Tara Miko Ballentine
Tara Miko is a serial entrepreneur based in Austin, Tx, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and her six-year-old daughter, Poppy. From social and racial injustices to a global pandemic, she felt called to start having conversations with her daughter at home about our big world at a level that she could understand. After searching, with no luck, for age-appropriate tools to navigate challenging conversations with her daughter, Tara created Bright Littles Conversation Tools with the goal of finding ways to have engaging teaching moments with her daughter about important life topics. Her hope is that these cards will be a helpful tool for families everywhere to have real conversations through the lens of their children.
In addition to Bright Littles, Tara is the owner of fnch, a marketing agency with a passion for supporting entrepreneurs and telling brand stories.
When she’s not on the grind, Tara is chasing Poppy in the backyard or on her yoga mat.
Ellen Clark is the co-founder of To Eleven, an innovative education consultancy firm that specializes in using evidence-based principles and approaches to develop, evaluate, and improve learning experiences. Her work has spanned the entire learner lifecycle, from elementary school to professional development. She spent over 10 years working with k12 inc. S (now Stride Learning) network of online charter schools, helping teachers measure learning, developing learning improvement plans using evidence-based strategies, and conducting learning studies. During her time with Kaplan Inc.'s Vocational Education and Job Training division, she helped improve online, blended, and face-to-face job training programs and worked directly with business leaders and trainers to improve learner outcomes and job performance. Her time with Kaplan is where she developed a passion for helping people acquire the skills they need to succeed in their careers, and since then has worked in a variety of capacities to develop, evaluate, and improve training in many industries and areas, including diversity, equity, and inclusion, leadership, safety and wellness, ethics, communication, cybersecurity, legal compliance, customer service, and sales.
Ellens most cherished role is being an aunt to her 8 nieces and nephews. She resides in her hometown of Rockville, MD, but spends as much time as she can on the beautiful outer banks of North Carolina.
Julia Phelan is the co-founder of To Eleven an innovative education consultancy firm specialized in using evidence-based principles and approaches to develop, evaluate, and improve learning experiences. Julia has a PhD in Education from UCLA and her work focuses on engaging teachers, researchers, policymakers, and the public in reflection and action to improve teaching, assessment and learning, and its link to educational quality.
Prior to co-founding To Eleven, Julia spent over twenty years as a research and learning scientist at UCLA's National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST). In her later years at CRESST she was the Lead Research Scientist - k-16 assessment development. In addition to her work at CRESST, Julia has many years of experience consulting and advising for school districts, philanthropic organizations, academic publishing, ed tech, corporate training, and government agencies. She is the author of many peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Julia frequently speaks, writes, and conducts training workshops on how to best implement learning science-based strategies and techniques connected to how people learn.
She is originally from England and now lives in southern California with her husband and three sons.