MEET OUR SPEAKERS

Please continue to check this page as we are currently organizing the 2018 School Climate & Culture Forum. If you would like more information on becoming a speaker at any of our conferences please email us at pd@accutrain.com.

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

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Dr. Spencer Kagan (Orlando)

Cooperative Learning, Multiple Intelligences & Classroom Discipline Pioneer

Dr. Spencer Kagan is an internationally acclaimed researcher, presenter and author of over 100 books, chapters, and scientific journal articles. He is a former clinical psychologist and full-time professor of psychology and education at the University of California. He is the principal author of the single most comprehensive book for educators in each of four fields: cooperative learning, multiple intelligences, classroom discipline, and classroom energizers. His instructional strategies are used in teacher training institutes in many countries. Dr. Kagan provides workshops and keynotes in over thirty countries and his books are translated into many languages. Dr. Kagan developed the concept of structures; his popular brain-based, cooperative learning and multiple intelligences structures like Numbered Heads Together and Timed Pair Share are used in classrooms worldwide. Dr. Kagan has been featured in the leading educational magazines including Educational Leadership, Instructor, Learning Magazine, and Video Journal. He is in high demand as a keynote speaker at national and international conferences.

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Merlyna Valentine (Las Vegas)

Transformational Leadership Principal, National Speaker & Consultant

Merlyna Mathieu Valentine is a national speaker, consultant, trainer, and owner of Merlyna Valentine Consulting, LLC. As a well-respected educator for over thirty years, Ms. Valentine served as a teacher, principal, and executive director in a highly successful school district. Her transformational leadership as a school principal resulted in her school being recognized as a “Top Gains” school.  She has been recognized with numerous awards and commendations such as teacher of the year, principal of the year, University of New Orleans Alumnus of the Year, and the NABSE Ida B. Wells Risk Taker Award to name a few.

Ms. Valentine was chosen as a "Quiet Hero" by a local news station and was featured in a special segment. She was also chosen as a "True Saint" by the Sean Payton Show. Ms. Valentine has been featured in several articles in the Times Picayune and Ebony Magazine. Dr. Harry K. Wong showcased her school and leadership in an article on his teachers.net website. In honor of her story of survival, courage, and hope, Ms. Valentine’s story was featured on the Today Show.

Against overwhelming odds, Ms. Valentine overcame a medical tragedy and thrives in her new life. She has learned some valuable lessons since 2007, when her life as she knew it was forever changed and she experienced the closest call to death imaginable. Instead of focusing on what happened and what’s missing from her new life as a quad amputee, she chooses to embrace this new path with a positive attitude. She accepts no excuses and models this in her daily life. She is living proof that ordinary people do extraordinary things every day. Ms. Valentine has transformed adversity into success and disabilities into possibilities. Her passion for education and living life to the fullest captivates audiences and inspires them to be the difference in the lives of students.

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Dr. Peter DeWitt (Las Vegas)

Best-selling Author

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D is a former K-5 teacher (11 years) and principal (8 years). He runs workshops and provides keynotes nationally and internationally focusing on collaborative leadership, fostering inclusive school climates, and student engagement.

Besides focusing on collaborative leadership, Peter is a Visible Learning Trainer for John Hattie, and an Instructional Coaching trainer for Jim Knight. He is the Series Editor for the Connected Educator Series (Corwin Press) and the Impact Series (Corwin Press).

His Finding Common Ground blog is published by Education Week and he is a freelance writer for Vanguard Magazine (SAANYS). He is the 2013 School Administrators Association of New York State's (SAANYS) Outstanding Educator of the Year, and the 2015 Education Blogger of the Year(Academy of Education Arts & Sciences).

Peter is the author of several books, they include: Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students (Corwin Press. 2012), School Climate Change (ASCD, co-authored with Sean Slade. 2014), Flipping Leadership Doesn't Mean Reinventing the Wheel (Corwin Press. 2014), Collaborative Leadership: 6 Influences That Matter Most (Corwin Press/Learning Forward, 2016), School Climate: Leading With Collective Teacher Efficacy (Corwin Press/ Ontario Principals Council. 2017).


His articles have appeared in education journals at the state, national and international level. He has written for Principal Magazine, Education Week, Educational Leadership, The Huffington Post, PBS, ASCD Whole Child, Connected Principals, Smartblogs and ASCD Express.  

Peter has presented at forums, conferences, and panel discussions at state and national conferences. Some of the highlights has been to present for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), ICLE's Model Schools, and NBC's Education Nation.

Peter has worked with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Education Association (NEA), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of School Psychologists, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), l’Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO), the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO), and the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC), National School Climate Center, GLSEN, PBS, NBC, NPR, BAM Radio Network and ABCnews.com

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Dr. Ned Hallowell (Las Vegas)

International Speaker, ADHD Expert

Dr. Hallowell is a highly recognized International speaker. He has presented to thousands on topics such as ADHDstrategies on handling your fast-pace life, the Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, how to help your employees Shine, ADHD and Relationships and other pertinent family and health issues. He has been prominently featured in the media, including 20/20, Oprah, Dr. Oz, CNN, PBS and NPR as well as 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Dateline, Good Morning America, US News and World Report, Newsweek, the Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, New York Times and other popular publications.

From corporate audiences to parent-teacher workshops and national television shows, people who listen to Dr. Hallowell come away stimulated, inspired and empowered to change their lives. He is a charismatic speaker, combining the knowledge of a Harvard instructor with his incredible understanding of ADHD, human nature and the struggles we face in this crazy/busy world.

Dr. Hallowell is considered to be one of the foremost experts on the topic of ADHD. He is the co-author, with Dr. John Ratey, of Driven to Distraction, and Answers to Distraction, which have sold more than a million copies. In 2005, Drs. Hallowell and Ratey released their much-awaited third book on ADHD, Delivered from Distraction. “Delivered” provides updated information on the treatment of ADHD and more on adult ADHD.

Robert Jackson (Orlando)

Author, Cultural Awareness & Male Engagement Expert

Robert Jackson, author of The No More Excuses Curriculum featuring the following books, No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!, No More Excuses: The WorkbookNo More Excuses: Solutions to Educating Black and Latino Males, and No More Excuses: Put a Stop to Bullying, is a national speaker, consultant, trainer, and owner of Lavelle Publishing and Nova Concepts Speakers. Robert received his BS, Industrial Technology degree from Western Kentucky University where he lettered four years in both football and track. After being cut from the NFL Minnesota Vikings during training camp, Robert has remained deeply rooted in his commitment to serve his community as a mentor and leader especially on issues facing African American Students. He mentors young men and presents workshops, seminars and speeches nationwide to youth and adults. As a consultant and speaker, Robert works to reverse the drop out rates of black and latino males and to create positive change in school systems across the country and abroad to bridge the gap between parents, teachers, administrators and students. He has been invited to do just that in Nova Scotia Halifax, Canada and at Harvard University Graduate School.

He has also spoken at the National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC), Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE), The National School Board Association (NSBA), The Black and Brown Conference at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, Urban Education Conference at Central State University, The Indiana University Men and Women of Color Conference, Norfolk State University Men of Valor, Broward College, The Southern Black Student Leadership Conference (SBSLC), The National Alliance of Black School Educators National Conference (NASBE), Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) Regional and National Conferences and The 100 Year Centennial Celebration of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. to name a few. Robert was awarded the Key to the City in Miami, Florida by the Mayor after his keynote address at the 5000 Role Models Scholarship Program where 45 black and latino males received both a full scholarship to any school in Florida and laptops. Mr. Jackson has also been a national speaker at the 100 Black Men of America National Conference.

Principal Baruti Kafele (Orlando)

Urban School Turnaround Specialist

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. David Rendall (Orlando)

International Speaker

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 three books: The Four Factors of Effective Leadership, The Freak Factor, The Freak Factor for Kids

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