Convention Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

MSEA’s 2022 Convention workshops will be held on Friday, October 21 and are free and only open to members of MSEA. Members do not need to register to attend. Seating is available for this year’s in-person workshops on a first come, first served basis.

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Supporting Students with All Minds Matter via Trauma Healing Groups
Students want support with their All Minds Matter Zoom meetings to address their mental health needs. Trauma healing groups are a strategy that educators can use with their students to support this effort.

Presenter: Laura Ellis is a veteran library school media specialist who is an MSEA certified trauma-informed educator. She is also an American Bible Institute trauma healing group facilitator. The outcome of this training is to expand trauma healing to students.

Differentiation without Doubling the Workload 
Every time educators attend differentiation professional development training, there is always a concern around where will we find the time. Time is often the biggest barrier to creating lessons that best serve students. So many teachers work outside their duty hours, so let’s learn how to differentiate without doubling workload. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops, tablets, or devices to this workshop.

Presenter: Amber Myren has been a high school social studies teacher for the past five years in Montgomery County. She has taught AP, honors, on-level, and ESOL sheltered classes. By teaching a variety of classes, she learned to differentiate for her students and saw the benefits it produced. Teaching English language learners motivated her to find ways to reach students with all different types of strengths and areas for improvement.

Introduction to National Board Certification
National Board certification was designed to promote, retain, and foster quality educators who facilitated the advancement of education. This session serves as an introduction to the National Board certification process. In this session, participants will understand how the National Board certification process is defined, explore the certification components and their purpose, and be provided with certification timelines and deadlines.

Presenter: Danielle Jones has 20+ years of experience in the field of education, covering primary, secondary, special education, college/university, and state assignments. She has participated in the Harvard University Executive Leadership program pertaining to organizing and leadership and is currently a doctoral candidate completing a degree in organizational leadership with an emphasis in organizational development.  In MSEA’s Center for Education Policy and Practice, she is the point of contact for National Board Certification, Peer Assistance and Review, EdTPA, English language learners, and MSEA’s local instructional professional development offerings

It’s a Match! Matching 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!

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. Amy’s unwavering passion for active learning permeates every project and presentation in Maryland and beyond.

Room to Maneuver: Building Trust to Teach Contentious Topics
Recent events have escalated divisions in our communities. To help students build the skills to engage deeply and empathetically in society, teachers must make deliberate choices to build trust with students, parents, and administrators. Amplify your effectiveness to teach contentious topics in this interactive session, which will explore numerous techniques and concepts to enhance your credibility as a professional and ethical educator.            

Presenter: Genie Massey holds an MAT from Johns Hopkins University, and is a doctoral candidate at Frostburg. She serves as a board member of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, a Teacher Advisory Council member for the National Constitution Center, and is a longtime Rotarian.

NEA Member Benefits Presents: Understanding Your Federal Student Loan
With the ever-changing rules and updates on federal student loans, understanding how to best optimize your ability to save money can be challenging.  Fortunately, as a member of MSEA and NEA, there is a federal student loan forgiveness calculator that you can use to see what programs you are eligible for. This is a tool that is helpful to you, and also a great way to introduce the association to current and future members. 

Presenter: Michael Gavin, NEA Member Benefits

Kitchen Stories: Recipes in Developing an Interdisciplinary Student-Centered Curriculum   
Successfully integrating project-based learning across the curriculum requires careful planning, collaboration, and coordination of learning outcomes and teaching workload. Learn how to create interdisciplinary projects for your subject by examining effective teaching and hands-on approaches to engage students.   

Presenter: Masirika Williams is an enthusiastic educator with a passionate commitment to student development and the learning experience. She is skilled at designing challenging, enriching, and innovative activities that address the diverse interests and needs of students.

10:35 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

How Current Maryland Education Policy Affects You (Tentatively Scheduled)
Participants will get an overview of Maryland education policies that impact their professions. MSEA Center for Education Policy and Practice staff will give an overview of how the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (including the new Accountability and Implementation Board), the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board, and State Board of Education have changed policies that will impact public education in Maryland.

Presenters: Queen Nwafor and Deborah Euzebio are organizational development specialists in MSEA’s Center for Education Policy and Practice. They specialize in interpreting and analyzing federal, state, and local education policy and providing their expertise to MSEA leadership, affiliate leadership, staff, and members. 

I Can Help: Community Engagement for Students with Disabilities             
Students with disabilities are frequently seen through the lens of their challenges. However, students with disabilities can not only participate in but can actively improve their communities. This session focuses on strategies for creating opportunities for community engagement and action both within and outside of the classroom.

Presenter: Kimberly Carson has taught English, math, special education, gifted education, ESOL, journalism, and career technical education in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland schools for 18 years.   

Professional Partnerships: Program Management and Leadership for CTE Teachers                          
Career and technical education teachers are well positioned for achieving the leadership goals outlined in the National Board’s Career and Technical Education Standards. This session focuses on strategies for success in Standard VII: Program Design and Management, Standard VIII: Partnerships and Collaborations, and Standard IX: Leadership in the Profession.                      

Presenter: Joseph Rafter’s education career has included 18 years as a high school English teacher and instructional coach. He now designs contract courses at Frederick Community College for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Maryland State Department of Education while completing his dissertation for an ED.D. in educational leadership.    

Co-Presenter: Genie Massey holds an MAT from Johns Hopkins University and is a doctoral candidate at Frostburg. She serves as a board member of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, a Teacher Advisory Council member for the National Constitution Center, and is a longtime Rotarian.

Restoring the Restorative Educator: Healing-Centered Engagement for Staff/Student Wellbeing       
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 being able to apply the tools, strategies, and techniques immediately both at home and at school.           

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, restorative practitioner, the CEO of Virtues Matter, and author of The Heart of Education: Bringing Joy, Meaning and Purpose Back to Teaching and Learning.  

Strategies to Teach Empathy to Students            
Teaching empathy to students can have many benefits, such as better mental and emotional health, a greater connection with their peers and educators, increased acceptance and tolerance of each other, better communication skills, the promotion of social harmony, and the list goes on. 

Presenter: Dr. Laura Jones has been an elementary school counselor for 27 years and still gets excited about her work! Laura guides her students in their personal growth by helping to increase their self-esteem,  enhance their relationship skills, and find joy in their life. 

Taming Trauma
This informative workshop will examine student trauma. Participants will walk away excited and empowered with numerous strategies to break the emotional chains of acute, chronic, and historical trauma.              

Presenter: Robert A. Murphy is a career educator. He is the author of multiple Maryland regulations while also authoring the Maryland Public Schools Code of Discipline, [email protected]$as Ain’t Astronauts, Love and Trauma in an American Family, and other titles.

Exploring What a Grade Really Means   
What’s the relationship between an assessment, an evaluation, and a student’s grade? Using case studies and personal classroom examples, participants will explore tensions in grading philosophies and procedures. They will begin to articulate and refine their own grading philosophies to create equity in the classroom and to explain the relationship and difference between key educational terms such as assessment, evaluation, and grade when discussing student performance.              

Presenter: Dr. Tony Martinet has been teaching high school for 15 years, including courses ranging from debate, to journalism, to all four  grade levels of English. He believes in participant-driven professional development with relevant and tangible outcomes.

12:10 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

Racial and Social Justice Co-Conspirators:​ Moving from Allies to Action
Participants will examine a continuum of bias and develop deeper awareness of their own biases and how to be a leader in disrupting systemic bias. as Attendees will identify strategies of disruption of personal and systemic bias in their own lives and in our professions, and examine where they fall on the spectrum of bystander/ally to co-conspirator and accomplice in racial and social justice work in their own lives and professions.                    

Presenter: Lauren M. Weaver is a proud early childhood teacher specialist in Harford County,. She has been an educator for 16 years and is passionate about her work of supporting students and teachers in early childhood.

Creating and Implementing Affirming Spaces at All Levels
Affirming transgender students saves lives, so ensuring that schools are affirming and inclusive spaces for all students is imperative, as is advocating for our students through policies at the school, district, and even state levels.

Presenter: Mx. Ær Queen (they/them) is from Northern Virginia and a proud member of the Fairfax Education Association. They were recognized as a Quarterfinalist for the 2022 and 2023 Educator Grammy and have presented on gender equity in many states.

Legal Risks Facing Educators Today
Join this session for an open discussion on how to protect yourself in your role as a public school employee. This session will address how to deal with some of the common legal issues that have risen in Maryland, including disciplinary actions, child abuse allegations, civil lawsuits, and more.

Presenter: Damon Felton serves as associate counsel for MSEA where he has been employed since 2001. He specializes in labor law and assists MSEA members with legal matters relating to their employment.

“Organized Chaos:” MVN4WRD with Highly Interactive Student Engagement and Motivation                    
This intense session includes multiple strategies that 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, enhance literacy through differentiated instruction with multiple intelligences by effectively communicating through brainstorming, randomness, questioning, storytelling, and more.           

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.       

Productive Partnerships with Parents   
This session will encourage classroom teachers to build and maintain productive partnerships with their most untapped resource: their students’ parents/guardians!    

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

Surviving Trauma in Education  
Research shows that 35 million students have suffered some form of trauma. This fun, engaging, musical, informative, interactive, and innovative workshop will break down trauma. Participants will also learn out-of-the-box techniques to break the emotional chains of the trauma hindering students from being successful in the educational setting.                     

Presenter: Dr. William Clay. Dynamic, innovative, energetic, and cutting-edge are some of the words to describe Dr. William “Flip” Clay. Dr. Clay is an acclaimed award-winning counselor, and has been featured on the Steve Harvey Morning Show with WHUR 96.3 Howard University. 

Every Student—Every Day: Words Matter, Compassion Counts
Showing students compassion increases their sense of well-being and improves the learning environment. By teaching with kindness, empathy, and compassion, educators prepare their students for long-term success in all aspects of life. This session will focus on easy to implement strategies for showing compassion.

Presenter: Barbara Friedlander, NBCT, is an achievement specialist in Montgomery County Public Schools. With over 30 years of experience teaching, she is co-author of Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students. She serves as the President of the University of Maryland College of Education Alumni Network.       

Co-Presenter: Dr. Joan Mory is an equity initiatives, instructional specialist in the Office of Strategic Initiatives for Montgomery County Public Schools. With over 30 years of experience in teaching and learning, she creates learning environments that are culturally responsible, equitable, engaging, and welcoming for all.