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Washington, DC

June 27th-30th 2018

Pre-Conference - June 27th, 2018

Conference Registration:

All types of Registration include 1 Gala dinner ticket, and 1 Saturday Luncheon ticket.

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 1, 2018. 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 tickets will not be available.


Conference Registration Fees:

General Registration: $425 per person 2018


Awarded Schools Registration: per person rates

  • Groups of 1-4: $395

  • Group of 5-10: $385 

  • Group of 11 or more: $375 

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


Registration after June 1- $450 per person- group rate does not apply


Pre-Conference Sessions: Wednesday, June 27

Sign up for a Pre-Conference sessions.

  • A full day for $100 each (lunch included)

  • A half-day session Morning or Afternoon at $60 each


9:00-11:30 a.m

Session 1: How to Increase Student Engagement Using Technology - Meg Ormiston


1:00-3:30 p.m

Session 2: If a Picture Says a Thousand Words, Stop Talking - Meg Ormiston



Session 3: Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers
*Session at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C.



Lunch and Learn Session: Friday, June 29th

Sign up for a Lunch and Learn session with Rick Wormeli

Ticket price is $60 each (lunch included). Only 200 tickets will be sold.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be emailed to


Please call to verify receipt of cancellations at 217.469.6299.

Cancellations will not be taken after June 1, 2019. 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.

2018 STW Conference Agenda Overview


Pre-Conference Session Wednesday, June 27


Wednesday, June 27


8:00 am- 6:00 pm Registration Open

9:00 am- 11:30 am Pre-Conference (Ticketed)
Session 1: How to Increase Student Engagement Using Technology - Meg Ormiston


1:00 pm-3:30 pm Pre-Conference (Ticketed)

Session 2: If a Picture Says a Thousand Words, Stop Talking! Meg Ormiston


1:00 PM-3:30 pm Session 3: Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers - Newseum

(Choose 1 Afternoon Session ONLY!)


5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m (Invitation Only)

Advocacy Training for Thursday morning Hill Visits

General Conference

Thursday, June 28


8:00 am- 4:00 pm Registration Open

8:30 am- 9:30 am Advocacy Training Session

10:00 am-11:45 am Conference Opening Session:
Keynote Address- Jack Berkemeyer
Education: Living It, Loving It, and Laughing About It


11:45 am- 1:00 pm Lunch on your own

1:00 pm-3:00 pm Afternoon Session
Jack Berkemeyer-Teaching Strategies that Motivate the Young Adolescent


1:00 pm-4:00 pm Congressional Meetings

4:00 pm Time to explore Washington DC



Friday, June 29th


8:00 am-3:45 pm Registration Open


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-1:10 pm Ticketed Lunch and Learn Session:
Rick Wormeli- “What We Can Do When We Are Brave Together”


11:30 am-1:10 pm Visit exhibits/Lunch on your own

1:10 pm-2:05 pm Session IV

2:05 pm-2:30 pm Book Signing with Rick Wormeli

Afternoon Break, and Exhibit Time


2:30 pm-3:25 pm Session V

3:35 pm-4:30 pm Rick Wormeli - Cultivating Engagement and Tenacity in Students 

5:00 pm-6:20 pm Photo Area Available

5:30 pm- 6:20 pm Reception (cash bar)

6:30 pm-10:00 pm Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Awards for 2018 Redesignated Schools


Saturday, June 30th


8:00 am- 11:00 am Registration and Exhibits open


8:30 am-9:30 am Session VI

9:45 am- 10:45 am Session VII

10:45 am-11:15 am Photo Area Available

11:00 am Luncheon Doors Open

11:15 am-2:00 pm Luncheon and Awards Ceremony
Awards for 2018 Schools to Watch

The National Forum's

14th Annual Conference


Presented by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform



Conference Site and Accommodations


Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway,

Arlington, VA 22202, 703-920-3230
Rate: $216/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 every 30 minutes. The hotel is located at the Metro-Crystal City stop for easy accessibility to all D.C. sites.

Conference Overflow Accommodations


Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport
2000 Jefferson Davis Highway,

Arlington, VA 22202, 703-418-8181
Rate: $119/night

CALL 1-703-418-8181 to book your room or book online.​

Located just a block away from the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport is situated in the heart of Crystal City. The hotel is within walking distance of shops and restaurants and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is only a five-minute drive from the hotel. The Crystal City Metro Station is just a five-minute walk. Guests can enjoy their free hotel shuttle service for the conference hotel, airport, and metro station. 

Additional Conference Overflow Accommodations


Hilton Garden Inn Reagan National Airport
2020 Jefferson Davis Highway,

Arlington, VA 22202, 703-418-8181
Rate: $119/night

CALL 1-703-842-1630  to book your room or book online.​
Located just a block away from the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Reagan National Airport is situated in the heart of Crystal City. The hotel is within walking distance of shops and restaurants and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is only a five-minute drive from the hotel. The Crystal City Metro Station is just a five-minute walk. Guests can enjoy their free hotel shuttle service for the conference hotel, airport, and metro station.

Conference Presenters

Meg Ormiston

My personal passion is to change the world of teaching and learning. I work 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.

I have written seven books about teaching and learning with digital tools and ve more books are in the editing process. Collaborating with 26 co-authors to write the series has been a wild adventure!

Meg Ormiston’s Sessions: STW Pre-Conference Wednesday (Ticketed)

Morning Session

How to Increase Student Engagement Using Technology


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.​

Afternoon Session

If a Picture Says a Thousand Words STOP TALKING!

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.

Newseum Afternoon Pre-Conference Session (Ticketed)


FIGHTING FAKE NEWS: HOW TO OUTSMART TROLLS AND TROUBLEMAKERS. Wednesday, June 27 Pre-Conference (afternoon only)


Are your students drowning in a sea of (mis)information? Are they always online but often off track? Learn how to help them combine their affinity for tech tools and buzzworthy topics with the knowledge and context to truly empower them as media consumers and creators.  We'll examine real-life case studies that bring to life the challenges of today’s media landscape and model an easy-to-remember and easy-to-implement strategy to help your students stay a step ahead. Participants will receive an "E.C.S.A.P.E. Junk News" poster, with a handy acronym for evaluating information and lesson plans on the back. 

The workshop will be held in 2 sessions. Half of the registered participants will meet from 1-2 p.m. while the other half explores the museum. The second group will meet from 2:05-3:05 p.m. while the first group explores the museum. All Participants are welcome to stay until closing at 5 p.m. Requests for a specific workshop session will not be taken, but all efforts will be made to have participants from the same school scheduled into the same session.  


This pre-conference session includes free admission to the Newseum. A meal voucher for eating lunch at the Newseum will be provided when you choose the full day pre-conference option. Workshop includes an interactive lesson with a Newseum educator, a packet of resources and teaching strategies, and a gallery exploration guide.

Jack Berckemeyer

A nationally-recognized presenter, author, and humorist, Jack Berckemeyer, began his career as a middle school teacher in Denver, Colorado. After two years of teaching he was named as
an outstanding educator at his school, and shortly thereafter he was identi ed as one of the outstanding educators in the district. In 2003, he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the

Falcon School District. Jack brings his energy, humor, and expertise to all staff development as he helps teachers and administrators remember why this job makes a difference. Jack has presented in conference and school district settings both nationally and internationally. Jack served as a judge for the Disney American Teacher Awards and the selection committee for the USA TODAY All-Teacher Team.

Jack Berckemeyer is known for his motivating, practical ideas communicating a message of hope, laughter, and insight into education.
Jack was also the Assistant Executive Director for the National Middle School Association for 13 years and is the author of Managing the Madness - A Practical Guide to Middle Grades Classrooms. He is also the co-author of H.E.L.P. for Teachers. His most recent publications are Taming of the Team - How Great Teams Work Together and Deliberate Optimism - Reclaiming the Joy in Education, co-authored with Dr. Debbie Silver and Judith Baenen.

Jack is currently the Owner and Director of NUTS and BOLTS – Ready to Lead, Teach, and Learn Conference located in Destin, Florida and Denver, Colorado. Jack lives in Denver, Colorado and has no pets or plants

Jack Berckemeyer Sessions: Thursday


Morning Session - Keynote

Education: Living It, Loving It and Laughing about It


Looking to put a spark back into your teaching? Are you curious about what really makes your students tick? Looking for ways to connect with your students? This laugh out loud keynote provides ideas and strategies in the areas of connecting with your students, being an adult advocate for kids, and new strategies in classroom management. Jack will empower you with realistic solutions, which are good for kids, schools and school districts. A true crowd pleaser for any type of educator.


Afternoon Session

Teaching Strategies that Motivate Young Adolescents


Looking for fun and motivating ideas for your middle-level classroom? This is a hands-on session that provides real, quality strategies in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, listening, and speaking skills. No philosophy here, just creative ideas to motivate the middle-level learner. This is a great session for new teachers and experienced teachers. Be ready to dance, laugh, and move!

Rick Wormeli

Rick Wormeli brings innovation, energy, validity and high standards to both his presentations, and his instructional practice, which includes 38 years teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, and history, and coaching teachers and principals. He is a well-known author, speaker, and educator with his audiences leaving revived and on-fire for teaching young adolescent students. With his substantive presentations, sense of humor, and unconventional approaches, he’s been asked to present to teachers and administrators in all 50 states, Canada, China, Europe, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Australia, the Middle East, and at the White House. Rick is currently working on his first young adult fiction novel and a new book on how to shift a school’s culture for standards-based grading practices.

Rick Wormeli Sessions: Friday


Lunch and Learn 

“What We Can Do When We Are Brave Together”

From its humorous opening to its rock-n-roll “grand finale,” this address affirms and provokes listeners with compelling questions about contemporary practices and specific action steps to take if having enough courage was not a factor. When we are brave, we find the freedom, language, and spirit to confront complacency and ineffective practice, and, even better, to do something about them.  Liberating and affirming, and pushing all of us closer to the kind of teacher we always wanted to be, we examine the school culture that cultivates pedagogical courage best. Radical to some, validating to others, and all based in the latest pedagogy, this address is updated monthly with specific bold actions we can take today that lead to better instruction for students.  Leave timidity at the door and join us for an extraordinary presentation.


Afternoon Session:

“Cultivating Engagement and Tenacity in Students”

Tenacity is a virtue, but the personal fortitude to stick with an arduous task takes time and experience to mature. Many students grow impatient with content not parsed into sound-bytes, and reading extended, logical rhetoric through each argument to its ultimate conclusion is almost unheard of. On the other hand, If the story is good, students will read books of over 700 pages. They play online games working their way through 12 levels of difficulty for six hours, and they stay after school into the evening to practice for theater productions, get ready for sports tournaments, and conduct fun science experiments for the public. Join us for a compelling session on how to help students find the reserves to stick with projects and tasks, be they physical or intellectual. We'll look at dopamine, meaning-making, cognitive science, teacher-student relationships, assessments, and the importance of making sure student feel safe and invited to learning’s table. Be sure: There is no such thing as laziness. Our students want to do demanding, complex learning, they want to persevere! To this, our students aspire; with this, our world was built. This generation is more than ready for what it takes to make the world their own. Let's light this rocket!

Conference Sponsors

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