Breakout Room: Lakeshore 3
Learn to identify several types of youth homelessness, better understand related learning challenges, and become aware of how wrap-around services can benefit your school community and youth experiencing homelessness. Discuss factors contributing to youth homelessness, the experiences to which they are vulnerable, and resources on providing timely intervention.
Roberto Reyes, Minnesota Department of Education State Homeless Coordinator McKinney-Vento has extensive experience working with vulnerable/homeless children for non-profit, county and state organizations including Ramsey County, New York City Department of Education and now MDE.
Beth Loechler, MDE Education Specialist, has a background in public administration with a career in strategic development focused on inter-agency collaboration and wrap-around services in both rural and urban Minnesota communities. She currently manages ARP funding for Minnesota districts who serve youth currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Sonia Wadena is the Indian Education Coordinator at Bemidji Area Schools, where she provides for the unique cultural and educational needs of American Indian students to help them successfully complete high school and encourage and prepare students to seek post-secondary training and education.
Breakout Room: Lakeshore 2
The Bemidji Career Academies build student learning opportunities with business and industry partners and prepare students to succeed as the next generation of employees and community leaders. With 15 academies and 22 career pathways offered, students can earn an academy medallion to wear at graduation. First, however, they must complete relevant high school courses and a quality real-world experience with paid internships and community mentorship. The program has 600 students registered! Learn more about the current program and the process to get a program started in Greater Minnesota high schools.
Dr. Jason Stanoch is currently serving as the Bemidji High School Principal and the Bemidji Career Academies Executive Director. He is in his seventh year of service within ISD #31. Prior to coming to the Bemidji District, he served as an administrator at Red Lake High School for four years. He received his BA in education from Bemidji State University before moving to Missouri to be a teacher and principal for ten years. While there, he completed a MA in School Administration at William Woods University and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri. He has focused his energy on building high-level educational programs that fit the needs of the diverse spectrum of students, ranging from College in the High School to Career and Tech Education.
Jenny Fraley is a licensed school counselor at Bemidji High School for the 9th grade and Bemidji Career Academies. Prior to the career academy she was a school counselor at Bagley High School implementing career exploration curriculum for students grades 7-12. Jenny is passionate about her local community and connecting students to hands on experiences, especially within Greater Minnesota.
Breakout Room: Lakeshore 1
The social and emotional needs of students and staff are a top priority, and school leaders are seeking solutions that create immediate impact, and at the same time, are sustainable. This session will identity 10 proven components of social and emotional learning and provide a process for implementing SEL in your building. Reflect on and assess existing elements and create a plan of practical steps for moving forward.
Eileen Weber is a District Strategy Partner at Sourcewell, where she partners with school district leadership teams to support their continuous improvement efforts. Before joining Sourcewell, Eileen was a teacher, school administrator, regional teaching and learning coordinator, and statewide Principal Leadership Specialist with Minnesota’s Regional Centers of Excellence.
Lisa Worden is an education consultant at Sourcewell, where much of her work centers around social and emotional learning, trauma informed care, and mental health and wellness. She is a SEED facilitator and certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer. Lisa’s background includes classroom teacher (grades 3-6), gifted education, and post-secondary instruction.
Breakout Room: Lakeshore 4
Career and Technical Education has been gaining popularity recently and understanding the impact of CTE participation on students' educational and labor market outcomes 5 to 7 years after high school is crucial to inform students, teachers, and educational administrators of best practices and areas of improvement. This session will combine data-driven evidence and firsthand story-telling of what worked best for students who participated in high school CTE in Greater Minnesota. High school CTE programs in Minnesota have been effective at boosting job security and wages among males without postsecondary credentials, especially those enrolled in skilled trades-related CTE. However, this is not always the case for female students. This evidence can help inform decisions on CTE course programming and delivery methods, identify areas of alignment and misalignment between CTE courses and local industry needs, and raise awareness of differences in what works for female versus male students. Whether you are curious, excited or apprehensive about changing educational priorities this session is for you!
Alessia Leibert, Research Project Manager, has been with DEED’s Labor Market Information office for 15 years. Besides leading the Hiring Difficulties surveys (aka Skills Gaps Surveys), she has developed popular online tools such as Graduate Employment Outcomes and Occupations in Demand and writes regularly for Trends magazine. Alessia is also an expert in the analysis of secondary and postsecondary students’ data to measure the effect of credential attainment and major on employment and earnings. She has a Bachelor's degree in economic history from the University of Rome, Italy, and a Master's in public affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.
Luke Greiner is the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s regional analyst for Central and Southwestern Minnesota. Luke conducts research, writes publications, and provides presentations about Greater Minnesota's economy, job market, industry trends, career and educational decision making, and higher education outcomes. He has a bachelor's degree in management from Park University in Parkville, MO and currently serves on the National ACT Steering Committee and Minnesota State ACT Council representing workforce.
Tyler Gehrking is the Facilitator of the Kandiyohi County CEO class and Founder of TEN17 Media. Prior to his current roles he served as the Technology Integrationist and Economics teacher at Willmar High School. Tyler graduated from Willmar High School in 2002, Concordia College in 2006 and Minnesota State University in 2008. Tyler is the ugliest person in his family behind his wife Angie, and his three children Myles (10), Livia (8), and McCoy (5) but he's cool with it. He loves his family, golf, watching sports and telling stories.
Breakout Room: Paul Bunyan 1
Wouldn’t it be nice if we sent our students into the world with problem solving tools? Learn about a six-step process that teaches creative and critical thinking tools that can be applied to ANY challenge, big or small. This process teaches kids HOW to think, not what to think. Learning critical and creative thinking skills, students will have the tools needed to create their own positive futures in a global society -- a future of hope by the choices they make instead of the consequences of circumstances. Teams of 4-5 participants will explore how diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are critical elements for our students’ success. Participants will consider a scenario that is focused on DEIB; brainstorm Challenges; focus on the Underlying Problem while brainstorming Solutions; apply Criteria to the top Solution ideas; and lay the foundation for an Action Plan.
Cheryl Whitesitt is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP) and has been teaching critical and creative thinking skills to students and adults since 1985. She’s a certified evaluator at the State and International levels and serves on the International FPSP Governing Council. Having served 15 years on her local school board, the MREA Board, MREA Legislative Action Committee, and the Hiawatha Valley Education District, she is able to see the challenges facing both teachers and administration.
Breakout Room: Pioneer
Two-year college/career pathways are not just for “those types of students,” as students on “both ends of the building” enjoy meaningful and fulfilling careers in the trades. This presentation will feature no-nonsense discussion about stigmas surrounding 2-year college and career pathways including job market outlook, earning potential, scholarships, and real-life success stories. Attendees will also receive digital access to career exploration opportunities, college pathways, and scholarship resource libraries.
Judy Barka is the AgCentric - Northern Center of Agricultural Excellence Assistant Director. Before joining AgCentric she worked in a variety of non-profit services organizations. In these organizations she served as agency director, volunteer coordinator and fundraiser. Judy is a graduate of MARL – MN Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program. She has served as President of the MN FFA Alumni association and continue to be active in the organization.
Steven Hoemberg is Director of Outreach for MN State Transportation Center of Excellence. He has been with the TCOE for three years focusing on career education in schools and building connections with post-secondary and secondary students. He has a background in education having spent 16 years in the Staples-Motley school district.
Breakout Room: Paul Bunyan 3
The 11 Principles provide educators with a framework to build a character education program that will help transform the culture and climate of their schools so students feel safe, respected, and connected and thrive academically and socially. Learn how one nationally recognized PreK–12 school applied and benefitted from the framework and discover how to make that happen in your school.
Barb Bergseth is the coordinator of the Minnesota Schools of Character and Promising Practices Award program, administered by Synergy & Leadership Exchange, a nonprofit program connected with the South Central Service Cooperative in North Mankato.
Sadie Fischer is the Communications and Community Engagement Specialist at Community of Peace Academy, a PreK–Grade 12 charter school in St. Paul. Community of Peace Academy is a three-time National School of Character.
Breakout Room: Dutch
When a special education teacher and a general education teacher team together in the classroom, they multiply each other’s strengths while increasing student academic achievement. Join this session to explore successful strategies by a SPED teacher and a GenED teacher to dance smoothly together while co-teaching. Behind every Beauty (pros) and Beast (cons), are co-teachers who believe in working together to assist students to achieve more. Never judge co-teaching by its cover!
Dr. Wendy Schoolmeester, Ed.D., is in her 35th year as an educator. She began as an elementary teacher, moved to elementary principalship, then took a leap of faith switching to higher education. Wendy is in her 20th year as a Professor of Education at Southwest MN State University (SMSU) in Marshall where she shares her education passion with teacher candidates while mentoring them to become top-notch teachers. Wendy served as a school board member for 5 years and as the Chairperson her last 3 years. She is co-author of POWERFUL Teaching (2019 Kendall-Hunt Publishing) and other journal articles. Find her at educonnections.org, a blog she pens with her colleague.
Jamie Juhl, M.A., is Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Sioux Falls where she started in August of 2019, teaching and mentoring future teachers to better understand the exceptional children population. Leading up to her position at USF, Jamie was employed at Pipestone Area Schools for 8 years as 3rd grade teacher, Special Education teacher, and Special Education Assessment Coordinator. She also taught for 2 years at an Idaho charter school. She has been a mentor/coach for several Community Expert Special Education teachers and provides workshops on adapting lessons to meet the needs of Special Education students.
Breakout Room: Paul Bunyan 4
Over the past twenty years the trimester schedule has become very prominent, allowing for all the benefits of block scheduling without the built-in problems. They are a vehicle for the school improvement process and foster creativity and flexibility. With all the positives in the time structure, the real benefits are in the guidelines and policies that make the time structure work to its full advantage. Other major benefits are the curriculum alignment and the ability for students to take courses over in the same year. Learn how the policies and practices that surround the schedule help to provide cultural changes in the school.
Mark Westerburg, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Schools Superintendent of Schools is a new superintendent in MN and has been a superintendent previously in MT, CA, and MI. He is in his 40th year of education has presented in 25 states on the use of trimesters in secondary schools. He is passionate about helping others to do real school improvement regardless of the size, demographics, or type of school they represent.
Breakout Room: Paul Bunyan 2
With daily in-person operations in Minnesota schools now resumed, it is vital to review and refresh your knowledge on school safety protocols. With a focus on preparedness and planning, you'll get guidance on how to assess and manage risks of harm to your school community. This may include ideas on how to update safety protocols, improving on reporting and identification processes for threatening situation with a focus on prevention instead of just response, and best practices for a safe environment.
Jennifer Larrive is School Resource Officer Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. She has been with the MN School Safety Center since May of 2017 and brings a range of experience as a former law enforcement officer and a school resource officer. She served as a police officer for over 15 years, 10 of those as a school resource officer. She is passionate about her role with K-12 schools across the state to support their emergency planning efforts through best practices in emergency response, comprehensive facility assessments and multi-hazard mitigation.
Connie Forster joined the MN School Safety Center in June 2017 as the Facility Assessment Coordinator and conducts training, facility assessments, and crisis plan reviews to create and maintain safe school environments in partnership with schools and public safety officials. Connie is a retired Assistant Fire Chief and a former teacher. Her 20 years in the fire service focused primarily on community risk reduction, prevention program development, and fostering community partnerships for greater public impact. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Public Administration.