Inspire Brighter: Meet the Panelists!


Brightlane Learning’s Inspire Brighter 2023 Education Celebration on Thursday, April 20 will feature a fireside chat that explores the barriers to success and creates hope for students impacted by homelessness.

Meet the moderator and panelists below! 

LaToya Black, MA.Ed, Moderator

LaToya is a relational, resilient, and results-driven education leader and Brightlane Learning staff member. Raised by a single mother in the inner city of Indianapolis, LaToya attended and graduated from Indianapolis Public Schools, where she indirectly discovered her passion for teaching through several highly effective, supportive, and nurturing Black female educators. 

LaToya started her professional education career as an adjunct instructor at the University of Phoenix – Indianapolis Campus. In 2011, she joined Goodwill Education Initiatives (GEI) as an ELA instructor at The Excel Center. There, LaToya developed and enhanced her instructional skills and delivery, cultural pedagogy, social emotional intelligence, and leadership capacity that helped students meet academic goals and graduate with a CORE 40 diploma and in-demand certifications. In 2015, LaToya was promoted to lead teacher and helped to found and open The Excel Center -Noblesville. In 2016, LaToya became the school leader of Marion Academy, a public charter turnaround school that welcomed students with challenging behaviors to give them a second chance. LaToya has also served in schools as a director of student services, assistant principal, as well as a youth programming chair in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. 


Destiny Casson, Panelist

As the Children’s Services Program Director at Dayspring Center, Inc. Destiny Casson provides children with focused services in order to help them cope with and overcome the adverse effects of their family’s housing insecurity. She attends to the material, educational, physical, behavioral, developmental, and psychological well-being of all children residing in the shelter through regular assessments, one-on-one meetings, advocacy, and more. Additionally, Destiny is a Fulbright Scholar and current graduate student in the Medical Humanities and Health Studies Program at Indiana University.


Tom Hakim, Panelist

Tom Hakim is the Principal of Northview Middle School in Washington Township. This is his second school where he has had a partnership with Brightlane Learning. He previously supported the launch of the Brightlane Learning partnership as the Principal of Cold Spring School in Indianapolis Public Schools. Tom’s wife Laura is a prior recipient of the Brightlane Learning Education Champion award for her work as the School Social Worker at Nora Elementary School in Washington Township.


Allison Segarra Hansen, Panelist

Allison began her career as an elementary school teacher in East Chicago, Indiana. She currently serves Marian University as Assistant Professor of Education in Klipsch Educators College and is the founder and CEO of Multilingual Education Reform Collective of Indianapolis (MERCIndy). Her passion and research agenda are centered around educational equity for all learners PK-20.


Amy Swann, Panelist

Dr. Amy Swann is the Chief Executive Officer for Matchbook Learning, former Mind Trust Innovation Fellow, mentor for the Gratitude Network, and a Senior Consultant for School Growth. She has spent the last 20+ years improving failing schools in Indianapolis and several other cities across the country. Dr. Swann’s work with performance assessments, project based learning, and personalized learning has been featured widely in national publications, and her leadership has been documented and written about in several books. 



There’s still time to join us as we celebrate the transformative power of education on Thursday, April 20 from 6:00-9:30 pm! Buy tickets here.