Pre-Summit Sessions

Rashad Anderson, Ph.D.“Wassup With All the Black Boys Sitting in the Principal’s Office: Teacher Interactions and School Practices That Influence Disengagement and Devaluing of School”

Rashad Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education, Call Me MISTER site coordinator, South Carolina State University
Too often, in identifying the school structures, policies, practices and teacher interactions that contribute to the marginalization of black male students, the current literature on educational equity, particularly on black male students, reflects the opinions and analyses of everyone except the students themselves. A careful understanding of each student’s experience is warranted in order make authentic meaning of how and why young black males may interact with their teachers and school in the way they do. Given the number of problems (such as schooling discipline, special education, dropout) facing black males in schools, this session provides the latest research and student accounts on their day-to-day realities in schools.

H. Justin Ballenger, Ph.D.“Collaborative Impact: A Model for Cultivating STEM Achievement Among Underserved Student Populations”

H. Justin Ballenger, Ph.D., assistant professor for STEM education, Mercer University
This session is based on the work of findings from STEM education initiatives that were designed and implemented in rural, urban and international settings. The session will focus on using collaborative impact as a model for building sustainable partnerships to support STEM education initiatives in schools and communities. The presenter will elucidate strategies that institutions and community partners can use to more effectively leverage resources and partnerships to provide more robust support for implementing initiatives that support underserved student populations.

Hayward Jean“Weapons of Mass Distraction”

Hayward Jean, principal, Mellichamp Elementary School
During Jean’s engaging, interactive session, this former Teacher of the Year and current award-winning principal will take the audience on a journey that will unleash their power to R.A.M. (Rise Above Mediocrity). Pulling from themes in his recently published book, Weapons of Mass Distraction, Jean will explore hidden messages in hip-hop culture that are causing self-degradation, reducing the capacity in youth to dream. His powerful message empowers educators to not to lose their AIM and to develop Aspiration, find Inspiration and increase Motivation for themselves and the young people in their charge!