2017 MSEA Convention Workshops


Click here for a one-page schedule of all workshops.

8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

3D Printing and Youth Entrepreneurship

This session will share stories about youth enterprises that have resulted from access to 3D printing. The stories featured include young people who have presented their businesses to President Obama and who have continued their 3D printing businesses into adulthood. Room 201

Presenter: Jonathan Prozzi has worked with youth for nearly 10 years, in settings including academic coaching, cognitive training, teaching audio engineering and production, and as a maker educator. Jonathan is passionate about empowering learners of all ages and building pathways to help others reach their potential. He is the Director of Education at the Digital Harbor Foundation.


Mindset Matters: Strategies to Improve Student Achievement

This interactive workshop uses growth mindset and restorative practices to help students understand that their talents can improve through effort and perseverance. Specific examples will be provided. Room 202

Presenter: Kelli Hickey is a classroom teacher and motivational speaker. She is passionate about helping children and adults use growth mindset strategies to develop confidence and persevere through challenges. She is pursuing a PhD at Notre Dame of Maryland.


Educators at Risk: Learn What Legal Risks Educators Face in Today’s World of Social Media, Technology, and Hypersensitivity

Do you know what you should do if you are falsely accused by a student, parent, or colleague? Do you know how school systems often react when their employees are accused of improper behavior? Are you aware of new school policies that restrict activities which may have been permissible in the past? Do you know how school employees are disciplined? Do you know what are the most commons reasons an educator may find themselves in court? Do you know your legal responsibility when handling school funds? This session will address these questions and more. Room 203

Presenter: Damon R. Felton, Esq., is a Maryland attorney serving as Associate Counsel with the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) since February 2001. Prior to joining MSEA, he worked as an attorney with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, a division of the United States Department of Transportation. He holds a BA degree with honors from Morgan State University and received his JD with honors from Howard University School of Law. Felton is admitted to practice law in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.


Facilitating Mentoring Conversations: Entry Points, Mentoring Language, and the CAL

Whether a district-designated mentor or a buddy to a new teacher, building trust and engaging the new teacher in conversations are two keys to a successful mentor/mentee relationship. Participants will receive useful knowledge and tools to make the mentoring conversations meaningful and productive. Room 204

Presenters: Dan Capozzi spent 32 years in Baltimore County Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and manager of the Office of Staff Relations. He worked as an assistant superintendent in Talbot County before joining MSDE as an Education Program Specialist. At MSDE, he is part of the Professional Learning Team, providing teacher induction, mentoring, and Title IIA support to local districts.

Angela de Guzman is a professional learning specialist at MSDE. Her responsibilities include the College and Career Readiness Conferences, Title IIA monitoring, and state-led professional learning initiatives. De Guzman formerly served as a technology integration and elementary classroom teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools.


Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Home/School Relationships

Learn how to identify with people and relate to others in a way that increases your influence with them. To be a successful educational leader, you need to learn to communicate with a view to connecting with others to build effective relationships. Room 205

Presenters: Edward Reed is an educational leader with 20 years of experience at both the middle and high school levels. He was recently honored as the 2017 MCPS Middle School Counselor of the Year. Specializing in building relationships has been the foundation of his success in strengthening and building strategic partnerships to benefit students, staff, and families. He is also a TV show host and serves on various non-profit boards.

Darryl Johnson is an educational leader who has served as both a school counselor and assistant principal. He has developed and implemented a variety of partnership programs to benefit students, staff, and families.


Classroom Management through the Integration of a Youth Development Approach

Have you ever asked the question “How do I get young people to stop disrupting my class and stop behaving negatively towards one another?” This interactive workshop is for teachers who spend more time than they would like handling challenging student behaviors. Room 206

Presenters: Thandor Miller is a Center for Excellence in Youth Development Program Manager. He is responsible for the design and delivery of youth development trainings for community-based organizations, government agencies, youth development volunteers, and key stakeholders. Thandor has more than 30 years of experience working with young people in the District of Columbia. Thandor is a certified national facilitator by the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work (NTI), a program of the Academy for Educational Development (AED).

Syreeta Evans is a Center for Excellence in Youth Development Program Manager. She is passionate and dedicated to infusing a positive youth development approach into the work of community-based organizations that serve young people, focusing on both programming and organizational development.


Make and Take Madness!

Are you looking for new ways to ignite your teaching? Don’t spend a fortune buying things! Come to this highly interactive session to gain new, inexpensive ideas for engaging your learners. Walk away with a folder full of resources created by you! Room 210

Presenters: Pamela Mesta is the ESOL Supervisor for Carroll County Public Schools. Her background includes ESOL, bilingual, elementary, early childhood, adult education, educational technology, adjunct college professor, interpretation/translation, professional development, PARCC ELC and MSDE Master Teacher. Mesta has a BA in Communications, an MA in Education, and has completed post-graduate work in ESL, educational technology, and school administration. Certifications include Maryland APC: ESOL–Elem/MS, Administrator I/II, and National Board Certification in Early Childhood Education.

Olga Reber is an ESOL resource teacher in Carroll County and an MSDE Master Teacher. Her experience includes ESOL, English as a foreign language, professional development, and interpretation/ translation. She has a BS in Secondary Education/Foreign Language Instruction and an MA in Linguistics. Certifications include Maryland APC: ESOL. She has completed post-graduate work in educational technology and is an adjunct college professor.

Melissa Thomas is an ESOL, secondary English, and Spanish teacher in Carroll County. She is an MSDE Master Teacher and adjunct college professor with a background in teacher mentoring, educational technology, and curriculum writing. She has a BS in Secondary Education/Communications and an MS in Curriculum and Instruction with certifications that include Maryland APC: ESOL Pre-K–12, English, Spanish, and speech communications.


Identity and African American Students

This session will explore the identity of African American students and their interaction with the school community, providing instructional and engagement strategies to improve performance. Room 215

Presenter: Robert Murphy is the Director of Title I/ Student Services for Lake Forest School District in Delaware. Previously, he led Maryland’s discipline reform, dropout prevention, and alternative program efforts at the Maryland State Department of Education, including examining disproportionality. He is the author of Decision Points: Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline—A Practitioner’s Perspective. He consults with schools, school systems, community organizations, and professional organizations nationally and internationally. 


10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online

The presentation informs adults about how best to protect young people from negative and criminal influences online.  Topics include social networking, cyber bullying, sexting, and internet predators.  The program provides prevention and intervention strategies and internet safety resources. Room 201

Presenter: Vincent DeVivo is a Community Outreach Specialist for the US Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland, providing public safety programming and community crime prevention efforts. He is a certified Maryland Police/Training Commissions instructor, Gang Awareness Trainer, senior member of the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Prevention Board, executive board member of the Maryland Crime Prevention Association, and a School Outreach Coordinator for the Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute.


Using Powerful Language during Instruction to Increase the Academic Achievement of Reluctant Learners (Part 1)

If you are out of your wits trying to teach and reach reluctant learners, learn to use powerful language, which leads to a rewarding academic life. These magic words will instantly change the game in your classroom with reluctant learners. Batter up! Room 202

Presenter: Gary Hughes is a 17-year teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools. He officially began his career as a classroom teacher at James Madison Middle School in Upper Marlboro, where he taught 7th and 8th English and 7th and 8th grade remedial reading. For the past 10 years, he has taught 9th and 10th grade recovery English at Dr. Henry A. Wise HS in Upper Marlboro.


Can You Build It?

In this hands-on session, participants will build structures to engage in the EDP while addressing Next Generation Science Standards. With the use of a storyline, participants will work collaboratively to create structures, problem solve, reflect, analyze, and redesign structures to make improvements. Room 203

Presenters: Rima Garg is currently working as a mentor teacher with the Office of Talent Development in Prince George’s County Public Schools. She is a published author of a series of science books for elementary schools that are used internationally. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus in STEM.

Montessa M. Lee graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in in Psychology from East Carolina University. After finding her true calling in education, she went on to pursue her Master of Science in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University.  Currently, she works as a Mentor Teacher with Prince George’s County Public Schools. In her role as a mentor, she provides coaching and mentoring to beginning teachers, teachers in alternative certification programs and teachers new to the district. In addition, she is the co-chair for the district’s continued professional development training for teachers throughout their three-year induction. 


Engaging Our New Educator Colleagues: Stand Together to Stay Together

What does it mean to support our new career educators? As colleagues, why should we help?  In this session, we will explore the nurturing culture of teaching to equip you to strengthen our profession by helping early career educators build long, strong careers. Room 204

Presenters: Jessica Wall has taught in Prince George's County Public Schools for five years.  She has presented professional development for fellow staff and mentored a first year teacher transitioning careers.  She also serves as co-chair of the PGCEA Future Educators Committee and is active with her county's Cross Functional Assessment team.

Theresa Fichter has taught English language arts in Prince George's County for four years. She was selected to be an Early Career Leadership Fellow and is a member of PGCEA's Future Educators Committee, which works to empower, unite, and support both early career and future educators.


Engaging Youth of Color

This session is dedicated to teaching workshop participants strategies to engage students of color. Participants will learn best practices, recognize opportunities for diverse cultural spaces in the classroom, identify available community resources to support this work, and increase their awareness of internalized bias and growth opportunities. Room 205

Presenter: Eunice Humphrey is a high school assistant principal in Prince George's county. Dr. Humphrey has over eight years of experience providing support to youth and families, including serving as a school counselor in middle and high school in the Prince George’s County and Washington, DC. She has provided individual counseling to youth and parents, especially working with minority families in the areas of immigration, reunification, and youth exposed to trauma.


Teacher to Teacher Learning: Cultivating Peer Coaching

This interactive session will focus on the peer coaching process as a tool for embedded professional learning. Participants will dive into the process, data, and protocol for peer coaching and look at examples from other schools around the state. Room 206

Presenters: Angelea de Guzman

For presenter bio, see Bio, see Facilitating Mentoring Conversations: Entry Points, Mentoring Language, and the CAL, Friday, 8:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m.

Laura Liccione is a professional learning specialist at MSDE. Her responsibilities include monitoring the State Longitudinal Data System Peer Coaching Collaborative grant for schools across Maryland. Additionally, she is working on implementing a new initiative for central office staff using needs-assessment data in aligning evidence-based strategies to problems of practice. She formerly served as a school performance specialist, department chair, and elementary and secondary classroom teacher in Anne Arundel County Public Schools.


Doodle vs. Google: Visual Grammar for Your Teaching

Do you feel overwhelmed when searching for images? Have you ever said “I can’t draw?” This session is for you! Come learn why and how to engage your students’ visual thinking with digital imagery and on-the-fly doodling. Walk away with digital/hand-drawn resources for your content area. No artistic experience required! Room 210

Presenters: Pamela Mesta, Olga Reber, Melissa Thomas

For presenter bios, see Make and Take Madness!, Friday 8:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m.


Creating Positive Learning Environments: Experiencing Dramatic Engagers in the Classroom

This interactive workshop will identify challenges that we face as educators with student behaviors, disconnection, and content retention. Participants will learn how to create a positive learning environment, and practice innovative active and collaborative, restorative, and brain-based learning techniques to empower students in the classroom. Room 215

Presenters: Dr. Carmen White is a certified Process Communication Model® trainer, author, professional speaker, board certified drama therapist, licensed restorative practice trainer, and consultant. She has provided over 20 years of her expertise in the areas of personal and professional development, leadership, and communication training to organizations, associations and schools. She is the co-author of 50 Dramatic Engagers for Learning and Performance. She has a BA and MA from New York University and a PhD from the University of Maryland.

Lennie Smith is a certified Process Communication Model® trainer, author, board certified drama therapist, professor, educational, licensed restorative practice trainer. He has a BA degree in Educational Leadership and an MA in Speech and Interpersonal Communications from New York University. He has been working with young people and adults for the last 20 years in different aspects of education and communication as a registered drama therapist and educator in New York City.


12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Using Teaching Strategies to Increase Academic Achievement of Reluctant Learners (Part 2)

Once you have established a positive culture of learning by using powerful language, you ask yourself, “Now what? How do I begin to teach the reluctant learner?” This workshop teaches strategies instructors can use in order to maximize the academic achievement of the reluctant learner. Room 202

Presenters: Nathalie Rosales is a special education teacher with an Advanced Professional Certificate. She received an MA in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Special Education for Adolescents with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has been working in education since 2006.

Gary Hughes

For presenter bio, see Using Powerful Language during Instruction to Increase the Academic Achievement of Reluctant Learners, Friday 10:15 a.m. -11:45 a.m.


Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online

For workshop description, see Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online, Friday 10:15 a.m. -11:45 a.m. Room 203

Presenter: Vincent DeVivo

For presenter bio, see Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online, Friday 10:15 a.m. -11:45 a.m.


Creative and Collaborative Approaches to Trauma-Informed Instruction

This presentation will provide an overview of best practices in trauma-informed instruction and effective collabration techniques for educators, specialists, and support staff.  Participants will be exposed to activities to support students’ social emotional functioning, increase self-advocacy skills, and build healthy relationships. The workshop will include discussion and hands-on activities. Room 205

Presenters: Lisa Phifer is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist for Prince George’s County Public Schools and holds a doctorate in education. Her work has focused on facilitating student engagement, trauma-informed education practices, and advocating for the mental health needs of students.  She has created and implemented trauma-informed professional development for educators and co-authored a cognitive behavior focused workbook addressing the symptomology of children and adolescents.

Laura K. Sibbald is a nationally certified speech-language pathologist and mentor therapist with extensive experience in the high school environment. Within Prince George’s County Public Schools, she regularly provides professional development training for speech-language pathologists, administrators, and educators on the benefits of collaboration and the use of an interprofessional practice model to support student achievement.


Understanding the Emotional and Psychological Effects of Poverty

As educators, we must be equipped to reach every student in our classroom, regardless of what they bring through the door. A crucial part of being able to do so is understanding student backgrounds, including the increasingly prevalent role of poverty. Room 206

Presenter: Jayson Williams attended The George Washington University and received his Master’s degree in Secondary and Transition Special Education. After earning his degree, he entered the classroom and has worked in alternative education, special education, and as a behavior intervention specialist.


Using Children’s Books to Develop Social and Emotional Learning

Learn how to utilize children’s books to develop the social and emotional learning of pre-K-3rd graders with First Book and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).  During this session, participants will learn about the five core competencies that support students’ social and emotional learning, engage in hands-on activities, and develop a framework to help them cultivate the social and emotional development of their students. Room 215

Presenters: Katie Donlevie is a Senior Manager of Partnership Development at First Book. Katie leads First Book's work with school-based partners and education unions, and works closely with organizations on the national, state, and local levels to design and implement strategies to meet partners' literacy goals using First Book resources.

Heather Schwartz works with school leaders and teams of teachers on effective implementation of CASEL’s systemic social emotional learning model. Before beginning at CASEL, Heather worked as an instructional coach in Chicago. In this role, she worked directly with teachers to help them create intellectually active and engaging learning experiences for students.

Julye Williams – Director of Resource & Program Development, First Book. Julye Williams is responsible for the development of programs and resources that meet the needs of more than 250,000 members of the First Book network. Combining research based insight with national thought leader and industry expert practices, Julye leads the creation of educator resources that support teachers, youth programs, libraries, and other groups serving children in need. Julye’s passion for equalizing educational options for children in under-resourced communities spans her career. Prior to joining First Book, Julye co-founded North Star Academy - Liberty Elementary School in Newark, NJ. Prior to this, Julye developed and led international exchange programs between NYC students, and their peers in South Africa, India and Cameroon. Julye has completed studies at the University of Bahia in Brazil, and earned her Master of Business Administration in Finance from Florida A & M University.


8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Special Education and General Education Come Together

The number of students with Individualized Education Programs or 504 Plans is on the rise. Special education teams can be one the most valuable resources in the building. Learn how your special education team can help you with your students in and out of the classroom. Room 202

Presenters: Laura Hise has worked in Carroll County Public School system for five years. She has been a 1:1 assistant and is currently a special education resource teacher. She has experience working in all grades from pre-K to 5th grade. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education.

Sue Hudson has worked in Carroll County Public School system for 14 years. During that time she has been a 1:1 assistant and an instructional assistant in a special education resource classroom. She has experience working with all grades from pre-K through 5th grade.


The Importance of Play in the Early Childhood Classroom

This session will describe the importance of play in the early childhood classroom and offer suggestions on how to incorporate the Common Core Reading and Language Arts Standards and mathematics into the play experience. Room 203

Presenters: Jessica White is Nationally Board Certified as an Early Childhood Generalist and has a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught kindergarten in Prince George's County Public Schools for 11 years before moving to teaching English language learners in the 2016-2017 school year.

Bernadette Garcia is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in the area of Exceptional Needs Specialist, and was certified in 2013. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Special Education. She has been a special educator for 10 years and is currently working as an itinerant special educator for Prince George's County Public Schools. She also works as a mentor and candidate support facilitator for National Board within the school system.


Make Your Money Work for You

This presentation helps members understand and use basic money management techniques, including: setting short, intermediate, and long term goals; tracking cash flow and establishing a budget; understanding savings, investments, and the impact of inflation; and compounding interest. Room 204

Presenter: NEA Member Benefits


Be a Buddy Not a Bully

This highly engaging, interactive workshop will share strategies to make schools bully-free. Participants will learn how music, teamwork, rhyming, cooperation, and communication can build a bully-free school. Room 205

Presenter: Dr. William “Flip” Clay is a school counselor who was recognized as the 2012 National Marcus Forster Distinguished Educator of the Year. He is the author of Post Traumatic School Disorder and contributed to the 2013 College Board School Counseling Journal Series Transforming Young Men of Color. In 2010, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recognized Dr. Clay as an extraordinary role model and leader.


Harmony in the Classroom

Learn about Harmony, a K–6th grade social emotional learning program that provides teachers with tools to build healthy relationships among students. Come and discover how Sanford Harmony is changing the way children communicate and interact with each other. Room 206

Presenters: Barbara Friedlander is an administrator in the Office of Special Education for Montgomery County Public Schools. Barbara has co-authored articles on Self-regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) as well as a best-selling book on SRSD, Powerful Writing Strategies. She collaborates in a workgroup focusing on Harmony strategies for successful relationships in the classroom.

After 15 years in the classroom as a special educator serving students from pre-K to adulthood, Candace Strickland now works with students and teachers across Montgomery County.  She develops and presents professional learning for teachers working with students with disabilities. She is also an adjunct professor at Montgomery College supporting aspiring teachers in reading acquisition and mathematical reasoning.


Using Legos to Ignite the English and Social Studies Classroom!

Legos aren’t just for kids anymore! Come to this interactive session to learn how to connect interactive play with critical thinking skills to visually analyze text and historical events. We will explore innovative ideas for integrating content and play. Walk away with resources and strategies for engaging diverse learners! Room 210

Presenters: Pamela Mesta, Olga Reber, Melissa Thomas

For presenter bios, see Make and Take Madness!, Friday 8:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m.


Building Schoolwide Cultural Competence

This session provides research-based strategies for administrators and teachers on establishing and strengthening systems to increase cultural competence. Attendees will learn how building cultural competence improves student outcomes and family engagement. Take home reproducible supplements for school-based professional development. Room 215

Presenter: Kimberly Carson is pursuing her doctorate in education at George Mason University, with a focus on policy, leadership, professional develpment, and special education. She is currently teahcing in Montgomery County and has 13 years of public school teaching experience in Virginia and Washington, DC. 


10:15 a.m.—11:45 a.m.

Engaging Students to Promote and Increase Student Achievement

This session will provide you with strategies and activity ideas to keep students engaged in the classroom and promote and increase academic achievement. Room 202

Presenter: Maya Lars is a National Board Certified Teacher who has been a passionate educator for over 15 years.  She has enjoyed many roles, including elementary classroom teacher, reading recovery teacher, instructional lead teacher, adjunct professor, assessment and curriculum writer/evaluator, NBCT mentor/cohort facilitator, education consultant, and reading specialist.


Taking It Old School—Engaging Instruction without Computer Technology

What happens when you need to teach and the computer technology you prepared to use is not functioning properly or available? This workshop provides solutions for using old school technology to deliver differentiated instruction and engage student learning using traditional school supplies. Room 203

Presenter: Laura Brown is a library media specialist with over 20 years of experience in supporting teachers with instruction and resources.  She enjoys working with teachers to ensure that they have what they and their students need to be successful.  She is always looking for innovative and cost-effective solutions to address challenges that teachers face in delivering instruction and engaging student learning. 


Improving Your Teacher Leadership

This session will highlight the importance of teacher leadership within the building and provide strategies to assist in improving your own teacher leadership. Room 204

Presenters: Bernadette Garcia, Jessica White

For presenter bios, see The Importance of Play in the Early Childhood Classroom, Saturday 8:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m.


Incorporating Movement into Classroom Lessons

Providing students an opportunity to move is critical to helping students stay engaged throughout the classroom counseling lesson. This presentation is designed to offer movement ideas. These ideas can be incorporated into existing lesson plans while students are still engaged in the content. So, let’s get movin’! Room 205

Presenter: Dr. Laura Jones has been an elementary school counselor in Frederick County for the past 23 years.  She is an adjunct professor at Hood College in Frederick, where she teaches school counselors in training.


I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Bored!

Do you have students who seem to check out in your class?  Do you have students whose motivation for learning seems low?  In this session, we'll explore concepts around student brain development, student learning styles, and types of engagement. Room 206

Presenter: Stephen Boyd is an employee of Worcester County Public Schools and trains nationally in classroom management systems. He holds BA degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the World College of Theology and a Master’s in Education in School Leadership from Wilmington University.


Courageous Conversation: Addressing Implicit Bias and Creating Culturally Relevant Learning Environments

American classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse. Being culturally responsive is a key factor in enabling educators to reach students from diverse backgrounds. Bringing awareness of the implicit bias educators bring into the classroom everyday works towards creating an instructional environment that is culturally relevant and welcoming for all. Room 215

Presenter: Bryan Trueblood, Sr., is a physical education instructor at Central High School in Prince George’s County. He has taken on numerous roles that extend beyond the gymnasium, serving his building as a professional development lead teacher, serving his association as a Maryland state delegate at the  National Education Association Representative Assembly, and serving his students as the advisor for the College Summit program that prepares and supports students’ post-secondary education decisions.