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Presented by The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform

Washington, DC

June 25 - 27, 2020

Pre-Conference - June 24, 2020

Conference Registration:

All types of Registration include: 

Your choice of one ticket to the Redesignation Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony OR one ticket to the Schools to Watch Luncheon and Awards Ceremony. If you would like to attend both events, it will be at the cost of $75.00.

*Additional Gala and Luncheon tickets available for purchase for guests.

You must sign up additional guests in advance.


Payment by check or credit card is required on or before June 5, 2020.

Checks can be made out and mailed to:

National Forum, P.O. Box 224, Savoy, IL 61874.

*You may register on-site, however, Gala and Luncheon and Lunch and Learn tickets will not be available. Tickets will not be sold on-site for meal events.


Conference Registration Fees: 3% processing fee added to the total at checkout


General Registration: $460 per person before June 5, 2020; after June 1, 2020 $495 per person

* 3% non refundable processing fee will be added to all orders at checkout.


2020 Awarded Schools Registration: per person rates

Groups of 1-4: $430

Groups of 5-10: $420 

Groups of 11 or more: $410 

*Discount will only be given if all members of your group are registered at the same time

* 3% non refundable processing fee will be added to all orders at checkout.

* Registrations received after June 5th are not eligible for the group rates. Tickets will be $495 each.


Optional Items

Must purchase tickets in advance

Pre-Conference Sessions: Wednesday, June 24th

Full Day: $185 each (lunch included)

Half Day: Morning or Afternoon $110 each


Morning - 9:00-11:30 a.m

Session I: How to Increase Student Engagement Using Technology - Meg Ormiston


Afternoon - 1:00-3:30 p.m (Choose 1 session only)

Session II: If a Picture Says a Thousand Words STOP TALKING - Meg Ormiston


Session III: Intelligence, Code-Breaking, and Law Enforcement- National Law Enforcement Museum (held at the museum)


Lunch and Learn Session: Friday, June 26th:

Ray Roberts: Made to Matter

Ticketed price is $75 each (Plated lunch included). Only 250 tickets will be sold.


Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations must be emailed to

Please call to verify receipt of cancellations at 217.766.2022.


Cancellations will not be taken after June 5, 2020. If you should have to cancel after this time period, you may substitute someone from your school to attend in your place.  Even if there are no substitutions, you will still be charged the entire conference fee.

2020 STW Conference Agenda


Wednesday, June 24

Pre-Conference Sessions


9:00-11:30 am

Session I: How to Increase Student Engagement Using Technology - Meg Ormiston


1:00-3:30 p.m 

Session II: If a Picture Says a Thousand Words STOP TALKING - Meg Ormiston


Session III: Intelligence, Code-Breaking, and Law Enforcement- National Law Enforcement Museum (held at the museum)

(Choose ONE Afternoon Session Only)

Thursday, June 25 


8:00 am- 9:30 am

Advocacy Training Session


9:45 am-11:45 am 

Opening Session:

Relentless - Hamish Brewer


11:45 am- 1:00 pm

Lunch on your own

1:00 pm-3:30 pm

Afternoon Session:

Hamish Brewer

1:00 pm-4:00 pm

Congressional Meetings

Evening: Enjoy Washington D.C. and time with your team!


Friday, June 26


8:00 am-3:45 pm

Exhibits Open


8:00 am-8:55 am

Session I


8:55 am-9:25 am

Morning Break and Exhibit Time


9:25 am-10:20 am 

Session II

10:35 am-11:30 am

Session III

11:30 am-1:25 pm 

Lunch and Learn Session (Ticketed) Made to Matter - Ray Roberts


11:30 am-1:25 pm

Visit exhibits/Lunch on your own

1:25 pm- 2:20 pm  

Session IV


2:30 pm-3:25 pm

Session V

2:30 pm-4:00 pm

Featured Session - Unified Champions

3:35 pm-4:10 pm

Job Alike Sessions

5:00 pm- 6:20 pm 

Photo Area Available

5:30 pm- 6:20 pm 

Gala Reception

6:30 pm-10:00 pm

Gala Awards Dinner Honoring 2020 Redesignated Schools (Ticketed)

Saturday, June 27


8:45 am-9:40 am

Session VI

9:40 am- 9:50 am



9:50 am- 10:45 am

Session VII


10:30 am- 11:15 am

Photo Area Open

11:00 am-2:00 pm

Awards Luncheon Honoring Newly Designated 2020 STW Schools, STW Districts, and International STW Schools (Ticketed)


Conference Site and Accommodations


Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway

Arlington, VA 22202 
Rate: $235/night


CALL 703.920.3220 to book your room or book online.


Book your rooms as soon as possible because the room block fills early. Please notify if you are informed the room block is filled. You will then be provided with information for an overflow block of rooms at a nearby hotel. The Crystal Gateway is minutes from Washington Reagan Airport and provides free Marriott shuttle service that runs to and from the airport every 30 minutes. The hotel is located at the Metro-Crystal City stop for easy accessibility to all D.C. sites.



Pre-Conference Sessions

Meg Ormiston: Morning Pre-Conference Session Wednesday (Ticketed)

Pre-Conference Speakers


Morning Session

How to Increase Student Engagement Using Technology

Presented by Meg Ormiston


Join this hands-on interactive session where you will create new ways to use technology to increase student engagement across the curriculum. You will leave this session with practical strategies to engage students before, during, and after lessons using all types of technology. This action packed session is a must attend if you want to increase student engagement that will result in increased student achievement.

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Meg Ormiston

Meg Ormiston's personal passion it to change the world of teaching and learning. She works as a consultant with educators teaching them how to create vibrant learning environments where students and teachers are creating, collaborating, sharing and learning globally using a variety of digital tools. She has written twelve books about teaching and learning with digital tools.

Meg Ormiston: Pre-Conference Wednesday Afternoon Session (Ticketed)


Afternoon Session - Pre-Conference

If a Picture Says a Thousand Words STOP TALKING

Presented by Meg Ormiston


Join Meg for this interactive, hands-on, practical session where you will create multimedia projects you can use with students. Research supports the importance of using images in the classroom: still images linked to learning vocabulary, video for assessment, primary source images in history and student created images to demonstrate comprehension. All of this is possible today with free and low-cost tools. Find out how to put the research into practice starting with basic projects and ideas and build from there.

Law Enforcement Museum: Afternoon Pre-Conference Session at the Museum (Ticketed)

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Law Enforcement Museum

INTELLIGENCE, CODE BREAKING AND LAW ENFORCEMENT. Wednesday, June 26th Pre-Conference (afternoon only)

*This session will be held at: 450 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001


Intelligence, Code-Breaking and Law Enforcement: Learn about the history of law enforcement and intelligence gathering through this ninety-minute workshop which incorporates the Museum’s exhibits, primary sources, and hands-on activities. Major highlights of the workshop include learning how Elizebeth Smith Friedman brought down a Vancouver-based liquor smuggling group, setting up your own surveillance team and deciphering codes just like the FBI.


This workshop is great for groups interested in delving into a fascinating time in American history and exercising their problem-solving skills. Following the session, participants are welcome to explore the museum on their own until closing.

Address: 450 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001

About the Museum:
The Museum’s core mission is to introduce visitors to the proud history and many facets of American law enforcement in an experience you won’t find anywhere else. Our “walk in the shoes” experience lets visitors learn what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer through innovative and engaging exhibits, artifacts and programs. We also seek to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve with thought-provoking programs that promote dialogue on topics of current interest. 

Featured Conference 

Presentations and Speakers

Conference Presenters

Keynote Speaker: Hamish Brewer: Thursday Sessions


Morning Session - Keynote


Presented by Hamish Brewer


Sometimes you have to hear the things you don’t want to hear in order to move forward, to be better and to get results. Hamish will take you on a hard-hitting journey that will challenge to rethink your practices, to disrupt the norm and change the game. Find out if you have or are willing to go one more round, if your willing to advocate for every single person and child. Find out if your willing to take your school or organization to the next level.


Hamish Brewer

Hamish Brewer, the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding principal in Northern Virginia isn't your normal principal. Hamish is high octane, constantly calling on his students to "Be Relentless. Mr. Brewer has become known as an educational disrupter who transcends the status quo and typical educational norms.

Mr. Brewer was recognized in 2017 as the NAESP Nationally Distinguished Principal and Virginia Principal of the year. He has also been recognized as the 2016 VAESP School Bell Award and ASCD Virginia Impact Award. In 2018 Hamish was named a Northern Virginian of the year by Northern Virginia Magazine and the 2018 Principal of the Year for the national publication - Education Dive and Prince William County Public Schools 2019 Principal of the Year.

Under his leadership - his elementary school was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Title 1 School, and Hamish has since gone on to turn around one of the toughest middle schools in the state of Virginia.

Hamish spent years developing and honing his leadership and expertise as an emergency responder in the Fire and Rescue Service, working at one of the busiest Volunteer Fire Stations on the Eastern Seaboad.

Mr. Brewer is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker - motivating and inspiring audiences everywhere, including being recognized as a TEDx speaker.
Originally from New Zealand where he earned his first degree from the University of Auckland. Mr. Brewer is currently a doctoral student at Virginia.

Mr. Brewer serves at the state level as the Federal Relations Coordinator on the Board of Directors with the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. He is a school turnaround and school improvement specialist, working some of the most at-risk students in the United States.

Mr. Brewer was highlighted as a Hometown Hero by Fox 5 in Washington, DC. With more than 32 million views and his story has become a viral sensation being highlighted on all the national news broadcasts, including with NBC and Lester Holt. Mr. Brewer is also being featured in a skateboarding humanitarian documentary Humanity Stoked.

Ray Roberts Lunch and Learn: Friday

Lunch and Learn

Lunch and Learn 

Made to Matter

Presented by Ray Roberts


Ray Roberts began playing football at the age of 6. He went on to become one of the top high school football players in the country and accepted a scholarship to play football from the University of Virginia. While at UVA, Ray was named All ACC 3 times, earned the conferences Jacob Blocking Trophy twice (given to the league’s top offensive lineman), he was twice named All American and was drafted with the 10th pick of the 1st round by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1992 draft. Ray also graduated with a degree in communications from UVA and later earned a Master’s in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington.


After a 10-year career in the NFL, Ray has established a reputation off the field as a great leader, motivator, and all around influential guy. Now Ray shares his amazing journey to success on and off the field as part education, part motivation and part entertainment for those fortunate enough to hear him speak. “Our youth are more prepared than ever and more eager than ever to be a part of the solution” - Ray Roberts. In his presentation, Ray shares his insights regarding leadership, developing voice, the importance of relationship building, personal accountability, empowerment and belonging, as a way to motivate, support, encourage and champion today’s young people.

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Ray Roberts

Ray Roberts played nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as an offensive tackle. He graduated from Asheville High School, North Carolina, in 1987 and played college football at the University of Virginia, where he won the Jacobs Trophy in 1990 & 1991 as the ACC's top blocker. He was the tenth overall selection in the 1992 NFL Draft, taken by the Seattle Seahawks. After four seasons in Seattle, he finished his career after 5 seasons with the Detroit Lions.

Ray then went on to other endeavors, establishing a reputation off the field as a leader, motivator, youth mentor and educator. He returned to the Seattle area and was an assistant football coach at Interlake High School in Bellevue. He earned a master's degree in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership from the University of Washington in 2007. Roberts also worked as a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Microsoft and was the head football coach at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland in 2008 and 2009. In 2011, Roberts returned to his alma mater in Charlottesville to become the Director of Life Skills for the Virginia Cavaliers football program. After returning to Seattle in 2015, Ray did work as the Recruiting and Retention Specialist at Rainier Scholars in Seattle, Washington, an intensive intervention program for low-income students of color, providing a pathway to college graduation and creating future leaders.


At Special Olympics North America (SONA), as the Director of Urban Development for Unified Champion Schools, Ray leads efforts in driving the growth of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming in urban and major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, developing and implementing specific strategies designed for the unique needs of urban school districts, and promoting increased participation in Special Olympics Unified Sports, Young Athletes, leadership and health and fitness programming in schools. Ray is also a member of the Seattle Seahawks broadcast team appearing on their weekly pre and post-game shows.

Featured Session: Friday 


Friday Session

Unified Champions

School Presentations: Friday and Saturday

School Presentations
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