School Climate & Culture Forum San Antonio Speakers

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Ron Clark: "American's Educator," NYT Bestselling Author of Move Your Bus, Disney's American Teacher of the Year

Known to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television and was dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man." Early in his career, Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation. After watching a television piece chronicling low test scores and the lack of teachers in inner-city New York, Ron packed his car and moved to Harlem. Ron prepared himself by visiting the home of each student before the first day of school. He involved his students in projects in the city and state, and his "low achievers" soon began to excel; by the end of the year, their scores were higher than the "gifted" classes in his district. In 2003, Ron Clark released the New York Times Bestseller, The Essential 55, which includes his 55 expectations of students – as well as all individuals – young and old. Obviously, Ron Clark did not stop there. In 2006, Ron Clark founded The Ron Clark Academy, an inner-city school serving students from across metro Atlanta. The privately funded institution is unique for its innovative teaching methods and curriculum based on worldwide travel. Each year the students apply their in-class lessons to international adventures. By the time of graduation, each child will have visited six of the seven continents. Almost 50,000 educators, teachers and administrators from around the world have visited the Academy to observe the innovative and "outside-the-box" methods for achieving student success. In 2011, Ron Clark released The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers. This New York Times Bestseller brought to light 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America's schools and leading children to greatness. In his most recent release, Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life.

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Larry Thompson: Supportive Discipline Innovator, Creator of Responsibility-Centered Discipline

A recognized thought leader on supportive and non-exclusionary discipline practices, 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. He is the author of Give 'em Five (Elementary & Secondary) and Roadmap to Responsibility.

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Dr. Salome Thomas-EL: Internationally Recognized Speaker, Award-Winning Teacher, Principal & Chess Coach

Salome Thomas-EL, Ed.D. is an award-winning teacher and principal, and internationally recognized speaker and educator. Principal EL believes that resilient leaders make courageous decisions, take risks and challenge the status quo. He says transformational leaders shift mindsets and inspire others to effect change. Principal EL shares how to change school culture and foster positive school climate so teachers and leaders can focus on the protective processes that build resilience in students. Principal EL is currently a K-8 school leader in Delaware and speaks to groups around the world. He has addressed more than 100,000 educators, students and parents in North America, Nigeria, Trinidad, England, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands. and frequently appears on The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, and NPR radio. He was honored as an “Inspiring American Icon” by Reader’s Digest. Principal EL is the author of four books including the best-sellers I Choose to Stay and The Immortality of Influence.

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Dr. Luis Cruz: Award-Winning Administrator, Author, Advocate for English Language Learners

Luis F. Cruz, PhD, is an advocate for helping English Language Learners succeed in school and in life. A former principal of Baldwin Park High School near Los Angeles, he has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels, earning both Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year awards. He and the leadership team at Baldwin Park received California's prestigious Golden Bell Award for significantly closing the achievement gap between the general student population and students learning English as a second language. As a recipient of the Hispanic Border Leadership Institute's fellowship for doctoral studies, he earned a doctorate in institutional leadership and policy studies from the University of California Riverside. Dr. Cruz is co-author of Time for Change: 4 Essential Skills for Transformational School and District Leaders.

School Climate & Culture Forum Orlando Speakers

coloroso

Ron Clark: "American's Educator," NYT Bestselling Author of Move Your Bus, Disney's American Teacher of the Year

Barbara Coloroso is a New York Times bestselling author and an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on social-emotional learning, teaching, discipline, school climate, bullying, nonviolent conflict resolution, restorative justice and parenting. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national and international publications. Her uniquely effective teaching and parenting strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader and mother of three grown children. She is the author of four international bestsellers: kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline; Parenting Through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change; The Bully, the Bullied and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander: Breaking The Cycle of Violence and Creating More Deeply Caring Communities; and Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right: From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically.

mejia

Ernesto Mejia

Ernesto Mejia, the proud son of Mexican immigrants, is a true example of the American dream. Diagnosed with the rare disease of Guillain-Barré Syndrome at the Eage of 16 that left him temporarily paralyzed, he was not supposed to be a successful student, much less a College Dean of Students. Through his hardships, Ernesto learned to never give up on life, he now speaks to students, parents and teachers about overcoming obstacles and never giving up on the American dream: education.

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Larry Thompson

A recognized thought leader on supportive and non-exclusionary discipline practices, 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. He is the author of Give 'em Five (Elementary & Secondary) and Roadmap to Responsibility.

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