Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education


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MONDAY KEYNOTE AND SESSIONS

Keynote Session, 9:00 - 10:00 AM 

MS1: "School Violence and Youth Suicide: Lessons from the Front Lines" Featuring Dr. Scott Poland, Nova Southeastern University 

Presentation Description:  It is essential that that school personnel know the incidence of school violence and youth suicide and be up to date on the best safety and prevention practices in order to develop policies and procedures to create a safe and supportive school climate. This presentation will review numerous state and national initiatives that have focused on school safety and the recommendations from a variety of foundations started by parents who lost their children in tragic school shootings. Many school shooters died by suicide and this presentation will outline the major theory of murder suicide. The presenter has a wealth of practical experience responding to school shootings and youth suicide and participants will learn many lessons from school tragedies and practical strategies for prevention.
Dr. Scott Poland is a Professor at the College of Psychology and the Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. A licensed psychologist Dr. Poland is an internationally recognized expert on school safety, youth suicide, self-injury, bullying, school crisis prevention/intervention, threat assessment and parenting in challenging times. He has authored or co-authored five books and many chapters and articles on these subjects. He recently co-authored the Suicide Safer Schools Plan for the state of Texas and the Crisis Action School Toolkit-Suicide for the state of Montana. He previously directed psychological services for a large Texas school system for 24 years and is a past President of the National Association of School Psychologists and a past Prevention Division Director of American Association of Suicidology. He is very dedicated to prevention and has testified about the mental health needs of children before the U.S. Congress on four occasions. He is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team and has personally assisted school communities after many tragedies. 

Monday Morning's Keynote is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals


Breakout Session 3 (10:30 AM - 12:30 PM)

3A: Investigating Identity Perceptions and Strengths-Based Approaches in Working with Students of Color -  Deanna Burgess, Penn State University and David Bright, Penn State University (Standard 3)

Children begin developing their sense of self and how they are valued within greater society at early ages. The importance of fostering positive cultural and academic identities for elementary-school children has received greater attention in recent years. Despite this, there is an absence of educational and mental health interventions that integrate positive identity construction for minoritized children. This presentation will introduce strategies, which can be utilized by teachers, administrators, and school counselors to cultivate positive identity perceptions for minoritized children within school settings through a Social Cognitive Career Theory perspective.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Deanna Burgess is a second year doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Pennsylvania State University. Her research centers on the positive construction of cultural identity among primary and secondary students, and its function in mediating academic achievement. Prior to attending Penn State, Deanna worked for two years as school-based mental health counselor in Seattle, where she provided therapeutic and case management services to diverse youth and their families. Deanna also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counselor Education from Penn State University, and currently specializes in addressing multicultural issues within K-12 academic settings utilizing strengths-based approaches. In addition to coursework and research, Deanna has also co-taught graduate courses on cross-cultural awareness andis currently completing an internship where she works directly with the Director of Diversity and Inclusivity on addressing matters of equity and promoting multiculturalism within the State College Area School District
David Bright is a Doctoral Candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision at The Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include career development needs of rural low-income students. David currently serves as a career counseling graduate assistant at Penn State. He formerly served as PreK-8 School Counselor in rural Vermont.


3B: Daring to Lead Effective Teams: Braiding with PBIS - Susan Tarasevich and Marie Bozzelli (Standard 1 & 2)

This dynamic skill building workshop addresses two itching questions. The first, how do we facilitate effective teams that attend to both process and tasks? The second, what are ideas for braiding the SAP within the Multitiered System of Support? Come with questions, ideas and solutions, and have some fun too!
Presenter(s) Bio
Dr. Susan Tarasevich has a noteworthy track record of working for many years to empower positive change in diverse educational communities through effective teamwork, by establishing sound prevention frameworks and providing useful and energizing professional development and coaching. From prosperous to needy, from private to rural to urban in public, private and charter schools, Susan has honed her skills as an effective teacher, counselor and administrator, as a student assistant professional and as a compelling trainer and consultant. She currently works as a preventionist with Addiction Medicine Services of WPIC-UPMC, while maintaining a private consulting practice. Susan holds a Master of Education in School Counseling from Duquesne University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh.
Marie Bozelli serves as the Region IX Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services and liaison to the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Leadership Team. Working closely with both initiatives, Marie is often the go-to person for questions and solutions to SAP and PBIS integration from practitioners of each initiative. This unique position provides her with a unique viewpoint, grounded in fidelity to both processes. Marie holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.


3C: Engaging Youth Leaders in Prevention Planning with Developmental Assets, Survey Data and Social Norming - Joseph Markiewicz, Senior Consultant (Standard 4)

This workshop is designed for professionals who work with students in the prevention of substance abuse, bullying and other adolescent problem behaviors. Information will be shared on the blending of three prevention models; 40 Developmental Assets, CTC Youth Survey data, and Positive Community Social Norms (Positive Messaging Campaigns). The session will share best practices on how to develop student leadership councils, facilitate student leadership summits and organize school-wide events and activities designed to reduce substance abuse and create a more positive school climate.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Joe Markiewicz is the Senior Consultant for Building Stronger Communities and was most recently the Program Coordinator for the Kentucky Statewide Prescription Drug Overdose Reduction Initiative at the University of Kentucky. Joe works closely with community coalitions and prevention initiatives to reduce the incidence of prescription and non-prescription drug overdose. As a statewide trainer and educator, he also provides community leaders with local, county and statewide data to focus on high risk populations with effective prevention strategies and best practices in community coalition development.
Joe has over 20 years of experience as a community coalition trainer, prevention planner, evaluator and national youth trainer. He has been a presenter at national conferences on the subject of risk and protective factors, evidenced-based prevention strategies, youth data, community planning and positive social norming. In 2012, Joe received the Erie County Award for Youth Violence Reduction and as Chair of the Erie County Collaborative Board he received the Statewide Community Coalition of the Year Award in Pennsylvania. In his previous employment, Joe was a statewide planner and trainer with Center for Juvenile Justice Training & Research (CJJTR), Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency (PCCD), Juvenile Court Judge’s Commission (JCJC) as well as many other youth-serving organizations. He is also a national technical assistant for the Office of Juvenile Justice Training & Research (OJJTR).


3D: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Youth. What should you know? - Susan Marshall, Family & Community Outreach/School Counselor - SCASD (Standard 3)

Susan Marshall, Family & Community Outreach/School Counselor at SCASD and board member of the Centre LGBTQ Support Network, along with student members of the BYOQ (Bring Your Own Queer) Youth Group, will offer basic sexual orientation/gender identity training and then will present a “Straight Talk” panel discussion. The goal of this discussion is to give the audience a close-up view of adolescent life within the LGBT community and to allow the opportunity to ask probing questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to students who will do their best to answer with emotional honesty. When asked what ONE thing LGBT+ students want others to know about them, the resounding response is “we are human just like you.” We invite you to join us in this compelling conversation.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Susan Marshall currently serves as the Family & Community Outreach/School Counselor after serving as the Head Counselor at the State High Counseling Department for five years and as School Counselor for 27 years prior to that. The Family & Community Outreach/School Counselor consults and collaborates with teachers, parents, staff, and community agencies to increase student achievement, behavior, motivation and academic learning. I also support for secondary counseling by organizing departmental programs, information, and outreach to families. I previously served as the advisor of the LGBTA+ Alliance Club at State High (formerly the GSA) for 15 years (since its inception in 2003). I serve the high school and the State College community at large by bringing education and awareness to LGBT issues and concerns through a variety of ways like state/national presentations, community trainings, serving on the board of the Centre LGBTQA Support Network and in my role as Secretary on the State College Borough LGBTQ Advisory Committee. I also currently serve as assistant Girls' Cross Country coach and have 20+ years of coaching experience at State High. I most enjoy, however, being the mother of two young adults (ages 22 and 25) and working, playing, and traveling with my wife.


3E: Change the Conversation, Change the Culture - Lee Rush, justCommunity, Inc.  (Standard 3)

Based on the work of Peter Block (Community: The Structure of Belonging), this workshop introduces six essential conversations that create possibilities for personal transformation and organizational change. Each of these conversations grows out of thought-provoking questions. Key points will address: the power of invitation and why choice always trumps mandates, the power of possibility and why we need to stop worshiping at the alter of problems and start imagining new possibilities, the power of refusal and to grasp the fact that if we cannot say no to something our yes means nothing and finally the power of gifts and why when we start to focus on gifts rather than deficiencies everything changes.
This methodology is called "A Small Group" and has been used across the world in business sectors, educational settings, community grass roots organizing meetings, collaborative problem solving sessions, faith community gatherings and recently in cities exploring the development of "economies of compassion" or neighbor to neighbor connection efforts.
My approach to building "restorative communities" is centered on the belief that global change occurs at the local level. Participants will be asked a simple question at the beginning of the workshop-- "Do you want to change the world?" Of course the answer is usually "yes". The follow up question is, "How do we go about that task?" The answer is "One room at a time and this is the room for today".
This workshop will then unpack the six essential conversations to have and teach participants both the physical structure (room layout) and the linguistic mechanisms to use to initiate such change. Each participant will be provided with a 35 page booklet outlining the protocols and methods used.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Lee is the Executive Director of justCommunity, Inc. a non-profit organization based in Quakertown, PA. justCommunity provides training and consultation services to communities, schools and organizations in the area of youth development, community mobilization strategies, student assistance programs and restorative practices. Lee is also a licensee and a certified trainer for the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), the world’s first graduate school dedicated solely to Restorative Practices. Through his work with IIRP and justCommunity, Lee has trained over 30,000 people throughout the United States and abroad.
In 2004, Lee was appointed by Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA), to serve as a member of the statewide Advisory Commission on Children and Families, an inter-disciplinary group to provide guidance to the Governor’s senior cabinet members on public policy issues involving families and child and youth issues. In 2013, Lee was also honored as the 2013 National Prevention Advocate by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). CADCA is the country’s largest advocacy group working on behalf of over 5,000 members to prevent substance abuse. Lee served as the Executive Director of the National Student Assistance Association (NSAA), (a membership driven organization devoted solely to enhancing the development of SAP's across the country), from 1995 to 2008. NSAA presently has 17 state chapters and represents the interests of thousands of professionals in the student assistance field. He was a co-founder of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals (PASAP), and served as a charter board member, treasurer and membership chair from 1989-1993. From 1995 to 1998,
Lee served as the Director of Human Resources for LifeQuest, a 600-person company specializing in senior healthcare services. During this same period he also served as Executive Director of LifeQuest Foundation, which sponsored Project CARE, (now sponsored by justCommunity), a state approved student assistance program (SAP) training provider.
From 1986 to 1995 he was the Director of Project CARE, a training program for educators and counselors in prevention and intervention skills. His direct experience with adolescents was in various positions as an administrator, counselor and teacher in a private school and day-treatment setting from 1976 to 1985.
Lee is a former Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC), and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned an undergraduate degree (BA) in Criminology. He completed his graduate work (M.Ed.) in education at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, specializing in organizational dynamics, group processes and adult learning. In addition to his work in education and youth development, Lee is also is a seasoned leader in personal transformation and leadership development having been trained through the International Mankind Project’s New Warrior Training program.
Also, in 1981 Lee was certified as a national field representative for the New Games Foundation, a non-profit educational organization that provided trainings and seminars throughout the country on cooperative play and community building. Lee and his wife Kathy live in Perkasie, PA with their daughter Sage.


3F: Suicide: Prevention/intervention and postvention - Scott Poland (Standard 4)

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. and suicide rates have doubled for middle school aged girls in the last decade. The 2017 YRBS results from the CDC found that 7.4% of high school students surveyed admitted to making a suicide attempt in the last 12 months. Unfortunately schools must also be prepared to respond if a suicide has occurred in order to reduce suicide contagion. This presentation will help school personnel design and implement prevention and intervention plans that support suicidal or grieving students if a suicide has tragically occurred. Participants will recognize the prevention lessons learned from legal cases where schools have been sued after a student suicide.
Presenter Bio:
Dr. Scott Poland is a Professor at the College of Psychology and the Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
A licensed psychologist Dr. Poland is an internationally recognized expert on school safety, youth suicide, self-injury, bullying, school crisis prevention/intervention, threat assessment and parenting in challenging times. He has authored or co-authored five books and many chapters and articles on these subjects. He recently co-authored the Suicide Safer Schools Plan for the state of Texas and the Crisis Action School Toolkit-Suicide for the state of Montana. He previously directed psychological services for a large Texas school system for 24 years and is a past President of the National Association of School Psychologists and a past Prevention Division Director of American Association of Suicidology. He is very dedicated to prevention and has testified about the mental health needs of children before the U.S. Congress on four occasions. He is a founding member of the National Emergency Assistance Team and has personally assisted school communities after many tragedies.


Mini-Learning Session 3-1 (10:15 AM - 11:15 AM)

3G1:  Social Emotional Learning and Whole Child Education Across the Curriculum – Sara McHale, Spanish Teacher, Twin Valley MS (STW)

What is Social Emotional Learning and why must it be taught in Middle School?  Educators will learn how to identify the SEL (Social Emotional Learning) techniques that they use in their classrooms.  Educators will participate in, share, and brainstorm SEL activities that can be used and adapted for their content areas.  Educators will reflect on their classroom and school communities, make short-term and long-term goals for incorporating SEL, and bring back ideas to implement immediately.
Presenter(s) Bio: 
Sara McHale is a 7 and 8th grade Spanish teacher at Twin Valley Middle School in Elverson, PA.  She earned a B.A. in Spanish, a K-12 Teacher’s Certification, and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education with a Specialization in English from Kutztown University. She is currently finishing a second Master’s Degree from Neumann University in Social Emotion Learning through Thom Stecher and Associates.

3H1: Outdoor Ed – How Can You Make it Happen in Your School? – Kyle Wetherhold, Principal, Wilson West MS (STW)

This presentation will discuss how to use the space inside and outside your school building to create outdoor education opportunities.
Presenter bio:
Kyle Wetherhold, Principal of Wilson West Middle School since 2010,

3I1:  Addressing social class: Overcoming common misconceptions to effectively teach those from poverty backgrounds – Dr. Jason T. Hilton, Associate Professor of Education, & Ms. Madeline McCleary, Senior ML Education, Slippery Rock University

Students from poverty backgrounds are often the subject of negative stereotypes. In the classroom, teachers often take on a “savior” status believing it is their job to save poor students from their deficient backgrounds. Moving from saving poor students to building on their successes, and from overcoming perceived deficiencies to finding common connections among students are strategies that can allow teachers to avoid common mistakes and more effectively reach students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
Presenter(s) Bio
Dr. Jason T. Hilton is an Associate Professor of Education at Slippery Rock University. He teaches courses related to pedagogy, research methods, comparative education and he supervises student teachers. His research interests include critical pedagogy and technology.
Ms. Madeline McCleary is a senior at Slippery Rock University where she is an honors student, middle level education major, and the President of the student AMLE on campus. Her interests include social studies education and diversity.

3J1:   Make Learning Fun:  Gaming and Simulations in the Classroom – Janice Lear, Teacher, Charles F. Patton MS

Simulations and gaming strategies provide rich opportunities for student-centered learning which boost engagement, honor the middle schoolers’ diverse learning needs, and provide authentic practice in 21st Century skills, including communication, collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving.  This session will demonstrate a number of simulations and hands-on learning strategies that can be used in Social Studies, English/Language Arts, and Science classrooms.
Presenter bio:
Janice Lear is a Middle School teacher, with experience in grade 6 through 8, teaching Social Studies, Pre-Algebra, English/language Arts and Geography.  She is a two-time presenter at the PA Council for Social Studies and a three-time presenter at the PAMLE conference. 

3K1:  Cross Curricular Connections: The Atomic Bomb – Mitchell Buell, CMLA President, Millersville University

This presentation was a set of curriculum created by the Millersville University CMLA, based on the book Bomb by Steve Sheinkin. Cross Curricular Connections will be established between Science, Math, English Language Arts, and Social Studies. A Boy Scout Troop benefitted through this curricula; troop members received the Nuclear Science merit badge.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Millersville University Students, board members of the Collegiate Middle Level Association. We are a variety of different subject’s areas, such as Science, Math, Social Studies, and English.

3L1:  Educating the Whole Middle Level Student Using a Comprehensive Child-Centered Approach – Kelly Fulciniti (Counselor), Jennifer Shroads (Director of Special Education), Sam Adams (Principal), South Side MS (STW)

Cultivating the social, emotional, and academic well being of every student is the foundation of our ever-changing and fluid middle-level structure at our school.  Integrating a variety of resources including the Student Assistance Program, Advisory Lessons, Teaming, Digital Citizenship, the Youth Ambassador Program, and more offer the tools to foster this foundation.  During this interactive presentation, participants will uncover the key components needed to successfully implement a building-wide plan to educate the whole middle level student using a comprehensive child-centered approach.
Presenter(s) Bio
Ms. Kelly Fulciniti - Ms. Fulciniti is the Middle School Counselor and Youth Ambassador Program advisor at South Side Area School District.   Ms. Fulciniti is rooted in the beliefs that will a well-balanced educational approach all students can learn and succeed.
Ms. Jennifer Shroads - Ms. Shroads is the Director of Special Education at South Side Area School District.  She is dedicated to creating avenues for learning that allow all students to experience success.
Mr. Samuel Adams - Mr. Samuel Adams is the Middle School Principal at South Side Area School District. He has been a member of the PAMLE for many years. Mr. Adams believes in a philosophy of promoting student growth by maximizing instructional opportunities and focusing on educating the whole-child through a comprehensive model.

3M1:   AR/VR and AI, the Future of Education – Dr. L. Robert Furman, Principal, South Park Elementary, Author, Blogger for The Huffington Post & Ed Tech Review

What is Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or Artificial Intelligence? Are these words going to take over the world – or how about taking over our classrooms? We hear these terms and have no idea what they really are and how to use them in the classrooms. Have you stopped to think what these could mean for you as an educator? 
Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality are changing the landscape of education – be it K-12, higher-ed or vocational studies. While these technologies are in their nascent stages, the benefits they bring to the table such as low cost, greater efficiency, and wider coverage are overwhelming.
Presenter(s) Bio
Dr. L. Robert Furman is an educator, leader, principal, student, speaker, and    published author. As a former teacher and now administrator, Dr. Rob serves in the foreground of everyday education. Currently, Dr. Rob serves as Principal at South Park Elementary Center outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and has truly become a sought after leader in topics surrounding the field      of education today. Dr. Rob is the author of several books including Reading, Technology, and Digital Literacy and the ISTE bestselling title Are You Future Ready. Beyond speaking at venues across the country, Dr. Rob is also a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post as well as the Ed Tech Review. Rob also hosts a well-known YouTube educational video blog called The Seditionists and educational podcast called the Council on the Future of Education.  Further, he has received several prestigious awards, such as being named in the National School Board Association’s “20 To Watch” in technology education and a Pittsburgh Tribune Review News Maker of the year.

Mini-Learning Session 3-2 (11:30 AM - 12: 30 AM)

3G2:  Student Voices on Science Achievement – Marianna Zamen & Ian Petrillo Middle Level Education Students & Dr. Carol Watson, Associate Professor, Kutztown University

We have been conducting research on the intersection of how students perceive they are achieving in science classes compared to their actual measured achievement. We are considering the variable that socioeconomic status may play in these students’ perceptions. The methodology structure will be multiple case study format mining data from ten students from varying backgrounds. After sharing the specifics of our work so far, we will invite participants to discuss and offer thoughts and feedback.
Presenter(s) Bio
Mari Zaman is a third-year undergraduate at Kutztown University studying Middle Level Education with focuses in Math, Science, and Social Studies. She serves as a representative of the College of Education and Dean’s Liaison on Kutztown University’s Student Government Board. Mari has been conducting research with Ian Petrillo and Dr. Carol Watson on student perceptions of their achievement in the science classroom.
Ian Petrillo is a third-year undergraduate at Kutztown University studying Middle Level Education with foci in Science and Social Studies and a minor in Athletic Administration and Coaching.  Ian is a part of the Kutztown University AMLE chapter.  He lobbied at the capitol building to show support of the Middle Level Degree. Ian is on a research team with Mari Zaman and Dr. Carol Watson to investigate the connection between student achievement and student perceptions of success in the science classroom.
Carol Watson taught 23 years in elementary and middle schools in PA, VA, WV, and NH in grades ranging from one to seven. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at Kutztown University working in both the Early Childhood Education Program (PK-4) and the Middle Level Program (4-8). Carol took the lead in designing the Middle Level Program at KU, initiated and advises the KU CMLA, and established several partnerships with local middle schools to facilitate collaboration.

3H2:  Making Meaningful Connections: Working Across Teams – Rebecca Sensor, Music Teacher, DuBois Area MS (STW)

A school that successfully teams includes all building instructors, support staff, and counselors to build a unified school. Find and share tips for building connections across teams and gain ideas for including all building members in decision making. Hear from 2 music teachers who have a combined 24 years of experience in working with all grades, all teams, and all students in a successful School to Watch where they have been award the NAMM foundations Support Music Merit Award for 5 consecutive years.
Presenter(s) Bio
Rebecca Sensor has been a music teacher at DuBois Area Middle School since the fall of 2001. She loves her job and the students she works with! Becky teaches 5th and 6th grade music, directs the 300+ member 6-8th grade choirs, and directs the annual middle school play. Becky lives in Treasure Lake with her husband Joe and their kids Max, Maddie, and Molly.  Becky is a Google Certified Educator and loves to incorporate new technology into her classroom. At the Reitz Theater in DuBois, she has directed Children and Teen Workshops as well as directing and performing in regular season shows. Most recently she and her husband directed a summer 2018 production of Bye Bye Birdie.

3I2:  Talkin’ Bout “Z” Generation – Karen Walker, Associate Professor, Lebanon Valley College

Have you noticed that your students process information and respond differently from those in the past? Do you find yourself often shaking your head and wondering how to best meet their needs? Meet Generation “Z.”  They are in your classrooms and they are the new breed. In this workshop, you will explore the characteristics of this generation and gain new strategies to successfully implement with them.
Presenter(s) Bio
Karen Walker has taught K-9 in the intercity of Los Angeles, CA and been an elementary and middle school teacher and principal. She has served on the State and Region Boards of PAMLE. She has been a college professor in Maine and PA. Her areas of interest include how people learn, brain based learning, multiple intelligences, and the young adolescent.

3J2:  Don’t Worry, Be Appy 2.0 - Dr. L. Robert Furman, Principal, South Park Elementary, Author, Blogger for The Huffington Post & Ed Tech Review & Kevin Monaghan, Principal South Park MS 

Participants take a deep dive into the apps of today. There is also an underlining experience on how to choose an app for your classroom. This session is a fun experience on finding and learning about great apps for all classrooms. Come and join in the discussion. Share your favorite apps with the group.
2.0 Includes new AR/VR apps such as Co-Spaces and Merge!
Presenter(s) Bio
Dr. L. Robert Furman is an educator, leader, principal, student, speaker, and    published author. As a former teacher and now administrator, Dr. Rob serves in the foreground of everyday education. Currently, Dr. Rob serves as Principal at South Park Elementary Center outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and has truly become a sought after leader in topics surrounding the field      of education today. Dr. Rob is the author of several books including Reading, Technology, and Digital Literacy and the ISTE bestselling title Are You Future Ready. Beyond speaking at venues across the country, Dr. Rob is also a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post as well as the Ed Tech Review. Rob also hosts a well-known YouTube educational video blog called The Seditionists and educational podcast called the Council on the Future of Education.  Further, he has received several prestigious awards, such as being named in the National School Board Association’s “20 To Watch” in technology education and a Pittsburgh Tribune Review News Maker of the year.

3K2:  21st Century Engagement: Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat of Their Learning – Joel T. Johnson, Lead Founder, Compass Academy Charter School

If you have found yourself bewildered by the mind of a middle schooler, come take on the role of a MS student. You will complete a learning inventory, develop a personal learning profile, and practice how to explain your learning processes to others. You will learn to develop personalized learning strategies to self‐regulate your responses to class work and social relationships thereby making life work better for you.
Presenter(s) Bio
Joel T. Johnson is certified in the Let Me Learn Process® and has worked with the Advanced Learning System for over 10 years in education. He has presented on this topic at such conferences as the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) April 2018, NC Middle Level Education November 2017, and the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE) November 2017, and the VA Middle School Association October 2017.

3L2:  Learning Through Play: Engaging Students through the Game Design Process – Amy Barron & Jeff Holiday, Social Study Teachers, Mellon MS

This session is designed around the idea of learning through play.  Our goal is to show how the game design process can be used as an inclusive, challenging, collaborative, and team-oriented instructional technique that provides engaging contexts for students to learn concepts, build skills that connect to their lives outside school, and develop reflective practices.  Experience an example of how we embed curriculum standards into game play.  Explore our session’s website for a deeper dive.
Presenter(s) Bio
Amy Barone and Jeff Holliday
Teachers, Thinkers, and Learners
Pittsburgh, PA
We believe that embedding learning games and the game design process into our American history classrooms has improved learning.  In a world of distractions, games are tools that match the needs of today’s middle level learners.  They allow a teacher to personalize, individualize, and differentiate.  They can help students explore and understand issues and train for various circumstances.  Games can allow students to experience different time periods, different geographic locations, or to take on different identities.  They naturally encourage us to collaborate with others and learn by doing.  They can be a true assessment of knowledge/skills; a public display of what students know and/or can do and provide us instant feedback about failure or success.  Students are motivated to try again and succeed since failure is a necessary part of any gaming experience.  In short, when learning feels like play, it allows teachers and students to create an environment where it is safe to take risks, learn from failure, and celebrate success.

3M2: Student Individual Learning Plans and Teaming – Marlynn Lux, Principal, Hampton MS

Use student assessment data to create meaningful Individual Learning Plans (ILP) for each of the students on your team!  Teachers on the teamwork collaboratively to develop an ILP that not only encompasses the student’s assessment results, strengths, and weaknesses, but also prescribes a plan to set the student up for success!  This plan enables all stakeholders to effectively and efficiently communicate “what works” for each child on the team.
Presenter(s) Bio
Marlynn Lux
Principal of Hampton Middle School since August 2016
Assistant Principal of Hampton Middle School from July 2009-August 2016
High School Mathematics Teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School from August 2002-July 2009
Education:
Doctoral Program in Leadership, Point Park University, anticipated April 2019                      
Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility, Edinboro University, March 2013 – May 2014  
Master of Education in K-12 Administration, University of Pittsburgh, 2003 – 2007
K-12 Principal Certification
Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction Certification                                        
B.S. Ed. Secondary Mathematics Education, Duquesne University, 1998 – 2002    
B.S. Mathematics, Duquesne University, 1998 – 2002 
Pennsylvania Certification – Secondary Mathematics

Luncheon Activities (12:30 PM - 2:30 PM)

ML: Tailgate Luncheon Buffet (12:30 PM - 1:30 PM)  

Buffet will be located in the hall then PASAP attendees will be in President's Hall 1 & 2 and PAMLE attendees will be in President's Hall 3 & 4.

PASAP Activities

PASAP and Interagency Updates (1:00 PM - 1:30 PM)
PASAP and  Interagency representatives from PA Department of Education, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and PA Department of Human Services will provide important updates.
PASAP SAP Chat (1:30 PM - 2:30 PM)
Panelists will field questions from the audience related to Student Assistance Programming in schools.  Members of the panel include; Susan Tarasevich, Addiction Medicine Services of WPIC-UPMC, Ryan Klingensmith, Shape the Sky, Tina George, Caron Treatment Centers and Kyle Harder, Gateway Rehab.  Moderated by PASAP Board Members LeeAnn Guido and Michael McGaughey.

PAMLE Activities 

PAMLE Awards and Table Top Talk (1:00 PM - 2:30 PM)
Following the PAMLE Awards presentations, attendees will select a seminar to attend based on a menu of five (5) topics that will be announced after lunch.  Seminars will be held in rooms in the conference center.

Breakout Session 4 (3:00 PM -5:00 PM)

4A: Drugs & Alcohol: Signs, Symptoms & Trends - Kyle Harder, Gateway Rehab (Standard 4)

Drugs and alcohol are an important issue in schools and represent a significant risk to our students. Come and learn about current trends in drug use, the science of addiction, what to look for, and ways treatment can be effective. There are simple things we can learn about addiction that can vastly improve the way we focus on and respond to addiction in our community.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Kyle Harder, Director of Business Development, for Gateway Rehab has been involved in the social service field in the Pittsburgh area for 25 years. Kyle received his BS in Social Anthropology from the University of Michigan and his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business. In recovery himself, helping to overcome stigma, assisting people with getting in treatment and achieving long term recovery is his personal mission


4B: Implementing a Threat Assessment Process in Schools - Coleen Heim, Consultant (Standard 1)

The presentation will include an overview of the findings of the U.S. Secret Service Report on Targeted School Violence and include specific examples based on incidents across the country. The components of the threat assessment process that will be reviewed include: developing appropriate policies and procedures for carrying out threat assessment inquiries; relevant state and federal laws; the role of law enforcement; advising students and adults on the kind of information that should be reported: identifying students of concern; gathering and analyzing information to determine the level of risk and intervention required; and strategies for managing the student. This training is designed for school administrators, law enforcement, mental health professionals, counselors/ psychologists, and other school personnel that would serve on a threat assessment team. Student Assistance Program (SAP) referrals and those that require a different type of intervention will be discussed. A sample policy and forms will be provided.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Coleen A. Heim is an independent consultant offering consultation, training, and technical assistance to schools, agencies, and communities. She has a Master’s Degree in Health Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections from the Pennsylvania State University.
From 1997 to the present, Coleen has provided technical assistance and training on the development of safe schools and emergency response plans, including threat assessment training for school personnel, law enforcement, and mental health professionals. She has over 35 years experience in developing and implementing comprehensive drug and violence prevention programs throughout the Commonwealth. While employed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Coleen was one of the regional coordinators that developed and provided training in the PA Student Assistance Program model. She continues to work with SAP District Councils and SAP Coordination Teams, conducts SAP maintenance sessions, and is a trainer for three Commonwealth Approved Training Providers.
Coleen has provided safe schools training/consultation to over ninety-six schools, conducted fifty-one safe schools assessments, and worked with twenty-one school districts on the development of safe schools and emergency response plans. This includes training on the implementation of bullying prevention programs. She attended the national certification training for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
In addition, Coleen is the Director of the Healthy Blair County Coalition and is responsible for overseeing the community health needs assessment in cooperation with the three local hospitals and other community, agency, and business leaders. She is the team leader for the Blair County Youth Connection Task Force.


4C: Understanding and Supporting Immigrant Children in Pennsylvania Schools - Jamie Englert, JFCS, Director of Immigration Legal Services, Jackie Perlow and Jeimy Sanchez-Ruiz (Standard 3)
Children who are not Citizens of the United States or who have parents who are not citizens face a special set of challenges that can cause significant attendance, behavioral or mental health problems. We hope to help you fine tune your cultural sensitivity skill set, understand educational rights and protections for immigrant children and learn about the recent changes in immigration policies and how they directly affect our students. We aim to provide you with insight into the special set of stressors these students face as well as tools and resources to help them obtain their goals.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Jamie Englert is the Director of JFCS Immigration Legal Services Department and has been has been practicing immigration law with JFCS since 2009. She is responsible for supervising the legal department, presenting at community outreach and educational events providing presentations for pro bono attorneys and representing clients before the USCIS and Immigration court.
Jackie Perlow joined the Education Law Center’s Pittsburgh office in September 2017 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Her fellowship focuses on access to education for English Language Learners.
Jackie previously served as a clerk for the honorable Joy Flowers Conti, Chief United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and worked as a Kaufman Legal Fellow for the Education Law Center. She received a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Master's in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. As a student, Jackie worked in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the ACLU of Michigan, and Cohen Milstein, a plaintiff’s side class action firm. During law school Jackie participated in the Immigration and Refugee Clinic, the Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense Clinic, and two independent clinics, one at The Legal Resources Centre in Cape Town, South Africa and the other at New York Legal Assistance Group. Jackie was also a student attorney in the Harvard Defenders and an editor on the Journal of Law and Gender. Prior to law school, Jackie worked as a middle school English teacher in Washington, D.C. She graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2009 and earned a Master's in Education from American University in 2011.
Jeimy Ibarra was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and has been living in Pittsburgh for 18 years. She currently is the Youth Community Outreach Coordinator at Casa San José. Jeimy is a recent grad from Carlow University where she studied psychology and criminal justice obtaining two Bachelor’s degrees. Jeimy started at Casa San José in 2015 as a Compass AmeriCorps volunteer and ran an afterschool program at Beechwood Elementary for grades K-2. At this time, she noticed the lack of services for Latino youth, and she herself grew up seeing how hard it was to maintain her own culture in the U.S. So Jeimy created and led Puentes Hacia el Futuro, a Saturday program for youth ages 7-14, to allow students to have a safe space while building community. In 2017, Jeimy created a second program, Jóvenes con Propósito, for high-school students, where she works to guide youth activists to become leaders in their communities and provide them with peer-based training that promotes youth power and community organizing.


4D: AEDY - Alternative Education - Intervention and Prevention - Jessica Loverdi, Pocono Mountain Academy (Standard 2)

Participants will examine and discuss Alternative Education intervention strategies and AEDY prevention. Strategies for maintaining students in their home school will be reviewed in order to prevent Disruptive Youth placement. In addition, transition plans for return from AEDY placement will be examined.
Participants will receive instruction in relevant practices to maintain students in their home school setting. Interventions focusing on prevention will be highlighted, as a means by which to keep students from meeting AEDY (including persistent disruption) placement criteria. The goal of keeping students in their home school placement will be highlighted. Once students do meet AEDY criteria, their transition back to the home school is often problematic and stressful - for both students and teachers. Strategies for a successful transition will also be presented.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Dr. Jessica Loverdi is the Principal of the Pocono Mountain Academy, a 7-12+ program for Alternative Education students in the Pocono Mountain School District. Dr. Loverdi has extensive experience in both Alternative Education and Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth. As an administrator for 18 years, she has experience with all grade levels, K-12, and is often invited to participate in discussions regarding behavior interventions for both regular education and special education students. Dr. Loverdi is also an adjunct faculty member in the Professional and Secondary Education Department at East Stroudsburg University.


4E: Bias and Bullying: Implications for Mental Health in Schools - Dr. SeriaShia Chatters-Smith, Penn State University

In this workshop, participants will learn about the prevalence and impact of bias based bullying and how to begin the journey of identifying and recognizing their own bias. Additionally, participants will learn methods to address bias bullying as an active bystander, a colleague, a friend, and most of all, an educator.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Dr. Seria Chatters, LMHC is the Director of Diversity and Inclusivity of the State College Area School District and a Clinical Associate Professor at Penn State University, University Park. Dr. Chatters is a Professional School Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. She has been providing training and consulting teachers, administrators, and school counselors in school districts around the world for over a decade. She has also conducted research on bias based interpersonal violence.

4F: Help Your SAP Team Develop Super Powers! - Susan Billy, PA Network Student Assistance Services/Region 2 Coordinator and Renee Urick, Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services/Region 7 Coordinator (Standard 2)

School SAP teams are asked to conduct “super-human” tasks with little to no time and/or funding. This session will focus on revisiting effective and critical components of SAP to ensure schools have established a solid foundation for their teams in order to better meet the needs of their students. This session will provide attendees with “Super” interactive tools to take back to their teams to assist in assessing team effectiveness and how to propel the team into the 21st Century.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Susan Billy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Frostburg State University. She holds an elementary teaching certification and earned a Master’s degree in Education, both from West Chester University. She began working in SAP in 1997, serving the school districts in Chester County, as a SAP Liaison and then advanced into the role of Director of Student Assistance Program Services from 1999-2004. She has served as the SAP Region 2 Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services for six years while concurrently serving as a Human Resources Generalist at IU13 for 14 years. Susan has dedicated her career to serving others and helping students and staff members achieve success.
Renee Urick received her Bachelor’s degree from Muskingum University with a double major in Psychology and Education with a concentration in Special Education. She earned a Master’s degree in Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania and is a licensed social worker. She has been involved in SAP since being trained in 1990 in her role as a Mental Health caseworker for Student Assistance Program in Washington and Greene Counties. She worked as the CASSP Coordinator for Greene County prior to becoming a Regional SAP Coordinator for the PA Network for Student Assistance Services 23 years ago. She has dedicated her career in facilitating collaboration among child-serving systems and helping children and families get the support they need.

Mini-Learning Session 4-1 (2:45 PM - 3:45 PM)

4G1:  Integrated ELA Advanced Algebra Escape Room Lesson – Elizabeth Zebrowski & Allison Wambach, Senior Middle Level Education Students, Millersville University

Fifth grade students completed an Advanced Algebra lesson with a focus on graphing and algebraic equations with a strong integration of ELA. The project was based off an escape room where the students are given various riddles and must perform specific tasks in ELA and Mathematics to escape the room. Throughout the lesson students are given goals that will be measured through formative assessment as they solve the room.
Presenter(s) Bio(s):
Elizabeth Zebrowski is a senior at Millersville University where she is a PDS student studying Middle Level Education with a concentration in English.
Allison Wambach is a senior at Millersville University where she is a PDS student studying Middle Level Education with a concentration in Mathematics.

4H1 Communicating to Instill a Growth Mindset – Deborah Schussler, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Pennsylvania State University

Thanks to the work of Carol Dweck, educators now try to motivate and engage students by fostering a “growth mindset” as opposed to a “fixed mindset.” However, knowing what to say to cultivate a growth mindset may remain an enigma. This interactive presentation introduces fundamental aspects of a growth mindset and then asks participants to revise language, including their own, to instill a growth instead of a fixed mindset.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Dr. Deborah Schussler has been an educator for 25 years. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership program at The Pennsylvania State University and an Affiliate at the Prevention Research Center and Rock Ethics Institute. Previously she was a high school English teacher in rural and suburban districts in Tennessee. Dr. Schussler is known nationally for her work on teacher dispositions, teacher moral development, and the development of social-emotional skills.

4I1: Population Connection: Hands-On Activities for People and the Planet – Kathryn Silvis, Education Department Chair, La Roche College

Participants will be involved in several hands-on activities that simulate the use of available resources. For example, participants will take on the role of panthers as they "hunt" for "food" to explore the concept of carrying capacity. Activities will include connections to math, science, and social studies concepts.  A link to FREE lesson plans and additional teacher resources from Population Education will be provided. Get ready for a fun time exploring population concepts!
Presenter(s) Bio:
Kate Silvis teaches Math, Science, and Social Studies Methods at La Roche College (near Pittsburgh).  Kate is a volunteer trainer for Population Education, an organization that provides teachers with professional development and classroom materials to help prepare young people to become responsible consumers. Kate earned her Doctorate Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and has ten years of middle school teaching experience as well as twelve years of teaching experience in higher education.

4J1:  Mentoring Students:  A School Wide Positive Approach – Richard Spering (Assistant Principal), Jennifer Kukowski (Health & PE), Nancy Pontier (Guidance Counselor), Palisades MS

Mentoring programs provide a small developmentally responsive environment for students to focus on a culture of learning while building connections with their peers and faculty.  At Palisades Middle School, mentoring period consists of a mentor and ten to twelve same grade level students who meet daily for a minimum of twenty minutes to participate in mini-lessons ranging from goal setting to strengthening interpersonal skills.  Mentors develop a positive relationship with students assisting with academic and social goals.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Jennifer Kukowski:  Health & Phys. Ed. Teacher, Palisades Middle School, Leader of the Mentoring Committee, 30 years of experience 
Nancy Pontier:  Guidance Counselor, Palisades Middle School, Co-planner of the Mentoring Committee, 38 years of experience
Richard Spering:  Assistant Principal, Palisades Middle School, 18 years of experience

4K1:  Teambuilding with Teens - Creating a Positive Advisory Culture – Anneliese Ledebur, Social Studies Teacher, Titusville MS (STW)

Middle school reformers have widely promoted advisory programs as a way to strengthen connectedness at the middle level. Advisory programs are configurations in which an adult advisor meets regularly during the school day with a group of students to provide academic and social-emotional mentorship and support, to create personalization within the school, and to facilitate a small peer community of learners.  
taken in part from:  Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Programs By: Sarah Brody Shulkind, Jack Foote
Presenter(s) Bio:
Anneliese Ledebur is a proud graduate of Titusville High School. Upon her graduation, Miss Ledebur attended Geneva College and obtained her Bachelor’s in Arts degree in History Education. In 2002, she joined the Titusville Area School District as a Middle School Social Studies teacher. Since that time, Miss Ledebur received her Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Edinboro University.

4L1:  Put PVAAS into Practice! – Dr. Jennifer Reinhart, Assessment Specialist, PVAAS Statewide Team for PDE, IU13

This session will guide teachers through a process of self-reflection regarding past student growth in order to plan for current students.  A template will be provided to document: data analysis, root cause identification, an action plan, and a plan for monitoring the effectiveness of the action plan. (Come prepared with your PVAAS password and a device to access your PVAAS data.)
Presenter(s) bio:
Dr. Jennifer Reinhart joined the PVAAS Statewide Team for PDE in 2017.  As a member of this team she offers professional learning opportunities to intermediate units, districts/LEA’s, and schools to enhance their understanding of PVAAS data, their use of data as a tool for decision-making, and the triangulation of data to improve student growth and achievement.
Before joining the team she served as the Chief Accountability Officer for the School District of Lancaster, where she supported district and school leaders in interpreting and acting on their data.  She has experience in implementing district-wide assessments and data tools that serve to inform instructional practice.  Dr. Reinhart’s extensive training in professional development and professional coaching ensures that she listens carefully and guides educators to a new level of understanding through the identification of their needs and desired outcomes.
As a former school principal, Dr. Reinhart has experience developing the expertise of teachers to create true professional learning communities.  She developed a system where professional learning took place during the school day and where teachers had the autonomy to research and explore strategies for addressing the needs of the school community.  Her other professional experiences include working as an elementary teacher, an instructional coach, a dean of students, and an assistant principal. 
Jennifer’s educational accomplishments include undergraduate certifications in elementary and early childhood education from Millersville University; a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University, specializing in bilingual and multi-cultural education; and a doctorate degree in school leadership from Widener University.  She also earned a reading specialist certificate from Millersville University and was certified as an Agency Trainer for Cognitive Coaching.  She has served as an adjunct instructor for Millersville University. 

4M1:  Pine-Richland Middle School Anti-Bullying and Team Time – Dr. David Kristofic, Principal, Pine Richland MS (STW)

Pine-Richland Middle School’s approach to educating students on the topic of bullying is to implement activities that promote positive student behaviors and character traits. We believe if we teach students to be caring, responsible and positive citizens of our school community that bullying and negative student interactions will decrease. Students have input in activity topic and design and our activities are implemented
Presenter(s) Bio:
Dr. David Kristofic has been serving Pine-Richland Middle School as the building principal for nine years. Under his leadership, significant changes have occurred to promote a positive school climate and culture for students and staff alike. Through identifying and recognizing students for displaying positive behaviors as well as going above and beyond within the school community, Dr. Kristofic and the Pine-Richland Middle School staff have able to successfully establish a school community based on mutual respect where students want to do the right things.


Mini-Learning Session 4-2 (4:00 PM - 5:00 PM)

4G2:  How to Power a Level One 90% Target Language Class! – Ellen Shrager, Spanish Teacher, Abington JHS

World Language teachers know that managing 90% target language usage and student behavior can be derailed by transitions. Create a 'daily tech-guide' to keep transitions and activities in the target language supported by strong visual cues and integrated media. Transition videos eliminate English explanations! Seamless transitions improve student behavior, classroom management, and create a 90% target language Level One class!
Presenter(s) Bio:
Ellen Shrager is a veteran junior high teacher and the author of the World Language Daily Tech Guide.  She currently teaches Spanish One full time to seventh and eighth grade students.  She believes compelling musical and visual comprehensible input keeps students on task and in the target language, especially during those tricky transitions.  She shares her journey to 90% target language with other teachers to help them craft their own teaching voice that will engage students and minimize off-task behavior.  Ellen has lived and worked in Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil.  She is a graduate of Boston College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has presented at ACTFL, ASCD, and the former NMSA and over 100 local and regional conferences.

4H2:  Unplug and Reconnect:  Our Advisory Program – Kristin Deichler, Principal, South Fayette MS (STW)

In our presentation, we will be sharing our journey to fully implementing an Advisory Program in our Middle School.  We will talk about our professional sessions and steps leading up to unveiling the program to the students.  We will also share how we included “student voice” in our process.  Additionally, we will make available all of our resources and templates that are used in our program to attendees.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Kristin Deichler is the principal of South Fayette Middle School, which is a suburban middle school located outside of Pittsburgh, PA.  We have over 850 students in our middle school.  Ms. Deichler has spent her entire career at South Fayette Middle School, with 14 years as a middle school math educator and four years as the administrator.  She is thrilled to collaborate with middle level educators and administrators from the area and beyond in order to make stronger, early adolescent programs in our state and region.

4I2:  Elevating student’s thinking by applying scientific thought reasoning to Social Studies – Gary Hite, Science, Social Studies, Gifted Education Teacher, Upper Dublin MS

How to guide students through the process of choosing a topic for an in-depth study exploring a historical event from the years of study in Social Studies class. Using at least four different sources and at least two different media, the student will create a demonstration/presentation to share how the event of their choosing might have been different if at least one aspect would have changed.  The project will explore different possible outcomes and how the course of U.S. (and perhaps World) history would be different.  The project will be shared with peers, parents, and other adults during the ‘What If Fair’ presentations.
Presenter Bio:
Gary Hite is an 8th grade Science, Social Studies and Gifted Education teacher in the Upper Dublin School District.

4J2:  G.O.L.D. Night Girls Only Leadership Development – Melissa McCauley (FCS), Monica Kilcoyne (Social Studies), Debbie Zanetti (Social Studies) teachers, Pleasant Hills MS (STW)

“She believed she could so she did.” This is the foundation for our G.O.L.D. program, which stands for Girls Only Leadership Development.  Our mission was to provide an experience for our girls that focuses on their unique by hosting a variety of activities that develops girls’ leadership skills along with promoting positive relationships that helps develop self-confidence, healthy interactions, independence, and empowerment.  Come find out all about GOLD night and how to make it happen at your middle school.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Monica Kilcoyne, 6th grade social studies teacher for 5 years at Pleasant Hills Middle School. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in special education from Duquesne University.
Melissa McCauley , Family and Consumer Science Teacher for 10 years at the middle school. Currently working toward her doctorate through Drexel University and focusing her dissertation on female leadership.
Debbie Zanetti , Seasoned teacher of 27 years: seventeen years in elementary and 10 years in middle school teaching social studies. Bachelor degree earned from California University of PA and masters equivalency from Gannon University.

4K2: Using Student Voice and Choice to Build School Culture and Learning – Noel Petrosky (Principal), Dana Smith (ELA Teacher), St. Marys Area MS

Our presentation will include a collection of best practices used to promote and instill positive school culture.  Using some of our daily clubs and classes as a driving force in this school wide change, students are becoming the vehicle to promote and spread positivity throughout the school. Our newly renovated makerspace/library/STEM lab and our SCORE period (Student Choice Optimizing Real-time Education) allows student choice to drive our learning center and student opportunities.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Dana Smith is a 7th grade ELA teacher and Student Council Advisor who has been teaching for 10 years.  She also works with the clubs: Team Renaissance, Girl Talk, and Literature Live.  Mrs. Smith is a graduate of Slippery Rock University and the University Of Pittsburgh at Bradford majoring in English Literature, Communications, and Secondary Education.
Noel Petrosky is a Middle School Principal and has been working in education for over 15 years.  She has been involved in expanding and developing a growth mindset in education as it relates to STEM implementation and development in both an elementary and middle school setting. Mrs. Petrosky is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, Indiana University of PA and Gannon University.
Several other faculty members will be involved in this presentation.

4L2:  The Conceptual Age and what are Society’s New Needs in Education – Nancy Stanich (Assistant Principal), Dr. Trish Martell (Principal), Dr. Eric DellaLucia (Social Studies), Paul Callaghan (Science), Alyssa Betz (Language Arts), Mary Hrinda (Language Arts) teachers, Elizabeth Forward MS (STW)

The 20th Century demanded new skills – motivating the public to ask for new kinds of education. “What does it mean to be a student in the 21st century? “What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st century?” – and, “What does it mean to be an educational leader in the Conceptual Age?” Join us as we take a look at what a rigorous 21st Century skills framework looks like.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Dr. Trisha Martell Principal, Dr. Eric DellaLucia Grade 7 Social Studies Teacher, Paul Callaghan Grade 7 Science Teacher, Alyssa Betz Grade 8 Language Arts Teacher, Mary Hrinda Grade 8 Language Arts Teacher.

4M2:  Building a Middle School Culture to Support Emotional Self-Regulation – Heidi Marshall (Principal), Julie Mehler (Teacher), Sharpsville MS (STW)

This presentation will offer practical examples of strategies that help to create a culture, which supports students’ ability to self-regulate emotions. We will share ideas regarding a wide variety of ways we teach kids to recognize and address their own social/emotional health needs, including participation in yoga classes, accessing active seating, spending time with our therapy dog, visiting our sensory room, releasing energy in the gym, leaning on a high school mentor, using creativity as an emotional outlet, and more.
Presenter(s) Bio:
Heidi Marshall is the principal of Sharpsville Middle School, which was designated a School to Watch in 2017. 
Julie Mehler is the school nurse for the Sharpsville Area School District, grades 6-12.


Conference Evening Activities (5:15 PM - Midnight)

Sundown Yoga with Lori (5:15 PM - 6:15 PM) 

Join us for a session of relaxing Yoga.

Dinner On Your Own (6:00 PM - 8:00 PM)

Take advantage of the several fine restaurants in the State College area - Restaurant Guide  

Monday Evening Social - Dean's Hall 1 & 2 (8:00 PM - Midnight)

Be sure not to miss the Ice Cream Sundae Social and Dance featuring First Class Entertainment

Participant Raffle throughout the evening. Cash Bar Available


Monday Night Ice Cream Sundae Social compliments of the Penn State Hospitality Group


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