306 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Two of the nation’s top education speakers will focus on the unique learning needs of at-risk students, delivering message to conference-goers that reinforces the convention theme “Success for Every Student.”
Erin Gruwell, a former classroom teacher who went on to launch the Freedom Writers Foundation, will kick-off convention by sharing her experience as a new teacher in a high-poverty high school in Southern California.
Dr. Ruby Payne will give the closing keynote, offering convention-goers pieces of her best-selling book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Payne is a former classroom teacher and administrator who has become one of the nation’s leading experts on the interplay between poverty and success.
Joining Gruwell and Payne to give the two-day convention’s third keynote will be well-known education consultant Dr. Ed Porthan, who will offer a motivational message about managing success in a school district.
Together the trio represents the most powerful line-up of speakers ever booked at the ASBSD and SASD Joint Convention, says John Pederson, executive director for School Administrators of South Dakota, the event’s co-sponsor.
Success For Every Student will be the theme of the 2008 ASBSD and SASD Joint Convention, scheduled for August 6-8 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.
“I believe we have assembled the best-ever keynote program,” he said. “Having Erin Gruwell, Ruby Payne and Ed Porthan will make this a memorable conference."
Gruwell already making an impact in South Dakota
While conference-goers will find inspiration in Gruwell's story - which turned 150 would-be-dropouts into graduates and civic leaders, spawned two best-selling books and has been the subject of a feature film – her teaching methods have already made an impact in South Dakota.
Her style, which embraces diversity and leans on writing and journaling techniques, is the subject the five-day Freedom Writers Institute – an event that Sheri Bauer, a teacher from Huron, had an opportunity to attend.
According to Joanne Groves, a member of the Huron Board of Education, the Freedom Writers experience has had a lasting impact on Bauer.
Shortly after completing the training, Bauer and two students – one from Cambodia and one from Guatemala – made a special presentation to the Huron Board of Education.
According to Groves, the students told board members that the methods Bauer used changed their attitudes about education and transformed their lives. As for Bauer, Groves says it was obvious how excited she was.
“The experience just about blew Sheri’s mind,” she said. “She's so excited about the whole thing, she can hardly contain herself.”
Payne brings global expertise
Dr. Ruby Payne, a professional educator since 1972, worked as a teacher and principal before launching on her lengthy career as an education consultant and reformer.
Through her company, aha! Process, Inc, Payne has trained tens of thousands of professionals and certified more than 4,500 individuals as Framework trainers.
As a recognized innovator in working with individuals from poverty, organizations from across the world have asked Payne to help them understand the challenges of working across socioeconomic classes.
Payne has authored a dozen books on poverty. Her book A Framework for Understanding Poverty has sold more than 1 million copies.
Porthan has expertise, local ties
A life-long Minnesotan, Dr. Ed Porthan has spent 18 years as a teacher and coach before moving into administration and then eventually into his current role as an education consultant.
Porthan founded Embracing Excellence, the private training and consulting firm which focuses on human learning, performance and using the brain to attain maximum productivity.