Featured speakers

July 30


Building Resilient Students in the Wake of the COVID Crisis
JC Pohl, President & CEO Teen Truth

Multiple school shootings occur every year. Teen suicide is on the rise. Thousands of students are bullied every day. In the face of such overwhelming stress, how can we help our students work through the adversity they regularly face? Award-winning producer and nationally certified counselor, JC Pohl, offers a direct pathway to one singular solution: resiliency. In this interactive session, JC offers five proven and immediately applicable ways to help students build self-efficacy and resilience. These keys to building resilient students might stop the next potential school shooter, save a suicidal student, or remind every bullied child that brighter days lie ahead.

Building Campus Relationships and Creating a Culture of Support During COVID
JC Pohl, President & CEO Teen Truth
Relationships are the key to any successful life experience, but they are often the hardest thing to cultivate. As a licensed marriage and family therapist JC Pohl understands the importance of meeting each other's needs, yet many of us don't know how to simply define those needs. This session will clearly illustrate the relational needs that we all have, and teach attendees how to use this new vocabulary to build stronger connections at work and in life.

Six Strategies for Leading the Pandemic Population
Dr. Tim Elmore, CEO and Founder of Growing Leaders

Before the surge of a global pandemic changed all of our lives, Generation Z was already facing a crisis of mental health, a lack of social and emotional skills, and a paralyzed perspective on their future. In 2020, things have only gotten more complicated. That’s why today’s “Pandemic Population” needs a new kind of leader: You. In this session, we will outline the needs of today’s population and furnish eight strategies that can help them find their best self on the other side of COVID-19.
How Implicit Biases Shape the Way We View Our Children
Dr. Walter Gilliam,  Mears/Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry & Psychology, Yale University

Using the latest findings on gender and racial disproportionality in early education, the potential causes for these disparities and the role of implicit bias will be explored. Although the presentation will focus on research findings, attendees also will be exposed to emerging information about how biases are formed, how they shape the way we view children and their behaviors, and how they limit the ways we envision how we may respond to student behaviors.

Classroom Climate, Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, Bias and Equity
Dr. Walter Gilliam,  Mears/Jameson Professor of Child Psychiatry & Psychology, Yale University

This interactive workshop will discuss how the overall mental health climate of early childhood settings related to a host of outcomes regarding equity. Teacher job stress and depression will be explored, as well as the ability of staff to notice and appropriately respond to subtle social cues from children. Video examples will be discussed as a way to highlight subtle differences in the way in which staff engage (or fail to engage) with each of the children in their classrooms. Hallmarks of classroom practices that promote equity will be discussed.
Safeguarding Children in a Challenging World
Dr. Scott Poland, Professor at the College of Psychology, Nova University

Dr. Poland has over 35 years of experiences working with Pre-K through 12 school staff, students, and their parents.  Participants will learn the importance of staying involved in children’s’ lives and how to identify at-risk behaviors and prevention programs that address the leading causes of death for children. Emphasis will be placed on the need for schools to collaborate with community agencies if they observe at-risk behaviors in their students.

Responding and Recovering from Crisis in Schools
Dr. Scott Poland, Professor at the College of Psychology, Nova University
This module will help school personnel, and especially administrators develop and enhance their ability to respond to critical incidents and provide students and staff with the assistance and support needed. In addition the complicated issue of memorialization and what is appropriate at school will be outlined.   Developmental issues for children and their understanding of death will also be shared. In addition, strategies will be shared to help build student resiliency and supporting the school staff will be emphasized.
Back-to-School Communications Amid COVID Uncertainty
Andrea Gribble, CEO #SocialSchools4EDU

We are all struggling with communicating in this back-to-school season! Let’s talk about key messaging components and the methods you use to get that out to your families. We’ll dive into anticipating what issues might come up and how to deal with them. Social media can certainly play a role, but there are important things to think about before posting that video or tweeting that photo. 

Using Social Media to Build Community Engagement in your District
Andrea Gribbgle, CEO #SocialSchools4EDU
"If we as schools don't tell our story on social media, others will... And I guarantee our version is better!" This session will share tools to confidently and consistently share your story with thousands each week on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We will dive into the analytics behind social media, discuss the engagement tactics being used, and wrap it around steps to take!
Administrative Strategies to Establish a Culture of High Expectations and Acceptance of all Students
Larry Bell, Multicultural America

Without systems people believe they are performing actions more than they actually do. Even more alarming, there are many times tremendous disparities regarding expectations for students. This session will present ways administrators can systemize teacher behaviors and expectations throughout a school or district and will help administrators make sure they are implemented uniformly.

Powerful Systems Administrators Must Implement to Effectively Close Achievement Gaps 
Larry Bell, Multicultural America
This engaging, interactive session will cover the five essential areas that must be addressed by any school or district to close the various gaps that exist. Administrators will receive strategies that will help address each area and be provided examples of where the strategies have been used successfully.
10 Absolute "Must Do's" as School Leaders Prepare for the Unknown With the Upcoming New School Year
Dr. Joe Erardi, Retired Superintendent, Newtown Public Schools

Dr. Erardi, is a former member of the AASA Executive Board and a Connecticut school educator/administrator for 40 years (retired August 2017 from Newtown, CT as their superintendent).  Dr. Erardi will share with school administrators valuable lessons learned on how to effectively lead in the midst of the unknown with the present pandemic.  This interactive session will include critical information for superintendents, executive cabinet members, and building based administrators.  Dr. Erardi, who navigated the rebuild and recovery of Newtown Public Schools, will share numerous strategies and "must do's" to ready your school and school district for the upcoming school year.

TweetSnapInstaTokWhat? Rethinking Communication to Boost School Culture and Leadership
Beth Houf, Lead Like a Pirate,  Principal, Fulton Middle School, MO 

In this interactive session, Beth will take you through ways to maximize communication to boost school culture as well as tap into the 24/7 professional development that social media can offer. 

Let's Get Digital, Digital! Tips and Tools for Busy Leaders
Beth Houf, Lead Like a Pirate,  Principal, Fulton Middle School, MO 
We all have only 24 hours in the day, but the demands of leadership can become overwhelming. Join Beth as she shares some of her most successful resources and strategies. 
Living with Change
Tristan Vaught, Living with Change

Living With Change is dedicated to supporting transgender youth and their families by providing education, resources, advocacy, and support while fostering confidence and acceptance through change.  This session will share important guidance and resources for school leaders in their service and support of LGBTQ students and families.   
Math Milestones: The Path (and Mindset) for Proficiency 
Dr. Jan Bryan, Vice-President and National Education Officer,  Renaissance 

Join this session to learn practical tips for changing student mindsets and for helping them achieve math proficiency milestones at each phase of their schooling. You'll also explore: The critical role of foundational math skills in student success; Proven strategies for sustaining positive math mindsets and motivation; Ways to effectively scaffold math practice in elementary, middle, and high school and the surprising impact of teacher mindset on student math achievement.

Guiding Student's Early Learning Journeys
Dr. Jan Bryan, Vice-President and National Education Officer,  Renaissance 
In this session, you will evaluate key strategies for meeting young learner's  needs and assessing their emerging literacy and numeracy development. You will learn:  What science tells us about the natural knowledge of young learners; How we can use brief measures to accurately assess this knowledge; How these measures also provide valuable insights into overall growth and development; How to use these insights to guide learning journeys from pre-K through grade 3.

Building Your Comprehensive Assessment System
Dr. Jan Bryan, Vice-President and National Education Officer,  Renaissance 
Join this interactive session to explore and assess assessment's continued focus on growth, including: The nature of comprehensive and balanced systems of assessment; Student's academic and emotional responses to assessment;  The newest assessment tools under development from Renaissance
A Turtle on the Fencepost Didn't Get There By Itself
Kathy Fields, Executive Director, International Alliance for Invitational Education

A turtle is not physically designed to be upwardly mobile. It simply can't get to the top of a fence post without help.  Every successful person has received help to get to where they are and in turn must intentionally choose to assist another, in essence to give and to receive a Leadership Lift. This experience is both a gift and a responsibility. You are invited to learn more about the practice and power of the Leadership Lift. 
Personnel for Principals
Dr. Dave Braswell, CEO, Upslope Solutions

This session is designed to introduce principals to effective ways to maneuver the complex nature of school personnel laws and requirements with the goals of improving student achievement and protecting the school and district from unnecessary legal problems. Real-life scenarios and conditional simulations will allow principals to consider various personnel situations and potential solutions.   Outstanding session for new administrators! 
Kentucky Accountability Update
Rhonda Sims, Associate Commissioner, Jennifer Stafford, Director Division of Assessment and Accountablility Support, KDE

Hear the latest information regarding Kentucky's school accountability system.  Session will include requirements for 2020-21 and time for questions and answers will be included.  
Teacher Pensions in Kentucky - Where are We Now?
Tim Abrams, Executive Director, Kentucky Retired Teachers Association

This session will provide an update and clarification on the status of the Teacher Retirement System including a review of related actions resulting from the 2020 legislative session.