Featured Speaker - Barbara Van Haren


Meet the Assistant State Superintendent of Learning Support

Barbara Van Haren is the Assistant State Superintendent of the Division for Learning Support and formerly the State Director of Special Education at Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Barb has worked at the district and regional levels and in higher education prior to coming to the state level, bringing rural, suburban, and urban experiences. She previously served as the Director of Special Education and Pupil Services and Regional Special Education Network Director at Cooperative Educational Service Agency #1. In the past, Barb has served as an Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services for the Howard-Suamico School District and as an Assistant Professor of Special Education at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Barb continues to teach as an Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Arts in Teaching at Carroll University, specializing in special education, collaboration and inclusive practices. Barb is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, attending Wisconsin public schools and the UW system, completing her doctorate in educational administration from UW Madison. She has served as the past president for Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS) and The Arc Fox Cities.

Workshop Sessions

Bringing Culture to the Forefront

Joe Williams - Elementary Instructional Coach/Mentoring Coordinator

Kenosha Unified/EBSOLA Creative Arts 

In this session, participants will learn how behavior and academic data can be best utilized to foster a positive school climate for diverse student populations. An instructional coach and mentoring coordinator will be present to look at what we can do as educators to build a school community that showcases diversity, recognize the importance of cultures, and use strategies to make all stakeholders feel welcomed and secure.  

How to Deal with Negative People and Keep from Becoming Negative Yourself

Dr. Michael Weber - Superintendent

Port Washington-Saukville School District

Negative People are tremendous energy drainers for children, other adults, and themselves.  They can tear an organization or family apart and can create problems for you if you do not handle them effectively.  Learn how to deal with negativism, increase your own positive approach toward other people and everyday life challenges, and improve the overall atmosphere of your work and home environment and increase the positive energy in any organization.  Participants will take away ten different action steps which can be used immediately to support yourself and others.  

SAFETY: It Doesn't Happen By Accident

 Kari Dorn -  Retired Business/Technology Teacher

Battle Lake, MN 

Educators have one of the most difficult yet most important jobs in America. My passion for helping educators succeed through motivation, inspiration, and a common-sense approach to stress management allows me to provide teachers with research based, proven, practical techniques and strategies that they can start implementing immediately in their classrooms. I want to help educators eliminate 80-90% of the pesky low-level behavioral issues that occur every day all day long in classrooms across America. This will give educators more time to teach, improve classroom climate, and create a safe environment for their students to learn.

Using the 7ei of Trauma Sensitive Schools to Promote a Climate for Student Engagement

Kristine Bune - Clinical Services Supervisor


 Experience and research have shown us the link is strong between regulation needs, and a child's ability to learn. As adults, we have the power to create healing environments where children can learn and perform at their best. Understanding the 7 essential ingredients of a trauma informed classroom provides implications for interventions benefiting all students, and promoting strong classroom communities. Learn interventions and strategies to evaluate classroom need and identify ways to support student success. Participants will discuss perspective shift as an important tool in creating and maintaining engagement for students within the general education classroom, and identify ways to support adults managing school culture and climate for learners. 


 Workshop Sessions will include topics on fostering diversity & inclusion, engaging students & staff in school climate transformation, and developing a safe & supporting learning environment for all students! 



Would You Like to Lead a Workshop Session?

We are looking for practicing K12 educators, classroom teachers, administrators, youth-serving professionals, victim service leaders, and community advocates to lead 60-minute workshop sessions on the myriad of facets which contribute to school climate and culture. 

Are you interested in engaging participants in a dynamic professional development opportunity? Access our workshop application below!

We are now accepting workshop applications for the 2020 Madison School Culture Advocacy Symposium on 4.20.2019.  Presenters will lead a 60-minute workshop session on a topic that addresses the work being done to develop a positive school climate and culture. Sign up using the link below. 

Workshop Application