Below is the list of selected breakout presentations for our 2017 conference.   Thank you to everyone who submitted proposals!



Building a Sense of Community in Your School

Kate Stewart
Union Academy

Union Academy will share some of the ways we build community in our school.   Share activities and resources for Family Reunion Day, Faculty Fun Day, Family Picnics, Community Carnival, etc.

Starting STEM from Scratch in Elementary

Jocelyn Remington & Abbie Locklear
The Academy of Moore County

STEM is more than the latest educational buzz word.   The demand for skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, and math is an undeniable part of our students’ future.   But what does that look like in elementary school?   This presentation will show you our approach to incorporating STEM into K-5 classrooms and after school activities.   We’ll tell you about how to get started with project based learning, find the money for materials, and build a STEM program from nothing.   You don’t have to be a STEM certified school to teach your students important STEM skills like problem solving, critical thinking, the design process, and how to embrace failure.


Math in Motion

Kara Root
Chatham Charter School

Are your students tired of doing worksheets and bookwork in math?   Let’s bring fun back to the math classroom!   See how an upper level high school math teacher incorporates a variety of activities to get the students up and moving around the room while doing content-based assignments.   You don’t have to sacrifice rigor for fun. Differentiation is also an element of the experiences.   Cross-grade level interaction is another way to peak student interest.   Even students that have forgotten they love math will remember how much fun it can be.   This session will be applicable to any grade level.

Maximizing Your Students’ Educational Experience

Karin Hoffman & Julie Underhill
Sonshine Educational Tours

Experiences are elements we carry through for the rest of our lives.   Providing experiences that connect to our curricular objectives are the home run in education.   Discover the creative ways to make science, technology, history, performing arts, or civics come alive for your students.   These experiences will not only help shape their future interests and endeavors, but help provide added interest in their current studies.   It is not difficult to be the teacher they will never forget.   This session will allow you to set your creative genius free to maximize the education experiences for each one of your students.


Active Learning

Beth Rushing & Anna Hughes
Union Academy

Participants will experience activities that will enrich their lessons and add a dimension of fun and novelty.   The techniques presented will support emotional and social learning and require mandatory engagement in all areas of academics.   Participants should expect to be able to use the activities immediately.   Games will be shared that will enhance academic lessons and will increase social learning.

Free Leadership Program Only You Are YOU!

Walter Finnigan
Clover Garden School

YouthMAX Plus Leadership program inspires and equips young people to value themselves and others, by developing and maintaining a positive self-image, showing compassion to others, persevering in the midst of adversity, and creating a daily routine of successful attitudes and behavior.   This engaging and interactive session facilitated for you is appropriate for your students ages 8-18.   They will learn how self-leadership allows them to be a positive influence with their family, teachers and peers. John C. Maxwell, founder of The John Maxwell Team and YouthMAX program, says, “Youth are not the generation of tomorrow, they are the generation of today!”


Hands-on African Drumming: Integrating the Arts and Enhancing Diversity

William Scheidt & Shaliah Haith-Ince
Living Rhythms

With an instrument provided for every attendee to play during the session, this presentation will model the high-energy process of using African drumming to enhance school diversity and integrate the arts into the Common Core.

The session will highlight research on the relationships between diversity, the arts and student academic achievement. Topics will include:

– Neurological research on the effects of the arts on brain developmen
– Sociological research on the link between cultural boundaries and academic achievement
– Educating culturally diverse students and enhancing diversity through practical uses of the arts
– Integrating the arts with Common Core

Crafting Academic Conversations to Engage and Extend Today’s Learners

Janine Cox & LaTina Robinson
One Stop Word Shop

Rich, robust vocabulary opens doors of opportunities for students.   This workshop will show how to create an immediate bridge between student’s casual home language and advantageous school language.   We turn researched-based strategies into engaging, systematic daily practices. Highly interactive, participants will experience engagement tools that extend students’ academic word understanding and use.   Explore which words give leverage and effective ways to get them to stick.   Participants will receive handouts with specific, researched and classroom based strategies.   Immediate application ideas including games to adhere meaning to words, content notebook tips and systematic word rich environments.   Participants will leave with a host of enriching activities to extend student’s ability to both understand and apply scholarly words to reading, writing and speaking.


Equitable Math: Reaching All Learners

Robin Durrante
Teach for America

This session will offer educators solutions to motivate students to learn and find creative and meaningful ways of incorporating them into their math classrooms.   These strategies have been implemented by me as a parent, teacher and instructional coach for the last 11 years.   Every child is capable of learning given a teacher who is able to differentiate the content, process, product, and environment.   This success is according to the student’s readiness, interest and learning profile.   This session contains best-practices for content strategies for differentiating secondary mathematics, inventive methods for students with learning differences, and teaching with technology.

The Great American Solar Eclipse

Laurie Merlo
Explore Learning

Are You Ready for the Solar Eclipse of 2017?   Join us to find out what, when, how and why!   Science, Literacy, Safety discussions will help support your understanding of why the total solar eclipse event on August 21st, 2017 is such a rare treat for us in or near to this spectacular event!   Eclipse facts and simulations will be incorporated while learning about the differences between lunar/solar eclipse, total vs partial eclipse, penumbra vs umbra, why solar glasses and more!   All will receive access to Gizmos simulations to share with family & students and a pair of solar glasses!


Stick-E Learning: Incorporating entrepreneurship into STEM education to improve student engagement and make your lessons stick.

Jeremy Turner
EPIC Mission

We have all heard the word entrepreneurship, but there still exist a good many misconceptions about what it actually is, why it’s important to our society’s ideal future and how we can begin to intentionally incorporate e-ship education into current curriculum with little to no extra effort. By offering a connection between standard course curriculum and real-life application outside the classroom, an additional or alternate reason to attend college, an alternative route to life success other than college, or simply how to turn a passion or skill into local, national or global impact, students from all walks of life will benefit from e-ship education, even if the student never becomes an entrepreneur. In this interactive presentation, Jeremy Turner of EPIC Mission will clarify the misconceptions, offer action steps, share resources, highlight the many student-centered benefits and facilitate a discussion of how e-ship education is the glue that binds together lessons across all disciplines through a focus on practical application, leading to more engaged students, stickier lessons and a brighter future for our next generation. ​




Governing for Greatness

Dr. Darlene Chambers
National Charter Schools Institute

Come learn the 5 leadership practices great charter schools boards and leaders use to earn credibility and achieve more for kids.   This session is designed to equip boards with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to govern effectively and fulfill their organizational mission.   Board members and leaders will also gain a deeper understanding of how to build a healthy relationship with their authorizer.   This relationship, as well as a shared understanding of the goals in the charter contract, are essential in a smooth renewal process.

How the Financing Process Works for the Charter School Sector

Bert Newsome & Rich Harmon
BB&T Capital Markets

As one of the top Charter School practices in the country, and as part of one of the largest and strongest banks in the country, come learn from us on how the financing process works for the Charter School sector.   From early stage schools to those with proven track records, topics covered will include:

– What do the financing markets look like for an attractive Charter School?
– How do I prepare our school for financing?
– What are the key drivers for success, short term & long term?
– Participants-Who is involved?
– Common dos and dont’s


Every Principal Communicates, Few Connect

Thomas Miller
Leaders Building Leaders

To be a successful, principals need to learn to communicate in a way that connects with others.   When you connect with others your sense of community improves, your ability to create teamwork increases, and your influence skyrockets.   Principals who connect with others have better relationships, experience less conflict, and get more things done than those who cannot connect.   Principals who have learned the art of connection are able to communicate their ideas persuasively, establishing buy-in and attracting followers.   During this session, you will learn the practices and principles of connecting.

Focusing on the Most Meaningful Work

Don Cooper
National Charter Schools Institute

There is no work more meaningful than helping students learn, grow, and reach their full potential.   That’s why you chose to serve on the board of directors of a charter school.  
As a board member, your work will have the most impact on kids and be personally satisfying if you stay focused on what matters most. Learn practical tips from experts at the National Charter Schools Institute on how to your board’s work so that it is focused on student and organizational success, empower and evaluate school leadership, and keep your school’s team united and moving forward for kids.


Recognizing Untapped Potential: Developing Leadership Capacity Within a Staff

Dr. John Eldridge & Beth McCullough
Chatham Charter School

Gone are the days when running a school is from the top down.   Charter schools face unique challenges functioning in school and central office roles.   Learn how Chatham Charter’s administration identifies skill sets in staff to empower them to be visionary, innovative, and the best versions of themselves—sometimes at levels they never envisioned.   From the hiring stage to helping veteran staff find untapped ability, administration fosters an atmosphere where learning to take risks and developing ideas is applauded (even expected).   The goal is to strengthen every aspect of the school with balanced ownership. Take away ideas for yourself and your school.

Board Policies that Matter

Don Cooper
National Charter Schools Institute

Legally vetted and practically tested charter school board policies are essential to a successful school.   They keep you in compliance with applicable law, while guiding your school’s operations.   Unfortunately, all too often policies are an afterthought and only looked at once there’s trouble””and by then it’s too late!   This session will focus on best practices in writing and maintaining useful and relevant policies.   We will discuss the core policies that every charter school should have, offer tips for maintaining your policies manual, and advice on how to make them relevant to guide key operating decisions.


Teacher Evaluation Process and Online Tool Setup

Heather Stewart
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI)

In this session participants will learn about the NC Teacher Evaluation Process from an instructional leadership perspective, review the steps in the evaluation cycle, understand the ratings on the continuum from developing to distinguished, and identify the important steps using the online tool.

How to Drive Your Board Towards Action

Thomas Miller
Leaders Building Leaders

To be a successful charter school principal you need to know how to do two things well: 1. Be a good follower 2. Drive your board towards action. Charter school leaders who do not learn to navigate these two laws become frustrated with being “under authority.”   This might be why over 50% of the charter school principals have turned over in the last five years.   Come to this session and what what great charter school principals do differently!


Developing Messaging Grounded in Core Values to Advance your Mission

Ember Reichgott-Junge
Office Depot

There is nothing more powerful than a clear, concise message grounded in core values that connects people to you and your cause.   Imagine a reporter asking you: “Why do you teach at a charter school? Can you answer in 30 seconds? And is your answer one that inspires others to support the work you do?

This session will help attendees to create better messaging, think in values language, articulate values to fend off hostile questions, and connect to different audiences.   Too often education leaders are so immersed in daily operations that they respond with “jargon” and fail to connect to the values that motivate their passion each day.   This session will help develop messaging grounded in core values to advance your mission.

Presenter Ember Reichgott Junge is the former Minnesota state senator who authored the first charter school law in the nation, and the book Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story.   She is a national speaker and trainer on chartering, messaging, governance and nonprofit leadership.

One School’s Journey through the Data Collection Challenges

Lori Tryon
Southern Wake Academy & Whale Shark Software

With the requirements from both DPI and IDEA federal legislation (IDEA §300.347(a)) for progress monitoring and reporting on IEP goals, EC teachers and administrators struggle with the challenges of gathering and managing the data.   Our school will take you on our journey from where we started with data collection to how we have leveraged technology to assist us in meeting the data collection requirements, to create meaningful progress reports as well as having real-time data to drive educational and programming decisions and IEP meetings.


Flight of THIS Phoenix

Rick Mack, Nicolas Bracco, Barrow Koslosky, & India Adams
RdM Architecture, synergyone, & Phoenix Montessori Academy

Faced with notice terminating their lease in 6 months, Phoenix Montessori Academy had to react quickly or jeopardize what they had spent years building. This is the success story of school leadership facing a mountain of challenges and developing a partnership with the team leadership of RdM Architecture and synergyone construction. You will hear about the journey to success and the single sourced turnkey solution that included pursuit of a successful Conditional Use Permit; negotiating a flexible lease; buying property; and providing planning, architectural, and construction services.




Need Money? A Capital Campaign Could Be the Answer!

Rick Kiernan
Convergent Nonprofit Solutions

How would your school use an extra $1.6 million?   That’s how much Roxboro Community School’s “Raise the Roof” capital campaign secured in private donations to build a combination gymnasium/auditorium.   Using Roxboro as a case study, attendees will review the key elements of a successful capital campaign, discuss donor motivations, and identify the best ways to position their school to secure significant funding from their local community.

Budget Training

Justin Matthews
Mountain Island Charter Schoool

Join the annual North Carolina budget summary review and training for charter schools!   At this session, designed for charter school leaders and financial support personnel, updates on all current per pupil funding sources and constants will be provided, as well as a walk-through of a standardized budget template designed to help charter schools accurately develop multi-year forecasts based on enrollment by county, staffing and operating expenses.   Bring your laptop or tablet to this session for real time access to websites and documents that are infused into the training materials.


Build A Strong Charter School Brand

Matt Cheuvront
Proof Branding

Increase funding, recruit top-tier talent, and bolster enrollment through the power of your story.   In this session, we’ll look at the core components to building a strong charter school brand and will work together to define your own brand’s Declaration, a clear and concise message that articulates what you offer, who it’s for, and what you do best.

Internal Controls 101 for Charter Schools

Lynn Kroeger & Dr. Ann Walters
Union Academy

This session is designed to help charters develop a process of internal controls without losing your mind.   Financial mismanagement is often cited as a major reason for charter school closure.
The School’s board of directors, management, and other key personnel need to design adequate internal controls to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives relating to:

1) Operations: including the effectiveness and efficiency of those operations and the safeguarding of assets necessary to carry out operations.
2) Reporting: including the reliability, timeliness, and transparency of reporting, both internal and external, and both financial and non-financial. 3) Compliance with our regulatory environment.


Office of Charter Schools: Past, Present and Future

Dave Machado & Dr. Deanna Townsend
NC Office of Charter Schools

The Office of Charter Schools will present on the historical context, current services and operations, and vision of the office moving forward.

Best Practices for Hiring Effective Teachers and Leaders

Alex Quigley
PAVE Schools

This session will provide tangible strategies, techniques, and resources to strengthen your hiring practices. Participants will walk away with specific methods to easily implement in order to improve the quality of their selection process.



Ronald R. Allen
R. R. A. Risk Management Services

Charter Schools that develop comprehensive safety and risk management policies, procedures and processes are more likely to sustain higher student achievement and fiscal integrity throughout the school environment.   During this session, school board members, administrators, teachers and others will learn practical and resourceful information on how to effectively develop and implement all-encompassing school-site assessment processes related to risk, safety and security.   This interactive session will provide participants with a clear understanding of how to effectively develop and implement practical school safety, security and risk management plans that are proactive and include all students, teachers and visitors.   Examples will be provided to each participant regarding some of the newest risk and safety exposures for Public Charter Schools. Additionally, each participant will gain knowledge of five essential elements of an effective risk and safety program..

Hiring the Best Fit: Implementing the Statewide Job Board Successfully!

Jeff Davenport & Bill Barry

One of the biggest challenges charter schools face is finding and hiring highly qualified teachers and employees. We now have a powerful solution that is funded and provided by the NC DPI (Department of Public Instruction)!:


– Over 60,000 applicants are utilizing this state job board
– Over 80 public school districts are live in the system
– Over 60 Charters are live in the system
– Thousands of positions posted with thousands of positions filed

Attend this session to understand how to engage your school in utilizing of the NC School Jobs Applicant Management solution!


Google Suite for Education Round Table

Shawn Blanton
Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy

This session will begin with a short Google Presentation on the different applications available to teachers and students in GSuite. Then we will move into a question and answer session and try to cover email, contacts, docs, sheets, presentations, forms, drawings and sites.

School Improvement Online Tool (NCStar)

Alessandro Montanari

Participants will learn about the online tool that over 50 districts and 1,400 schools have chosen to use in North Carolina to manage their school improvement process. This is a quick introduction for those that are curious about the tool and not an actual in-depth training but all will receive information to access the tool.


Twelve Facility Planning Mistakes that Every Charter School Makes

Patrick Beausoleil
Highmark School Development

Undertaking a facility development , acquisition or construction project for your permanent school home is a BIG deal. And most charter founders and boards do it only once (if at all). This session will show you the 12 most common and often devastating mistakes schools make in their planning. Participants will leave with the practical tools to avoid these mistakes.

The Charter Application and Renewal Process

Alex Quigley & Joe Maimone
PAVE Schools & Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy

CSAB members will answer your questions on what the CSAB is looking for in new applicants, and what questions an existing school may face in the charter renewal process.


Offering Your Employees the NC Flex State Insurance Plans

Robert Kelley
NC Flex

Learn what NC Flex Benefit Program has to offer your staff from an HR Benefits Consultant from the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources.

Plan your Work, Work Your Plan: Time Management Tools, Tips and Tricks to Get More Done in Less Time

Jeremy Turner
EPIC Mission

​Time is the most precious resource we have, and yet most of us feel like there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on our to-do lists. In fact, the real problem lies with how we manage the time we have. In this session, Jeremy Turner of EPIC Mission will offer an introduction to the Pareto Principle and the 4 Quadrants of Time Management while sharing tools, tips and tricks ​for a better understanding of how to plan your daily work, improve delegation and prioritization, protect yourself from time robbers and stay in your lane doing the things for which you are best suited.


The Improtance of Worksite Beneifts and Free Youth Educational Programs

Morris Powell
Colonial Life

Learn how to keep and retain valued employees and provide valued benefits at no cost from one of Colonial Life’s District General Agents.




EC for EC: Excellent Collaboration for Exceptional Children

Julie Franklin & Amy Odom
Chatham Charter School

The Exceptional Children’s (EC) Team at Chatham Charter School gives a general overview of its K-12 program including accessing statewide resources and contacts, addressing scheduling challenges, collaborating with general education teachers, transitioning to the Multi-Tiered System of Support and Students with Disabilities (MTSS), and meeting individualized education needs in a college prep charter school.   During the session K-12 EC and regular education teachers, administrators, and parents can benefit from the opportunity to delve into aspects of EC in a collaborative setting.

Educating Legislators on the Merits of Education Choice

Lennie Jarratt
The Heatland Institute

Lawmakers deal with a wide range of constituents and legislation.   By engaging them with personal stories, interesting content, and best practices within North Carolina and from around the country, you can grab their attention and put focus on education choice.   Town hall meetings, phone calls, social media, rallies, and personal letters are some of the many ways in which legislators can be reached.   It is important to recognize the advantages and disadvantages in each of these ways.   A successful engagement campaign includes understanding how and when to use the appropriate communication channel.


The Gateway to Achieving Educational Equity: A Holistic Approach

Tori Kendrick & Katanna Conley
Public Consulting Group

North Carolina’s socioeconomically and racially diverse student population makes educational equity a pressing issue for many charter school communities.   PCG’s approach to addressing the academic equity issue is to treat it holistically since no one solution can effect real change, but a comprehensive, systemic approach can.   In this interactive presentation, participants will learn concrete strategies for addressing two issues related to educational equity, academics and behavior.   Participants will be able to describe the current equity landscape, explain how it affects students in their schools, and learn a model for effecting real change using research-based solutions.




Click the link below to view details about attending our conference!

2017 Attendee Information