Saving Sycamore: How the Relationship Between a Counselor and a Student Saved a School Community

Presenter: Molly Hudgens

On September 28, 2016, a fourteen year old student armed with a semiautomatic handgun and an additional magazine of ammunition walked into counselor Molly Hudgens’ office. He told Molly that his plan was to kill people and she was the only person who could talk him out of it.  After ninety minutes of talking and praying with the young man, she did just that.  Molly shares how her relationships–with the student, the School Resource Officer, and her community—supported her efforts and ultimately led to a safe outcome for all that day.

Time Management & Self-Care for Teachers in the World of COVID

Presenters: Dr. Stephen Brock & Dr. Melissa Holland

It is in the DNA of teachers to pour their heart and soul into the academic and social/emotional development of our children and youth. However, these heroic efforts of educators across the country during the COVID pandemic have not come without personal sacrifice. In this session, Dr. Steven Brock and Dr. Melissa Holland will share their insights and experience to equip educators with self-care and time management strategies to ensure they can continue these heroic efforts to support the children and youth they serve. At the conclusion of this session educators will:

  • Understand the personal social, emotional and physical toll the COVID pandemic has had on caregivers. 
  • Learn specific strategies for self-care and how to manage personal time to implement these strategies.
  • Know how to identify peers that may be struggling and how to best support them.

Session Panelists

  • Stephen Brock: PhD, NCSP, Professor and the School Psychology Program Coordinator in the College of Education, California State University, Sacramento (CSUS)
  • Melissa Holland: PhD, Associate Professor of School Psychology at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS)
  • Dr. Gina Schultz: EdD, Elementary Teacher, Madge T. James Elementary School, Webb City, MO
  • Ilea Faircloth: Principal, Hiland Park Elementary School, Panama City, FL
  • Nicole Lamoureaux: Elementary Educator, Sudbury, MA

Panel moderated by Michele Gay, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Safe and Sound Schools

Teaching the Whole Child: Strategies for Meeting Students’ Basic Needs

Presenters: Dr. C.J. Huff & Elaine Weiss

As educators we understand students can’t learn if their basic needs are not being met. In response we “pass the hat” in the workroom, keep crackers in our desk, and give hugs, love and support to our neediest kids. But wouldn’t it be nice if the whole community was engaged to remediate these systemic issues so we can teach and our kids can learn? In this session, Dr. C.J. Huff and Dr. Elaine Weiss share strategies to engage the community in a meaningful way to create integrated systems of support (ISS) for students in order to build a more resilient community. At the end of this session educators will:

  • Understand how ISS can positively impact life and educational outcomes of children and youth. 
  • Learn about the Bright Futures Community Resilience Framework® and how it can be used to engage the whole community to create integrated systems of support. 
  • Learn specific examples of strategies from panelists who have had an active role in creating ISS in school communities.

Session Panelists

  • Dr. C.J. Huff: Founder, Bright Futures USA
  • Dr. Elaine Weiss: Policy Director, National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Kelli Neal: 5th Grade Teacher, McEowen Elementary School, Harrisonville, MO
  • Angela Robinson: Teacher, Berryville School District, Berryville, AR
  •  Kelsi Bartholomew: 2nd & 3rd Grade, Lincoln Elementary School, Lincoln, AR

Panel moderated by Michele Gay, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Safe and Sound Schools

Trauma Informed Learning & Teaching for Classroom Teachers

Presenter: Dr. Todd Savage

Every day children and youth come into our classrooms who have experienced trauma that manifests itself in the behavioral, mental, social and academic life of our kids. In this session, the presenter and panelists will discuss the challenges, opportunities and strategies for educators tackle this difficult topic. At the end of this session educators will:

  • Learn about the impact of trauma on students and how it is manifested in the classroom. 
  • Learn developmentally appropriate trauma informed strategies to support children and youth in the classroom.

Session Panelists

  • Todd Savage: Ph.D., NCSP is a professor of school psychology, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, College of Education & Professional Studies, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF)
  • Kiki Leyba: Teacher, Columbine High School, Columbine, CO
  • Kenya Brooks: Teacher, Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock, AR
  • Christy Land, Spanish Teacher, Grain Valley High School, Grain Valley, MO

Panel moderated by Michele Gay, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Safe and Sound Schools

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for Classroom Teachers

Meeting the social emotional needs of students is important to create a school climate and culture that is supportive and safe for children and youth to learn and grow. Dr. Melissa Reeves is a subject matter expert on this timely topic as teachers across the nation grapple with the challenge of meeting the social emotional needs of students in virtual, in-person and blended instructional environments. By the end of this session educators will:

  • Establish the connection between the social emotional needs research and student learning outcomes. 
  • Learn developmentally appropriate strategies to support the social emotional growth of students.

Session Panelists

  • Melissa Reeves: PhD. Immediate Past President NASP
  • Natalie Hammond: M.Ed, Elementary Principal and Sandy Hook School Shooting Survivor
  • Emily Vaughn: 2nd Grade Teacher, Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock, AR
  • Stephanie Kallas: Middle School Teacher, Grain Valley Middle School, Grain Valley, MO
  • Scarlett Lewis, Founder, Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™

Panel moderated by Michele Gay, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Safe and Sound Schools