A conference to engage, empower and inspire teachers hosted by WJCT & Community First Credit Union.

Breakout Sessions

[box color=”orange” icon=”info”]TEACH tickets bought for TEACH 2016 and 2017 will be honored for TEACH 2018 on Saturday, February 10, 2018.[/box] [divider/]

7 Steps to Successful Retirement

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


Everything you need to know about DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plans). Topics covered include decisions required before entering the program, what choice is the best for you, payment options, and long-term goals. (Capacity 140)

Zack Toelle

Zack Toelle is originally from Lakeland, Florida, and joined the Community First team of CFS Financial Advisors and plans to stay “for a very long time.” Zack is registered to sell securities in the states of FL, GA, MI, SC, NV and UT. He is insurance licensed in FL. Zack is qualified to help you invest your assets with careful consideration. Zack specializes in building members a financial plan that encompasses all areas of their life, especially with regard to retirement. In addition to specializing in state retirement options “DROP,” Zack works one-on-one with business owners to set up and implement new plans and to monitor existing plans. Married with three children (four if you count the dog!), Zack has a passion for Ford Mustangs and Drag Racing. But where personal growth is concerned, Zack espouses a conviction of the late President Ronald Reagan: “There are no limits to growth, because there are no limits on human intelligence, imagination and wonder.”

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Understanding and Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sponsored by Sponsored by UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and UF Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System in Jacksonville


This two-part presentation will first, cover the neurodevelopmental basis of the Autistic Spectrum condition. Then the presentation will provide strategies to apply the neurologic issues of autistic disorders to the classroom for effectively teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Capacity 90)

David O. Childers, Jr., M.D.

David O. Childers, Jr., M.D. is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville. Childers is fellowship trained in Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics, and Board Certified in Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics, General Pediatrics and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics. In addition to conducting diagnostic evaluations on children and adolescents, Dr. Childers is the Chief of the Division of Developmental Pediatrics, Chief of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics, and Chief of the Division of Child Neurology and Director of the regional Early Steps program.

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Effective Communication: Cracking the C.O.D.E. to Impacting Youth in the Classroom

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida

VPK-12 and Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

This interactive workshop will educate and empower educators/educational leaders who desire to develop or enhance their communication skills as they work with students and families. Educators discover ways to effectively communicate with youth and parents through effective tactics, real-life application, and dialogue to get desired results in the classroom/school. The workshop is provided by a passionate facilitator in an exciting, engaging, and comfortable environment. (Capacity 90)

Nekeshia Doctor, Ed.D.

Nekeshia Doctor, Ed.D. is an passionate educator of sixteen years, author, educational consultant, and CEO of JALIA Consulting, Inc. Nekeshia is a sought-after speaker, leader, and facilitator who facilitates workshops and trainings around the world in areas such as effective communication, classroom management, etc. Nekeshia, affectionately known as the “Communication Catalyst,” helps teachers, administrators, parents, and community youth leaders discover how to impact and effectively communicate with youth using her C.O.D.E, a strategic system for connecting and communicating with youth.

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Differentiating Language Instruction for ELLs

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


In 2015, the state of Florida joined the World Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium (WIDA) and adopted the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) standards and assessment for all Florida English Language Learners (ELLs). This presentation will explore how Florida schools promote collaboration, mutual understanding, and use of these language development standards among all educators who work with ELLs. An explanation of the WIDA framework and standards will be presented along with real world examples of how teachers have utilized information about student backgrounds including linguistic and content abilities, to plan and deliver targeted instruction to optimize the learning experiences of ELLs. Examples of the language scaffolds that allow all ELLs access to the grade level content will be explained. These scaffolds include real world examples of metacognitive strategies that ELLs use to demonstrate the cognitive function demand of their grade level standards. (Capacity 90)

Julia Crowe

Julia Crowe is an ESOL Specialist with Duval County Public Schools. In this role, she plans and teaches with ESOL teachers across the district to help promote English language development and academic achievement for English language learners. Prior to working for Duval County as a specialist, Julia taught English language learners for over ten years.

Virginia Soria, M.S.

Virginia Soria, M.S. obtained a master’s in multilingual, multicultural education from the University of Florida. Virginia currently works as an ESOL specialists for Duval County Public Schools. She worked as an ESOL Lead teacher and has been an English Language Learner (ELL) teacher for almost twenty years. Virginia grew up in the Philippines, is multilingual, and calls Jacksonville her home.

Mary-Ellen Taormina

Mary-Ellen Taormina is an ESOL Specialist for Duval County Public Schools. She has over twenty-five years of teaching experience. Mary-Ellen has presented at the Sunshine State Florida TESOL conference in 1996 and 2000, and the Duval County Public Schools ESOL Multicultural Conference in 2016.

Claudia Rae, M.S.

Claudia Rae, M.S. is a bilingual individual, dedicated to the field of Bilingual Education/ESOL, who promotes cooperation, dialogue, and has a great sense of initiative and leadership. Her internships at elementary and secondary schools in Bogota, Colombia during her four-year studies in foreign languages, combined with her U.S. teaching experience in an low-income, urban schools has taught her a great deal about teaching in high poverty settings.

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The ABC’s of Brain Change

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting

VPK-5 and Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

The brain has to be engaged in active learning to really have an impact on memory. Come and join master teacher, Peggy Campbell-Rush as she shows you about how the brain works and what you can do in the classroom to improve your students’ retention of concepts. Get ready to move and learn in this workshop. Participants will be up and moving to fully engage your body and mind in learning activities that will fire the neurons in the brain. (Capacity 140)

Peggy Campbell-Rush, M.Ed.

Peggy Campbell-Rush, M.Ed. is Head of the Lower School at the Bolles School, Jacksonville, Florida. Peggy has been in education for forty years in both the United States and England. Peggy has sailed around the world twice studying global education. Peggy has been honored as a Fulbright Fellow and two-time National Teachers Hall of Fame finalist, USA Today All American Teacher Team award, two-time New Jersey Teacher of the Year finalist, and named Wal-Mart Teacher of Year twice. She is the author of 7 books for educators.

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Games and Teachable Moments for Study Skills

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


Learn easy to implement games and self-assessments to help students develop study and organizational skills (SOS) and test taking tips. Learn motivational skills and rationale so students will want to improve. Learn how to use teachable moments and get their interest early. Hands-on demonstrations that are easy to implement will help teachers show students how to become better students and enjoy doing so. That’s why it is SOS! (Capacity 90)

Grace Wilhelm, M.A.

Grace Wilhelm, M.A. is a Duval County Public Schools counselor with mental health and teaching experience. She has been recognized as ASCA National School Counselor of the Year Semifinalist, and awarded RAMP and PTSA-FLDOE Parent Involvement Award. She has published “Anger and Me”, “Stress Busting” and “Games and Play to Enhance Counseling and Teaching Strategies.” Speaking engagements have taken Grace as far away as Papua New Guinea. She speaks on topics that include anger control, stress management, study skills, play therapy, disaggregated data, and more.

Marcia Luettchau, M.Ed.

Marcia Luettchau, M.Ed. has been a school counselor for over fifteen years in Duval County. She uses creative story-telling to present lessons for personal and social issues and character education. She is an advocate for school counseling and mental health issues and a big cheerleader for her peers in school counseling.

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Hands-On Math

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


Students learn best when they are engaged, so come try some tried and true math puzzles and interactive activities from my classroom. This session will provide concrete tips and tricks for making math lessons more interactive. Attendees will walk away with specific ideas to make math hands-on and fun and engage all students. (Capacity 140)

Amanda Dyal

This is Amanda Dyal’s ninth year teaching math in Jacksonville, her third year in high school after six years in middle school. During the 2014 school year, she was chosen as her school’s Teacher of the Year and was then selected as one of the five finalists for Duval County Teacher of the Year, in a district of more than 8,000 teachers. Mandy believes in making her classroom fun and engaging and loves using interactive notebooks and hands-on activities.

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Conversation Techniques for Difficult Parents, Students, Teachers, and Administrators

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


Conferences can be challenging, especially when the involved individuals have very different and/or challenging personalities. Attendees will be introduced to the four most difficult student, parent, and teacher/administrator personality types that, if not recognized, can take what should a simple discussion into a battle of wills and non-productivity. This presentation is designed to help identify and prepare effective, non-confrontational conferences by providing identifiable characteristics and specific strategies to manage and diffuse in order to conduct conferences that produce constructive results. (Capacity 70)

Beatrice Lewis

Beatrice Lewis is a retired hearing officer from Duval County Public Schools. She has presented at the Achievement Gap Conference in Chicago, The International Association for Laboratory Schools at Florida State University, and the 2015 TEACH: Better Together Conference. This presentation along with her book, “Really? Apples Don’t Fall Far from the Tree” examines challenging experiences with students and adults that are familiar to many. Bea’s direct “keep it real” style, infused with humor, allows her to speak from the heart with conviction and authority to impart common sense advice.

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Tips to Keep Teachers Talking

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting

VPK-12 and Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

Teachers are at high risk for voice problems. Although 4% of the work force are teachers, 20% of patients at voice clinics are teachers. Vocology is the study of healthy voice production. This interactive session provides helpful information about your voice and tips and strategies to keep it functioning at maximum efficiency. (Capacity 140)

Judy Wade, B.S.

Judy Wade, B.S. has been teaching and performing music for more than forty years. About ten years ago she became interested in the science of healthy voice production. At that time she studied at the National Center for Voice and Speech and received her certification in Vocology. She is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), PAVA (Pan American Vocology Association). She has presented at the Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia and has led workshops in the First Coast area on various vocal topics.

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Integrating FSA ACCESS POINTS, Life Skills, and IEP Goals for Successful Student Outcomes

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


If you are a teacher of special needs students, this is the session for you. As a teacher of student’s with intellectual disabilities in a self-contained classroom setting, I have worked diligently to successfully integrate Life Skills, Florida State Standards Access Points and student IEP goals. My presentation condenses 29-years of experience into useful, successful strategies for teachers working with self-contained students, as well as those mainstreamed in the general education program. (Capacity 90)

Laurie Corcoran, M.S., N.B.C.T.

Laurie Corcoran, M.S., N.B.C.T. has been a teacher in North East Florida for twenty-nine years. She holds National Board Certification in Special Education as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership. As a teacher of student’s with intellectual disabilities in a self-contained classroom setting, she has worked diligently to successfully integrate Life Skills, Florida State Standards Access Points and student IEP goals. This presentation condenses twenty-nine years of experiences into useful, successful strategies for teachers working with self-contained students, as well as those mainstreamed in the general education program.

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0 Bullies: 4 Me

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


What is your score when it comes to bullies in your life? This session has two goals. The first goal is to promote awareness of the prevalence, potential dangers, and lifelong effects of bullying. The second goal is to provide assistance with suggestions and strategies for prevention and intervention based on research driven data. Whether you are a parent, teacher, student, bully, victim, or average Joe, you’ve been affected and need to know the score. (Capacity 90)

Betty J. Bennett, Ph.D.

Betty J. Bennett, Ph.D. has 15 years of experience in K-12 education as a teacher, administrator, coordinator for at risk high school student program, and district trainer of beginning teachers. She was employed at UNF for 19 years, as an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership including teaching in UNF’s Belize M.Ed. program and in her most recent post as the EPI Director. Betty is a certified martial arts instructor and through this venue has taught anti-bullying to children and women’s self-defense. She is considered UNF’s expert on bullying. Her passion is creating safe learning environments for all students.

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#SocialMediaJr: Using Social Media in the K-5 Classroom

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida

VPK-5 and Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

In 2004, I graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s in communications. Never in a million years did I think my 12-year old degree would prepare me to teach better in today’s world. Come see how I joined the social media revolution of K-5 educators using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook Live, and Instagram in unique ways to build digital learners and engage both students and parents in the classroom. Session will also give participants time to join the social media revolution. (Capacity 140)

Allison Hogan, M.Ed.

Allison Hogan, M.Ed. is a Pre-K teacher at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas and holds a bachelor’s in communications from the University of North Florida and a graduate degree in education from Southern Methodist University. Prior to teaching in Dallas, Allison graduated and first taught in Duval County Public Schools. She has been recognized as both an Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development Emerging Leader and a National Association of Independent Schools Teacher of the Future.

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Pathways to Success for Our Students and Community

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting

VPK-12 and Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

By 2018, estimates indicate that more than 60% of the working population will need some postsecondary education in order to obtain gainful employment. Currently, only about 38% of Duval County’s workforce has some postsecondary education. Learn more about the benefits of postsecondary education attainment, and implications and impacts on the Jacksonville community. Participants will gain insights into how curricula can engage every student in thinking about and planning for their future. Particular attention will address the critical issue of “affordability,” and share valuable insights into available financial resources to pay for postsecondary education. (Capacity 90)

Rebecca A. Schumacher, Ed.D.

Rebecca A. Schumacher, Ed.D. is faculty in the School Counseling (SOAR Program) and College of Education and Human Services, at the University of North Florida. Her teaching involves extensive fieldwork in Jacksonville schools, intentionally focused on developing college going cultures. Involved in work for college access and career readiness for every school level student and family, she sits annually on the College Goal Sunday Steering Committee for the Jacksonville sites and has represented Florida on the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative and at the White House FAFSA Summit.

Wendy Dunlap, M.Ed.

Wendy Dunlap, M.Ed. has served as an educator in Duval County Public Schools for seventeen years. After working as a school counselor at the high, middle, and elementary levels, she transitioned to a district level position to support the work of school counselors in the field. She completed her first year as Director of School Counseling this past school year. Wendy is a huge believer that education is the great equalizer and strives daily to work hard to ensure that school counselors have the tools and support to help develop students ready for life, college and career.

Catherine Bekkedal, M.Ed.

Catherine Bekkedal, M.Ed. is a district Supervisor in the School Counseling Department with Duval County Public Schools. She has served as a school counselor for 9 years. Catherine spearheads programs and district initiatives that drive graduation rate and college and career readiness. Currently, she is the Project Contact for the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant. Jacksonville is the only city in Florida to have been awarded this national grant. She believes in equity and access for all students and strives to provide all educators with the skills and knowledge needed to implement efficient and effective programs that support student achievement.

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Got to Love a Linguaphile

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


Are your students inaccurate and somewhat lazy word collectors or are they accomplished wordsmiths who confidently use sophisticated words in speaking, writing, and reading assignments? Join me as we practice vocabulary strategies that will ignite in your students a love of language. Be prepared to “Personify It,” create a “BioWord,” “Connect Two,” “Compose with Three,” become a “Derivative Detective,” make “Contextual Elaborations,” compare “What do YOU Thinks?” be a “Context Referee” and conduct discussions with “Defining Formats.” Attendees will leave this session with a packet of activities that truly represent LAFS.910.RI.2.4 and LAF.910.L.3.4. (Capacity 140)

Patricia Melvin, M.Ed.

Patricia Melvin, M.Ed. is an experienced reading teacher and coach. Although recently retired from Terry Parker High School, she continues to teach reluctant readers. Pat has an extensive background both as a reading specialist, National Urban Alliance mentor, and trainer of secondary teachers. Her strongest assets are her understanding of the intricacies of the reading process; her experience as a diagnostician in developmental reading; her affinity for instructional lesson development; and her ability to work with adults who hesitate to implement academic changes in their personal teaching styles.

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I am my “Teacher’s Keeper”

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


In I am my “Teacher’s Keeper,” attendees will become empowered with the knowledge and tools to enhance a school culture of collegiality and mentorship. (Capacity 140)

Karen M. Rosemond M.Ed

Karen M. Rosemond M.Ed is an educator with Duval County Public Schools who recently joined the JEB Stuart Middle School family. As a graduate of NSDC Academy (Now Learning Forward Academy), former professional development specialist, leader and coach, she’s had the opportunity and privilege of working with various teachers on improving practice to maximize learning for all students. Karen is passionate about professional development and truly believes everyone in the school community has a responsibility to support and contribute to an environment that cultivates the growth and development of all teachers.

Deirdra L. McDowell-Sutton, Ed.D.

Deirdra L. McDowell-Sutton, Ed.D. is in her 24th year as an educator, working in both Pinellas County Schools and Duval County Schools. Dr. McDowell-Sutton has worked at the elementary, secondary, and college level. She earned her B.A. in Learning Disabilities, her M.A. in Behavior Disorders, and her Ed.D in Educational Leadership. She started out as a self-contained Special Education teacher where she advocated for inclusion. Deirdra has worked diligently over the years supporting teachers in enhancing their skills and instructional strategies in order to provide an effective learning environment for all students. In addition to her work in Special Education, she has worked in the Office of Professional Development and served seven years as a Title I elementary school principal. Currently, Dr. McDowell-Sutton works in the Office of School Culture and Climate providing school-based support in the area of positive behavior intervention supports (PBIS) and social emotional learning (SEL).

Amber Pringle

Amber Pringle served as an instructional coach and mentor specialist with The Office of Professional Development for Duval County Public Schools. She worked in collaborative partnerships to support self-directed educators in professional communities that promote teacher retention, interdependence, and continuous growth to maximize student learning and empowerment. She has been an educator for 17 years supporting and learning with students locally and abroad. Recently, she joined the amazing educators at West Riverside Elementary School as a Dual Language Program educator where she continues to learn and grow with her students.

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From Numbers to Knowledge: Prioritizing Student Learning During Science Fair Projects

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida

1-12, Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

Science Fair Projects have been an annual tradition in science classrooms for many years. However, they unfortunately come with a reputation for being overly time-consuming and cumbersome. In addition, they often measure a student’s ability to conform to procedures rather than their ability to conduct scientific inquiry. This session will provide teachers with an overview of why science fair projects are important and how to structure (and assess) them so that they maximize a student’s engagement with the authentic practices of science. (Capacity 90)

Scott Sowell, Ph.D.

Scott Sowell, Ph.D. is embarking on his 21st year as an educator, teaching science at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School. Scott has worked at the elementary, secondary, and college level, with a focus on increasing science literacy, maximizing students’ understanding of the nature of science, as well as researching issues of equity within science education. Since being selected as the 2012 Duval County Teacher of the Year, Scott has been involved with science teacher professional development and teacher leadership.

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“A Final Wave of the Hand”: Creating Student-Centered Public History Through Memories of the Holocaust

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


Attendees will view two brief iMovies on the Holocaust and memory, created by the students following their interviews with survivors of the genocide. This session will explain the process involved, focusing on the often difficult process of crafting meaningful questions, editing, and producing public history. This session will be useful for anyone who wishes to better utilize technology in the classroom, as well as providing an open forum of educators to share their experiences on how to best teach material as sensitive and as emotionally devastating as the Holocaust. (Capacity 70)

Joshua Stern, M.A.

Joshua Stern, M.A. received his bachelor’s in North American History from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. He earned his master’s from York University, in Toronto, Ontario, for his work on sport and immigrant diaspora in Canada’s largest city. He has been in education for ten years, teaching both TOEFL and U.S. history internationally. In January, his students interviewed Holocaust survivors and used these testimonies to create deeply impactful works of public history which were presented at the Jacksonville Jewish Center with survivors and their families in attendance.

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It’s Never Too Early or Too Late

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


People are living longer and pensions are being reduced or eliminated. Social Security may not last far into the future. When financially planning for the future, do you just give up or so you look for answers? This session will help you find answers you need to be financially stable in the future. (Capacity 140)

Ralph Wagner

Ralph Wagner has been a financial advisor for over thirty-five years and currently managers the Investment Services department at Community First Credit Union. Ralph supports a solutions based approach to investment and financial planning based on your needs goals and objectives.

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Creating the Conversation: A Math Discourse How To Guide

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


Learn to develop students that are confident problem solvers through mathematical discourse. Attendees will discuss strategies to engage students and develop conceptual understating through dynamic mathematical discourse. Multiple frameworks will be highlighted that teachers can easily incorporate into their daily routine that will have students representing, thinking, talking, and making connections. Join us to see these practical applications every mathematics teacher can use to ignite mathematical conversations in your classroom. (Capacity 90)

Rob Curran

Rob Curran is a Mathematics Instructional Coach at Kings Trail Elementary School. Currently, Rob is President of the Duval Elementary Mathematics Council and serves as a Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics board member. Rob has presented on topics including orchestrating productive mathematics discussions, and S.T.E.M. integration. His professional interests include encouraging mathematical discourse, developing conceptual understanding of mathematics, and learning how students think.

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If Instruction Isn’t Engaging, I QUIT!

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


If students aren’t engaged during instruction, they aren’t learning at their highest level. Explore seven research-based strategies that every teacher should immediately implement to increase student engagement. This highly interactive presentation is filled with music, movement, and fun learning. (Capacity 90)

Vincent Taylor, M.Ed.

Vincent Taylor, M.Ed. known as “The Rapping Teacher” in many school districts, has written a program that helps students in the area of comprehension called “Rhythmic Reading w/ Rap.” He has presented his highly sought after workshop entitled “If Instruction Isn’t Engaging, I Quit” to over 60,000 educators across the country. Vincent is also the author of the popular children’s book series Cornbread. He is a graduate of UNF where he received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education. His professional growth led him to University of Florida where he earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.

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Developing Critical Thinkers & Problem Solvers: MakerSpace in Pre-Kindergarten

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


Discover how to implement innovative MakerSpace learning experiences that capitalize on young children’s natural curiosity. Presenters will share how a 3-step design process can be used to help children develop critical thinking skills and persistence. The Maker-3 (Think & Talk, Make, Share) is a dynamic learning process that encourages children to design, create, and share collaboratively. As a result, children are better equipped to find multiple solutions to a given problem and share their successes and challenges. You will leave this hands-on, interactive session with engaging strategies, project designs, and rubrics that support thoughtful learning and persistence. (Capacity 140)

Heather Monroe-Ossi, Ed.D.

Heather Monroe-Ossi, Ed.D. is a researcher at the Florida Institute of Education (FIE), and a former urban elementary school teacher and district instructional coach. Her work at FIE includes developing and field-testing innovative instructional strategies to enhance 21st century teaching and learning. Through collaborative partnerships, she recently designed and implemented a six-week summer learning curriculum providing young children with opportunities to use critical thinking, problem-solving, and design skills. Heather has a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Florida.

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Let’s Learn About ADHD

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida

VPK-12 and Pre-Service Teachers/Early Career

This will be a rapid, interactive dive into the world of ADHD and other mental health issues which greatly impact school and social experiences. Emphasis will be placed on strategies and treatments that can improve existing managements. Concepts to be covered include: “Your child is a ship,” “Your child is a Snowflake,” “ADHD is like Diabetes,” “You get the first year of life to…” This lecture is derived from 24 years of experience in the trenches of general pediatrics, getting kids to be on A/B Honor-roll, citizens of the week and on school patrols. (Capacity 90)

Iris Eisenberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Iris Eisenberg, Ph.D., M.P.H. has been a pediatrician in Jacksonville for the past twenty-five years. She has had a long-standing interest and experience with all kinds of mental health issues, including ADHD. Recognizing/understanding a few basic principles can lead to better outcomes for children, their families and their education.

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Qi Gong: Gentle Exercise for Classroom Cohesion and Calm Focus

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


With Qi Gong promote calm focus in your classroom. This simple practice—similar to Tai Chi—coordinates gentle movements with slow breathing to self-regulate emotions, enhance mental clarity, increase flexibility, and promote well-being. Managing stress is an essential part of the learning process and during this interactive session educators will learn techniques to use in their own classroom. In just a few short minutes, students will reap the benefits already seen worldwide. (Capacity 140)

Donna Henderson, L.Ac., R.N., B.S.N.

Donna Henderson, L.Ac., R.N., B.S.N. is the author of Let the Rain Fall Down: Qi Gong Song and Book for Children, practices in northeast Florida and leads Qi Gong classes for children and adults. Her basic style helps bring this timeless art easily into everyday life in the classroom and home. Her passion is sharing habits that bring ease and flow into life and Qi Gong is one of her favorites.

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It’s All About Words

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


Many of you may remember Caroline’s standing room only presentation from last year’s TEACH. Participants will consider what makes a word, its etymology and its root. Lee will explain the process of word acquisition that can be applied for grades K-12 and beyond, using games, group work, and being a word detective. Connections will be made using word families and foreign language acquisition will be explained utilizing affixes as well as roots. (Capacity 90)

Caroline Lee, B.A. Ed., B.A. English, M.A. Ed., M.A. English

Caroline Lee, B.A. Ed., B.A. English, M.A. Ed., M.A. English hails from London, England and is an ELA teacher at Darnell Cookman Middle/High School, qualified to teach K-12. Her students end each year with over 300 roots and affixes that prepare them for FSA, SAT and ACT testing, and life. Lee’s students boast a vast vocabulary, strategies for word comprehension, and confidence in reading and understanding advanced texts.

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How I Wonder What You Are: Science Engagement through Demonstration

Sponsored by WJCT Public Broadcasting


All students wonder about the endless curiosities encountered every day. When students visit the Museum of Science & History (MOSH), we have precious little time to make an impact and leave them wondering about science. Lasting impressions with most groups visiting the Museum are delivered via STEM demonstrations. Learn some of the tricks we developed to create those memorable, wonder-filled experiences in the short time offered to educators at MOSH. (Capacity 90)

Eddie Whisler, B.A.

Eddie Whisler, B.A. graduated from UNF and began teaching science for Duval County, Richland County (S Carolina), and Hawaii Public School systems. Returning to Jacksonville after several years teaching out of state, he took a School Programs Manager position that opened up at the Museum of Science & History, where he has contributed in that unique educational setting for the past 6 years. Currently Director of Planetarium and School Programs, his interaction with students of all ages has allowed him to see students successfully investigate the universe around them in many different settings.

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Funding Your Programs Through Community Outreach and Partnerships

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union of Florida


This dynamic session will provide educators with specific strategies to raise awareness about their programs through social media and traditional news outlets as well as building resources through meaningful community partnerships. Examples of successful partnerships and community awareness campaigns applicable to any teacher will be shared with attendees. Handouts and a question and answer period are included. (Capacity 70)

Jeff Smith, M.S.

Jeff Smith, M.S. is Director of Arts for Duval County Public Schools and is responsible for designing and supporting all visual and performing arts programs. He is the founding principal of Smith Creative, a consulting firm that assists nonprofits with strategic planning, fund development, marketing, and partnerships. Jeff is a member of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville and a proud graduate of the Bank of America Emerging Leaders Program and the United Way of Northeast Florida’s Stein Fellowship program. He recently developed Instruments for Change, an initiative recognized with the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Innovators in Education Award.