Keynote Speakers

Title: TEACHERS MATTER: Agents of Change for Diverse Cultural Contexts


Picture of Theodore PikesExperts that are advocating practitioners must recognize, respect, and use student’s identities and backgrounds as meaningful sources for creating optimal learning environments. This presentation will focus on promoting that teachers matter as agents of change to transform social injustices and educational inequities that are detrimental to all learners, including those with exceptionalities who are cultural and linguistically diverse “at promise learners”.

Dr. Theodore Pikes holds a Ph.D. in Special Education (emphasis emotional /behavioral disorders and multicultural/culturally responsive education) from Southern University A & M College, a M.Ed. in School Counseling, and a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Psychology. He is currently a professor and assessment and accountability coordinator in the School of Education at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Pikes' has a wide range of academic, administrative, and leadership skills and experience in diverse settings, and professional positions --university administrator (associate dean, department chair) and professor, program evaluator, accreditation coordinator, teacher, counselor, and leader -- educational leader--associate director teacher quality programs. He has professional experience also includes in improving teaching education programs in preparing cultural responsive practitioners who are skilled to positively impact the quality life outcomes for “at promise students”, particularly those from cultural and linguistically backgrounds with disabilities.

Dr. Pikes has served as a director and co-director of federal, state, and local grants and programs that have focused on teacher quality in K-12 settings, and the education of students at risk, specifically ethnic minority students. He has also served as a director for an alternative educational and transition program that targeted issues of school failure, school dropout, substance abuse, incarceration, and homelessness associated with adolescents in rural and urban settings.

Dr. Pikes demonstrates a high standard of teaching, research, and service; and is highly regarded by his discipline. He has publications in refereed journals and several book chapters; and has made professional presentations at numerous state and national conferences and in-services. These activities reflect his knowledge, dedication and dedication and commitment to teacher quality improvement initiatives.

Dr. Pikes is actively involved in leadership roles. He is currently is member of a school district Code of Conduct Task Force: emphasizing suspension and expulsion of student with disabilities) and member of the Executive Board of Directors for a character school. He has served as a member of a city-wide Board of Directors for the ARC, Executive Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC),, as a Member at Large - Multicultural and Ethnic Concerns, the National President of the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners - DDEL, state president of CEC, and as a member of CEC’s Professional Standards for Entry Level Teachers in Special Education.

Title: “I Am Alternative”: Working with Students Who Operate Outside of the Box

This presentation will guide participants through a process of identifying their Personality Package™. The Personality Package™ is a 4-level system that moves from identifying one’s obvious personality characteristics, to identifying deeper more unique personality traits and characteristics that impacts the classroom routines and the relationships adults build with students.

The ending result is discovering or creating a personality mantra that supports a Balanced-Approach to Discipline™ and the Relationship Management System™. Participants will leave the workshop having created their unique personality mantra. They will also receive strategies for using their mantra in the classroom, and an overview of how the Personality Package™ connects with the B.A.D. and RMS.

Picture of Candice BarnesCandice Dowd Barnes, Ed.D., is an associate professor at the University of Central Arkansas in the department of Elementary, Literacy and Special Education. She is also the Chief Operations Officer for Parker Education & Development, LLC. Parker Education & Development, LLC offers professional development and educational coaching using unique Edutainment activities to promote effective relationships and interactions with students, parents, co-workers and colleagues. She strongly believes in the power of authentic learning experiences to teach beyond the walls of the classroom into all aspects of life.
Dr. Barnes has an extensive background in early childhood education, curriculum and assessment planning, and educational leadership. She is a dynamic speaker and accomplished author of multiple articles on developing authentic relationships and interactions with, and dispositions of, individuals of diverse and unique backgrounds and histories.

Most recently, she co-authored Civility, Compassion and Courage in Schools Today: Strategies for Implementing in K-12 Classrooms. The 3 C’s promotes teaching civility, compassion and courage in schools, in homes and in the community using the Model of Influence—a framework for that moves from awareness to action. Training on the Model and the 3C’s is available on demand. She has presented across the country on various topics related to service-learning, social and emotional development, effective leadership and coaching, curriculum integration and assessment planning, and teaching disposition development from the classroom to the workplace. Dr. Barnes is also available for keynote presentations and coaching sessions.

Picture of Todd ParkerAs a veteran educator, coach, and CEO of Parker Education & Development, LLC, Mr. Todd Scott Parker distinguishes himself through his ability to deliver dynamic educational coaching and professional development. His professional development philosophy is based on creating a stage—a foundation for facilitating positive interactions and quality relationships. He is driven to inspire educators and others to develop their talents and gifts to be prepared to teach and lead people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and histories. As an author, poet and energetic-inspirational speaker, Mr. Parker believes that young people deserve adults who are creative, skilled, experienced, and passionate about impacting their lives in a positive and profound way.

The flagship product, developed by Mr. Parker, is the Relationship Management System (RMS). It is a system that includes five parts designed to: promote relationship-driven teaching, behavioral guidance and discipline, increased academic performance, and effective communication and feedback strategies. The system is currently being used in diverse educational and workplace settings. Mr. Parker is presently co-authoring a book about the Relationship Management System which will be available in 2016.

Mr. Parker is also the creator and director of Kuu-Bro, a leadership initiative for young men and boys to establish their voice and cultivate their leadership skills. He has also developed a student mentoring program called, A Better Citizen (ABC) for alternative education environments in Arkansas. The program has received local and national attention. Mr. Parker has presented at numerous conferences across the country and is a standing guest speaker for teacher candidates at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas and Governor’s State University in University Park, Illinois.