Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Student Focused Teacher Led Conference September 29th and 30th

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Central Administration
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Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts)

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Memo Text

The Arkansas State Teachers Association is hosting the annual Student Focused Teacher Led conference in Little Rock Sept. 29th and 30th. The conference will feature some of the nation’s leading educators and researchers. This is a great learning opportunity for teachers, counselors, social workers, school and district leaders, school safety personnel, and parents.


Engaging speakers will cover a range of topics including:

  • Emotional Poverty
  • Why Poverty Matters and What Schools Teachers Must Do
  • Behavioral Deescalation
  • Trafficking and Child Exploitation
  • The Impact of the Fentanyl Epidemic on Children and Families
  • High Expectations and Data Driven Decision Making
  • Creating Integrated Student Supports through Community Engagement
  • Suicide Prevention and Student Mental Health
  • Stress Management
  • Preventing School Violence
  • Keeping Students Safe and School and in the Community

The opening speaker on day 1, Dr. JoWanda Rollins-Fells, educator and consultant with Dr. Ruby Payne, will conduct an all-day training on Dr. Payne's latest research related to her newest book “Emotional Poverty Volume 2: Safer Students and Less-Stressed Teachers”Attendees will receive a free copy of the book and training materials the day of the conference.


The morning of day 2 offers an amazing lineup of general session speakers including:

  • Arkansas' very own Rosie Coleman, author, educator, and school leader.
  • School counselor Molly Hudgons will share an incredible and deeply inspiring account that illustrates the life-saving power of connection and compassion from her story of “Saving Sycamore: The School Shooting that Never Happened".
  • Cindy Swearingen, Assistant Executive Director of School Safety and Security for the Oklahoma State Department of Education will share her expertise and awareness for educators on the increasing threat of human trafficking and exploitation of children.
  • Jonathan Cristall, a City of Los Angeles prosecutor and the author of the award-winning book, "What They Don’t Teach Teens," will be conducting workshops to sensitize and clarify the many complicated, delicate situations that students face, both in and out of school, and ways parents and educators can empower them to make good choices.
  • Arkansas Teacher of the Year, Jessica Saum, will be providing a lunch keynote on day 1 as well as conducting a session titled Expectations Matter: Presuming Competence in All Children on day 2.
  • School Psychologist Ben Hernandez will be conducting sessions on suicide prevention in schools and student mental health.
  • Dr. C.J. Huff, educator, school & community engagement expert, and founder of Bright Futures USA will share practical strategies on family & community engagement

Day 2 will also feature three morning sessions featuring educator and author Dr. Jenny Severson and an afternoon general session workshops entitled, "The Power of a Teacher" and "Escaping Survival Mode" to help educators 1) understand the neuropsychology that drives survival mode, including the roles of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, 2)  recognize how survival mode erodes the ability to find opportunity, and 3) gain practical physical and cognitive strategies that can be used daily to reduce the negative impact of survival mode.


Lunch will be provided both days! Register and Learn More Here: Student Focused Teacher Led 2022 



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