Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education


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Sunday Keynote and Sessions

Keynote, 7:00-8:00 PM

Unleash Your Superpowers - 7 Super Strategies to Empower Students featuring Dr. Bill Ziegler

In this engaging, inspiring, and empowering session, Dr. Ziegler will share how you can empower students through unleashing your superpowers.  This session will focus on learning about trauma responsive teaching, promoting student voice/choice, empowering courageous leadership, helping students build resilience skills, and nurturing students to be Global Game-Changers. Plus, we will work to equip, encourage, and empower educators to become superheroes who are pumped and excited to empower their students.  Participants will learn practical strategies and tools that they can immediately use in their classroom and school.
Dr. Bill Ziegler is the principal at Pottsgrove High School, in Pottstown, PA.  He has served as a school leader for twenty years at the middle and high school levels.  Bill is the co-author of Future-Focused Leaders: Relate, Innovate, and Invigorate for Real Educational Change, and a Corwin Educational Consultant.  Dr. Ziegler currently serves as a Board Member for the National Association of Secondary School Principals.   Bill was honored to be selected as the 2016 Pennsylvania Principal of the Year and the 2015 NASSP Digital Principal Award Winner.  Bill has also served as the President of the PA Principals Association on two separate occasions, 2014 and 2016.  Bill is the host of Lead the Way, a podcast for School Leaders.  You can learn more about Bill on his website at https://www.chaselearning.org   Bill resides in PA with his wife Kim and two high school and college-age children.

Sunday's Keynote Speaker brought to you by the Pennsylvania Association of Middle Level Education

SUNDAY SESSIONS

12:30 PM  - 1:30 PM 

2MSA: Let Students Tell Their Story: Student-Led Conferences and Digital Portfolios – John Walsh, Teacher/Technology Specialist and Meg Basilio, Teacher, Charles F Patton MS

Student-Led Conferences are an alternative to the traditional parent-teacher conference, empowering students and giving them the responsibility to prepare, organize, and direct the conference experience. Come and find out how our middle school has implemented a successful SLC program for the past 17 years. And this year, to compliment our recent 1 to 1 Chromebook initiative, students created digital portfolios we call “My Story” using the new Google Sites.
Presenter(s) Bio
John Walsh has been a Teacher and Technology Specialist at Patton Middle School for the last 22 years. He is a frequent presenter at the PAMLE State Conference and has presented numerous times at AMLE Conferences.
Meg Basilio’s professional experience spans several levels over 30 years.  Certified in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Level Education and years as a Graduate Educator.  For the past 22 years, Meg has been an educator at Patton Middle School in the Unionville-Chadds Ford SD.  Meg’s background includes extended study, research and training in Learning as well as Instructional Practices.  Meg has presented at various conferences throughout her career and currently serves as a team leader of an 8th grade team of teachers and students.

2MSB:  My Mindset is Mathematical! – Rob Baier, Curriculum Specialist, IU#1

Math is much more than just computing! Math is a combination of reasoning, justifying your reasoning, critiquing your reasoning, modeling, making sense of a problem, preserving through a problem with a productive struggle, and so much more! This session will focus on switching from a fixed mathematical mindset to a growth mathematical mindset, and will provide ways to apply it in your classroom!
Presenter(s) Bio:  
Rob Baier is the Math Curriculum Specialist at Intermediate Unit 1. He leads professional development sessions and workshops, provides math consultations for local school districts and has presented at the following statewide conferences: PAMLE Summer Institute (Pennsylvania Association of Middle Level Education), PCTM (Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics), CS4ALL Summit (Computer Science For All Summit). Rob was a math teacher and math specialist (grades K-12) for 8 years, in 3 different states (Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania), before he arrived at IU1.

2MSC:  Understanding and Challenging Your Gifted Students – Patty McGinnis, Gifted Specialist/Editor NSTA Science Scope Journal, Arcola Intermediate School

Are you puzzled by gifted students who misbehave or who don’t do their assignments? If so, you aren’t alone! Educators often receive little training regarding gifted students, which can result in misconceptions concerning the characteristics of the gifted, how gifted students learn, and how to best address their unique needs. In this interactive presentation you will confront your ideas regarding your gifted learners and will learn about differentiation strategies for these unique students.
Presenter(s) Bio
Dr. Patty McGinnis is a middle gifted support specialist for the Methacton School District in Eagleville, PA. She is also the editor of Science Scope, the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) practitioner’s journal for the teaching of middle school science and author of Be a Winner: A Science Teacher’s Guide to Writing Successful Grant Proposals.  McGinnis’ professional background includes serving as NSTA Director of Middle Level Science Teaching (2012-2015), past president of the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association, and participation on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association. Dr. McGinnis’ extensive educational background includes an Ed. D. in Educational Technology from Boise State University and graduate degrees in the fields of Biology (George Mason University), Science Education (Miami University), and Educational Technology (Boise State University).

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM 

2MSD: Understanding Schools to Watch and Using the Criteria to Identify and Plan Staff Development (DAP) – Bruce Vosburgh – Director PA Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch, PAMLE Executive Board, President of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform

A brief history of Schools to Watch in PA will be presented followed by the process a school follows to seek STW recognition.  The 4 Domains and 37 criteria of the STW program will be presented and strategies will be shared on how to use the criteria as a basis for staff development.
Presenter(s) Bio
Bruce Vosburgh is a retired middle school teacher /administrator, having work 36 years in a middle school.  He is the Director of the PA Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch program.  He is also the president of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, the parent organization of the STW program.

2MSE:  Middle School Advisory Program:  Building Relationships & Creating Community – R.J. Long (Assistant Principal), Amy Kauffman, Ryan Quinn, Jessie Gobrecht, teachers, Emory H. Markle Intermediate School

An effective Advisory Program is a critical component of the middle school experience.  The EHMIS Advisory Program is in its third year and provides opportunities for each student to have an adult advocate, build relationships with peers, promote personal & academic growth and engage with the school & community.  We will share our philosophy of advisory, planning steps, implementation plan, evaluation of the program and a wealth of lesson topics, plans and resources.
Presenter(s) Bio
R.J. Long has taught and led in middle school in the Quaker Valley and South Western School Districts in western and central Pennsylvania over the past thirteen years.  R.J. has served in the roles of a 7th & 8th grade social studies teacher, student council advisor, lacrosse coach, team leader and department chairperson.  Since 2016, he has served as an assistant principal at Emory H. Markle Intermediate School and supervisor and strong supporter of the Advisory Committee.
Amy Kauffman has been a middle school educator for 22 years.  Formerly a 7th grade social studies teacher, she currently is in her 9th year as the Student Achievement Specialist at Emory H Markle Intermediate School in Hanover PA.  She has been a Student Council advisor and is a coordinator of the EHMIS 6th grade transition program.   As a strong believer in the importance of fostering positive relationships, Amy has been an advocate and founding member of the Advisory Committee.
Ryan Quinn is a sixth grade learning support teacher at the intermediate school in South Western School District. He is entering his eighth year of teaching in South Western School District. Ryan has been an active member of the advisory committee at the intermediate school since its onset in 2015. He believes the purpose of an advisory program is to establish meaningful relationships with students that stretch past a single grade-level and encourage students to view staff as more than purveyors of academic information. Beyond working with the members of the advisory committee, Ryan is the committee chair of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program at the intermediate school.
Jessie Gobrecht has been an elementary school teacher for 16 years at South Western School District in Hanover, Pennsylvania.  She currently is enjoying her second year as a middle school counselor at South Western.  Serving as a counselor and on the Advisory Committee has helped Jessie to view Emory Markle Intermediate School more globally and to focus her students on how to solve problem not only for the individual but school and community wide. 

2MSF:  Indian Pride:  A Classroom Reward Systems Guide – Megan Huchko, Assistant Principal, West Allegheny MS

With an emphasis on positive relationships and student engagement, the staff at West Allegheny Middle School successfully implemented school wide positive behavior supports in EVERY classroom. Discover the transformative impact this practice had at West A, and learn helpful implementation tips and creative systems that will take your classroom management to the next level!  No PBIS in your school?  No Problem! You will still learn valuable tools for transforming the culture of your classroom. Come and join us!
Presenter(s) Bio
Megan Huchko is the Assistant Principal at West Allegheny Middle School, a role she has served in since 2012.  Prior to this role, Ms. Huchko was a 6th grade Science Teacher at WAMS for 10 years.  Ms. Huchko is a member of the PAMLE State Executive Board and the PA Schools to Watch Team.  She has led her team of teachers through many exciting initiatives, including the implementation of their School Wide Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions Program.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 

2MSG: The Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your – Jim Coughenor, Steps to Achieve

There are tried and true principles that help a person grow?  John C. Maxwell says in order to reach your potential, you must be intentional about personal growth.  This training curriculum will help you understand how personal growth really works, and how you can develop yourself to become a more effective and fulfilled individual.  You will learn how to build up your sense of purpose and become more successful in every area of your life.
Presenter(s) Bio
Jim Coughenour is an independent Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team. Mr. Coughenour has trained thousands of adult learners from school districts, businesses, and government agencies on various leadership, program management, financial management, and analytics.

2MSH:  Building a LIT Community:  Making Readers and Leaders through a Project LIT Book Club and Other Literary Endeavors – Molly Castner, ELA Teacher, Marshall MS

Are you looking for a way to engage even the most discerning of readers?  Do you want to bring students, staff and community stakeholders together in an authentic way?  The Project LIT Community envisions a future where all children become proficient, passionate readers who see the joy and value of reading. Every child deserves access to high-interest, culturally relevant books both inside and outside of school. If you are looking for literacy PLN who will reignite your passion for sharing a love reading and help you to empower your students to be reader-leaders in your community, stop searching and join us.
Presenter(s) Bio
My name is Molly Castner and I am a veteran teacher of 21 years who works with 8th grade students teaching ELA in the North Allegheny School District. In the past two years I have undergone a renaissance in my teaching following the discovery of Teaching and Learning Like a Pirate, Sketchnotes, and the Project LIT Community.

2MSI:  Practical Strategies to Implement Brain Research in Your Classroom – Meg Basilio & Laboure Rafferty, Teachers, Charles F. Patton MS

Brain research has changed how educators view student intelligence and learning.  This presentation focuses on translating brain research into practical applications in classrooms.  Increasing student learning and engagement, developing the idea of growth mindset with students, and structuring instruction to improve student growth and learning.  The objective will be to provide attendees with strategies that will help them develop an engaging classroom that promotes and encourages learning for all students.
Presenter bio:
Meg Basilio’s professional experience spans several levels over 30 years.  Certified in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Level Education and years as a Graduate Educator.  For the past 22 years, Meg has been an educator at Patton Middle School in the Unionville-Chadds Ford SD.  Meg’s background includes extended study, research and training in Learning as well as Instructional Practices.  Meg has presented at various conferences throughout her career and currently serves as a team leader of an 8th grade team of teachers and students.


4:15 PM - 5:15 PM 

2MSJ: Get Your Students Outside with Technology - Patty McGinnis, Gifted Specialist/Editor NSTA Science Scope Journal, Arcola Intermediate School

Attendees will learn how to create an informational Interpretive Trail on their school campus that integrates science standards. This project can be easily modified so that the trail’s focus can be history, English, physical education, or any content area subject, making it an ideal multi-disciplinary project for a middle school teaching team. Information will also be shared about how to use a free online Learning Center to locate additional STEM projects appropriate for middle school.
Presenter(s) Bio
Dr. Patty McGinnis is a middle gifted support specialist for the Methacton School District in Eagleville, PA. She is also the editor of Science Scope, the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) practitioner’s journal for the teaching of middle school science and author of Be a Winner: A Science Teacher’s Guide to Writing Successful Grant Proposals.  McGinnis’ professional background includes serving as NSTA Director of Middle Level Science Teaching (2012-2015), past president of the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association, and participation on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association. Dr. McGinnis’ extensive educational background includes an Ed.D. in Educational Technology from Boise State University and graduate degrees in the fields of Biology (George Mason University), Science Education (Miami University), and Educational Technology (Boise State University).

2MSK:   How We Implemented the House System – Heidi Marshall (Principal), Julie Mehler, teacher, Sharpesville MS (STW)

The House System of Sharpsville Middle School creates a culture of unity and equity, as every student has a place where they “belong”, whether or not they play a sport or an instrument. Our House System is unique in that it incorporates local history, as each house is named after a historically significant family in the community. The House System also builds leadership skills, provides mentoring, fosters strong peer relationships, and allows for friendly competition.
Presenter(s) Bio
Heidi Marshall is the principal of Sharpsville Middle School, which was designated a School to Watch in 2017. mnmnJulie Mehler is the school nurse for the Sharpsville Area School District, grades 6-12. 

2MSL:  Supporting Mental Health at the Middle Level  - David Schreiber (Principal), Robert Niziol, & Sherri Crockett, Teachers, Bentworth MS (STW)

How can a middle school meet the needs of students with severe mental health needs?  A small, rural middle school in southwest Pennsylvania has implemented a successful partial hospitalization program within its walls to support students who would not typically be served in the regular education setting.  Learn how they partner with a local outside agency to create a positive learning culture that supports students with mental illness. 
Presenter(s) Bio
David Schreiber is the principal of Bentworth MS.
Robert Niziol
Sherri Crockett
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