6:00–8:00pm Join a panel of world-class educators as they discuss how schools can engage in the process of rejuvenation as we reimagine our schools after the events of the last several years. This event will take place in the SLA Auditorium and be simulcast via our YouTube Channel


Nick Bayer

When Nick Bayer founded Saxbys in 2005, he didn’t want it to be like any other coffee company. Over the years, Saxbys has found its true identity as a pioneering education and opportunity company fueled by great coffee and hospitality.

Since 2005, Saxbys, a Certified B Corporation, has grown from one corner cafe to a nearly 30-unit, Philadelphia-based business with a singular mission: Make Life Better.

For Nick, making life better is achieved through bringing people together, whether as consummate Little League team captain, one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEOs,” or through community building and placemaking in Saxbys’ cafes.

From its cafes to its headquarters, Saxbys’ core values are imperative to the business and guest experience, especially as it launched and grew The Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform (The Saxbys E.L.P.). In 2015, in partnership with Drexel University, Saxbys opened the nation’s first entirely student-run business, with one student per semester earning full academic credit, a salary, and bonuses to run the on-campus cafe as the Student Cafe Executive Officer (Student C.E.O.).

The E.L.P. emboldens the next generation of entrepreneurs by providing undergraduate students with dynamic, hands-on experience as a complement to traditional, in-classroom learning. In just five years, the E.L.P has grown from one cafe to over 15, and is on pace to double its footprint by 2023.

Beyond Saxbys, Nick holds a number of leadership positions in higher education and in the Philadelphia community. He is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University–his alma mater–in their School of Hotel Administration. He is also an adjunct professor at Drexel University and the Executive in Residence at Temple University's Fox School of Business. Nick serves on the Board of The Franklin Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, the Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship, and the Corporate Council for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He also serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Nick has been named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, "Social Entrepreneur of the Year" by EY, and one of the “100 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Philadelphia” by the Philadelphia Business Journal. He resides in Center City Philadelphia with his wife Hally and his son Luke.

Christina Grant

Dr. Christina Grant is the State Superintendent of Education for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Dr. Grant has extensive experience overseeing the operations and finances of school systems.

Dr. Grant served as the Chief of Charter Schools and Innovation for The School District of Philadelphia. In this capacity, Dr. Grant managed a complex organization, working closely with the Superintendent of Schools and the President of the Board of Education and the Mayor's Chief Education Officer.

Dr. Grant's career began as a public school teacher in Harlem; since then, she's held numerous roles in education, including as Superintendent of the Great Oaks Foundation and Deputy Executive Director at the New York City Department of Education. Dr. Grant has a doctorate in education with a focus on organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania; two master's degrees: one in organizational leadership from the Teachers College of Columbia University and one in teaching and adolescent reading from Fordham University; and a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University.

Bud Hunt

Bud Hunt is the Chief Technology Officer for the Poudre School District. He comes to this work with twenty years of experience as a teacher, an instructional technologist, a facilitator, a project manager, and a library administrator.

Bud is a teacher-consultant with the Colorado State University Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, a group working to improve the teaching of writing in schools via regular and meaningful professional development. Bud is a former co-editor of the New Voices column of English Journal, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, and a co-founder of Learning 2.0: A Colorado Conversation.

In 2013, Bud was named a ConnectED Champion of Change by the White House.

Bud reads, writes, and worries about the future of reading and writing and teaching and learning at Occasionally, he facilitates workshops, makes things, and presents as an educational, library, or technology consultant. ((He has a big head, so he can handle a few different hats.))

Other panelist biographies forthcoming.


Renata Relyea

The panel on Friday night was excellent. They provided an outstanding discussion that gave me a lot to think about. It was also very inspiring! Thank you so much. I really look forward to the rest of the weekend.