Keynote Speaker: Justin Richardson

Soulful Leadership

Dr. Justin Richardson is the Director of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he is a recipient of the Center’s Howard Klar Teacher of the Year Award; the Lionel Ovesey Award for research, writing, and teaching; and the Alexander Beller Award for outstanding contributions to psychoanalytic writing. His teaching has also been recognized with the APA’s Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents and the Columbina Psychiatry Residency Roger A. MacKinnon Award for Oustanding Teacher of Psychiatry.

Dr. Richardson is a past recipient of fellowship awards from the American Medical Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry.

He is the co-author with Peter Parnell of “And Tango Makes Three,” a picture book that tells the true story of two male penguins living in the Central Park Zoo that together try to hatch their own chick. Their book was recognized as an American Library Association notable Book and has received the Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award, the Gustavus Meyers Award, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

He served for two seasons as the psychiatric advisor to the HBO series “In Treatment.”

Dr. Richardson maintains a private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Greenwich Village.


Keynote Speaker: Jamie Vollmer

Rallying Support: How to Cultivate Allies and Strengthen Partnerships During Times that Try Our Souls

Public trust is public education’s most precious resource and a prerequisite for meaningful progress. During this presentation, which has been praised as both practical and energizing, Jamie Vollmer acknowledges that the public has become an increasingly misinformed and fractious group.

He will describe how teachers, administrators, and board members can change – for the better – the way the people of their communities think and act toward their schools. He will also present a series of no-cost steps that school leaders can take to increase public understanding and trust, including: The Five S’s, his field-tested program for helping certified and classified staff inspire their families, friends, and acquaintances to rally around their schools; and The Success Report, a crowdsourcing approach to gathering positive news within the district/school and distributing stories of success throughout the community.

Vollmer will also provide every attendee a copy of his poster, The Ever-Increasing Burden on America’s Public Schools: 120 Years of Mandates, and share how to use this tool to “tell the story” of public education’s remarkable success.

About Jamie Vollmer

Jamie Vollmer is president of Vollmer, Inc., a public education advocacy firm working to increase student success by raising public support for America’s schools. He is also the founder of the Schools Cannot Do It Alone Network, a national coalition of educators and their allies working to defend public education and build support for local public schools. He received the Learning and Liberty award from the National School Public Relations Association in recognition of his success in strengthening school/community partnerships.

With a background in law and manufacturing, Vollmer entered the education arena in 1988 as a founding member of the Iowa Business Roundtable. At the time, he was president of the Great Midwestern Ice Cream Co. Once a harsh critic of America’s public schools, he has become an articulate champion, working with educators, parents, business and community leaders to remove the obstacles to student success over the last 30 years.