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Elkhart Culture Series: Thought Leadership Conference has ended

ELKHART COMMUNITY SCHOOLS 

Registration Directions:  (1) Review the event details, sessions and speaker information; (2) Click "Tickets" or register on Eventbrite HERE; (3) Once you register, your Sched account will be created and you’ll be able to make a personal agenda.

**American Sign Language services available for all general sessions through Goshen College and interpreting services. 

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Tuesday, May 21
 

TBA

Greeting and Networking Center - 7 AM to 3:00 PM with Refreshments
Conference attendees take advantage of sharing knowledge, gaining advice, and drawing inspiration from the experiences and outlooks of their colleagues in so many ways.  Networking continues as they meet one-on-one at the conference sessions where they can spark discussion and connect with each other throughout the Lerner, IUSB Elkhart, and Elkhart Chamber of Commerce.  Altogether, the networking opportunities at the  Culture Series 2.0:  Thought Leadership Conference yield professional and personal dividends for attendees that last throughout the year.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Valerie Priller

Valerie Priller

principal, Beardsley Elementary
Mrs. Valerie Priller is an experienced school administration with a strong passion for ALL children. Mrs. Priller works closely with stakeholders to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative practices that positively impact young lives. Mrs. Priller serves on several local committees... Read More →
avatar for Nicole Serge

Nicole Serge

Assistant Principal, Elkhart Community Schools
Ms. Serge has 14 years of educational experience, including teaching in an elementary alternative program at Bashor Children’s Home and as a classroom teacher at Beardsley Elementary. Ms. Serge joined the Beardsley adminstration staff in 2015. Ms. Serge believes whole heartedly... Read More →


TBA

Quiet Rooms 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Limited Capacity seats available

The quiet rooms are reserved to reflect and refresh throughout the day.

  1. Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce NIPSCO Room, 2nd Floor.
  2. The Lerner in Crystal Ballroom C 


TBA

Quiet Rooms 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Limited Capacity seats available

The quiet rooms are reserved to reflect and refresh throughout the day.

  1. Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce NIPSCO Room, 2nd Floor.
  2. The Lerner in Crystal Ballroom C 


7:00am EDT

Registration
Tuesday May 21, 2019 7:00am - 8:00am EDT
LERNER Foyer

8:00am EDT

** General Session Featured Speaker: Vibrant Relationships
Limited Capacity seats available

Relationships Matter.  You never realize the impact you will have on another person.  The challenge is to truly understand the power you have to impact the life of another.  Melinda challenges listeners to  strive to be the light in somebody’s else's life and be sure to recognize and honor those who have been a positive impact in your life.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Melinda Higginson, Ph.D.

Melinda Higginson, Ph.D.

Principal, Elkhart Community Schools
Dr. Melinda Higginson, Principal at Eastwood Elementary (2 years), Former Principal at Tarkington Traditional School (8 years) and LaSalle Intermediate (2 years) in South Bend. Prior to being a school administrator, I was a middle and high school teacher for 13 years. Doctorate Degree... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:00am - 8:45am EDT
LERNER Auditorium

8:55am EDT

Attracting and Retaining Talent: Worldview Panel Discussion
Limited Capacity filling up

Being part of a connected community means more than knowing who you live next to; saying hello, smiling, waving and stopping for a chat from time to time. It also means understanding the changing nature of communities in their historical and cultural contexts and the role of communities in sustaining and enhancing the quality of life for all.

As we think about the changing demographics in our schools, businesses, and communities, particularly for women, minorities, and immigrants, you are invited to engage with us to hear from the distinguished panel experts, discover the value of implementing diversity and creating inclusion to attract and retain talent, and co-create the conversation by asking your questions.

Discussion Questions
  1. What are the critical factors that create a place where people want to live, work, invest, and play? 
  2. How can inclusive practices help businesses, schools, and communities attract and retain talent?
  3. What strategies should businesses, schools, and communities implement (in terms of practices and policies) to attract and retain talent?
  4.  How can businesses, schools, and communities work together to target and distinctively retain women, minorities, and immigrants in the community? 



Moderators
avatar for Gilberto Perez

Gilberto Perez

Dean of Students, Goshen College
Gilberto Perez, Jr.,is the dean of students at Goshen College. In this capacity, Perez provides institutional leadership to the areas within student life, which includes residence life, campus ministries, counseling and health, campus safety, intercultural student support and retention... Read More →

Breakout Session Panelists
avatar for John Pinter

John Pinter

Executive Director, Pinter Consulting/United Religious Community
John Pinter is an independent consultant who works with small businesses, nonprofits, education and government. He served as an emergency planner with the Red Cross and with local entities for over 12 years, and brings a passion for readiness as a means of developing resilience and... Read More →
avatar for Marina Hadjioannou Waters, JD, MPH

Marina Hadjioannou Waters, JD, MPH

President, Luna Language Services
With the eighth fastest growing immigrant population in the US and over 100 languages represented, Indiana is rapidly evolving. Diversity is no longer something that is happening to Indiana, it is Indiana. Marina will be speaking to the critical shifts public and private organizations... Read More →
avatar for Taj Suleyman

Taj Suleyman

Equity Director, Dubuque School District
Taj Suleyman is a global nomad and Third Culture Kid/person (TCK). His international personal upbringing began molding his intercultural awareness of how to navigate intercultural differences from the time he was a child. Taj was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon by a Sudanese father... Read More →
avatar for ​Constance O. Peterson-Miller

​Constance O. Peterson-Miller

Director of ​Admissions and International Student Services, Indiana University South Bend
Connie Peterson-Miller is Director for the Offices of Admissions and International Student Services and an IU DACA liaison at IU South Bend. She has served international students, along with their families and supporters, for more than 30 years at 3 institutions of higher education... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:55am - 9:55am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 220

8:55am EDT

It STILL Takes A Village
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Our schools are a reflection of our communities, we can no longer ignore the level of influence both have on one another. We need to embrace, leverage, and reinvent this connection with today’s youth in mind as true engagement is a two-way street.  Schools, families, and other members within our community are more interconnected than we often realize.  Inspired by writings from James Ainsworth, I will share my 5 characteristics of a thriving village, and break down strategies that help build bridges between the school and the surrounding community.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Nathan Boyd

Nathan Boyd

Principal, South Bend School Zone
Nathan Boyd is the principal of Navarre Middle School for South Bend School Zone. As a former school administrator of 13 years, he prides himself on being a champion for children. He received the 2012 ISCA Exemplary Administrator Award, he was 2017 NASSP Indiana Principal of the Year... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:55am - 9:55am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 134

8:55am EDT

LGBTQ+ Community Inclusive Practices
Limited Capacity filling up

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Mixhi Marquis

Mixhi Marquis

Executive Director, Mosaic Health & Healing Arts
Mixhi Marquis has been a leader in creating inclusive and welcoming spaces for the LGBTQ+ community for over 25 years. They are the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mosaic Health & Healing Arts, Indiana's first LGBTQ+ competent and openly welcoming family medical practice, which... Read More →
avatar for H.R. Jung

H.R. Jung

Executive Director, The LGBTQ Center
The LGBTQ Center is Northern Indiana's only Center dedicated to the promotion of LGBTQ+ experiences and inclusivity.  Our purpose is to see a community where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered.H.R. comes to South Bend from Indianapolis where he most recently was... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:55am - 9:55am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 218

8:55am EDT

Technology Trends in Education
Limited Capacity seats available

Curious about the different ways technology is being used across the country in the classroom?

  • Wondering what the best practices are for using technology in the classroom? 
  • Do you own or run a business and want to join the conversation about the types of technology skills and experiences students will be entering the workforce with? 
Come to this interactive session designed to provoke thought and inspire conversations around how students and teachers are using technology to improve learning. 

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Wesley Molyneaux

Wesley Molyneaux

Administrator, Elkhart Community Schools
Wes Molyneaux, an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher, is the director of technology integration in the Elkhart Community School District. He is accountable for the development of processes related to improved professional practice through technology initiatives... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:55am - 9:55am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 219 401 S. Main Street Elkhart, Indiana 46514

8:55am EDT

The #1 Determinant of Student Success or Failure
Limited Capacity filling up

Why are 7,000 students dropping out of school every single school day in America?  Lack of talent?  They don’t have potential?  Research suggests something much different.  An individual's level of success or failure is determined by one thing…their mindset.  Seth unpacks the power of intentionally developing the mindsets of students and shares some simple yet powerful solutions.  

Session goals are to educate participants in the study of mindset, offer solutions to schools searching for curriculum that addresses the social emotional state of students, and provide on-ramps for business leaders and community members who want to impact students but aren't sure how.  

Participants will walk away with an understanding of:  
1) the power of mindset
2)  ways to develop healthy mindsets
3)  what they can do to impact student mindsets

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Seth Maust

Seth Maust

President, Five Star Life
Inspired to act by the alarming dropout rates, drug use, and gang involvement throughout schools in his community, Seth Maust co-founded Five Star Life, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to change the face of education by changing the mindsets of students. Five Star Life’s... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:55am - 9:55am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 133

8:55am EDT

Turnaround Schools: 7 Correlates of Effective Schools
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, attendees will be able to identify and use systems to effectively address components of the turn-around-school model.  The components are based on the research of Dr. Larry Lezotte and Ron Edmonds:  7 Correlates of Effective Schools.  These are “correlates” because researchers have identified them as being correlated to student achievement.  

Participants will become aware of the correlates that leaders use to improve the performance of the school through the collaboration of all stakeholders.

7 Correlates of Effective Schools
1) Climate of high expectations
2) Frequent monitoring of student progress
3) Opportunity to learn and student time on task
4) Safe and orderly environment
5) Positive home-school relations
6) Strong instructional leadership
7) Clear and focused mission


Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Sarita Stevens

Sarita Stevens

Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Elkhart, Elkhart Community Schools
Sarita obtained her Bachelor of Art from Iowa State University and her Master of Science in Education from Purdue University. She had obtained her Ed.S and is currently pursuing her doctorate from Indiana State University. She holds several educational licenses: Teaching, School Administration... Read More →



Tuesday May 21, 2019 8:55am - 9:55am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 204

9:00am EDT

Courageous Dialogue
Limited Capacity filling up

The aim of this session is to create knowledge within a group, to think together interactively about your value system.  You will be empowered to stand in your beliefs and in your truth.  You will learn how to express your emotions so that you tap into your inner power to discern where relationships fall in your life.  What happens when you find out someone betrays you?  If you are not engaged with people - it becomes just a transaction.  It takes courage to speak your truth and own your voice.  Conversations might include, gender, race, LGBTQ+, relationships, religion, and more.
  • Navigate emotionally charged conversations to remain in the professional lane
  • Realize what you bring to the conversation when talking to others
  • Understand your filters and decide what needs to be changed 
Recommended readings prior to the session
 

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Melannie Denise Cunningham

Melannie Denise Cunningham

President, Peace Works United
Melannie’s professional and volunteer service spans several decades and industries including federal, city and state government, non-profit, radio, television, higher education and entrepreneurship. She has served with the Department of the Navy, Department of Commerce, City of... Read More →



Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
LERNER Crystal Ballroom A

9:00am EDT

Neuroleadership and Inclusion
Limited Capacity seats available

“Leadership from Within” is understanding the neuroscience of your brain and how your brain processes information to make decisions. Understanding this process gives your personal insight, increases self-awareness and deepens understanding of others.  This session is designed to increase your individual leadership skills by understanding the science of how you generate information and make intentional choices. How we interpret situations, respond and interact, drives the way we are seen as a human and a leader. It is about our choices that determines our success.

Session Goals
  • Introduction of neuroleadership theories and how our experiences impact our conscious and unconscious decisions- specifically its relationship to intercultural interactions.
  • Recognize how the brain works and strategies for creative integration of personal values and behavior that align with purposes, beliefs and values. 

Session Outcomes
  • Participants will understand the concepts and theories of NEUROLEADERSHIP and HOW it impacts effective internal and  external communications. 
  • Understand how our individual experiences register in our brains and influence our actions and recognizing our individual and group biases 
  • Develop our intentional choices in our decision-making through self- awareness.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Darlene  von Behren, Ed.D.

Darlene von Behren, Ed.D.

President, i-ilinc Innovative Leadership in Intercultural Communications
DARLENE VON BEHREN She has spent over 30 years in public education as a teacher and administrator in both USA and Canada. As an experienced teacher, she has taught at all education levels; elementary- multiage, middle, and high school curriculum for at-risk youth and adult education... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce - Action Center

9:00am EDT

School Culture Rewired
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, attendees will know what school culture is, what it is not, and learn some rules about messing with it, and an increased curiosity about the construct.  The goal of this session is to help participants understand that the culture will determine the degree to which any of this can occur.

Suggested Readings
School Culture Rewired: How to Define, Assess, and Transform It by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker
School Culture Recharged: Strategies to Energize Your Staff and Culture by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker
Minds Unleashed: How Principals Can Lead the Right-Brained Way by Ryan Donlan and Steve Grunert


Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Stephen Gruenert, Ph.D.

Stephen Gruenert, Ph.D.

Professor, Indiana State University
Dr. Grunert has published three books through ASCD about school culture. Currently, he is a professor of Educational Leadership at Indiana State University, in his 17th year there. Previously, he has been a public school administrator at the middle and high school levels in Misso... Read More →



Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:00am - 11:00am EDT
Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce - Boardroom

10:05am EDT

Developing Immigrant Communities into Fuller Participation in the Local Economy
Limited Capacity filling up

The primary focus of the session will be on the many immigrant communities that are an under-appreciated cultural resource in the greater South Bend/Elkhart Region.  Attendees will discuss models of inclusion.  
Participants will have a better understanding of what immigrant communities are in the area and how they can be better included in the life of the region.



Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for John Pinter

John Pinter

Executive Director, Pinter Consulting/United Religious Community
John Pinter is an independent consultant who works with small businesses, nonprofits, education and government. He served as an emergency planner with the Red Cross and with local entities for over 12 years, and brings a passion for readiness as a means of developing resilience and... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 10:05am - 11:05am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 218

10:05am EDT

Education of the Future: Thinking Outside the Box
Limited Capacity filling up

Attendees will discuss what the education of the future should and will look like.  They will examine some key elements that can accelerate and personalize learning.   Participants will make plans for how they can make changes to their educational environment to address needs of learners in the future.

The goal of this session is to discuss and itemize education needs of the future. Each participant will make a plan for how they can incorporate these needs in the future.   Participants will be able to adapt learning environments to the educational needs of the future.



Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Carl Rust

Carl Rust

Director Elkhart Elementary Academy, Elkhart Community Schools
Carl Rust has been an educator for over 30 years. He has been a classroom teacher, an assistant principal, and a director of alternative education. He has also worked in newspaper, insurance, and collectible industries. Elkhart Elementary Academy is an alternative program for students... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 10:05am - 11:05am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 204

10:05am EDT

Panel Discussion: We Are Responsible for the Learning and Well being of ALL Students
Limited Capacity filling up

In this session, participants will explore the role of the organization in including all individuals and discuss with panel of experts the benefits of this effort.

Attendees will explore the concept of "normal", compare bias relevant to disability type , define "right to access", consider various approaches for successful inclusion in different settings, and celebrate gifts that come through an inclusive culture.

Participants will gain an appreciation for the challenges and benefits of including individuals with disabilities.

Moderators
avatar for Dawn  McGrath, Ph.D.

Dawn McGrath, Ph.D.

Director of Special Services, Elkhart Community Schools
Dr. Dawn McGrath is a passionate advocate for strengthening the community through the appreciation of the gifts that each person can contribute.  She began her career as a special education teacher, working with children from elementary to high school in four different states.  She... Read More →

Breakout Session Panelists
JG

Julie Guthrie

Intense Intervention Teacher, Elkhart Community Schools
avatar for Lindsey Brander

Lindsey Brander

Supervisor of Special Programs, Elkhart Community Schools
RO

Roma Osterloo

Education Consultant, Elkhart Community Schools
SK

Stephanie Krol

Parent, Community


Tuesday May 21, 2019 10:05am - 11:05am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 220

10:05am EDT

Relationships Matter
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Relationships Matter is an interactive session to assist principals or leaders outside of education with supporting and coaching non-relational teachers/employees.  Specific strategies will be offered in guiding conversations with teachers (and other employees outside of education) on how to be relational.  

The goal of this session is to provide specific strategies for administrators or leaders to use when working with non-relational teachers/employees (Examples include a template for coaching conversations, specific narratives that can be used during the evaluation process, and activities that can be used in PD sessions with staff to promote positive relationship building) .

Participants will take the strategies with them to implement in their perspective fields.
  • Increase awareness of self and leadership strategies.
  • Awareness of inclusion, education and community outcomes.


Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Melinda Higginson, Ph.D.

Melinda Higginson, Ph.D.

Principal, Elkhart Community Schools
Dr. Melinda Higginson, Principal at Eastwood Elementary (2 years), Former Principal at Tarkington Traditional School (8 years) and LaSalle Intermediate (2 years) in South Bend. Prior to being a school administrator, I was a middle and high school teacher for 13 years. Doctorate Degree... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 10:05am - 11:05am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 133

10:05am EDT

School Without Walls: Digital Tool to Engage Students
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session you will increase your awareness about the program Elkhart Community Schools launched in 2014 known as School without Walls.  The flexible and inclusive program was designed to reach seniors who, for whatever reason, were falling short of graduating. high school.  School without Walls became the vehicle through which students earn credits to graduate through a digital learning program that benefits more than seniors; it provides credit generating options for students with anxiety, health issues, employment, or other special circumstances. 

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Krista Hennings

Krista Hennings

Principal, Elkhart community schools
Krista Hennings, District Graduation FacilitatorFacilitating system-wide student development on closing the graduation gap while enhancing student achievement.Assisting in development of strategies to address disproportion that exists in suspensions, expulsions, and dropouts for various... Read More →
avatar for David Bird

David Bird

Assistant Principal, Elkhart Community Schools
David Bird\\'s background is anchored in education and museum work, primarily history museums.  For over fifteen years he served as Executive Director or Curator for museums in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia.  He also provides consulting to museum personnel on issues... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 10:05am - 11:05am EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 219 401 S. Main Street Elkhart, Indiana 46514

11:15am EDT

** General Session Featured Speaker: Create AMAZING! Be A Superhero for the Cultures in Your Life!
Limited Capacity seats available

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, operational excellence for lunch, and everything else for dinner.” – Peter Drucker

It’s no secret that culture permeates every single aspect of an organization! Since an AMAZING culture doesn’t happen by accident, you must be intentional in the development and ongoing protection of the cultures in your life. Hayley Boling, MBA, an enthusiast about organizational culture who speaks all over the country on the topic, will deliver an upbeat presentation on what it takes to build and nurture an AMAZING culture in today’s dynamic environment.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Hayley Boling

Hayley Boling

CEO, Boling Vision Center
As the CEO of Boling Vision Center, Hayley leads the overall growth and expansion initiative for the practice. Under her leadership, the number of clinic locations doubled and the number of providers increased by 80 percent. She co-founded and helped launch the Elkhart Education Foundation... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 11:15am - 11:45am EDT
LERNER Auditorium

11:45am EDT

LUNCH BREAK ON YOUR OWN IN THE CITY WITH A HEART
Tuesday May 21, 2019 11:45am - 12:45pm EDT

1:00pm EDT

A Community-Engaged Educational Ecosystem
Limited Capacity filling up

A Community-Engaged Educational Ecosystem brings students and teachers from K-12 and higher education together with stakeholders from city government, industry, and other community organizations to work on projects that benefit the community while developing key skills in the students.  

This presentation will discuss two ongoing projects in partnership with the Center for Civic Innovation at Notre Dame: the Elkhart Catalyst, in which team of high school and college students are working on housing and other issues, and the STEM+Music program where students at Pierre Moran Middle School and Roosevelt STEAM academy are building instruments and composing music for a community performance with Grammy-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion.

The goal of this session is to introduce a model for mutually-beneficial partnerships between K-12, higher education, and community stakeholders and to provide examples.  

Participants will learn about ongoing programs and provide input on how they may be extended or enhanced.


Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Jay Brockman, Ph.D.

Jay Brockman, Ph.D.

Director, Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation
Jay Brockman is Director of the Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame.  He received his Sc.B. degree from Brown University in 1982 and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992.  Dr. Brockman was a developer of Notre Dame’s college-wide... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 219 401 S. Main Street Elkhart, Indiana 46514

1:00pm EDT

All Means All-Building Pathways for Success
Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, you will discover pathways to success for adults and students alike.  Participants will walk away with the purpose of ALL succeeding and 3-5 innovative strategies to accomplish this purpose  

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Valerie Priller

Valerie Priller

principal, Beardsley Elementary
Mrs. Valerie Priller is an experienced school administration with a strong passion for ALL children. Mrs. Priller works closely with stakeholders to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative practices that positively impact young lives. Mrs. Priller serves on several local committees... Read More →
avatar for Nicole Serge

Nicole Serge

Assistant Principal, Elkhart Community Schools
Ms. Serge has 14 years of educational experience, including teaching in an elementary alternative program at Bashor Children’s Home and as a classroom teacher at Beardsley Elementary. Ms. Serge joined the Beardsley adminstration staff in 2015. Ms. Serge believes whole heartedly... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce - Boardroom

1:00pm EDT

Building a High-Performing Culture - What it Really Takes
Limited Capacity filling up

Do you know what it really takes to build a high-performing culture?  When you learn strategies for developing and sustaining high-performance you can accelerate readiness of leaders to lead initiatives and opportunities at the next level, and your organization will enhance goal achievement. This session will help you identify your team's performance culture, and utilize strategies for breaking performance barriers.  
Are you ready?
•    Identify individual and team performance cultures 
•    Learn three key strategies for breaking high-performance barriers 
•    Implement the strategies to sustain high-performance    



Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Thresette Briggs

Thresette Briggs

Chief Performance Officer, Performance 3, LLC
Thresette is the Chief Performance Officer of Performance 3 (P3), a national leadership development firm and certified M/WBE and WOSB headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. P3 believes that every leader can be high performing, with the right opportunity and the right culture, and... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
LERNER Crystal Ballroom A

1:00pm EDT

New Immigrants and Hidden Talent
Limited Capacity seats available

Community members who come to us from around the world share in common certain extraordinary qualities: courage, resilience, adaptability, true grit. Yet they must negotiate a number of cultural, linguistic and legal challenges successfully in order to settle in well. We will look at some of the frameworks in which these particular community members must operate, and how we can support their transition from newcomer to student, colleague, and next door neighbor, and prosper as a community.

The aim of the session is to introduce some of the cultural, linguistic, and legal structures that we must be aware of as we seek to connect new community members to resources.

At the end of this session, participants will leave with a basic understanding of some of the parameters that determine how to connect international newcomers with the right kind of resources, as well as contact information for support services.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for ​Constance O. Peterson-Miller

​Constance O. Peterson-Miller

Director of ​Admissions and International Student Services, Indiana University South Bend
Connie Peterson-Miller is Director for the Offices of Admissions and International Student Services and an IU DACA liaison at IU South Bend. She has served international students, along with their families and supporters, for more than 30 years at 3 institutions of higher education... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce - Action Center

1:00pm EDT

Panel Discussion-Room At the Table: Cultivating Community in Religious Diversity
Limited Capacity seats available

Join us for this intentional conversation and challenge to creating spaces of welcome and growth when religious diversity exists.  Participants will share in examples from current climate and culture that engage our panel and audience in identifying barriers, personal steps and blind spots that can exist and hinder effective and intentional community cultivation.

Panel Discussion Questions
  1.  At what point does one's own faith identity or religious expression impact that of another who identifies differently?  
  2. What does it take for one to willingly enter into a space of grace with others and self? 
  3. Consider a time when you felt your own identify or expression wasn't honored or allowed to freely reveal?  
By the end of the session, participants will
  • know what potential barriers to effective community cultivation can exist navigating circles of religious difference 
  • identify personal steps they can take to help facilitate a space that others can enter into and stay at the table 
  • learn of potential blind spots they may have when engaging in cross-cultural connections with people who identify differently in faith, theology or ideology

Recommended Reading 


Moderators
avatar for Dr. LaKendra Hardware

Dr. LaKendra Hardware

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Goshen College
Dr. LaKendra Hardware cultivates communities of difference with an eyes-wide-open approach.  She enters into spaces of diverse identity and awareness with an intentional goal of fostering openness, honor and support for self and others.  At Goshen College, Dr. LaKendra helps craft... Read More →

Breakout Session Panelists
avatar for Mohammed Sirajuddin

Mohammed Sirajuddin

Imam, Society of Michiana Islamic Center
Mohammed Sirajuddin has been working as a full time Imam with the Islamic Society of Michiana for last 20 years.  Most of his education and training was attained in different seminaries and a university in India, in the Islamic education and Eastern languages.  He completed a Master's... Read More →
avatar for Nakeisha Alayna Alexis

Nakeisha Alayna Alexis

Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism Coordinator, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Nekeisha Alayna Alexis brings several practical, administrative and intellectual gifts to each of her roles at AMBS.As a member of the Communication team, she is the Graphic Designer and Website Specialist and is responsible for designing publicity materials and managing the seminary's... Read More →
avatar for Plez Lovelady, Ph.D.

Plez Lovelady, Ph.D.

President, Beulah Bible College & Seminary
Dr. Lovelady earned his Ph.D. from Freelandia Bible College and Seminary, Cassville, Missouri, and is the former host of the radio program, "Strength for Today."  As a biblical scholar, senior pastor of Southside Baptist Church, and a professor of Biblical Theology at Beaulah Bible... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 220

1:00pm EDT

SHIFT Into Personal Leadership
Limited Capacity filling up

Participants will increase cultural intelligence and engage their own principles and goals as a framework for honoring the value of intercultural difference when responding across cultural divides.
Each participant in this session will create an individualized guide for navigating intercultural differences, uncertainty, and change, based on their own personal values. Intercultural Personal LeaderSHIFT strengthens people’s awareness of their goals so they can apply that understanding in a framework to chart their best course of action. Decision-making based on one’s own ideals can boost confidence and add clarity in times of personal and professional transition. Three decades of research validate how wells this system can increase productivity, generate more inclusive academic and corporate climates, and improve employee satisfaction.



Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Leni Marshall, Ph.D.

Leni Marshall, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Wisconsin -Stout
Leni Marshall, Ph.D., Director and Consultant, is an accomplished Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity solutions leader, with more than twenty years of experience developing and implementing strategies to expand intercultural awareness and generate organizational climate change. A leading... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 133

1:00pm EDT

Technology Trends in Education
Limited Capacity seats available

Curious about the different ways technology is being used across the country in the classroom?

  • Wondering what the best practices are for using technology in the classroom? 
  • Do you own or run a business and want to join the conversation about the types of technology skills and experiences students will be entering the workforce with? 
Come to this interactive session designed to provoke thought and inspire conversations around how students and teachers are using technology to improve learning. 

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Wesley Molyneaux

Wesley Molyneaux

Administrator, Elkhart Community Schools
Wes Molyneaux, an Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher, is the director of technology integration in the Elkhart Community School District. He is accountable for the development of processes related to improved professional practice through technology initiatives... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 221

1:00pm EDT

Zooming in on History: Images, Change, and Implicit Bias
Limited Capacity filling up

Participants will know how to “see” differently, move past implicit bias, and make change happen.


Using an interactive format, the Intercultural Development Continuum, and historians’ tools, we will explore historical images to uncover unconscious bias in today's workplaces. Our goals are to learn about real, intersectional U.S. history (ordinary people!), how they made history, and how we can make significant changes in our workplaces and communities too. Participants leave with the handout “How to Read an Image” so that they can continue to “see” differently, move past implicit bias, and make change happen.

Our goals are to learn about real, intersectional U.S. history (ordinary people!), how they made history, and how we can make significant changes in our workplaces and communities too. 

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Kate Thomas

Kate Thomas

Historian Consultant, University of Wisconsin
Consultant, and licensed Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), works with individuals and institutions on intercultural development and social justice. Her background in teaching U.S. history grounds all her work in real-life examples of ordinary... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 134

1:00pm EDT

Change Management in Education: Where I’s Thrive in Teams
Limited Capacity seats available

The one constant that all educators understand is that our profession is ever-changing.  On a slow day, it is a system in flux with moving targets, differing expectations, and conflicting demands – a system that we thought we knew when we signed-up-for it, but now different in how it defines itself each year of our careers.  It is “change-constant”!  Yet a perplexing reality works against change initiatives that we as educators undertake: The fact that the individual needs and ambitions of educators are subordinated, or even sacrificed, for the betterment of the team.  Further, that the very things adults need from schools are in many cases, de-prioritized or even forgone, for those of the students.  

Dr. Ryan Donlan, educational author, former K-12 leader, and university scholar, suggests a different approach – one that offers a countering perspective to those who might say, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM,’” and “Children come first in schools.”  

Please join Dr. Donlan as he discusses change management in education, from the inside-out, and rediscover for yourselves in your own way, how to move forward professionally and make a lasting difference while not being afraid to look inside and ask, “Why?” and “Is this working for ME?”

Recommended Readings
Minds Unleashed: How Principals Can Lead the Right-Brained Way by Ryan Donlan and Steve Grunert

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Ryan Donlan, Ed.D.

Ryan Donlan, Ed.D.

Professor of Educational Leadership, Indiana State University
Dr. Ryan Donlan, Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership of the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University served for twenty years in K-12 education, most of that time as a Superintendent, as well as a school building leader. He has served in both traditional... Read More →



Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 218

1:00pm EDT

Secondary Traumatic Stress
Limited Capacity seats available

This session is for anyone who starts each day with the intention to make the world a better place. It's for leaders who, through their work, witness the crisis or suffering of others.  Secondary trauma, sometimes referred to as compassion fatigue, is best defined as the cumulative physical, emotional, or psychological response that occurs due to exposure to others’ traumatic events. These interactions, combined with the stress of everyday life, often lead to burnout, the breakdown of a positive workplace culture, and a decrease in the ability to build or sustain healthy relationships.  Participants will learn about the impact of secondary trauma, begin to identify the personal signs of vicarious trauma, and gain techniques for establishing a system of self-care while still working to make a difference in the lives of others.  

Session Goals
1) To understand the impact of secondary trauma on individuals, organizations, and communities
2) To recognize the signs of secondary trauma
3) To establish a self-care process to reduce the effects of secondary trauma

Participants will gain self-reflection skills to guide them in their capacity to do meaningful work and to continue serving in leadership roles within their community.  

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Kerry Mullet

Kerry Mullet

Teacher and Elkhart Teachers Association, Elkhart Community Schools
Kerry Mullet currently serves as the president of the Elkhart Teachers Association (ETA). Additionally, she provides instructional interventions to students through her work as an elementary teacher with Elkhart Community Schools. Mullet earned an M.S. in Special Education, as well... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 1:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 204

2:15pm EDT

Economic Development
Limited Capacity filling up

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Chris Stager

Chris Stager

President, The Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart Co
Christ oversees all facets of the EDC of Elkhart County operations including budgets, marketing, work plans, management, metrics and business attraction.


Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm EDT
Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce - Boardroom

2:15pm EDT

Elkhart Community Schools Partnerships Past, Present and Future
Limited Capacity filling up

As former Elkhart Teachers Association President,  Alex host an interactive session with attendees to examine and discuss past and present collaborations between Elkhart Community Schools and other organizations.  Costs and benefits will be a focus.  Conversation about future partnerships will also take place.  

Participants will know more about Elkhart Community Schools partnerships with Growing Kids Learning Center, Boys and Girls Club of Elkhart County, and Beacon Health, and the Elkhart Education Foundation and know how they can influence the direction and scope of future partnerships.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Alex Holtz

Alex Holtz

Teacher/Former ETA President, Elkhart Community Schools
Alex Holtz is a Bristol kid who graduated from Elkhart Central in 1990.  I graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from Purdue University in 1996.  I taught one year in Middle School at Washington Township in the 1996-1997 school year and have taught every year since at Elkhart Memorial... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 133

2:15pm EDT

LGBTQ Youth
Limited Capacity seats available

Today's youth who identify as LGBTQ are under pressure to label themselves.  They question who they are and how they fit in the community at large.  Here is the question:  What is the "Q"?  In this session you will discuss dealing with oppression beyond the LGBTQ community and radical inclusion, and creating spaces that honor every part of our identities, backgrounds, and experiences. 

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Rev. Amy Kulesza DeBeck

Rev. Amy Kulesza DeBeck

Pastor, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart
The Rev. Amy Kulesza DeBeck has been minister since August 2008. Amy brings a spirit to the shared ministry of UUFE that revolves around beloved community. Following in the footsteps of minister emeritus Gordon Gibson, Amy also enjoys a public ministry in Michiana, participating in... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 221

2:15pm EDT

Literacy for Schools and Community
Limited Capacity filling up

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Sheryl Keeslar

Sheryl Keeslar

Academic Coach, Elkhart Community Schools
To fulfill her childhood ambition, Sherry became a teacher!  She strove to be the compassionate teacher that believed in nurturing students with knowledge.  For seventeen years, she practiced compassion as a kindergarten teacher and loved everything about it.  Being one that often... Read More →
avatar for Tara White

Tara White

Director of Literary, Elkhart Community Schools


Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm EDT
Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce - Action Center

2:15pm EDT

PRIDE and Work Ethic Certification: Character Counts
Limited Capacity seats available

This session will explain the use of PRIDE and Work Ethic Certification to assist students in gaining required character education in preparation for post school life.  The program ties education and career pathways to local business and universities.    

The goal of this session is to highlight Elkhart Community Schools  systemic focus on character education, work ethic certification and student achievement.

Attendees will understand students and employer benefits of being connected to the Department of Workforce Development initiative regarding Work Ethic Certification.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Anthony England

Anthony England

Assistant Superintendent, Elkhart Community Schools
Tony England is the Assistant Superintendent of Exceptional Students.  He has worked at Elkhart Community Schools for seven years.  Tony has a background in working with school-wide behavior supports and character education. Tony has provided training and consultation regarding... Read More →
avatar for Levon Johnson

Levon Johnson

President/CEO, Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
President Levon oversees research, development, and implementation of strategic planning to address the priorities as identified by the Board of Directors. Directs operations of the Chamber to carry out programs of work to meet the members’ needs. Acts as a chief spokesperson for... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm EDT
IUSB Elkhart Room 219 401 S. Main Street Elkhart, Indiana 46514

3:15pm EDT

** General Session Featured Speaker: Why Diversity and Inclusion Should Matter
Limited Capacity seats available

With the eighth fastest growing immigrant population in the US and over 100 languages represented, Indiana is rapidly evolving. Diversity is no longer something that is happening to Indiana, it is Indiana. Marina will be speaking to the critical shifts public and private organizations are making to fully engage all Hoosiers, irrespective of the differences between us.



Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Marina Hadjioannou Waters, JD, MPH

Marina Hadjioannou Waters, JD, MPH

President, Luna Language Services
With the eighth fastest growing immigrant population in the US and over 100 languages represented, Indiana is rapidly evolving. Diversity is no longer something that is happening to Indiana, it is Indiana. Marina will be speaking to the critical shifts public and private organizations... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 3:15pm - 3:45pm EDT
LERNER Auditorium

4:00pm EDT

Roundtable Discussion: Year 2025 - Attract & Retain Talent, Create Inclusive Communities, and Foster Inclusive Economic Development through Vibrant Relationship
Limited Capacity filling up

What to expect?  The Thought Leadership Roundtable: 
Based on empirical data at the national and metro level, the result is clear: inclusion is good for growth, and growth is good for inclusion. Hosts will serve as conversation moderators to encourage sharing and exploration of the topics from the participants’ own perspectives. All participants’ sharings are welcome and valuable, no matter what level of experience or knowledge you have on the topic.

Thought Leadership Table Discussion Topics:

1)  Roundtable:  How do we attract and retain talent?
2)  Roundtable:  How do we create an inclusive, community culture?
3)  Roundtable:  How do business leaders support economic development strategies that promote diversity & inclusion?

Objectives
- To identify the economic drivers regarding diversity
- To build a case that identifies how diversity can be leveraged for both economic and cultural gain
- To understand how to minimize the negative costs of diversity issues that have been ignored or poorly managed

Recommended readings prior to session

Moderators
avatar for Eric Ivory

Eric Ivory

Sales and Diversity Manager, Kem Krest
Eric Ivory is the Sales Administrator and Diversity Manager at Kem Krest LLC. As a sales professional, Ericmanages chemical and accessory programs for major OEMs in the Automotive and Powersport markets.As the Diversity Manager, Eric leads all internal diversity initiatives as well... Read More →
avatar for Matt Werbiansky

Matt Werbiansky

Supervisor of Corporate/Community Partnerships, Elkhart Community Schools
Matt Werbiansky, MS in EducationMatt is in his 27th year in education.  After earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Purdue University, West Lafayette, he began his teaching and coaching career in Mishawaka, Indiana.  There he taught Physical Education and Mathematics... Read More →

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D. (~)

Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D. (~)

Assistant Superintendent, EDI, Conference Executive Producer, South Bend Community School Corporation
Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D., is the Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion at the South Bend School Corporation. She has served as a teacher and building and district level administrator. Tessa is the founder and Executive Producer of the Thought Leadership Conference... Read More →



Tuesday May 21, 2019 4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT
LERNER Crystal Ballroom C 410 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516, USA

5:45pm EDT

** General Session Panel Discussion: Year 2025 - Building an Inclusive, Connected Community Culture: Education, Business, & Community
Limited Capacity seats available

Communities are facing various demographic shifts in our region that demand college-career ready performers and agile,  innovative workplaces.  Being part of a connected community means more knowing who you lives next to; saying hello, smiling, waving and stopping for a chat from time to time.  

Today's thought leaders must join forces to attract and retain talent, create inclusive communities, and improve economic development opportunities for all. These challenges and opportunities are high-stake matters, and the schoolhouse is major economic driver in the community and strong indicator of where people choose to live, work, and play.

Objectives of the panel discussion
  1. Identify areas of potential opportunities in business, education, and community to attract and retain talent
  2. Describe specific examples of inclusive communities in different communities to explore such opportunities; and
  3. Make suggestions as to how such opportunities may be further developed

Recommended readings prior to session


Moderators
avatar for Levon Johnson

Levon Johnson

President/CEO, Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
President Levon oversees research, development, and implementation of strategic planning to address the priorities as identified by the Board of Directors. Directs operations of the Chamber to carry out programs of work to meet the members’ needs. Acts as a chief spokesperson for... Read More →

Breakout Session Panelists
avatar for Candy Yoder

Candy Yoder

Chief Program Officer, Community Foundation of Elkhart County
avatar for Darial Sterling

Darial Sterling

Cultural & Linguistic Competence Coordinator, The SOURCE, Elkhart Co., Systems of Care
Darial Sterling is the Cultural and Linguistic Competency Coordinator (CLC) for The SOURCE, Elkhart County’s System of Care.  Darial’s current role as a CLC coordinator is to collaborate with service providers, leaders and stakeholders to help put systems and programs in place... Read More →
avatar for Kellie Mullins

Kellie Mullins

Board of Trustees, Vice President at Large, Elkhart Community Schools
avatar for Marian Hodges

Marian Hodges

Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development, Data Realty
Marian Hodges is vice president of corporate strategy and development at Data Realty. She is building an organizational operating system that creates a culture of engagement and increases the equity value of the company. With a career spanning 20+ years, Marian has worn many hats... Read More →
avatar for Phil D'Amico

Phil D'Amico

Vice President of Business Development, Holladay Constuction Group
Phil D’Amico joined HCG in July 2018 as Director of Business Development, after having spent over 25 years as an executive leader in both the private and public sectors. Phil has also held several leadership positions in business and industry since relocating to the State of Indiana... Read More →
avatar for Steve Thalheimer, Ph.D.

Steve Thalheimer, Ph.D.

Superintendent, Elkhart Community Schools
Steve Thalheimer assumed the role of superintendent at Elkhart Community Schools in January 2019. For the six years prior to joining Elkhart, Thalheimer had served as superintendent for Fairfield Community Schools in Elkhart County after being their assistant superintendent for 5... Read More →
avatar for Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D. (~)

Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D. (~)

Assistant Superintendent, EDI, Conference Executive Producer, South Bend Community School Corporation
Tessa R. Sutton, Ph.D., is the Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion at the South Bend School Corporation. She has served as a teacher and building and district level administrator. Tessa is the founder and Executive Producer of the Thought Leadership Conference... Read More →
avatar for Yolo Lopez Perez

Yolo Lopez Perez

Director of Development, Center for Healing & Hope
Award winning news reporter, coordinator of the Indiana Latino Business Expo, major gift officer, and bilingual multimedia developer experienced in video production, marketing, event planning and community outreach. Devoted to connecting with people, encouraging personal and professional... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 5:45pm - 6:45pm EDT
LERNER Crystal Ballroom B 410 S Main St, Elkhart, IN 46516, USA

7:00pm EDT

** General Session – Culture Series: Continuing the Conversation with Dr. Randal Pinkett, Ph.D.
All conference attendees will receive a general admission ticket to attend the evening event with Dr. Pinkett.    Additional tickets are available through the Lerner Theatre box office. 

The arguments for diversity and inclusion have been made very clear from an organizational perspective but what is the argument from a personal vantage point?  Why should you care as an individual?  What is the value to you?  During this presentation you will learn about the Global Citizen’s Mindset, which inherently sees the value of establishing relationships with people from different cultures both to make you a better person and the world a better place.

Breakout Session Speakers
avatar for The Lerner - 7 PM Keynote: Randal Pinkett, Ph.D.

The Lerner - 7 PM Keynote: Randal Pinkett, Ph.D.

President/CEO, BCT Partners
LINK TO LERNER THEATRECulture Series: Continuing the Conversation - 7:00 PM - The Lerner TheatreRandal D. Pinkett is an American business consultant who in 2005 was the winner of season four of the reality television show, The Apprentice. Pinkett was the first African American to win the US version of... Read More →


Tuesday May 21, 2019 7:00pm - 8:30pm EDT
LERNER Auditorium
 
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