"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.
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. SistaKeepers 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 Girl 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.
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.
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.
Author of A Dark Journey to a Light Future , Ph.D. Candidate Expelled from 10 Schools