At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference Orlando Featured Speakers

at risk students conference Chris emdin innovative schools summit

Dr. Christopher Emdin

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 and has 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, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. A much sought-after speaker, he is the creator of the #HipHopEd movement, and an advisor to numerous international organizations and school districts. He is the author of 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.

Heather Forbes

Heather T. Forbes, MSW, LCSW, is the founder of the Beyond Consequences Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Heather has worked in the field of trauma and healing since 1999. She is an internationally published author on the topics of raising children with difficult and severe behaviors, the impact of trauma on the developing child, adoptive motherhood, and self-development. Her books include the international bestseller Help for Billy, The Trauma-Informed School, Beyond Consequences, Logic or Control and Hand in Hand. Coming from a family of educators, Heather has a heart for children in the classroom and for finding ways to teach the child who seems "unteachable." Her signature style is to bridge the gap between scientific research and real-life application to equip parents, educators and therapists with practical and effective tools. Much of her experience and insight on understanding trauma, disruptive behaviors, and adoption-related issues comes from her direct mothering experience of her two adopted children.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers brian mendler

Brian Mendler

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 Kid and The Taming of the Crew. He has also co-authored Strategies for Successful Classroom Management, Power Struggles 2nd Edition, and the bestseller Discipline With Dignity 3rd Edition: New Challenges, New Solutions.

tracey_severns

Tracey Severns

Dr. Tracey Severns is a nationally recognized educational strategist and the founder of Teach4Results. She has served as a classroom aide, special ed teacher, vice principal, principal, district director of student performance and statewide chief academic officer. She currently serves as Leadership and Learning Strategist with Rutgers University Center for Effective School Practices. Dr. Severns has provided professional development on the Common Core, PARCC, instructional leadership, data analysis, special education and school improvement on the state and national levels. As a principal she won three fellowship grants from the Dodge Foundation, and was selected as one of eight principals to represent the United States for an educational exchange program with Brazil. She has earned the Middle Level Leadership Award and was selected as Visionary Principal of the Year in her home state of New Jersey. Dr. Severns has also been named a National Distinguished Principal. The middle school that she led was selected as a National School of Change, one of only six in the United States.

At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference Atlanta Featured Speakers

at risk students conference atlanta ron clark

Ron Clark

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 students conference best education conference baruti kafele

Baruti Kafele

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 a 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, including being recognized three times by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s best high schools. A prolific writer, he is the author of eight books which include his national bestsellers 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, and induction into the East Orange, NJ Hall of Fame.

Gerry Brooks at risk student conference Atlanta

Gerry Brooks

Long before Gerry Brooks made YouTube videos, he was a regular, fun-loving, principal at an elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky. His educational experience includes six years in the classroom, two years as an intervention specialist, and 12 years as an administrator. Gerry is a passionate public speaker whose focus is on encouraging and helping teachers improve their instructional abilities via climate and culture strategies and helping administrators successfully lead their staff in a positive and constructive manner. His following of more than 500,000 people on social media has developed through humorous videos that focus on real-world educational experiences.

at risk students conference teacher conference Steph jensen

Steph Jensen

Steph Jensen, MS, LPC is an award-winning author and international speaker recognized for her insight and understanding of relational aggression. She combines 15 years of practice in the fields of education and counseling with research, practical strategies and humor to address challenging behaviors and build positive relationships with kids. She has held positions as classroom teacher, education consultant and international speaker. She holds a master’s degree in clinical counseling, focusing her efforts on adolescent and family issues. In recent years, Stephanie has applied her passion for adolescents to focus on the dynamics of relational aggression, social-emotional learning, and positive behavior interventions. She is the author of Thrive in the Hive: Surviving the Girl’s World of Good and Bad Relationship Bee-haviors, Mom’s Choice Award-winning Princess Priscilla and the Bully-Bee Day, Princess Priscilla and the Mood Ring Rainbow and her latest Princess Priscilla and the Great Beezilla!

William Noel

The two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out WHY.” This quote from Mark Twain perfectly captures Dr. William Noel’s personal calling and dedication to working with children. That higher calling and dedication is why Dr. Noel remains committed to being an influential role model for all students, but especially for the (sometimes) Hard-to-Reach students. Dr. Noel emphasizes the importance of connecting with those students through establishing genuine relationships, and teaching them to make better decisions. He would be the first person to debate that knowing WHO you teach may be more important than WHAT you teach. Dr. Noel began his journey in education as a substitute teacher, then as an alternative education teacher, social studies teacher, coach, assistant principal, and now district director of student support and disciplinary review. When asked by a colleague if he was going to miss teaching, Dr. Noel replied, “I will always be a teacher; just no longer from a classroom."

At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference New York Featured Speakers

Pedro Noguera

Dr. Pedro Noguera is currently Dean of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. A sociologist, he is an expert on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as demographic trends. He is the author, co-author or editor of 13 books, including his most recent publications: The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Consequence and Solutions and Race, Equity and Education: Sixty Years from Brown. He has published more than 250 research articles, book chapters and editorials in major newspapers. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute, the National Equity Project and The Nation. Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, NPR and other media outlets, and his editorials on educational issues have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News and Los Angeles Times. Prior to being appointed Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education, Dr. Noguera served as a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. He has also served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at NYU, Harvard and Cal Berkeley. Dr. Noguera was recently appointed to serve as a special advisor to the governor of New Mexico and advises the departments of education in Washington, Oregon and Nevada. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the Phi Delta Kappa honor society and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds seven honorary doctorates from American universities.

Barbara Coloroso

Barbara Coloroso is a New York Times bestselling author and an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on social-emotional learning, teaching, discipline, school climate, bullying, nonviolent conflict resolution, restorative justice and parenting. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national and international publications. Her uniquely effective teaching and parenting 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 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 Not-So-Innocent Bystander: Breaking The Cycle of Violence and Creating More Deeply Caring Communities; and Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right: From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically.

Heather Forbes

Heather T. Forbes, MSW, LCSW, is the founder of the Beyond Consequences Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Heather has worked in the field of trauma and healing since 1999. She is an internationally published author on the topics of raising children with difficult and severe behaviors, the impact of trauma on the developing child, adoptive motherhood, and self-development. Her books include the international bestseller Help for Billy, The Trauma-Informed School, Beyond Consequences, Logic or Control and Hand in Hand. Coming from a family of educators, Heather has a heart for children in the classroom and for finding ways to teach the child who seems "unteachable." Her signature style is to bridge the gap between scientific research and real-life application to equip parents, educators and therapists with practical and effective tools. Much of her experience and insight on understanding trauma, disruptive behaviors, and adoption-related issues comes from her direct mothering experience of her two adopted children.

Ronald Gonzalez

Dr. Ronald Gonzalez has led transformation efforts at Mount Vernon High School in the New York City metro area for the past 11 years. His leadership has resulted in improvements in student performance, staff stability and community outcomes. He attributes much of his success to building systems, developing teacher talent and using student voice as an agent of change. Dr. Gonzalez' doctoral research focused on the impact of seat time for Black and economically disadvantaged students. At Mount Vernon, he has led the expansion of career programs including culinary arts, barbering and certified nursing assistant. Based upon his belief in equity and access. Dr. Gonzalez successfully implemented the International Baccalaureate program with open enrollment for all students.

robert Jackson at risk students conference

Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson is the author of The No More Excuses Curriculum featuring No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!, No More Excuses: The Workbook, No More Excuses: Solutions to Educating  Black and Latino Males and No More Excuses: Put a Stop to Bullying. A national speaker and consultant, Robert works to reverse the dropout rates of black and Latino males and to create positive change in school systems across the country and abroad. His goal is to bridge the gap between teachers, parents, administrators and students. Among his awards, Robert was awarded the Key to the City of Miami after his keynote address at the 5000 Role Models Scholarship Program where 45 black and Latino males received both a laptop computer and a full scholarship to any Florida university.

at risk & struggling students conference sessions speakers larry thompson

Larry Thompson

A recognized thought leader on supportive and non-exclusionary discipline practices, 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. He is the author of Give 'em Five (Elementary & Secondary) and Roadmap to Responsibility.

William Noel

The two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out WHY.” This quote from Mark Twain perfectly captures Dr. William Noel’s personal calling and dedication to working with children. That higher calling and dedication is why Dr. Noel remains committed to being an influential role model for all students, but especially for the (sometimes) Hard-to-Reach students. Dr. Noel emphasizes the importance of connecting with those students through establishing genuine relationships, and teaching them to make better decisions. He would be the first person to debate that knowing WHO you teach may be more important than WHAT you teach. Dr. Noel began his journey in education as a substitute teacher, then as an alternative education teacher, social studies teacher, coach, assistant principal, and now district director of student support and disciplinary review. When asked by a colleague if he was going to miss teaching, Dr. Noel replied, “I will always be a teacher; just no longer from a classroom."

At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference Las Vegas Featured Speakers

Speaker listing coming soon.

ckickbusch

Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, LTC (ret)​

Born and raised in a small barrio in Laredo, Texas, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch had to overcome poverty, discrimination and a legacy of illiteracy. Although she grew up without material wealth, Consuelo was taught by her immigrant parents that she was rich in culture, tradition, values and faith. After graduating from college, she entered the U.S. Army as an officer and served for two decades – breaking barriers to become the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in Combat Support. Lieutenant Colonel Castillo Kickbusch was selected out of 26,000 candidates to assume a command post, which would have put her on track for the rank of general. She respectfully declined and retired – to fulfill her mother’s dying wish that she return to her roots. In realizing that dream, she founded Educational Achievement Services with the mission of preparing tomorrow’s leaders. Consuelo has been interviewed in Soledad O’Brian’s Living Latino in America and featured in HBO’s The Latino List.

robert Jackson at risk students conference

Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson is the author of The No More Excuses Curriculum featuring No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!, No More Excuses: The Workbook, No More Excuses: Solutions to Educating  Black and Latino Males and No More Excuses: Put a Stop to Bullying. A national speaker and consultant, Robert works to reverse the dropout rates of black and Latino males and to create positive change in school systems across the country and abroad. His goal is to bridge the gap between teachers, parents, administrators and students. Among his awards, Robert was awarded the Key to the City of Miami after his keynote address at the 5000 Role Models Scholarship Program where 45 black and Latino males received both a laptop computer and a full scholarship to any Florida university.

Kim Johancen

Kim Johancen, M.A., LPC is a Denver-based author and therapist who has developed specialties that include working with people at risk of suicide, survivors of suicide loss, and individuals struggling with self-injury. She has worked extensively with both adolescent and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her ability to work with people who have experienced grief and loss extends throughout her career and she remains committed to helping people resolve their post trauma symptoms along with the events that fuel them. Over the last several years she has developed a passion for working with families through divorce. She utilizes a variety of approaches including Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Kim is at heart a strengths-based therapist. She has presented her work on self-injury at Harvard University and her work with suicidal patients at Stony Brook University in New York. She recently co-authored a book for educators entitled Traumatized Students: School-Based Interventions for Reaching Under the Surface.

Steve bollar at risk students conference

"Stand Tall Steve" Bollar

Steve Bollar, aka “Stand Tall Steve” is an educational thought leader and master motivator. He works with forward-thinking organizations to generate new ideas, improve climate/culture and maximize leadership skills. His quick wit, experience, and in-depth knowledge make him an in-demand speaker. Steve has experienced first-hand the importance of a healthy school culture as teacher, principal and superintendent. He is a member of the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame and was named one of South Jersey’s Top 20 Men of the Year. Steve is the author of Ideas, Ideas, Ideas, which has helped schools throughout North America improve their culture.

Ernesto Mejia

Supportive Discipline Innovator, Creator of Responsibility-Centered Discipline Full Bio Coming Soon!

At-Risk & Struggling Students Conference San Antonio Featured Speakers

Speaker listing coming soon.

ckickbusch

Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, LTC (ret)​

Born and raised in a small barrio in Laredo, Texas, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch had to overcome poverty, discrimination and a legacy of illiteracy. Although she grew up without material wealth, Consuelo was taught by her immigrant parents that she was rich in culture, tradition, values and faith. After graduating from college, she entered the U.S. Army as an officer and served for two decades – breaking barriers to become the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in Combat Support. Lieutenant Colonel Castillo Kickbusch was selected out of 26,000 candidates to assume a command post, which would have put her on track for the rank of general. She respectfully declined and retired – to fulfill her mother’s dying wish that she return to her roots. In realizing that dream, she founded Educational Achievement Services with the mission of preparing tomorrow’s leaders. Consuelo has been interviewed in Soledad O’Brian’s Living Latino in America and featured in HBO’s The Latino List.

robert Jackson at risk students conference

Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson is the author of The No More Excuses Curriculum featuring No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!, No More Excuses: The Workbook, No More Excuses: Solutions to Educating  Black and Latino Males and No More Excuses: Put a Stop to Bullying. A national speaker and consultant, Robert works to reverse the dropout rates of black and Latino males and to create positive change in school systems across the country and abroad. His goal is to bridge the gap between teachers, parents, administrators and students. Among his awards, Robert was awarded the Key to the City of Miami after his keynote address at the 5000 Role Models Scholarship Program where 45 black and Latino males received both a laptop computer and a full scholarship to any Florida university.

Kim Johancen

Kim Johancen, M.A., LPC is a Denver-based author and therapist who has developed specialties that include working with people at risk of suicide, survivors of suicide loss, and individuals struggling with self-injury. She has worked extensively with both adolescent and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her ability to work with people who have experienced grief and loss extends throughout her career and she remains committed to helping people resolve their post trauma symptoms along with the events that fuel them. Over the last several years she has developed a passion for working with families through divorce. She utilizes a variety of approaches including Internal Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Kim is at heart a strengths-based therapist. She has presented her work on self-injury at Harvard University and her work with suicidal patients at Stony Brook University in New York. She recently co-authored a book for educators entitled Traumatized Students: School-Based Interventions for Reaching Under the Surface.

Steve bollar at risk students conference

"Stand Tall Steve" Bollar

Steve Bollar, aka “Stand Tall Steve” is an educational thought leader and master motivator. He works with forward-thinking organizations to generate new ideas, improve climate/culture and maximize leadership skills. His quick wit, experience, and in-depth knowledge make him an in-demand speaker. Steve has experienced first-hand the importance of a healthy school culture as teacher, principal and superintendent. He is a member of the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame and was named one of South Jersey’s Top 20 Men of the Year. Steve is the author of Ideas, Ideas, Ideas, which has helped schools throughout North America improve their culture.

Ernesto Mejia

Supportive Discipline Innovator, Creator of Responsibility-Centered Discipline Full Bio Coming Soon!