2019 National Training Seminar

Jul 23-25 2019 - Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel - Washington DC

Resource and Leadership Expo

 The Expo offers National Training Seminar attendees an intimate opportunity to interact with organizations with the expertise to strengthen their support services for military-connected students. Featuring more than 40 exhibitors, the expo offers a place to share new ideas while providing participants the chance to discuss best practices, research, and innovations with academic, industry, and organization representatives. 


American Corporate Partners: Military Spouse Mentorship Program

 Laura Kuhn, Manager

American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping returning veterans and active duty spouses find their next careers through one-on-one mentoring, networking and online career advice. 

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State

Cristin Hall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Timothy Mazer, Program Manager

The Clearinghouse is an applied research center created to help professionals identify, implement, evaluate, and improve programs that strengthen military service members and their families.

Defenders of Potential: Military Mentoring, Operation BIGS

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Sylvia Muller, M.S.Ed.

Big Brothers /Big Sisters has been positively impacting children in our country and throughout the world for over 100 years.  Big Brothers Big Sisters makes a difference by creating professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring matches for children who want to realize their full potential. Operation Bigs is a program that provides mentorship for children in military families who deserve our thanks and support. The military lifestyle often presents many challenges for children and families such as frequent relocation, school transitions, separation from extended family, and deployments. Mentoring provides an extra layer of support to local military families to combat these challenges.

Education and Children with Disabilities: STOMP and Parent Centers, Your Convoy of Support

The Military Parent Technical Assistance Center
Barb Koumjian, Project Coordinator, The Branch, Military Parent Technical Assistance Center
Yasmeen Butler, Program Director, Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP)

This session shows parents how to get training and information on subjects they need to navigate special education systems, obtain accommodations and modifications, and work in partnership with educators, school administrators, and specialists. Specialists will benefit from learning these resources as well.

FOCUS: Resilience Training for Military Families

Kathleen Fountain, Resilience Trainer

FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress provides resilience training to military children, families, and couples). It teaches practical skills to help families and couples overcome common challenges related to military life. It helps build on current strengths and teach new strategies to enhance communication and problem solving, goal setting and creating a shared family story.

LEARN Charter Network

Kelly Tyson, Principal, 2018 Illinois Charter School Principal of the Year

Tara Sheppard, Social Worker

LEARN is a network of high-performing K-8, tuition-free, public charter schools. LEARN has 10 schools and serves nearly 4,000 scholars in Chicago, North Chicago and Waukegan. The mission of LEARN is to provide children with the academic foundation and ambition to earn a college degree. LEARN 6 is an ethnically diverse K-8 elementary school located on Naval Station Great Lakes in Northern Chicago, IL. The DC Public Charter School Board approved LEARN DC to open a new school in 2020-21 on the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB), a Navy/Air Force base in Washington DC housing more than 1,200 school-aged children.

The Quality of Transition Instrument (QTI): A measure of academic and social-emotional wellbeing for transitioning students

Old Dominion University: Center for Educational Partnership

Shanan Chappell Moots, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor and Director for Research Analytics

This session will present the Quality of Transition Instrument (QTI), a brief, self-report measure of wellbeing for students experiencing school-to-school transition. Designed for use in schools with large populations of military-connected students, the QTI was developed and validated as a tool that educators can use to inform their decision-making when supporting those at risk of academic and social-emotional challenges due to mobility. Access to the QTI can empower school personnel by providing them with a measure of students’ perception of wellbeing upon transition and in response to programming.

Parent Involvement and the Military Connected Family

Dr. Austin Vasek, Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Program Coordinator for Master of Education in Educational Leadership

While the benefits of parent involvement in the educational process have been well documented (higher achievement, better attendance, more course credits earned, more responsible preparation for class), the deployment of military parents complicates the parent involvement process.  This presentation will provide information and strategies to support parent involvement and military-connected families.

Purple Star Schools

Virginia Department of Education

Mr. Dan Dunham, Military Student and Families Specialist. 

The Virginia Purple Star Designation is awarded by the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact On Educational Opportunity of Military Children to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military.  To be eligible schools must provide evidence that they meet the six criteria and as well as evidence of division-wide support for military-connected students and their families. 

Sesame Workshop: Sesame Street for Military Families

Speaker: Sabrina Huda, Project Director

For over a decade, Sesame Street for Military Families (SS4MF) has worked to support military children and families navigate times of separation and change through all their military milestones. We are thrilled to be back at MCEC to announce our new suite of resources launching this fall.  Visit us at the Sesame Street for Military Families (SS4MF) table for free Sesame resources and some extra surprises and giveaways you won’t want to miss!

The Coalition for College

Tim Groves, Director of Development & Partnerships

The Coalition for College is making college a reality for all students through MyCoalition, our set of free, online college-planning tools and application, that empowers students to learn about, prepare for, and make smart college choices.

The Common Application

Meredith Lombardi, Associate Director, Outreach and Education

The Common Application is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of more than 800 member colleges and universities in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, China, and many European countries.

Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic

SAFE Project

Stephanie Weaver, Senior Director of Special Projects & Strategic Partnerships
SAFE Project is a national nonprofit working through a collaborative multi-pronged and non-partisan approach to end the nation’s catastrophic addiction epidemic.

Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)

Peg Koetsch, Distance Learning Coordinator

Discover how to integrate American art into your classroom. Local and national programs for teachers offer year-long professional development opportunities, while students learn about American history through American art with engaging and reflective interactive tours and real-time video conferences.

Virginia529 | ABLEnow

Rebecca Lyons | Regional Marketing Associate

Virginia529 accounts help family’s nationwide plan and save for the cost of higher education through tax-advantaged 529 savings programs. Money saved grows tax free to use for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, room & board, books and more.    
accounts help individuals with disabilities nationwide save money to pay for qualified expenses, without being taxed on the earnings – and in most cases, without losing eligibility for certain means-tested benefit programs.

Young Audiences Arts for Learning Virginia

Anna Green, Chief Operations Officer

Young Audiences Arts for Learning Virginia is the leading provider of quality arts-in-education programming in Virginia. We offer an array of arts performances and workshops grounded in the core curriculum, residencies for children of all ages, and professional development in arts-integration techniques that improve students’ literacy skills, motivation to read, and ability to learn.

Established in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) is the nation's largest arts-in-education learning network, serving more than 5 million children and youth each year in more than 7,000 schools and community centers across the country. 

Reserve School Kit: a symbiotic tool

STARs Foundation
Margaret Cope, Col, USAF (Ret) and Dr. Cathy Luke
Program for deploying reservists to inform their children’s school system of the deployment and to enable educators to address various concerns related to the military child and family.
Attendees will:
•    increase understanding of the unique challenges that children of Reserve Component servicemen and women face due to multiple deployments; many attend schools where they may be the only military family,
•    develop awareness of school kit project informing schools of support needed for students before, during and after deployment of a parent,
•    gain access to STARs in Schools website (GR scan provided) designed connect target audience members with resources available (drawn heavily from Military Child Education Coalition and others) and
•    engage in strategies for partnering to meet mutual goals.

Meet KIBO – The playful, screen-free STEAM robot for Prek-2!

KinderLab Robotics
Mitch Rosenberg, CEO

In this presentation we will introduce the KIBO STEAM robot to those working with young learners.  This playful and fun robot kit, based on 20 years of research, is designed for young children aged 4-7 years old. With KIBO, children build, program, decorate and bring their own robot to life without requiring screen time! Learning with KIBO is fun, imaginative and easy. Your youngest learners will playfully discover STEAM concepts by coding with wooden building blocks, creating sequences, and learning design processes. 

KIBO curriculum supports social-emotional learning (SEL) by engaging young children in a learning environment that promotes working in teams, sharing resources, and communicating while working with their KIBO robots. In SEL-oriented KIBO projects, children can use robotics to tell stories about milestones in their lives and the relationships within their school and community.

Norfolk Collegiate Lower School

Jan Weintraub, M.S.Ed., School Counselor "

Come visit to learn how Independent Schools are addressing the unique needs of military-connected students!  Collegiate Lower School, an independent school located in Norfolk, Virginia, prides itself as offering “concierge services” to military students and their families. In addition, our military community is celebrated during special events throughout the school year. Our efforts have been recognized with the award of The Virginia Purple Star Designation. 

DoDEA Grantees

BRIGHT Initiative (Restorative Practices and Military Connected Student support in a Rocky Mountain School District)

Lea Holland, BRIGHT Project Manager, School District 49

 For the past 3 years, the BRIGHT Initiative in School District 49, Colorado Springs, Colorado has incorporated Restorative Practices and a Military Student Transition Consultant to explore additional Social-Emotional Learning needs of students.

Madison City Schools: Welcome to My House

Melissa Butler, SPARC Counselor

The Madison City School’s Expo table will include 2 rotating photo frames with slideshows depicting images of our School Climate program activities and competitions.  Each “House” in this program is assigned a color and a name.  Examples of our “Family” T-shirts, bracelets, and our revered rucksack will be available to view.  Our presenter is actively involved in the School Climate program at two of our elementary schools.

Operation Break the Code

Norfolk Public Schools

Angela de Mik, Senior Project Coordinator, Assessment, Research & Accountability, Project Director, DoDEA Grant

Operation: Break the Code introduces Computer Science in elementary classrooms and increases the level of social-emotional support available for military-connected students in Norfolk Public Schools. This grant prepares educators to address the challenges that military dependent students experience and support strategies that foster social-emotional wellbeing through counseling, peer support, and parent/community involvement to improve school climate. This project also introduces coding in elementary schools that are heavily populated by military dependent students to pilot the integration of computer science into the core curriculum at the elementary level.


Poquoson City Public Schools

Molly Riser, STEM Project Director, Instructional Trainer, and Teacher

Poquoson Schools serve a military-rich population of students. Both the Peninsula Council for Workplace Development and PCPS alumni feedback underscore the need to prepare graduates to be proficient in the 21st-century skills needed for college and career success. Students can ultimately develop these skills through enhanced and supported participation in STEM and PBL activities, which incorporate the Virginia Standards of Learning, and through increased access to instructional technology.