages from 3 to adulthood, and used multimodal approaches to provide access in academic and social content. Dr. Oni has presented multiple times on topics such as the intersections of race and disability.  Currently, her areas of interest are in producing counter narratives of the writing experience for the DDBDDHH community and redirecting attention to the advantages of the intersectional experiences from people within marginalized communities.

Tara Miles


Tara J. Miles is a Manager of Family Education programs at Laurent Clerc Center, located on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.  She oversees family involvement programs, develops and implements  diverse programs that cater to families and their deaf children, and oversees long standing programs such as Shared Reading Project and Family ASL classes. She serves as a liaison between the home and school.  She is also a Lead Teacher for the Curriculum Enhancement/Physical Education department and serves as a trainer for Clerc Center, providing workshops for families, schools, and other organizations.  She has obtained her B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master’s degree in Family-Centered Education and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Gallaudet University.  She currently serves as an adjunct professor of Social Work  at Gallaudet for the past 5 years and has been invested in the field of education for 20 years.

Victorica Monroe
Keynote Presenter

Victorica MOnroe (CLICK TO READ MORE)

Victorica Monroe is the Chief Executive Officer and an educational consultant of the Monroe Pedagogy company. With over fifteen years of experience in Deaf Education with the transformative justice approach, she brings a wealth of knowledge in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in ASL/English Bilingual Deaf Education and deaf programs, organizations, universities and colleges, and businesses.

Image Description:  Five computer tabs overlap each other over on top of a two-toned blue background. Inside the windows, caricatures of people signing and watching one another. 
Text: “6th National Deaf education conference. Equity, Well-Being, Innovation. June 24 - 25, 2021. Virtual Conference www.deafeducation.us “ In the bottom right-hand corner, the NAD logo atop silhouettes signing, LEARN, COLLABORATE, TEACH.
IMAGE DESCRIPTION:  Five computer tabs overlap each other over on top of a two-toned blue background. Inside the windows, caricatures of people signing
and watching one another. 
Text: “6th National Deaf education conference.

Equity, Well-Being, Innovation. June 24 – 25, 2021. Virtual Conference www.deafeducation.us
In the bottom right-hand corner, the NAD logo atop silhouettes signing, LEARN, COLLABORATE, TEACH.