GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS FOR THE SCHOOL CLIMATE CONFERENCE INCLUDE:
April 26 - Matt Bellace, Ph.D
Dr. Bellace has a PhD in clinical psychology with a subspecialty in clinical neuropsychology, the study of the brain and behavior. He was twice awarded the Student Intramural Research and Training Award (IRTA) in neuroscience by the National Institutes of Mental Health to study memory in primates.
Dr. Bellace has a background rarely found in one speaker. He has a PhD in clinical neuropsychology and over twenty years of experience traveling the country as a motivational speaker and stand-up comedian. He uses humor, inspirational stories, audience participation and current research in the neuroscience to deliver a powerful message: “It’s not enough to just tell people what not to do, we need to empower them to create an environment that fosters positive mental and physical health.”This funny and informative presentation focuses on the science of coping with stress and managing emotions using healthy lifestyle activities (e.g. exercise, mediation, laughter). The program will also cover topics such as positive social support, productive use of emotions, improving mood and increasing quality of life. Particular attention will be paid to strategies for dealing with feelings of loneliness, isolation and burnout that are so common in the workplace these days.
“Turning to healthy coping mechanisms on a regular basis can improve mood, functioning and enjoyment.”
April 27 - Dr. Tony Beliz
Dr. Tony Beliz is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist who trains and lectures nationally and internationally on Behavioral Threat Assessment, Emerging Trends in Targeted Violence, Interviewing Strategies, and Trauma Event Management.
Dr. Beliz consults to private and public educational institutions, security firms, and global corporations on risk assessment, risk management, and special circumstances. He trains educators, mental health providers, law enforcement, and threat management teams on violence threat risk assessment and has been featured on HBO, CNN, CBS, New York Times, and local media. As the former Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Emergency Outreach Bureau, Dr. Beliz developed and supervised the Los Angeles County School Threat Assessment Response Team (START), Special Prevention Unit (SPU), and other field-based units.
Dr. Beliz is an Instructor, University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, Safe Communities Initiative focused on countering violent extremism. He serves as Expert Witness for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and State of California Board of Psychology. He is a Diplomate in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and American College of Forensic Examiners.
“We’re trying to figure out, what are the triggers here? What are the risk factors? What’s really going on and how can we intervene?”
April 28 - "Why Am I Here?" A Conversation Facilitated by John Vandenburgh
John Vandenburgh has spent his career working in the fields of youth development and building a safe school climate for all students. He has served as a high school teacher, school site administrator and a district safe schools administrator. He is the Author of the evidence based Youth Participatory Action Research program model Peer Leaders Uniting Students (PLUS). John now works with schools, communities and universities across the country addressing the latest youth trends that are impacting K12 education.
In this general session, John will take advantage of the diverse cross section of educators who attend the School Climate Conference. Last year, he guided a student panel through the conversation, this year he will engage the conference participants. Falling back on his own experiences as an educator, John will guide participants through a series of questions, conversations and experiential activities that examine the essential needs to build a positive school climate. On the final day of the conference, let’s get some morning coffee, connect with one another in conversation, learn from each other and maybe answer the question, Why Am I Here?
Our Mission - “To create a culture on campuses and in communities where inclusion is a reality for all young people”