MSEA’s Annual IPD Conference: Embracing Humanity in Education




Join us on March 13, 2021 for MSEA’s Annual IPD Conference. Attendees will be able to select breakout sessions from many topics, such as: ACEs/social emotional learning, racial justice, self-care, civic education, and digital teaching and learning. Come discuss current topics with colleagues and learn from MSEA members and experts in the field! The deadline to register is March 11, 2021. For any questions regarding this event, please contact [email protected].

IPD attendees will choose one workshop in each session. Click here to learn more about NEA Leadership Competency Levels 1, 2, and 3.

Session 1  9:20 a.m.–10:25 a.m.

Innocence Stolen: Protecting Our Children

Level 1

Learn how to best protect young people from negative and criminal influences online. Topics include social networking, cyber bullying, sexting, and internet predators. The program provides prevention and intervention strategies and internet safety resources. 

Presenter  Vincent DeVivo is the community outreach specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a director of the Maryland Crime Prevention Association, a certified Maryland Police and Training Commissions instructor and Gang Awareness Trainer, and a senior member of the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Prevention Board.

My ACEs + Their ACEs = Our ACEs

Level 2

How do adverse childhood experiences—ACEs—affect your students? How do your ACEs affect you as an educator? Is it possible that your ACEs could make you a more informed, socially conscious, and trauma-sensitive educator? Explore ACEs and what they mean to the classroom experience and discipline outcomes for student and educator when both have experienced ACEs.

Presenters  Cheryl Bost is a veteran Baltimore County elementary educator, 2003 Baltimore County Teacher of the Year, and current MSEA president. She taught fifth grade for 14 years in a Title I school and created a summer camp program for disadvantaged youth. Among her accomplishments as a MSEA leader are working with MSDE on the Every Student Succeeds Act plan and implementation and the successful enactment of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

Carroll County member Robin Szymanski is a veteran special educator who has been active in committees at the national, state, and county levels, including chairing the MSEA Special Education Task Force and representing MSEA on the Maryland Task Force to Study the Implementation of a Dyslexia Education Program and the IDEA Cadre of the National Education Association.

Protecting Our Immigrant Students and Families: Legal and Cultural Competency Strategies from the Field

Level 2

Learn about current immigration policies that may be affecting students and families in your school and the efforts of community organizations, such as CASA, that are working to protect families. Discover how to create a more inclusive, safe space for immigrant students and their families so they feel protected in their schools and communities.

Presenter Maritza Solano is a former educator and current director of education at CASA who designs and oversees educational and two-generation initiatives that impact immigrant students and families in some of the largest school districts in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her work focuses on two-generation community and school engagement programming and local and statewide advocacy efforts.

Session 2  10:45 a.m.–11:50 a.m.

Digital Engagement

Level 2

Student engagement is an important component of any lesson and we’ve learned in the past year how different and challenging it is in the virtual environment. Join us to learn new strategies for connecting with students online and improve engagement and learning.

Presenter Josh Davidson, Carroll County, is a veteran National Board Certified middle school science teacher, curriculum writer, and mentor for pre-service science teachers. He completed the NEA Leaders of Just Schools program in 2019. He is a co-chair of the MSEA IPD Committee.

Not Just Gov Class: Why All Teachers Should Embrace Civics Education 

Level 2

Learn instructional strategies to implement civics education with a social justice lens. We will address challenges educators face when facilitating controversial issues, best practices for these dialogues, and how to build empowering learning spaces. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn how to incorporate case studies, such as the current pandemic, into subject-specific lesson plans that support students’ civic engagement.

Presenters Montgomery County educator Oscar Ramos teaches AP U.S. government and politics, U.S. history, and Latin American history. He has taught for 17 years, 10 of which were at The Preuss School, UC San Diego, a nationally recognized grade 6-12 charter school for low-income students who will be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. That experience made him an advocate for student inclusion in college prep programs and the creation of programs to support their success.

Montgomery County educator Neha Singhal has taught government, IB anthropology, U.S. history, Latin American studies, and college/career prep. She is a curriculum consultant, providing a racial justice and anti-oppressive lens on social studies materials and has facilitated trainings for county-wide staff on culturally relevant pedagogy. Prior to becoming an educator, Neha worked with La Union del Pueblo Entero, a grassroots immigrant justice organization at the Texas-Mexico border.

Session 3  12:10 p.m.–1:20 p.m.

Being Smart on Your Smart Devices 

Level 1

Should I have parents, colleagues, or students as friends on Facebook? Who has access to my work email? Doesn’t my deleted email stay “deleted?” Can I use the iPad that my school assigned me to look at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? I’ve lost the iPad the school assigned me. What happens next? Learn how devices should and should not be used by school employees.

Presenter Damon Felton Esq. is MSEA associate counsel and holds a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and attended Howard University School of Law.

Supporting Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs of Multilingual Students through the Lens of Antiracism

Level 2

Explore a variety of concepts and frameworks and build capacity to better address the academic and social emotional needs of multilingual students. This session will focus the work through a lens of antiracism to provide the context needed to confront racial and language bias and implement practices that ensure equity and antiracism for all students.

Presenters Tia Washington is a veteran educator and learning and achievement specialist in Montgomery County. She is currently studying to earn a master’s degree in equity excellence in education at McDaniel College. In her current role, she works with school clusters to support leadership teams in building capacity to interrupt systemic racism to achieve equitable outcomes for all students.

Melaika Brown is a veteran learning and achievement specialist in Montgomery County, where she provides support and professional learning to leadership teams, teacher leaders, and teachers.  With 16 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle schools as well as curriculum and instruction and equity, she supports schools with implementing and monitoring school improvement plans to meet the needs of all students. 

Susan Shankle Gordon provides instructional leadership in Montgomery County schools around instruction, English language development, professional development, and equity. She has served in the Secondary ESOL Office of Curriculum and Instruction, working with the largest emergent multilingual and Latino population in the district. Susan is a graduate of George Washington University and Hood College, and began her multicultural education growing up in Latin America.

Just Schools

Level 2

NEA’s Just Schools program is an equity-designed curriculum whose focus is to inform educators’ practice to be prepared to advance equitable outcomes for students. The Just Schools curriculum examines how race relations and oppression diminish the potential to teach, learn, and lead.

Participants dive into understanding equity; investigate how bias impacts conditions of teaching and learning; explore ways in which they can improve school culture so that every student has the opportunity to succeed; gain effective communication skills; experience culturally improved policies, and practices; and build camaraderie among educators and students.

Participants experience this content through a curriculum grounded in real-life experiences in schools across the country. The content is real, relatable, and actionable.

Prerequisite reading: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack By Peggy McIntosh

Presenter Josh Davidson, Carroll County, is a veteran National Board-Certified middle school science teacher and curriculum writer and mentor for pre-service science teachers. He completed the NEA Leaders of Just Schools program in 2019. He is a co-chair of the MSEA IPD Committee.

Vernon Fains is a middle school visual arts educator in Baltimore County. His role as a coach to young art educators has led him to facilitate professional development oppor­tunities in all content areas. He is currently a trainer for NEA Leaders for Just Schools and vice president of the Maryland Art Education Association.

Paul Guerin is an elementary English learner teacher in Frederick County where he seeks to help students and families gain the knowledge and resources they need to have their needs met intellectually, emotionally, and physically. He completed the NEA Leaders of Just Schools program in 2019. He is a co-chair of the MSEA IPD committee.

Nikki (Anzer) Woodward is an early intervention teacher of students with visual impairment or blindness in Montgomery County. An equity warrior who focuses on raising the awareness and capacity of all educators, students, and the community, she completed the NEA Leaders of Just Schools program in 2019.