Meet our speakers
Award-winning principal, internationally-renowned education speaker and best-selling author
Award-winning principal, internationally-renowned education speaker and best-selling author, Principal Kafele is on fire! He’s on a personal mission to close the ATTITUDE GAP, the world over.
A highly-regarded urban public school educator in New Jersey for over twenty years, Principal Kafele distinguished himself in the classroom and as a school leader. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education, and U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America’s best high schools. Currently, Principal Kafele is one of the most sought-after education speakers for transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations in America. His newest book is titled, Closing the Attitude Gap: How to Fire Up Your Students to Strive for Success.
Dr. Randy Sprick
Safe & Civil Schools
Randy Sprick is an educational consultant and trainer in Eugene, Oregon. Each year, he presents practical and entertaining workshops to over 30,000 teachers and administrators throughout the United States and Canada.
Much of his work involves helping teachers, principals, and other staff set up schools and classrooms that encourage student responsibility and motivation, while humanely and effectively helping misbehaving students learn to behave in more responsible ways.
As the primary author for the Safe & Civil Schools series, Randy has produced numerous articles, books, and multimedia programs that assist school personnel in dealing with the issues of discipline and classroom management. His most recent publications include Teacher's Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (2012) and Coaching Classroom Management, 2nd ed. (2010).
He is a past president of the Association for Direct Instruction (ADI) and was inducted into the Association's Hall of Fame. In 2007, the Council for Exceptional Children honored Randy with the J.E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work developing, advocating, and proliferating Positive Behavior Support in schools.
Randy is the director of Teaching Strategies, Inc. and the lead consultant for Safe & Civil Schools.
Larry Thompson, M.Ed.
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.
Dr. Michael Gurian
Best-selling Author of 28 Books
Michael Gurian is a marriage and family counselor in private practice and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty eight books published in twenty two languages. As a social philosopher, he has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs, and trains professionals.
Dr. Gurian travels extensively to provide keynotes and consulting. He has spoken for the United Nations on violence against women; provided information on boys’ and girls’ educational needs to the White House; and briefed Members of the 114th Congress on the boy crisis in America. A number of Dr. Gurian’s books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Boys, The Wonder of Girls, Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, and Leadership and the Sexes.
Founder of Girls on the Run International
Molly Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run International, the program that uses running to empower girls. A four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, Molly used her background in social work, counseling and teaching to develop the program. Since Barket founded it in 1996, it has served a million girls and earned her numerous accolades, including the Daily Point of Light Award, given by President Obama and Former President Bush in a ceremony at the White House.
After retiring from the organization in 2013. she was asked to join the Bipartisan Policy Center's Commission on Political Reform, a Washington group seeking ways to bridge the political divide in Congress. By the time its 29 members of the commission made recommendations, however, Barker had decided the real problem was bigger than Congress. It was all of us.
That was when she began formulating an idea for the Red Boot Coalition, a new organization whose name was inspired by the gift of a pair of red boots from her daughter Helen.
In August 2014, Molly put those conversation-starting red boots to task and set out to get to the root of what was causing these polarizing conversations. From Charlotte to Las Vegas she listened to hundreds share their fears, concerns and hopes.
"Ultimately, leadership comes down to one very simple question," she wrote in telling of her cross-country journey. "Am I willing to make the effort to see, to listen, to look for the humanness that rests within each person I encounter?"
Molly is the mother to two children: James, a fashion designer in New York and Helen, a bass player in Charlotte. When asked recently what her mom does for a living, Helen responded, "My mom listens and love people for her living."
Prevention Specialist, Threat Assessment Expert, International Speaker
Rick Shaw is the Founder, CEO and CDO of Awareity Inc. – a developer of innovative, web-based and award-winning prevention platform for students, employees and communities. He has more than 20 years of experience performing numerous types of assessments (threat, compliance, physical, information security, social media and others), with a focus on prevention processes across multiple industries and types of threats. Rick's experiences – combined with extensive research using post-event reports, lawsuits and surveys – has helped expose the most dangerous disconnects and potential liabilities facing schools (including new threats related to social media).
In addition to working with organizational leaders, Rick has been called upon to speak at numerous conferences in the United States, Canada, South Korea and Japan for his expertise in safety (student, employee, third-party, community, etc.) and prevention. He utilizes evidence-based data from hundreds of post-event reports and extensive research to expose each point where proper preventive tactics were possible in most incidents and tragedies.
Rick's passion is student and child safety, and he leads an extensive research effort at Awareity to help educational leaders understand the need for comprehensive and proven prevention solutions to improve student safety and to prevent escalating consequences related to sexual abuse, bullying, cyberbullying, campus violence, suicide, human trafficking, homegrown terrorism and alcohol/drug abuse.
International 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 Kid and The Taming of the Crew. He has also co-authored Strategies for Successful Classroom Management, Power Struggles 2nd Edition, and the bestseller Discipline With Dignity 3rd Edition: New Challenges, New Solutions.
Mike Paget, M.Ed.
Mike currently works as a state consultant for students with severe emotional and behavioral problems. He has worked with ODD, CD and other special needs students for more than 25 years. Mike is an innovator of effective approaches for working with extremely challenging students. He has conducted seminars across the U.S. and Canada for educators on creative techniques for managing classroom behavior, student aggression and crisis intervention. He is co-author of the books, Aggressive and Violent Students and Defying the Defiance. His newest book is High on the Spectrum: Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism & Related Personalities.