Tara's 25 year journey has taken her from rural Florida, to GangTerritory in North Long Beach, CA, and to one of the largest highschools in Tennessee with students representing over 37 countries.She is recognized as a specialist in connecting with youth andbuilding relationships with students and staff. Her career hasimpacted mainstream, at risk teens and nontraditional leadersby empowering them with leadership and life skills and guiding them toward the life theyenvisioned. She received the Pioneer Award and Teacher of the Year award in 2006 for herwork in piloting the Leadership Development program at Antioch High School. Her passioncontinues to drive her to work with teachers across the nation to better equip them with theability to connect and have meaningful relationships with their students, in order that morerelevant learning can take place. Tara's workshops are designed to help introduce educatorsto the latest brain-based learning research and resiliency factors, as well as provide classroom implementation strategies.
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Dr. John W. Hodge is president and co-founder of UrbanLearning and Leadership Center (ULLC), an organization focused on studentachievement and reduction of the achievement gap. He has served as a readingteacher, English teacher, AVID teacher, Assistant Principal and AssociateDirector of AVID Center Eastern Division. He served as Director of AnAchievable Dream Academy, an inner city school that piloted many of theinterventions used by Urban Learning and Leadership Center. An Achievable DreamAcademy is a high performing, high poverty school that has received numerous nationalawards. Prior to his career in education, Dr. Hodgedistinguished himself in the service of our country with the 7th InfantryDivision of the United States Army.
What sets Dr. John W. Hodge apart in the field ofeducation is his well-documented ability to put research and theory intoeveryday practice in rural, urban and suburban schools. His career has beendefined by assisting students and teachers overcome obstacles and achievegoals. He has served as an inspirational speaker at national, regional, andstatewide conferences across the United States. His presentations are often"the spark" for schools in their quest to meet and exceed state/federalaccreditation standards and implement strategies for continuous improvement.Dr. Hodge is an expert in helping schools create and sustain academicexcellence..
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Click here to see an interview of John Hodge.
David Richards is a partner in the Austin, Texas school law firm Richards Lindsay & Martin, LLP. The firm's practice is limited to the defense of school districts and special education cooperatives in matters arising under Section 504 and the IDEA. Mr. Richards is a frequent speaker on disability law issues at school districts and conferences throughout the country.
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Ginger Robinson Bennett
Ginger Robinson Bennett recently retired after 39 years of working with students, both as a teacher (17 years) and as a counselor (22 years). Her experiences of being in the classroom as a teacher and then as a Character Educator in elementary schools and also, her most recent experience, as a high school "social/emotional" counselor, make her a great resource to assist teachers and counselors in their daily work with students. For many years she also worked as a Child Care Consultant. Now, she finds her greatest love is in assisting and affirming educators in the "daily grind" of "making a difference" in the lives of students. Her presentations involve some of her own personal experiences, along with a vast array of trainings and research into student behavior. Ginger will always promise the two L's: Learning and Laughter!
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Dr. Julia V. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. Previously, she was the Dean of Student Services for the Wake YoungWomen's Leadership Academy, a public, all girls' school located inRaleigh, North Carolina. Originating from the Washington, DC area,Julia received her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science with aconcentration in Health Education from George Mason University.She received her master's degree in Psychology with a concentration inSchool Counseling from Marymount University. Julia received her doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Counselor Education and Supervision.
Julia is the author or co-author of six books; Salvaging Sisterhood, Girls in Real Life Situations (G.I.R.L.S. is two separate curricula, one for secondary ages, andanother for elementary ages), The Bullying Workbook for Teens, The Body Image Workbook for Teens and a children's book, Perfectly You. Shefrequently presents her research and experiences with educators, parents,and students at the national level.
Click here to download Julia Taylor's session descriptions.