Monday Keynote

Martha Barnette is co-host of the public-radio show A Way with Words, heard each week by listeners in 300 cities across North America, and worldwide by podcast. The show’s about words and how we use them — word and phrase origins, slang, regional dialects, writing well, books and reading, and that weird thing Grandma used to say.

Martha holds an undergraduate degree in English from Vassar College, and did graduate work in classical languages at the University of Kentucky. She studied Spanish in Costa Rica at the ILISA Language Institute.

Before her work in radio, Martha was a reporter for the Washington Post and an editorial writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal. She’s the author of three books on word origins: A Garden of WordsLadyfingers & Nun’s Tummies: A Lighthearted Look at How Foods Got Their Names, and Dog Days & Dandelions.

Martha joined A Way with Words in 2004, and is now president of Wayword, Inc., the 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit that produces and distributes the program with support from listeners and underwriters. She holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

A Kentucky native, she lives in San Diego, where she can be found hiking mountain trails and performing improv comedy at Finest City Improv and Old Town Improv Company.

More about A Way with Words at

Tuesday Keynote

For over 20 years, Anson Green has been a leader in adult education, workforce development, and community college instructional design. His passion is developing and deploying innovative programs for Texans who desire to increase their education and preparedness to attain their career ambitions. He loves to challenge legacy perspectives and the status quo in education.

Mr. Green is the State Director of the Adult Education and Literacy program at the Texas Workforce Commission, managing the transfer and transformation of the $73,000,000 program into a fully integrated part of the Texas Workforce Solutions system. He has introduced a rigorous performance and accountability quality model, and expanded distance learning and career pathways options while increasing funding and engagement with nonprofit organizations, libraries, and community colleges.

Mr. Green is a member of both the National Reporting System Technical Workgroup and WIOA Data Infrastructure workgroup. He is a former National Institute for Literacy research fellow and has held teaching posts at St. Philip’s College, San Antonio College, Northwest Vista College, Florida State University, Texas Lutheran University, and Northside ISD.