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 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 DreamUnfinished 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 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 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 baruti kafele

Baruti Kafele

School Turnaround Specialist, Author of 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 50 and 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

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 author and 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.

2020 Atlanta Featured Speakers

at risk students conference atlanta ron clark

Ron Clark

"America's Educator," NYTimes Bestselling Author, Disney's American Teacher of the Year

Known to many as “America’s Educator,” Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television and was dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as her first “Phenomenal Man.”          

Early in his career, Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation.  After watching a television piece chronicling low test scores and the lack of teachers in inner-city New York, Ron packed his car and moved to Harlem. Ron prepared himself by visiting the home of each student before the first day of school. He involved his students in projects in the city and state, and his “low achievers” soon began to excel; by the end of the year, their scores were higher than the “gifted” classes in his district.                                                                                                                                                  In 2003, Ron Clark released the New York Times Bestseller, The Essential 55, which includes his 55 expectations of students – as well as all individuals – young and old. Obviously, Ron Clark did not stop there. In 2006, Ron Clark founded The Ron Clark Academy, an inner-city school serving students from across metro Atlanta. The privately funded institution is unique for its innovative teaching methods and curriculum based on worldwide travel. Each year the students apply their in-class lessons to international adventures. By the time of graduation, each child will have visited six of the seven continents. Almost 50,000 educators, teachers and administrators from around the world have visited the Academy to observe the innovative and “outside-the-box” methods for achieving student success.                                                                                                In 2011, Ron Clark released The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck–101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers.  This New York Times Bestseller brought to light 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America’s schools and leading children to greatness. In his most recent release, Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life.  

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 baruti kafele

Baruti Kafele

School Turnaround Specialist, Author of 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 50 and 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

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 students conference atlanta tommie mabry

Tommie Mabry

Author & Inspirational Speaker, Expelled from 10 Schools before Becoming College Grad

Bio Coming Soon!

At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference

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: Trauma Informed Schools

Nov. 14-17

Atlanta
June 24-28, 2020

4 Conferences for the Price of 1!

At-Risk & Struggling Students
School Discipline Conference
School Climate & Culture Forum
Girl Bullying & Empowerment Conference
June 24-28

Don't Miss Out!

Pre-Registration for San Antonio Ends on 10/31!