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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Nationally Known Speaker, Author, “Mr. GED to Ph.D.”
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.
Please continue to check this page for updates. Information will be made available as the Conference date approaches.
Pre-Registration for San Antonio Ends on 10/31!