Featured Speaker - Joby Holcomb


The Intersections Between School Mental Health, Climate & Culture, and Educational Equity

Joby Holcomb, LMHC, CADC, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, received his Master’s degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Joby has worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in a variety of settings including Psychiatric Medical Institutes for Children, outpatient substance abuse treatment and private practice mental health.

Joby is a passionate advocate for school climate and culture and renowned speaker on student mental health systems and supports, bullying prevention, trauma-informed care, and adverse childhood experiences. He is a nationally-recognized speaker, leading presentations and speaking engagements in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oregon, and Minnesota.

Workshop Presentations


Change Leadership - Tackling Tough Cultural Change Effectively

Elizabeth Vaught & Ann Mitchell - Minnesota Department of Education; Regional Centers of Excellence 

This session, for school administrators, leaders, and teacher leaders, provides participants with the opportunity to learn about the importance of managing change and what change models can be used to navigate change within the community of adults in their building. Participants will use a real-world problem they are facing to practice the change model. They will walk away having analyzed their problem and developed action steps for both short-term wins and long-term goals. 

Justice in Education MnEEP Discipline Disparities Toolkit

Lanise Block - Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MNEEP) 

During this session participants will use the new MNEEP Toolkit to explore issues of discipline disparities and experience various mechanisms for advocacy. The Justice in Education Toolkit is designed with unique  pathways and engagement for Parents, Educators, Advocates and Students.  Come to learn about how you can increase your knowledge and impact.  

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.

Restorative Practices and Social-Emotional Learning

Sheila Dokken - Coordinator of Prevention & Safety -  ISD 728

A look at how restorative practices can provide the building blocks for any SEL curriculum in supporting all 5 competencies. The session will include some background training on restorative practices and what they entail and a comparison to the SEL CASEL wheel competencies and benchmarks. Restorative strategies can provide the muscle for a school district's transition to SEL based embedded curriculum. 

Positive school culture: laying it down, making it stick at Tier 1

Chris Hagedorn - The Culture Piece, Inc.

This session focuses on an often-missed Tier 1 strategy: how to gradually release to students the responsibility for classroom routines, learning segments, transitions, and more. Included: 14 pieces of proactive information to consider sharing with students so students stay engaged; two approaches to providing positive feedback; a format for gradually releasing the responsibility of any expectation to students over time, and an-easy-to-use reflective learning cycle that helps bring it all together for students.  Attendees will spend considerable time exploring the presented material while in dialogue with a series of learning partners.

Resources for implementing bullying prevention best practices

Dan McNeil - Peacemakers Minnnesota

This session will discuss best practices in bullying prevention and how PeaceMaker Minnesota, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998, helps Minnesota K -12 schools to implement them by providing financial assistance and training.  Hear from a principal’s point of view of how a partnership with PeaceMaker Minnesota can benefit your work and the students you serve.  Learn about the requirements and process for joining the PeaceMaker Minnesota network to access resources.     


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!  

Workshop Proposal Submission

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 dynamic professional development? Access our workshop application below!

We are now accepting workshop applications for the 2020 Minneapolis School Culture Advocacy Symposium on 4.17.2020 .  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.

Workshop Application