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Dr. John Almarode

Teacher Educator, Author, Expert on the Science of Learning

John Almarode has worked with schools, classrooms and teachers all over the world. He has presented locally, nationally and internationally on the application of the science of learning and has worked with hundreds of school districts and thousands of teachers. Dr. Almarode is an Associate Professor at James Madison and Director of the Content Teaching Academy. In 2015, John was awarded the inaugural Sarah Mill Luck Endowed Professorship. He continues to work with pre‑service teachers and actively pursues his research interests including the science of learning, the design and measurement of classroom environments that promote student engagement and learning. The work of John and his colleagues has been presented to the U.S. Congress, the Virginia Senate, the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.Dr. Almarode began his career teaching mathematics and science to a wide range of students. He has authored or co-authored nine books including Captivate, Activate and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, From Snorkelers to Scuba Dives, Visible Learning for Science, Clarity for Learning, Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom and Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom. He is also the past co-editor of the Teacher Educator’s Journal. Most recently, John and his colleagues have developed a new framework for developing, implementing and sustaining professional learning communities: PLC+. The PLC+ framework builds capacity within teacher-led teams to maximize student learning.

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Dr. Christopher Emdin

Professor of Science Education, Author of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood

Dr. Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of the Science Education Program and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and has served as STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Dr. Emdin is a social critic, public intellectual and science advocate whose commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and a much sought-after public speaker on a number of topics that include hip-hop education, STEM education, politics, race, class, diversity and youth empowerment. He is also an advisor to numerous international organizations, school districts and schools. He is the author of 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.

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Dr. Michael Gurian

Bestselling Author of 32 books including Boys & Girls Learn Differently

Michael Gurian is a marriage and family counselor in private practice and the New York Times bestselling author of thirty two 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. 

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Dr. Marquita Blades

Award-Winning STEM Educator & Teacher Support Specialist

Marquita S. Blades, Ed.D. is an award-winning educator, international speaker and author. As a high school science teacher, she led nationally recognized STEM programs for high-achieving students. Through her consulting practice, Dr. Blades offers prescriptive solutions to learning institutions and individuals through professional development programs, curriculum & assessment writing, conference planning & programming, and individual teacher coaching in the areas of STEM instruction and teacher burnout. Dr. Blades created The Mediocre Teacher Project, which helps teachers avoid or overcome burnout by helping them incorporate their unique talents into their daily practice. In 2017, Dr. Blades launched The Dr. Marquita Blades Show: Candid Conversations that Create Change, an internet-based broadcast dedicated to discussing current trends and issues in education. Dr. Blades is and the author of POWARRful Teaching Strategies for Increasing Engagement & Collaboration While Maintaining Rigor in Science Courses and a contributing author for The Whole Truth Anthology, She earned her doctorate with a focus on instructional leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

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Robert Jackson

Award-Winning Author, Publisher, International Speaker

Robert Jackson is the author of The No More Excuses Curriculum featuring No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!, No More Excuses: The Workbook, No More Excuses: Solutions to Educating Black and Latino Males, and No More Excuses: Put a Stop to Bullying. A national speaker and consultant, Robert Works to reverse the dropout 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. Robert was awarded the Key to the City in Miami by the Mayor after his keynote address at the 5000 Role Models Scholarship Program were 45 black and Latino males received both a laptop computer and a full scholarship to any Florida university.

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Julia Cook

Bestselling Children's Author

Julia is nationally recognized as an award-winning children’s book author and parenting expert, and her books have been referenced in such publications as Parent’s Magazine, The New Yorker, Green Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo.com, DrLaura.com and BabyZone.com. She has also been featured on CNN’s HLN News and several large metropolitan networks.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Julia became actively involved in teaching children how to ski, an experience that led to a love of teaching in general. Julia now lives in Fremont, Nebraska. Her Master’s degree is in Elementary School Counseling. While serving as a guidance counselor, Julia often used children’s books to enhance her classroom lessons.
She has presented in thousands of schools across the country and abroad, regularly speaks at national education and counseling conferences. She has published nearly 100 children’s books on a wide range of characters and social development topics. Her books showcase her innate ability to enter the worldview of a child through storybooks, giving children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”
The goal behind Cook’s work is to actively involve young people in fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home.
In her spare time, Julia enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and puppies.

Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference

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Dr. Christopher Emdin

Professor of Science Education, Author of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood

Dr. Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of the Science Education Program and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. He is an alumni fellow at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University and has served as STEAM Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy. He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education with a concentration in Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Dr. Emdin is a social critic, public intellectual and science advocate whose commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement, and a much sought-after public speaker on a number of topics that include hip-hop education, STEM education, politics, race, class, diversity and youth empowerment. He is also an advisor to numerous international organizations, school districts and schools. He is the author of 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.

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Dr. Ruby Payne

Author of A Framework for 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, she 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. Dr. Payne founded aha! Process to offer a broad range of training solutions to K-12 schools, higher education and communities with a focus on creating sustainable success. Her career-long goal of 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 her experience in public schools as a high school department head, principal and director of staff development. Sequels to her original Framework book include Research-Based Strategies and School Improvement: 9 Systemic Processes to Raise Achievement, coauthored with Donna Magee. She also co-authored Bridges Out of Poverty with Philip E. DeVol and Terie Dreussi-Smith. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Loyola University in Chicago.

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Aaron Wiemeier, MS, LPC

Author, Counselor & Trauma Specialist

Aaron J. Wiemeier is a licensed professional counselor with 20 years of experience in the mental health field and is a nationally recognized author, trainer and educator. He is an expert in the neurophysiology of trauma, attachment & adoption and has worked successfully with the most difficult of clients and with the most chaotic anxd conflictual systems. His pioneering work and program development has led to highly successful outcomes that increase permanency in least restrictive settings and ultimately reduce fiscal spending particularly in the mental health, educational and legal systems. In 2011, Aaron published a workbook titled, My Feelings Workbook, which teaches affect regulation, awareness and skill development on a nonverbal body level to children. The book was subsequently endorsed by well-established professionals in the trauma, attachment and Autism community. Aaron is also the Dean of Students at Littleton Preparatory Charter School in Littleton, CO, where he is pioneering the development of curriculum and programming that integrates education with the ever increasing mental health needs that plague public schools in the United States. Most recently, he co-authored School-Based Interventions for the Traumatized Student, a culmination of a life’s work centered around creative ways to reach, work with and inspire hope in children who have experienced trauma.

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Steph Jensen, MS, LPC

International Speaker, Consultant, Author of Thrive in the Hive

Steph Jensen, MS, LPC is an award-winning author and international speaker recognized for her insight and understanding of relational aggression. She combines 15 years of practice in the fields of education and counseling with research, practical strategies and humor to address challenging behaviors and build positive relationships with kids. She has held positions as classroom teacher, education consultant and international speaker. She holds a master’s degree in clinical counseling, focusing her efforts on adolescent and family issues.
In recent years, Stephanie has applied her passion for adolescents to focus on the dynamics of relational aggression, social-emotional learning, and positive behavior interventions. She is the author of Thrive in the Hive: Surviving the Girl’s World of Good and Bad Relationship Bee-haviors, Mom’s Choice Award-winning Princess Priscilla and the Bully-Bee Day, Princess Priscilla and the Mood Ring Rainbow and her latest Princess Priscilla and the Great Beezilla!

Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference

Speakers for the 2020 Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference San Antonio will be announced soon!

Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference

Orlando
March 26-29, 2020
5 Conferences for the Price of 1!

School Climate & Culture Forum

Boy Brains & Engagement Conference

School Discipline Conference

Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference

Counseling Strategies & Resources Conference
March 26-29
Las Vegas
July 6-10, 2020
6 Conferences for the Price of 1!

School Climate & Culture Forum

School Discipline Conference

Innovative Teaching Strategies Conference

Wired Differently Conference

Boy Brains & Engagement Conference

NextGen School Safety Conference
July 6-10
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