Keynote Sessions



Re-Imagining the Full Promise of Schools: A Systems-Informed Approach to Achieving Integrated Academic, Health, and Developmental Outcomes for All Children

Today, public schools represent a mandatory “treatment” with significant implications for the immediate and lifelong well-being of our children. In this presentation, we will identify key limitations of the current academic model and suggest a fully re-imagined model of schooling that more adequately supports equal and integrated goals for student academic, health, developmental, and life success. We will consider how schools can become the vibrant embodiment of a community’s commitment to its children and how communities can work together to create an educational environment characterized by well-being, challenge, growth, and success. Finally, we will share stories of schools who have “done it right” and celebrate the powerful difference that we can make in the lives of our students.

About the presenter – Michael Mann

Michael Mann’s professional background includes over 22 years serving children, adolescents, and their families as a school health education and promotion practitioner. His professional roles have included being an alternative school teacher and principal, a regional director and director of organizational development for a national alternative school organization, the founder of two non-profit youth development organizations, and as a school evaluation consultant. Currently, in his work as an assistant professor at West Virginia University’s School of Public Health, he has been focused on the professional preparation of school teachers, counselors, and administrators as well as other child and youth health advocates. His teaching and research have emphasized how all education professionals can: 1) create healthy learning environments, 2) choose active and challenging learning strategies that encourage student achievement, growth, and discovery, and 3) advocate for and with young people to promote student health and life success. Recently, much of this work has focused specifically on middle school health education/promotion and the impact of school climate on early adolescent health and wellbeing. In the past five years, Michael has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles in the areas of school and adolescent health, as well as given over 30 peer-reviewed research presentations and over 20 invited talks at professional development conferences, local schools, and community alliances/partnerships. He is also a member of the American School Health Association’s board of directors and the Journal of School Health’s editorial board. Michael’s presentations are often characterized as being passionate, warm, humorous, action-oriented, and grateful. He uses creative and fun demonstrations to clarify complex ideas; and no matter how large the group, his presentations are interactive and feel intimate and personal.



The Power of One Caring Adult: Every Kid Is ONE Caring Adult Away from Being a Success Story

Josh Shipp was a foster kid, class clown, a rebel without a clue, a troublemaker. He was written off, kicked out, and every adult’s worst nightmare. Until one caring adult changed everything.

Learn from his wealth of experience of working teens, parents, and educators from every walk of life. This program is part inspirational “keep at it” and part practical seminar “here’s exactly what to do.

Topics covered: The 5 common mistakes to avoid, how to get through to ANY teen, case studies of what works AND what doesn’t, simple and effective ways to let teens know you care, and helpful real-time Q&A”

About the presenter – Josh Shipp

Josh Shipp is an author, global youth empowerment expert, and acclaimed speaker. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate, he is renowned for his documentary TV series (A&E), that followed his ground-breaking work with teens.  He is the author of the national bestseller “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination“, and was listed on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list. He’s spoken at universities such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT & UCLA.

He is a recognized teen expert for media outlets as MTV, CNN, FOX, The New York Times, 20/20, Good Morning America.

He’s worked with groups of parents, educators & mental health professionals plus has spoken to more than TWO Million teens live.

His ultimate goal is to help as many young people as possible. He trains other speakers through Youth Speaker University and his online mentoring program for teens A Year of Awesomeness has a world-wide reach. His free newsletter offers exclusive strategies to parents, educators, and youth workers.”


Win Josh’s Book!  

We are giving away 100 copies of Josh’s book, The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans over the next few months and at the conference.  Look for special contests through your email, on our Facebook page, and on the conference app.