General Session Keynote Speakers
Opening General Session
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Dr. Steve Perry’s heart pumps passion and produces positive change. His career has taken him from directing a grassroots organization in Chester, PA to a full scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work, back to his hometown of Middletown where he ran a homeless shelter, became a candidate for state representative and published his first of four books…then he turned 26.
Dr. Perry is in a hurry to transform the community. He was born into his family’s third generation of poverty on his mother’s 16th birth. He believes that the success of a life is determined by where you end, not where you start. It is this philosophy that inspired him to transform the lives of poor and minority children by providing them with access to a college education.
In 1998 Dr. Steve Perry founded ConnCAP, the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness Program, at Capital Community College. The program sent 100% of its low-income first generation graduates to four-year colleges for six years. Then in 2004 Capital Prep was born and since its inception it too has sent 100% of its graduates to four year colleges for three consecutive years! Perry courageously forged a path into starting a public middle and high school in the state’s lowest performing district, Hartford. Today, Capital Prep has become one of the nation’s most successful public middle/high schools.
The Capital Preparatory Magnet School has been recognized by the Hartford Courant and US News & World Reports as one of America’s Best High Schools. This summer Dr. Steve Perry was featured on CNN’s documentary Black in America as one of Black America’s solutions to solving the education gap.
Dr. Perry is the CNN Education Contributor and Essence Best Selling author, with his book “Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us”. He is a nationally sought after speaker appearing on over 200 radio and television stations in the past three years. He has also been a regular contributor on issues of education for CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. Dr. Perry is also on a national college tour where he discusses issues ranging from personal responsibility to educational reform.
This spring Dr. Perry has release his fourth book Raggedy Schools The Untold Truth a highly anticipated compelling and at times scathing look at urban public education. In this book he challenges teachers’ unions, parents, students, urban radio and the crumbling institution of marriage within the Black community.
» Order Steve's books
Closing General Session
Thursday, November 20, 2014
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dr. Allan R. Bonilla is a true Floridian having been born in Orlando and spending 40 years as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal in the Miami-Dade County School System. He is a graduate of the University of Miami, Barry University, and Nova University.
Dr. B, as he was called by all at Palm Springs Middle School, was their principal for 14 years and was recognized for the school’s turnaround success by being selected Principal of the Year. Upon retiring, Dr.B went on to coach and mentor school administrators and to write a book, published by Corwin Press, titled, I’m in the Principal’s Seat, Now What? The Story of a Turnaround Principal. The book speaks about what a school, challenged by low student attendance, a high failure rate, and low morale, could do to create success for all through true shared responsibility.
Dr. Bonilla’s theme of positive culture building, coupled with a true collaborative environment, has made him a popular speaker at conferences including ASCD, NAESP, NASSP, National Charters, High Schools That Work, and Texas and Florida Charters. Dr.B and his wife now live in Austin Texas having followed their son and his wife and children to the Lone Star State.