Focus On…Speakers


Expand your perspective through the experiences and lessons of renowned educational thought leaders.

Saturday, April 5

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

The Leader of the Future

1-GovernanceWhat is required to be a highly effective leader in 2014? Does it require respect, vision, honesty, communication, teamwork, integrity, and ethics? Yes and more! This will focus on the characteristics, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that are demanded by top talent of leaders they willingly follow.

Presenter: John Spence, Author of Awesomely SimpleEssential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas Into Action 

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Focus on…Educational Inequity 

1-GovernanceCharles Best, founder of education crowdfunding platform, explains why teachers at half of all the public schools in America have created projects on this nonprofit website. He’ll also share “big data” insights about which resources teachers most need, and recount how his mother’s pear dessert sparked a movement that has channeled $180 million in giving to public school classrooms.

Presenter: Charles Best, Founder and CEO,

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

The New Normal: Dealing Effectively with Change

1-GovernanceAnytime there is economic or organizational turmoil and you are faced with significant change, it is absolutely critical to help people understand how to effectively embrace change and move forward proactively towards the “new normal.” Learn about the emotional cycle that people move through as they struggle with change and learn specifically what must be done to create an organization that can deal successfully with change.

Presenter: John Spence, Author of Awesomely SimpleEssential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

They Snooze, You Lose: 10 Shots to Caffeinate Your Presentations

1-Focus-on-YouHave you fallen into the PowerPoint trap, reading bullet points to a dozing audience? In this engaging multimedia session, discover quick-and-easy fixes for the presentation you’re giving tomorrow. Get fun, replicable tips on involving your audience (such as using popcorn to boost retention 10–50%) and links to awesome free resources! Plus, enter to win fabulous prizes, including an LCD projector!

Presenter: Lynell Burmark, Associate, Thornburg Center

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Focus on…School Board and Superintendent Relations


Focus on Education Lecture
Saturday, April 5, 3:45PM – 5:00PM

A lively conversation about how two national organizations work together towards the accomplishment of common goals. Join Tomas Gentzel, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and Amy Sichel, President of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and Superintendent Abington School District in Pennsylvania for discussion and bring your questions!

Presenters: Thomas Gentzel, National School Boards Association; Amy Sichel, President, American Association of School Administrators

Sunday, April 6

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Reaching Common Ground with Difficult People: Strategies for Making High Stakes Leadership Team Decisions 

1-Focus-on-YouParticipants will acquire new skills for dealing with challenging board member, administrator, and citizen behaviors. This workshop will give school leaders insight into WHY people react the way they do, and will provide tools for dealing with difficult interpersonal dynamics. Exciting facts on the latest brain research will help individuals understand what occurs within the body during the stress of decision making. Attendees will acquire deeper insight about the needs and desires of other leadership team members through a simple communication and decision-making survey process.

Presenter: Winton I. Goodrich, Goodrich Consulting and Facilitation Co.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Focus on…Teaching Kids to Succeed: Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8

1-GovernanceDo you ever hear “Just how am I supposed to motivate kids?” The real question is how do we get them to motivate themselves? Learn surprising new findings about fundamental ways we can change teaching practices to help kids become self-motivated. Come prepared to have your thinking challenged and to receive a multitude of strategies that help learners develop internal motivation and resiliency.

Presenter: Dr. Debbie Silver, Speaker, Humorist, Author of Fall Down 7 Times,
Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed

Smart Phones…Smarter Business

1-Focus-on-YouHave you unlocked all of the killer tools from your smart phone? Are you really using your iPad (or other tablet) to help enhance your productivity? Jim Spellos is a certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and President of Meeting U, a company specializing in teaching technology applications. This interactive session will provide ideas for learning what these smart devices can do for all your business needs and help you maximize their use and your productivity. Attendees are encouraged to bring their devices and share best practices with their favorite mobile tools and apps.

Presenter: Jim Spellos, President, Meeting U

3:30 PM– 5:00 PM

Reaching Common Ground with Difficult People: Strategies for Making High Stakes Leadership Team Decisions 

1-Focus-on-YouA repeat of the morning session from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM.

Presenter: Winton I. Goodrich, Goodrich Consulting and Facilitation Co.

Monday, April 7

9:30 AM – 10:45 PM

Social Tsunami: How to Drink from the Information Fire Hose Using a Straw

1-Focus-on-YouAre you overwhelmed with information? Can’t keep up with the tidal wave that comes from different tech resources? Take control of the Social Tsunami by learning about content curation. Curation makes you a content publisher, and provides the tools to manage the information flow that comes into your computer, tablet, or smart phone. These tools are the critical time savers and information managers every business person needs.

Presenter: Jim Spellos, President, Meeting U

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Google-licious: How to Find Anything on the Internet

1-Focus-on-YouBack by popular demand, Jim Spellos will present his Google-licious session that has been so overwhelmingly popular since being introduced in 2009. This session is for everyone, from Google novices to pros interested in learning how to use various search tools to find what you need, when you need it.

Presenter: Jim Spellos, President, Meeting U

Empower Yourself!

Three Days of Essential Presentations and Experiences to Energize You and Your District. Align your conference sessions with the content that fosters growth and supports you, your staff, and your students.

Learn more