Canyon Professional Development
GCU's Canyon Professional Development department provides today's educators with inspiring and purposeful programs that focus on everything from strategic implementation of STEM and financial literacy to grant writing and classroom management. We offer customized onsite sessions at your school, as well as GCU-based learning opportunities and events for staff, administrators and educators.
Geared toward diverse 21st century learners, our Canyon Professional Development program offerings are led by educational experts with a wide array of experience and knowledge. Whether you choose an onsite session or attend a campus event, the Canyon PD team will deliver valuable insight, instruction and support. Ultimately, our goal is to help generate excellence through a range of unique learning opportunities, the latest educational topics and active learning strategies. We're providing professional development, with a purpose.
Offerings During School Closures
We are here to walk alongside our educators and community during these challenging and changing times by creating an informational series to serve you and your students. We are ready to listen to your needs and concerns as we try to meet emerging needs of K-12 students.
Join Canyon PD experts every Wednesday for a weekly series on educational topics that offer ways to manage distance learning for schools and at-home education situations for parents. Canyon PD will present the weekly Wednesday webinars live at 10 am MST.
If anyone is not able to join live they can still watch the webinar anytime through our YouTube channel. We will also be posting daily tips and other resources on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you have not already, please follow us on Facebook @SEA_GCU and on Twitter @GCU_SEA.
Canyon Professional Development Subscription Models
Save time, reduce costs and build staff expertise with our Canyon Professional Development subscriptions! We provide professional development with a purpose through inspiring opportunities and practical programs for educators, administrators and staff. Ranging from online sessions to customized coaching at your site, our workshops are all designed to empower your employees and add value to your school.
We have subscription model options available both in Phoenix and outside the Phoenix metro area. Whether it’s a professional development event at GCU or on-site workshop sessions, you can choose the level and delivery method that is best for your educators and programs.
For more information on these Canyon Professional Development subscriptions, complete the form below and a representative will contact you.
Upcoming Sessions and Workshop Series:
All upcoming events have been canceled or postponed.
For more information, email [email protected] or follow us on Facebook @SEA.GCU and Twitter @GCU_SEA.
Canyon Professional Development provides many programs and events in which you can participate in to enhance your professional experience, network with your peers and have fun. Learn more about our featured programs and our upcoming events throughout the year.
Enhance your STEM practices with eight exciting workshops tailored to help you develop the skills needed to run a successful STEM program. Workshops are offered January - May 2020 with topics ranging from funding sources, building partnerships, competition strategies and more!
Discounts available for alliance participants. Visit gcu.edu/stem2020 for more information.
The K12 Educational Development department's advisory boards serve to give participants a voice. We depend on our network of internal and external partners to provide assistance, expertise and valuable feedback to deliver state-of-the-art programming.
Meetings occur throughout the school year.
Email [email protected] for more information.
Meet the Experts
Ava Genung is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona Christian University, where she taught Language Arts in the Elementary Classroom and is currently acting as a Field Supervisor for student teachers. She is the former Professional Development Specialist for the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Ava's 26 years of education spans from teaching first grade through the university level, as well as that of a Reading Specialist and Mentor for first- and second- year teachers. Ava is a presenter at conferences, as well as a Canyon Professional Development Expert for Grand Canyon University. Ava received her bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Arizona. She earned her National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist. Ava is listed in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" and was a Science Teacher "Innovator of the Year" finalist with the Intel Corporation.
Expert Areas: Brain- Based Instruction; Guided Reading Strategies; Student Engagement; Writing Across the Curriculum
Carol has over 25 years of experience in the field of education. She is currently employed with Grand Canyon University as the Executive Director for K-12 Educational Development and Student Outreach. In this role, she extends outreach to K-12 districts and schools through high-quality professional development and student engagement opportunities. Previously, she held the position of Associate Superintendent for the High Academic Standards for Students Division at the Arizona Department of Education. She has also served as the Principal of Washington High School in the Glendale Union High School District. Under her leadership, Washington was recognized as an Arizona Education Foundation A+ School, a Silver Medal School by US News and World Reports, an All Subjects Higher Performing School by the ABEC and one of the Top Schools in the USA by topschoolsintheusa.com. Prior to obtaining principalship, Carol held various assistant principal posts for the GUHSD. In 2006, Carol was awarded the National Association for Secondary School Principals Assistant Principal of the Year for the State of Arizona. Preceding Carol's work as an administrator, she taught science at both the high school and middle school level. Additionally, she worked as an educational consultant providing professional development for teachers across the nation.
Expert Areas: Formative Assessment and Instruction Practices; Strategic Planning; Culturally Inclusive Practices
Dr. Casey Reason is an award-winning author and prominent thought leader with over two decades of experience as a keynote speaker, leadership trainer and executive coach. His specialization is helping leaders learn to consistently create school cultures ideal for innovation. He's keynoted dozens of major conferences, authored seven books and been featured in numerous journals and blogs. He's coached CEOs, led C-Suite leadership training and provided high-impact aspiring leadership training for companies like American Express, General Dynamics and Origami Owl. His first book was endorsed by Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of "The One Minute Manager." Casey is also national expert in the concept of Professional Learning Communities as an approach to leading deep and sustaining organizational renewal in K-12 education using collaboration as a central focus. He's a former teacher, principal and assistant superintendent. He authored a book in 2015 with Dr. Richard DuFour.
Expert Areas: Coaching New Leaders; Building Collaborative Learning Communities for Adults; Building School Cultures to Foster Innovation
Cindy Daniels has been in education for 38 years, and recently retired as Principal at Echo Mountain Primary School (PreK-third grade). She is a National Board-Certified Teacher in Early Childhood Language Arts, has received the status of Master Mentor Teacher through the Governor's Office of Education for the State of Arizona and was recognized as a Rodel Exemplary Principal in 2010.
She holds all degrees from Arizona State University. She has taught PE, kindergarten through third grade, coached many sports, and was a reading specialist and mentor teacher before becoming a principal. She currently presents and consults as a Canyon Professional Development Expert for Grand Canyon University. She has a book being published on Mentoring New Educators from an Administrative/Principal viewpoint.
Expert Areas: New Teacher Induction and Mentoring; Educational Leadership; Response to Intervention; Early Childhood and Early Literacy; Reading and Writing; Classroom Behavior and Management
Over the past five years, Chrystal Krueger has passionately helped families move on from surviving after trauma to finding post-traumatic growth. She enjoys helping families and individuals understand the impact of trauma and find resiliency and healing. While she has a strong neurological approach to understanding trauma, she utilizes different modalities of therapy to best fit each individual. Chrystal is honored to walk alongside families and individuals as they find empowerment in their healing process.
Expert Areas: Trauma Informed Care
Cody Gordon has been interested in education since middle school, though the specific subject matter has changed as his educational journey took him from physics to Japanese, and back. He has worked with high school students in some instructional capacity since 2000, when he first began teaching for The Princeton Review. Now in his eighth year as a high school teacher, Cody prides himself on having helped to build his school's physics curriculum to its current point, marrying the standard topics of classical physics with the attention-grabbing topics of modern physics. His approach in the classroom is one that integrates direct instruction and guided inquiry, giving students multiple paths by which to build content mastery.
Expert Areas: Physics Instruction for Middle and High School; Inquiry to Build Math Skills; Student Engagement Through Meaningful Activities
Cori Araza has been a classroom instructor for 17 years in the areas of Computer Information Systems, Spanish and ESL at the secondary and community college levels. She has lived in Mexico and Spain and brings her global connections and vast technology background to the classroom. She led two robust student technology leadership programs at Paradise Valley High School, serving over 1,800 students and staff called GenYES and the STEM Internship. Under such programs, she helped to build two Makerspaces on campus and transformed the library into the Technology Media Space equipped with VR app development, 3D Printing and active coding technologies. In addition, these student-driven programs continue to provide educators throughout the district with quality Professional Development in technology. In the world language teaching arena, she has presented to the AZ Language Association as the technology showcase instructor and has earned awards in language instruction with educational technology. She earned Google Certified Educator status in 2013 and has won recognition for Makerspace Development through the AZ Science Center. She is a Jedi Mentor for the Chief Science Officer Program and has earned the STEM Distinguished educator award through this program in 2016. Cori most recently joined the Strategic Education Alliance team at GCU as the Director of STEM Outreach and Program Development for K-12.
Expert Areas: STEM Implementation; Educational Technology; Problem-Based Learning; Gifted Education; English Language Learners
Contact Cori directly at [email protected]
Dr. Dan Egeler joined ACSI in 1999 as Senior Vice President of ACSI Global. He served in that role for 13 years until being appointed as Acting President for ACSI in December 2012 and President in July 2013. His educational experience includes nearly 13 years as a teacher, soccer coach and high school principal. Prior to ACSI, Dr. Egeler directed Alliance Academy in Quito, Ecuador. He joined the leadership team of Grand Canyon University in 2018 and serves as the Vice President for Canyon Christian School Consortium Outreach. His strength is passionately communicating how God is using Christian schooling around the world to accomplish His purpose. Dr. Egeler earned a bachelor's degree in history from The King's College, a master's degree in physical education from Washington State University and a doctorate in administration and instructional leadership from the University of Alabama. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.
Expert Areas: Working With a Multi-National Student Body; Cultural Competencies; Christian Education and Integration
Danielle Root is a Nationally Certified AASA Superintendent who has an extensive history of improving school and district-level programs and performance as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, curriculum director and teacher. She has demonstrated special expertise in process and change management, program development and performance optimization by building relationships and enhancing communications between administration, teachers, parents and community organizations.
Mrs. Root has worked for the State of Arizona as a Capacity Coach collaborating with school districts in their improvement efforts, and has taught Education, Communication and SEI courses for various universities and colleges. Currently, Mrs. Root is serving as the Superintendent at Joy Christian Schools in Glendale Arizona, where she has been instrumental in advancing STEM education and student-focused Entrepreneurial Studies.
Expert Areas: Building a Positive Culture and Climate; Turn-Around Leadership; Leadership Mentoring
Debbie Voll has enjoyed over three decades as a proud educator. She holds a BS in Special Education from Illinois State University and a master's degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. In 2001, she became the first educator in Arizona to achieve National Board Certification in the area of Exceptional Needs. In Paradise Valley Schools, Debbie taught a primary, self-contained Communication Development class, served as a Mentor to New Teachers and trained teachers as a Professional Development Specialist. For over six years, she was the Resident Education Faculty at Paradise Valley Community College and enthusiastically educated the next generation of teachers and leaders. Debbie returned to PVUSD in the fall of 2012 to serve as a Support Teacher creatively supporting students, families, teachers, administrators and teams to improve academic, social, emotional and behavioral outcomes for learners. Debbie is now using her expertise and passion to help new teachers succeed so their students can succeed.
Expert Areas: Strategies for Coping with Challenging Student Behaviors; Autism Simulation; ABC's of Positive, Practical Behavior Supports; Connecting Positively with Homeschool Families
Gordon R. Grassi is a retired educator with 40 years of experience, including successful teaching in private school, special program schools, Grades 4-12 and adult education. He has a great deal of experience as a teacher and school administer, especially in terms of working in schools with a high level of poverty. He has taught as an adjunct instructor for Eastern Washington University and Grand Canyon University. He has served as President of the Washington State Middle School Principals Association, as well as an Education Adviser to Sen. Mike Padden in Washington.
Expert Areas: Educational Leadership; Poverty and Schools; New Teacher Induction and Mentoring; Teacher Evaluation
Heidi Bonfante has been a high school teacher for 29 years and has served in more of an administrative role for the last 15 years. She currently spends the first half of the day teaching government and the second half of the day as an administrator. She earned her BA in secondary education, with an emphasis in both English and political science from the University of Arizona, an MA in secondary education, with an emphasis on special education and reading and a second MA in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. She also earned her National Board Certification in English/Language Arts and is finishing her doctorate on at-risk student populations. She earned the title of Master Teacher Mentor, a state level designation, and is currently serving as her school's mentor teacher.
Expert Areas: ELL Audits; Cognitive Coaching; Clinical Supervision of Teachers; Advancing a College Going Culture
Jaime Evans has been in education for 20 years and loves mathematics. She has been a math coach, math specialist, math interventionist and a math professor. She has her master's degree in educational leadership and loves to work with teachers. She is currently a math education consultant who coaches teachers on how to teach inquiry-based learning as well as problem solving. She believes students need to learn through inquiry methods. When students truly understand mathematics, they can problem solve and be great mathematicians.
Expert Areas: Inquiry in the Mathematics Classroom; Effective Mathematics Interventions; Mathematical Practices
Dr. Jeffrey Martin is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Grand Canyon University. Prior to joining the faculty at GCU, he spent most of his teaching career as a middle and high school English teacher in a variety of districts across the state of Arizona. His research interests and specialty are centered on classroom management and the crucial skill of building relationships with students of all ages as a component of a well-balanced classroom management plan. Dr. Martin also works closely with GCU student teachers as a Faculty Supervisor throughout the state of Arizona. Bridging the gap between pre-service educational training and the real-world classroom was the focus of his dissertation research and remains a passion. Dr. Martin has published several journal articles on these topics and is a regular presenter at regional and national education conferences each year.
Expert Areas: Classroom Management; Setting Realistic Expectations Through Policies and Procedures; Positive Behavior Interventions; Assessment Techniques
Dr. Jennifer Johnson currently serves as the Director of Academic Alliances for Grand Canyon University, providing leadership support to K-12 public district schools in Arizona and across the United States. Jennifer co-facilitates the Superintendents Collaborative Network, a program to mentor new Arizona superintendents, and leads the Principals Collaborative Communities to provide customized professional development to K-12 principals. In addition, Jennifer and her teammates provide educators and students with opportunities to better understand the college-going process and advance their education all the way through a doctoral program. Prior to joining GCU, Jennifer served as the Deputy Superintendent at the Arizona Department of Education and superintendent of the Glendale Union High School District. Dr. Johnson earned her EdD from Arizona State University in educational leadership and public policy and her master's degree in curriculum and assessment from California State University. Jennifer is a native Arizonan and married to an educator.
Expert Areas: Strategic Planning; Leadership Support and Development; Teacher Mentoring and Evaluation
Jenny M. Kaiser loves mathematics and has been teaching various levels of math to students and adults for almost 30 years. She is excited to see the changes that mathematic instruction has gone through over the years and she enjoys updating her practices in the classroom.
Expert Areas: Classroom Instruction; Classroom Management; Mathematical Practices
Jeremy Richards has been in the education field for 15 years. Jeremy taught for eight years and has been a teacher, coach, department chair, athletic director, dean of students, assistant principal and a middle and a high school principal, including his current position as a high school principal at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He received his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Arizona State University in 2003 and completed his master's degree from Northern Arizona University in 2010. He is confident in leading others, speaking in front of colleagues, and bringing out the best of his staff and students by building positive relationships with them.
Expert Areas: Classroom Instruction; Classroom Management; Differentiated Instruction; Educational Leadership; Student Feedback; Teacher Evaluation
In 1999, Jill Hankins started Alpine Environmental Resources, an environmental consulting company specializing in ensuring that infrastructure and development projects comply with current environmental laws; particularly the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and Antiquities Act. As acting Principal, she manages projects from initial scoping, cost estimating, contracting, project implementation and budget close out. Projects that she has worked on include all types of infrastructure; roads, powerlines, waterlines and storage facilities, wastewater treatment systems, fiber optic lines, cell towers, flood control structures, housing and commercial developments. She provides on-the-ground field survey for wildlife, plants, wetlands, riparian systems, cultural resources and hazardous waste. She utilizes remote sensing and a wide range of databases for project analysis. She facilitates projects by working as liaison between the land administrator, funding agency, proponent, the public and the project engineers. She provides full documentation to obtain required permits for developments. She currently lives in Phoenix, but has project experience in Utah, Nevada and Idaho.
Expert Areas: Career Pathways in STEM; Real-World Projects from Funding to Documentation to Implementation; Arizona Endangered Species (Student Presentations)
Wanting more time to focus on preparing and developing stakeholders to effectively work with students, Justin Campbell stepped away from teaching and began working for Pearson Education. He then founded The Urban Connection Project with his wife (Kristen Campbell), which mentors educators in the areas of cultural competency, classroom management, creating relatable content, incorporating restorative practices and much more. Their presentation goal is to create engaging, highly interactive, innovative and applicable sessions that require each member of the audience to participate and step out of their comfort zone. Most recently, he published a book, "Confessions of an Inner-City Teacher: A story about my transition into teaching inner-city students in a Title-I school." He shares his successes, failures and characters met along the way to aid in mentoring educators to have the confidence and understanding needed to impact the lives of students in lower socio-economic areas.
Expert Areas: Equity in the Classroom; Classroom Management; Building Strong Relationships; Cultural Competencies and Responsive Teaching
Karen J. Martin has been an instructor at Paradise Valley Community College since 2008. In 2018, she became a published author with her book, "Navigating a Teacher's First Year: A Guidebook for Districts, Administrators and Instructional Coaches." She was awarded the Silver Apple Award for Outstanding Teachers in 2012, of which only eight are awarded in the state of Arizona annually. Under Karen's direction, the Paradise Valley School District New Teacher Mentor Program received the NEASaturn/UAW Partnership Award in 2008. This is a nationally presented award which recognize exemplary partnership efforts between local school districts and education associations
Expert Areas: Classroom Instruction; Classroom Management; Differentiated Instruction; Formative Assessment Practices; Instructional Strategies; Student Feedback; Teacher Evaluation; Teacher Recruitment and Retention; World Languages; New Teacher Mentoring and Support
Kristen Campbell's professional career began as a third-grade teacher after finishing her undergraduate degree in elementary education, with a focus in language arts, from Michigan State University and interning in Detroit Public Schools. She moved to Phoenix to teach third grade in the Phoenix Elementary School District, then moved to Alhambra Elementary School District to teach fourth grade. While teaching in Alhambra, she started a graduate program at Grand Canyon University in Education Administration and began providing professional development for peer teachers in her district. She also finished her SEI certification and taught a full ELL class. For the last three years, she has provided professional development and mentorship for a variety of educational topics for teachers across the valley through The Urban Connection Project.
Expert Areas: Integration of Language Arts into the Social Studies Curriculum; Culturally Responsive Teaching; Culturally Responsive Systems; Making Content Relatable to Students
Linda Lee Laneback currently serves her community as a Technology Integration Specialist. She has worked in education for 23 years, including: teaching grades, instructional coaching (K-8) and designing and facilitating professional development for all leader levels.
As an Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador for Excellence, an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Rodel Exemplary Teacher, she is a strong advocate for the 21st century learning paradigm through technology integration. She was also a recipient of the Teach for Friendship Educator scholarship to Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China.Dr. McGarity earned her DNP at Grand Canyon University and her MSN from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX. She is currently the San Antonio director at the Center for Nursing Excellence at University Health System. She is a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Organization of Nurse Executives and American Nurses Association.
Expert Areas: One to One Technology Integration; Student Engagement through Technology in the Academic Areas; Computer Science Implementation; Google and GSuite
Dr. Lisa Bernier is now in her 33rd year as an educator. During this time, she has served as a teacher and administrator in district, charter, virtual charter and private Christian schools in regular education, special education and ESL. Most recently, she developed a unique special education resource and inclusion program at a private Christian high school. She has also served on numerous ACSI accreditation teams over the past 10 years. Her life goals are to help train, equip and encourage the next generation of education professionals.
For the past nine years, Lisa has been involved with a non-profit agency through which she has conducted seminars for both secular and Christian school teachers throughout Indonesia. She plans to continue this work and has taken both staff and students from GCU to this amazing country to see what God is doing there through education.
Expert Areas: Christian Education; Differentiated Instruction; Educational Leadership; English Language Acquisition; English Learners in Core Content Areas; Instructional Strategies; Multi-Tiered Systems of Support; Needs Assessment; Special Education; Teacher Evaluation
Marni Landry retired from a 16-year career at
Paradise Valley High School, where she wrote the
curriculum for and taught research and molecular
biology courses in the Center for Research,
Engineering, Science, and Technology program. She
was also an adjunct professor with the University of
Arizona, where she taught Molecular Cell Biology.
Her students served research internships at
institutions including the: Office of the Surgeon
General, Translational Genomics Institute, Barrow
Neurological Institute and the Arizona Science
Center. They repeatedly earned regional and
national recognition in HOSA (Future Health
Professionals) as competitors and officers and
awards in science and engineering competitions. Some of Marni's recognitions include: Arizona Tech Council Teacher of the Year, IEEE Pre-College Teacher of the Year, Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Nobel Top Ten Educator of the Year, Army Educational Outreach National All-Star and the Arizona Science Teachers Association High School Science Teacher of the Year.
Expert Areas: Project/Problem based learning; Classroom technology integration; Biology & Biotechnology; STEM integration & STEM competitions
Contact Marni directly at [email protected]
Mary Urich is an expert in conducting professional learning and providing coaching for core programs. She assists teams in the planning, development and delivery of research-based professional development for staff on special education, English Language Learner education, differentiated instruction, student engagement, elements of instruction, formative and summative assessments, using data to plan instruction, curriculum alignment, and instructional practices. She also assists leadership teams and teachers in analyzing, interpreting, and using formative assessment data to inform instruction. She is currently coaching, facilitating and mentoring school district teams to increase student achievement in reading and mathematics.Dr. Volz earned her DNP from Grand Canyon University and AAN, BSN and MSN at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Volz's 30 years of experience includes more than 11 years as a nurse practitioner, 3 years as a nursing school student advisor and instructor and 13 years as a NICU/postpartum program coordinator at a large nonprofit community teaching hospital. She is currently a pediatric nurse practitioner at Positively Kids. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Expert Areas: Differentiation of Instruction; Effective Instruction in the ELA and Math Classroom; Classroom Management; Data Gathering for Instructional Planning
Megan Bird has been a passionate and dedicated classroom teacher for 20 years, teaching everything from first through eighth grade in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Currently, she teaches a fifth and sixth grade self-contained class. Megan has also taught adult education in technology, early childhood, mathematics, assessment and curriculum and instruction for GCU, NAU and UOP for 14 years. She has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Arizona, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from ASU and a master's degree in educational leadership from GCU. Her awards include Economics Teacher of the Year, Arizona PTA Educator of the Year, KNIX Teacher of the Month, United Parent Council Teacher of Excellence, Newseum Teacher Leader and Distinguished Faculty from University of Phoenix. She loves learning new strategies for engaging and igniting the passion for education with her students and with other teachers.
Expert Areas: K-8 Financial Literacy; Gifted Education; Technology Integration; Project- Based Learning
Melanie has served as Academic Coordinator at Glendale Christian Academy, a K-12 school, for 27 years - holding multiple positions during that time as test administrator, special education director, guidance counselor and high school teacher. Melanie's true passion is serving as an educator with a servant's heart specializing in curriculum design and professional development seminars. She is qualified to help other Christian schools develop programs and goals to successfully maintain a high academic standard in a spiritual environment. Melanie works well with administrators, teachers, students and families to create a team dedicated to doing the best for the student. With a master's degree in studio art combined media from the University of Arizona and a master's degree in educational administration from Arizona State University West, Melanie has been privileged to serve a diverse population by designing and conducting professional academic training programs. She lives on a small ranch with Labrador Retrievers, horses, chickens and a cowboy husband.
Expert Areas: Servant Leadership; Christian Based Education; Classroom Engagement Strategies
Over the past 14 years, Michael L. Blakely has taught mathematics at both the high school and middle school level in New York and Arizona. He is an alumni of GCU and graduated with a master's degree in educational leadership. Michael is currently in a full-time Leadership Training position as he transitions into administration. He also coordinated AVID and frequently provided professional development to their staff on a bevy of topics. Michael has a deep interest in math consulting along with consulting on instructional strategies/instructional framework.
Expert Areas: Classroom Instruction; Classroom Management; Formative Assessment Practices; Instructional Strategies; Inquiry Learning; Mathematical Practices; Standards Aligned Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
As a 13-year-old volunteer, Michelle Goldmeer taught bible school at the preschool/kindergarten level. The program director, her mother, was a dedicated role model of an effective inspirational teacher and administrator. Volunteerism in the public school and church continued from there until becoming a fourth-grade teacher in 2000. She was immediately identified by her administrator as a teacher leader and given a wide opportunity of experiences to develop as an educator. Catching on quickly in PD classes, she would offer assistance to those around her. She has since taught technology topics, science content and instructional strategies to colleagues within her campus and/or district. She became a middle school science teacher in 2010 and was quickly recruited to present professional development and write curriculum at the district level. She attended Grand Canyon University to earn her master's degree in educational leadership and administration, allowing for interim principalship opportunities at Copperwood Elementary while still being a classroom teacher.
Expert Areas: Science and Engineering Practices; Technology Integration; Classroom Management; Science Instruction and Curriculum Development
Nedda Shafir has been in the field of education for over 35 years with experience as an elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, adjunct university professor, author, district administrator and public information officer. She currently serves as the Communications Consultant for the Pendergast School District and other local school districts. She has utilized her expertise in the areas of public relations, communications, marketing, business partnerships, community engagement, customer service, media training and crisis management to help businesses, non-profit organizations, schools and districts.
Nedda has a bachelor's degree in elementary education, a master's degree in early childhood education, is a Reading Specialist and is credentialed as a school administrator. She has done educational consulting and presentations nationwide in the areas of communications, community engagement, crisis management, public relations, leadership, strength-based coaching and language arts.
Expert Areas: Crisis Management; Strategic Communication; Branding and Marketing; Media Training
Phillip Wooley has been in the field of education for more than 25 years. When Phillip became the Principal at Fairfax High School, the school had the highest number of discipline referrals in the Phoenix Union High School District and academic achievement was trending downward. The 2017-18 school year produced growth in five areas of state testing, including a 22% jump in Algebra I scores. At the same time, the suspension rates were cut in half, including a 72% reduction in defiance of authority. Phillip is currently a member of the International Baccalaureate Educators Network in which he is a certified workshop leader and school visit team member. He has served as a staff developer for AVID summer institutes and trains schools in AVID and IB best practices.
He earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education and holds certifications in social studies, ESL, PE and Health. He also holds a master's degree in human relations from Northern Arizona University.
Expert Areas:Trauma Informed Instructional Practices; Creating a Trauma Informed School; Restorative Practices
Rebecca is an innovative leader with over 20 years of classroom and leadership experience. She is a distinguished learning and development leader who is skilled in planning, organizing and facilitating unique programs. She is an engaging presenter who provides differentiated professional learning for a broad range of purposes based on the needs of the participants.
Expert Areas: Response to Intervention; Multi- tiered Systems of Support; Data Driven Dialogues; Building a Collaborative Community
Regina Nixon joined Phoenix Conservatory of Music (PCM) and has been involved in every aspect of PCM's business. She is instrumental in continued program growth and curriculum development. Under her leadership, PCM has grown, developed extensive community partnerships and been awarded honors such as the 2015 Arizona Governor's Arts Organization Award Winner and the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the Presidents Commission on Arts and Humanities. Regina has presented several professional development workshops on Arts, Arts/Academic Integration, Assessment in After School Arts Programs, Creative Youth Development, Music, Movement, Math and Reading, Teaching Popular Music, Music Education, Advocacy, Strategic Alliance, Change Management, Resource Development and Building Alignment around your Program on a state, city and national level. She is deeply involved in the Berklee College of Music's Berklee City Music Network. Regina is serving as an Arts and Culture Commissioner for the City of Phoenix, Arts Learning and Advocacy Committees.Dr. Volz earned her DNP from Grand Canyon University and AAN, BSN and MSN at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Volz's 30 years of experience includes more than 11 years as a nurse practitioner, 3 years as a nursing school student advisor and instructor and 13 years as a NICU/postpartum program coordinator at a large nonprofit community teaching hospital. She is currently a pediatric nurse practitioner at Positively Kids. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Expert Areas: Integration of the Arts into Academics; Music Education; Bringing Movement into Academics
Ryan Bredow currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Strategic Educational Alliances at Grand Canyon University. He is excited to support their mission, and champion the cause of growing and promoting Christian education at all levels.
Prior to this role, he spent 15 years serving in a variety of roles in Lutheran secondary schools, notably as a teacher, basketball coach, admissions director and marketing director. He loves speaking and consulting with schools around the country in the name of growth strategies and best-practice promotion of Christian education. He is continually encouraged and humbled by how the Lord continues to work through the amazing gift of Christian schools.
A 2003 graduate of Concordia University Nebraska, he also holds a master's degree in marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver, specializing in entrepreneurship. In the summer of 2014, he began a doctorate program in education, specializing in organizational development through Grand Canyon University.
Expert Areas: Effectively Marketing and Branding Your School; Christian Education and Integration; Growth Considerations and Market Opportunities for Christian Schools
Ryan M. Sheade, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and educator who has been in behavioral health in Maricopa County for the last 20 years. Ryan received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2002 and his Master of Social Work from ASU's School of Social Work in 2007. Upon becoming independently licensed, Ryan opened a solo private practice in 2011. Starting in 2014, he began growing this practice into the Integrated Mental Health Associates, a practice of seven psychotherapists who currently provide more than 6,000 sessions per year of open, professional and effective psychotherapy.
Expert Areas: Mental and Emotional Health
Dr. Shelly Arneson earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction and her dissertation focused on teacher trust in school administrators, specifically determining which factors impact trust in principals. Shelly's first book, "Communication and Motivation: The School Leader's Guide to Effective Communication," (Routledge, 2011) focuses on effective communication techniques. Shelly's expertise as a school principal has spurred her interests into helping schools and districts build collaborative communities of inquiry and trust. She presents keynotes and workshops in her latest book, "Building Trust in Teacher Evaluations" (Corwin, 2015). Shelly's experience ranges from teaching to counseling to administration to teaching administration courses at the university level. She loves it all.
Expert Areas: Teacher Evaluation; Communication Strategies; Building Collaborative Communities
Dr. Stephanie Knight is an experienced seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts educator. She distinguishes herself as an educator with a passion to inspire students to read and write. Stephanie did not start out in education; however, her years of marketing experiences have helped her teach and think "outside of the box" as she inspires her students to do the same. She lives by her mission statement which is to: 1. Encourage everyone she faces daily; 2. Endeavor to facilitate a lifelong love of learning; and 3. Enrich others' lives through her inspiration and experiences.
Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Colorado Boulder, certifications in English as a second language, English, Principal, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Arizona State University. She taught in Title One schools, helping them grow from underperforming to excelling and has worked in an independent school. She not only teaches professional development classes for utilizing innovative writing strategies to be more effective in utilizing writing across the curriculum, she also works closely with students helping them become published writers.
When she's not teachings she enjoys engaging in "right brain" activities such as drawing and decorating and spending time with family. She adopted a newborn five years ago and has been enjoying every minute of Tatum's life. In fact, her website has now turned into a blog about raising her daughter: knightsmission.com
Expert Areas: Writing Instructional Strategies; English Learner Strategies; English Learners in the Core Curriculum; Praxis and Pearson Exam Preparation
Steve Schumacher is a leadership analyst, consultant, trainer and public speaker with over 25 years of experience in numerous industries. He has worked with all levels of organizations, from executives to front-line employees on improving leadership, communication skills, productivity, teamwork, performance coaching, performance management, change implementation and strategic planning. His client roster includes Hertz Rent-A-Car, Domino's Pizza, Kaiser Permanente, Graymont Lime, Sutter Health, Mazda North America, Black Angus Restaurants and Ingram Micro. In addition to his consulting, group facilitation, training and public speaking activities, Mr. Schumacher is the monthly leadership columnist for Rock Products, a leading mining industry periodical. Mr. Schumacher holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degrees in business from Arizona State Universit. He also did doctoral work at Pepperdine University. He is a member of MENSA International and is on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine Gifted Students Academy.
Expert Areas: Interpersonal Communication Skills(Active Listening, Conflict Resolution, Collaboration), Change Management(Individual, Group, and Organization), Strategic Planning and Implementation(Vision, Mission, and Values), Leadership and Management Skills
Currently an independent education consultant, Suzanne Hofmann supports teachers in a multifaceted manner in areas of teacher preparation as well as teacher and leader professional development. This includes curriculum implementation initiatives across California and Arizona and developing meaningful, relevant research and evidence-based practices to positively impact student learning for districts and schools in need.
In addition to her work supporting educators with quality development, Suzanne currently serves in the role of Lead and Team inspector with Teacher Preparation Inspectorate-United States (TPI-US).
Suzanne has also served as a Field Specialist under a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF 4) grant from USDOE. The grant focused on supporting public school districts in recruitment, retention, development and sustainment of rigorous performance-based evaluation systems for teachers, coaches and leaders. Prior to 2013, she served as both the County's Professional Development Coordinator as well as overseeing a countywide Title IIA grant focusing on implementation and development of Professional Learning Communities in small, rural districts with limited resources. Prior to 2011, Suzanne served multiple positions in public school systems for 20 years in roles of teacher, coach and leader. As a National Board-Certified teacher, she taught, held endorsements and coached Early Childhood and Elementary learners including English as a Second Language and Gifted students.
Expert Areas: Coaching Teachers, Instructional Coaches, or Administrators; Instructional Practices and Strategies; Teacher Collaborative Teams; School Improvement; Model Teaching Experiences; Literacy Instruction
Von Perot has over 20 years of experience in marketing, sales and management working with companies including Houbigant, Domecq Liquors, Dial Corporation, QLM Marketing, Qwest Communications, Natural Salt Pools and Verizon. She also has 15 years of experience in education, teaching Advanced Placement Psychology and English in high school, and education courses at the college level. She holds a bachelor's degree in marketing, a master's degree in education and a doctorate in organizational leadership. Von has lived in Minnesota, Utah, New York, Hawaii and Arizona. She is the recipient of multiple awards in both of her professions, is married and has a 25-year-old son. Believing in the Chinese proverb "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness," Von enjoys speaking with a variety of audiences utilizing her years of experience and expertise to share a message of improved productivity, achievement and happiness.
Expert Areas: Falling in Love with Teaching Again; Planning and Organizing to Promote Success; Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors in Teacher Retention
Bring Canyon Professional Development to You
To request a Canyon PD session at your facility or organization, please fill out this form. Once completed, someone from Canyon PD will contact you to finalize the details. All requests must be submitted at least two months prior to the event date. Sessions and experts are subject to availability.