Pave the Way Conference

About the Conference

The annual Pave the Way conference focuses on strategies to advance equity, increase college readiness, and broaden access to higher education in Washington State. Pave the Way aims to ensure students receive the support they need to succeed, regardless of income, race, or other potential barriers.

The conference brings together educators, policymakers, and community partners from across the education system, from preschool through college. It features interactive group sessions and offers workshops focused on policy and practice in college and career readiness, culturally responsive teaching and learning, student transitions, collective impact, and more.

Conference Objectives

1. Share effective policies and strategies for educational success among underrepresented and underserved students.
2. Mobilize, inspire, and engage P-20 educators and advocates in Washington through meaningful professional development.
3. Engage P-20 educators and advocates in the intersect of policy, practice, and implementation to increase progress toward the state’s educational attainment goals.

Request for Session Proposals - Deadline Extended!

Session proposals are now being accepted through August 11, 2017. You may preview the questions before submitting your online proposal

We encourage proposals for dynamic presentations focused on policy and practice in the following areas:

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in K-12 and higher ed
  • High school completion
  • College/career awareness, exploration, and readiness
  • Transitions to college
  • Financial literacy and affordability
  • Postsecondary retention and completion
  • Reengaging adult/nontraditional students
  • Rural and urban school support
  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Community and business engagement/collective impact
  • Use of data and technology
  • Parent and family engagement


Agenda (Tentative)

Pave the Way 2017 Agenda
Time Topic
7:30-8:30 AM Doors open and continental breakfast
8:30-10:15 AM Welcome and morning keynote
10:15-10:30 AM Break
10:30-11:45 AM Breakout session A
11:45 AM-12:00 PM Break
12:00-1:30 PM Lunch Keynote
1:30-1:45 PM Break
1:45-3:00 PM Breakout session B
3:00-3:15 PM Break
3:15-4:00 PM Plenary session
4:00-4:15 PM Break
4:15-5:30 PM Breakout session C




Pave the Way 2017 Speakers

Maria Chavez
Associate Professor of Political Science, Pacific Lutheran University

Dr. Maria Chávez, chair of the political science department at Pacific Lutheran University, specializes in American government, public policy, and race and politics. Dr. Chávez’s work centers on the progress and barriers of Latinos in American society. Specifically, her research is focused on the political and social incorporation of Latinos in various locations and circumstances, ranging from vulnerable undocumented Latinos living in the shadows to successful Latino professionals. 

She is author or co-author of three books. The first, Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism, won the prestigious American Political Science Association’s Latino Caucus Best Book Award in Latino Politics published in 2011. Her other books are Living the Dream—New Immigration Policies and the Lives of Undocumented Latino Youth and the forthcoming Pipeline to the Professions: The Rise of Latino Professionals in America. She has also published many peer-reviewed articles, newspaper editorials, and book chapters, and she blogs regularly for

Among her many awards and academic laurels, Dr. Chavez received the American Political Science Association’s Centennial Grant Award in 2016 and APSA’s Small Research Grant Award in 2015. She has served as a fellow for the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute and was the recipient of the Washington State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Award for her research on Latino lawyers.

Born in Northern California, Dr. Chávez is the first person in her family to have graduated from college. She has a Ph.D. from Washington State University and earned both her B.A. cum laude and M.A. with distinction from California State University Chico. Her Ph.D. is from Washington State University.

Aaron Reader
Multicultural Student Services Director, Bellevue College

Aaron Reader was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Growing up in the inner-city came with many ups and downs, as well as triumphs. Aaron has been able to draw from these experiences and bring them to life through spoken word. At 16, it became apparent that poetry was an outlet that would not only provide a voice for his self, but for others as well.

Aaron attended Saint Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC, where he received his BA in Psychology. He received his Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology at Argosy University, Seattle. Aaron has worked in higher education for the past 10 years. Currently he is serving as the Director of Multicultural Services at Bellevue College. 

For the past 10 years Aaron has been directly involved with work related to social justice and equity. Having a strong understanding of diversity and multiculturalism provides him with a number of "real life" issues to explore. 

Jeff Charbonneau
2013 National Teacher of the Year, Zillah High School; Member, Washington Student Achievement Council

Jeff Charbonneau works at all levels in the education spectrum. He teaches chemistry, physics, and robotics at Zillah High School. Every course is offered as a College in the High School course through Central Washington University or Eastern Washington University. In addition, Charbonneau spends part of his day as an Assistant Principal at both Hilton Elementary and Zillah Intermediate schools. Charbonneau has also worked as an adjunct faculty member at CWU in the Continuing Education Department. 

After being named Washington’s Teacher of the Year in 2013, he was selected as the 2013 U.S. National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers. President Barack Obama recognized him for his innovative teaching approach and success during a ceremony at the White House.

Charbonneau is an internationally recognized teacher leader and education advocate. He has presented at more than 400 conferences across the globe focusing on STEM education, teacher preparation programs, teacher leadership initiatives, and dual credit programs, among others. 

Before beginning his teaching career in Zillah, Charbonneau earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and was a member of the William O. Douglas Honors College at Central Washington University. He also holds a Master of Education from CWU.


Conference Location

Central Washington University—Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC)
1007 N. Chestnut
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone: 509-963-3488

Driving directions

Eastbound, I-90

1. Take exit 106 onto W. University Way.
2. Follow University Way through the first major intersection at Main Street.
Once past Main Street, continue East on University Way to the 5th stoplight and turn LEFT onto Chestnut Street.
The Student Union & Recreation Center is located on the left end of the road.

Westbound, I-90

1. Take exit 109. Turn right at the end of the off-ramp.
2. Follow the Canyon Road/Main Street through town to the intersection of University Way and Main Street.
3. Turn right onto University Way. Continue East on University Way to the 5th stoplight and turn left onto Chestnut Street.
4. The Student Union & Recreation Center is located on the left end of the road.

Southbound, I-97

1. Take I-97 south over Blewett Pass. Follow signs into Ellensburg.
2. Continue EAST through the intersection of University Way and Main Street.
Once past Main Street, continue on University Way to the 5th stoplight and turn LEFT onto Chestnut Street.
The Student Union & Recreation Center is located on the left end of the road.

Northbound, I-82

1. Take I-82 North to I-90.
2. Take Exit 109.
Turn RIGHT at the end to the off-ramp.
Follow the Canyon Road/Main Street through town to the intersection of University Way and Main Street.
Turn RIGHT onto University Way. Continue East on University Way to the 5th stoplight.
Turn left onto Chestnut Street.
The Student Union & Recreation Center is located on the left end of the road.


Parking lots G-16 and I-15 have parking permit Kiosks where permits can be purchased. Parking lots G- 16, I-15, H-18, I-19 and N-20 are all available for parking.

Free parking is also available at Tomlinson Stadium in Lot X-12 (E 18th Ave and Walnut St), a 10 minute walk to the SURC. 


Registration now open!

registration button



  • Early bird rate: $95
  • Regular rate (after September 25, 2017): $110
  • Presenter rate: $80
  • Student rate: $20

All rates include a continental breakfast and lunch on the day of the event.  

Accepted forms of payment
  • Credit card: Visa and MasterCard only.


Interested in sponsoring Pave the Way?

Download our sponsorship information flier for information on sponsoring this year's Pave the Way conference. Contact Ellen Matheny (360-753-7824) for details or to become a sponsor.

2017 Pave the Way Sponsorship Opportunities
 Benefits by Sponsorship Level Platinum
Complimentary conference registrations 8 6 4 2 1
Exhibit tables 2 1 1 1 1
Advertisement in program (full color) Full
Organization name listed in program
Sponsorship recognition slide displayed on large screen  
Logo included on shared sponsorship banner  
Verbal recognition in conference program    
Major sponsor banner      
Option to sponsor light refreshments        

Specifications for conference program ads and logos


Lodging Information

CONFERENCE ROOM BLOCKS – A limited number of rooms are available at the state per diem rate ($93 plus taxes) at the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

Hampton Inn - To reserve, call the hotel at (509) 933-1600. Mention reservation code “Pave the Way” or “PTW 2017” to receive this preferential rate. This offer expires at midnight on September 17, 2017.

Holiday Inn Express - To reserve, call the hotel at (509) 962-9400. Mention the conference "Pave the Way" to receive this preferential rate. This offer expires at midnight on September 30, 2017.

The following hotels are located near Central Washington University and may offer rooms at state per diem rate. The regular rate is listed for your reference. You will need to ask for the state per diem rate when making your reservations. Effective 10/1/2017, the state per diem rate for Ellensburg is $93 plus taxes.

Hotels in Ellensburg, Washington Address Phone Distance From CWU Regular Rate
Best Western Plus 211 W Umptanum Rd. (509) 925-4244 1.4 miles $125
Super 8 Ellensburg 1500 Canyon Rd. (509) 962-6888 1.5 miles $82
Holiday Inn Express Ellensburg 1620 Canyon Rd. (509) 962-9400 1.6 miles $180
Red Lion Hotel Ellensburg 1700 S. Canyon Rd. (509) 925-9800 1.7 miles $109
Comfort Inn Ellensburg 1722 Canyon Rd. (480) 386-9517 1.7 miles $89
Days Inn 901 Berry Rd. (509) 933-1500 2.1 miles $77
Econo Lodge 1390 N Dolarway Rd. (509) 925-9844 2.2 miles $55
Hampton Inn 2705 Triple L Loop (509) 933-1600 2.5 miles $179


Clock Hours

You can earn clock hours through Educational Service District 113. You must register with ESD 113 before the conference, and sign in each day, to receive clock hours for this event. Please view the participant information sheet for more details.

  • Clock Hours: Up to 8.5 hours for full participation in the conference
  • Event Number: 48250
  • Course Number: OLAB-0107
  • Course Name: Pave the Way 2017 Conference

For additional information, contact Tiffany Harmon at ESD 113 (360.464.6700).


Visit our archives for information about past years' Pave the Way conferences.