World-class speaker and author Dr. Adolph Brown III inspired attendees with an insightful talk on implicit bias, during which he encouraged attendees to examine and challenge their opinions of others stating, “A reflective board member, is an effective board member.” Brown shared about the transformative effect educators had on his life as a young man growing up in poverty having experienced trauma at an early age.
Social psychologist, Harvard lecturer and best-selling author Dr. Amy Cuddy closed conference with a presentation on body language and how, in addition to revealing inner attitudes, it can also shape them. She gave examples from her book Presence, which discusses the idea of “personal power” over the self, which doesn’t detract from others’ power, versus “social power,” or that which seeks to control others. According to Cuddy, the pursuit of personal power can lead to greater “presence,” which creates trust among people.
Beyond Test Scores: Mt. Lebanon’s Vision to Develop SEL Competence — Superintendent Dr. Timothy Steinhauer, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ron Davis and School Board Vice President Ms. Sarah Olbrich shared Mt. Lebanon School District’s journey to develop social and emotional learning competence, which allows students and staff to manage their emotions, achieve goals, show empathy, maintain relationships and make responsible decisions. Presenters explained their implementation of CASEL’s district framework and explored their experiences throughout each step of the process.
School District/Public Safety Partnerships: A Key to Improved School Safety — Eric Schmidt, school director at Fox Chapel School District and executive director of Shaler Hampton EMS, and Michael Hower, lead principal of Fox Chapel High School, shared the intricacies of their school-community relationship and how their unique practices keep students safe.
School Leadership and the Transgender Experience — Dr. John Frick, school director at Manheim Central School District, and Dr. Ron Kennedy, athletic director at Donegal School District, facilitated an interactive discussion on the inclusion of transgender students in learning communities and creating equitable schools.
Six Components of a Trauma-Informed School — Principal Harrison Bailey III and Assistant Principal Nikolas Tsamoutalidis discussed how they implemented trauma-informed practices at Liberty High School in Bethlehem Area School District. They shared the school’s six-year implementation plan and talked about their progress so far.