SPEAKERS – Contact ifireup if you need a speaker for your next meeting, event, or virtual trainings!

Jay Gross 
Jay embraces cell phones, tablets, laptops, texting, FaceBook, Twitter, etc. in the classroom.  Teaching responsible use is crucial to Jay with today’s students for the cyber world they live in.  Block them is not the answer.  He hopes to open minds through his experiences and stories and pave a pathway to make it easier for educators to join him in today’s cyber world.  Jay is an English, Speech and Debate teacher.  He is an adjunct professor for English and Speech at Mid Michigan Community College and online with the Blended Learning in the Classroom (BLiC). Jay works with Kevin Honeycutt’s company, Best Keynote, which has allowed him to work with educators throughout the country.  Jay is an inspiring speaker that is highly sought after to do keynote sessions.


Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt

Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt, founder of iFireUP, is a very popular speaker who is well known for developing energizing, educational workshops that provide educators with practical strategies for immediate use. She has also conducted numerous workshops, in-services for schools, and presented at state and national conferences. She has worked with students, teachers, and administrators as a teacher, department chair, team leader, mentor,administrator, consultant and college professor. Dorothy was a teacher for ten years, a principal for eleven years, and the the Director of Teaching and Learning at Kent Intermediate School District for four years. She co-directed the Northern Exposure to Middle Level Education Conference in Frankenmuth, Michigan, for five years and has been the director of the Michigan Education Conference for twelve years. Dorothy has published research on problems facing schools today, leadership, and curriculum strategies. She has developed educational games, on-line courses, and is co-author of two popular books WOW, What a Team! and Fire Up for Learning! and author of Zip Around Math Game and Zip Around Direction Game. She is the author of the newly released Permission to Pause: A Journal for Teachers.



Jon Wennstrom

Jon is a principal in Livonia Public Schools and has over twenty-three years of experience in education. From a classroom teacher, high school wrestling coach, theater director, and principal, he has served many roles in schools. He has also served as the Chief Academic Officer at Baker College and as an online instructor for the University of Phoenix. Outside of the school, he gives back to his community and his profession as a graduate of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Series, a member of Rotary International, and serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA). He has been featured on the national educational podcasts “The Transformative Principal” and “BAM!Radio Network”. He has been chosen as a Michigan Educator Voice Fellow, has a leadership role in the national group “The Compelled Tribe” of educational bloggers, and was recognized as the outstanding principal for Michigan’s Region One (Wayne County). He is the co-host of the “Principals Playhouse” web series and has presented at several state conferences.


Derek Wheaton

Derek is a engaging speaker that will have you laughing and learning.  He was MEMSPA’s 2011 Outstanding Practicing Principal and NAESP National Distinguished Principal, class of 2012.  Derek has served the education community for over 35 years.  He draws on his 14 years of experience as a former teacher in both inner city and urban elementary schools, and his 18 years as a practicing principal to present critical content in a collaborative way.  Derek mentors principals and has a wealth of information to share.  He has a toolbox of resources




More speakers available on request.