Dr. Anne L. Bryant (Chair)
Former Executive Director, National School Boards Association
Anne L. Bryant is Executive Director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), which represents state associations of school boards and their 13,809 member districts across the United States. NSBA’s mission is to work with and through state school boards associations to advocate for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. A Boston native, Bryant is an experienced association executive who has researched and written extensively on K-12 education, volunteer-staff leadership issues, and the role of the federal government in education. Bryant serves as a spokesperson for NSBA to Congress, the news media, and national organizations. She continuously seeks to forge new partnerships to guarantee every child an equal opportunity for a high quality education. Bryant holds an Ed.D. degree from the University of Massachusetts and a B.A. from Simmons College.
Executive Director, School-Connect
Kathy is lead author of School-Connect and the original author of the award-winning Second Step, A Violence-Prevention Curriculum series (grades pre-k through middle school), which is implemented in over 25,000 classrooms in the U.S. and Canada and in 26 other countries, and is the subject of many research studies. She is also lead author of the Eleven Principles Sourcebook, How to Achieve Quality Character Education in K-12 Schools (2003) and the writer/executive producer of 12 award-winning educational videos, including Yes You Can Say No, Facing Up, Choices, and Check It Out!, all four of which won regional EMMY awards. Kathy has served as director of School & Beyond in Bethesda, MD; program director of the Character Education Partnership in Washington, DC; research and development director of Committee for Children in Seattle, WA; and assistant director and ninth grade teacher at the Santa Barbara Middle School, which she helped found in Santa Barbara, CA. In 2009, Kathy was honored with the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Character Educated by the Character Education Partnership in Washington, DC.
Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz
Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Berkowitz is the former Coors Professor of Character Development at the Air Force Academy and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Studies at Marquette University. He earned a Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in 1977. He is currently the Sanford McDonnell Professor of Character Education at the University of Missouri-St Louis and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship. He directs the Leadership Academy in Character Education. Dr. Berkowitz is also co-editor of the Journal of Character Education, and he has authored over 100 book chapters, monographs, and articles on character education, moral development, adolescent development, and risk-taking, and is author of You Can’t Teach Through a Rat: And Other Epiphanies for Educators (2012). He has received the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award from CEP (2006) and the Kuhmerker Career Achievement Award from the Association for Moral Education (2013).
Dr. Jonathan Cohen
Co-founder and President, National School Climate Center
Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. is the co-founder and president of the National School Climate Center: Educating Minds and Hearts Because the Three Rs’ Are Not Enough. (NSCC), He is also Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; and a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. Cohen has worked in and with K-12 schools for over thirty five years as a teacher, program developer, school psychologist, consultant, psycho-educational diagnostician and mental health provider. Jonathan founded the Teachers College Press Social Emotional Learning series. He has authored over 85 articles, chapters and books including Educating Minds and Hearts: Social Emotional Learning and the Passage into Adolescence (Teachers College Press and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1999); (with B. Cohler) (1999) The Psychoanalytic Study of Lives over Time: Clinical and Research Perspectives on Children Who Return to Treatment as Adults (co-edited with Bert Cohler; Academic Press; 1999) and, Caring Classrooms/Intelligent Schools: Social Emotional Education of young Children (Teachers College Press; 2001). Both of his Teachers College Press books were awarded the “Best Academic Book” by the American Library Associations Choice in 1999 and 2001 respectively. He consults to schools, districts, State Departments of Education, foreign educational ministries and the UN Children’s Fund about a range of social, emotional and civic learning, risk prevention/health promotion and school climate reform efforts.
Dr. Matthew L. Davidson
Founder, Pres. and Director of Education, Institute for Excellence & Ethics, Inc.
Matthew L. Davidson is Founder, President and Director of Education of the Institute for Excellence & Ethics, Inc. The organization, based in LaFayette, New York, was established in 2007 to assist schools, families, teams, workplace and community organizations in shaping intentional cultures of excellence and ethics. Toward that end, the Institute provides those who need help with professional development workshops and academies, teaching and learning resources, assessment tools, and various consulting services. Dr. Davidson has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Measurement from Cornell University, a Master of Science Degree in Education from LeMoyne College, and dual Bachelors of Arts Degrees (Philosophy and English), from the University of Scranton.
Leadership Coach, Denver Public Schools
Elbot was born in Europe and lived his first twenty years part of three cultures—French, German and American. He began teaching and helped found an alternative high school in Boulder, Colorado, and then went on to serve as a school principal for 21 years including at Slavens School, a K-8 Denver public school, which was honored as a 2001 National School of Character. This school was also recognized for its excellence in student academic achievement. These accomplishments attracted educators from around the country who spent days observing “how” things were done at the school. In 2002, Elbot founded the Office of Intentional School Culture and since then has shared school culture building with schools in Denver and beyond, including work with educators in New Zealand. His book with Dave Fulton, Building an Intentional School Culture, was published in 2008. Elbot graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. and earned an Ed. M. from Harvard University.
Dr. Maurice Elias
Professor, Rutgers University
Elias is Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Psychology Department, Rutgers University, Academic Director of Rutgers’ Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships Program (CESEP; engage.rutgers.edu), Coordinator of Rutgers’ Internship Program in Applied, School, and Community Psychology, Past President of the international Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of APA, Director of Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, Coordinator of Improving School Climate for Academic and Life Success (ISCALS) at Rutgers’ Center for Applied Psychology, and Founding Member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. Books include Emotionally Intelligent Parenting (2000), Bullying, Peer Harassment, and Victimization in the Schools: The Next Generation of Prevention (Haworth, 2003), the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Curricula for Elementary and Middle School Students (2006), The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom (Corwin, 2006). He collaborated with storytellers in the U.S. and Israel, and a prominent Israeli School Psychologist, to create a book for young children: Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children (2012). He is a licensed psychologist in NJ and writes a blog on Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) for the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Lecturer & ARL Program Coordinator, Utah State University
Kristie Fink is a faculty member at Utah State University where she teaches and coordinates the Alternative Route to Licensure program for teachers. She is the former executive director of Community of Caring in Washington, D.C., where she worked for Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. She has also been the director of the program at the University of Utah. Kristie was the first person in the nation to serve as a full-time character education specialist in a state department of education, and also coordinated the annual Dialogue on Democracy activities as the executive director of the Utah Coalition for Civic, Character and Service Learning. She has been a junior high and high school English teacher, and a secondary language arts district specialist as well. She has served as an officer on the board of directors for the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C. She chaired the Blue Ribbon Panel for the National Schools of Character program, and has also made site visits for NSOC. She was selected for publication in the “Best of Character” 20-year anniversary edition for the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University and most recently co-chaired a white paper for CEP with Karen Geller on integrating Common Core and character education. She also co-authored “Making Character Education a Standard Part of Education” with Linda McKay for CEP, wrote “Promoting Character Education” for Glencoe-McGraw-Hill, and consulted with Turner Learning and the Cartoon Network on “Animate Your World: Shaping Character.” She has received many teaching and service awards, including awards presented by Sargent Shriver, former First Lady of Utah Jacalyn Leavitt, and most recently by the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education. She has spoken widely on character education and service learning across the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Karen Geller
Associate Professor, Immaculata University
Principal of Grades 5 and 6, Upper Merion Area Middle School
Dr. Karen Geller, is an Associate Professor at Immaculata University, teaching “Supervision and Evaluation,” and “The Principalship.” She is also the Principal of the Upper Merion Area Middle School, a Blue Ribbon school. Dr. Geller is a leader in Character Education and has utilized her strong curricular and administrative skills to inspire and motivate her staff to integrate character education values throughout the school environment and across the curriculum. Her school is a 2010 National School of Character as well as a 2011 Johns Hopkins National Network of Partnership Schools. Dr. Geller has assisted many schools and districts nationwide in embracing character education programs through Community of Caring trainings. She is a guest speaker and consultant nationally for Character Education and Social Emotional Learning, and is a site visitor for the National Schools of Character Program. Dr. Geller recently co-chaired a White Paper on “Integrating Common Core and Character Education: Why It Is Essential and How It Can Be Done” with Kristin Fink for Character Education Partnership and they presented the paper at the National CEP Conference in Washington D.C. in November. Dr. Geller has received such prestigious awards as The National Community of Caring Outstanding Administrator Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, the Optimist Partner in Education Award, the Rotary Carl A. Beck Humanitarian Award and was honored by Senator Connie Williams for her work in Character Education. She has spoken before Pennsylvania’s Congress regarding Upper Merion Area Middle School’s exemplary No Bullying Plan and is a published writer in the areas of Common Core, character and bullying. Dr. Geller’s Case Study “School Climate Reform at Upper Merion Area Middle School” is published in The Handbook of Pro-Social Education, Volume 1.
Dr. Darcia Narvaez
Director, Notre Dame’s Collaborative for Ethical Education
Narvaez is an professor of psychology and director of the Collaborative for Ethical Education at the University of Notre Dame. She was the research designer of the Minnesota Community Voices and Character Education project, which she spoke about at the White House. She has over 100 publications in the areas of moral reasoning, moral development and character education, including the award-winning books Postconventional Moral Thinking (1999, with Rest, Bebeau & Thoma), Moral development, self and identity (2004, with Lapsley), the Handbook of Moral and Character Education (2008, with Nucci), Personality, Identity and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology (2009, with Lapsley). Her latest book is Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy (2012, with Panksepp, Schore,& Gleason) and her forthcoming book is The Neurobiology and Development of Human Morality.
Dr. Clark Power
Professor, Program of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame
Power is a Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS), a Concurrent Professor in the Department of Psychology, and a member of the graduate faculty in Education at the University Of Notre Dame. A former Department Chair of PLS, Notre Dame’s “Great Books” program, Clark regularly teaches Great Books Seminars and courses in Ethics and Developmental Psychology. He is a former President of the Association for Moral Education and received the Kuhmerker Award for his contributions to the field of moral education. Power works in the area of moral development and education; the psychology of religious development, and sports and character education. His publications include Character Psychology and Character Education, edited by Daniel K. Lapsley and Clark Power (2005); The Challenge of Pluralism: Education, Politics and Values, edited by Clark Power & Daniel K. Lapsley (1992 ).
Dr. Scott Seider
Associate Professor, Boston University
Dr. Seider is an associate professor of education at Boston University where his research focuses on the civic and character development of adolescents and emerging adults. He previously worked as an English and literacy teacher in the Westwood (MA) and Boston Public Schools, and earned bachelor and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Scott is the author of more than 50 academic publications including Character Compass: How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students Toward Success (2012), which won the American Educational Research Association’s outstanding book award in moral development and education. His most recent work– supported by a 2013 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship– investigates the cultivation of critical consciousness in urban youth attending charter high schools.
Clifton L. Taulbert
President, The Building Community Institute (BCI)
Organizational Development and Human Capital Consulting
K-12 Education Consultant
As a K-12 Education Consultant Taulbert has been a guest professor for The Principals Center at Harvard University, the American International Schools (K-12 schools) throughout Europe, Asia and Central America. He is also a recurring guest professor on Educational Leadership at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently he consults with Urban School Districts throughout the country. Mr. Taulbert introduced his most recent book, Eight Habits of the Heart for Educators at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The book became a national best seller within six months of publication and serves as a resource text when consulting with K-12 educators. Clifton Taulbert is a Pulitzer-nominated author was also a major contributor to the Brussels’ published Human Resource Development and Information Technology and was a featured article author in the Summer 2008 edition of Leader to Leader, formerly published by the Peter Drucker Institute. He is also a content professor for PDI-NinthHouse, with the likes of Ken Blanchard, Steven Covey, and Peter Senge.
Dr. David B. Wangaard
Director, The School for Ethical Education (SEE)
Wangaard has been the director of The School for Ethical Education (SEE) in Milford, CT since 1995. Prior to earning his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado, David was a school principal in Alaska. He has been applying his character education strategies in schools since 1984 and has been one of the Character Education Partnership’s consultants for the National Schools of Character Program since 1999 and joined CEP’s Educational Advisory Council in 2011. Wangaard began SEE’s Youth: Ethics in Service service-learning program in 1998 and has used service learning to develop SEE’s Integrity Works! project to help secondary schools focus on academic integrity. Dr. Wangaard is an adjunct instructor at the University of Bridgeport and has been a successful presenter at national and international conferences in addition to authoring student and teacher texts in support of character development.