Keynote and featured speakers for the 2017 Connections conference

Craig Zablocki
April 24, 2017
  • Opening Keynote Speaker - North Exhibit Hall - - Opening Keynote Speaker

Craig Zablocki has encouraged and inspired thousands of people with his unique blend of humor and authenticity.

Described as a compelling combination of actor Robin Williams and PBS host Wayne Dyer, Craig is in the top two percent of America's most recognized speakers. A nationally known speaker and consultant, Craig has spoken to more than 900,000 people internationally and in all 50 states. Rated as a top tier speaker, Craig has shared the platform with Vice President Al Gore, bestselling author Tom Peters and others. Microsoft, Disney, Chase, United Airlines, and the Mayo Clinic - his client list reads like an international Who's Who.

Craig presents to Fortune 500 companies, legislators, public service and healthcare professionals, and to college campuses, non-profit service organizations, and victim rights groups. He has authored Improv 101: Unleash Your Creative Spirit, co-authored the book Humor Me, and written many articles for major publications. Craig has appeared on countless radio and television programs, including National Public Radio.

His cutting-edge programs incorporate practical tools to loosen up, become more creative, and live in the moment. His audiences sit on the edge of their chairs, roll in the aisles with laughter, and leave the event transformed.

Barbara Blackburn
April 24, 2017
  • South Pavilion 2 - - Literacy Strategies Across the Curriculum
  • South Pavilion 2 - - Literacy Strategies Across the Curriculum
  • South Pavilion 2 - - Rigor and the Common Core

Barbara R. Blackburn has taught early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students and has served as an educational consultant for three publishing companies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Now an Associate Professor, she received the 2006 award for Outstanding Junior Professor at Winthrop University, where she coordinates a graduate program for teachers, teaches graduate classes, supervises student teachers, and collaborates with area schools on special projects. Dr. Blackburn is the author of seven books, including Classroom Motivation from A to Z, Classroom Instruction from A to Z, and Literacy from A to Z. Her newest book, Rigor is NOT a Four Letter Word shows teachers how they can raise the level of rigor in their classrooms and provide challenging learning experiences for their students. Eye on Education also just released The Principalship from A to Z, which she wrote with Dr. Ron Williamson of Eastern Michigan University.

Clara Clark
April 24, 2017
  • South Pavilion 3 & 4 - - HSTW Overview - Guiding Principles and Key Practices
  • South Pavilion 3 & 4 - - High Quality Assignments/Project Based Learning
  • South Pavilion 6 - - Math in CTE

Clara Clark is a School Improvement Consultant with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in Atlanta, Georgia. She has served in her current positon for five and a half years. Clara mentors' math teachers and administrators in the State of New Mexico. Her other responsibilities include that she is the Program Director for the State of New Mexico High School that Works (HSTW) Network. Her schools have spent the last two years developing Programs of Study which lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs. Clara resides in the State of Indiana where she has served as a math teacher for twenty-two years and a high school administrator for ten years.

Corinne Hoisington
April 25, 2017
  • South Pavilion 2 - - Raising the Modern Geek: The New Technology Skill Set
  • South Pavilion 2 - - The Microsoft Mantra of Office Mix, Sway, Yammer, and Delve
  • South Pavilion 2 - - Promoting Creativity: Less Talking and More Doing!

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
April 25, 2017
  • South Pavilion 1 - - Improving the Efficiency of Your Small Learning Communities
  • South Pavilion 1 - - Active Teaching Strategies That Engage Reluctant Learners
  • South Pavilion 1 - - Active Teaching Strategies That Engage Reluctant Learners
  • South Pavilion 1 - - Improving the Efficiency of Your Small Learning Communities
  • South Pavilion 1 - - Using Walk Through Observations to Improve Instructional Quality
  • South Pavilion 1 - - What Do "World Class" Teachers Do?

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.