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40th Annual Head Start Conference

Opening Session, Wednesday, May 1, 2013 

Keynotes: Diane Trister Dodge and Kai-lee Berke 

Diane Trister Dodge, MS, is the founder and president of Teaching Strategies, LLC. She is the lead author of The Creative Curriculum® and many other Teaching Strategies resources. She has been a preschool and kindergarten teacher; served as the education coordinator for Head Start and child care programs in Mississippi and Washington, D.C.; and directed national projects in education and human services. Diane served on the Governing Board of NAEYC (1990–1994) and the Center for the Child Care Workforce (1995–2002), and was a member of the D.C. Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Development (1984–2009). In 2004, she received the Bank Street College Alumni Association Recognition Award for outstanding accomplishments in the field of education. In 2010, Diane was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame for her lifetime contributions to education.

Kai-leé Berke, MA, is the vice president of curriculum and assessment at Teaching Strategies. She has taught and cared for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners in public, private, and Department of Defense programs. Before joining Teaching Strategies she was the program administrator for a multi-site preschool organization. In addition to her local and national work as an early childhood trainer and consultant, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at Honolulu Community College and Pacific Oaks College. She is a co-author of many Teaching Strategies resources, including the Teaching Strategies GOLD® assessment system; The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool; The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers & Twos; and A Trainer's Guide to The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers & Twos.

Living the Legacy Luncheon, Wednesday, May 1, 2013 

(ticketed event)

Keynote: Susan L. Taylor

Susan L. Taylor is Founder and CEO of the  National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine. Susan L. Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built—as its fashion and beauty editor, as editor-in-chief and editorial director. For 27 years she authored of one of the magazine’s most popular columns, In the Spirit. For nearly three decades, as the driving force behind one of the most celebrated Black-owned businesses of our time, Susan L. Taylor is a legend in the magazine publishing world. A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Susan grew up in Harlem working with her father in his women’s clothing store. She founded her own cosmetics company, a first for Black women, which led to the beauty editor’s position at Essence. She is the author of four books: In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writings of Susan L. Taylor; Lessons in Living; Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives, which she coauthored with her husband, Khephra Burns; and her most recent, All About Love, Favorite Selections from In the Spirit on Living Fearlessly


Research Luncheon, Thursday, May 2, 2013

(ticketed event)

Keynote: Dr. Dale Farren

Dr. Dale Farran is a Professor in Vanderbilt University's Departments of Teaching and Learning and Psychology and Human Development, and a Senior Fellow of the J.F. Kennedy Center for the Study of Human Development. Prior to this appointment she was a professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she also served as chair from 1987 to 1995. Dr. Farran has been involved in research and intervention for high risk children and youth for all of her professional career.


Excellence Breakfast, Thursday, May 2, 2013

(ticketed event)

Special Guest Speaker: Deann Collins

Deann Collins currently serves as the director of the Division of Title I Programs (DTP) for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland. As the director, she manages, coordinates, and monitors the distribution of Federal Title I funds for the district. She also supports identified Title I schools with the development, implementation, and monitoring of their comprehensive School Improvement Plan. Her career in education spans more than 17 years.





Closing General Session, Friday, May 3, 2013

Keynote Speakers: US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama. Duncan's tenure as secretary has been marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama's investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools.

Additionally, he has helped secure an additional $10 billion to avoid teacher layoffs; the elimination of student loan subsidies to banks; and a $500 million national competition for early learning programs. Under Duncan's leadership at the Department, the Race to the Top program has received the incentives, guidance, and flexibility it needs to support reforms in states. The Department also has focused billions of dollars to transform struggling schools, prompting nearly 1,000 low-performing schools nationwide to recruit new staff, adopt new teaching methods, and add learning time. He has led new efforts to encourage labor and management to work together as never before, and their new collaboration is helping to drive reform, strengthen teaching, create better educational options, and improve learning. During Duncan's tenure, the Department has launched a comprehensive effort to transform the teaching profession.

Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009. Since taking office, Secretary Sebelius has led ambitious efforts to improve America’s health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including young children, those with disabilities, and the elderly.

As part of the historic Affordable Care Act, she is implementing reforms that have ended many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses and will help 34 million uninsured Americans get health coverage. She is also working with doctors, nurses, hospital leaders, employers, and patients to slow the growth in health care costs through better care and better health.

Under Secretary Sebelius’s leadership, HHS is committed to innovation, from promoting public- private collaboration to bring life-saving medicines to market, to building a 21st century food safety system that prevents outbreaks before they occur, to collaborating with the Department of Education, to help states increase the quality of early childhood education programs, and give parents more information to make the best choices for their children.


Special Guest: Musician and Author David Kisor

David Kisor from GROWING SOUND (a division of Children, Inc) based in the Greater Cincinnati area is a multi-award winning singer, songwriter, composer, performer and teacher who creates music CDs that translate key findings from recent child development research into practical and entertaining products and performance events for children, teachers and parents. "Mr. David" tours all over the United States, and internationally; and has trained over 65,000 teachers on how to use music in the classroom; in addition to presenting hundreds of concert events for children and their families.