ESC Region 11 Fall Safety and Security Conference Keynotes and Presenters

ESC Region 11 Fall School Safety and Security Conference

For Teachers, Counselors, Parents, School Safety Staff, School Board Members, SROs, Child Nutrition, Transportation Directors, Law Enforcement Officers, Community Members and Others Concerned About Students


Dr. Sherri Bays, Superintendent

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Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Sherri Bays, Superintendent

Session title: Responding to Crisis and Lessons Learned

Session description: The deadliest mass shooting in Texas occurred within the boundaries of Floresville ISD, at the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church on November 5, 2017. Twenty-six people were killed and 20 were injured. FISD will discuss how internal and external communication was guided by their Crisis Plan, how they managed national media attention, including a Vice Presidential visit, and will discuss how they provided immediate and on-going support to students, staff and community members. Following a brief presentation, the floor will be open for discussion and questions.

Biography: Dr. Sherri Bays is a proud product of public schools and is a strong advocate for public education.  She graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. Her career in education began at Beeville ISD as a first grade teacher then came to Floresville ISD where she taught reading at Floresville Middle School for six years. Dr. Bays received a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University – Kingsville.

Her administrative career began in Kenedy ISD as an assistant principal and later served as principal at Kenedy Elementary School. In 2001, Dr. Bays was excited to return to Floresville ISD to serve as the Middle School Principal. After five years at the middle school, she was named Floresville High School Principal and held that position for three years. She then served as Assistant Superintendent at Floresville ISD for four years and as Interim Superintendent for the next nine months, during which time she graduated with her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. Dr. Bays was named FISD superintendent on March 31, 2014 and just completed her 26th year in education.   

Dr. Bays’ husband, Tim, is an Adjunct Training Officer at the San Antonio Fire Department Training Academy. Their son Ryan, who graduated from FHS in 2006 and Texas State University in 2010, lives in Midland with their daughter-in-law Cassedy and precious grandchildren Jace and Codi. Their daughter Shelbi graduated from FHS in 2016 and is attending Texas State University.  

Even though she did not grow up in Floresville, Dr. Bays has lived here for over 26 years. She considers Floresville home, is proud of our community and the educational opportunities provided by Floresville ISD.

District: Floresville ISD


Ms. Nicole Hockley, Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise

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Ms. Nicole Hockley, Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise

Session title: Sandy Hook Promise: Know the Signs

Session description: Our objectives are to bring research-based programs and practices to help protect children from gun violence, and other forms of violence, in homes, schools and communities, to teach how to recognize the signs and signals of a person in need of help before they can hurt themselves or others, and before a crisis, and prevent death and injury.

Biography: Nicole Hockley is a Founder and Managing Director for Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), where she leads and manages the organization’s work, focusing on communications and outreach efforts and frequently serving as its spokesperson.

After the tragic death of her son Dylan, one of 20 first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Nicole is focused on bringing people together in honest dialogue and searching for innovative solutions in the areas of mental health, school safety, community building and gun safety. She came to SHP with an extensive background in strategic marketing and communications for companies in the US and in the UK.

Hockley oversees SHP’s strategic direction and communications, where she works tirelessly to enable social change and promote gun violence prevention.

To date, Nicole has lead SHP to educate and train over 2.5 million youths, teens, and adults in all 50 states through the organization’s four proven “Know the Signs” programs that are offered to schools, youth groups, and community groups at no-cost. Her passionate work has resulted in the prevention of multiple school shooting plots and gun threats, several teen suicides, as well as other violent acts throughout the country.

In addition, Nicole was instrumental in working with BBDO New York on the award-winning PSA “Evan” that generated 2 billion impressions across 33 countries.  The campaign championed the message at the heart of SHP’s mission -  that gun violence is preventable when one knows the signs, and won 10 coveted Cannes Lions awards.

After Dylan’s death, the Hockley family created Dylan’s Wings of Change, a 501(c)(3) charity with a mission to help children with autism and other related conditions to achieve their full potential, with specific programs on technology, sports & arts and a “Wingman” program that instills leadership and fosters inclusion.

Today, Nicole remains in Sandy Hook with her eldest son, Jake.

Agency: Sandy Hook Promise


Mr. Michael Dovick, Lead Specialist, Dallas ISD Police Department

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor's degree in Criminology Certifications in Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Security Administration from the Florida State University

Mr. Michael Dovick, Lead Specialist, Dallas ISD Police Department

Session title: Youth Drug Culture

Session description: This is not the “drug trends” class you are used to. We will explore the newest drug trends that students are experimenting with, including concealment and delivery methods. We will share actual drug paraphernalia items and teach participants what they are and how they are used. We will teach the latest slang and how kids are sensationalizing drug use. We will examine the connection with drugs and music culture, not only with the popular music of today but also how adults are being surrounded with drug culture in everyday lives.

Agency: Dallas ISD PD

Biography: Michael Dovick earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and holds Certifications in Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Security Administration from the Florida State University.  Mr. Dovick is the Lead Specialist for the Dallas ISD Police Department where Michael serves as the department’s forensic investigator, crime scene analyst, and evidence custodian.  He is also the department’s Crime Stoppers administrator, gang and drug intelligence analyst, and manages the district’s security camera system with a budget of approximately 20 million dollars.  Michael was previously employed by the Dallas County Juvenile Department in various capacities, ranging from line officer to supervisor.  He has worked in the law enforcement community in Dallas County for over 20 years with several regional jurisdictions.  He is a member of multiple professional associations and holds extensive training certificates.  Michael speaks at the regional, state, and national level on gangs and drugs in school.  He is heavily involved in Special Olympics of Texas and is the Head of Delegation for the City of Irving Parks and Recreation Special Olympics program.  Michael is married and is the proud father of five wonderful children.


 Cynthia Bethany, Director of Prevention and Crisis Response

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Cynthia Bethany, Director of Prevention and Crisis Response

Session titleThreat Assessment from a Behavioral Perspective

Session description: Increasingly, schools are responsible for determining level of suicidal or violent behavior risk for students in order to keep everyone safe. Learn about the phases of Emergency Management, Risk Assessment tools, and the importance of having procedures in place for addressing all types of behavioral threats. Through discussion and sharing knowledge the group will develop ideas for working with parents and community resources to ensure the best services for a student making an outcry.

District: Fort Worth ISD

BiographyCindy Bethany is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker – Supervisor and Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist.  She is the Director of Prevention and Crisis Response for Fort Worth ISD and works provide professional development and consultation to counselors, intervention specialists and administrators on campuses in the event of a suicidal or violent student or a death impacting the campus.  She is also the co-owner of Bethany, Yates & Associates in Arlington since 1997– a private practice where she sees adolescents and adults dealing with anxiety, depression, grief and trauma.  Cindy was named Mental Health Professional of the Year for North Texas Critical Incident Stress Management in 1999 and Social Worker of the year in Tarrant County in 2000.  She works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, American Airlines, numerous local police and fire departments and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management, Youth Mental Health First Aid as a trainer, Psychological First Aid, Trust-Based Relational Intervention ® (TBRI®) Practitioner and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing® (EMDR). 


Mr. David Thweatt, Superintendent

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Degrees and Certifications:

M.Ed.

Mr. David Thweatt, Superintendent

Session TitleThe Guardian Plan: The Original Armed Employee Policy

Session Description: In October of 2007, Harrold ISD instituted the Guardian Plan—a policy enabling approved employees to carry concealed handguns. This policy was the first of its kind in the nation, and presently, at least 200 Texas school districts have passed similar policies. Superintendent, David Thweatt, will explain the Guardian Plan, the thinking process that led to the policy, and the subsequent developments over the past decade. There should be a short time for questions and answers. 

District: Harrold ISD

Biography: A native of Texas, David Thweatt was born in Ft. Worth and raised in Abilene. He earned a Bachelor of Education from Hardin Simmons University and Masters of Education from Texas State University. He started driving a school bus in 1979, and since that time has taught, coached forensics and debate, served as a high school assistant principal, high school principal, and is currently in his fifteenth year as superintendent at Harrold ISD. David is married and has three children—one of which still attends Harrold ISD. His wife, Mindee, teaches Math in Harrold. In 2007, David instituted an armed employee program called the Guardian Plan, which has been subsequently copied in over 200 districts statewide. He worked with the Texas Senate in 2013 to pass SB 1857, which created the School Safety Certification. This certification program provides employees of schools, churches, and hospitals with concealed handgun training so that these organizations can implement similar programs more effectively.


Ms. Haley Turner,  Attorney, Shareholder

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science Law Degree from Baylor Law School

Ms. Haley Turner, Attorney, Shareholder

Session title: Legal Issues in the Threat Assessment Process

Session description: Assessing and responding to student threats requires both decisive action and thoughtful decision making. Administrators should possess an understanding of the legal implications for the school and its employees at each step in this process in order to prevent unnecessary complications or prolonged disputes arising from the school's response to student threats. This session will address the legal issues in each phase of the student threat assessment process, including student privacy laws, requests for records, student discipline, and transition of students back to the regular campus after removal.

Biography: Haley Turner comes from three generations of public educators — teachers, counselors, nurses, coaches, and administrators — and grew up hearing about every aspect of the issues facing public schools. Haley attended Baylor University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science and her law degree from Baylor Law School. Haley joined the Firm in 2009.

Haley is a Shareholder in the Firm, and though she lives and works in Austin, Texas, she spends much of her time traveling around the state working with school boards and administrators. Haley brings a common sense approach to her work with school districts in the areas of governance, employment, and student issues. Haley is a frequent trainer of school boards and administrators and frequent speaker at school law conferences. 

Agency: Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C.


Mr. Tom Kelley, School Safety Specialist TCOLE Training Coordinator

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Mr. Tom Kelley, School Safety Specialist TCOLE Training Coordinator

Session titleMaking Our Schools Safer

Session description: There is no one solution to school safety and security. This presentation will identify safety and security challenges in Texas Schools and discuss how to address them with the goal of providing a safe and secure learning environment.

Biography: Tom is a School Safety Specialist and serves as the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Texas School Safety Center, at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.  For the last 11 years, Tom has provided training, guidance and technical assistance to schools in the areas of safety, security, emergency operation planning, safety and security auditing, playground safety, and best practices.  Tom has over 35 years of experience working with schools and public entities in the areas of risk management, safety, and emergency management.

Agency: Texas School Safety Center, Texas State University


Ms. Sarah Orman, Senior Attorney

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Ms. Sarah Orman, Senior Attorney

Session titleAre the Kids Alright?: Update on Cyberbullying, Suicide Prevention, and Student Mental Health

Session descriptionIn light of concerns about school violence and cases of “bullycide,” educators must be increasingly skilled at learning to recognize and respond to signs of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues experienced by students. According to studies of targeted school violence, more than 70% of attackers were victims of bullying. Many had also attempted or considered suicide. In this session, a TASB attorney will discuss recent legal developments regarding a district’s duty to respond to bullying and cyberbullying and provide practical tips regarding steps that school districts can take to prevent students from harming themselves or others.

Agency: TASB

Biography: As a Senior Attorney at TASB Legal Services, Sarah Orman advises school district officials on a variety of legal issues. Sarah is also a frequent presenter at state and national conferences regarding school law topics, including Title IX, school safety, student privacy, special education, and student discipline.

Sarah was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Before attending law school at the Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California, Sarah studied Russian at the Evergreen State College in Washington, received a Master’s Degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Wisconsin, and worked as an assistant literary agent in New York, New York.

Sarah was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2006 and worked for two years as a school district attorney in Oakland, California, where her practice focused on labor and employment. Sarah was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2011. From 2010-2013, she worked in the Austin office of Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green and Treviño, where she represented school districts in the areas of employment, governance, facilities and business. In 2017, Sarah became a certified Civil Rights Investigator through the Association of Title IX Administrators.

Sarah is a member of the school law section of the State Bar, the Texas Council of School Attorneys and the National Council of School Attorneys.


Mr. Craig Bessent, Assistant Superintendent

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Degrees and Certifications:

Texas School Marshal Bachelor of Science Degree, Texas Tech University Masters of Education, Texas Tech University Superintendent Certification, Abilene Christian University

Mr. Craig Bessent, Assistant Superintendent

Session titleTexas School Marshal Program, “Protecting our Children”

Session descriptionDescribe the necessity for on site active shooter protection and why the Texas School Marshal program is a good, cost effective alternative for many districts.

Biography: Craig Bessent is the Assistant Superintendent for School Operations at Wylie ISD., Abilene, Texas; he is also a Texas School Marshal. In college, Craig was a member of the Texas Tech Rodeo Team (Bull Riding) 1976-1980. Craig was the Head Track Coach/Assistant Football Coach at Midwestern State University. Mr. Bessent's additional accomplishments include: 

  1. 38 years as a Texas school educator, 27 years Texas school administrator.
  2. Member of Texas Governor Abbott’s Roundtable on School Safety.
  3. Advisor to the Texas Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security.
  4. Advisor to the Texas House of Representative’s Select Committee on Homeland Security.
  5. “Governor’s School Safety Stakeholder” participant.
  6. Manages the largest, most innovative School Marshal Program in Texas and the Nation.
  7. “Certified Basic Police” Instructor.
  8. “Texas School Marshal” Trainer.
  9. “Texas School Based law Enforcement/ School Resource Officer” Trainer.
  10. “National Emergency Incident Management Systems” Trainer.
  11. Certified in all levels of “Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training” to Active Shooter Events.
  12. “Stop the Bleed” program instructor.
  13. “Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools” Instructor.
  14. 600 hours of “Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training”.
  15. School Safety and Texas School Marshal Program Presentation Speaker (Texas Association of School Administrators Summer Conference 2018, Harris County for Safe and Secure Schools, Texas School Based Law Enforcement Conference, Multiple School Districts, Education Service Centers,
  16. Abilene Texas “Emergency Operations”: Board Member
  17. Taylor County “211”: Board Member and Taylor County VOAD member.
  18. ALERRT “Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events” trainer.
  19. “Standard Response Protocol” and “Standard Reunification Method” trainer.
  20. Texas School Safety Center “Spotlight Recipient 2018”, State-Wide Contribution to “Texas School Safety”. 

District: Wylie ISD


Ms. Kathryn Everest, Director, Counseling Services

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Degrees and Certifications:

M.Ed., CTTS, CSC, VSC, Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner

Ms. Kathryn Everest, Director, Counseling Services

Session TitleDig Deeper than Metal Detectors and More Law Enforcement; Decrease School Violence and Improve School Climate with Proven Strategies that Don't Cost More Money.

Session DescriptionCome learn about and understand the “need” behind violent behaviors so we can de-escalate those intense emotions. Walk away from this session with strategies we can implement as a learning community to change the violent trajectory of our youth. Participants will gain a better understanding of how trauma can have a negative impact on all of us and how adverse childhood experiences contribute to violent behaviors. Learn how we can teach self-regulation in our schools and help mitigate intense out of control emotions that result in violence.

Biography: Kathryn Everest is the Director of Counseling Services for the Fort Worth Independent School District is a Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist and is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention ® (TBRI®) Practitioner.  Kathryn, appointed by Governor Rick Perry, served on the State Board of Educator Certification.  She is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management and has worked with local fire and police departments after several critical incidents in their CISM efforts.  She is a recent winner of the Advocacy Award from the Lone Star State School Counselor Association and previous received the Supervisor of the Year distinction from the Texas School Counseling Association.  Kathryn served 2 elected terms on the Board of Directors for the Texas Counseling Association.  Kathryn dedicates her life to teaching others - always encouraging and motivating - she thrives on teaching wellness techniques across the country. For her work in the area of “wellness” she was chosen as a “Great Woman of Texas” - a Woman of Influence by the Business Press in Fort Worth, Texas.

District: Fort Worth ISD


Mr. Scott Collins, Aubrey ISD Police Department Chief

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Degrees and Certifications:

Sam Houston State University: Bachelors in Science Criminal Justice Houston 100 Club, Police Officer of the Year (2013) Multiple Lifesaving Awards (Police) Member of Texas and National Association of School Resource Officers Member of Texas ISD Chiefs Association Trilogy Award Winner from the FBI LEEDA

Mr. Scott Collins, Aubrey ISD Police Department Chief

Session Title: Command: Who's Really in Charge on Scene (Unified Command Concepts)

Session Description: Learn how schools can work with First Responders during an emergency on campus.

Session Title: Panel Discussion (Round Table) School Safety Today Questions by Leaders, Including SRO or ISD PD?

Session Description: Q & A for superintendents, school boards, and school safety staff who do not have an ISD PD

BiographyScott Collins is the Chief of Police and Emergency Manager for Aubrey ISD Police Department, Aubrey, Texas.  Chief Collins is a leader in School Police departments (School Based Law Enforcement), best practices for School Safety, and Emergency Management for Schools.  Being an active police Chief, he uses technology to further the safety of not only the school but also the staff and the community.  

Chief Collins is cross-trained in Police (18 years), Fire (26 Years), and EMS (23 Years), and has been in several roles throughout his career.  Collins has served as the police chief for the past five years at AISD PD.  During his tenure, Collins has implemented multiple community programs to benefit the schools and community.  He has taken a large role to prevent, and mitigate school threats, and upgrade school security.  One of the most important roles that chief Collins does is the Emergency Management for the school district.  Collins is a Master Peace officer License and has multiple specialized certifications in all public safety disciplines.  

Collins is a certified instructor and enjoys teaching school-based law enforcement and emergency management classes to his peers and the community.  Chief Collins plans to continue his career as a Chief of Police and Emergency Manager in School Based Law Enforcement and will continue to teach to not only police officers but the community and students, as long as he can. 


Ms. Ashley Phillips

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Degrees and Certifications:

RDN, LD

Ms. Ashley Phillips

Session titleChild Nutrition Environment: Safeguarding Your Cafeteria

Session description: School Foodservice professionals are an important ally in your school. They are responsible for protecting entrances, ensuring food is served safely and free from intentional harm. They also play a pivotal role in emergencies and should be included in your safety and security plans/drills. We look forward to discussing these topics with YOU!

Agency: ESC Region 11

Biography: Ashley started her career as a clinical dietitian following her graduation from UT Southwestern Dallas. Ashley has spent the last 6 years working  in Foodservice Management within schools, the community, and the hospital setting. Most recently, she was the Child Nutrition Assistant Director at Fort Worth ISD leading training and all things compliance. Her first year as a food service director, she was awarded “Account of the Year”, which she states was “A very proud moment for my team and I!” Ashley participated on the incident command control team as a director of food service at a local hospital. This command team spent time learning about emergency drills, and the importance of always being prepared.  In her spare time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family, two girls, practicing yoga, and gardening.


Mr. Dennis R. May, Chief Business Development Officer

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Mr. Dennis R. May, Chief Business Development Officer

Session Title: Surviving a Critical Incident through Situational Awareness and Victim Sustainability

Vendor Session Description: Practical Guidance as to raising situational awareness in any environment, along with how to treat the wounded in the aftermath of a critical event.

BiographyIn 2017, Dennis R. May retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after serving over 25 years as a Special Agent.  While employed with the FBI, May’s experience included being a SWAT Team Leader, a SWAT Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), a certified Tactical Instructor, a certified Firearm’s Instructor, a Defensive Tactic’s Instructor and Assistant Crisis Management Coordinator. In 2007, May created the FBI’s Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force and held the position of Task Force Coordinator until 2017.  While serving as a Special Agent, May’s duty assignments included Los Angeles, California; Helena, Montana; and Austin, Texas. May’s temporary duty assignments included Washington D.C., Russia, Argentina, Spain, Kenya and Afghanistan.

In 2016, May co-founded Practical Lifesaving Solutions (PLS), and currently holds the position of Chief Development Officer.  In addition to creating business opportunities for PLS, May conducts Vulnerability Assessments, and provides Critical Incident Preparedness Training, as well as Bleeding Control Training, to assist organizations with mitigating both man-made and naturally occurring critical incidents.

Company: Practical Lifesaving Solutions (PLS)

 


Ms. Mary Ann Contreras, RN

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Ms. Mary Ann Contreras, RN

Session titleStop the Bleed (90 minute certification)

Session description: Stop the Bleed is a nationwide campaign and program empowering individuals to recognize a life threatening hemorrhage and how to stop it through tourniquet application, wound pressure and wound packing. Bystanders can take simple steps to keep an injured person alive until appropriate medical care is available. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss in as little as 5 minutes. Bystander intervention can be crucial to saving lives.

Agency: JPS Health Network

BiographyMary Ann Contreras is the Violence and Injury Prevention Manager at JPS Hospital, a busy Level One Trauma Center in Fort Worth Texas. Mary Ann has been a registered nurse over 37 years. Currently, she studies trauma, behavior, environment and policy to develop, implement and evaluate prevention initiatives. She coordinates and collaborates with other organizations to develop trauma education and outreach programs for the community, local schools and elderly populations, focusing on injury and violence prevention. These programs are based on local data and the hospital’s trauma registry. Mary Ann is involved with internal nursing trauma education and she is active in the regional and state trauma advisory councils, advocating for proficient trauma centers and trauma systems.


Dr. Sean Lawler

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Dr. Sean Lawler

Session title: FREEZE! Overcoming Debilitating Cognitive Responses During Life-Threatening Events

Session description: The presenter will discuss one of the most important elements of any safety/security response protocol--the human element. Schools must develop functional and effective crisis response plans which must be incorporated into realistic scenario training. Emphasis will be placed upon the cognitive neurological response to life-threatening events and perceptual distortions, as well as methods of overcoming these obstacles.

Session title: Electronic Screen Addiction: The Latest Research which Parents and Educators Need to Know

Session description: The speaker will discuss the latest research regarding electronic screen addiction, including internet addiction disorder, addiction to video games, and a rise in depressive symptoms and suicidal outcomes in US adolescent females which is directly correlated to use of social media.

Biography: Dr. Sean Lawler earned his Doctor of Management degree from Colorado Technical University, where his concentration was Homeland Security. His dissertation research study focused on strategies for disruption of an active shooter or terrorist attack upon American schools. Dr. Lawler also has an MS in Business Administration from Strayer University and a BS from the United States Air Force Academy in Political Science. 

Dr. Lawler is currently a Supervisory Special Agent in the US Department of Justice, where he serves as Chief of Training for his Division. Dr. Lawler is a federal Firearms Instructor, a federal Tactical Instructor, a tactical medic (NREMT), an Active Shooter Defense Instructor, and a Standardization Instructor Pilot. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Dr. Lawler was a Major in the United States Air Force, where he served as an Instructor Pilot in the T-34, an Aircraft Commander in the KC-10A, a Human Intelligence Case Officer, and a Combat Interrogator. Dr. Lawler currently is a Liaison Officer for the US Air Force Academy, a role in which he interviews and mentors candidates during the application process. Dr. Lawler is also a school board member of a local private school, where he maintains an advisory role on safety and security policies and procedures, as well as conducting regular teacher active shooter defense training.

Dr. Lawler is co-founder of 360 Resilience Group which incorporates a scholar-practitioner approach to education and training for organizations to deter, disrupt, and defeat violent attacks.

Agency: US Department of Justice, 360 Resilience Group 


Ms. Melanie Moss

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Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism for both news editorial and public relations Master of Public Health degree, with emphasis in emergency preparedness and response

Ms. Melanie Moss

Session title: Options and Opportunities for Reducing Risk

Session description: School-based incidents mark the need for viable solutions to minimize risks and mitigate emergencies. Educational institutions need options that will help create a safe, secure, and healthy learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. This interactive presentation will discuss a variety of security methods such as metal detectors, clear backpacks, and biometric readers, as well as simple mitigation strategies. Members will gain an understanding of safety and security resources that may help reduce or prevent the risks associated with school-based incidents and how to integrate these strategies into their emergency operations plan.

Session title: Evaluating Tools for Safe and Secure Schools

Session description: Events involving school safety and security also affect the community at large and serve as a reminder that as go schools so goes the community. This can make emergency planning for schools all the more intimidating. This session will provide an introduction to emergency management for school districts, including the different phases of emergency management, who needs to be involved in the process, and the tools every district should have in their emergency management toolkit. Attendees will also receive exposure to the Incident Command System, and how it works in a school environment. Attendees will leave the session equipped with the information they need to engage in the planning process and establish the partnerships needed to maintain safe and secure schools.

Biography: Melanie Moss is an Emergency Management and Safety Consultant for the Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund.

Before moving to TASB in 2013 Melanie worked at the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) serving both the policies and plans unit as TDEM’s Assistant Public Information Officer. Before that she worked for the Williamson County and Cities Health Districts where in a community outreach role that included coordinating community events, supporting strategic planning, writing press releases, producing PSAs and designing agency literature.

Melanie’s exposure to emergency management began at an early age and includes response and recovery experience for the Jarrell Tornado in 1997, Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the Bastrop Wildfires in 2010. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism for both news editorial and public relations, and a Master of Public Health degree, with emphasis in emergency preparedness and response, from Benedictine University.

Agency: TASB


Mr. Randy Gover, Transportation Director

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Mr. Randy Gover, Transportation Director

Session titleCould Your School Bus Be Used as a "Trojan Horse"?

Session description: This session will change the way we view a student's simple bus ride to and from school, on extracurricular trips or on field trips. School transportation, security and other personnel will receive resources and updates to school bus safety and security issues that plague our transportation system.

BiographyRandy Gover is the director of Transportation for Weatherford ISD. He is Area 2 Director for the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation (TAPT) and President of the Region 11 TAPT Chapter. He holds the Master Transportation Official Certification from TAPT.

He instructs school bus driver safety certification  for ESC Region 11 and has taught safety classes for Regions 6 and 14 as well. Mr. Gover is a former teacher and campus administrator and retired as a Major from the Texas Army National Guard.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Texas A&M and his Master’s degree in Public Administration.

District: Weatherford ISD


Mr. Chris Earnest, Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agent

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Mr. Chris Earnest, Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agent

Session title: CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events )

Session description: The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course, designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) strategy developed by ALERRT in 2004, provides strategies, guidance and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event. Topics include the history and prevalence of active shooter events, civilian response options, medical issues, and considerations for conducting drills.

Biography: Chris Earnest began his career with the Texas Department of Public Safety in October of 1998.  Chris was assigned to the Texas Highway Patrol from April 1999 to August of 2008. In September of 2008, Chris promoted to the Criminal Law Enforcement Division assigned to the Criminal Intelligence Service, serving there for 2 years.  Special Agent Earnest then transferred to the Narcotics Service until 2015.  Special Agent Earnest transferred to the Regulatory Service until October of 2017 at which time he took over as the Regional Training Coordinator for Region 1, North Texas.  Special Agent Earnest now facilitates and instructs TXDPS CID Special Agents' training to include Basic Firearms, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training - Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, Active Attack Integrated Response, Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, Plain Clothes Options for Lethal Encounters, among other courses.

Agency: Texas Department of Public Safety


Mr. Rory Peacock, Deputy Executive Director Technology Services

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Mr. Rory Peacock, Deputy Executive Director Technology Services

Session title: Security For The Future

Session description: Security is a topic that goes far beyond the computer. Join us as we talk, play and compete in an interactive session focused around security aspects including credit card skimming, identity theft, the Internet of Things, and more. Guaranteed to be a conversation topic after this session. Make sure you bring a device to join the fun.

Biography: Rory Peacock began his career 17 years ago at a very small, rural school just outside of Abilene, Texas working as a math teacher and the technology department.  Through his journey, he has worked in various roles such as network technician, communications specialist, teacher, and web applications development manager.  His most recent work prior to joining ESC Region 11 was as Director of Instructional Technology at Northwest ISD which led him to his current position of Deputy Executive Director for Technology Services.

His story is full of many unique situations including leading the creation of the FIBER11 network, bringing joy to learning for over 10,000+ students at the annual STEAM Carnival, writing and selling an online lesson planning software for over 5,000 teachers well before it was mainstream, and being an integral part of keeping a Fortune 500 company in business by restructuring their online presence in less than two weeks.

Rory has been honored with several awards and opportunities such as being named a state finalist for Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year in 2014, receiving the Texas TEAM Award at ESC 11 in 2017, and the White Settlement PD Police Life-Saving Award in 2016 for helping an officer pull up a homeless man who was hanging from a bridge over the Interstate.  His speaking engagements have led him from keynoting a graduation all the way to most recently presenting to the FCC in Washington DC on behalf of schools across the nation.

Agency: ESC Region 11


Mr. Nicholas Ghidina, Police Officer

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Degrees and Certifications:

MSSW

Mr. Nicholas Ghidina, Police Officer

Session title: Keeping Students Safe: Human Trafficking 101

Session description: Learn the definition of human trafficking and how prevalent it is within our own communities and neighborhoods. We will also be discussing: how traffickers lure their victims, how to identify these victims of human trafficking, how to protect ourselves and our children, and how to handle reporting.

Biography: Nicholas moved to Forth Worth, Texas in 2010, after earning a dual bachelors degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Lake Forest College in Chicago, IL, where he earned 4 varsity letters, playing hockey for the NCAA Division III Foresters. Upon graduation, Nicholas was accepted into TCU's Master of Education in Counseling program, and graduated in December of 2012. Upon completion of the program, Nicholas joined the United States Army Texas National Guard and has served as Paratrooper for the last five years. Once he returned from basic training and jump school, Nicholas moved to Tennessee to work as a Youth Specialized Crisis Response Counselor, emphasizing his efforts in trauma, and suicide prevention. Nicholas served as his district's representative on the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, teaching other healthcare and business professionals on the flags and symptoms of suicide awareness and discussion. Upon his return to Texas, Nicholas joined the Arlington Police Department in January of 2017, and is eager to grow his circle of relationships through Unbound, to spread awareness and education to all of Texas, on the effects and detriments of human trafficking. 

Agency: UnBound and Arlington Police Department


Mr. James Turnage, M.A., LPC-S

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Mr. James Turnage, M.A., LPC-S

Session title: Recognizing the Value of a Mental Health First Aide Course

Session description: Are you equipped to help your students cope with life's struggles, both in the classroom and out? Do you know how to support students who might be in need of mental health intervention? Come understand the value of a Mental Health First Aid course and learn about the ALGEE model to support youth.

Biography: James Turnage M.A., LPC-S,  is Director of Supports with Disability and Behavioral Health Services for MHMR of Tarrant County. He directs  a trauma based services program serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are victims of crime. He also provides clinical supervision to the supportive employment program. James is an instructor for both Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid.

Agency: MHMR of Tarrant County

 



Mr. Mike Richhart

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Mr. Mike Richhart

Session title: Suicide Intervention

Session description: Participants will walk away having learned a six-step process for intervening with those who are having suicidal ideation. The information is based on the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Workshop, a two-day course offered from Living Works, Inc.

Biography: Mike Richhart is a Training Specialist with MHMR of Tarrant County. In addition to providing coursework for MHMR staff, Mike instructs Mental Health First Aid Workshops for working with adults and with youth. He also facilitates Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), a two-day workshop offering intervention skills for those with suicidal ideation.

Agency: MHMR of Tarrant County


Ms. Shelby McIntosh

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Ms. Shelby McIntosh

Session title: Let's Talk! About Being Proactive

Vendor session description: See how Let's Talk! the tool by K12 Insight, can help your district and schools be proactive in preventing safety and security issues before they become a crisis. See how you can collect valuable data from all incoming communications to determine where you might need to focus in preventing bullying, threats or any kind of safety concerns. Get valuable insight into what is concerning your students, parents, teachers and community.

Biography: In her role as Vice President of Client Success for K12 Insight, Shelby partners with school district leaders across the country to build community trust in public schools. Her education career began in Lewisville ISD where she taught high school English. Prior to joining K12 Insight she conducted non-partisan research for Congress through the Center on Education Policy in Washington, D.C. She completed her doctorate in education policy at George Mason University in 2013.

Company: K12 Insight