Pennsylvania Association 
of Student Assistance 
Professionals

 

 


 

 

 

 

Tuesday Keynote Session Four - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Keynote Speaker: Erin Gilsbach, Esq.
Topic: "Education, SAP, Confidentiality, and the Law"
Room: President's Hall

Keynote Description: Public schools are among the most highly-regulated entities in the nation, and student assistance teams encounter legal issues on a daily basis. Never had legal training? PASAP's got you covered! In this session, Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., will provide an in-depth and highly interactive analysis of the confidentiality laws and requirements for SAP team members. She discusses the statutory and regulatory confidentiality requirements, provides best-practice suggestions for ensuring compliance with confidentiality laws, and explains how the failure to lawfully share information can lead to potential liability. A practicing attorney and experienced speaker at the state and national levels, Atty. Gilsbach will guide participants through the complex web of state and federal laws, regulations, and non-regulatory guidance to help bring clarity to the confusing topic of confidentiality.

An experienced speaker at the state and national levels on issues regarding Education and Education Law, Erin Gilsbach is the Director of Professional and Policy Development, an attorney with the PA-based law firm of King Spry Herman Freund & Faul, and a founding member of the Greyfriars Institute, a nonprofit affiliate entity dedicated to providing quality professional education in the area of school law to educators and school leaders. She provides legal representation and/or professional development to over 150 Pennsylvania schools. In her practice, Atty. Gilsbach emphasizes a proactive approach to legal defensibility for schools by helping them to create procedures, administrative regulations and board policies that are developed not only upon consideration of statutory and regulatory requirements but also the best practices and common pitfalls found within the facts of applicable caselaw. Voted a Rising Star Attorney by her peers in Superlawyers and Philadelphia magazines for the past three years, Atty. Gilsbach serves as President-Elect of the PA School Boards Solicitors Association. She began her career as a public high school English teacher. Prior to joining King Spry and the Greyfriars Institute, she served for over two years at the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel.

 

Breakout Session Five - 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Session 5A

Speaker: Erin Gilsbach, Esq.
Topic: "Ask the Attorney: Legal Q & A"
Room: 207

Workshop Description: Wish you had direct access to a school law attorney to ask those puzzling legal questions that you have been pondering?  Well now you do!  In this session,  Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., will be available to answer questions on mandated reporting, suicide awareness/prevention, confidentiality, bullying, medical accommodations, parental rights, divorce/custody issues, and more.  Come prepared to learn.  Find out what issues other schools are facing and what questions other SAP team members have.  Questions on all school law topics are welcome.  This session is for educational/informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. 

An experienced speaker at the state and national levels on issues regarding Education and Education Law, Erin Gilsbach is the Director of Professional and Policy Development, an attorney with the PA-based law firm of King Spry Herman Freund & Faul, and a founding member of the Greyfriars Institute, a nonprofit affiliate entity dedicated to providing quality professional education in the area of school law to educators and school leaders. She provides legal representation and/or professional development to over 150 Pennsylvania schools. In her practice, Atty. Gilsbach emphasizes a proactive approach to legal defensibility for schools by helping them to create procedures, administrative regulations and board policies that are developed not only upon consideration of statutory and regulatory requirements but also the best practices and common pitfalls found within the facts of applicable caselaw. Voted a Rising Star Attorney by her peers in Superlawyers and Philadelphia magazines for the past three years, Atty. Gilsbach serves as President-Elect of the PA School Boards Solicitors Association. She began her career as a public high school English teacher. Prior to joining King Spry and the Greyfriars Institute, she served for over two years at the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel.

Session 5B

Speaker: Tyler Titus
Topic: "Addressing Suicide Risks in the LGBTQA Youth Population"
Room: 105

Workshop Description: This presentation will review the self-acceptance and coming out as transgender process, gaps within our current service system for gender variant youth, and how to advocate for and support the youth through the process of self-discovery. 

Why is this important for community members and social service agencies? Research has shown that LGBTQA youth are 6x more likely to experience depression than general population. As a result of heterosexism and homophobia, LGBTQA youth are 3x more likely to attempt suicide. Sexual minority individuals are significantly more likely to experience childhood physical and sexual abuse, violence in their communities (including hate crimes), intimate partner violence, and sexual assault in adulthood. Transgender individuals are at an even higher risk of violence, particularly sexual violence, across the lifespan. In fact, research indicates that the trans population continues to face extremely high rates of unemployment, poverty, suicidality, and harassment and discrimination in health care, educational, and forensic settings.

This workshop will teach providers how to advocate within the school system, the youth’s personal and social life, and how to support them during their personal discovery process. By the end of the presentation, the attendee will be more aware of daily struggles faced by LGBTQA youth, be prepared to engage in informative discussions surrounding tough topics such as transitioning and coming out, and feel confident in their ability to obtain quality care for the youth and their family. This presentation will be conducted through PowerPoint with handouts, video segments, and end with a Question & Answer session.

Tyler (Tiffany) Titus was born in Titusville, PA and graduated from THS in 2003. He went on to obtain his Bachelors of Science from Mercyhurst College in 2007. He obtained his Masters of Art in Community Counseling from Edinboro University in 2012. Tyler worked at the Erie County Office of Children and Youth from 2007 until 2014 when accepted a position at Harborcreek Youth Services as the clinical therapist in the therapeutic foster care program. Tyler came out as transgender in June of 2015. Shortly after coming out, he obtained his LPC and began growing his private practice. He currently serves on various boards within the Erie community and works to create an environment of understanding through education, advocating, and activism. 

Session 5C

Speaker: Michelle Kern
Topic: "The Community, Crisis Reactions and KCIT"
Room: 104

Workshop Description: Members of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team (KCIT) will discuss how a community crisis can filter into the schools and the students you are working with. Common crisis reactions will be presented, along with tips on how to normalize a student's reaction. Information on KCIT services will also be provided.

Michelle Kern has been the Project Coordinator of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team (KCIT) since 2014. Since becoming Project Coordinator, Michelle has designed and updated multiple training on trauma and crisis reactions. She has 4 years’ experience working in Victim Services and 5 years working in the Mental Health field. She completed a year of AmeriCorps working on prevention evaluation tools and data at the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Michelle holds a Masters in Applied Sociology from Northern Arizona University. 

Session 5D

Speaker: Michelle Nutter
Topic: "Effective Strategies to Address Immigrant Bullying"
Room: 204

Workshop Description: As schools work to successfully prevent and intervene in acts of bullying, they are often challenged by bullying behaviors that cross the line into civil, civil rights or criminal law violations. Bullying which targets immigrants violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. This session will examine bullying in general, and delve into the problem and prevalence of bullying which targets ELLs and immigrant students. The United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, has provided significant guidance through the issuance of a series of "Dear Colleague" letters, which will be reviewed and discussed during the session. Additional guidance from the United States Department of Justice and the White House (in the form of YouTube videos) will also be viewed and discussed. Participants will also receive information relative to possible criminal law implications when bullying behaviors cause mental or physical injury to targeted students. This session will also examine the legal ramifications of "deliberate indifference" with regard to failure to address bullying in their schools. Finally, the session will conclude with information on preventing, recognizing and responding to protected class bullying in order to create a safe, supportive, harassment-free school climate.

Michelle Gwinn Nutter, a Pennsylvania-certified teacher, is the Safe and Supportive Schools Manager for the Center for Safe Schools. Prior to joining the Safe Schools Team in 2005, she was a Civil Rights Investigator with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. During her 10 years with that office, she worked extensively with schools, communities and law enforcement departments to raise awareness and provide effective interventions related to organized hate groups and hate crimes, school-based harassment, bullying prevention, racial tension, prejudice reduction, diversity, gangs, terrorism awareness, and First Amendment issues. As the Center’s Safe and Supportive Schools Manager, Ms. Nutter is responsible for the design and delivery of multiple statewide initiatives aimed at improving school safety and reducing youth violence. She continues to provide training and technical assistance to rural, suburban and urban schools and communities throughout the state on a wide array of issues that disrupt the educational process. Ms. Nutter is a nationally recognized speaker and frequently serves as a facilitator for the Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together (SPIRIT) Program which is coordinated by the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, in collaboration with multiple federal, state and local agencies and community partners.  

Session 5E

Speaker(s): Andrea Fisher and YSB Youth, CEO Centre County Youth Services Bureau
Topic: "Kids Know Best!"
Room: 106

Workshop Description: The YSB, a private not-for-profit youth serving agency, not only serves the needs of children and youth but values the insight and power of these same kids. Having created a youth council to aid the CEO in strategy, decision making, and public awareness, the YSB is determined to never lose sight of the fact that kids know kids and kids know best. Most recently, the youth council developed and began to train group home youth in recent law changes that affect their daily life. Here their stories, their experiences, and their advice!

Andrea Fisher is CEO of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau. The agency is home to 14 distinct programs serving children and their families. Andrea has spent 21 of her 30 year career at the agency, and has always advocated for youth voice in leadership and decision making. Andrea holds a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on delinquency. She has trained at the state and national level, and is a member of Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council of Children Youth and Family Service Providers.  

Session 5F:

Speaker: Shawn Peck, EPISCenter
Topic: "Aggression Replacement Training (ART) and Social Skill Development"
Room: 107

Workshop Description: This presentation will provide an overview of Aggression Replacement Training® (ART)®, a multimodal psychoeducational intervention designed to alter the behavior of aggressive adolescents and young children through repetitive learning techniques to control impulsiveness and anger, resulting in using more appropriate behaviors. ART® consists of a 10-week, 30-hour intervention for groups of 8 to 12 youth thrice weekly. Participants attend three 1-hour sessions per week, one session each of Skillstreaming, Anger Control Training, and Moral Reasoning. ART® is utlized in schools, juvenile treatment programs as well as adult corrections.

Shawn Peck has supported the quality implementation of Aggression Replacement Training (ART) in community-based, residential and private schools accross Pennsylvania. He was the Senior Agency Trainer of ART for Abraxas Youth & Family Services before becoming a Juvenile Justice System Improvement Specialist at the Penn State Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support Program (EPISCenter). While at Penn State, Shawn has administered a meta-analytic tool known as the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP) to improve the quality of service implementation accross Pennsylvania's juvenile justice programs. ART is well integrated throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. 

Session 5G

Speaker(s): Dr. Greg Taranto & Mr. Ken Schrag – Canonsburg Middle School
Topic: "Technology Integration & Flipping in a Middle School ELA and Math Classroom" (FC, MA, ELA, IT)
Room: 208

Workshop Description: Canonsburg Middle School continues to incorporate more technology into the classroom, allowing students to be more active in their learning.  Some of these resources, including Chromebooks, Google and Schoology, and ways they can be integrated into a middle school ELA class, will be shared.  The second part of the presentation will describe how a middle school math teacher began flipping math lessons, from delivering content to students outside the classroom to changing the way that in-class time is utilized.

Session 5H

Speaker(s): Deborah Hamilton, Amanda Pomeroy, Christina LaBarron, Wendy Bailey – Northern Potter Middle & High School
Topic: "On the Road to Mass Customization & Educating the Whole Child"  (TM, DI, GM, DDI)
Room: 205

Workshop Description: In 2015, Northern Potter built a Middle School (a school within a school) from the ground up.  We implemented the following things into our program:  standards-based grading, school-wide positive behavior, educating the whole child through “DEN”, and mass customization to meet student’s needs at every level.  Join us to celebrate our successes, and learn about overcoming our struggles as we continue to fail forward in building the middle school model that is best for kids. 

Deborah Hamilton, Amanda Pomeroy, Christina LaBarron, and Wendy Hamilton are middle school teachers at Northern Potter and served on the development team of our Middle School model.  All of these presenters have a Masters of Education. 

Session 5I

Speaker(s): Megan McGrath, Kelly Truax, Anthony Gentile – Ingomar Middle School
Topic: “The Game of Life” – Mathematics Edition – (PBL, MA, CCC, IT)
Room: 203

Workshop Description: Bringing math alive in your classroom with the Game of Life.  Play along as we use iPads and interdisciplinary research to navigate the struggles and successes of real world mathematics.  This project-based activity allows students to develop problem solving and mathematical skills processes as a group, while integrating technology and knowledge from other subject areas to create a successful lifestyle.  “Follow your fortune in the game of make or break!”

Megan McGrath is a graduate of Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio.  She earned her degree in Middle Childhood Education with a focus on Mathematics and English Language Arts.  She also received her master’s degree from California University of Pennsylvania as a Reading Specialists.  Megan taught three years of 5th grade math in Wellston, Ohio and is currently in her fourth year of teaching 6th grade math and reading at Ingomar Middle School in the North Allegheny School District.

Tony Gentile is a three-time graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and is currently a Technology Integrator with the North Allegheny School District.  Using his prior classroom and technology experiences, he provides “just in time,” job-embedded and ongoing professional development.  Mr. Gentile enjoys assisting classroom teachers with successful integration of technology.

Kelly Truax is a graduate of Grove City College.  Kelly is currently a 6th grade Science/Social Studies teacher at Ingomar Middle School. 

Session 5J

Speaker(s): Hillary Brogan, Jen Spisak – Charles Patton Middle School
Topic: "Advisory:  Activities to Build Meaningful Connections" (AD)
Room: 206

Workshop Description:  This presentation will focus on ways to help build connections between students and between teachers and students.  Between the curriculum and testing demands it might feel like there is little time to build relationships.  But we hope to show you some easy to implement ideas that can be achieved in a casual setting like homeroom.  These simple ideas will go miles in building essential relationships.

Hillary Brogan, middle school earth science teacher at Patton for the last 13 years.  

Jen Spisak has taught at Patton Middle School for the last 17 years as a physical science teacher.  Advisory has had many names but the activities and tools to build relationships have stayed the same.

Session 5K

Speaker(s):  Melissa McCauley, Debbie Zanetti – Pleasant Hills Middle School
Topic: "30 Minutes to Achieve Student Success"  (AD, ASCA, RTI, TI, DI, EN, SE, DDI, CCC, G)
Room: 202

Workshop Description: In this session you will learn the process of planning, establishing, and implementing an academic support period within the school day.  This daily academic period allows access for EVERY teacher to provide individual or small group instructional support time with targeted students.   The presentation will detail how thirty minutes each day is used to support student success.

Melissa McCauley – 10 years of experience in middle school grades 6, 7, and 8, teaching Family and Consumer Science.   Already obtained a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and currently working on a doctorate in Leadership and Management.  Currently, a Family and Consumer Science teacher in Pleasant Hills Middle School in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania.

Debbie Zanetti – 24 years of experience, sixteen years at the elementary level and the past eight years teaching 6th grade.  Currently a 6th grade Social Studies teacher in Pleasant Hills Middle School in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania.

Session 5L

Speaker(s): Marie Palano, Denise Manganello – Seneca Valley Schools District
Topic: "Mental Health:  Breaking Down Barriers in the School Environment" – (ID, YAD, GM, DAP, SE)
Room: 108

Workshop Description: This presentation will focus on Anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorders as they impact the middle school population.  The presentation will focus on strategies to break down the barriers to student learning and also ways in which school districts can address mental health diagnoses in the educational setting.  

I have worked in middle level education for the past 15 years and have had extensive experience working with students who show symptoms indicative of anxiety, ADHD, and or Sensory Processing disorder.  As a building principal, I have rich background in data analysis, cognitive development, and high leveraged strategies to meet the needs of all learners at the middle school level.  

 

Breakout Session Six - 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Session 6A

Speaker: Ryan Korn & Michelle Nutter
Topic: "Meeting the Needs of Students: Connecting School and Community Counseling Efforts"
Room: 207

Workshop Description: With funding cuts, high caseloads and day-to-day responsibilities, school administrators, guidance counselors, and teachers must learn how to help students through cross-systems collaboration with community members, agencies and providers. Beyond identifying the issues and resources available, this presentation will provide techniques and systems to effectively address the needs of all the students in your school building and/or on your caseload. Specifically, participants will learn how to address the needs of their students and families, including mental health, drug and alcohol, housing, food, clothing and other needs. Participants will discuss common stressors and risk factors present in K-12 schools, thereby assisting them in the identification of interventions and services. Finally, participants will learn how to access community resources and agencies.

Ryan Korn is the former Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth Managing Coordinator with the Center for Schools and Communities - contracting with PDE. Ryan is also a former TCM Supervisor, Intensive Case Manager, Forensic Intensive Case Manager and Supports Coordinator. He is also a certified Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Specialist.

Michelle Gwinn Nutter, a Pennsylvania-certified teacher, is the Safe and Supportive Schools Manager for the Center for Safe Schools. Prior to joining the Safe Schools Team in 2005, she was a Civil Rights Investigator with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. During her 10 years with that office, she worked extensively with schools, communities and law enforcement departments to raise awareness and provide effective interventions related to organized hate groups and hate crimes, school-based harassment, bullying prevention, racial tension, prejudice reduction, diversity, gangs, terrorism awareness, and First Amendment issues. As the Center’s Safe and Supportive Schools Manager, Ms. Nutter is responsible for the design and delivery of multiple statewide initiatives aimed at improving school safety and reducing youth violence. She continues to provide training and technical assistance to rural, suburban and urban schools and communities throughout the state on a wide array of issues that disrupt the educational process. Ms. Nutter is a nationally recognized speaker and frequently serves as a facilitator for the Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together (SPIRIT) Program which is coordinated by the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, in collaboration with multiple federal, state and local agencies and community partners.  

Session 6B

Speaker: Shirley Lyle, M.Ed., Developmental Specialist
Topic: "Avoiding Transitional Train Wrecks"
Room: 105

Workshop Description: A prodigious concern of counselors and educators is the difficulty of transitioning students with mental health concerns back into the educational arena, especially when information is scarce. Insight will be offered to address many concerns. Discussion topics include communication barriers, discharge rational, appropriate academic expectations, helpful accommodations, and the like.

Shirley Lyle has been working in the mental health field for over twelve years. She is a certified teacher with a Master of Education and Bachelor of Psychology degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Shirley Lyle currently serves as a developmental specialist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic’s Acute Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program (AAPHP). As a developmental specialist she maintains communication between treatment teams and educational facilities. She also facilitates school meetings in which schools and families partnership to create a successful plan that supports the individual needs of each student transitioning from a mental health setting back into an educational environment. Shirley Lyle has spoken at schools and conferences throughout the state of Pennsylvania to educate and support those serving children and adolescents with mental health concerns. She is passionate about the total wellbeing of each individual. Thus, she strives to illuminate hope especially where despair seems inescapable.

Session 6C

Speaker: Amelia McGinnis
Topic: "Getting Inside the Teenage Brain"
Room: 208

Workshop Description: In this workshop we will explore what we know about the adolescent brain, including changes and challenges. We will look at myths and facts about their brain and how to maximize the changes for growth and connection. We will also talk about some concrete ways to engage adolescents from this brain-based perspective.

Amelia McGinnis, LCSW, is the owner of McGinnis Counseling & Consulting, where she has been practicing since 2014. She has been an outpatient therapist in State College, PA since 2009, when she graduated with a masters of social work from Temple University. She was a founding practitioner of the Individual and Family CHOICES Program. Prior to 2009, she was a counselor and clinical director at Stormbreak Youth Program, working with adolescents and their families.Amelia is a brain-based therapist and uses her knowledge of the brain in therapy using modalities such as EMDR and Neurofeedback. She has specialized training in attachment focused family therapy as well as other family therapy approaches. Her neurofeedback training began in 2009 and has fit well with her interest in Neuroscience. She has been integrating Neurofeedback into her practice since that time.

 

Session 6D

Speaker: Ryan Klingensmith
Topic: "School Assemblies: Intended Message vs Message Received"
Room: 204

Workshop Description: Learn how to determine what topics are best suited for the classroom lectures and what topics can be covered in a school assembly. Sometimes assemblies can be developed with wonderful intentions, but have misinterpreted messages that can leave students confused about the topic. This webinar will help you learn what types of assemblies should be avoided and how to plan for well constructed and successful school assemblies.

Ryan Klingensmith has been working with children and teenagers with mental health concerns since 1994. He has held roles such as therapist, supervisor and clinical director in several residential and outpatient settings. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and is a nationally certified counselor (NCC). He currently works as an outpatient therapist and a Prevention Specialist at Addiction Medicine Services at WPIC, UPMC . He works closely with several schools in Allegheny County providing support and direction for the Student Assistance Programs (SAP). He does cyberbullying and social media safety presentations for students in middle and high schools as well as for parents and teachers 

Session 6E

Speaker: Jasmyne King-Smith, School District of Lancaster
Topic: "The Faces of Homelessness: A team based approach to identify and support students experiencing a homeless situation. Rethink and Act!"
Room: 104

Workshop Description: This interactive workshop will take participants through a journey of recognizing the signs of our students experiencing a homeless situation. This journey will press participants to think outside of the box to examine the traditional and non-traditional look of homelessness. Rethink! How do we address and serve homeless students for success inside and outside of the classroom? SAP team members are critical to the student success of our homeless youth. Act!

Jasmyne King-Smith is the Coordinator for Parent Involvement/Homeless Student Project for the School District of Lancaster. She has dedicated the last 6 years to eliminating barriers for children and youth in the areas of education and child permanency. Currently, she is responsible for district-wide parent engagement initiatives to foster student success. Additionally, she is responsible for eliminating educational barriers for students experiencing a homeless situation in Lancaster County as a Site Coordinator. In order to balance the two Coordinator positions, Jasmyne finds herself bridging the programs. In doing this, she is able to have a diversified approach to the question, “what is best for the student to help him/her reach their full potential.” Jasmyne presented at the 9th Annual Adelente Education Forum on empowering educators to partner with families for active family engagement. She is also SAP trained, a graduate of Millersville University, and a mother of 4 children. 

Session 6F

Speaker(s): Stephanie Colvin-Roy & Denise McCann
Topic: "Current Drug Trends: The Role of PAYS and CTC"
Room: 107

Workshop Description: Participants will learn about the newest trends in substance use/abuse, specifically cannabis, heroin, prescription drugs, etc. Participants will explore state and local PAYS data on substance use, risk and protective factors. Additionally, participants will explore the continuum of addiction, signs and symptoms of substance abuse, the enabling process, and research based prevention strategies. 

Stephanie Colvin-Roy provides technical assistance and professional development to schools and youth serving agencies with a focus on bullying prevention and social emotional learning. Stephanie has developed a social emotional learning curriculum, a teambuilding curriculum for out of school time, prevention lessons on alcohol and other drug abuse, addiction, bullying, cyberbullying, diversity, resiliency, and co-written lessons on gambling prevention. Stephanie has training in cyber bullying, relational aggression, resiliency, cyber addiction, media literacy, diversity awareness, and addiction. Ms. Colvin-Roy served as a Common Wealth Approved Lead Student Assistance Program Trainer and an adjunct college professor on Personal Resiliency and Diversity. She is a Certified OLWEUS trainer, a trainer for adults and educators, and a presenter to youth and adults.  

Denise Herr McCann is a Division Director at the YSB.  She has been with the agency for 25 years and oversees programs such as, Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Big Brothers Big Sisters and after-school youth centers. She is versed in prevention science and risk and protective factors.  She also serves as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and travels across the country reviewing Runaway and Homeless Youth programs. Prior to coming to the YSB, Denise was a high school English teacher, dorm parent, and coach.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and American Studies from Dickinson College.  Most importantly though, she is the mother of three young men, ages 23, 19 and 14. 

 

Session 6G

Speaker(s): Monica Ziemski, Linda Prah, Jessica Lee, Adam Zunic – Pleasant Hills Middle School
Topic: "Team Success: Student Safety Net" (AD, RTI, DI, SoE, G, DAP)
Room: 106

Workshop Description: Team Success is an after-school program supporting students who need an additional intervention to achieve academic success. The program helps students improve homework practices, organizational skills, and overall confidence in oneself. A collaborative effort is used to identify and select students from each grade level.  Teachers, counselors, and administrators use a variety of data to determine student need. Presenters will explain the logistics of the program, financial implications, maintaining student motivation, and what to consider when developing your own program.

Monica Ziemski is a 6th grade social studies teacher at Pleasant Hills Middle School who is currently in her 4th year of teaching full-time.   Her two degrees include a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-6) and a Master’s degree in Special Education (Pre-K- 8th).

Linda Prah is a 6th grade reading teacher at Pleasant Hills Middle School who is currently in her 23rd year of teaching.  Her two degrees include a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education (Presechool-6), and a Master’s degree in Reading (K-12.) She has taught in the elementary, middle school, and as a Title I reading teacher.

Jessica L. Lee M.Ed. 27 years of experience in the West Jefferson Hills School District. Mrs. Lee began her career at Thomas Jefferson High School serving for 7 years as a classroom teacher and Guidance Counselor. For the past 20 years, Mrs. Lee has worked at Pleasant Hills Middle School as teacher and the past 10 years as Guidance Counselor for grades 6-7-8 where she created and is Director of Team Success.

Adam Zunic has been Vice Principal of PHMS and Director of Federal Programs for WJHSD for 3 years. Prior to becoming the Vice Principal, Mr. Zunic was a 7th grade social studies teacher for 8 years at PHMS.  

Session 6H

Speaker(s):Larry Dorenkamp, Rick Roth, Rich Texter, Joe Welch – North Hills Middle School
Topic: "Digital Story Telling Through Primary Resources"  (SS, PBL, ASCA, IT)
Room: 205

Workshop Description: Primary resources are not new to education.  However, access to them is now more readily available than ever.  In this session, attendees will not only learn where to locate documents for middle level learners, but also effective methods of analysis that go beyond basic questions and answers.

From there, this session will transition to hands-on digital storytelling techniques that are middle level oriented tasks that promote student collaboration, analysis, and exploration.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own device to the session with the App “Stop Motion” installed.

Larry Dorenkamp, Rick Roth, Rich Texter, and Joe Welch are 8th grade teachers from North Hills Middle School in suburban Pittsburgh.  Larry, Rich, and Joe are social studies teachers that teach American History using a technology-based instructional curriculum.  Rick teaches 8th grade math and has been an Apple Certified Trainer and Apple Certified Professional since 2010. 

Session 6I

Speaker: Joe DeMar – Fort Couch Middle School
Topic: "Customizing Learning, Nurturing Potential and Delivering Excellence" – (AD, ID, TM, DI, GM, SoC, DDI, DAP)
Room: 203

Workshop Description: At Fort Couch Middle School, we embrace the district tagline of customizing learning, nurturing potential, and delivering excellence. Student growth is fostered through the mastery learning approach and daily opportunities are given for re-teaching and enrichment. Identity development and individual potential is found as advocacy relationships are formed between staff and students and opportunity is given for choice.

Session 6J

Speaker(s): Dr. Katie Monsour, Dr. Nichol Murray – Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Topic: "Unmasking the Multimodal: Project-Based Learning for Middle School Students" – (PBL, ASCS, DI, CCC, IT, Rd/Wr, SLO)
Room: 206

Workshop Description: Multimodal projects engage all learners.  Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, and Zickuhr (2010) suggested that middle level students produce and share multimodal content via the web at an increasing rate. Projects that employ multimodal functions can be used to connect reading and writing across the content areas, to create knowledge, to foster collaboration, and to enhance critical thinking skills.

Drs. Monsour and Murray are 2016 graduates of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s (IUP’s) Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) doctoral program.  Dr. Monsour served as the coordinator of English education at Pitt-Johnstown for seven years, and currently, works at IUP in the Professional Studies in Education (PSE) department.  Dr. Murray taught in basic education for nine years, and currently, works at Butler County Community College (BCCC) and IUP in the Human Development, Fashion, and Interior Design (HDFID) department. 

Session 6K

Speaker: Kelly Cahoon – Upper Perkiomen Middle School
Topic: "Teaching Technology Through Literacy" – (RL, ELA, CCC, IT, Rd/Wr)
Room: 202

Workshop Description: Do you want to incorporate technology into your curriculum but feel that you don’t have the time or resources?  In this session, I will show you how to teach technology through literacy.  You will receive a list of web resources that can be used for reimagining lessons including vocabulary, presentations, and formative assessments.  Feel free to bring your own ideas and tools to share as well!

Kelly Cahoon is currently a 7th grade ELA teacher at Upper Perkiomen Middle School.  She is a teacher leader within the building and has facilitated several technology workshops for her colleagues.  She is an early adopter of technology and effectively integrates technology into her instruction.  Kelly was also honored this past summer as a Keystone Technology Integrator.  

Session 6L

Speaker: Dave F. Brown, Ed. D. Educational Researcher
Topic: "What Your Students Wish You Knew" – (AD, DAP)
Room: 108

Workshop Description: Young adolescents have much to say about their daily challenges with peers, adults, and middle school academics. Years of interviewing middle schoolers reveal what they wish teachers knew about them. Attend this session to analyze their responses, chat with colleagues about students’ concerns, and brainstorm strategies for helping them cope with life as young adolescents. 

Dr. Dave F. Brown is an educational researcher, with 15+ years of international, national, and state conference and professional development presentations. He has written and had published over 25 journal articles in journals such as Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, Urban Education, Middle School Journal, and Middle Grades Research Journal. Dr. Brown is a member of the Leadership Team of the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch state organization of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Dave is co-author of three editions of the internationally used book, What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know (Brown & Knowles, 2014)

Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals
PO Box 165
Titusville, Pennsylvania 16354
Email us: support@pasap.org

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