Keynote and featured speakers for the 2016 Connections conference

Al Duncan
March 8, 2016
  • Opening Keynote Speaker - Megacenter - - The Magic of Exceptional Communication
  • Theater - - Operation Self-Motivation
  • Theater - - Operation Self-Motivation

Al Duncan is an award-winning youth advocate, publisher, and an internationally recognized authority on soft skills. He is the publisher of a resource center packed with free videos, articles, and activities on character education and soft skills.

As the leading motivational speaker for at-risk youth and troubled young people, Al has delivered his Duncan Nuggets® live and in-person to over 1 million young people around the world.

He is the author of My Success Journal For Young People and Get ALL Fired Up! He has been awarded The National PTA Life Achievement Award and the President's Call to Service Award, for his outstanding service in the field of youth development and empowerment.

Formerly, as a corporate trainer he has delivered his programs as professional development courses at a number of colleges and universities including the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Professional Development.

Devastated, But Not Defeated

Al was born and raised in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on the planet in North Philadelphia and by today's standards, would've been labeled an "at risk" student. When he was 5 years old he was molested by a male friend of the family. Emotionally traumatized, it took him years to remember what happened. At the age of 15, Al's world was torn to shreds again when he found out that his father, his childhood hero, was addicted to crack cocaine.

Devastated, but not defeated, Al refused to allow his personal problems stop him. He went on to enjoy careers as a professional saxophone player and a professional chef. His father's struggle and incredible recovery inspired Al to write Duncan Nugget® #21: Failure is only permanent if you quit.

At the age of 24, he walked away from his musical career and took on the tremendous responsibility of raising his youngest brother who was 12 years old at the time.

Today, as a tireless advocate for youth empowerment, Al is a high energy, high content, high impact speaker, lecturer, and motivational powerhouse. He serves on the Anti-Prejudice Consortium Board of Directors and he is also the former executive producer and host of his own television program.

Colette Carlson
March 9, 2016
  • Closing Keynote Speaker - Megacenter - - Stress Less, Connect More!

Colette Carlson, founder of Speak Your Truth, Inc. is a human behavior expert, author and humorous keynote speaker who shares the tools, terminology and techniques that encourage people to excel.

Clients include Boeing, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and the United States Government. With a masters in Human Behavior and a fascination with communication trends, Colette delivers the latest research letting the facts support the fun. She writes a monthly column for Business Management Daily and has been featured in Success and Working Mother magazines. Colette is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation held by fewer than 10% of the members belonging to the International Federation for Professional Speakers.

Colette learned her message the hard way. She started out a big liar. Literally! Only by telling the truth on herself and admitting her fears did she break through her complacency, lose 50 pounds, and step into a bold, commission-only sales livelihood. Working for sales legend Tom Hopkins, she quickly ascended to become the #1 producer. Colette's immediate success led to an opportunity to join sales guru Brian Tracy's team, and shortly thereafter she became a National Sales Trainer for US West.

Laugh and learn with Colette as you step in the Truth Booth and receive the tools to create positive, long-lasting change.

Lois Barnes
March 9, 2016
  • New Orleans Ballroom - - Enhanced CTE Project-Based Learning That Impacts Student Success
  • Preservation Hall A - - Five Key Features of Rigorous, Relevant Career Pathways
  • New Orleans Ballroom - - Five Key Features of Rigorous, Relevant Career Pathways
  • New Orleans Ballroom - - Practical Instructional Strategies for Formative Assessment and Redos
  • Preservation Hall A - - Practical Instructional Strategies for Formative Assessment and Redos
  • Preservation Hall A - - Enhanced CTE Project-Based Learning That Impacts Student Success

Lois J. Barnes is Director, State Services for School Improvement with the Southern Regional Education Board's High Schools That Work, where she has also worked as a school improvement consultant in several school districts through the Urban Initiative of HSTW. Prior to SREB, Lois had over twenty-five years in public education as a middle and high school social studies teacher, assistant principal, director of secondary schools, and assistant superintendent for K-12 curriculum and instruction. She also worked for the Kentucky Department of Education implementing aspects of Kentucky's Education Reform Act and as an adjunct professor at The University of Kentucky. She has had articles published in educational journals and has critically read textbooks for three publishing companies. Lois was the National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher-Scholar from the state of Kentucky, and she has received numerous awards for teaching and international study, including a Fulbright-Hays fellowship. Lois has presented at national and state conferences, including national workshops for High Schools That Work.

Corinne Hoisington
March 8, 2016
  • New Orleans Ballroom - - Implementing the Seven Principles of Engagement with Free Technologies
  • New Orleans Ballroom - - Creativity Through Transformed Teaching
  • New Orleans Ballroom - - Flipping the Classroom

Corinne Hoisington is a full-time Professor of Information Systems Technology at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg, VA with over 25 years of teaching experience. Corinne also travels over 200,000 miles a year speaking to college & university professors and K12 venues in over 60 cities this year for such customers as the Microsoft Corporation, Cengage Learning, the international SXSW (South by Southwest) event, and many other universities and K12 groups all over the world. Professor Hoisington is the recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Computer Programming. Corinne presently has authored over twenty textbooks with Cengage Learning/National Geographic such as the Android Studio Boot Camp, Dreamweaver Creative Cloud, Outlook 2016, Office 2016, Technology Now for SAM, and Visual Basic 2015 with App Development.

See Corinne's Publications at Barnes and Noble

Dave Shepard
March 8, 2016
  • Broadway AB - - Improving The Efficiency of Your Small Learning Communities
  • Salon II - - Improving The Efficiency of Your Small Learning Communities
  • Broadway AB - - Improving The Efficiency of Your Small Learning Communities
  • Broadway AB - - Don't Blame Me - The Teacher Started It
  • Salon II - - Don't Blame Me - The Teacher Started It
  • Salon II - - Active Teaching Strategies That Engage Reluctant Learners
  • Broadway AB - - Active Teaching Strategies That Engage Reluctant Learners

A native of rural North Carolina and a product of public education in four states, Dave Shepard brings experience, common sense and practicality to any educational gathering. He has dealt with elementary, middle and high school students for all of his forty three years in education. His experience includes teaching, coaching, curriculum and program design, and many levels of administration. Since his retirement, he has devoted his time and energy to helping schools become more efficient and effective for all teachers and students.

Dave currently manages his own educational consulting firm, "The Middle Matters and More," in Lexington, Kentucky. He works actively with SREB, AMLE, KMSA and many state education departments. Dave has also worked with the Kentucky Department of Education, the University Of Kentucky and over 150 school districts across the country.

Known primarily as a practitioner, he has presented at more than sixty state and national conferences. He has assisted school districts in 47 states and two foreign countries, to help develop and refine their educational programs by providing quality professional development and teacher in-services. Dave has been recognized as Coach of The Year, Principal of The Year and most recently received his highest honor, The President's Award for Lifetime Achievement, from the Kentucky Middle School Association.

He has authored or co-authored articles for the NAESP web page, NASSP's Principal Leadership publication, The Committee for Children, and the Virginia Journal of Education. He most recently co-authored a book for EYE on EDUCATION publishers regarding improving parental support.

The programs Dave delivers are characterized by a high-energy format, a simple, yet practical style, a down to earth sense of humor and an easy going manner. These elements make the programs both informative and digestible.