Our Featured Speakers
Lisa Murphy, MEd (of Ooey Gooey, Inc.)
Lisa Murphy has been in the field of early childhood education for 30 years. She has spent most of her adult / professional life teaching and working with children in various environments including Head Start, kindergarten, private preschools, family childcare, park and rec centers, group homes and many childcare centers. Lisa is the founder and CEO of Ooey Gooey, Inc. where her mission is to assist in the transformation of the industry of early childhood education by offering 1) the best workshops and trainings; 2) the most up to date materials and resources; and 3) insightful conversations and connections through the power of social media. Lisa presents hundreds of workshops each year to both domestic and international audiences on various topics related to early childhood education.
Lisa has authored four books, (the fifth is in-press), produced dozens of teacher training DVD’s and is a popular keynote speaker at educational conferences. Her standing room only seminars have become nationally known for their information, humor, inspiration and energetic delivery. Lisa practices what she preaches by blending the learning with the laughing. Lisa is known for her ability to link hands-on activities to educational standards, her outspoken advocacy, and her commitment to creating child-centered, play-based early childhood environments.
Jennifer J. Clifden, PhD
Dr. Jennifer J. Clifden is the creator of Present Teacher TrainingTM (https://www.presentteacher.com/) and founder of Present Well-Being LLC. She received her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan and her MA in Socio-Cultural Foundations and Educational Thought from Western Michigan University. Jennifer also holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development with a focus on teacher development, mindfulness in the school setting, and the origins of teacher well-being. She currently teaches at the U of MN in the College of Education and Human Development and researches stress-resilience and the process of “burning in” to heart-centered healing professions. Jennifer’s 24 years of collective experience as a public school teacher, university teacher educator, well-being researcher, mindfulness and yoga teacher, and mother of a 7th grader and twin 6th graders serve to help human service professionals improve their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Anne R. Gearity, PhD
Anne R. Gearity, PhD has a mental health practice in Minneapolis, and consults to agencies and schools about the needs of children, especially young ones. She was on the faculty at the university’s infant and early childhood mental health certificate program, and now is clinical faculty in the U’s department of psychiatry, raining resident fellows in family assessment and engagement. In collaboration with Washburn Center for Children, she created Developmental Repair, an intervention for children who are challenged with aggressive and disruptive behaviors.
Eric M. Skanson, PhD
Dr. Eric Skanson has over 12 years’ experience in public school administration and 18 years of education at large. He is a seasoned leader that focuses on positive change, outstanding culture and collaboration. Eric has served on the executive board of MESPA (Minnesota Elementary School Principal’s Association since 2014 and is currently serving as the president. He received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota in 2016 through the Department of Organizational Leadership, and Policy Development was his academic core focus was on the use of collaboration for organizational improvement. Eric has used his developed models to help shape the purpose and outcomes of collaboration in multiple organizations for positive change. Eric is a leader of teams, visionary of change and first-class communicator focusing on the balanced use of face-to-face interactions along with social media. He is adept at developmental evaluation practices including survey development, onsite cultural inventory goal setting, and measurement. His beginnings in education, lesson development, and engaging teaching make his professional development experiential and unforgettable.