2018 K-12 Teachers Summer Conference


Cultivating Classrooms of Engaged Learners

KAIRS K-12 Teachers Conference
July 30-31, 9 am (Registration)

Conference Schedule: 9:30 am – 3:15 pm
Location: New Wichita Advanced Learning Library
345 N. Sycamore St, Wichita, KS 67203

This summer’s KAIRS K-12 Teachers Conference will focus on engaging learners. Keynote Trevor Muir asks the question, “If learning isn’t memorable, is it still learning?” He will share his expertise and success in utilizing project based learning and brain science to achieve student engagement, which in return, creates learning that is permanent and memorable.

Trevor’s practical and proven practices are applicable to classrooms of all ages and can result in students that are engaged and classrooms that are transformed.

The  conference will also include a tour of the newly completed Wichita Advanced Learning Library.

 Keynote Speaker

Trevor Muir is a teacher, author, international speaker and project based learning expert. He is the author of “The Epic Classroom: How to Boost Engagement, Make Learning Memorable, and Transforms Lives,” a book about using the power of story to make learning engaging and unforgettable. Trevor is a faculty member for the Buck Institute For Education, and is the host and creator for the We Are Teachers show, “Teacher Helpline Live.”

View his TEDxSanAntonio talk,  “School Should Take Place in the Real World”

Learn more about Trevor at his website Trevor Muir.

Trevor’s Keynotes and Breakouts

  • Keynote 1 – “Make Learning Epic: The Power of Story in the Classroom” Is there any point in learning something if you’re just going to forget it? And this begs a bigger question: if learning is not memorable, should it even be considered learning? Trevor shares how educators can shape their classrooms using the power of storytelling and brain science to achieve real student engagement, and in return, learning that is permanent and memorable. Any teacher, in any subject area, and in any grade level can use these practical and proven practices to transform their classrooms into settings where students are engaged, challenged and transformed.
  • Breakout 1 – “Epic Project Based Learning 101”  Storytelling is essential to the human experience. This medium of communication has not only proven to be the best way of sharing information, but also for learning and retaining that information. A class can be designed and taught in the format of a story. This workshop gives concrete methods, practices and resources to create a story-centric classroom in an innovative project based learning model.
  • Keynote 2 – “Launching Rockets – Making Connections with Challenging Students” Some students’ stories have made them hard to connect with and difficult to reach. They are often written off as “bad kids” or “too far gone.” However, by finding authentic ways to engage them in the classroom, as well as learning their stories and building relationships, connections can be made with the most difficult students. This talk is part inspirational and part instructional as it shares teaching practices that create an engaged and meaningful classroom for all students.
  • Breakout 2 – “Using Tech for Authentic Curriculum” There is a difference between getting students ready for the real world and actually immersing them in it. Making learning real and authentic breeds enthusiasm in the classroom, and enthusiasm breeds success. This session is about how certain technologies can be used to enhance authenticity in the classroom.

Download the
K-12 Summer Teachers Conference Info and Registration Flier

KAIRS 2018 K-12 Teachers Conference Registration

Register Today!

 Registration Ends Friday, July 24 – $30 per person



Breakout Sessions

Teaching through Tech: Insights into 3D Printers & Free Coding Program! –  Students can gain skills through technology, which they can continue using throughout their lives. In this session, a demonstration of the Library’s 3-D printer will be given. We will also take a look at Scratch, a free coding program for school aged children.

Presenter: Cynthia Bailey, Manager,  Technology Training Team, Wichita Advanced Learning Library

Cynthia Bailey has worked in libraries for over 30 years, mostly spent in public libraries. Currently, she is the  Technology Training Team Manager at the Wichita Advanced Learning Library. Her team teaches a variety of technology classes, and assists library customers with technology help one-on-one through their Book-A-Librarian service.

Creating a Culture of Reading – Helping Your Students See Themselves as Readers –Learn how to create a culture of reading in your classroom and throughout your school. Using simple techniques and utilizing resources from your school and public library, you’ll help each student grow and see themselves as readers.


Great Databases/High Quality On-line Resources for Student Research –  We’ll examine the most useful databases for student research available through the State Library of Kansas. Discover ways to engage students wherever they have internet access with high quality resources online!

Presenter: Erin Howerton, Youth Services Manager, Wichita Advanced Learning Library

Erin Howerton is the Youth Services Manager at the Advanced Learning Library. She has worked with young people since 2000 in both library and school settings, and has presented and published information about library collections, intellectual freedom and technology topics concerning youth.

Bees 101 – A Lesson in Listening & No Bee Suit Required! – If you love  bees, they will love you back! At this presentation, bee language will be taught and you will come away with a completely new appreciation of the buzzing little honeybee and the art of listening.  A beehive at your school or for your class can help your students learn math, science, listening and life lessons – even good housekeeping. Come learn about bees, how they communicate and how to set up a beehive. No bee suit needed!

Presenter: Britt Hopper, Co-owner/Operations Manager, Hopper’s Glass, Beekeeper

Britt Hopper is the third generation glassworker/glazier and is the Co-owner/Operations Manager of Hopper Glass, which his grandfather and father founded in 1951. In 2012 his journey as a beekeeper began and he now has 30 hives. Six years ago, he was asked by the Great Plains Nature Center if he could build an all-natural, all-glass beehive that would not kill the bees. (It is on display in the observation room today.) After readily agreeing, he realized he knew nothing about bees. That began what he calls his spiritual journey of discovering the wonders of bees. He likes to say there are many things to be learned inside a hive and he is still a student learning lessons. He became a beekeeper in 2013 and speaks about bees whenever invited.


Using Art and Oratory in the Classroom – How can art and oratory be a catalyst for student-driven inquiry and action? Discover and practice a variety of interdisciplinary teaching strategies. Use design-thinking strategies to develop lessons that will build your classroom community and foster student engagement in learning. Participants will use protocols developed by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Ford’s Theater.

Presenter: Dave McIntire, American and World History Teacher, The Independent School of Wichita, Ford’s Theater National Oratory Master Fellow

Dave McIntire is in his 13th year at The Independent School. He currently teaches American and World History and coaches the Middle School Scholar’s Bowl team. He was recently one of two national recipients of the 2018 Lincoln Teacher Leader Awards sponsored by BP America. Additionally, he was the 2012 Ford’s Theater National Oratory Master Fellow  and the 2017 James Madison Fellow. Dave has partnered with both Ford’s Theater and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, presenting for both organizations at national and regional history conferences. Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s oratory, National Oratory Fellows are a network of teachers who cultivate student voices in Grades 5-8 by making public speaking a part of the everyday classroom experience.


Making Movement Magical – Enhancing Learning in an Academic Environment – It’s not a surprise, but movement can enhance learning! Taken from more than 45 years of experience as an award-winning physical education teacher, Kathy Wagner will demonstrate how you can modify her outstanding curriculum to your class. She has taken her students on “trips” to learn about the Seven Wonders of the World, about key landmarks in the U.S. and more – and they took an active part in the explorations. Be prepared to move at this session!

Presenter: Kathy Wagner, Physical Education Teacher, Wichita Collegiate School, National Association of Sport and Physical Education Elementary Teacher of the Year 2008

Kathy Wagner is an award-winning physical education teacher for the Wichita Collegiate School. During her 44-year tenure she has taught physical education for all grades. In 2008 she was named National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Elementary Teacher of Year. She has been a popular presenter (and a member) at the NASPE and at all levels of the Kansas, Central District and National organizations of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. In 2018, she was selected as the KAIRS Distinguished Teacher for Independent Schools.


Hosted by the Wichita Advanced

Learning Library





Wichita Hotel Reserved Block of Specially Priced Rooms for Conference

Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview
400 W. Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS  67202 
Please use the reservation link provided to make reservations:

 Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview KAIRS Reservations

Reservation Deadline – July 13

Fairfield Inn & Suites Wichita Downtown
525 S. Main St. 
Wichita, KS  67202
Please call the Fairfield and mention KAIRS Conference

Reservation Deadline – July 9

Conference Attendees Can Receive

One Graduate Credit

from Friends University for an additional $85

Friends University Summer Workshops

Conference Questions?

Dr. Jamie Finkeldei, KAIRS Vice President/Treasurer
Associate Superintendent, Catholic Diocese of Wichita
finkeldeij @ catholicdioceseofwichita.org

or Corey Reese, KAIRS Communications Director