2017 Educators' Summer Summit Logo

2017 NH Educators’ Summer Summit

August 2-4, 2017


NH State Department of Education

UNH College of Liberal Arts, Department of Education

In collaboration with

UNH Cooperative Extension

UNH Professional Development & Training

About the Conference

The New Hampshire Educators’ Summer Summit is an annual event where school teams convene for three days to engage in professional development with national and local experts. Now in its sixth year, the NH Statewide Summer Summit seeks to transform education through community involvement and evidence-based reform practices. Through scholarship and mentorship in effective skills, strategies, and practices to implement with students, the Summit gives local practitioners power to transform education and provides technical assistance for sustainability. School-based teams develop and submit an innovation plan, based on gaps in performance data, as a prerequisite to attendance. Throughout the year, on-site facilitation, tri-annual reviews, and quarterly meetings to build capacity for change support implementation of activities to achieve identified outcomes.

UNH will host over 500 participants as members of New Hampshire school-based teams at the conference. Daily opportunities for keynote presentations, team meetings, and facilitator interaction are vital components of the program. Participants will choose from one of several strands in multiple breakout sessions.

The UNH Education Department is pleased to cosponsor the Summit with the NH Department. of Education. For 100 years, UNH has prepared teachers and educational leaders through research and collaborative partnerships to advance practice.

View the Daily Schedule

Registration and Cancellation Information

Registration is by invitation only.

Complete the web form, "Request More Information," to receive registration information.
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The UNH Department of Education Programs for Educators. LEARN MORE

Contact the Ed Summit Organizers

Email: ed.summit@unh.edu
Phone: 603-431-0214

What You Will Learn


2017 NH Educators’ Summer Summit

Keynote Speakers

Jamie R. Vollmer, J.D.

Welcome to the Great Conversation: Building public support for public schools one community at a time.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jamie VollmerThe keynote builds on themes presented Vollmer’s book, "School Cannot Do It Alone," proclaimed by the American School Board Journal as “One of the top ten books of the year.”

Jamie reviews his transformation from public education critic to ally by retelling the popular "Blueberry Story." He talks about his life-changing experiences working as a teacher’s aide. He discusses his discovery of "Nostesia" – the mental affliction that locks Americans in old notions of “real school.” He uses what he calls his “magic list” to expose the public’s lack of understanding of the mandates that have been placed upon America’s public schools. The audience learns how they can connect the dots and make the case that everyone in the community benefits when they support their local schools.

At each stage, Jamie employs humor, logic, and statistics to encourage teachers, support staff, administrators, and board members to build a new conversation that increases community support for their schools. He concludes with an inspiring story that makes it clear that the people working in our schools are heroes, and this is public education’s most hopeful time.

Jamie Vollmer is an award-winning advocate of public education. He has worked for the past twenty-five years to help schools and their communities remove the obstacles to student learning, both in and out of school. His goal is to uplift his audiences and praise their success while showing them that they have the power to create a community-wide climate that supports rising student achievement.

James Rickabaugh, Ph.D.

All Learning is Personal: Designing School with the Learner in Mind

Thursday, August 3, 2017

James RickabaughWe have within our reach what could be the greatest era of learning since the creation of the common school. However, we must act with courage, thoughtfulness, intelligence and commitment to transform the opportunities before us into rich experiences for our learners. We can no longer rely on the industrial age school design to meet this challenge. The future of today’s learners will be far different from what their parents and grandparents faced. Our challenge is to nurture in our learners the skills, knowledge and experiences necessary to prepare them for success in an era of learning and innovation. The new design must feature more flexible, personal and purposeful learning experiences. This keynote will explore the forces driving the movement, key elements of this personalized approach and how a growing number of educators, leaders and schools are transforming learning with their students.

Dr. Jim Rickabaugh serves as the Senior Advisor to the Institute for Personalized Learning, an education innovation lab dedicated to the transformation of public education. Jim formerly served as the Director of the Institute for six years and as a superintendent in several districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dr. Rickabaugh was Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year in 2008 and Minnesota Superintendent of the Year in 1996. Dr. Rickabaugh is the author of "Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning: A Roadmap for School Leaders," focused on helping principals and other educational leaders to engage their staffs in designing and implementing personalized learning ecosystems.

Daniel Willingham, Ph.D.

Critical Thinking for Educators: Is it Really “Research-based?”

Friday, August 4, 2017

Few phrases in education are as pervasive (and as justifiably mistrusted) as “It’s research-based.” Educators are expected to evaluate the research base of practice and products even though their training of most educators emphasizes practice, not research. In this talk Dr. Willingham will use theories of learning styles and multiple intelligences as illustrations of how research can be abused and misinterpreted, but the bulk of the talk will focus on ways that people with little background in research can evaluate the soundness of a research claim. In particular, Dr. Willingham will emphasize the ways to clarify research claims, to evaluate evidence, and to maintain a scientific mindset when you try something new.

Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is the author of "Why Don't Students Like School?" "When Can You Trust the Experts?" "Raising Kids Who Read," and "The Reading Mind" (forthcoming). His writing on education has appeared in fourteen languages. In 2017 he was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Member of the National Board for Education Sciences.

Plus Eight Strands, with Multiple Breakout Sessions

  • 21st Century After School Programs
  • Assessment Literacy: Understanding and Using Data
  • Early Childhood
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Innovative Teaching Practices
  • Performance Assessment for Competency Education
  • Personalization/Student Engagement
  • Student Wellness

Pre-register and chose the sessions you wish to attend!

Download a brochure and register online.


Travel & Site Information


2017 NH Educators’ Summer Summit

University of New Hampshire, Durham Campus

Conference Check-in

Memorial Union Building (MUB), Granite State Room
83 Main Street, Durham, NH

Please arrive thirty minutes early to allow time for parking and transportation to the MUB.

Breakout Session Locations

Classroom Buildings on Campus:
Memorial Union Building, Holloway Commons, Murkland Hall,
and Paul College of Business Education. Other sites may be added if required.

Participants should anticipate walking between buildings on campus between sessions.
Download a campus walking map.

Parking and Transportation

Download a map for UNH parking and accessibility.

Participant Parking

Parking fees are included in your registration. Participants will park in Lot A which will be serviced by extended service of the Wildcat Service Connector which will operate from in front of the Visitor Center. Pick-up in front of the UNH Visitor Parking and Transit Center and drop off in front of the MUB at the Holloway/Main Street Stop.

Wildcat Connector Bus Service for the Ed Summit (Lot A-From Visitor Services Center to Holloway Commons stop at the Memorial Union Building on Main Street)

  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Morning - 6:30 - 8:30 am
  • Wednesday and Thursday Evening - 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday Afternoon - 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Extended Service buses during the hours list above for the Ed Summit are marked "Special" and will have signage. Pick up at the Visitor Center - Lot A.

    Regular service Wildcat Connector buses run every 20 minutes between 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Regular service Wildcat Connector picks up at the Field House up the stairs from Lot A. or ask for assistance at the Visitor Center.
    You may take either bus service. Buses are wheelchair accessible.

Handicap parking for individuals with the handicap parking permits may park without paying a meter on the UNH Campus. Handicap spots are located at:

  • MUB in the circular drive leading to the MUB off of Main Street,
  • Paul College on Garrison Avenue, &
  • the Thompson Hall Lot.

Individuals without a handicap permit needing accommodations should call the UNH Visitor Parking and Transit Center at 603-862-1010 to make special arrangements.

Speakers Parking

Speakers will receive parking instructions and a code to pay UNH kiosks via email.


Breakfast and lunch are provided each day. Afternoon snacks and drinks will be provided on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

A continental breakfast with coffee is provided each morning outside of the Granite State Room in the MUB.

Your nametag is your pass to lunch on Wednesday and Thursday in Holloway Commons Dining Hall attached to the MUB.
Holloway Commons provides a wide selection of food options and caters to all dietary restrictions.

Lunch on Friday will be a box lunch provided outside of the Granite State Room.

Dinner is on your own in Durham or you may want to explore nearby towns of Portsmouth and Dover.

We encourage you save on waste and BRING your own water bottle to fill at ELKAY filtered water dispensers throughout campus.

On-campus Housing

Moderately priced housing in conveniently located dormatories are available for those who wish to stay overnight in Durham.

Download housing information and registration forms.

Housing Contact:
UNH Conferences & Catering


The University of New Hampshire is committed to creating inclusive and welcoming campuses for individuals with disability. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the NH Educators’ Summer Summit, please contact us by July 2 to make arrangements.

Phone: 603-431-0214


Tools & Materials


2017 NH Educators’ Summer Summit


Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer, iPad or tablet.


Digital speaker materials will be made available online through 2Revolutions on the NH Network Platform.

Participants may sign up in advance on the NH  Network Platform by contacting 2Revolutions.

Speakers should contact 2Revolutions to upload presentations and materials by July 18, 2017.

Email: rachel@2revolutions.net
For More Information: NH Network Ed Summit 2017


Information available soon.

WiFi Access

Issues concerning the Wi-Fi connection should be directed to the UNH IT help desk.

UNH IT phone: 603-862-4242 or 2-4242 from a campus phone.

General network access is available to guests of the University via both wired and wireless connections.  There are limitations to where wired connections are available, and not all wired connections will allow for guest access.

To register on UNH Wireless as a Guest:

  1. Connect to the UNH Public wireless network
  2. Go to wifi.unh.edu
  3. Check the box next to I agree to the Acceptable Use Policy.
  4. Click the Start button
  5. Click the Guests button
  6. Enter the required information:
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
    1. Click Continue
    2. Wait 2-3 minutes for your registration to complete.

An illustrated version of these instructions may be found here.

Guest users are required to abide by the University’s “Acceptable Use Policy” located in the On-Line Policy Manual.


Instructor Bios


2017 NH Educators’ Summer Summit

  • Donna Arias, CPS

    From running homeless shelters to coordinating public health/prevention infrastructure to Donna's current position is directing the state-wide roll out of Life of an Athlete for the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association. Donna has worked to improve the world around her throughout her career. As the President of the New Hampshire Prevention Certification Board, a Rotarian, and a former member of numerous local and state-wide boards and work committees, Donna is always looking for a more collaborative and efficient way to accomplish community improvements.

  • Sarah Bond, M.S.

    Sarah Bond is a teacher at Maple Street Magnet School, the first and only magnet school in the State of New Hampshire. Sarah has a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Development, a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, and a B.A. in Psychology. Prior to the Magnet School, Sarah taught for two years at the UNH Child Study and Development Center, working with young children and mentoring University student interns. Most recently, Sarah has been an active member of the NHLI Innovation Studio Series and serves as a team leader for the NG2: Personalized Inclusive Education Pathways Project.

  • Peter Durso, M.Ed.

    Education Consultant
    Project Director, E3 Teen Fatherhood Program
    Education Consultant for the New Hampshire Department of Education

    Peter holds a graduate degree in the areas of Special Education and Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas and a graduate degree in School Administration and Supervision from Notre Dame College, Manchester, NH.  A former elementary classroom teacher and elementary school principal for 35 years, Peter has been involved with various committees such as the New Hampshire Association of School Principal Association and an annual planning member for the Association of School Curriculum and Development (ASCD) as well as the New Hampshire State Representative for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).  Currently, Peter manages the E3 Teen Fatherhood Program. The program is a five year grant through the US Department of Health and Human Services to target teen dads between the ages of 14-24 for services in education, employment and parent engagement.

  • Richard Feistman, Ph.D.

    Senior Research Associate, Center for Collaborative Education

    Richard is an educational leader and mixed-methods researcher with expertise in program evaluation, data management, statistics, and family science. Working at the national, state, and local level, he has lead, evaluated, and published on several projects in the realms of school improvement, family and community engagement, family-life education, employment and engagement of teen fathers, and Title I related school programming. Richard’s work is informed by his experience as a teacher and consultant within the New Hampshire Department of Education, the New York City public schools, and University of Missouri Extension. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University, an M.A. in Social Studies Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Family Studies from the University of Missouri.

  • Dan Habib, Project Director and Filmmaker

    Dan Habib is the creator of the award-winning documentary films Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, Mr. Connolly Has ALS, and many other short films on disability-related topics. Habib is a filmmaker and project director at the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability.

  • Percy Hill, , M.Ed.

    Educational Consultant

    Percy Hill is known for his engaging, active and fun workshops on a variety of educational topics from bully prevention to teaching kindness and respect to team building and problem solving challenges. Percy has received numerous awards, locally and Nationally, for his work in education; inspiring youth to reach greater potentials for self and community. Participants in his workshops always leave with a full toolbox of activities and ideas to enhance their classrooms and school communities.

  • Mary Hill


    Grinnell Elementary School has embraced the use of interim assessments as a tool for turn-around educational practice. The school works with the Department of Education on the implementation of innovative strategies such as the implementation of interim assessments and the use of student data for instructional goal setting.

  • Jill Lizier, M.Ed.

    Jill Lizier is the Curriculum Coordinator at Swasey Central School in Brentwood, NH. Jill was previously a first grade teacher in Newton, NH and has developed and utilized quality performance assessments to assess competency. Jill has presented at local conferences on academic competencies and essential skills and dispositions. Jill may be followed on Twitter:@JillLizier

  • Susan Lyons, Ph.D.

    Associate, National Center for The Improvement of Educational Assessment

    Susan Lyons, Ph.D. is an associate with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment. Dr. Lyons’ work currently centers on promoting and evaluating the quality of assessments and accountability systems. Susan is deeply involved with the New Hampshire Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE) project where she leads on the design and analysis to support the technical quality of the innovative assessment system. In addition to her work at the Center for Assessment, Dr. Lyons currently holds a part-time faculty appointment at Boston College where she teaches an advanced, doctoral-level statistics course. Dr. Lyons actively publishes her work and frequently presents at local and national professional conferences.

  • Kimberly Meyer, J.D.

    NHAN Leadership Team Member

    Kimberly Meyer, J.D., currently works as a Vice President & Business Development Officer for the Bank of New Hampshire; a mutual bank dedicated to serving the needs of NH customers, colleagues, and the community.  For over six years, Kimberly was the Director of Community Operations for the Southern District YMCA where she was fortunate to serve over 500 children and families each day across 16 school age child care programs in the NH seacoast.  She is passionate about improving program quality, building healthier program environments, and increasing professional opportunities in the school age child care field.  She enjoys training on these topics throughout the state. Kimberly also consults on areas including nonprofit board development, corporate governance, employee relations, strategic planning, program quality improvement, and fundraising. She has a legal background and is an active member of the Michigan Bar Association. Kimberly appreciates the NH landscape by mountain biking, skiing, and hiking with her family.

  • Mid-Atlantic Equity Center

    MAEC is an education non-profit dedicated to increasing access to a high quality education for culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse learners. MAEC has proudly been the home of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Center since 1978. In its role as the Center, MAEC has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Education, the Office for Civil Rights, the Department of Justice, state departments of education, districts, and schools to ensure that students are treated equitably and are given access to a rigorous curriculum regardless of race, gender, national origin (English Language Learners), sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. The Center work has led us to work on issues such as the identification and placement of English Learners in supportive and appropriate instructional environments; creating positive and safe schools; increasing participation of girls and students of color in STEM, and addressing disproportionality in discipline.

  • Maeve Murry

    Maeve Murray is the Project Manager overseeing the Fuse RI Fellowship at Highlander Institute. Before starting at the Institute, Maeve was a founding high school math and special education teacher at Village Green Virtual Charter School in downtown Providence. She has also previously worked as an education policy fellow for the RI Governor’s Office, and taught English as a Second Language and American literature through the Fulbright Bulgaria program. She lives in Providence, RI.

  • Rick Nannicelli, M.Ed.

    Education Consultant

    Rick Nannicelli has served several school districts in New Hampshire and Maine as a school leader for the past thirty years. He has been both a principal and Director of Special Education. He was named NH Middle School Principal of the Year in 1997 and has mentored aspiring principals via the Keene State College Principal Residency Network since that time.  Prior to becoming a school administrator, Rick worked as a special educator with students with behavioral and emotional disabilities. He directed a private, day treatment facility serving at-risk students and adjudicated youth whereby he discovered his passion and interest in behavior management and school culture.  He provides school and classroom coaching on these topics and is ever willing to share his expertise with colleagues. Currently, Rick works as an educational consultant with SERESC and is an adjunct faculty lecturer for Keene State College.

  • Stacey Purslow

    Stacey Purslow is the Program Coordinator for the NH Farm to School Program. She started the position in June 2009. Stacey holds a culinary degree, a BFA in photography from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, a degree in nutrition and dietetics from UNH's Thompson School. Stacey has spent many years in the food service industry, most recently with the Headstart program in Strafford County, and before that as a restaurant owner. She originally hails from New Jersey and has been living in New Hampshire for eleven years.

  • Alison Roberts, CAGS

    Alison Roberts is long-time NH public school leader. She currently serves as the Assistant Principal at the Strafford School where she also leads the Special Education and Data Teams and directs all professional development. In addition, Alison is an Ed.D. student at Plymouth State University where studying the Principal - Assistant Principal Mentor Partnership.

  • Adam Rubin, M.P.A.

    Adam Rubin is Founder & Partner with 2Revolutions. Prior to co-founding 2Revolutions in 2008, Adam spent over two decades catalyzing change through the design and launch of social enterprises across the education and community development sectors. He graduated with a B.A. in Government/Race Relations from Colby College and holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

  • Jonathan Santos Silva

    Jonathan Santos Silva is the project manager for Fuse Architect, an Institute initiative to launch 7 student-centered learning pilots at Rhode Island high schools. Jonathan is passionate about applying student-centered design thinking to build schools that work for students of all backgrounds and abilities. Prior to joining the Institute, Jonathan taught secondary math on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota and then founded a blended learning high school in RI. He lives in Providence with his wife and children.

  • Amanda Tozier, M.Ed.

    Amanda Tozier has been an elementary school teacher since 2003, teaching multiple grade levels spanning second to fifth grade in the Sanborn School District. She earned her B.S in Elementary Education from Keene State College in 2002 along with completing a minor in dance. Additionally, she earned a M.Ed in Creative Arts and Learning from Lesley University in 2006. Amanda has developed and utilized quality performance assessments (QPAs) to assess competency. She  has presented at local conferences on academic competencies, as well as UNH at a previous summer summit. Amanda also continues to serve as a representative for developing QPAs for the state of New Hampshire's growing bank of performance based assessments for PACE. In her spare time, Amanda is typically spending time with her family or teaching yoga to toddlers to teens at a local studio.

  • Jonathan G. Vander Els, Ed.S.

    Jonathan G. Vander Els, Ed.S., is the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI), a foundation created to serve as a catalyst for innovation in education in New Hampshire. NHLI supports the scaling of a fully integrated, personalized, and competency-based PreK-20 system in the state.

    Jonathan was formerly the principal of Memorial Elementary School in the Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire. Under his leadership, Memorial Elementary School has became a nationally recognized model professional learning community and competency-based learning environment.

    Jonathan has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences on PLCs, competency-based education, teacher leadership, and assessment. He is actively involved in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) initiative and leads the State of New Hampshire’s effort to integrate skills and dispositions into curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

    Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in elementary education, and a specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of New Hampshire. He holds elementary education, principal, and superintendent certification in New Hampshire.

  • Jamie R. Vollmer

    Jamie Vollmer is president of Vollmer, Inc., a public education advocacy firm working to increase student success by raising public support for America’s schools. Over the last twenty-eight years he has worked with educators, parents, and community leaders to remove the obstacles to student success.

    Jamie is the author of the highly acclaimed book," Schools Cannot Do It Alone," proclaimed by the American School Board Journal as one of the top ten books of the year. In addition to his book and numerous articles, Mr. Vollmer has written and produced the videos, "The Ever Increasing Burden on America’s Public schools, Why Our Schools Need to Change," and "Teachers are Heroes." He is also the writer and producer of the ground-breaking video series, The Great Conversation. Jamie Vollmer has been named a Friend of Public Education in both Texas and Ohio, and he also received the Learning and Liberty award from the National School Public Relations Association for his efforts to build understanding and trust in America’s public schools.

  • Nancy Wells

    Nancy Wells, MS RN NCSN, is the School Nursing Coordinator in the Office of Student Wellness at the NH Department of Education.  Wells, a nationally certified school nurse and former clinical assistant professor at UNH, supports the areas of student wellness, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, parental education, school health policy and staff development.

  • Cheri White

    Cheri is the Administrator of the Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services t the NH Department of Education.

  • Cassie Yackley

    Cassie Yackley

    Cassie Yackley, Psy.D., has spent more than 25 years committed to understanding and effectively addressing the impact of societal oppression (and poverty) and adverse childhood experiences (including trauma) on children, caregivers/families, and systems.  She believes that people are more than their symptoms, which are our body's (and mind's) way of dealing with overwhelming adversity.  People do the best they can, given their circumstances.  Relational safety, compassion, opportunities for reflection, and empowerment allow us to transcend traumatic experiences.  Cassie has collaborated with individuals, providers, and agencies across the child-serving systems to employ this approach.

    Cassie brings together recent discoveries from developmental neuroscience, attachment, and reflective practice to help audiences learn how a focus on our relationships and awareness of our reactions leads to better working environments and outcomes for both staff and the consumers they serve. Cassie’s projects have included: Partners for Change, working with NH Child Protective Services and Juvenile Justice to both actualize their commitment to trauma-informed care and more effectively coordinating efforts across systems; Safe Schools, Healthy Students, providing training in trauma-informed practices for five major NH school systems; Growing Healthy Families, developing sustainable capacity for ongoing training of NH mental health providers in Child Parent Psychotherapy one of the few evidenced-based treatments for children six and under and their caregivers; Trauma-Informed Early Childhood Services, Pre-school Technical Assistance Network, & State Systemic Improvement Plan, where she is developing a sustainable network of training and support for early-childhood care providers and pre-school teachers and staff. She has developed training and provided consultation with organizations and systems making the shift to a reflective, trauma-informed stance including NH DCYF, NH Hospital, Crotched Mountain Rehabilitative Center, and several schools and school districts. Yackley served 10 years as Director and Chief Psychologist for an APA-accredited doctoral intern program and continues to tremendously enjoy teaching and supervising growth-minded professionals.

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