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Southeast Conference on School Climate

June 3-5, 2024 | #SeCSC24
Hyatt Regency in Downtown Savannah
2 W Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401

Register for #SeCSC24

Conference Overview

The Southeast Conference on School Climate (SeCSC) is a two-and-a-half-day conference that provides research-based resources for improving school culture, climate, and safety. Administrators, counselors, and teachers participate in sessions packed with practical, evidence-based strategies aimed at creating learning environments to improve every student’s mental, behavioral, and academic performances. The SeCSC primary strands include Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, Mental Health, School Safety, Youth Resiliency, Restorative Practices, and Mindfulness and Wellbeing. In addition, each conference session supports topics related to strategies that can be used for School Improvement Plans (SIP).

Conference Strands

Positive Behavior Interventions and SupportsMental HealthSchool Safety
Youth ResiliencyRestorative PracticesMindfulness and Wellbeing

Our 2024 Keynote Presenters

Tara Martin

Inspirational Educator, Author, and Change Agent

Tara Martin is an enthusiastic educator, keynote speaker, and author of two books–Be REAL: Educate from the Heart and the inspiring picture book, Cannonball In. She thrives on change and refuses to settle for the status quo. Martin has served as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and district administrator. Her passion for education and love of writing led her to her current role, where she coaches and serves educational authors as the Director of Publishing for Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.

Martin’s ambition is to lead a culture of innovative change, keep social-emotional learning at the heart of our work, and motivate others to be REAL.

KEYNOTE: Be REAL: Educate from the Heart

This invigorating message interweaves Tara’s overcoming experiences as a student labeled “at-risk” who, by teacher influence, became a thriving educator.

Through stories, humor, science, and practical application, Tara empowers educators to establish a learning setting where all learners feel valued and appreciated. You will leave this session feeling inspired and equipped with practical strategies to create a culture of REAL belonging within any curriculum at any grade level.


  • Empowered to establish a learning setting where all learners feel valued, appreciated, and have a sense of belonging
  • Equipped with applicable strategies to embed social-emotional wellness within any curriculum at any grade level
  • Encouraged to continue fostering a culture where every learner feels safe to take innovative risks within their learning setting.

Samuel Bellamy

Youth Development Consultant

KEYNOTE: How to not fail an open book test, creating safe spaces for young people in the classroom.

Effective teaching begins with providing a safe and inclusive space for young people. A vibrant,
supportive atmosphere in the classroom is not something that just happens. It is created by intentional
thought, preparation, and action. It’s not difficult to create a space where pupils can feel motivated and
comfortable if we use strategies that help kids feel like they belong in the classroom. By giving teachers resources they need to foster a friendly atmosphere and a sense of community, all student outcomes; academic, social, and emotional improve. This is a test we all can pass!

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will be able to recognize when children feel valued and included in a classroom space.
  • They will be able to see how the impacts of trauma and adverse childhood experiences threaten a young person’s sense of belonging.
  • Participants will be able to incorporate activities and deploy tools that will enable them to build strong, positive relationships with all of the children in their care.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsor

Special Thanks to Our Planning Committee

Eric Landers, Ph.D.
Conference Chair
Georgia Southern University
Bailey Nafziger, Ed.DGeorgia Southern University
Caitlin Criss, Ph.D.Georgia Southern University
Gregory Benner, Ph.D.University of Alabama 
Meredith Rausch, Ph.D.Augusta University
Lee Fletcher, MSWSouth Carolina Department of Mental Health
Regina Siez, LCSWTemecula Valley Unified School District
Rick SurrencyDistrict School Superintendent at Putnam County School District

June 3-5, 2024 | #SeCSC24

Last updated: 3/29/2024