2019 Administrators Conference



Building Resilient Kids, Schools, Family and Community

KAIRS Annual Administrators Conference
February 11, 8:30 am – February 12, 11:00 am
Location: The Capitol Plaza Hotel
1717 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66612

Building strength and resilience in children… experts tell us it’s the combination of ability and protective factors that enables them to adapt in the face of poverty, trauma, adversity, high levels of stress and/or tragedy and overcome. Why do some children fare well and others do not?

Relationships with caring adults in schools and surrounding communities are an important factor in building resilience. Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz brings her life experiences and passion about creating Trauma-Informed schools. Her goal is to help, “ALL people find the tools necessary to turn kids from at-risk to at-promise!

Keynote Speaker

Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz is Director of Learning Centers – ESSDACK Poverty Consultant. She works with kids in poverty and directs 10 high school completion programs in the State of Kansas. Growing up poor, she knows firsthand what poverty means and is committed to helping resolve poverty’s impact within education and in communities.

She is convinced that the Trauma-Informed movement, together with community collaboration and restorative justice principles, puts everyone in a winnable game.  Her work to resolve “pOVERty” within education and communities is robust.

Rebecca’s story:

At age 37, Rebecca was living with her three little boys in a trailer house that should have been condemned.  Every day 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 16th 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.

Rebecca’s Presentations:

Building Brains Through a Heart Shift

Understanding the common denominator between poverty and trauma brings us to the “Why and How.”  These are connected. Once we gain insights and awareness, we can begin to concentrate on how to heal both and move forward toward academic and life success. But it’s more than just filling our heads with knowledge and strategies…. it’s transforming hearts as well.

Now That We Know – Nuts and Bolts of Implementing a Trauma-Responsive School

So once we have our why, the bigger question becomes, so what do we do about it? In this interactive session we will unpack implementation of a trauma-responsive school. But schools cannot do this alone. A portion of the afternoon will be spent on understanding how communities are coming alongside schools to take on this imperative mission of building resilience to create better lives for everyone.

Breakout Sessions

Christian Character Formation – Rev. Matthew Hoehner

Kansas Social-Emotional Character Development – Kent Reed

Addressing Mental Health in a Religious Context – Dr. Neil Buono

Oratory & Art Resources in the Classroom – Dave McIntire

Supporting the Growing Brain – Dr. Dennis Kear

    Register Today! Registration deadline is February 4.
Registration Fee: $80 (for first registration) $70 (additional attendees from same school)

2019 Professional Administrators Conference Flier
includes registration form for you to print, complete, and submit…

Special Events

Throughout the two days of the conference, special events highlight the agenda. After lunch on Monday, February 11, the Women Administrators Roundtable provides the opportunity for collegial fellowship and discussion of current events. The Hall of Fame Banquet takes place Monday evening and features the 2019 Distinguished Teachers presentation. Prior to the banquet, selected legislators are invited to a reception. Then, early Tuesday morning, members of the Kansas Board of Education join conference attendees for breakfast and a panel discussion of the latest legislative developments.

Hotel Information

The beautiful Topeka Capitol Hotel is holding a block of conference rate rooms for participants through January 22.

The Capitol Plaza Hotel
1717 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66612
Toll-free: (800) 579-7937
Local: (785) 431-7200
Email: topek@atriumhospitality.com