Speakers

Our diverse lineup of speakers provide a unique opportunity for attendees to learn key insights from a broad spectrum of experts and colleagues from around the country.

2019 Atlanta Featured Speakers

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers christopher emdin

Dr. Christopher Emdin

Professor of Science Education, Author of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood

Dr. Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of the Science Education program and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education.  He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and served as STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dr. Emdin is a social critic, public intellectual and science advocate whose commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. He is the creator of the #HipHopEd movement, and an advisor to numerous international organizations, school districts and schools.  He is the author of the award-winning book, Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation and The New York Times bestseller For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll Too.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers brian mendler

Brian Mendler

Co-Author Discipline with Dignity, Expert on Working With Disruptive Students

Brian Mendler trains tens of thousands of educators a year and is a highly regarded dynamic speaker. Through his affiliation with Teacher Learning Center, he provides staff development training for K-12 educators and youth service workers throughout the world with a focus on how to be successful with even the most difficult students.

Brian is a certified K-12 and special education teacher with extensive experience working with challenging students in general ed, self-contained, and inclusion settings.  In his training sessions and books, he draws on his own experience as a very disruptive student with severe undiagnosed ADHD and reading difficulties.

Brian is the author of several books including That One Kidand The Taming of the Crew.  He has also co-authored Strategies for Successful Classroom Management, Power Struggles2nd Edition, and the bestseller Discipline With Dignity 3rd Edition: New Challenges, New Solutions.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers tracie berry mcghee

Tracie Berry-McGhee

International Speaker, Author, Creator of SistaKeeper

Tracie Berry-McGhee founded the SistaKeeper Empowerment Center in St. Louis 12 years ago with the mission of empowering, inspiring and developing the mind, body and spirit of young women. SistaKeeper has since spread to other locations within the United States, as well as to Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

Tracie also continues to serve the community via her private counseling practice, which specializes in women and teen girl issues. She is often called upon to speak on topics such as conflict resolution, dealing with low self-esteem and bullying. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Delta Sigma Theta “Power of 22 Award,” the African American Professional Organization of Women “Women of Distinction Award,” the Girls Scouts “Women of Distinction in Social Services Award,” the NAACP “Hometown Champion Award” and the University of Missouri “Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service to Education Award.” Tracie is the author of SistaKeeper Poetry for the Soul, I’m a Keeper and OWN your NOW.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers jim sporleder

Jim Sporleder

Trauma-Informed Schools Pioneer, Author, Subject of Paper Tigers Documentary

Jim Sporleder retired in 2014 as Principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA.  Under Jim’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates and the number of students going on to post-secondary education.   These dramatic changes at Lincoln caught the attention of Jamie Redford, who spent a year filming the documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the Lincoln story.  The documentary was released at the May 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and received positive reviews.

Jim is currently working as a trauma-informed coach / consultant as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, based in Walla Walla.  His travels as a consultant, keynote speaker, presenter and trainer have taken him all over the United States.

Jim is married, has three daughters and six granddaughters.  In his spare time, Jim enjoys fishing, hunting, but most of all spending time with family.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers robert jackson

Robert Jackson

Author, Cultural Awareness & Male Engagement Expert

Robert Jackson, author of The No More Excuses Curriculum featuring the following books, No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!, No More Excuses: The WorkbookNo More Excuses: Solutions to Educating Black and Latino Males, and No More Excuses: Put a Stop to Bullying, is a national speaker, consultant, trainer, and owner of Lavelle Publishing and Nova Concepts Speakers. Robert received his BS, Industrial Technology degree from Western Kentucky University where he lettered four years in both football and track. After being cut from the NFL Minnesota Vikings during training camp, Robert has remained deeply rooted in his commitment to serve his community as a mentor and leader especially on issues facing African American Students. He mentors young men and presents workshops, seminars and speeches nationwide to youth and adults. As a consultant and speaker, Robert works to reverse the drop out rates of black and latino males and to create positive change in school systems across the country and abroad to bridge the gap between parents, teachers, administrators and students. He has been invited to do just that in Nova Scotia Halifax, Canada and at Harvard University Graduate School.

He has also spoken at the National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC), Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE), The National School Board Association (NSBA), The Black and Brown Conference at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, Urban Education Conference at Central State University, The Indiana University Men and Women of Color Conference, Norfolk State University Men of Valor, Broward College, The Southern Black Student Leadership Conference (SBSLC), The National Alliance of Black School Educators National Conference (NASBE), Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) Regional and National Conferences and The 100 Year Centennial Celebration of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. to name a few. Robert was awarded the Key to the City in Miami, Florida by the Mayor after his keynote address at the 5000 Role Models Scholarship Program where 45 black and latino males received both a full scholarship to any school in Florida and laptops. Mr. Jackson has also been a national speaker at the 100 Black Men of America National Conference.

Robert Jackson is an active Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and 100 Black Men of Indianapolis. He serves on the Board with Wheelers Boys/Girls Club of Indianapolis, Indiana where he was a former member and mentors young men nationally.

2019 San Antonio

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers pedro noguera

Dr. Pedro Noguera

Scholar, Author & Expert on Urban Education

Pedro Noguera, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Education in the UCLA Department of Education and a renowned expert on issues in urban education including education and economic and social development, race and schooling, immigration/migration, leadership and school reform, and student achievement.  He was formerly the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University, where he was Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. He has held tenured faculty appointments at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was named the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools and at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change.   Dr. Noguera has published more than 200 research and scholarly articles, monographs, research reports, and editorials on topics such as urban school reform, education policy, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society. His books include City Schools and the American Dream, Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools, The Trouble with Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education, and Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap with A. Wade Boykin. His most recent book is Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectories of African American and Latino Boys, which is co-written with Edward Fergus and Margary Martin.Professor Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets.  Early in his career he served as a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, RI, and Oakland, CA, and continues to work with schools nationally and internationally as a researcher and advisor.  He earned his doctorate in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.A sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends, Noguera says that schools are impacted by poverty in a myriad of ways, and that education should become a partner in systems that support poor students and families.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers baruti kafele

Baruti Kafele

School Turnaround Specialist & Bestselling Author Closing the Attitude Gap

One of the most sought-after education speakers in America, Baruti Kafele is impacting America’s schools! An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Principal Kafele is the leading authority for providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, “the Attitude Gap.” As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the transformation of four different New Jersey urban schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, which included U.S. News and World Report recognizing it three times as one of America’s best high schools. A prolific writer, he is the author of eight books which include his national best-sellers, Closing the Attitude Gap, Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life, The Principal 50and The Teacher 50. His 9th book,Is Your School Better BECAUSE You Lead It?is forthcoming.

Principal Kafele is the recipient of more than 150 educational, professional and community awards which include the prestigious Milken National Educator Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, induction into the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers jim sporleder

Jim Sporleder

Trauma-Informed Schools Pioneer, Author, Subject of Paper Tigers Documentary

Jim Sporleder retired in 2014 as Principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA.  Under Jim’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates and the number of students going on to post-secondary education.   These dramatic changes at Lincoln caught the attention of Jamie Redford, who spent a year filming the documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the Lincoln story.  The documentary was released at the May 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and received positive reviews.

Jim is currently working as a trauma-informed coach / consultant as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, based in Walla Walla.  His travels as a consultant, keynote speaker, presenter and trainer have taken him all over the United States.

Jim is married, has three daughters and six granddaughters.  In his spare time, Jim enjoys fishing, hunting, but most of all spending time with family.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers larry thompson

Larry Thompson

Supportive Discipline Innovator & Creator of Responsibility-Centered Discipline

Author of Roadmap to Responsibility and Give ‘em Five, Larry Thompson, M.Ed., is often called upon to deliver keynote presentations for state and national education conferences because of his knowledge, humor and passion for assisting today’s students. He has helped thousands of educators and schools throughout North America break away from their traditional discipline models to a model that creates a responsible climate and responsible students. Larry has served in a wide variety of roles in education – from special education teacher to alternative and traditional high school principal. As creator of the Responsibility-Centered Discipline program, Larry understands that systems must be created that can be realistically implemented and sustained.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers barbara coloroso

Barbara Coloroso

International Speaker & Bestselling Author on Education & Parenting

Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling authorand for the past 40 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice.

She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, CBC, CTV and BBC and has been featured in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications.

Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children.

She is the author of four international bestsellers: kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline; Parenting Through Crisis—Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change; The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander—From Pre-School to High School, How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence; and Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right—From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically. Barbara’s latest book is Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide…and Why it Matters. She also has two critically acclaimed video programs Winning at Parenting…without beating your kids and Winning at Teaching…without beating your kids.

at risk students conference teacher conference educator conference craig boykin

Craig Boykin

In-Demand Speaker, Ph.D. Candidate,
High School Dropout

Most keynotes present statistics,

Craig is a STATISTIC!

Every now and then you come across an individual who lives a humble life. Yet, his very presence strikes a chord within you. Craig’s story is one that moves, touches and inspires audiences. It’s a story about determination and personal accountability. It’s a story about a young man who refused to accept his current situation.  Although Craig has risen to high levels of success as an acclaimed author and professional speaker, it’s his down-to-earth personality that endears him to those that come across his path. His message is very simple… Change Is Possible! When Craig speaks, he reaches the hearts of his audience to motivate change in themselves and their community.

Craig has devoted his life to creating lasting change for those who desire it; Craig has risen to the national stage by delivering an inspirational message which tells people how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness. It is a message that Craig has learned from his own life challenges and one he is helping others apply to their lives. Craig’s personal mission in life is to provide hope to individuals who feel that their current situation is hopeless. Craig travels the country presenting his seminars and workshops. Craig has published five books since 2013 and he has been featured on talk shows, won various awards, and his story has been shared in many inspirational magazines and across the web.

At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference

Atlanta
June 18-22, 2019

4 Conferences for the Price of 1!

At-Risk & Struggling Students
Boy Brains & Engagement Conference
Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference
School Discipline Conference Conference
Wired Differently Conference
June 18-22

San Antonio
November 14-17, 2019

4 Conferences for the Price of 1!

At-Risk & Struggling Students
School Climate & Culture Forum
School Discipline Conference Conference
Wired Differently Conference

Nov. 14-17

ARE YOU IN?

Join thousands of other forward-thinking educators at the At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference!