Keynote & Featured Speakers

Keynote Speakers

School Hacker
Future Ready Now Consulting

Mike DiNicola is a husband, father, and educator with 20 years of experience in helping individuals to achieve career and education success. Dr. DiNicola is a former Professional School Counselor and Director of Pupil Services.  He currently serves a District Manager for ACT, Inc. and is an Independent Educational Consultant.  He is constantly looking for ways to use habits and technology to be more productive and efficient. He enjoys sharing his favorite life and technology hacks to help educators be their personal and professional best.
KEYNOTE The Morning Mindset -- Start Strong, Finish Stronger!
Most School Counselors are required to start their day early in the morning, but many School Counselors are not great morning people.  This session teaches skills and provides resources to help School Counselors create an intentional plan for a healthy, happy and productive day. Learn how you can create a plan to be your personal and professional best all day, every day!
Director, Youth Well-Being Project & Time to THRIVE
Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Dr. Vincent Pompei is the Director of the Youth Well-Being Project at the Human Rights Campaign, the national’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to LGBTQ equality. Previously, he was the Project Director for the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership, served as President for the California Association of School Counselors and was a National Cadre Trainer for the National Education Association. In addition, Pompei authored the LGBTQ section of the American School Counselor Association’s National Model and selected by the National Education Association as a Classroom Superhero.

KEYNOTE Promoting Safety, Inclusion and Well-Being for LGBTQ Students
In recent months the topic of LGBTQ youth, particularly transgender
students, has dominated news stories and kitchen table conversations in all corners of the country. Decades of research confirms that LGBTQ students face high rates of bullying, and emotional distress. This keynote will review the emerging best practices for ensuring legal and practical protections for
LGBTQ students, a snapshot of the most recent data on LGBTQ student experiences, and build skills for transforming the school climate. A panel discussion will follow that includes a supportive parent of a transgender child, an LGBTQ student, and a school counselor who is successfully advocating for a safe and inclusive school.
Rachel's Challenge
Darrell is the founder of the Rachel’s Challenge program. He has spoken to over five million people in live settings around the world, not counting the millions he has spoken to through programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, CNN, and the Today Show. He has authored or co-authored five books,  and meets with politicians and educators regularly concerning issues of school violence.
Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 8:00am
Rachel's Story
The inspiring story of Rachel Scott whose example of kindness and
acceptance was brought to light when she became the first victim in
the Columbine High School tragedy. Conveyed through stories from
Rachel's life and writings, this keynote address shows the profound positive impact we can have on those around us. The presentation
demonstrates to the listener the power of deliberately reaching out in word and action to others to start what Rachel called "a chain
reaction of kindness and compassion." It encourages participants to
examine their own lives in the light of the following 5 challenges:
  • Look for the Best in Others
  • Continue to Dream
  • Be a Positive Influence
  • Speak and Act with Kindness
  • Start your own Chain Reaction
Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 1:00pm
Awaken the Learner 
Introducing Awaken the Learner by Rachel’s Challenge. The difference in this program is that the process is the answer. Inspired by Rachel Scott’s vision to create a chain reaction of kindness and compassion, this program enhances the caring and supportive learning environment of schools, essential for academic achievement. Awaken the Learner motivates and inspires every learner in the educational community. We believe that school culture and its social relationship with its students and educational community are foundational to academic achievement. It gives the students and educators what they need to collaborate, grow, learn and support one another. Said another way, Awaken the Learner gives your school the tools and the process road map to get there; making this your process to get to your answer.