Presenters for Full-Day Intensive Sessions
Heather T. Forbes
Heather T. Forbes, LCSW is the owner of the Beyond Consequences Institute and the co-founder of the Codega Foundation. Forbes has worked in the field of trauma and healing since 1999. She is an internationally published author on the topics of raising children with difficult and severe behaviors, the impact of trauma on the developing child, adoptive motherhood, and self-development. Additionally, Forbes has a heart for children in the classroom and for finding ways to teach the child that seems “unteachable.” Her signature style is to bridge the gap between scientific research and real-life application to equip parents, educators, and therapists with practical and effective tools. Much of her experience and insight on understanding trauma, disruptive behaviors, and adoption-related issues comes from her direct mothering experience of her two adopted children.
Courtney Vollan Daikos
Courtney Vollan Daikos is an experienced urban educational leader with 18+ years of public school experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, K-12 administrator and as a consultant.
She served as an elementary interventionist in Chicago Public Schools, an instructional literacy coach in Seattle Public Schools and as a K-12 administrator for Highline Public Schools as system-level assistant director, high school assistant principal and elementary principal.
Courtney's passion for equitable growth of all students and adults has led to demonstrable change in the schools and systems she has served, including significant improvement for: reading; math; writing; language acquisition; science; social studies; and affective behaviors of students in culturally and economically diverse settings.
As lead consultant and co-found of Continua Consulting Group, Courtney supports school districts in successfully implementing the Trauma-Informed Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (T-MTSS) model. Additionally, in 2016-17, as a Partnership Director for Equal Opportunity Schools, Courtney supported 12 high schools in IL, WI and MD to increase enrollment of first time students of color and poverty in rigorous, college-bound coursework (AP and IB) by over 1,100 students.
Heather Wixom-Sweeney is an experienced urban educational leader with 17+ years of public school experience as a K-12 Special Education teacher and system-level program designer and coordinator. She provides extensive knowledge in the use of adult learning principles, integrating data-based practices, implementation of technology systems, and professional development(PD) design and delivery.
She led cross-departmental collaborative work throughout the Seattle Public School District (SPS), a large urban public-school district. On the design team for the SPS MTSS framework, Heather directly supports principals and teacher leaders with understanding the framework and developing their professional learning plan for staff.
Heather brings experience in the design, coordination, and delivery of implementing a system-wide data portal supporting technical and adaptive learning needs from the classroom to central office. She designed and lead the PD plan of a new data system for over 6,000 teachers and administrators in SPS.
Heather led a teacher leader program in SPS that has grown from 29 teachers in 15 schools to 300+ teachers in 100 schools in addition to 30+ central office level positions. In this role, she has developed infrastructure to streamline hiring, stipend activation, and data collection and analysis. She developed a PD continuum to develop distributive leadership directly aligned to both district level initiatives and building-based needs.
Heather’s passion is to increase equity in education through developing adult skills in collaboration and data-driven practice. Heather’s efforts to develop, refine, and strengthen the use of professional time have led to significant improvement for adult relationships and student outcomes.
Chris Cronas is an experienced urban educational leader with close to 20 years of public and private school experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and K-12 administrator. He has served as a middle school teacher, curriculum and instruction coach, and district leader. He has facilitated professional development conferences on the local, national and international levels.
Chris has been a principal in Seattle Public Schools for the last 8 years. He was named Seattle Schools Principal of the Year in 2017 while also serving as president of the Principal Association. Chris' leadership in both high and low performing schools has resulted in sustainable gains in reading, math, writing, language acquisition, and science. His leadership also brought about positive changes in affective behaviors of students in culturally and economically diverse settings.
Friday Keynote Presenter
Dr. Clay Cook
Dr. Clay Cook is the John and Nancy Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing at the University of Minnesota and Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program. He has extensive research and practical experiences involving the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support to promote children’s mental and behavioral health. He co-founded the School Mental Health Assessment, Research and Training (SMART) Center at the University of Washington and is a core faculty member who helps direct the Institute of Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health at the University of Minnesota. He has received over 8.5 million dollars in external grant funding from multiple agencies and foundations. In addition to his research, he consults with several school systems throughout the US to integrate a continuum of social, emotional, and behavioral supports to enhance student academic and life success.