Rob Pillar, ALEP, AIA
Rob is an educational facilities planner and architect with over 31 years of experience dedicated to improving teaching and learning environments. His portfolio of work including district wide master plans, educational visioning, and architectural design has received national recognition from the American Institute of Architects as well as the Association for Learning Environments. He has collaborated on projects throughout northeastern United States, Canada, and the Middle East. Rob earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Kent State University, and an advanced certificate in educational facilities planning from San Diego State University. He has been an active member of the Association since 1998 and has served many roles in support of the organization including: NE region leadership, LEsolutions and McConnell award jury chair, and numerous committee positions.
Amy Yurko, AIA
President, BrainSpaces, Inc.
Amy is the founder and President of BrainSpaces, Inc., an educational planning firm that has led planning efforts for public and private, domestic and international educational environments, which collectively serve over a million learners worldwide. As a licensed architect, educator, and life-long learner, she applies brain-focused strategies to the planning and design of environments. Incorporating a growing body of research, her firm’s unique approach blends learning and architecture, promoting the allocation of physical resources where they will yield the maximum educational value.
Amy has a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges in education today, reinforced through faculty positions held at Harvard University, the University of Southern California, Illinois Institute of Technology, and within Chicago Public Schools. A recognized expert in her field, she is consistently invited to teach, write, participate in design juries and summits, and speak at local, national and international events. She recently served as the keynote speaker at the Nohr-Con International Conference on the Future of Education in Oslo, Norway and served as the moderator for an international panel on School Safety and Security in Chicago. An engaging communicator and facilitator, Amy demonstrates an innate ability to envision, coordinate and apply complex solutions to challenging design projects. She is known for a straightforward style and no-nonsense approach and has a proven talent for bringing people and ideas together in new and effective ways. She is accomplished at leading institutions and their teams, groups, committees, and communities through innovative, inclusive and consensus-driven processes to embrace facilities opportunities and challenges with agility and grace. She has received the international distinction of “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Association for Learning Environments for her excellence in engaging communities to plan and design powerful environments for learning throughout the world.
Aaron Jobson, AIA, ALEP
Principal, Quattrocchi Kwok Architects
Aaron comes from a family of educators and has a passion for creating dynamic, sustainable learning environments. For the past 20 years he has worked on the full spectrum of school projects in Northern California. Aaron’s work, passion and advocacy has garnered his reputation as a leader on how school facility design directly impacts academic success – a subject on which he has spoken about at national education conferences. He has been an advocate for school facilities in the areas of energy efficiency, co-founding the School Energy Coalition, and high performance schools with the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) as Co-Chair of the CHPS California Advisory Committee and on the board of directors. In 2015, Jobson completed advanced certificate in educational facilities planning from San Diego State University and was certified as an ALEP.
Irene Nigaglioni, AIA, ALEP, LEED AP BD+C
Irene offers varied experience in programming, design and project management for institutional facilities. She has completed hundreds of school projects ranging from Master Plans and Facilities Assessments, to High Schools, Stadia and District Service Facilities.
Irene has earned national recognition for her concentrated efforts in research and programming for educational environments. She has become one of the foremost industry experts in cutting-edge programming and design applications for high school facilities. She has served in leadership roles for national associations dedicated to educational environments, including serving as Chair for the Association for Learning Environments and earning the title of Planner of the Year.
Irene has been published in numerous educational facility publications, and she serves as one of the instructors on the Association's Educational Facilities Course. She is married to Steve and has one son, Kyle, who is 12.
Sandra Duncan, EdD
Through A Child’s Eyes: How Classroom Design Inspires Learning & Wonder
Children need beauty in their environment…Inspiring Spaces for Young Children: Aesthetics and a Sense of Wonder
- Beauty of nature to have kinesthetic and visual textures
- Plastics vs Nature
- Reading is all about attention and observation skills
- Observe it in wonder, become a better reader
- Space and a Place
With over 45 years of experience in the early care and education field and a doctorate in education, Dr. Duncan has extensive experience in working with young children and parents, teaching at the university level (doctorate students and early childhood students), PDA specialist for CDA candidates, designing and writing professional development programs for practitioners, and authoring several teacher resource books including Inspiring Spaces for Young Children and Rating Observation Scale for Inspiring Environments (ROSIE). As the former owner of eleven early childhood programs (i.e., well baby clinic, reading diagnostic clinic, park and recreation, programs for special rights children, preschool, and child care) and current owner of eleven before- and after-school programs serving over 1,100 school agers for three public school systems, Dr. Duncan has a wide and varied background in early care and education. Most importantly, she is the proud grandma of Sierra Elizabeth.
Chief Education Evangelist, MeTEOR Education
Page Dettmann (PhD, ALEP) is the Chief Education Evangelist at MeTEOR Education. She is a leading voice in educational research and best practice conversations around the intersection of pedagogy and space to accelerate learner engagement. Page collaborates with district leaders and architects on learning and space transformation to prepare college, career and life ready students. She speaks nationally on leading cultural change, the application of neuroscience to learning and space design, and the impact of learning spaces on learning experiences.
A former district executive, building administrator, and teacher at various levels for 30 years, Dr. Dettmann always prioritized supporting teachers to inspire students through collaborative inquiry learning experiences that foster deep learning and curious, inquiring students. Page has been recognized by Microsoft and Texas Instruments and contributes as faculty at the Global Center for College & Career Readiness. She is among the pioneers using real-time neuro-biological signal to measure student engagement in the classroom.