Main Presenters

ELMLE Conference, Rome 2013
 Dave Brown

  • Curriculum Integration
  • Young Adolescent Identity and Development
  • Designing an Effective Advisory Program

I started my career as a middle level teacher in public schools in four states teaching from fourth through eighth grade in all subject areas over a 13-year career. I co-authored the book, What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know initially released in 2000, and the second edition was written and released in 2007 (Brown & Knowles). The book was co-published each time by Heinemann Book Company and the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE). I also wrote the book, Becoming A Successful Urban Teacher (2002) in which I provide analyses of interviews conducted with urban teachers from seven U. S. cities along with the research on culturally responsive teaching.

I have authored or co-authored five chapters of books on middle level education topics including “Humanistic Classrooms” (in press), “Curriculum Integration,” and “Young Adolescents’ Ethnic Identity Development.” I have authored nine research-based journal articles on topics such as flexible scheduling, advisory sessions, and effective communication with young adolescents in journals such as Middle School Journal, Phi Delta Kappan, and Educational Leadership. I recently (December 2011) co-edited and wrote the lead article on “Curriculum Integration” for the Middle Grades Research Journal.

I have presented various research studies at the annual AMLE Conference every year since 2001. Among presentation topics include “Young Adolescents’ Identity Development,” “New Findings About Young Adolescent Development,” “Helping Ethnically Diverse Students Develop Healthy Identities”, and “Students’ Perspectives on the Value of a Curriculum Integration Program.” I have presented to teachers numerous times in several states on young adolescent development and its implications for middle level teachers (latest time in an Atlanta middle school in August of 2011). I frequently provide professional development for middle level faculty on appropriate middle level design and young adolescent development. I have also presented on initiating advisory programs, and design of effective advisory programs.

My areas of expertise are in young adolescent development and its implications for middle level teachers. I expand on those findings to include the purpose and need for advisory sessions for young adolescents as well as the appropriate design of advisory to meet students’ needs. I also have focused on the appropriate design of curriculum integration as well as the cognitive significance of using genuine middle level structures. Another area of research has been a focus on identity development for young adolescents and its implications for middle school design and management of students.

JoAnn Deak
JoAnn Deak
  • Brain Research and Impacts on Learning
  • Self-Esteem, Stress and the Brain
  • Teaching Strategies with Brain Research in Mind
Dr. Deak began her career as an elementary teacher and head of the science department. She soon learned the complexity of dealing with the many brain and motivational patterns represented by the diverse students in her classes. This led to her work at Kent State University, one of only three universities in the United States to have a specialty in Preventive Psychology at that time. Her doctoral work focused on how to assess those environmental, school and family patterns that lead to the healthy development of children and, conversely, those patterns that cause issues, problems and disabilities.

After several years in private practice, Dr. Deak began consulting with schools in Ohio. In the 1980′s she worked with the Laurel School as a consulting psychologist, where she participated in a six-year study with Harvard and a team of researchers lead by Carol Gilligan. Following that study, Dr. Deak joined Laurel School as the Director of the Lower School and Director of the Middle School. She also was the founding Director of Early Childhood. She left Laurel in 1999 to expand her consulting role with parents, schools and other organizations nationwide and internationally.    

 Tim Rylands

  • Technology to Build Creativity
  • Using Gaming as a Teaching Tool
  • Inspiring and Motivating Learning through ICT

Tim Rylands has been described as “an extremely gifted and inspirational teacher, with a love of the creative potential of technology and an excellent rapport with his pupils”.

With over 25 years of classroom experience, in the UK, and beyond, including 4 years in West Africa, Tim is now much in demand for training days, conferences and seminars around the world, presenting the results of his work in an inspiring, practical and often humorous way.

Observers have commented on his imaginative and encouraging style of teaching, which allows children to express their creativity and make significant gains in attainment.

He has received notable recognition for using computer games, and Web 2 technologies to inspire children’s creative confidence in many areas of the curriculum - writing, speaking and listening, music, thinking skills, collaboration, interaction and much more.

Tim has received a vast amount of press coverage for his innovative use of ICT, and has featured on the BBC, ‘Teachers TV’, CNN, in The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, and many others. In 2005 he won the 2005 Becta ICT in Practice Award. In addition, Tim is also well known for the musicals he has written for children, which have been performed to great acclaim.

Tim is a firm believer that ICT is about communication more than technology … and that it should be FUN!

 Sarah Neild

Using ICT Across the Curriculum

Sarah Neild is an award winning teacher with experience of inspiring schools with many creative uses of ICT

Sarah was awarded Advance Skills Teacher status in 2003 being described as an ‘exceptional teacher… teaching of the highest calibre, particularly in her dynamic use of ICT’. In 2004 Sarah was a finalist in Becta’s ICT in Practice Awards, where she was described as ‘an evangelist’ in her use of ICT.

Sarah was chosen as a Beacon School Teacher in a primary in the North West of England. She provided demonstration lessons in the use of ICT across the curriculum and supported colleagues, both in her own school and beyond, in developing their ICT skills.

As part of her local authority’s ‘Hands on Support’ team, Sarah guided many schools in their development of ICT. She has presented at BETT on the use of interactive technologies and worked with teacher training colleges to bring learning alive.

Since 2008 Sarah has worked alongside Tim Rylands, developing imaginative ways of using ICT to enhance learning in schools across the country.

Leah Treesh

  • Keys to Running a Successful 1 to 1 Program
  • IT Integration

Leah Treesh (M.Ed. Educational Technology), Director of LT Learning Technologies, has a strong educational background, having taught and served in leadership roles in a variety of public and private school settings, as well as an adjunct in the University of Louisvilleʼs M.A.T. program. Before relocating to Germany, Leah last taught English in an 1:1 school, was in charge of a large part of the curriculum and simultaneously served as an “eMentor” to her colleagues and others in her school district.

Brought to Europe five years ago as a Technology Integration Specialist to collaborate with a dynamic team at Munich International School to launch a now well established 1:1 project, Leah often presents at conferences and works with international schools to help them build and maintain their technology initiatives. In addition, she has developed a series of professional development materials for Apple Germany geared toward IB schools, serves on the ECIS ICT Committee and is the ECIS consultant responsible for managing iTunes U.

 Justin Reich

  • Teaching History with Technology
  • New, Exciting Tech Tools

Justin Reich is co-Director of EdTechTeacher, and the author of Best Ideas for Teaching with Technology: A Practical Guide for Teachers by Teachers. Justin is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, and he recently completed his doctoral work at the the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also the founder and project manager of the Digital Collaborative Learning Communities Project funded by the Hewlett Foundation. Justin conducts quantitative research on usage statistics drawn from over 175,000 educational wikis, and he has conducted observational research in schools and classrooms in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Virginia, Georgia, and California.

He has written a variety of articles on education technology integration that have appeared in the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, Educational Researcher, Social Education, and other publications. A former world history teacher at Noble & Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts, Justin developed a variety of new curriculum and lesson plans around chatting, blogging, online research, and other projects involving new and emerging technologies. Justin blogs for Education Week at EdTech Researcher, and he maintains his academic profile, research, and work in progress

Chris Cullen & Kevin Hawkins

  • Improving Learning and Living through Mindfulness

Chris Cullen works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He was previously a secondary school teacher, and for 10 years was Head of Pastoral Care & Counselling at Hampton School in SW London. He is co-founder of the Mindfulness in Schools Project [MiSP], which has developed a mindfulness curriculum for teenagers called “.b” that is being used in a growing number of schools in the UK, across Europe and in the USA. MiSP is working with the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Exeter to study the effects of teaching mindfulness to teenagers as part of the school curriculum. Chris also teaches mindfulness to musicians and actors at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He has trained as an Insight Meditation teacher with Christina Feldman and regularly leads retreats at Gaia House in Devon. He has recently completed a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at the University of Oxford. 

Kevin Hawkins is Middle School Principal at the International School of Prague, Czech Republic. Kevin has worked as a teacher, principal, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. He brings to education a holistic understanding of children and young people from his lifelong work with adolescents, and he strives to support the development of young minds through enhancing self-awareness and emotional intelligence.  Kevin has been teaching mindfulness to teenagers, teachers and parents at the International School of Prague since 2008.

  • Adolescent Psychological Wellness: Raising a Happy, Healthy Child

Dr. Toby Haslam-Hopwood PsyD is a clinical psychologist with a strong international background. Originally from England Dr. Haslam-Hopwood completed his clinical training in the United States, which included a stint at the University of Denver, University of Rochester School of Medicine and a fellowship at the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry. He remained working at the Menninger Clinic for some years, performing a number of different roles but finishing up as the Director of Psychology Training and a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine. He has published and lectured internationally on the use of education to promote health and well being and has international experience of working with children, adults and families. He currently works in the West of Ireland with children and their families.
Kevin Hawkins

 Kevin Hawkins is Middle School Principal at the International School of Prague, Czech Republic. Kevin has worked as a teacher, principal, school head, and social worker in the UK, Africa, and Europe. He brings to education a holistic understanding of children and young people from his lifelong work with adolescents, and he strives to support the development of young minds through enhancing self-awareness and emotional intelligence. 

Kevin has been teaching mindfulness to teenagers, teachers and parents at the International School of Prague since 2008.