Eight keynote Speakers and Three pre-conference sessions     

  • July 1, Sunday: Earliest arrival date for reduced room rate
  • July 6, Tuesday: pre-conference attendees must arrive on or before
  • July 7th, Wednesday: pre-conference sessions and arrival of regular conference attendees
  • July 8th and 9th, Thursday and Friday: regular conference
  • July 10th, Saturday: guests travel home
  • July 15th, Thursday: last day to check out at reduced room rate

Keynote Speakers

Baruti Kafele –Former principal, speaker and author of numerous school leadership books, Baruti is known as a transformative speaker who helps educators assess their practice to find “discomfort within their comfort”.

Kim Marshall  – Author, leader, and remarkable school change agent Kim Marshall returns to the conference to share his second book on using The Marshall Memo to improve practice and outcomes.

Jason Suran – “If I could do what Jason does, I could have ruled the world.”~ Jack Devine, Former Acting Director of the C.I.A.  International magician Jason Suran comes to the SAM conference to entertain and teach attendees how to apply a mentalist’s observation skills to better work with others.  “Jason Suran was the hit of the Yale School of Management  speaker series,  He’s brilliant, talented, professional, funny, thought-provoking—nay, mind-bending…to hear him connect the dots between mind-reading performances and building business relationships.”  Zoe Chance, Yale School of Management

Emily Balcetis – Social psychologist, professor and author Emily Balcetis comes to the conference to share her work on how seemingly small differences in perception, whether conscious or nonconscious, can have potentially major consequences for leaders. When it comes to setting and meeting goals, we may see—quite literally—our plans, our progress, and our potential in the wrong ways. Drawing on her own rigorous research and cutting-edge discoveries in vision science, cognitive research, and motivational psychology, Balcetis offers unique accounts of the perceptual habits, routines, and practices that successful people use to set and meet their ambitions.

John Antonetti – This past fifteen months provided us with many lessons.  We must not forget them.  

Chief amongst these moments was a blinding flash of the obvious:  the learners are in control of their learning.  Students made decisions about how and when (and even if) they would work through digital interfaces.  If they did not appreciate the learning moment, they would simply turn off the device.  As we move forward, let us embrace this learning and give students choice and control of their learning, by design.  

Former principal, author and acclaimed humorous motivational and leadership speaker, John returns to the national conference to talk about how a small shift in the control of the thinking in learning tasks can have long-lasting impact for our students.  The session captures the research on engagement garnered in the years leading up to and including teaching in the pandemic.  Additional insight will be provided by Janet Jackson.  

Ken Williams – The best teachers you ever had never needed to see a class list to know they were going to have a successful year. These are the teachers who work with both ‘these kids’ and ’those kids’ and consistently produce results. They defy expectations, shun assumptions, and lay waste to marginalizing labels. The reason why schools aren’t full of these teachers is because:

There is an enemy.

The enemy is highly skilled at creating doubt. The enemy is focused on creating distraction and division. The enemy is cunning and seductive, and in all these things, the enemy is relentless.

But there is hope…because:

The enemy can be defeated…

 if we engage in Ruthless Teaching.

In The Ruthlessness of Excellence, you’ll learn about the most destructive enemy in education, how it operates, the forms it takes, and how to defeat it. Ken identifies the habits of mind and practice of Ruthless Teaching that will defeat the enemy and  empower you to deliver on the promise of equity, excellence, and achievement for all students, regardless of background.

LaVonna Roth – When Your SAM’s Team S.H.I.N.E.s, You & Your School Thrive!

Where we focus, determines where we will be. After a life-changing moment such as a pandemic, we must choose where we want to be. Let’s embolden resiliency, ignite innovation, and blaze a path where you thrive! Get ready to connect, create, & celebrate YOU and your SAM team!

Mike Rutherford and Jim Masters— A mounting body of evidence confirms the intuition of savvy educators. Effective principal leadership makes a difference. While teachers are the foremost school related influence on student learning, principals serve as the catalyst that amplifies instructional quality, building culture, and student achievement. Mike Rutherford, Rutherford Learning Group, returns to the SAM Conference with Missouri’s Jim Masters, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to share the Show Me state’s remarkable Leadership Development System:  content, videos and materials you can use in your school.

Pre-conference all-day sessions

John Antonetti: Leading the Work:  Building Capacity for Powerful Learning Task Design 

  • Do we teach content rules or powerful tools?
  • Do our students accept meaning or make meaning?  
  • Do we want our tasks to be engaging or rigorous? 

The answer is D) all of the above.  But finding the best balance between the two types of tasks is difficult and most of us were not taught to design tasks of rigor and high engagement.  In this session, we will complete a series of tasks as learners and then use The Powerful Task Rubric for Designing Student Work© to analyze the components of engagement and rigor.  Leaders will then practice a series of protocols that can be used to help teachers tweak their current practice to build the most engaging, cognitive tasks that accelerate learning and increase achievement.  Using the Powerful Task Rubric to guide us, we will make minor tweaks to current practices to push our learning activities over the “Rigor Divide.” 

LaVonna Roth: Let’s Re-ignite the S.H.I.N.E. in Your School’s Culture: Inspire, Retain & Thrive :
This pre-conference is an interactive session where we will use collective wisdom to support each other and you will leave with a plan to recover and move forward in 2021-2022.

What. A. Year. Staff attrition is higher than ever. Morale is lower than ever. You and your staff are exhausted. It doesn’t have to be that way!

In this pre-conference session, learn how to create a “human-focused culture™” to banish burnout, attrition, & negativity so that you have a workplace of individuals and teams, who ignite purpose & energy, engage and connect with each other & themselves, embody strengths & passions for collaboration, embrace individualism, and raise the psychological safety for all.

Kevin Freeman and Annette Cozort: Missouri Leadership Development System training modules: Do you sometimes wonder if your education program prepared you for your leadership role, or do you ask “why didn’t I learn this in school?” Come experience and learn with the Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS) state team as we give you specific tried and true strategies to improve your effectiveness as principals and SAMS.

Big rocks for the day include knowledge of self and others by developing your personal leadership platform (PLP), decision making, time management, identifying elements of school culture and applying effective customer service strategies.

We will give you a day of experiential learning just like we do in the Show-Me State. Walk away with more self-awareness and practical takeaways you can use tomorrow.