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Hear . . . Engaging Keynote Sessions

Keynote Kickoff

Sticks and Stones Exposed: The Truth Behind 
Words & Relationships

Dave Weber, Leadership Trainer & CEO, Weber Associates

Sunday, March 5, 2017 / 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Premier Diamond Partner Siemens Industry

Join us for a hilarious presentation on the power of words to change culture and climate in a school. As a master storyteller, Dave illustrates the wisdom of Drs. Ruby Payne, Elizabeth Hurlock, Kent Peterson, and Thomas Sergiovanni in this fast paced and interactive presentation!

You will leave with a fresh understanding of how WORDS impact relationships, RELATIONSHIPS impact culture, and CULTURE impacts student outcomes — and how they can unlock the keys to collaboration in their Professional Learning Community. In a day when standards are higher and morale can be lower, this inspiring message will encourage your heart and mind and send you home with a new vision to positively influence everyone around you. 

Dave Weber's material is copywritten and will only be provided during the 2017 Winter Institute.


"Dave Weber is the best speaker I've ever heard, period. He is fast...he is very funny...he is bright...he is a fantastic communicator, which means you will learn what you need to know."

          - Dr. Peter E. Dawson, DDS - Center for Advanced Dental Study


Monday Morning Keynote 

What Spins the Wheel:  Leadership Lessons
from our Race for Hope

Len Forkas, Entrepreneur, Author & CEO, Milestone Communications

Monday, March 6, 2017 / 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Sponsored by Premier Gold Partner Capitol Regional Education Council (CREC)

It all started years ago, when Len learned that his son Matt had leukemia. Forkas immediately began searching for a way to help Matt, now an adult, cope with the debilitating loneliness and isolation that occurs to all children during treatment. At a time when webcam technology was still in its infancy, he pioneered a way for his son to connect digitally to his classmates.

In 2003, he founded Hopecam, a non-profit dedicated to providing the same for cancer-stricken children around the world. Len’s unrelenting dedication to Hopecam compelled him to accept a daunting fundraising challenge. In 2012, he competed in one of the world’s toughest endurance events: Race Across America, a 3,000-mile, coast-to-coast solo bicycle race that participants must finish in 12 days. Len finished in 11. In What Spins the Wheel, Len describes the management challenges and what he learned as he fought through the scorch of deserts and the joint-wrenching cold of 11,000-foot mountain elevations, propelled by an effective all-volunteer team that supported him around the clock. As an educational leader, how do you face your management challenges?

  1. A complimentary copy of the book What Spins the Wheel: Leadership Lessons from Our Race for Hope will be given at registration to first 450 attendees. 

  2. Link to Len Forkas' presentation PowerPoint here!


 “While What Spins the Wheel was gleaned from an amazing, exhaustive bike ride across America, the leadership story is timeless and universal in its application. As a leader of a large United States school system, Len’s message applies to the important work of the leadership team, the school board and all the businesses serving the community.  Len’s message to us all is an inspiration.”

-        Jack Dale, former Superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia


  •  New York State Superintendent of the Year Presented

Tuesday Closing Ideas

State Education Department Leadership Forum

MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of Education
New York State Education Department

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 / 8 – 9:15 a.m.
Sponsored by Premier Gold Partner Frontline Education

Connect with the top leaders of the Department of Education and discuss the major issues confronting public education in our state. Time will be provided for question and answer session. Join the discussion. Lobby Day immediately follows this session. 

  • The Dr. Mary Barter Scholarship for Women and Minorities presented.