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Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers

S. Paul Boyer
S. Paul Boyer

President, Boyer Associates

S. Paul Boyer

President, Boyer Associates

Paul Boyer has, for nearly his full career, worked independently as a writer and researcher focusing on college choice, school reform, and American Indian higher education.

Paul started his career in journalism but turned his focus to education in 1989 when, in collaboration with his father, Ernest Boyer, he authored a report for the Carnegie Foundation about the emerging network of tribally controlled colleges, institutions of higher learning founded and charted by tribes. Building on this work, he next established Tribal College: Journal of American Indian Higher Education and served as editor for seven years.

For the past twenty years Paul has served as president of Boyer Associates, a consulting firm initially established with his father. His focus remains on Indian education, as well as trends in higher education and school reform movements. Books and reports include College Ranking Exposed (Peterson’s, 2003), Building Community: Reforming Math and Science Education in Rural Schools (University of Alaska Press, 2006), and Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science: The Integration of Native Knowledge in Math and Science at Tribally Controlled Colleges (Salish Kootenai College Press, 2010). He is currently project director of a National Science Foundation-funded initiative examining the status of indigenous languages in the United States and abroad.

Paul has taught in a variety of setting, including an American overseas school in San Jose, Costa Rica (1985-6) and the California State University, Chico (1987-9). More recently, he has taught online writing and proposal writing courses at Empire State College and Thomas Edison State College.

Boyer holds a doctorate in Educational Theory and Policy from the Pennsylvania State University. He lives in Ithaca, New York with his wife Hilary and their three children.

Lillian M. Brinkley
Lillian M. Brinkley

NAESP Mentor Trainer

Lillian M. Brinkley

NAESP Mentor Trainer

Lillian M. Brinkley spent 40 years in the Norfolk, Virginia Public Schools serving as a teacher, instructional leader, adult education specialist, reading teacher, and as an elementary principal for 29 years. In 1985 she was selected by the Governor Charles Robb to create Virginia's first and only Model Elementary School. Under her leadership, Willard Model School, once one of Norfolk's lowest achieving schools, was transformed into one of the city's highest achieving schools and served as a model for educators from across the nation and many foreign countries. In 1994, Dr. Ernest Boyer selected Willard Model School to become one of the 13 original sites for the implementation and validation of his Basic School framework.

During her career, Lillian received recognition from more than 100 professional organizations, state and federal agencies, and civic and social groups and served as president of the Norfolk Association of Elementary Principals, The Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. She has appeared on numerous national television shows, such as Good Morning America, the Today Show, and CNN Live. Lillian was the first certified mentor trainer in Virginia and is a National Distinguished Principal.

Since her retirement in 1999, she has remained actively involved in civic and religious organizations and is in great demand as a consultant on improving educational opportunities for children, particularly in an urban setting. She established Norfolk's New Principals Mentoring Program, and has led the new principals program for thirteen years. She also serves as an education specialist for the MHWEST Consulting Firm, Richmond, Virginia, and has done consulting work for the Ministry of Education of the UAE and Bermuda.

Patrick Callaghan, Jr
Patrick Callaghan, Jr

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction- South Western City Schools, Grove City, Ohio

Patrick Callaghan, Jr

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction- South Western City Schools, Grove City, Ohio

Proud to be a public school educator for over 31 years, it was in discovering Dr. Boyer's Basic School research and its priorities that Patrick found his "education sweetspot." Experiences as a teacher of grades 1-5, elementary school principal, and Executive Director for Elementary Schools provided Patrick with the foundation for his passion for elementary school curriculum and instructional leadership.  He has implemented Dr. Boyer's priorities at the school and district levels, most recently with 16 elementary schools in the South-Western City Schools in Grove City, Ohio.  Now serving as South-Western's Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Patrick is continuing his focus on the Basic Schools priorities with 5th and 6th grade intermediate schools, and using the core concepts of the Basic School research to bridge middle and high schools in creating an educational culture of optimism and HOPE.  Patrick's guiding principle is that as educators, we are not paid to merely teach children, we are on a mission to be their hope for a better future.  Hope is not a noun -- something to "have".  Hope is a verb -- something we strive to "BE."

Christine R. Gibson
Christine R. Gibson

Irving B. Weber Elementary School Principal - Iowa City Community School District - Iowa City, IA

Christine R. Gibson

Irving B. Weber Elementary School Principal - Iowa City Community School District - Iowa City, IA

Christine has been principal for Weber Elementary for 11 years. In that time she has facilitated data analysis and Comprehensive School Improvement Planning; Implemented a building leadership team; Led Weber Elementary community through attendance rezoning that included significant changes and growth in the number of at risk families; Engaged parents as full partners. Presentations have included: "Creating a Concept Based Curriculum to Align with District Standards and Benchmarks" Basic School National Institute, San Antonio, TX (2005);"Lesson Study in a Learning Community" Basic School Regional Institute, Kansas City, MO (2003);“Where to Start: Basic School Curriculum and District Standards/Benchmarks” Basic School Regional Institute, Kansas City, MO (2002); Connections: Making Themes Meaningful for Children” Basic School Regional Institute, Kansas City, MO (2001).

Carla Janes
Carla Janes

Millennium Elementary School Principal - Kent School District - Kent, WA

Carla Janes

Millennium Elementary School Principal - Kent School District - Kent, WA

B.A. Ed. EWU; M.A. Ed., U of W; Administrative Credentials, CWU.  33 yrs. in education, classroom teacher, reading specialist, educational assistant, assistant principal, & 10 yr. principal at Millennium Elementary in the Kent School District.  14yrs. experience working with the Basic School Philosophy.  AWSP, ASCD.

At Millennium, we consistently use The Basic School framework to guide our decisions regarding instruction and children.

"Millennium Elementary School will support all children and adults through The Basic School framework. We will offer a comprehensive curriculum based on state and district guidelines as well as individual needs and interests. We will strive to create a safe climate within a caring, supportive community. We will actively work to develop positive character traits through the 8 Core Virtues."

Dana M. McCauley
Dana M. McCauley

Crellin Elementary School - Garrett County School District - Oakland, Maryland

Dana M. McCauley

Crellin Elementary School - Garrett County School District - Oakland, Maryland

Dana McCauley describes her school leadership role as one in which she "coordinates and monitors an instructional program that guides students to achieve and sustain academic success." Under her guidance, her elementary school last year won recognition as a National Title I Distinguished School. McCauley became principal of Crellin Elementary in 2002. She has inspired the development of a culture at the rural school in which character education is part of daily routines.

Her success in this endeavor earned Crellin Elementary the distinction of receiving the Ernest L. Boyer Best Practices in Character Education Award in 2008. In leading her community to build a history-themed school playground while also coordinating a stream restoration project, McCauley organized the Crellin Community Corps of Discovery. Composed of school staff members, students, community members, and representatives of agencies and organizations, the Corps seeks to engage students in meaningful learning opportunities. Its efforts have resulted in the creation of an outdoor classroom for Crellin Elementary's 84 students. This five-and-a-half-acre learning site is the Crellin Environmental Education Laboratory. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded McCauley's school the President's Environmental Youth Award in 2007. In addition, the Maryland Association of Environment Outdoor Education named Crellin Elementary a Maryland Green School. McCauley holds a B.S. and an M.Ed. from Frostburg University in Maryland and an Ed.D. from West Virginia University.

Donald A. Murk
Donald A. Murk

Chair, Dept of Education, Messiah College

Donald A. Murk

Chair, Dept of Education, Messiah College

Dr. Donald A. Murk serves as a Professor of Early Childhood Education and Chair of the Department of Education at Messiah College. Dr. Murk has a B.S. in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Messiah College, an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland College Park.

Don’s research interests lie in school reform/renewal. He has been active in the Basic School Network and in promoting the Basic School concept around the country. Don believes that the vision of the Basic School is alive and well in successful schools today. All great schools focus on the “School as Community”, a “Curriculum with Coherence”, a “Climate for Learning”, and a “Commitment to Character”.

Travis Peck
Travis Peck

Principal Downey Elementary School

Travis Peck

Principal Downey Elementary School

Travis Peck has been the principal at Downey Elementary School, Harrisburg, PA since July 2013. He has had an adventurous career as an educator and school administrator with the Harrisburg School District for over 14 years. Travis has endured first-hand how state and local level educational budgets impact individuals by being furloughed three times over his educational career.

While the principal at Downey School, Travis and his team worked diligently on implementing the Leader in Me from Franklin Covey and the Together for Tomorrow initiative with their strong partnership with Messiah College. Downey School’s student engagement has increased with students taking on leadership roles, staff morale is up, and they had over 2,000 parents visit the school for various school events during the 2013-14 school year. He is an active member of the Principal Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals along with other organizations.