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Annual Educator Conference

October 5, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Thank you for another great conference!  Click here to access resources from the day. Be sure to stay connected with us by signing up to receive updates and invitations. 


This year’s theme was Expanding Boundaries and addressed the following questionsHow do we ignite and foster the spirit of innovation in a student? How can we provide a platform for ourselves and students to push beyond the classroom walls? How can we expand our personal and professional boundaries to cultivate a culture of achievement? 

Watch the Spotlight on Students video



Speakers: Morning Talks 9:30 am

Beyond Death by Powerpoint: A Resurrection Story

Presenters: Annal “Anoo” Vyas, Co-Director – EX[L] Center for Experiential Learning at the University of Akron;
Bill Lyons, Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Conflict Management, Associate Dean for the Social Sciences – The University of Akron

Session Resources:

Bill Lyons Pechakucha video


Contact Bill Lyons or Annal Vyas for more information on Pechakucha and how to implement a PK in your classroom.

Into the Muck

Presenter: Dana Starvaggi, Teacher, Akron Public Schools, North High School

Session Resources:

Contact Dana Starvaggi [email protected]

Walkportagepath.org: A Modern Twist on an Ancient Path

Presenters: Matt Russ, Humanities Teacher/Director of Curriculum and Student Affairs – The Lippman School; John Bennett, Embedded Technology Specialist – The Lippman School; Burt Medicine Bull – Northern Cheyenne Language and Culture Instructor – Chief Dull Knife College

Session Resources


Second Annual Walk the Portage Path on October 9

Contact Matt Russ [email protected] or John Bennett [email protected]

Breakout Sessions – 11:00 am (choose one)

Exiting the Classroom, Entering Communities

Presenter: Greg Milo | Independent / Education Author 

Session Resources: 

Contact Greg Milo [email protected]
Rebooting Social Studies by Greg Milo

Whether You “Live in a Pineapple Under the Sea”, or You Wonder “Can You Hear Me Now?”, Integrated Learning is for You!

Presenter: Dr. Sandra Wilder,  Mathematics Educator –  Akron Public Schools, Firestone Community Learning Center

Session Resources

Contact Dr. Wilder [email protected]

Thinking Strategies & Technology Tools for the Innovative Classroom

Presenter: Jackie Hersh,  Director of Assistive Technology and Learning Support –  Lawrence School

Session Resources

Stories and Solutions

We’re thrilled to introduce a new concept this year called Stories and Solutions. We have created an environment where you can engage in an open, honest dialogue to address challenges and opportunities in the classroom.

Joining us for Stories and Solutions:

• Annette Kratcoski, PhD, Director, Research Center for Educational Technology – Kent State University
• Rick Ferdig, PhD, Summit Professor of Learning Technologies and Professor of Instructional Technology – Kent State University
• Carla Sibly, Director of Community Relations, Equity Inclusion and School Climate, Akron Public Schools
• Mae Walker, Administrative Specialist, working with family liaisons in schools, Akron Public Schools
• Christina Wooley, Curriculum Coordinator, PK-12, Hudson City School District

Keynote Presentation

Using Intrinsic Motivation to Achieve Extrinsic Boundaries

Presenter: Heather Burton, PhD, Director of IDEAL-N and Partner Institutions Faculty and Student Development – Case Western University

Watching students grow and succeed is one of the most rewarding aspects of the teaching profession, and studies show intrinsic motivation is one of the greatest factors in motivating teachers for excellence. What is intrinsic motivation and how can teachers play a role in fostering long-lasting and self-sustaining motivation in ALL students? What strategies can help educators push our personal boundaries and traverse divides? In her keynote presentation, Using Intrinsic Motivation to Achieve Extrinsic Boundaries, Dr. Burton will explore ways educators can recognize their own racial and gender biases that prevent them from serving their students equally, the impact the classroom environment and culture has on the lives of students outside of school, and the important role educators play beyond the classroom walls.

Download the Conference Flyer (pdf)


GAR Foundation
View Organizer Website


Hilton Garden Inn Akron
1307 E. Market Street
Akron, OH 44305 United States
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