$2 per 1 Clock Hour of Continuing Education Credit through NSSC Academy!


Keynote Speaker - Kareem Neal

Meet the 2019 Arizona Teacher of the Year

Kareem Neal is a self-contained Special Education teacher, having taught students with severe cognitive delays for 21 years. Kareem began his career as an educator working at The Developmental Learning Center of New Providence, a school for students with autism, where he received training in Applied Behavior Analysis and learned techniques for reaching students with special needs.


After three years, he relocated to Arizona to study under the world renowned Lorna Jean King and teach at The Children's Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies where he learned how to apply advanced cognitive and behavioral teaching strategies and Sensory Integration in a classroom setting. For the past twelve years, he has served as the self-contained Special Education teacher for Maryvale High School. As the PLC leader for the Phoenix Union High School District, he has created and developed all of the curricula across all content areas used district wide in self-contained Special Education classes.


Kareem is also the sponsor of Maryvale High's Diversity Club and the Vice President of the Phoenix Union High School District's Black Alliance. With his National Board Certification in progress, he has been recognized by the National Education Association with a Diversity Grant; earned the Maryvale Revitalization Committee's Educator Excellence Award, and is a former Teacher of the Year for Maryvale High School. Kareem was awarded an honorary doctorate at Northern Arizona University. 


We are excited to learn from Kareem's experiences!

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2019 Workshop Sessions

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Helping Kids Make Sense Out of Life

Bruce Hesse - Marana Unified School District, Tuscon

At Mountain View High School,  three interventions are in place which make a difference in the lives of our students, particularly those from at-risk and underrepresented populations: Study Skills, Student Support Groups, and Student Success Plans. Weekly followup and support resulted in data indicating over 60% can become successful students. In this session, a high school intervention counselor will be present to share insights and provide answers to participant questions.

Culturally-Relevant Teaching Practices as the Foundation for Restorative Justice

Phillip Wooley - Phoenix Union High School District  

The implementation of culturally-relevant teaching at Betty Fairfax has led to increased academic performance and reduction in discipline incidents and suspension rates. The session will focus on the implementation of Restorative Justice at Betty Fairfax High School in the Phoenix Union High School District. Participants will learn engaging and usable strategies to transform their school-culture for both students and adults from a Principal Coach in an area school district.

Creating an Emotionally-Safe Classroom: Maximum Learning Potential

 Susie Francis and Kari Dressler 

This session will demonstrate to participants how to create a classroom which values emotional well- being based on brain function. Participants will learn how to create a “Safe Spot” for his or her classroom and methods for breaking the cycle of tattling and foster emotional assertiveness. The connection between emotional well-being and academic achievement will be discussed.

Classroom Management: Implementing New Strategies for Excellence

Tasha Layton - Eastern Arizona College

Have you ever wanted better tools for managing your classroom? This presentation will include multiple tools and strategies supported by current research in psychology and classroom ecology. Learn new ways to find more teaching time, enjoy the magic of teaching, and create an environment of mutual respect by minimizing behavior issues.

Hop OnBoard The Energy Bus: Creating the Culture of Your Dreams

Niki Spears - The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus for Schools is a transformational multi-year approach to transforming school culture by embracing shared leadership. Participants will have the opportunity to look at how seven key principles impact them in their personal lives and how they can share these principles with students and families.  As a former educator and school principles, Niki brings these principles to life as participants are able to make a direct connection between their own behaviors and the results they have and will produce.

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Schoolwide Pride Guide: Using Children's Books to Advance Social Awareness

 Mark Busch - National Safe Schools Convening

A majority of elementary educators feel unconfident and ill-equipped to foster conversations on LGBTQ issues in the classroom. In this session, a professional development specialist will share lesson plans that provide elementary educators an opportunity to discuss LGBTQ issues in the classroom. Participants will have the time to reflect on their own teaching and gain access to dynamic classroom resources.

Using Group Work to Support Culturally Diverse Middle School Students

 Krista Galindo & Meghan Molden -  at Marana Middle School, Marana, AZ

During this session, attendees will be introduced to the ASE Group Counseling model. This model incorporates both psychoeducational and counseling strategies to address social/emotional concerns, academic concerns and explores personal and academic goals. Marana Middle School counselors will discuss how they have incorporated this ASE model into their counseling program. 

SAFETY: It Doesn't Happen By Accident

Kari Dorn - Battle Lake Public School, Clitherall, Minnesota 

In order to learn successfully, students need to feel safe. This workshop will provide you with teacher-tested and classroom-proven strategies and techniques that will help turn your classroom into a safe and effective learning environment. Participants will be able to gain insight and resources from a high school educator.