Kymyona Burk, Ed.D.
Senior Policy Fellow, Early Literacy
Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd)
Kymyona Burk is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd). In this role, she 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, leading all aspects of the district’s instructional programming. Previously, she was the State Literacy Director at the Mississippi Department of Education, where she led the implementation of Mississippi’s Literacy-Based Promotion Act. Kymyona began her career as an elementary reading teacher; she also taught middle and high school English. At Jackson State University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Arts in Teaching English, a Master of Science in Education Administration and Supervision, and a Doctor of Education in Early Childhood Education.
Dr. Temple Grandin
Distinguished Professor of Animal Science
Colorado State University
Temple Grandin is a Distinguished Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She has designed livestock handling facilities used by companies around the world. Temple also has been instrumental in implementing animal welfare auditing programs used by McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Whole Foods, and other corporations. She has appeared on numerous TV shows, such as “20/20” and “Prime Time.” She is the author of several books, including Thinking in Pictures, Livestock Handling and Transport, and The Autistic Brain. Her books Animals in Translation and Visual Thinking have been on the New York Times Bestseller List. Temple was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in September 2017. In 2022, she was named a Colorado State University Distinguished Professor, and in 2023, she was inducted into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame.