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Registration open for After School Winter Conference January 3-4

Winter After School Conference This year, the Winter Conference is expanding in scope and duration, and featuring nationally-recognized speakers. Scheduled for January 3-4 at the Visalia Convention Center, the conference will be filled with practical, nuts-and-bolts breakout sessions for participants involved in any facet of after school. Attendees can learn the latest efforts in the Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) from members of the Choices staff who serve as regional leads for the San Joaquin Valley. Presenters will also discuss the Common Core State Standards and elements of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiative to further align academics in after school programs with regular day instruction. Topics will also include school health, prevention and intervention, student engagement and arts in after school. Topping off the presentations will be keynote addresses from Michael Funk, Evan Whitehead, and Dr. Marcella Klein Williams.

Mr. Funk is the director of the newly established After School Division for the California Department of Education. Prior to this, he founded and served as executive director for the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center in San Francisco (SNBC). Established in 1996, SNBC is regarded as a national model for community and after school programming with its integration of Youth Development, community media production and technology.

Evan Whitehead is director of special education for Community High School District 99 in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove. In his role, he leads the schools' efforts to create positive behavior support and interventions, as well as other strategic initiatives, such as emphasizing the need for rigorous academics for all students.

Dr. Marcella Klein Williams is the Chief Educational Officer for the California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) where she builds connections between educators and STEM partners. Prior to joining CSLNet, she was the director and regional lead for after school programs, serving 20,000 students in over 50 California districts.

"We are excited to welcome professionals from throughout the state to the 2013 Winter Conference, where they can learn the latest instructional trends from the very best in the after school field," said County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. Registration for the two-day conference is free to after school staff in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare counties. A $40 fee will cover registration for attendees outside the Region VII area. For more information, visit

Photos above:
~ Keynote speakers (top to bottom):
Michael Funk, director of the California Department of Education's After School Division; Evan Whitehead, director of special education for the Community High School District in Downers Grove, Illinois; and Dr. Marcella Klein Williams of the California STEM Learning Network.