Keynotes and Speakers 2018

Jim Sporleder

We’re excited that Jim is presenting the opening keynote for Bridging to Resilience. He comes to Kansas City with a deep background in building trauma informed schools and speaking.

Jim retired in 2014 as Principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA. Under Jim’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates, and the number of students going on to post-secondary education.

These dramatic changes at Lincoln caught the attention of Jamie Redford, who spent a year filming the documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the story of Lincoln High School and the changes that Jim helped to facilitate. The documentary was released at the May 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and received positive reviews.

Get more information about Paper Tigers as well as Jim’s book titled The Trauma Informed School. Jim is currently working as a trauma-informed coach / consultant as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, based in Walla Walla. His travels as a consultant, keynote speaker, presenter and trainer have taken him all over the United States.

Ginger Lewman recently sat down with Jim and the two chatted about how Jim began to realize that things in his school needed to change. Watch the video in the Speaker Spotlight section.

Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz

Rebecca is presenting Thursday’s opening keynote. At age 37, she was living with her three little boys in a trailer house that should have been condemned. Everyday was beyond a struggle. Rebecca’s life taught her two things. Hard work. Survival. She grew up poor, dropped out of high school on her sixteenth birthday and was doing a fantastic job of repeating the cycle of generational poverty. Then by accident she bumped up against a non-profit that helped people get out of pOVERty. They wrapped support around Rebecca, fed her powerful doses of hope and taught her a better way. Later Rebecca ended up running that non-profit and building it into the largest and most successful Circles site in the country.

Educators became interested in Rebecca’s work. ESSDACK found her and she’s been working with districts and communities ever since. She’s convinced that the Trauma-Informed movement, together with community collaboration and restorative justice principles, puts us all in a winnable game. We can resolve pOVERty and make sure that it’s no longer our students or their families destination. She is passionate about helping all people find the tools necessary to turn kids from at-risk to at-promise.

Kevin Honeycutt

We’re honored that Kevin is keynoting the closing presentation for the Bridges to Resilience conference. Kevin grew up in poverty and attended school in many cities across the United States. As he witnessed education around the country, he collected powerful experiences that still influence his conversations and work with educators. He spent 13 years teaching K-12 art in public school and for 17 summers led creative adventure camps for kids of all ages. In 1991 he received the Making IT Happen Award which is an internationally recognized awards program for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation.

Kevin is the author of Midnight Run: My Narrow Escape to a Better Future and presents keynotes around the country on educational social / emotional topics.

Learn more about Kevin in this short video conversation with Ginger Lewman.