Convention Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

MSEA’s 2021 Convention workshops will be held on Friday, October 15 and are free and only open to members of MSEA. All workshops are virtual this year. Members must register for each session they wish to attend. Please register for only one session per time period to be eligible for a certificate of attendance and allow other members the opportunity to participate, as seating is limited.

Please check back on this page for registration information and deadlines.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Educators at Risk: Learn What Legal Risks Educators Face
Join MSEA Associate Counsel Damon Felton, Esq. for an informational session regarding your rights as a public school employee. Topics covered will include disciplinary issues, what to do if you are falsely accused, and other claims you my face as a public school employee. Maximum: 50

Presenter: Damon Felton has served as MSEA associate counsel for MSEA since February 2001. In this position, he specializes in labor law and assists MSEA members with legal matters relating to their employment in Maryland’s schools.

Equity Diversity and Inclusion through the Lens of Human Rights
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”  Join us in exploring human rights frameworks as a foundations for equity, diversity, and inclusion principles and practices. Maximum: 60

Presenter: Leslie Fair is the founder and principal of Inclusion Strategies, which she established in 2018 following decades of service within the United Nations System. She delivers equity, diversity, inclusion, resilience, and wellness services at intersections between work and family.

National Board Certification Q&A
Learn what it takes to become a National Board Certified Teacher and ask questions of an expert who has been there. You will also find out about the ways National Board Certification will improve your professional practice and standing. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Andrea Robinson-Tejada is a content specialist at Gaithersburg Middle School in Montgomery County. She teaches multilingual learners in grades 6-8 and is a strong advocate for the implementation of grade-level, standards-based curriculum. She is National Board Certified in both English as a New Language and Literacy – Reading and Writing.

Surviving Adolescence in the Classroom: The Pandemic Edition
Adolescence is a transitional and developmental stage in human growth where a child matures into adulthood. It is during this pivotal time that educators need the most support to guide these young people towards academic and emotional success. Educators will also learn vital tips that will aid with hybrid learning! Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Tomeko L. Vick is a secondary educator with 20+ years of experience in elementary, middle, and alternative settings. She is an advocate for all things education-related and passionate about professional development and instructional mentorship.

Surviving Trauma in the Classroom
Research shows that 35 million students have suffered some form of trauma. This out-of-the-box, unconventional, dynamic, cutting-edge, innovative, and informative workshop will examine trauma in the classroom. Participants will walk away excited with numerous strategies to break the emotional chains of acute, chronic, and historical trauma. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Dr. William “Flip” Clay is a dynamic, energetic, and internationally acclaimed professional school counselor. After meeting Dr. Clay, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recognized Dr. Clay as an extraordinary role model and leader.

Teaching Strategies for Multi-Step Problem-Solving
This session focuses on teaching strategies that enable students to process and organize information for problem-solving. Examples will be provides in math and language arts, but are transferrable to any subject requiring multi-step problem-solving. The session is especially applicable to those serving students with learning disabilities. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Kimberly Carson has taught in public schools in Virginia and Maryland for 17 years. She holds a master’s degrees in instructional technology and special education and enjoys helping teachers help students.

The ABCs of SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a methodology that helps students better understand and express those emotions fully and demonstrate empathy for others. These learned behaviors are then used to help students make positive, responsible decisions; create frameworks to achieve their goals; and build positive relationships with others. Maximum: 100

Presenter: Dr. Jones has been a school counselor for 26 years and tries to guide her students in their personal growth by increasing their self-esteem, enhancing relationships with others, navigating through difficult situations, and finding joy in their life.

10:20 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

Organized Chaos: MVN4WRD with Highly Interactive Student Engagement and Motivation
This intense session includes multiple strategies educators can immediately use to enhance student engagement and motivation at the maximum level across all content disciplines. Participants will learn to utilize student performance data with human graphing and synectics and enhance literacy through differentiated instruction with multiple intelligences by effectively communicating through brainstorming, randomness, questioning, storytelling, etc. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Shonda Pegram is the EduTrainer, a well-respected professional educator with Prince George’s County Public Schools. As a highly qualified veteran, she’s engaging, motivational, passionate, and powerful. Recognized for her many accomplishments, she specializes in building teacher capacity by fully understanding the amazing classroom experience.

How Do I Discuss Ethnicity/Race in the Elementary Classroom?
This research-based interactive workshop engages participants in open and safe conversations about culturally responsive teaching, their concerns about discussing ethnicity/race in the classroom, and why these conversations are important. Participants will also take away strategies, tips, and ideas to add to their pedagogical practice. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Kelli  Hickey is a veteran 3rd grade teacher who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations. As the founder of Mindset Matters, her interactive workshops empowers educators to improve student achievement by cultivating a growth mindset.

NEAMB Tips and Programs to Reduce Stress
Today’s world is more challenging than one should expect. NEA Member Benefits understands this and has worked to help our members and their families in good times as well as bad. This presentation shows not just how to reduce financial concerns but also how to access programs for members’ mental health. Maximum: N/A

Presenters: Michael Gavin has been with NEA Member Benefits since 2007, helping members understand and take advantage of the many member benefits that members and their families can use. Michael is originally from Philadelphia and resides in Washington, D.C.

George Kelly is the regional vice president of the NEA Member Benefits-endorsed retirement company Security Benefit. He has been critical in assisting members understand retirement and identify how they can retire in comfort.

Part 1: Powerful Language for Reluctant Learners
If you are out of your wits trying to teach and reach reluctant learners, the use of powerful language with students will restore them to a rewarding academic life. These magic words will change the game in your classroom with reluctant learners. Batter up! Maximum: 50

Presenter: Gary Hughes is a first-year pupil personnel worker for Caroline County Public Schools. He also has 21 years of experience teaching middle and high school English for Prince George’s County Public Schools, and specializes in teaching at-risk students.

Practical Strategies for Preparing for the Job Interview
Come learn how to be articulate and well-prepared for your next interview. The presentation will include engagement strategies, a strategy for answering questions, and what you should do before, during, and after an interview. You will receive common interview questions for teacher interviews. Maximum: 50

Presenters: Barbara Friedlander is a National Board Certified Teacher and an Instructional Specialist in Montgomery County Public Schools. She is the co-author of Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students and the president of the University of Maryland College of Education Alumni Chapter.

Dr. Helen Nixon is the chief of human resources and development for Montgomery County Public Schools. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership/policy studies from George Washington University. She has worked as a teacher, staff developer, and a school and central administrator.

12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

Community Cultural Wealth: Resistance Capital
This conversation is based on Dr. Tara Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) framework that identifies six forms of cultural capital. This framework disrupts our implicit bias by re-framing deficit thinking into asset-based thinking and acknowledges how the collective resilience of historically marginalized communities add tremendous value to our classrooms and school communities. Maximum: 300

Presenter: Gabriel Tanglao serves as associate director of professional development for the New Jersey Education Association, which represents a membership of over 200,000 educators. Advancing human rights through organized labor allows him to honor a tradition of Filipino ancestors fighting for justice as union.

Good Trouble! Classroom Management Strategies to Maximize Student Achievement
Classroom management never made more sense! In this jam-packed interactive session, participants will be engaged and empowered with exciting techniques needed to build long-lasting professional relationships, maximize instructional time, and create effective classroom environments while minimizing behavioral disruptions. Educators will gain renewed confidence and restore creativity through productive, interactive instruction. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Shonda Pegram is the EduTrainer, a well-respected professional educator with Prince George’s County Public Schools. As a highly qualified veteran, she’s engaging, motivational, passionate, and powerful. Recognized for her many accomplishments, she specializes in building teacher capacity by fully understanding the amazing classroom experience.

Handling Miscommunications with Parents and Co-Workers
Educators regularly encounter communication issues with parents or co-workers. In this session, participants will explore common miscommunications that can occur in the educational setting. Participants will also learn practical strategies to effectively address concerns faced in a school. Maximum: 50

Presenter: Michelle Woodfork has taught elementary school for over 25 years as a teacher in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. She is a Nationally Board Certified educator who currently teaches 5th grade in Montgomery County.

IEP 101 for the Elementary Classroom Teacher
Participants will investigate the relevant pages of the Maryland IEP for the elementary classroom teacher. Participants will learn what and how to prepare for the IEP meeting including what data to bring, work samples that are beneficial, and how to present this information to the IEP team. Maximum: 30

Presenters: Barbara Friedlander is a National Board Certified Teacher and an Instructional Specialist in Montgomery County Public Schools. She is the co-author of Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students and the president of the University of Maryland College of Education Alumni Chapter.

Joanna Dwin has taught special education at the elementary and secondary levels. She also has worked in the special education office of Montgomery County Public Schools for 14 years as an instructional specialist and special education supervisor.

Part 2: Powerful Language for Reluctant Learners
If you are out of your wits trying to teach and reach reluctant learners, the use of powerful language with students will restore them to a rewarding academic life. These magic words will change the game in your classroom with reluctant learners. Batter up! Maximum: 50

Presenter: Gary Hughes is a first-year pupil personnel worker for Caroline County Public Schools. He also has 21 years of experience teaching middle and high school English for Prince George’s County Public Schools, and specializes in teaching at-risk students.

Taming Trauma: Supporting Students
This workshop is focused on building knowledge, reflection, and skills to assist educators in understanding trauma-informed care and supports. Maximum: 60

Presenter: Robert Murphy, has 25 years of experience in school-based, local, state, and national educational initiatives. He authored the Maryland Code of Discipline and recently released a memoir, [email protected]$as Ain’t Astronauts: A Story of Love, Disappointment, and Perseverance.

1:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

It’s a Match! Mastering Motivation for Student Success
Learn how to identify students’ motivational styles and how to address each style when designing lessons and supporting children. Get ready to better meet student needs, plan activities to pique curiosity, and create an inviting and motivating environment! Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Amy Kines brings three decades of experience as a classroom teacher, staff developer, and instructional specialist to her company, Ready Aim Teach in Rockville, Maryland. Amy’s unwavering passion for active learning permeates every project and presentation in Maryland and beyond.

Learn the NEA Member Benefits Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Calculator
With the ever-evolving and complex information regarding federal student loan assistance from the federal government, learn how to find your way through the hills and valleys of this trip with the NEA Member Benefits Federal Student Loan Calculator. Maximum: N/A

Presenters: Michael Gavin has been with NEA Member Benefits since 2007, helping members understand and take advantage of the many member benefits that members and their families can use. Michael is originally from Philadelphia and resides in Washington, D.C.

George Kelly is the regional vice president of the NEA Member Benefit 403(b) program. He is able to explain in accessible terms the complex world of finance, which is beneficial to better understanding personal finance.

National Board Certification Q&A
Learn what it takes to become a National Board Certified Teacher and ask questions of an expert who has been there. You will also find out about the ways National Board Certification will improve your professional practice and standing. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Andrea Robinson-Tejada is a content specialist at Gaithersburg Middle School in Montgomery County. She teaches multilingual learners in grades 6-8 and is a strong advocate for the implementation of grade-level, standards-based curriculum. She is National Board Certified in both English as a New Language and Literacy – Reading and Writing.

Restoring the Restorative Educator
How are you, really? In this highly interactive and engaging session you will have the opportunity to refresh and gladden your spirit, connecting more deeply with yourself and others. You will leave the session able to apply the tools, strategies, and techniques immediately, both at home and at school. Maximum: 100

Presenter: Dara Feldman is Disney’s 2005 Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year, Maryland’s 2015 Mother of the Year, an Early Childhood National Board Certified Teacher, the CEO of Virtues Matter, and the author of The Heart of Education: Bringing Joy, Meaning and Purpose Back to Teaching and Learning.

Transformative Expectations: Harvesting Your Power of Choice
Teacher-stated expectations of student performance is one of the strongest predictions of student academic success. In this session, learn how to harvest your power of choice to extend and exceed your expectations of your students. Your students will achieve greater academic and personal success as a result. Maximum: 60

Presenter: Laura Ellis is a library media specialist. She recently became an MSEA trauma-informed educator, is a certified trauma trainer for the American Bible Institute, and has professional development in building mindful school communities. She believes everyone can achieve maximum success.

Using Educator Voice! Navigating Challenging Conversations in the School Environment
Implicit biases often go unchallenged, silencing the dialogue. Educators will develop the skills to speak up and respond when someone—a student, colleague, or parent—uses microaggressions, biased language, or stereotypes in schools and to continue the journey to cultivate just and equitable teaching and learning environments. Maximum: N/A

Presenter: Vernon Fains is a visual arts educator and education advocate in Baltimore County. He serves as a TABCO board member, NEA Leaders for Just Schools trainer, the  Maryland Art Education Association vice president for advocacy, and on the MSEA President’s Council.