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Resiliency Conference-2021




Not Registered Yet? What Are You Waiting For? 


Important Information: The Resiliency Conference is two days (separate registration session numbers)
Once registered, you will receive instructions on how to access schedules and zoom links.


Additional Learning Opportunity
  • July 19 (2.5 hours)
  • July 20 (2.0 hours)
  • July 21 (2.0 hours) 
Session #1599704 
Space for this session is limited!


Have Questions?

Contact us at



Participants will receive two free books:


180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators

A Moment for Teachers Self-Care

After registration, participants will recieve a link to 

order their books.


Wow-what a year!  The global pandemic, social change, AND the snowpocalypse. We also can not ignore the everyday stressors of day-to-day living.  We have survived an unbelievable year. In education, we band together, support each other, and move forward despite the challenges.  The Resiliency Conference is a special day to acknowledge the capacity of educators to be resilient.  Most importantly, your wellness matters.

The Resiliency Conference is an opportunity to expand upon your knowledge with magnificent strategies to continue building resilience in yourself.  The conference will begin with our phenomenal Keynote Ben Nemtin and powerful plenary presenter Principal Kafele. Both presenters will focus on the power of positive actions to bounce back and become even more resilient. Come and enjoy the great breakout sessions that will focus on practical self-care and self-compassion strategies to enhance your daily practices, as well as support your well-being. 

WHEN EDUCATORS ARE WELL… STUDENTS WILL BE WELL, and students will learn from our actions.



Important Note:
These sessions are virtual. Prior to the each session, participants will receive an e-mail with information regarding how to access the event. Participants should ensure the correct e-mail is on file to ensure receipt of the login information. Each session will have a separate registration and notification.


Meet the Presenters


Keynote Speaker



Ben Nemtin


5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible
Whether you need to set bigger goals or reach the ones you already have, Ben will help you get from “ambition” to “accomplishment.”
Ben’s message of radical possibility combined with his 5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible leaves audiences not only inspired but also equipped with tools to tackle the seemingly insurmountable. His system of achieving impossible goals demystifies daunting tasks by turning ‘dreams’ into ‘projects’ and creates inspiration through action and accountability.
Ben reminds us that it’s never too late to start your list and leave your lasting impact on the world.


BEN NEMTIN and his three childhood friends started THE BURIED LIFE in Victoria, BC in 2006. They made a list of '100 things to do before you die' and for every list item they accomplished, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list. Since then, they have crossed off 'Write a #1 New York Times Bestselling Book', 'Make a TV Show (on MTV)', 'Be Interviewed by Oprah' and have helped reunite a father and son after seventeen years and surprised a young girl with a much needed bionic arm. Ben and his friends have crossed off 91 of 100 dreams and are currently filming The Buried Life documentary film.





Plenary Speaker


Principal Baruti Kafele


Your Bounce Back Matters

The past year has been unlike anything we have ever experienced in our lifetimes. In addition to healthcare workers, it has been immeasurably challenging for educators on countless levels. So many educators across the U.S. have felt the pressure of continuing to be phenomenal but in the midst of a global pandemic and social change. Educators have even expressed feeling worn down to the point of burnout. In this presentation with a focus on resilience, Principal Kafele will discuss the importance of the “bounce back” while providing attendees with strategies toward getting back on their feet and moving forward.


Principal Baruti Kafele, a highly regarded urban educator in New Jersey for more than 20 years, has distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, in addition to being named the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Principal Kafele was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence.
As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the transformation of four New Jersey urban schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech—which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, and which was recognized three times by U.S. News and World Report as one of America's best high schools.
One of the most sought-after school leadership experts and education speakers in America, Principal Kafele is impacting America’s schools! He has delivered over two thousand conference and program keynotes, professional development workshops, parenting seminars and student assemblies over his 34 years of public speaking. An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Principal Kafele is the leading authority on providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, the "Attitude Gap.” In addition to writing several professional articles for popular education journals, he has authored eleven books, including his six ASCD best sellers - Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life, Closing the Attitude Gap, The Teacher 50, Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?, The Principal 50 and The Assistant Principal 50. His next book – The Equity and Social Justice Education 50 will be released in May, 2021.
Principal Kafele is the recipient of more than 150 educational, professional, and community awards, including the prestigious Milken National Educator Award and the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award. He was inducted into the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaimed February 8, 1998 Baruti Kafele Day.




Breakout Session Presenters


Catherine Landry


Reconnect with Your Passion to Educate and Build Relationships with Students.
Think about why you chose to start a career in education.  Many would say it was to connect and make a difference in students’ lives.  Join this session and see how restorative practice can reignite that passion for connecting with students.  See how this efficient process integrates into what you do every day and does not add to your workload. 


Catherine Landry is a Behavior Instructional Specialist with the Inclusive Practices Team at Region 4 Education Service Center. Catherine has over 10 years of experience supporting implementation of positive behavior practices at state, district, and campus levels in Texas and Louisiana. Her passion for this work came from her own experience as a classroom teacher in both regular and special education settings.   


Brianna Brazle, LPC


Radical Self Compassion

This session with be engaging, relaxing, and transformative. You will have an opportunity to acknowledge the difficulties of the past year, celebrate your successes, and learn to ways to be intentional about self-compassion. Join me in an affinity space using interventions from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.



Brianna is a Region 4 Wellness Counselor working directly with the Santa Fe ISD community. She received her education from the University of Houston and The illustrious Clark Atlanta University. She has also received advanced training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She has a deep passion for assisting individuals to break the molds that hold them hostage from achieving personal fulfillment. Random fact: she LOVES corn!

Alexa Carrier , M.S., R.D


Strategies for Eating Well and Living Your Best Life!
Eating right can be a struggle but it doesn’t have to be.  Join us for an insightful session on how to choose the right foods, how to use them in your everyday meals, and how to feel good about the choices you make.  The key to eating right and living your best life is to remember that all it takes is to be good MOST of the time!


Alexa received her Bachelors of Science in Human Science and her Masters of Science in Human Science from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  She has been a Registered Dietitian for 18 years practicing in numerous fields of nutrition including clinical, community, higher education and school nutrition.  She is currently a Child Nutrition Specialist with Region 4 Education Service Center.


Janet Carroll 

The Amazing Heart: The Ultimate Super Power of the Body 
This presentation will include: 

  • the 3 stages of Resiliency
  • the physiology of COHERENCE
  • Heart Focused Breathing that can create COHERENCE within 3-5 minutes
  • a brief overview of how stress affects your heart rhythm and your life
  • how to listen to the wisdom of your heart. 

Change Your Heart Rhythm; Change Your Life.


Laughter Yoga: The Ultimate Superpower 
This presentation is experiential and powerful as Janet shares the impressive science, research, and healing of Laughter Yoga. She focuses on the physiology of stress/burnout and its catastrophic effects on the body (esp. women) as well as how to laugh yourself onto Health, Happiness and Increased Resilience.


Janet Carroll has had an impressive multi-dimensional career. Her 50 years in nursing, 37 years in massage therapy, 8 years in Laughter Yoga and 2 years in HeartMath have given her  decades of experiences in health services, and also special insight into physical, mental and emotional well being. It was these insights that her passion for assisting others in healing their lives that her transformational programs, classes and presentations were birthed.

We are now in the "ERA OF AWAKENING THE HEART" where the focus is Self Love, Self-Compassion and Self-Care.  Are you ready for this amazing adventure?

Anne Douglas-Rowald, RYT 200

Yoga Asanas for Your Workday
Join me for yoga -- a union of the body, mind, and spirit with the goal of achieving stillness of the mind. Engage in a brief discussion to understand the eight limbs of yoga one of which is the asanas, the physical poses we think of when someone says yoga. We will engage in a series of physical practices you can use daily when you wake, at your desk, or as a break in a workshop you are leading. Use these individually as short breaks or combine them for a single practice. We will conclude with a short meditation and moment of gratitude.


Anne Douglas-Rowald, RYT 200, is the Director of the Innovation Center 4 Educator Preparation, a center dedicated to improving the quality of teacher preparation through alternative certification pathways focusing on quality preparation and supports. Yoga has brought peace and provided a way to center her being for the past twenty years. Daily practice of the asanas and meditation provided a healthy way to process the stress of working in education, first as a science teacher and then in various administrative roles.

Ange Dickson Finn 

Tap into Relaxation
This session will provide a variety of simple body-based relaxation techniques, including Tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and others. She will give participants a brief background in how these techniques have an essential role in relieving stress and improving mood and cognition, especially when experiencing reactions to traumatic experiences. Participants will experience using these techniques during the session, and learn how best to use them for self-care and how to teach them to students.



Ange Dickson Finn is an Advanced Emotional Freedom Techniques and a Thought Field Therapy-Algorithms Practitioner, working with clients using simple, fast techniques to help people overcome fear, worry and stress.  She is certified and accredited with EFT International. She is also a member of ACEP, where she serves on the Humanitarian Committee, teaching their Resources For Resilience techniques.

In addition to her tapping coaching practice, Ange works with The University of Texas McGovern Medical School, in the McGovern School of Humanities and Ethics, as a facilitator for the Sacred Vocation Program for medical residents.

Mor Regev


Creating a Joyful, Thriving Staff Culture in a School

Part of resiliency and a thriving culture is creating opportunities for joy and celebration within your school team. This looks different in the virtual world, but is still possible. Please join this session if you want to both learn about and work on a plan to build staff joy among your colleagues at your school or organization.


Mor is a licensed social worker, counselor, and educator. She has worked as a middle school counselor at KIPP in Spring Branch ISD for the past 7 years and more recently as an adjunct professor at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. She earned her BA in sociology from Rice University in 2006 and earned Masters Degrees in Teaching from Pace University and Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She taught 5th and 6th grade through Teach for America and has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to students of all ages since 2017. Mor has worked with hundreds of students and their families engaging in both short and long term mental-health counseling and case management to address a variety of issues. Together with her graduate social work interns, she created and oversees the implementation of a four year social justice and character curriculum, The Identity Project. Throughout her career, Mor has also worked in the areas of fundraising , charitable giving, grant-writing and event planning.

Ann Friedman, Ph.D., 


Simple Mindful Practices for Teacher Stress and Burnout and Using Gratitude Practices to Increase Your Joy
In recent years mindfulness has been popularized in the media.  Mindfulness is now being taught for educators and implemented in classrooms across the nation.  Mindfulness is not just about breathing, although the breath can relax your body.  It's learning to bring a quality of attention that can change your daily stress.  Through this training, you will realize that you don't create most of your thoughts, and you don't have to believe your stressful thoughts. You can question beliefs, quit making assumptions, and become more curious.  You can also bring kindness and compassion practices to yourself and others when you are hurting.


Ann Friedman, Ph.D., a psychologist, has studied mindfulness intensively with various national teachers since 2007.    She began teaching as a volunteer in 2012 and in 2015, Ann received a Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation from the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) of the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine at UCLA.  Ann has also completed courses for teaching mindfulness to children and teens through Mindful Schools, Sitting Like a Frog and A Still Quiet Place.

Ann teaches mindfulness classes for adults, teens, and for parents with their children through her company, Mindful Being, P.C. at The John McGovern Houston Health and Medical Science Museum, Rothko Chapel, The Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer, as well as in her private office.  Ann trains in Houston area schools and school districts, often in collaboration with Mental Health America of Greater Houston (MHAGH), training counselors, teachers, and school staff.  Ann previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Counseling Psychology Graduate Program for over ten years.  She holds both a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston.  She completed her Residency in Clinical Psychology at U.T. Medical School and her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Marisol Mendez


Mindfulness Modalities
In this session, we will review both theory and tools on ways to manage stress. We will understand a brief science of stress and practice mind-body modalities: desktop yoga, guided breathwork and quiet meditation. In addition, participants will walk away with ready-to-use self-care tools for themselves and their students and staff, alike.


Marisol Mendez is a mental health counselor and stress-management facilitator. She volunteers in the service of mental health through different non-profits. She sees the ability to regulate one’s emotions as the foundation of a happy and healthy society, understanding that when we are still, we can see more clearly what action needs to be taken, intentionally and peacefully.

Ashley Whitley


Make an Appointment with YourSELF 
How many times do you put others first? How many times do you say “That wasn't enough" when confronted with personal challenges? Let's flip the switch and instead of focusing on everyone and everybody else, let's make an appointment with ourselves. During this session we will do more than talk about self-care and self-compassion, but we will provide tool for intentional steps toward self-care and self-compassion. The goal is to initiate positive change and a proactive response to life's changes. Join us as we make an appointment for self-care and self-compassion.


Ashley Whitley is a License Marriage and Family Therapy Associate. She has worked in the mental health community for over 10 years. She is currently a Non-Physician Mental Health Professional under the leadership of The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD and housed at Region 4 Education Service Center. She serves as a liaison between multiple Local Mental Health Authorities, the Region 4 Education Service Center and the learning community and community stakeholders. During her time of serving the community she provides multiple trainings such as Mental Health First Aid, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, A.S.K. about Suicide and other carefully curated trainings on Mental Wellness for diverse audiences. Ashley is an advocate for reducing stigma concerning mental health and self-care. She additionally works with children, adolescents, and families in support of healthy family systems that create a foundation for life satisfaction and abundant living.




Resiliency Conference Administrator's Day Presenters

Join us for the second day of the Resiliency Conference (separate registration) specifically for administrators.  Join us for an exciting day of administrators sharing how they creatively and intentionally created a multitiered system of support for a culture of care on their campuses or in their district.  The administrators will share their celebrations, their struggles as well as share valuable resources. 
Wellness matters because when everyone is WELL … QUALITY EDUCATION CAN HAPPEN.



Amy Cmaidalka 

Dickinson ISD


Gator Wellness

Gator Wellness is a holistic approach that is dedicated to the mental and emotional wellness of students, families, and staff.  Through Gator Wellness, we focus on social emotional learning, character education, resiliency, relationship building, trauma informed practices, and overall wellness.  As administrators and leaders we need to be intentional on advocating and supporting staff wellness.  Through a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework, I will share suggestions on supporting staff throughout the year. 



Amy Cmaidalka is the Social Emotional Learning Specialist for Dickinson ISD. She has been in education for 17 years.  Amy taught Kindergarten for 7 years, a Professional School Counselor for 8 years and a Social Emotional Learning Specialist for 2 years.  Prior to her current position, Amy was the Lead Counselor for Elementary through Middle school and the Lead Section 504 Coordinator for the district.  Amy earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.  Amy is a Youth Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, Psychological First Aid, As+K About Suicide To Save a Life, and Trauma Informed Instructor. She is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM),  National Organization of Victim’s Assistance (NOVA) and a member of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team. Amy was the recipient of the 2018 Walter Kase Educator Excellence Award presented by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for exemplary programming that promotes awareness and appreciation of diversity. She is passionate on advocating for professional school counselors, mental health and self-wellness.  Amy is implementing a Gator Wellness Initiative for Dickinson ISD.  This initiative is a social emotional learning model that  focuses on early childhood, students, staff, and the community.  Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and family.  She is a Dickinson ISD graduate and is looks forward to programs that bring enrichment and social emotional learning into the gator community. 






Karen Haynes, Ph.D., LPC-S  

Galena Park ISD


Wellness is FundaMENTAL

In this session we will review the practices that have been put in place in Galena Park Independent School district.  Focus will be placed on the importance of wellness. 



Karen Haynes, Ph.D., LPC-S  attended Lamar University and earned her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work in 1994.  She earned her Masters of Arts in Counseling from Prairie View A & M University in 2002.  More recently, Dr. Haynes earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology from Walden University in 2017. 

Dr. Haynes has served in many roles in her district.  She began her career in Galena Park ISD (GPISD) as a Community Youth Services (CYS) Worker in 1997.  She was hired by GPISD as a Special Education Counselor in 2006.  She was later promoted to Coordinator for Social Services.  She received another promotion to Program Director for Social Services. She currently and proudly serves as the Director for Mental Health and Social Services.  Dr. Haynes was instrumental in developing a Comprehensive Mental Health and Crisis Response Team in GPISD. In her free time, Dr. Haynes enjoys spending time with her family and friends.



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