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2019 Summer Workshop Keynote Speakers

Steve Gilliland

A member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve Gilliland is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in the world. Recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio's Laugh USA and Blue Collar Radio. Presenting to over 250,000 people a year, more than two million have now heard him speak, with audiences encompassing nearly three dozen industries. Steve has the distinction of speaking in all 50 states and in 15 countries. As one newspaper stated, "Steve is what happens when the humor of a stand-up comic collides with the inspiration of a motivational speaker."
In addition to being one of the most sought-after and top-rated speakers in the world, he is a prolific, accomplished author, evidenced by four of his books--Enjoy The Ride, Making a Difference, Hide Your Goat and Detour-- perennially making the publisher's bestseller list and his being named Author of the Year. He has also been recognized by Who's Who for Speakers and Business Professionals and was named one of the Top 10 Motivational Speakers in 2015 by eSpeakers from over 9,000 candidates.

The Cherry on Top
We all have different measures and definitions of what it means to be successful, and no one definition is right or wrong. We’re all familiar with the common success factors; however, the number one thing you can do to ensure success personally and professionally is add value. This presentation is about how to develop and deliver value in everything you do. Schools with great cultures add value to their students, teachers, and staff.


Eric Sheninger

Eric is a Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Prior to this he was the award-winning Principal at New Milford High School. Under his leadership his school became a globally recognized model for innovative practices. Eric oversaw the successful implementation of several sustainable change initiatives that radically transformed the learning culture at his school while increasing achievement.
His work focuses on leading and learning in the digital age as a model for moving schools and districts forward. This has led to the formation of the Pillars of Digital Leadership, a framework for all educators to initiate sustainable change to transform school cultures. As a result Eric has emerged as an innovative leader, best selling author, and sought after speaker. His main focus is purposeful integration of technology to facilitate student learning, improve communications with stakeholders, enhance public relations, create a positive brand presence, discover opportunity, transform learning spaces, and help educators grow professionally.
Eric has received numerous awards and acknowledgments for his work. He is a CDE Top 30 award recipient, Bammy Award winner, NASSP Digital Principal Award winner, PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient, winner of Learning Forward’s Excellence in Professional Practice Award, Google Certified Innovator, Adobe Education Leader, and ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar.

Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today
The current speed of technological breakthroughs has led to the coming age of workplace automation, dramatically altering the world of work that our students will enter. With all that is known about how students learn and the predictions regarding the world that our students will face tomorrow, a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning is educational malpractice. Built on the foundation of leadership and school culture, a redesigned learning experience fundamentally shifts the teaching and learning paradigm to one that’s personal. It alters the use of authentic assessments, how technology is leveraged, the spaces in which the learning occurs, the way educators grow professionally, how schools collaborate with the community, and the sustainability of the system as a whole. Eric will dissect this approach to unlocking tomorrow’s schools so that today’s modern learners leave ready to create new industries, find new cures, and solve world problems.


Kim Bearden

Kim Bearden is the cofounder, executive director, and language arts teacher at the highly-acclaimed Ron Clark Academy, an innovative middle school and educator training facility in Atlanta. Over the past nine years, over 36,000 educators from around the world have visited Kim's classroom at the Academy and have attended her workshops to learn better ways to engage students, promote academic rigor, and create a climate and culture that promotes success.
Kim was recently honored at the White House for being inducted into to the National Teachers Hall of Fame. She was selected from over 70,000 nominations to be honored as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Middle School Humanities Teacher. The Milken Family Foundation selected her to receive the Award for Excellence in Education, and she was the chosen from among 7000 teachers as Teacher of the Year in Cobb County, Georgia. Women Works Media Group has named her one of Georgia's Most Powerful and Influential Women.
Over the past twenty-nine years, she has been a teacher, instructional lead teacher, curriculum director, school board member, staff development trainer, and middle school principal. 
Kim's book, Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me, made several bestseller lists, the LA Times Bestseller List being among them.

Talk to Me: Find the Right Words to Inspire, Encourage, and Get Things Done
Description: This presentation is for teachers, administrators, parents, and other professionals who wish to improve their communication skills with others. Through the use of stories and scenarios, Kim Bearden will share 6 principles for effective communication that will strengthen any organization's climate and culture. You will leave empowered with tools that will help you develop rapport, gain respect, support others, engage listeners, develop insight, and increase productivity!


Jamie Vollmer

Jamie Vollmer is the 2010 recipient of the "Learning and Liberty" award presented by the National School Public Relations Association for his outstanding collaborative efforts with America's educators to increase student success.
He is president of Jamie Vollmer, Inc., a public education advocacy firm working to increase student success by strengthening public support for America’s schools. He is a businessman and attorney, although he is pleased to report that he no longer practices law.
He worked in the Washington D.C. law firm of United States Congressman William Cramer until 1985, when he left to become in-house council of the Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company, in Iowa. The company was proclaimed by People magazine to make the “Best Ice Cream in America!” He ultimately became the company’s president.
In 1988, Jamie became a founding member of the Iowa Business and Education Roundtable. He served as a volunteer for two years until becoming the Roundtable’s Executive Director in 1990, a post he held for three years. He has served on the board of directors of the National PTA and the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.
Once a harsh critic, he is now an articulate champion of America’s public schools. Over the last twenty years he has worked with hundreds of school districts, chambers of commerce, and education associations and foundations to improve student success. His presentations have been praised coast to coast as both practical and energizing. He uses statistics, logic, and humor to deliver a positive message regarding the future of our schools. He has created a simple, inexpensive, step-by-step program called The Great Conversation that any group can use to develop build schools that give all students the opportunity to unfold their full potential.

Welcome to The Great Conversation: Building Support for Public Schools One Community at a Time
An informative and entertaining session designed to help administrators remove obstacles to student learning, both in and out of school. Audience members will learn practical steps they can take to inspire and motivate their staffs, overcome internal and external resistance to change, and create a community-wide climate that supports rising student achievement.


Dr. Adam Sáenz

Dr. Adam Sáenz earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University with dual emphases in psychological assesment and cultural/linguistic factors. He completed his predoctoral clinical training under a fellowship appointment to Harvard Medical School, and he has a postdoctorate in clinical psychology from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Sáenz also earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from Graduate Theological Foundation with residency at Christ Church college of Oxford University.
Adam is the author of the best selling book, The Power of a Teacher, and his education blog has been featured on the front page of the Huffington Post. He also authored Relationships That Work with Jeremy Dew, L.P.C, a colleague in his clinical practice. Adam is also the developer of the Educator Assessment of Social and Emotional Learning (EASEL), a measure of personality and emotional intelligence that is central to the work and curriculum associated with his book Heart Smarts.
He currently serves as the clinical director of the Oakwood Collaborative, the counseling and assessment clinic he founded in 2003. His workshops focus on stress management, teacher well-being, the dynamics of effective relationship building, and social/emotional learning.

Heart Smarts: The Link Between Emotional Intelligence and Finding Your “Why?”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s 2014 report, twenty percent of youth ages thirteen to eighteen will experience a serious mental disorder, making educators—not mental health professionals—the first line of mental health intervention. Unfortunately, according the National Alliance of Mental Illness’ 2016 report, most teachers are not trained about mental health in their formal education and degree programs, and yet an unidentified mental-health condition often interferes with a student’s ability to learn and reach their full academic potential. Adding to the challenge, educators are finding that the traditional stick-and-carrot approaches to behavior management are decidedly ineffective.
However, we have hope! Research validates Social and Emotional Learning (e.g., emotional intelligence) as a promising and effective intervention for both academic and behavioral growth in students and adults. Psychologist and author Dr. Adam Sáenz shares his latest research and clinical practice in the field, highlighted by actual case studies that illustrate the power of Social and Emotional Learning. Educators who are not in touch with the right why will not be sustainable, but educators who are engaged in the internal journey of social and emotional learning will impact more lives than ever, and they will be sustainable! Don’t miss this opportunity to reconnect with your passion and to leave being reconnected with your “Why?”.