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National Youth-At-Risk Conference – Savannah Featured Speakers

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National Youth-At-Risk Conference
March 1-4, 2015
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Savannah, GA

Our 2014 Featured Speakers
yarallenTimothy Allen
Gilead Group Consulting, Dorchester, MA

Timothy Allen is a nationally recognized lecturer on urban issues. Born and raised in the city of Boston, he began his career in the corporate world, experiencing success in engineering, sales and executive recruiting. His heart for the plight of troubled youth drove him to begin working directly with this population as his vocation. For more than 20 years, he has worked with high-risk youth and their families. He has pioneered strategies to assist youth in re-integrating into their home communities and has designed and delivered trainings for families to help them support their children. His innovations have caught the attention of law enforcement agencies, schools, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations, for which he is a regular speaker, trainer and consultant. A devoted husband and father, Rev. Allen is also the senior pastor of the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, an urban ministry that focuses on restoring broken families.

yarbillingsleyJoanne Billingsley
Educational Consultant, San Antonio, TX

Joanne Billingsley,a former Texas Teacher of the Year, is a consultant, author, keynote speaker and lecturer. After a career as a classroom teacher, she founded Billingsley Education in 2007. She is renowned for delivering seminars that guide teachers in creating brain-friendly, language-rich, interactive classrooms. An expert on the “Middle School Mindset” she is passionate about working with and inspiring teachers and students. In addition, Joanne is an international presenter for the Bureau of Education & Research and the Greenleaf Brain Institute.

Kenneth Campbell
Author of Great Leaps Reading, Math, Calculation and Geography, Gainesville, Fl

Kenneth Campbell’s 36 year teaching career and his extensive study of accomplished academic researchers certainly adds credibility to the highly effective Great Leaps Reading Programs that he developed, but his greatest passion is to help children.

yarCoesJemelleh Coes
Georgia Teacher of the Year, Special Education Teacher, Langston Chapel Middle School, Statesboro, GA

Driven by wanting a career that would help others, Ms. Coes became a teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School after graduating from Georgia Southern University. She has spent her entire career at Langston Chapel and is currently teaching English Language Arts, Resource Language Arts and Remediation English Language Arts. Ms. Coes chairs and facilitates a program called Delta Academy, which fosters a love of science, technology, engineering and math for middle school girls in Southeast Georgia. She is a mentor at a group home for homeless girls in Bulloch County. As the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Ms. Coes is speaking to the public about the teaching profession and possibly conducting workshops and programs for educators.

yaredwardsSteven W. Edwards, Ph.D.
President, EEO, Edwards Educational Services, Inc., Alexandria, VA

Steven W. Edwards has been instrumental in helping countless school districts tailor similar programs with positive, far-reaching results. Dr. Edwards is a nationally recognized keynote speaker, facilitator and trainer regularly featured as a content expert on television and radio with appearances on CNN on topics such as school safety, school climate and reform and strategic planning. As a planner Dr. Edwards has worked locally, nationally and internationally with both for-profitand non-profit organizations, such as schools, churches, corporations and cities. Clients include The World Bank and The United Nations. Throughout his twenty-eight year professional career, Dr. Edwards has published numerous articles on school reform, and has authored a book, which outlines the implementation of the Student Assistance Center. Currently, Dr. Edwards is President and CEO of Edwards Educational Services, where he oversees educational initiatives both nationally and internationally. His most recent publication is a dropout prevention monograph outlining seven effective strategies principals can implement to reduce the dropout rates in their schools.

yarBreyanHaizlipBreyan Haizlip
The Haizlip Group, LLC, Licensed Professional Counselor, Statesboro, GA

Breyan Haizlip has worked and a clinical mental health counselor in schools and in the community prior to completing her PhD. in Counselor Education & Supervision. Since, Dr. Haizlip has been described as, “an educator that models bravery as she brilliantly facilitates a culturally affirming environment that challenges candid dialogue surrounding the most taboo issues in culture in her presentations…” by the National Center for Multicultural Education. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University and a Licensed Professional Counselor by academic training. Her repertoire of international and national presentations and publications in the areas of multicultural counseling research, cultural responsivity, gender and racial intersectionality, and social justice advocacy as a conduit for educational reform, has guided her work in higher education and community settings for over a decade. Dr. Haizlip, a mother of three and loyal partner, is the co-founder of The Haizlip Group, LLC., which offers specialized training, coaching, counseling, and consulting services for some of the largest school districts in the country who employ the Cultural Responsivity Training for Educators (CRTE) Curriculum to leverage the learning experience that diversity offers the school community.

yaradamhaizlipAdam Haizlip
The Haizlip Group, LLC, Certified Cultural Responsivity Trainer for Educators, Statesboro, GA

Adam Haizlip has over a decade of direct experience as an Urban Youth Educator, the presenter’s academic training and research is focused on advancing multicultural education and developing strategies for teachers, school administrators, and families. Adam is the co-founder of The Haizlip Group, LLC, which offers training, coaching, counseling, and consulting services for some of the largest school districts in the country who employ the Cultural Responsivity Training for Educators (CRTE) Curriculum to leverage the learning experience that diversity offers the school community.

yarhopesJeremiah Hopes
Founder, The Center of Hopes, Licensed Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, Charlotte, NC

Jeremiah Hopes holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is experienced in working with college students, young adults, adolescents, children and families. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist as well as author, speaker, and professional trainer in the human services field. He is founder of The Center of Hopes™ a consulting and training organization that focuses on providing therapeutic intervention to children and youth with learning challenges, behavior disorders, and involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Urban Education Specialist, Author, Speaker, Trainer, Atlanta, GA

Hotep is president of He is a Congressional Award-winning educator widely known for his unique approach to teaching leadership, entrepreneurship and social/ financial ethics by inspiring a love for learning and motivating youth to think critically and act responsibly. He is an Urban Education Specialist, and has developed a reputation for requesting the most troubled students and transforming them into willing participants in their own education. Hotep has been using his unique methodology to reach learners and enhance performance for over a decade. He calls it “Education through Inspiration”. He further assures that ANY educator can master this technique to reach ALL children from EVERY background.

yarkrosFrank Kros
President, The Upside Down Organization, Baltimore, MD

Frank Kros is a career child advocate, who has served as a childcare worker, child abuse investigator, children’s home administrator, consultant, college professor, attorney, writer and speaker. Certified in applied educational neuroscience, Frank currently serves as president of The Upside Down Organization and executive vice president of The Children’s Guild, one of the largest private providers of special education services in Maryland. Frank presents training workshops worldwide to students, parents, educators, child-serving professionals and their leaders on various topics including brain-based learning, aggressive and violent children, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), neuroscience of the teenage brain and Leadership with the Brain in Mind. Frank has presented his workshops at national education, social work and human services conferences and he was awarded a Maryland Governor’s Citation for his speaking efforts. In addition to lecturing nationwide, he co-authored the books Creating the Upside Down Organization: Transforming Staff to Save Troubled Children and The Upside Down Organization: Reinventing Group Care. Frank earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Creighton University, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a law degree from Notre Dame Law School.

yarlandersEric Landers
Eric Landers, Co-Chair, Associate Professor, College of Education, Department of Teaching & Learning, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Eric Landers is an Associate Professor and the Special Education Graduate Coordinator at Georgia Southern University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2006 with an emphasis on children with emotional and behavioral disorders. He has given over 150 presentations regarding student challenging behaviors, school-wide positive behavior supports and interventions, and the relationship between challenging behaviors and teacher job satisfaction. He has more than a dozen published articles and other training materials. He has trained schools to implemented PBIS from the preschool to secondary and alternative settings. Dr. Landers is the founder and director of the Southeast Conference on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and is the creator of, an online resource for districts and schools to provide support for teachers, students, and parents.

yarMacaluso2014Daryl Macaluso
Corporal, Gang Resistance Education And Training, Durham Police, Durham, NC

Daryl Macaluso was featured in the North Carolina Justice Academy 2006 training video on gangs. He has spent four years as a School Resource Officer in middle and high schools and teaches Gang Resistance Education and Training as well as supervises Durham’s G.R.E.A.T. unit. He is the South Eastern Representative for the International Latino Gang Investigators Association and a member of the following associations: National Gang Investigators Association, East Coast Gang Investigators Association, North Carolina School Resource Officer Association, and North Carolina Gang Investigators Association.

yarmarshallRichard Marshall, Ed.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychological and Social Foundations, University of South Florida, Lakeland, Fl

Richard Marshall is an Associate Professor in the Division of Education at the University of South Florida Polytechnic, where he teaches courses in educational psychology and counseling psychology. He is also an adjunct associate professor of Child Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the USF College of Medicine, and he maintains a private practice in Lakeland, Fl. A licensed school psychologist with specialty training in pediatric neuropsychology, Dr. Marshall’s areas of expertise include electrophysiology, the neurobiological basis of learning and behavior problems in children, and brain-based learning and memory. His recently developed parent and teacher rating scale (the Pediatric Behavior Rating Scale) was published in August of 2008. Dr. Marshall had two books published last year, Handbook for Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child and The Middle School Mind: Growing Pains in Early Adolescent Brains.

Comedienne, Actor, Author, Meshelle, LLC, Baltimore, MD

Innovative, Independent with Individuality are the words that best describe MESHELLE “The Indie-Mom of Comedy”. MESHELLE is a wife, mother, and sought after comedienne whose appeared on Nickelodeon’s Search for the Funniest Mom in America 3(Hosted by Roseanne Barr), Martin Lawrence Presents; THE FIRST AMENDMENT STAND UP (STARz Network); TV-ONE’s: THE BLACKLIST: 20 Most Notable and Notorious Moments of 2009; BET NEWs Presents: Journey to the White House: The Barack Obama Story as well as BET’s ComicView, The WORD Network, ABC and NBC! MESHELLE has provided direct service, consulting and program development as an advocate for girls and women for over 20 years and most recently Authored a book entitled “101 Things Every Girl/Young Woman of Color Should Know.” MESHELLE is a contributing Editor of HEART and SOUL Magazine and has also written for The UTNE Reader and URBANITE Magazine.

yarsandersJoshua Sanders
Academic Advisor, Tucson School District 1, Marana, AZ

Joshua Sanders is a graduate of Grand Canyon University and Tuskegee University. In 2007, Mr. Sanders received his first assignment with Tucson School District One located in Tucson, Arizona and remains employed with the district with the African American Student Services department as an Academic Specialist. Previously, he has worked within the Native American Student Services department as a Tutor Advisor. Mr. Sanders has previously presented at the National-Youth-at-Risk Conference. At the 2013 “Bullytics” poster co-presentation, Mr. Sanders received second place in the NYAR poster session presentation.

yarshieldsLaMarr Darnell Shields
President, Co-Founder, Senior Director of Education and Innovation, The Cambio Group, Baltimore, MD

LaMarr Darnell Shields, co-founder and Senior Director of Education and Innovation of The Cambio Group, is a rising star among his peers. His work with and for young people is known nationwide. LaMarr has taught at Baltimore City College, the third oldest school in the country, lived in Latin America, spoken at the White House, written several articles and books, volunteered with America Corps, served as a core member of Teach for America, hosted a teen television show, was a regular feature on Radio One’s 92Q where he highlighted the achievements of teens, worked alongside Gen. Colin Powell and taught at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. LaMarr attended Grambling State University and La Universidad de Coahuila in Mexico where he earned a degree in Political Science and Spanish. Soon after, he moved to Baltimore where he earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College of Maryland. His passion and message of successful living have stimulated the minds, hearts and actions of men, women and youth to cope with adversity and create success in their personal, professional and spiritual lives. “I am who I am today because I chose to take advantage of opportunities given to me,” says LaMarr. “If you don’t identify who you are, others will.”

yarSims Shannon Sims
Director of Consulting and Development, Mockingbird Education, Frisco, TX

Shannon Sims, Ed. M, has a rich background in teaching and training with nearly 10 years of direct experience teaching opportunity youth, and 15 years as a professional development provider. Her experience includes AmeriCorps, Rogue Valley YouthBuild, and as a Certified Trainer for Darden Restaurants. As a writer in many state lead curriculum initiatives, she shares her expertise in contextualized curriculum development, and Active Learning instructional design. In 2012, she joined Mockingbird Education as a facilitator and as the Director of Consulting and Development.
Mockingbird Education provides professional development, consulting, research, and curriculum development for education programs that serve low socioeconomic and marginalized learning populations. We are former award winning classroom educators with over 15 years’ experience working with vulnerable learner populations. Mockingbird Education offers practical, research based program and school improvement services. Our clients include both traditional and nontraditional schools and a wide variety of nonprofit and community based organizations. To date, Mockingbird Education’s clients and experience span over 30 states and 5 foreign countries.

yarslaterSharon U. Slater
Vice President of Research and Development at Educational Services for HOPE, Jackson, MS

Dr. Sharon Upkins Slater is an advocate for children. She is a teacher, an educator, and a community activist. Currently, she serves as Vice President of Research and Development at Educational Services for HOPE in schools across Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Her work with teachers and at-risk students has consistently broken new grounds and challenged cultural perceptions about our children’s abilities. She is the author, with Carolyn Upkins, of “What Effective Teachers Think,” a 2013 notable article and upcoming book that has sparked a statewide conversation about teachers’ and has redefined their approach to their profession.
She is the founder of NTouch (, and Rosebuds, and a cofounder, with Sharolyn Slater, of United Word (, all are neighborhood outreach and service oriented programs. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including: “Best New Teacher of the Year” in Pinellas, FL; “Most Inspirational Teacher” in Jackson Public Schools, and the Joseph H. Jackson Award at Jackson State University. Dr. Slater is a member of several professional and community organizations including: Mississippi Reading Association, Kiwanis, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce.

yarvanceJà Hon Vance
Educational Consultant and Vice President for JV Educational Consultants Firm, West Bloomfield, MI

Jà Hon Vance, Ed.S. is an active professor of African American Literature and Humanities in Baltimore City Community College. Across the country and abroad, he is known as the “Living Legend in Education.” Professor Vance launched his teaching career over thirty years ago. With an educational background that includes academic training at Cornell University, Harvard University, Jackson State University, and Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Professor Vance is highly regarded by his colleagues as a “World Class Facilitator of Training in the field of higher education.” Today—Professor Vance is recognized both nationally and internationally for his savvy work with recruiting, educating, and graduating African American male students in higher education, as well as, redesigning developmental education writing programs via the use of the Vance-Brooks Writing Model. Currently, he is using a zero budget to fully operate a structural learning community designed specifically for African American males to earn an Associates of Arts Degree in one year, while producing more than 2.5 million dollars in FTEs at Baltimore City Community College. In addition, his writing concept—which implements the use of the Vance-Brooks Writing Model, has provided successful outcomes over a three year period to help students matriculate from developmental education writing courses to credit-level writing courses with the requisite skills to advance in higher education. As a result, Professor Vance travels extensively conducting training seminars and workshops at community colleges and universities using his QUEST Model for recruiting and graduating African American male students in higher education.

yarwashingtonJoseph Washington
President and CEO of The Joseph Washington Group Inc., Atlanta, GA

Joseph Washington, a passionate, engaging, powerful motivator with the gift of empowering people through life’s daily challenges. Mr. Washington has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles with several major corporations that have prepared him for the success he enjoys today. Mr. Washington is a well sought after speaker for schools, universities, businesses and non-profit organizations. He is the author of the brand new book “Breaking the Spirit of Average” he is also featured in Walking with the Wise, a collection of motivational essays along with other well-known writers such as Mark Victor Hansen, Zig Ziglar, and Jim Rohn. Mr. Washington is the President and CEO of The Joseph Washington Group, Inc., an organization designed to help individuals and groups reach their fullest potential.

Division of Continuing Education • PO Box 8124 Statesboro, GA 30458-8124 • 912.478.5555 •