Game Changer Sessions

Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Session 1:  8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Dr. Julia Lindsay


Putting the Science of Reading into Practice: What Leaders Need to Know to Impact Literacy


Join Dr. Julia Lindsey, author of Reading Above the Fray, to learn about the journey towards evidence-based foundational literacy instruction. To effectively make changes to foundational literacy instruction, leaders need critical insights into research, thoughtful support for the most high-leverage changes, and a roadmap for longterm success. In this session, you’ll get what leaders need to know — and do — to be game-changers in ensuring schools implement effective literacy instruction.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Julia B. Lindsey, Ph.D., is a foundational literacy expert and author of Reading Above the Fray: Research-based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills.She is also the author of knowledge-rich decodable texts used by tens of thousands of educators around the globe. Julia is a sought after speaker and travels throughout the US and Canada to provide workshops and consulting support for educators and districts engaged in thoughtfully implementing early literacy research in classrooms. Her work focuses on providing educators with the knowledge and materials they need to ensure all children will become successful, empowered young readers. Julia holds a BS in Psychology from Davidson College, a MAT from Relay Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan. She is a proud former elementary school teacher.

Session 2:  9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Valerie "Val" Grubb


Clash of the Generations:  Managing Four Generations in the Office



It's gotten way harder to lead employees in the workplace. More Boomers are sticking around than expected, we still haven't figured out how to cope with Millennials (even though they are the largest generation in the workforce) AND to make things even more challenging, say hello to Gen Z! With employees spanning three and four and generations in the office, the stage is set for disaster for leaders still lagging in their ability to motivate and engage in the new workplace reality.

Every generation in the workplace has value, each has their own strengths, their own weaknesses, and their own unique talents. Each is indispensable, and when they come together as a synergistic force, they can be unstoppable! Effective people leadership nowadays means motivating individuals to come together as a team that is more valuable than the sum of its parts.

This highly engaging and interactive session will detail proven strategies that leaders can implement now to get the best performance from employees of all ages even as they exhibit wildly different ideas about work ethic, work-life balance, and long-term career goals, among many other issues. After this session, you’ll understand how to expand your management practice to embrace the wisdom of age while also valuing the contributions of youth.

About the Speaker:

Val Grubb is a keynote speaker, corporate development leader and executive coach who helps companies improve their bottom line by elevating employees from tactical thinkers to strategic leaders. Her keynotes and training programs are based on 20+ years in senior leadership roles at companies such as Rolls Royce Aircraft and NBC Universal as well as helping to found the Oxygen channel for Oprah Winfrey and InterActiveCorp for Barry Diller (parent company to Expedia, Home Shopping Network and Ticketmaster, just to name a few). Val’s book, Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality, helps leaders manage multiple generations in the office.


Session 3:  1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Tommie Mabry

The First Step to Changing a Child's Perspective is to Understand It



This insightful session will provide attendees with a better understanding of why we are dealing with so many students who are at-risk, as well as, specific strategies to engage ALL learners. Participants will learn how effective relationship building with children is fundamental for student and school success. Understanding the reason we teach, with special emphasis on the student is the central theme of this presentation. Dr. Tommie Mabry will offer the participant a refreshing look into the eyes of the students from his own experience as a student at risk as well as an educator.

Learning Objectives:
  • Implement teaching to capture and inspire ALL learners
  • Affirm and validate teaching effectiveness
  •  Learn a framework for reshaping school culture, affording teachers and students an opportunity to become part of the solution collaboratively
  • Answer the key question, Now that we understand today’s student, what do we do with them?

About the Speaker:

Dr. Tommie Mabry is a renowned international speaker, nationally acclaimed educator, and published author. Authoring books like A Dark Journey to a Light Future: A Memoir. His story of the trials, success, and service has inspired millions around the world. News of Dr. Mabry’s achievements instantly went viral, breaking national headlines. Dr Mabry has appeared on USA Today, PBS Network, FOX Soul and many more.

Dr. Tommie Mabry grew up in one of Jackson, MS, roughest neighborhoods. Trouble followed him everywhere before and after fifth grade when he was arrested for breaking into the state fairgrounds. After that arrest, he was suspended or expelled from several schools due to his behavior. A judge once prophesized that in five years his attitude would either get him killed or incarcerated. Tommie grinned at the judge who did not know that the “monster” lurking within him was fueled by the prophecy. 

Things started to change for Tommie when he joined an AAU basketball league that traveled around the world. He was the first person in his family to graduate from high school when he crossed the stage at Bailey Magnet in 2007. Although he was shot in the foot after skipping school during his senior year, Tommie healed and received a full basketball scholarship to Missouri State University-West Plains. He later received a B.A. cum laude in Education from Tougaloo College and his M.A. in Child Development in 2017. 

After his undergraduate studies, Tommie was hired as a teacher by the same Jackson Public School District that had suspended and expelled him many times during elementary and secondary education. Dr. Mabry’s story and achievements have enabled him to use his voice to inspire and impact millions as a renowned speaker.

In 2022, Corwin honored Dr. Mabry with the New Voices Award for his book “Perspective! The Secret to Student Motivation and Success.