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The conference trains adults who serve youth to create safe, healthy, caring, and intellectually empowering educational environments that foster the well-being of all children and adolescents. To accomplish this mission, it offers over 120 presentations by nationally and internationally recognized presenters to over 1200 conference participants from across the United States. In these presentations, participants learn about current research-based educational programs and strategies, which empower young people to overcome at-risk conditions that may threaten their safety, health, emotional needs, and academic achievement. Participants also gain knowledge of proactive solutions and best practices for meeting the serious challenges faced by youth today such as school violence, poverty, learning difficulties, underachievement, achievement gaps, illiteracy, boredom, apathy, low expectations, misbehavior, dropout, drugs, bullying, gangs, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment, racism, and dysfunctional families. Furthermore, participants gain effective educational tools to build strong caring schools, communities, and families, which can meet the diverse needs of all our young people.

Conference History and Future Vision

In 1990, the NYAR Conference was founded by the College of Education of Georgia Southern University. Past conference speakers have included nationally and internationally recognized educators and youth advocates such as Geoffrey Canada, Ron Clark, Stedman Graham, Dr. Pedro Noguera, Dr. Eric Jensen, Dr. Ruby Payne, Dr. Crystal Kuykendall, Dr. James Comer, Dr. William Glasser, Dr. James Garbarino, Dr. David Hawkins, Dr. Robert Brooks, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Jim Brown, TV celebrity Judge Glenda Hatchett, “Peter, Paul, & Mary” folk singer Peter Yarrow, and several National Teachers of the Year. During the past 29 years, the conference has grown from a regional conference of 150 participants to a national conference of approximately 1200 participants and is beginning to attract participants from several nations. In the next five years, the conference plans to expand to 1400 to 1600 national and international participants and to further enhance the quality and diversity of the conference program and presentations. The co-directors envision the conference as providing national leadership, service, and research for the professional development of educators who serve youth placed at risk.

Conference Co-Chairs

woman with blonde hair and bangs in black blouse with blue embellishments

Dr. Alisa Leckie
Associate Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education

College of Education
Georgia Southern University

woman with blonde side-parted hair and black blouse

Dr. Taylor Norman
Assistant Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education

College of Education
Georgia Southern University

Planning Council

Tammy Davis
Bulloch County Public School System
Roenia Deloach
Savannah State University
Irene Denmark
First District RESA Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities
Dr. Mary Felton
Evans County Public Schools
Dionne Gamble
Emmanuel County Public Schools
Dr. Irma Gibson
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Marilyn Hutchinson
Savannah State University
Dr. Anne Katz
Georgia Southern University
Paula Kreissler
Healthy Savannah
Dr. Linda Ann McCall
Georgia Southern University,
Armstrong Campus
Kiersten Morgan
Georgia Southern University
Dr. Sandra Nethels
Effingham County Board of Education
Jacquelyn Ogden
University of Georgia
Cooperative Extension
Dr. Alexandra Reyes
Georgia Southern University
Dr. Jacqueline Smart
Savannah-Chatham Public Schools    
Sherry Smith
Georgia Southern University
Carol Solomon-Jenkins
Duval County Public Schools
Dr. Deonn Stone
Savannah-Chatham Public Schools
Jason “Mike” Stubbs
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Virtual Experience   |    March 8-10, 2021   |   #NYAR21

Last updated: 10/29/2020