Announcing the 2020 Child Welfare Conference Keynote Speakers!

We are pleased to announce the annual UT Child Welfare Conference 2020 keynote speakers! The 2020 theme is “There’s Space at the Table: Making Room for Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging.” This February, we will be joined by education advocates and real life husband and wife duo Dr. Katie Tackett and Larkin Tackett. Read on to learn more about their backgrounds. We look forward to seeing you there!

Dr. Katie TackettDr. Katie Tackett

Dr. Tackett is the Undergraduate Advisor for the Department of Special Education. She oversees internship and student teaching experiences. In addition, she teaches online and face-to-face courses at the undergraduate level.

Prior to joining the Department of Special Education, Dr. Tackett was on faculty at George Mason University in the Division of Special Education and disAbility. As a a Research Analyst at American Institutes for Research, she coordinated Technical Assistance and Product Development for the National Center on Response to Intervention. Dr. Tackett obtained her doctoral degree in Special Education (Concentration in Learning Disabilities/Behavior Disorders) from The University of Texas at Austin. She taught elementary general and special education in Mississippi and California.

At UT, she was named a Texas Ten professor by Texas Exes and awarded the Elisabeth Shatto Massey Award for Excellence in Texas Education. She will be leading the Maymester for Individual Differences in Taipei, Taiwan in June 2020 and June 2021.

She is on the board of Vela, a nonprofit in Austin that empowers families of children with disabilities. She is also a proud foster and biological mother of an amazing set of kids.

Connect with her here.


Larkin TackettLarkin Tackett

Larkin Tackett is the founder and CEO of MAYA Consulting, which provides a range of services in the education sector. Prior to his consulting career, Larkin served as Executive Director of IDEA Public Schools in Austin, where he managed school principals and led the organization’s community engagement, fundraising, and growth in the Austin region. By 2022, IDEA Austin will grow from six to 26 schools and serve more than 20,000 students. Larkin raised $35 million in public and private funding to support this growth. In 2017, he won the Austin Under 40 Award for Youth and Education.

In addition to his work at IDEA, Larkin served as the director of Place-Based Initiatives in the Obama Administration’s U.S. Department of Education. There, he managed the Promise Neighborhoods program and led the Department’s place-based strategy to support comprehensive education reform in high-poverty neighborhoods. Larkin also worked at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and served as legislative director for Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini and committee director for California State Senator Dean Florez. He began his career as an eighth-grade social studies and journalism teacher with Teach For America at Eliza Miller Junior High School in West Helena, Arkansas, a small town in the Mississippi Delta.

When he’s not obsessing about educational improvement, Larkin loves to read, run, and play with his kids. He has run 24 marathons in different states as part of goal to complete a marathon in each of the 50 states and D.C.. Larkin and his wife Katie, a special education professor at UT Austin, are proud foster parents.

Connect with him here.

Register for the 2020 UT Child Welfare Conference

Learn more about #CWConf20 below:

 full Schedule About CWConf20 workshop presenters