2019 K-12 Teachers Summer Conference


Growing Motivated Learners

KAIRS K-12 Teachers Conference
August 1-2, 9 am (Registration)

Conference Schedule: 9:30 am – 3:15 pm

Location:   Botanica Gardens
701 Amidon St, Wichita, KS 67203

Registration Ends July 25

Register Today!

This summer’s KAIRS K-12 Teachers Conference will focus on growing motivated learners. The Z Generation is the newest population to emerge in our schools, bringing with them different strengths and challenges. As teachers, are you just mastering the nuances of the previous generation of students and things are changing again?

Plan to attend the 8th Annual Teachers Conference August 1-2 in Wichita at the beautiful Botanica Gardens.  The two-day event will feature outstanding speakers and insightful breakout sessions.  You will have the opportunity to add new skills and improve your communication as you strive to motivate and grow Gen Z learners

 Featured  Speakers

Nautrie Jones, Managing Director, Teacher Leadership Development, Teach for America

August 1: Keynote (morning)

“Marching Off the Map: Connecting With Today’s Student in the Classroom”

Leading today’s students often feels like being in a new country. The population in this new land has different attitudes and speaks a different language – emojis and social media. Attention spans are six to eight seconds. Understanding and connecting with this generation is often frustrating and draining. Nautrie’s keynote morning session will help provide practical research-based solutions for teachers and tools to address these issues. She will also provide insights on how to leverage what is cultural to instill timeless truths in students that will help motivate them to learn and have success.

August 1: Breakout (afternoon)

“Metacognition: The Secret to Engaging and Inspiring Students”

One of the latest hot buttons in education is metacognition. Training students to get in the habit of utilizing the tools of “thinking about thinking” can enable them to engage deeper in their own learning and to own it.  This session breaks down exactly what must happen for a teacher to encourage metacognition in their learners.

Nautrie Jones is a proud veteran educator with nearly 20 years of experience of working with underserved students and families. Today, Nautrie is a valuable resource to Growing Leaders. She works with Teach for America where she leads the Teacher Leadership Development team. In her position, she focuses on leadership development of new teachers,  pedagogy, racial identity development, culturally responsive teaching, classroom management and adaptive coaching.

Andrew McPeak, Director of Program Excellence, Growing Leaders 

August 2: Keynote (morning) and Breakout (afternoon)

“Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing 3 Hidden Challenges in Today’s Youngest Population”

Who are Gen Z kids? This is the population of young people who grew up in the 21st Century. They are technologically savvy and have been emersed in it their entire life.  Andrew has examined the latest research, uncovered many of their strengths and challenges and in his keynote will give teachers keen insights into his findings.  During the afternoon breakout, he will provide practical steps and examples on leading our newest population to become motivated learners and leaders.


Andrew McPeak is a popular speaker and content developer with Growing Leaders.  His experiences have made him well-versed in communicating to and about the next generation.  He works closely with schools, universities, companies and sports teams on teaching life and leadership skills. Most recently, Andrew is the co-author with Dr. Tim Elmore, President and Founder, Growing Leaders, of their latest book, “Marching Off the Map,” which will be released July 2019.

Breakout Sessions & Speakers

“Creative Possibilities with Lasers”

Open up a world of creative possibilities to students using laser cutter/engraver technology.This technology gives students the opportunity to design and create a variety of unique items.

Daren Couch, AP Computer Science, Engineering, Robotics Teacher, The Independent School of Wichita

Darren Couch is in his seventh year at The Independent School. He teaches Engineering 1 and 2, AP Computer Science, Journalism and Broadcasting, Robotics, and works with Youth Entrepreneurs. In 2019 he will add Concepts of Gaming with hopes of cultivating a competitive eSports team,which is becoming, a hot, competitive sport backed with scholarship funding at some universities.


“Exceptional Learning: All-Access Pass for Teachers & Students”

Managing learning exceptionalities in your classroom does NOT have be a time of frustration and discouragement.  Simple instructional adjustments can make a world of difference for both you and your students.  Come to this interactive session to learn practical ways and take away resources that you can use to support a plethora of special needs in K-8 classrooms.

Malinda Evans, TalentEd Intervention Specialist, Maranatha Christian Academy

Malinda Evans has served as Interventional Specialist at Maranatha Christian Academy (Shawnee) since 2014 and a teacher for more than 15 yeas. In this position she created the TalentED program at Maranatha, which provides an effective system of interventions for classroom teachers  and students who have learning vulnerabilities and those with academic giftings. Malinda is the KAIRS 2019 Distinguished Teacher for Christian Schools.


“Creation Apps for Elementary Classrooms

This session will cover a number of highly useful (and some of my favorite!) apps that can enhance a teacher’s everyday classroom project with technology. From app tutorials to project ideas and examples, you will leave this session with new skills and ideas for your teacher tool belt!

“Stop Motion Animation for Beginners”

Unleash your students’ creativity with stop motion animation! Learn the basics on how to make great stop motion videos in your classroom and leave the workshop with hands-on experience and practical examples to incorporate into your lesson plans in the fall.

Amanda Hadley, Lower School Technology Integration Specialist, The Independent School of Wichita 

Amanda Hadley has been the Lower School Technology Integration Specialist for the Independent School of Wichita for the past six years. Her passion lies in teaching students how to get the greatest use from technology. She helps them utilize green screen technology, stop motion videos, coding and many other activities. Amanda is the Girls On The Run Coach, Lower School Yearbook Advisor and Summer School Teacher for The Independent School.


“Off the Path: K-5 Education in the Gardens”

Go “off the path” with the Education staff inside the botanical gardens to learn how to utilize any outdoor environment as an extension of the classroom. Discover how the staff at Botanica can help you meet curriculum standards during your field trip to the gardens with the goals of promoting environmental literacy and gains in cognitive and affective achievement.

Laurel Nichols, Children’s Garden Director & Educator, Botanica

Laurel Nichols is a former Elementary/Special Education Gifted teacher in the Wichita public school district. She currently serves as the Children’s Garden Director and Educator at Botanica.  Her passion is to infuse every project with the importance of the preservation of natural spaces and wildlife habitats. Her goal and joy are to positively impact the future by increasing environmental literacy in educators and their students through the beautiful gardens at Botanica.


“Supporting Native Pollinators Inside and Outside the Classroom”

This interactive presentation will introduce projects that support native pollinators both inside and outside the classroom, which you can undertake on your school’s campus. There will be a special focus on Kansas-native butterflies.

Ryan Malone, Owner & Manager, The Hatchery Butterfly Farm; Seasonal Gardener (Butterfly House & Jayne Milburn Aquatic Collection), Botanica

Ryan Malone has a strong passion for botany and entomology with extensive experience in butterfly rearing. He recently started his own butterfly farm – The Hatchery Butterfly Farm – that aims to bolster local and migratory butterfly populations, to educate the public about native plants and pollinators, and to inspire people of all ages to become stewards of the environment.


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

KAIRS 2019 K-12 Teachers Conference Registration Form

Register Today!

Registration Ends July 25

Registration Fees

$40 KAIRS Members        $50 Non KAIRS Members


Lunch on your own OR Jason’s Deli box lunch option available.

Lunch Thursday ($10) Lunch Friday ($10)

Checks are made out to KAIRS.




Wichita Hotel Reserves Block of Specially Priced Rooms for Conference

Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview
400 W. Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS  67202 
Ask for KAIRS block of rooms

Conference Attendees Can Receive

One Hour Graduate Credit

from Friends University for an additional $85

Information available soon!

Conference Questions?

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

or Corey Reese, KAIRS Communications Director


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