Keynotes & Sessions

A sampling of recent presentations that can be easily tailored to meet the needs of your audience, whether as a keynote, a workshop, or a conference presentation.


ND Keynotelg

Courageous, Collaborative Leadership
As school leaders, we should all aspire to be labeled courageous and collaborative. But what skills are necessary for one to become such a leader? Using the framework of leadership for curriculum, instruction, and assessment; leadership for developing a school culture; and leadership for developing and nurturing leaders, this session will examine the indicators and the practices that help school leaders, regardless of their position, develop exemplary leadership skills. Appropriate for all audiences. Can also be done as a breakout session or workshop.

Leaving Your Mark
Every day, in every action, every educator is building a legacy for the future. What type of legacy are you creating and what will people remember about you when you’re no longer at the school? Through the use of media, stories, anecdotes, and parables this presentation will challenge the audience to reflect upon the legacy they will be leaving behind. Appropriate for all audiences.

Rafting the White Water Years of Young Adolescence
Working at the middle level is a ride full of excitement. Using the analogy of white water rafting, we will examine how best to navigate and enjoy this thrilling, and sometimes turbulent time of life! Middle Level Specific.

Workshop or Conference Presentations

Leading Learning for Student Success
High expectations for student achievement call for changes in how teachers teach and require school leaders to build a climate of trust and a school culture that promotes effective instruction, while at the same time is personalized to the needs of the students served by the school.  Be prepared to interact with the speaker and your colleagues as we examine strategies that can be used to enhance the level of instruction in your building and thus lead to student success.

Fostering Student Accountability through Student-led Conferences
Looking for ways to increase parent involvement and student accountability?  Want to implement an authentic assessment strategy that will motivate your students and provide them practice in reflection and self-evaluation?  Want to strengthen your students’ skills in organization, leadership and speaking?  Then student-led conferencing is for you!  Based on her book with the same title, the author will share how you can implement this effective practice in your school.

Promoting Positive Behavior
This session examines how schools and classrooms can use a similar structure to RTI to develop and implement strategies that promote the positive behavior of students. You will learn the basics of how a staff can design a school-wide behavior support system and how teachers can implement classroom interventions by capitalizing on the developmental characteristics of middle school students in order to create a safe and orderly classroom environment.

Building Productive Relationships
It’s often said that students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This session will examine the characteristics of young adolescents (ages 10-15) and discuss how school practices, policies and programs can best capitalize upon them to build a safe, caring environment; one that conveys the high expectations, support, and mutual respect needed to promote the academic achievement and personal growth of your students.

Promoting a Positive Environment: Positive Recognition for Students and Staff
One of the new “3 R’s” is relationships — and positive recognition puts “money in the bank” when it comes to building relationships with the students and staff at your school. This session will focus on ways you can add pizzazz to your school environment by implementing a variety of positive activities to recognize those who work and learn there. Come prepared to learn new ideas as well as share some of your own!

Leading from the Middle
What knowledge and skills does a middle level leader need to successfully implement and sustain school change?  Research tells us that while teachers are the number one factor in student success, leadership is number two.  Developing informed, quality middle level leaders with the skills to move a school forward in a manner that is both academically challenging and developmentally appropriate is critical to student success. Based on the concepts described in Breaking Ranks (NASSP) and This We Believe (AMLE).

Madeline Hunter for the 21st Century
Madeline Hunter’s Instructional Theory into Practice (ITIP) swept the country in the 80s with tens of thousands of teachers trained in this instructional design format.  Because it was often presented as a structured, regimental manner of teaching it has generally fallen out of current educational practices.  However, when used as a decision-making model for developing creative, meaningful lessons, it serves as a highly effective tool for planning lessons.  Come take a refreshed, updated look at this instructional design that promotes the engaging instruction needed for successful implementation of college- and career-ready standards.

Putting Students in the Lead
Giving students a voice in their school is one of the most important ways to promote personalization and build connections between students and their school.  This session will look at successful formats for student leadership and share ideas for programs, activities and practices that will encourage students to become an active member of their school community.

The Ins and Outs of Middle School
The transition from elementary to middle school can be a traumatic time in the life of a young adolescent.  The move from middle school to high school can be equally unsettling as evidenced by the high percentage of 9th grade failures.  In this session we’ll examine successful practices and share ideas for moving students into and out of your middle level school.

Sustaining Middle Level Practices in Times of Change
There is no question that dwindling resources and doing more with less has had a significant impact on middle level schools across the country. Expectations for student achievement are higher than ever, while at the same time, resources are declining in most places. This has forced leaders to look at their programs and make tough choices about what can be sustained. Too often that has led to what appears to be a forced choice between a program that meets the needs of middle-grades students or the need to reduce expenditures. While there is no “silver bullet” solution to this conundrum, the challenge can be viewed as an opportunity to question long-standing practices and develop programs that may look different from a traditionally structured middle level school but still meet the needs of the young adolescents served by the school.