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2020 Leadership Forum Keynotes

David Schonfeld, M.D.

About Dr. Schonfeld: Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the University of Southern California; 30+ years’ experience responding to school and community crisis events, including shootings in Parkland, FL and Newton, CT; and hurricanes in NYC, NJ and New Orleans; coordinated the training for school crisis response teams for the NYC DOE after the events of September 11, 2001; authored more than 150 scholarly articles, book chapters and books; conducted school-based research funded by William T Grant and other Foundations on school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention, etc. 

Presentation: School Crisis Response
School and community crises have the potential to cause short- and long-term effects on the academic achievement, psychological functioning, emotional adjustment, health, and developmental trajectory of students.  School leaders play a vital role in assuring important support to staff and students.  This presentation will provide practical strategies for the identification of common adjustment difficulties in children in the aftermath of a crisis and the promotion of effective coping strategies to mitigate the impact of the crisis. 

JC Pohl

About JC Pohl: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist,and an award-winning producer and nationally recognized speaker who has reached over 10 million people in 7,000+ schools to build school culture and empower student voice.  He has produced ground breaking programs for suicide prevention and anti-bully, and award-winning content for companies such as Warner Brothers, ESPN, and Disney.  His school culture work has sent him around the world inspiring school leaders, educators, and students to tell hard truths and be the difference.  He has been featured on news programs, radio shows, and has received front-page coverage on USA Today.  His educational services company, TEEN TRUTH, focuses on empowering student voice, enhancing school culture, and building student resilience.  

Presentation: Building Culture from the Inside Out
Building a strong school culture should be the first priority of every school leader.  It is proven to decrease bullying, enhance academic performance, and increase student engagement.  This Keynote reveals a framework for giving students a voice and empowering them to take ownership of their school, so you won’t have to do it alone! It focuses on tested methods that build resiliency, develop positive culture, and connect students across your school(s) and community. 

Sherri Smith, PhD
Advisor to the Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Dana Milakovic, PsyD, NCSP
Mental Health/AOD Specialist, Office of Safe Schools, Pennsylvania Department of Education

Presentation: Updates on the PDE’s Safe Schools Initiatives