Press Release

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Convene Diverse Voices at SXSW EDU®

Sessions will explore the future of the K-12 education industry, equity in education, teacher perspectives, and the return of edtech icon Carmen Sandiego

BOSTON – Learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt today announced its full schedule of programming for next week’s SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, joining thousands of educators and industry practitioners from across the country for engaging discussions about innovation and the future of teaching and learning.

Over the course of the conference, which takes place March 4–7, HMH will convene a diverse set of voices in education, covering topics from equity in education to teachers' hopes and concerns and the return of edtech icon Carmen Sandiego.

Jack Lynch, HMH’s CEO, will join Education Week’s Sean Cavanagh for a featured talk on Wednesday, March 6. Drawing upon decades of experience in the edtech space, Jack will tackle the big issues shaping the future of the K-12 education industry, including the evolution of curriculum development and delivery, purposeful use of technology, the importance social emotional learning, and more.

“SXSW EDU presents an opportunity to connect and collaborate with the most innovative educators and industry professionals in the country,” said Lynch. “We look forward to many thought-provoking discussions about the future of education as we aim to empower educators and work together to advance teaching and learning.”

HMH will present the following sessions:

Disrupting Inequality: Innovation for Equity

Monday, March 4, 3:30–4:30 p.m. CT 

We all know equity in education is a critical issue, but how do we tackle it from a fresh perspective? What if we apply innovation principles from other industries—like design thinking and cross-disciplinary collaboration—to these big challenges? Join founding members of Innovation for Equity—a diverse group of African American leaders from across sectors—for an action-oriented discussion with concrete recommendations for how we can all play a role in creating lasting social change.


  • Phil Alphonse, Co-Founder and Sr. Partner, The Vistria Group
  • Curtis Valentine, Deputy Director, Reinventing America’s Schools, Progressive Policy Institute and School Board Member, Prince George's County Public Schools
  • Lisa Herring, Superintendent, Birmingham City Schools
  • Benita Flucker, Senior Vice President, Shared Services, HMH (Moderator)

Teachers in America: Voices from the Field

Tuesday, March 5, 11 a.m.–12 p.m. CT 

During no time in history have educator voices been as vital to the national conversation as they are now, with teachers striking and speaking out about issues like safety, teaching time, and assessments. Join HMH Chief Learning Officer Rose Else-Mitchell and a group of classroom teachers for a meaningful conversation exploring concerns and hopes for the profession, how practice and needs have evolved, and how researchers, industry, and teachers can tackle the challenges facing schools together.


  • Brittany Mamphey, Fifth Grade Reading, Language Arts & Social Studies Teacher, Mt. Healthy North Elementary School, Ohio
  • Rachel Swartz, Sixth Grade English Language Arts Teacher, David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy (Public MS/HS 141), New York
  • Georgette McClain, High School Science Teacher, Blanchester High School, Ohio
  • Rose Else-Mitchell, Chief Learning Officer, HMH (Moderator)

Carmen Sandiego Returns for a New Generation

Tuesday, March 5, 3:30–4:30 p.m. CT 

Join the masterminds behind the return of Carmen Sandiego, the original edtech brand, for a behind-the-scenes look at the revival—from the animated Netflix series to new books and graphic novels, a Google Earth partnership, classroom programs, and more. Discover how Carmen inspires millions of kids to love history, culture, and geography; explore practical ways to support learners in becoming compassionate, curious global citizens; and delve into the reimagination of Carmen for a new generation.


  • Duane Capizzi, Showrunner, Carmen Sandiego on Netflix
  • Caroline Fraser, Head of HMH Productions
  • Larry Perez, M.Ed., Fifth grade bilingual teacher, Barbara Jordan Early College Prep, Texas
  • Amy Dunkin, Chief Marketing Officer, HMH (Moderator)

Featured Session: The Future of the K-12 Education Industry

Wednesday, March 6, 12:30–1:30 p.m. CT 

Join HMH CEO Jack Lynch and EdWeek’s Sean Cavanagh for a wide-ranging conversation centered on the current and future state of the K-12 education industry. They will discuss the development of classroom solutions for the 21st century and explore how the purposeful use of technology can support teachers and improve student outcomes. Leaving the buzzwords behind, they will offer a nuanced perspective that cuts through the noise and tackles the big issues shaping K-12 education.

In its ninth year, the SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a community of optimistic, forward-thinking, purpose-driven stakeholders with a shared goal of impacting the future of teaching and learning. Follow along with HMH on Facebook and Twitter @HMHCo and learn more at

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company committed to delivering integrated solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students’ potential and extend teachers’ capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

Leah Riviere
Senior Communications Manager
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt