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This annual event provides professional development and networking opportunities for trainers in the state of Minnesota.

Join us for the 2020 Virtual Summit!

The Trainer and RBPD Summit offers professional development opportunities for trainers, RBPD specialists, and leaders in the early childhood field to gain new, relevant information and to network with their peers. It is our goal to provide a variety of topics and unique presentation ideas for trainers, leaders, and RBPD specialists in Minnesota.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Summit will be held virtually. All sessions will be held over the course of four weeks, from September 18 through October 18, 2020. Find the session information and corresponding registration links below.

Registration is now closed. We look forward to seeing you at the sessions!

Ann Dillard

Daring to Grow
Ann Dillard, MA, LMFT


Description: Nurturing yourself and others through the lens of empathy and self-compassion can be challenging at times. During this engaging Keynote session, Ann Dillard will share ways to incorporate these and other important qualities in our personal and professional lives as we dare to grow.

Presenter Bio: Ann Dillard is the founder of KIPP Consulting Services and is passionate about instilling hope and empowering individuals and families to live their best lives. She is also a credentialed trainer through the Minnesota Center for Professional Development and has served as an online instructor for Eager-to-Learn for over 15 years. Ann holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Operations from DeVry University. She is also trained in foster care and adoption competency and is a certified Daring Way facilitator through Dr. Brene Brown’s organization.


Date: Thursday, September 17
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Tips for Facilitating Adult Learning
Cory Woosley

Description: Whether you are experienced or new to the training world, join us! Discover how you can learn to better accommodate and encourage adult student success in a classroom setting. We will explore different techniques and tips for having an engaging and educational training event.

Presenter Bio: Cory Woosley, MA, Director of Workforce Development at Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Cory provides leadership and supervision to the Professional Development team, leads new initiatives, and serves as a liaison with DHS and others in the field. She is also on the early childhood education faculty for several Minnesota community colleges.

Date: Saturday, September 19
Time: 8:30-10:00 a.m.


Winning Participants Over and Making an Impact with the Power of Your Stories
Raelene Ostberg

Description: Leaders, coaches, and trainers know that storytelling can be a crucial component of effective public speaking, yet it can be tricky to identify which stories will best serve your purpose, when to incorporate the story, and how to tell that story to effectively and impactfully. Watch, analyze, and gain knowledge from video examples of successful speakers telling their stories. Explore specific examples of stories used in the development and delivery of early childhood content. Consider which types of stories might work best for the topic you are passionate about and identify the why, how, and where you might share that story. Explore methods to tell your story that will build critical rapport and credibility with your group, keeping participants open to your message and leave your audience with greater understanding and support for the ideas you just delivered.

Presenter Bio: Raelene Ostberg is the Founder of Thriving Together, LLC, an organization dedicated to decreasing stress, enhancing joy, and bolstering the success of early childhood professionals in their critical work.

Date: Saturday, September 19
Time: 10:30-12:00 p.m.


The Narrative Matters: Auditing our Training Materials for Bias and Missing Narratives
Kristen Wheeler-Highland

Description: Current events have highlighted the need for everyone to understand and examine how bias and racism are woven into our everyday life. Have you looked closely at the examples, stories, tips and strategies that are part of your training for 'isms,' bias, or who's missing in those pieces of our training? This session will be interactive; bring along one or two of your training sessions to examine.

Presenter Bio: Kristen Wheeler Highland is a veteran Early Childhood professional with many years of experience both in direct service and in the role of consultant/coach for providers, programs, and staff and as a trainer.

Date: Tuesday, September 22
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Losing Sight of the Child: Guiding Teachers to Use Children's Strengths to Address Challenging Behaviors
Mike Huber

Description: When a child exhibits challenging behaviors, teachers can react emotionally causing them to only see the behavior and not the strengths of the child. Learn how to help guide teachers to reflect on the child's strengths and create strategies to partner with the child to foster pro-social behaviors.

Presenter Bio: Mike Huber, MAEd, has been an early childhood teacher since 1992. He is the author of several books and has presented to thousands about the importance of movement and play for children.

Date: Thursday, September 24
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Daring to Grow Keynote Follow-up
Ann Dillard, MA, LMFT

Description: Join Ann Dillard for this engaging breakout session as she shares concepts and exercises from Dr. Brene Brown's Daring Way. The concrete tools that will be shared will further inspire you as you Dare to Grow.

Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 8:30-10:00 a.m.


The Role of the Education Leader: Treating Teachers and We Expect Them to Treat Children
Angele Passe

Description: Education leaders have a wealth of knowledge from their experience as (or with) teachers. What if we use the principles that teachers use to support children's learning to support teachers' growth and development? This workshop proposes the concept of a parallel process that creates a quality environment for children and staff.

Presenter Bio: Angèle Sancho Passe, MA, is a leader and expert in early childhood and family education. Her interests are early literacy, kindergarten readiness, dual language learners, diversity and equity, and educator effectiveness.

Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 10:30 am-12:00 p.m.


How Music and Movement Positively Impact Children's Emotional Health During Traumatic Times
Christine Kuisle

Description: This training will dive into how music and movement activities can be used in the classroom and beyond to help children handle their emotions in a positive way. We will explore specific music activities and songs that I have been using in the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic to help children cope.

Presenter Bio: Christine Kuisle has her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Concordia College. She currently works at Hopkins Early Learning Center where she teaches music and Second Step.

Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 12:30-2:00 p.m.


Supporting Black and Brown Children and Families of Color in an Era of Racism and Police Brutality
Kamyala Howard

Description: The black community is traumatized by the recurring loss of black lives, such as George Floyd. More black people have lost their lives to racial acts of violence and police brutality. Children across the country are asking questions, watching their families and communities grieve, and trying to make sense of the world. The reality that black and brown parents must prepare children as early as preschool for racial biases is troubling. Black and brown children do not have the privilege to be protected from police brutality and other racial discriminatory acts. It is a privilege to learn about racism instead of experiencing it your whole life. This session is tailored provide culturally reflective supports to parents, caregivers, educators, community liaisons, etc. that they can use to help children address the trauma of racism. The intent is to establish a healthy sense of self-worth and cultural identity that depicts positive representations of the community. 

Presenter Bio: Kamyala Howard, MSW, LCSW, is the founder of WE’RE DIVINE consulting, and certified in a range of evidence-based practices and training methodologies. She has over 15 years of result driven experience as a leader, developing innovative programs that cultivate communities and create culturally responsive practice.

Date: Monday, September 28
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Child Care Licensing and Training of Providers
Michelle MacGregor

Description: The Department of Human Services (DHS) child care training specialist team will share information about the new training specialist positions within the DHS child care licensing and certification unit. The child care training specialist staff will report training goals and initiatives for child care providers. The session is geared towards collaborating with other trainers, specialists, and directors so that the work being done with these new positions in the child care licensing unit will best support the current system for training delivery in our state.

Presenter Bio: Michelle MacGregor is an experienced leader in child care policy, state licensing, and early childhood education. Michelle has been with child care licensing and certification with the State of Minnesota for six years where she is an integral part of acquiring training specialist positions within the child care licensing unit.

Date: Wednesday, September 30
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Finding Your Path to YES in Challenging Situations Through Self-Compassion
Andy Johnsrud

Description: This session focuses on self-compassion by noticing what's going on now, loving limits, and staying open to the realities of the children and families we serve. So often “no” is the door that closes our ability to cope and actually serve others. We will identify our triggers for no: a child shouldn’t act this way; a family shouldn’t have to face this; I can’t fix this problem. Using “no” as our own pivot point, we will explore turning toward a radical acceptance and YES to the realities, challenges, and joys in our work with children and families.

Presenter Bio: Andy Johnsrud is a teacher, trainer, and father. For more than 20 years, Andy has been working with families, teachers, and providers to help raise kids who can cope and thrive in the real world with all its joys, challenges, uncertainties, and opportunities through his company, Warriors of the Open Heart.

Date: Saturday, October 3
Time: 8:30-10:00 a.m.


Equal is Not Always Equitable
Hope Doerner 

Description: Ever wonder why some of your participants are not as engaged in your presentations or give you feedback that is not glowing? Let's take some time to look at our assumptions around who we are training or working with and how we can continue to improve our practice by being more inclusive. Being explicit about what we are doing while training and interacting with professionals in the field could have a positive impact on the children in the state. 

Presenter Bio: Hope Doerner, MA, has been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1989. Currently, Hope is faculty in the Early Childhood Education Department at Minneapolis College. She also trains for Eager-to-Learn and consults in the early childhood field for individual programs. 

Date: Saturday October 3
Time: 10:30-12:00 p.m.


Self-Care: Develop Self-Awareness and Take Care of Oneself First
Mary Smith

Description: Early childhood professionals need high emotional intelligence to cope with on-the-job stressors and to serve as positive role models. Self-care and mindfulness can accomplish this. Emotions are an integral part of a trainer’s job and impact their effectiveness, behavior, cognition, and motivation.

Presenter Bio: Mary Smith has worked in childcare for over 30 years, is an Achieve approved trainer, and is committed to living a healthy stress-free life. During this time, she has assisted over 50 providers in opening their home base childcare programs.

Date: Tuesday, October 6
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Copyright Considerations for Trainers
Jonathon P. Norrie

Description: Jonathan will review how copyright and other intellectual property rights may impact your use and development of training curricula.

Presenter Bio: Jonathan Norrie is a shareholder at Bassford Remele in Minneapolis. He is an MSBA-certified labor and employment specialist. Jonathan regularly works with a broad range of schools, churches, healthcare providers, social-service organizations, and other non-profit institutions on a range of legal issues.

Date: Thursday, October 8
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Crafting and Drafting: Instructional Design and System Improvements
Kami Alvarez

Description: What goes into the creation of high-quality course content and the course approval process in Develop? Let's discuss some upcoming improvements to the system and resources available as you expand your professional development delivery skills.

Presenter Bio: Kami Alvarez, MSW, has worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services since 2008. She started in the Minnesota Child Welfare Training system, and in 2016 moved to the Child Development Services unit where she develops and manages professional development curricula and the Child Care Aware training delivery system for early education and care professionals.

Date: Saturday, October 10
Time: 8:30-10:00 a.m.


Quality for Children Starts with Quality for Adults: Modeling High Quality Interactions in Trainings
Karen Trewartha-Weiner & Hannah Riddle de Rojas

Description: Early educators dedicate considerable time to their professional development. Trainers have unique opportunities to model high quality interactions that further understanding and awareness during training. In this session we share our experience applying concepts from our work identifying quality educator-child interactions as Parent Aware observers and trainers to our training practice.

Presenter Bios: Karen Trewartha-Weiner, ME, is a PreK-12 Teaching Specialist for CEED. Hannah Riddle de Rojas is Project Manager and Program Quality Specialist at the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) at the University of Minnesota, overseeing the development of online self-paced early mathematics modules designed for the professional development of early childhood educators.

Date: Monday, October 12
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Bridging the Gap of Understanding Between Privilege and Poverty
Danielle Brady

Description: This interactive training will encourage us to increase awareness of differences, notice our tendencies, and think outside the box. We will experience empathy through conversation and activities focused on what it might be like to live in poverty and how it may affect our attitude, outlook, and decisions. SPOILER ALERT: Poverty is more than being just poor. We will disarm the evocative word "privilege" by discussing how we can recognize our own advantages and explore what the most vulnerable people in our community face every day. We will tackle strategies to handle courageous conversations about differences, race, white privilege and more. Participants will walk away with simple tools on how to bridge the gap of understanding between their own life's experience and how that may color their outlook of others' "choices" of how to live. Awareness is truly half the battle. People find these topics to be valuable not only in their work, but also for a greater understanding in all their interactions and relationships in their lives.

Presenter Bio: Danielle worked at Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery for 18 of those years with children experiencing crisis, poverty, and trauma. She has provided training on trauma informed care, poverty and cultural sensitivity for staff, volunteers, and the community.

Date: Wednesday, October 14
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.