2018 Convention Workshops

Check out the workshop decriptions below for the 2018 MSEA Convention in Ocean City, MD. Click here for a full, one-page schedule of all workshops.

Friday, 8:30 a.m.

ROOM 201

#FigureItOut: Mind-Blowing Classroom Management Strategies to the Rescue!

Classroom management never made more sense. In this jam-packed session, participants will be engaged and empowered with techniques needed to set high expectations, maximize instructional time, and create effective classroom environments while minimizing behavioral disruptions. Educators will stand tall and immediately deliver lessons with confidence and productivity using strategies from this workshop.

Presenter: Shonda Wooden is a professional science educator of secondary education with Prince George’s County Public Schools. She has successfully educated, trained, and coached numerous students and teachers at all levels. She specializes in building teacher capacity and fully understands the classroom experience of educators.

ROOM 202

Great Expectations: Practicing Rich, Rigorous ELA Strategies for ESOL Students

This session is intended for teachers and administrators invested in not only helping their ESOL student populations achieve, but also excelling in demonstrating their English Language Arts proficiency. This workshop will share proven strategies for increasing ESOL classroom achievement and improving academic test scores, including PARCC and college admission tests.

Presenter: Kimberly Carson is an ESOL teacher at William Wirt Middle School in Prince George's County. In addition to ESOL, she has experience teaching English, journalism, and special education. She enjoys conducting education presentations that promote social justice, particularly those supporting the needs of populations traditionally underserved by public education.

ROOM 203

Engaging Students through Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is a powerful and effective approach to teaching and learning with countless benefits including maximizing student learning. This session will provide strategies to engage students, encourage team work, create a community environment, and increase student achievement.

Presenter: Maya Lars has been a passionate educator for the past 17 years and held many positions with Prince George's County Public Schools, including classroom teacher, instructional lead teacher, school test coordinator, and National Board cohort facilitator. She is currently a reading specialist at Beltsville Academy.

ROOM 204

9 Ways Educators Can Support Children Experiencing Trauma

Understand the definition and causes of childhood trauma, and how it affects students’ learning. Participants will learn research-based action steps to support students experiencing trauma and receive concrete tools and materials to take back to their schools.

Presenters: Katie Donlevie is a senior manager of partnership development at First Book. Katie leads many of First Book's partnerships with national, state, and local nonprofit organizations to design and implement strategies to meet partners' strategic goals using First Book resources.

Julye Williams is responsible for the development of resources that meet the needs of First Book's 375,000 members. Combining research-based insight with national thought leaders and industry expert practices, Julye leads the creation of educator resources that support teachers, youth programs, libraries, and other groups serving children in need.

ROOM 205

Let's Create Harmony in Your Elementary Classroom

Imagine a classroom where students are empowered to communicate, cooperate, connect, embrace diversity, and resolve conflict. Welcome to Sanford Harmony—a free social-emotional teaching program that cultivates strong classroom relationships between all students.

Presenters: Barbara Friedlander is a school improvement specialist at Montgomery County Public Schools. She has 20 years of experience teaching elementary special education and eight years as a school improvement specialist and special education administrator. She is a Nationally Board Certified Special Educator with a certificate in Equity for Excellence from McDaniel College.

Candace Strickland is a special education central office teacher at Montgomery County Public Schools. In 2013, she received her Masters of Arts in Teaching and Learning with a specialty in Mathematics and the Struggling Learner. She has 20 years of experience coaching teachers and families in special education.

ROOM 206

What's in a TEAM: Proven Strategies for Winning Teams and Getting Results

What's in a TEAM? Most likely you've heard the phrase, "Together Everyone Achieves More." Great! "Teams Eat And Mingle" is just as important, too. This fun-filled, interactive presentation will equip you with proven, practical strategies for building and leading highly effective, collaborative teams that focus on student and organizational results.

Presenters: Dr. Joey Jones has served as an award-winning educator for over 25 years with degrees from North Carolina, A&T State University, and the University of Maryland. He was Montgomery County Public Schools’ 2013 Principal of the Year and is currently a principal of a National Blue Ribbon school.

Darryl Johnson has served in education for almost 20 years as a counselor, program manager, and assistant principal. His passions are learning, motivational presentations, and serving as a champion for all children.

Edward Reed is school counselor, author, and TV show host. He has served as an educational leader for the past 20 years working at both the middle and high school levels. He is passionate about developing people and organizations to maximize their potential.

ROOM 210

Make and Take Madness!

There are so many educational resources and products on the market today that can easily break your wallet! Why buy them when you can create them to align specifically and authentically with your curriculum? Come to this hands-on session to gain new, inexpensive ideas for active engagement with a special focus on diverse learners! Walk away with a folder full of authentic resources...created by you!

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, PARCC ELC, and MSDE Master Teacher. 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 Public Schools and an MSDE Master Teacher. Her experience includes ESOL, English as a foreign language, and interpretation/translation. Her 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 Resource Teacher in Carroll County Public Schools and an MSDE Master Teacher. Her experience includes ESOL, secondary English, and Spanish. Her certifications include Maryland APC: ESOL Pre-K–12, English, Spanish, and speech communication. She is also an adjunct college professor with a background in teacher mentoring, educational technology, and curriculum writing.

ROOM 215

Bias, Who Me? Unearthing Implicit Bias

Even the most committed educator in the world harbors biases. It is easy to discern our explicit biases because we are consciously aware of those attitudes and beliefs. Even though many of our explicit biases arise as the direct result of a perceived threat, we can consciously regulate them. The same cannot be said for implicit biases. In this session, we will examine how implicit biases unknowingly affect our beliefs and actions, and explore strategies that can unearth and help counter them.


Dr. Adriane Dorrington is a National Education Association Senior Policy Analyst in the Teacher Quality Department. She is responsible for overseeing federal and state policies related to teacher evaluation and supporting teacher leadership initiatives. Dr. Dorrington has helped to shape and advance the National Education Association's agenda on social and racial justice in education.

Friday, 10:20 a.m.

ROOM 201

Classroom Management through the Integration of a Youth Development Approach

“How do I get young people to stop disrupting my class and stop behaving negatively?” This interactive workshop is for teachers who spend more time than they would like handling challenging student behaviors, rather than providing quality instruction. Learn how to engage students as willing participants in their own development.

Presenters: Thandor Miller is a program manager at Center for Excellence in Youth Development, United Way National Capitol Area. He has been in the field of youth development and out-of-school-time (OST) programing in the District for 35 years. He is the founder and CEO of Washington Enrichment and Cultural Arts Network Inc., a model OST program.

Syreeta Evans is a CEYD Program Manager and United Way NCA. 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. She holds Master’s degree in Organization Development from American University.

ROOM 202

Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online

This 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 along with internet safety resources.

Presenter: Vincent DeVivo is a community outreach specialist for the US Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland. 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.

ROOM 203

Taking It Old School Again—Engaging Instruction without Computer Technology

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

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

ROOM 204

Trauma, Toxic Stress, and the Impact on Learning

Trauma and toxic stress interrupt normal brain development in children. Children impacted by trauma are more likely to be retained, suspended, expelled, and placed in special education services. This training provides an overview of trauma, its effects on the brain, and provides tips and tools to support resilience. NOTE: This is a double session.

Presenters: Nancy Talmo is a 16-year business education educator in the Colonial School District in New Castle, Delaware. She is also an instructional coach/trainer in curriculum development and teaching strategies, working with the University of Delaware ARTC Program and the Delaware State Education Association.

Marsha Evans is a National Board Certified Teacher and Master Teacher Trainer for NEA and the Delaware State Education Association. For the past 27 years, she has taught mathematics at William Penn High School in the Colonial School District of New Castle, Delaware.

ROOM 206

Be Your Best SELF: Wellness and Self-Care for Educators

Teachers, counselors, and administrators are educational leaders serving on the frontlines. Educators unselfishly give their all, meeting the needs of others and often neglecting their wellness and self-care. Are you ready to be your best SELF?  This interactive session will help you to create a personal wellness plan for your busy schedule.

Presenters: Edward Reed, Darryl V. Johnson, Dr. Joey N. Jones

See Friday, 8:30 a.m.

ROOM 210

What's in a Word?

Academic vocabulary development is essential for students' success in school. Come to this interactive session to explore types of academic vocabulary as well as practical strategies to support learning and application.

Presenters: Pamela Mesta, Olga Reber, Melissa Thomas

See Friday, 8:30 a.m.

Friday, 12:10 p.m.

ROOM 201

The Mayflower Challenge

In this hands-on session, participants will build structures to engage in the engineering design process 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.


Rima Garg currently works as a mentor teacher with the Office of Talent Development in Prince George’s County Public Schools. Her series of science books for elementary schools is used internationally. She is a doctoral candidate a pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership with a focus in STEM.

Padmavathy Srinivasan is currently working as a high school math teacher in Prince George's County Public Schools. She is passionate about teaching and has taught math at different grade levels over her 25 years of teaching experience in diverse cultures.

ROOM 202

Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children Online

See Friday, 10:20 a.m.

Presenter: Vincent DeVivo

See Friday, 10:20 a.m.

ROOM 203

Literacy in the Social Science Classroom

The social science educator has a wonderful opportunity to change procedures that have the potential to transform how students produce work. By emphasizing how students think while they're reading, writing, or talking and not the amount of content covered, teachers can help students engage in rigorous learning.

Presenter: Sunta Harris has over 20 years of experience in teaching, mentoring, and leading teams of social science and English teachers. She has a bachelor’s degree from Wilberforce University, and a master’s of education from Western Governors University. She was a runner up to the Teacher of the Year with Concept Schools.

ROOM 206

Seeing without Your Eyes

This workshop will educate and promote awareness about blindness and visual impairment. This presentation will describe a normal eye, symptoms of a diseased eye and how an affected individual "sees" without using their eyes. Participants will engage in discussion with a Q&A on recent research and find out how to bring this workshop to your school, PTA or community organization.

Presenter: Mindy Caplan is the Baltimore chapter president of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and is a national trustee. She was the keynote speaker at the Key Club of Timonium Middle School, the Wicomico Nurses Committee meeting, and the TVI Steering Committee. She served on the PTA board of Fort Garrison Elementary and as its president in 2004. 

Saturday, 8:30 a.m.

ROOM 201

Games for Counseling

Participants will learn how playing games can teach you a lot about a child’s functioning in multiple areas. Adding a counseling twist can make games highly adaptable for teaching a variety of social skills.

Presenter: Dr. Laura Jones has 23 years of experience as an elementary school counselor in Frederick County. She tries to guide her students in their personal growth by increasing their self-acceptance and self-esteem, enhancing their relationships with others, navigating through difficult situations, and finding joy in their life.

ROOM 202

Productive Partnerships with Parents!

This session will encourage classroom teachers to build and maintain productive partnerships with their most untapped resource: their students' parents and guardians!

Presenter: Tomeko Vick is a secondary educator with almost 20 years of public education experience in elementary, middle, and alternative settings. She is an advocate for all things education, passionate about professional development and teacher mentorship, and an active member of her community.

ROOM 203

Realities and Responses: Teaching Undocumented Students in Anti-Immigrant Times

Learn how the realities of anti-immigrant times and zero-tolerance immigration policies are affecting our students and their families. Brainstorm ways to help students grow socially and academically as you respond to dilemmas related to immigration status, and collaborate with colleagues about the curriculum.

Presenters: Lori Dodson has taught in prekindergarten- through 5th grade for 14 years. She currently serves as an ELL national professional training instructor for the National Education Association NEA. She has also served as a board member of her local TESOL affiliate. 

Anne Marie Foerster Luu, NBCT, has taught in prekindergarten through12th grade settings for 19 years. She is an adjunct faculty member, focused on assessment as an advocacy tool, in McDaniel College's TESOL program. She was honored by TESOL International as their Teacher of the Year 2013.

ROOM 204

Empowering Students Experiencing Trauma

Research shows that 35 million students have suffered some form of trauma. This successful data-driven musical is an informative, interactive, and innovative workshop that will examine trauma with an emphasis on boys. The audience will be exposed to a range of communication strategies, character-building techniques, empowerment program implementation, and self-development techniques.

Presenter: Dr. William Clay is a school counselor who was recognized as the 2012 National Marcus Forster Distinguished Educator of the Year. He contributed to the 2013 College Board School Counseling Journal Series Transforming Young Men of Color and is the author of Post Traumatic School Disorder.

ROOM 205

Engage with NEA Member Benefits!

Learn how you can use NEA Member Benefits to not just to save for yourself, but to help initiate conversations with members and potential members you may not be able to reach otherwise.

Presenter: Michael Gavin has served as the NEA Member Benefits Affiliate Relations Specialist in Zone one and two for over a decade.

ROOM 210

Why the "-isms" Matter

Every difference makes a difference. How can we help our students feel empowered to own who they are and to be active members of the school community? Join this interactive session to explore how teachers can apply social justice strategies in their classrooms.

Presenters: Pamela Mesta, Olga Reber, Melissa Thomas

See Friday, 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, 10:20 A.M.

ROOM 201

Classroom Management through the Integration of a Youth Development Approach

See Friday, 10:20 a.m.

Presenters: Thandor Miller, Syreeta Evans

See Friday, 10:20 a.m.

ROOM 202

Using Powerful Language during Instruction to Increase the Academic Achievement of Reluctant Learners

If you are out of your wits trying to teach and reach reluctant learners, the use of powerful language with students will resuscitate them back to a rewarding academic life. These magic words will change the game in your classroom with reluctant learners. Batter up!

Presenter: Gary Hughes is an 18-year veteran teacher in Prince George’s County Public Schools. He entered public education in 2000 as a classroom teacher at James Madison Middle School in Upper Marlboro. He currently teaches English recovery classes at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School.

ROOM 203

Art with the Littles: PK and K is Nothing to Fear

Struggling with ideas to help your littlest artists? Wish you had lessons and strategies that you could take with you to your classroom? Want a workshop where you can leave with some lesson ideas and a chance to share your own art "hacks" with colleagues? Then this is the session for you!

Presenter: In the first seven years of her career, Katrina achieved highly qualified status as a classroom teacher before switching her focus to art in 2005. Since then, she has become a National Board Certified art teacher with a passion for integrating core subject areas into the arts.

ROOM 204

Empowering Educators! Collaboration to Support Social-Emotional Language Competence

During this session, we will explore the relationship between Maryland College and Career Ready Standards and social-emotional language. We will review resources and strategies aimed at increasing cognitive and linguistic capacities, as well as social-emotional language competence. Participants will have an opportunity to learn new strategies to support skill development in the school setting.

Presenters: Laura Sibbald is a nationally certified speech-language pathologist and mentor therapist currently working in Prince George’s County Public Schools. She is certified as a Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) School Autism Specialist and has completed her Administrative I certification. She values multi-disciplinary approaches and collaboration to work towards student growth and achievement.

Ariel La is a speech language pathologist with Prince George's County Public Schools. She has served preschool to college-aged students in public and private schools, along with clinics. She specializes in promoting independence in students through cooperation with other professionals and developing generalizable, executive function, and speech-language skills.

ROOM 205

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.

Presenter: Damon Felton has served as associate counsel MSEA since February 2001. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Morgan State University and received his law degree with honors from Howard University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

ROOM 210

Mindset Matters II

This is an interactive workshop that provides education professionals with tangible strategies to help students understand themselves as learners. It incorporates both growth mindset strategies and restorative practices.

Presenter: Kelli Hickey is a classroom teacher and motivational speaker. She is passionate about helping learners of all ages use mindset strategies in order develop confidence and persevere through challenges. She holds master’s of education and K-8 certification. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Notre Dame of Maryland University.