Thought Leaders

The National Principals Conference is your time to pause and focus on your professional growth, and there’s no better way to truly reflect on your leadership than with our lineup of inspiring and knowledgeable thought leaders. Hear from bestselling authors, award-winning principals, and trailblazing educators who will share groundbreaking insights and inspiration to fuel your practice.

Tuesday, July 7

Digital Transformation: Design Your Future

Bestselling author and motivational speaker Erik Qualman has performed in over 50 countries and reached 25 million people this decade. His entertaining, educating, and empowering style is made possible by his revolutionary video-storytelling capability. His business books are used in over 200 universities and have been translated into eight languages. Qualman is also the founder of Equalman Studios, which has produced film and animation projects for the likes of Disney, Cartier, CompuCom, Chase, Hearts on Fire, IBM, and many other global brands.

Wednesday, July 8

Creating a Climate and Culture for Success

Kim Bearden is the co-founder, executive director, and language arts teacher at the highly acclaimed Ron Clark Academy, an innovative middle level school and educator training facility in Atlanta. She was selected by the Milken Family Foundation to receive the Award for Excellence in Education in 1999, and in 2016 she was inducted into to the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Women Works Media Group has named her one of Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Women. Over the past 29 years, she has been a teacher, instructional lead teacher, curriculum director, school board member, staff development trainer, and middle level principal. Kim’s book, Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me, made several bestseller lists, including the LA Times’ bestseller list.

Thursday, July 9

Leaders Matter: Power Up With Passion

Beth Houf is the proud principal of Fulton Middle School in central Missouri. She is passionate about developing schools that encourage high levels of learning and empowerment for all. In addition to her role as principal, she also serves as a facilitator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Leadership Academy, providing monthly training to state educational leaders. Beth was named a Missouri Exemplary New Principal in 2011, the Missouri National Distinguished Principal for 2016, and an NASSP 2019 Digital Principal of the Year. Beth is the co-author of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff.
Brian McCann is in his 16th year as principal of Joseph Case High School in Swansea, MA, from which he graduated in 1980. Brian has a bachelor’s degree from Boston College in English and speech-theatre, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, and a certificate of advanced graduate study from Fitchburg State College in educational leadership and management. Brian chairs the Massachusetts Schools Administrator’s Association’s (MSAA) High School Committee and represents this group on the MSAA Board of Directors. Brian has contributed to NASSP’s Principal Leadership magazine as well as the educational leadership book The Principled Principal. Brian McCann was Massachusetts’ 2011 High School Principal of the Year and one of NASSP’s 2018 National Digital Principals of the Year.
Akil Ross became principal of Chapin High School in July of 2010. Under his leadership, Chapin High School received many awards and recognitions such the Palmetto’s Finest Award, Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Lighthouse Award, several national rankings in academics from Newsweek, Niche, The Washington Post, and US News & World Report. His school earned 20 state championships in eight years. As principal of Chapin High School, Akil was named the 2017 South Carolina Secondary Principal of the Year and the 2018 NASSP National Principal of the Year. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree in secondary educational administration from University of South Carolina, where he also earned his doctorate degree in curriculum studies.

This is your moment, your practice, your motivation.

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