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We’re shining light on education’s most important issues.

All attendees will also receive access to view the conference content on demand.


  • Social-emotional learning
  • Trauma-informed instruction
  • MTSS


US Capitol
  • Latest legal updates
  • ESSER Funding


Virtual Learning
  • Student & educator wellness
  • Optimized virtual education
  • Adapting to the “new normal”

Hear from some of education’s most influential thought leaders.

Day 1

David Adams

David Adams, M.ED.

Social-Emotional Learning and Teacher Wellbeing in the Context of School Reopening

This session will explore how the Social-Emotional development of teachers can both support their wellbeing in the context of reopening while also contributing to increased academic outcomes for students.

David is the Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Assembly. He started with the UA in 2014 as the Director of Social-Emotional Learning, where he created the Resilient Scholars Program (RSP), a unique approach to integrating SEL into curriculum and classroom practices across the UA network. RSP has grown into a national program, serving schools and districts in Los Angeles, Houston, Syracuse, and other cities. As the Senior Director of Strategy, David led the expansion of the organization into a model provider of school support, with an emphasis on innovation and equity in public education. In 2021, David received the Champion of Equity Award from the American Consortium for Equity in Education. David sits on the board of CASEL and is an author of The Educator’s Practical Guide to Emotional Intelligence, and a co-author of the textbook, Challenges to Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs in Organizations. He is a Civil Affairs Officer in the Army Reserve and holds an M.Ed in Educational Psychology from Fordham University.

Myrna Mandlawitz

Myrna Mandlawitz, M.ED, Esq.

Policy and Politics: Musings on Washington, DC

As a long time DC advocate, Myrna has deep knowledge and a historical perspective on federal education policy and funding. She will offer her observations on current congressional action, as well as what’s happening at the U.S. Department of Education and Supreme Court. Myrna will also provide some insights into the intersection of policy and politics in the current Congress, with an eye toward the 2022 election season. Hopefully participants will come away with lots of good up-to-the-minute information, but also enjoy a few laughs along the way!

As president of MRM Associates, LLC, Myrna serves as the policy and legislative consultant to the Council of Administrators of Special Education. She has worked in Washington for close to 30 years as a consultant/lobbyist on special and general education law and policy. Myrna is a former president of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of over 100 national organizations focused on increasing the federal investment in education, and also serves as a co-chair of the National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel. Her first position in Washington was as Director of Government Relations for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. A native of Virginia, Myrna spent fourteen years as a classroom teacher and assisted in the development of Virginia’s program for infants and toddlers with disabilities. She holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston University and a law degree from Temple University.

John Kelly

John Kelly, Ph.D School Psychologist

The Provision of School-based Mental Health Services within a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Framework

Administrators and educators are becoming acutely aware of the mental health needs of students and the impact that these issues have on learning and students’ ability to thrive in school. However, the good news is that schools are uniquely positioned to facilitate the development, delivery, and monitoring of prompt, effective, and culturally responsive mental and behavioral health services,on a preventive and intervention basis. When implemented in schools, these services not only address mental health needs, but also improve school climate, behavioral adjustment of students, and individual achievement in the classroom. This presentation will introduce the participants to a Multi-tiered Systems of Support framework for providing mental health services in schools. Specific intervention strategies and the role of the school-based mental health professionals and other educators in implementing these strategies will be discussed.

Dr. John Kelly is a school psychologist in the Commack School District and an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University in the School Psychology program. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University.  Dr. Kelly has publications and book chapters and presented at numerous national and international conferences on topics that include mental and behavioral health services for children, advocacy training for school psychologists, legislative issues related to education and children, leadership development, violence and bullying prevention, and suicide awareness. Dr. Kelly is on the Executive Board of the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP) and is a Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Dr. Kelly has received numerous state and national awards, including the NYS School Practitioner of the Year in 2001 and the NASP School Psychologist of the Year in 2003.

Piper Riddle

Piper Riddle, Ed.S.

Pivoting From a Pandemic: Prioritizing Positive Practices and People

Never has there been another time in history where most educators around the world jumped into action to reinvent how classrooms and schools function. Using current research of what constitutes best practices, we will discuss ideas and insights from practicing educators as we reflect on what practices and priorities we will want to move forward with in all educational settings. We will explore relational pedagogies that support cultural responsiveness and social-emotional development to have a positive effect on student achievement, regardless of the setting or learning environment.  Let’s revisit and revive effective teaching and learning practices in this “new normal”.

A learner first, leader second — that’s how Piper Riddle would describe her approach to leadership. Piper is in her 9th year as an elementary school principal and her 24th year in education. She has also served as a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, a curriculum specialist, an instructional PD facilitator, and an adjunct professor. Piper is passionate about student-centered learning, evidence based instruction, and restorative practices. Piper’s favorite role is that of student. She has an Ed.S. from Utah State U, a M.Ed. from Southern Utah U, Endorsements in Reading, Math, Leadership, and Curriculum, and is a diehard fan of her alma mater — Boise State U, where she first received her Elementary Ed. degree.

Sheldon Berman

Sheldon Berman, Ph.D.

Overcoming the Implementation Roadblocks to SEL

As with many initiatives in education, the road to systemic implementation of SEL is embarked upon with good intentions—and then the obstacles come into view around the bend. This session will help participants create a roadmap to implementation knowing where the obstacles, ruts, and roadblocks may lie so that strategies can be put in place to effectively avoid or work through them.

Dr. Sheldon Berman was appointed AASA’s Lead Superintendent for Social-Emotional Learning after serving 28 years as a superintendent in four districts—Hudson, MA; Jefferson County (Louisville), KY; Eugene, OR; and Andover, MA. In each of the districts in which he served as superintendent, he implemented systemic SEL programs.  Dr. Berman has also provided national leadership in multiple organizations that champion SEL and has authored numerous articles and books on SEL topics. He was a member of the Council of Distinguished Educators of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and served as the primary author of the Commission’s report on social, emotional, and academic development practice.  Dr. Berman served as the President of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and has been a policy leader in three states in the areas of education reform policy, social-emotional learning, civic education, special education, universal design for learning, and education funding. He received the 2003 Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year Award, the 2011 Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education, recognition in 2011 by the American Association of School Administrators as one of ten courageous superintendents for providing leadership for school desegregation, and the Mary Utne O’Brien Award for Excellence in Expanding the Evidence-Based Practice of Social Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) for lifetime achievement in implementing social-emotional learning in 2020.

Phyllis Wolfram

Phyllis Wolfram

Upward & Onward: Taking Care of Our Students in a Changing World

Phyllis Wolfram is the Executive Director for CASE, the Council of Administrators of Special Education and resides in Springfield, Missouri. She has worked in public education for 37 years. Phyllis’ administrative experience spans 29 years in the field of special education administration. She has been a local special education director in three different districts ranging in size from a small rural district to the largest urban district in the state of Missouri. She has experience in the area of gifted education, Section 504, ELL and early childhood education. Phyllis served as the President of CASE from July 2018 to March 2020, and now acts as its Executive Director. She also served as the chair of the CASE Policy & Legislation Committee, CASE Ad Hoc Committee on IDEA Reauthorization, as a member of the CASE Task Force; Design for the Future, and also a member of the Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children and the CEC IDEA Reauthorization Workgroup.

Day 2

Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach

Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach

Strategies to Support Student and Educator Wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront the importance of prioritizing students’ social-emotional learning and mental and behavioral health. It has also raised the importance of supporting educator wellness. This session will highlight key components of a comprehensive mental and behavioral health service delivery system; describe the elements of an effective school-community partnership, and highlight key practices schools can implement on day one that promote student and staff wellness.

Dr. Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and is currently the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Strobach consults with, advises, and collaborates with members of Congress, the Department of Education, and other key federal partners and national organizations to advance the availability of comprehensive school psychological services, promote safe schools, promote comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services, address the shortages in school psychology, and other education related issues. Dr. Strobach has developed, authored, and coauthored numerous articles and resources, including NASP’s Framework for Safe and Successful Schools and has presented nationally on issues related to school safety, school mental health, effective discipline policies, and the relationship between education policy and school practices.

Eric Rossen

Eric Rossen, Ph.D, NCSP

8 Practices of Compassionate, Trauma-Informed Schools

Adverse and traumatic experiences are pervasive among our students. These experiences can undermine the ability to learn, form relationships, manage feelings and behavior, and thrive in school. As districts increasingly recognize the impact of stress, adversity, and trauma on students, schools must now consider how to implement these trauma-informed approaches within their unique contexts. This session will provide a brief framework for understanding trauma, and identify 8 trauma-informed practices that all educators can apply in their interactions with students and families.

Eric Rossen, Ph.D., NCSP is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, a licensed psychologist in Maryland, and a credentialed National Register Health Service psychologist. He currently serves as the director of professional development and standards for the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Rossen has worked in public schools and in independent practice, and has served as a college instructor and adjunct faculty. Dr. Rossen has presented across the US and internationally, and published dozens of articles and book chapters related to school psychology, school safety, and trauma. He is most recently the editor of Supporting and Educating Traumatized Students: A Guide for School-Based Professionals, 2nd Edition; and co-author of Apply a Trauma-Informed Framework to the IEP Process: From Referral to Development. You can follow him on Twitter @E_Rossen, and visit his website at

Rodney Robinson

Rodney Robinson, 2019 Teacher of the Year

Creating an Equitable Environment to Promote Success for All Students

Teachers will examine their pedagogy and receive tips on how to
emphasize equity in their classroom to improve student achievement.  Teachers will analyze their
own bias and how it affects equity in the classroom. Teachers will leave with a new sense of how
to create more equitable outcomes in their classroom.

Rodney is a 21-year education veteran working with marginalized black and brown communities in Richmond, Virginia. He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments in and out of the classroom, most notably the 2019 National Teacher of the Year. He has worked with Pulitzer-winning author James Foreman to develop curriculum units on race, class, and punishment as a part of the Yale Teachers Institute. His current role is as a senior policy advisor with Richmond Public Schools in charge of Teacher Pathways and leadership. He has a specific focus on the RVA Men Teach Program to recruit and retain male teachers of color in Richmond Public Schools.

Andrew Manna

Andrew Manna, Esq.

IDEA Special Education Committee Report: An Update on Post Pandemic Services along with IDEA Reauthorization Recommendations

Throughout the spring and summer of 2020 and also into 2021, Mr. Manna presented to the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys (COSA) on programming for special education needs during a pandemic. Additional case updates throughout the country along with conversations with OSEP will be presented during this update. Mr. Manna will report on the IDEA Special Education Committee’s work and recommendations.

Andrew represents clients in matters associated with labor and employment law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other matters. He engages in the defense of school corporations against claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), First Amendment and other constitutional and civil rights law matters. He also represents schools with respect to general school policy review. Andrew graduated from Eastern Illinois University. Prior to becoming an attorney, he taught social studies in both rural and urban districts. While at the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis, he participated in Moot Court and worked as an intern in the Office of the Governor on education policy. Andrew is a frequent speaker at both the state and national levels. Presentation topics include: What is a Reasonable Accommodation?; Designing an Effective Program; What is FAPE? What is LRE?; Student Litigation and Discovery; Successful Autism (and Other) Programming; Section 504; Understanding the Role of Special Education: From Mental Health & Beyond; What’s Up at the Workplace Watercooler: Employee Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Challenges to Evaluation and Firing Decisions; and The Law on Questioning & Searching Students. He is a member of the National School Board Association’s Council of School Attorneys. Outside of the practice of law, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, running, and watching football.

Jeremy Glauser

Jeremy Glauser

Visualize and Embrace the Future

Jeremy Glauser is the founder and CEO of eLuma Online Therapy. He earned a Bachelor of Arts for both Linguistics and Business Management from Brigham Young University, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors along with a certification of native proficiency for the Spanish language. With his entrepreneurial spirit, passion for linguistics, and a desire to make a difference, he has been involved in multiple ventures to provide relief to individuals struggling with speech and communication disorders. eLuma represents his most recent success where he has built the company into one the nation’s leading online providers for speech, occupational therapy, school psychology, assessment and mental health services. To date, the company has provided over 400,000 hours of therapy services to over 21,000 individuals and K12 schools and districts all over the United States — and continues to grow at a rapid pace. Not one to rest on accomplishment, Glauser remains committed to finding new ways to make essential therapies better, more affordable and easy to access.

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