Speakers

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.

2019 Orlando

Dr. Ruby Payne

Bestselling Author Understanding Poverty & Creator of aha! Process

Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. is the founder of aha! Process and an author, speaker, publisher, and career educator. Recognized internationally for A Framework for Understanding Poverty, her foundational book and workshop, Dr. Ruby Payne has helped students and adults of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success.

As an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and overcoming the hurdles of poverty, she has trained hundreds of thousands of professionals, from educators and school administrators to community, church, and business leaders.

Payne founded aha! Process to offer a broad range of training solutions–workshops, consulting, books, and trainings for K–12, higher education, and communities—with a focus on creating sustainable success for everyone.

In the field of education, her career-long goal of offering strategies for successfully raising student achievement and overcoming economic class barriers has become the cornerstone of aha! Process’ K-12 work, used with school districts across the country. Dr. Payne’s work stems from more than 30 years of experience in public schools as a high school department head, principal, and central office administrator of staff development. Sequels to her original Framework book include Research-Based Strategies (2009) and School Improvement: 9 Systemic Processes to Raise Achievement (2010), coauthored with Donna Magee, Ed.D. In 2000 she co-authored Bridges Out of Poverty with Philip E. DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith as the organization branched out into working toward healthy, sustainable communities.Dr. Payne has written and co-authored more than a dozen books besides the bestselling A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges Out of Poverty. Two recent co-authored publications are How Much of Yourself Do You Own? A process for building your emotional resources and Bridges to Health and Healthcare: New solutions for improving access and services.

The 5th edition of A Framework for Understanding Poverty: A Cognitive Approach (2013) was given top honors for professional development with the REVERE Golden Lamp Award from Association of American Publishers in 2014. Also, two of her publications were honored in 2011: Removing the Mask: Giftedness in Poverty received a Gold Medal from Independent Publishers in the Education category, and Boys in Poverty: A Framework for Understanding Dropout (Solution Tree Press) received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers in the Professional Development category. Both titles were co-authored with the late Dr. Paul Slocumb.

Dr. Ruby Payne received a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana; a master’s degree in English literature from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan; and doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.

Larry Thompson, M.Ed.

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.

Baruti Kafele

Urban Principal/ School Turnaround Specialist

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.

Brian Mendler

Speaker, Author, Expert on Working with Disruptive Students

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 Kidand The Taming of the Crew.  He has also co-authored Strategies for Successful Classroom Management, Power Struggles2nd Edition, and the bestseller Discipline With Dignity 3rd Edition: New Challenges, New Solutions.

2019 Atlanta

Dr. Christopher Emdin

Bestselling Author, Creator #HipHopEd

Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor of Science Education and Director of Science Education in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He also serves as Associate Director of the Institute For Urban and Minority Education at the college.

Dr. Emdin holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology, a M.S. in Natural Sciences, and Bachelor’s degrees in Physical Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry.

He was recently awarded the 2016 Early Career Award by the American Educational Researchers Association and 2015 Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators.

Professor Emdin was also selected as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House, and currently serves as Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the United States Department of Energy.

Dr. Emdin is also listed on the ROOT100 list of most influential African Americans in the fields of business, science, politics, technology, social justice, sports and entertainment.

He is founder of the #HipHopEd movement, and the author of the award winning book, 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.

Brian Mendler

Co-Author Discipline with Dignity, Expert on Working With Disruptive Students

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 Kidand The Taming of the Crew.  He has also co-authored Strategies for Successful Classroom Management, Power Struggles2nd Edition, and the bestseller Discipline With Dignity 3rd Edition: New Challenges, New Solutions.

2019 Las Vegas

Dr. Stuart Ablon

Harvard Professor, Author The School Discipline Fix, Founder Think:Kids

J. Stuart Ablon, Ph.D., is the Director of Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Associate Professor and the Thomas G. Stemberg Endowed Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ablon is author of the books Changeable: The Surprising Science Behind Helping Anyone ChangeTreating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach, and The School Discipline Fix.

Dr. Ablon received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed his training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. , Dr. Ablon was ranked #5 on the list of the world’s top rated keynote speakers in the academic arena. Dr. Ablon trains parents, educators, and clinicians, and helps organizations throughout the world implement the Collaborative Problem Solving approach.

Baruti Kafele

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.

Larry Thompson, M.Ed.

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.

David Rendall, D.M.

International Speaker, Author, Neurodiversity Thought Leader

During the last fifteen years, David Rendall has spoken to audiences on every inhabited continent. His clients include the US Air Force and the Australian Government, as well as companies in the Fortune 500 including, AT&T, State Farm Insurance and Ralph Lauren.

Prior to becoming a speaker, he was a management professor, stand-up comedian and endurance athlete. He also managed nonprofit enterprises that provided employment for people with disabilities. He has more than twenty years of experience leading people and organizations.

David has a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership, as well as a graduate degree in psychology. He is the author of four books:

    • The Four Factors of Effective Leadership
    • The Freak Factor
    • The Freak Factor for Kids
    • Pink Goldfish

 

School Discipline Conference

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