Registration is now closed.
- Date and Time
- Registration Instructions
- State-based Issues
- Presenters and Workshop Leaders
Date and Time
Thursday, March 22
8:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (local time)
Crowne Plaza Stamford
2701 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06905
Start making plans now and select up to 20 members to attend. (There is an adviser-to-student requirement of one adviser/faculty member for every 10 students.)
To prepare to complete your registration, you will need the following information:
- Adviser login credentials (needed to access the registration page)
- Student names
- Parent names
- Parent cellphone numbers
- Dietary needs for attendees
You will also want to become familiar with the state-based issues (below) and leadership competencies. You will need to pick one issue and one competency for each of your student delegates during registration. To ensure a comprehensive experience, you will want to spread your attendees among different issues and competencies.
Global Citizenship (NASSP Student Leadership Initiative)
Service is the cornerstone of the National Honor Societies, in particular, an awareness of, concern for, and involvement in the well-being and success of others. In this session, participants will discuss global citizenship and their potential impact in schools, communities, and ultimately the world.
Improving Learning Environments
Schools remain central to a competitive workforce and productive communities. In this session, participants will discuss ways in which schools might be modernized to provide 21st-century learning environments.
Wellness and Mindfulness
A host of unique challenges and opportunities exist for students in secondary schools. This session focuses on wellness as a comprehensive strategy for academic achievement, social and emotional growth, and success.
|8:00–8:45 a.m..||Registration and Continental Breakfast|
|8:55–9:35 a.m.||Opening Session|
|9:50–11:10 a.m.||Student Workshop I: Leadership Competencies|
|10:10-10:55 a.m.||Adviser Workshop: NHS & NJHS Policies and Procedures|
|11:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m.||Student Workshop II: State-based Issues and Initiatives|
|11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.||Adviser Workshop: NHS & NJHS Programs and Resources|
|12:20–1:10 p.m.||Luncheon: Speaker TBD|
|1:10-2:40 p.m.||Collaborative Work: Student Caucus Groups|
|1:45–2:25 p.m.||Adviser Workshop: Beyond Summit|
|2:45-3:30 p.m.||Presentations: Student Caucus Groups|
|3:30-3:45 p.m.||Reflective Remarks and Closing|
Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven, CT
Toni Harp—the first woman to ever serve as mayor of New Haven—is currently in her third term. Her public service career began with her election to New Haven’s Board of Alderman and then 21 years as state senator for Connecticut’s 10th District. Her policy priorities have focused on affordable healthcare, an effective public safety network working with an equitable criminal justice system, public education with an emphasis on early childhood learning and literacy, job creation, and economic development. Prior to her career in public service, she served as director of the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center for more than 20 years.
David Martin, Mayor of Stamford, CT
David Martin has served as mayor since 2013. With a reputation as a passionate and determined legislator, he won his seat following 26 years serving on the Board of Representatives. He wrote and led the passage of many laws and ordinances that have changed Stamford for the better, including the city’s purchasing ordinance. A strong believer in public education, Mayor Martin and his late wife Judy established, in 2008, the Starfish Connection, a nonprofit providing mentoring and enrichment services for low-income students in Stamford.
Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of CAS-CIAC
Dr. Karissa Niehoff began her career in Connecticut public education in 1989 as a physical education instructor at Greenwich High School. In 1993, she joined the staff of Litchfield High School where she taught Personal Wellness and Latin and served as the K-12 Wellness/Exercise Science Department Coordinator. In 2000, Karissa was appointed assistant principal of Har-Bur Middle School in Burlington. Four years later, she assumed the position of principal of Lewis Mills High School, a post she held until being named Deputy Executive Director of CAS-CIAC on July 1, 2010. On January 1, 2011, she succeeded Michael H. Savage as CAS-CIAC’s Executive Director.
Presenters and Workshop Leaders
Andrea “Drea” Elzy has extensive experience in postsecondary education, student affairs, and student services. Her areas of expertise are residential education, diversity education, health and wellness education, paraprofessional mentoring, and innovation. Throughout her career, she has focused on helping students reach their highest academic and personal potential though mentorship and sharing her experiences. She holds a master's in Higher Education from the University of Southern California and is a current doctoral candidate studying Higher Education Organizational Leadership at the University of Southern California.
Anne Louise DeBord
Anne Louise DeBord has served as an Associate Director of Four Diamonds Mini-THON program since March 2017. Her primary focus is recruiting new, dynamic, young leaders who will help convey the Four Diamonds message, grow networks of advocacy and capture new channels of financial support to advance the mission of Four Diamonds. In addition, she oversees a portfolio of schools. She encourages the students to hone their leadership skills, while empowering youth and young adults through philanthropy and community service to win the battle against childhood cancer.
Bertrand Perdomo is a third grade teacher in the Gadsden Independent School District of New Mexico through Teach for America. Prior to teaching, he was heavily involved in community engagement at the grassroots level. As a program manager for three University of Southern California outreach programs he worked with community residents, local law enforcement, and school and university staff to make South Los Angeles safer.
Brandon Lee Stuart is a 2010 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where he dual-concentrated in behavioral biology and East Asian studies. As a member of the Episcopal Service Corps following graduation, Brandon spent two years in Los Angeles helping to pilot the Collegiate Identity and Participation Model, a college-readiness initiative created to address the educational needs of local underserved charter schools. Brandon’s ultimate career goal is to start a think-tank that will tactfully evaluate ways in which social innovation can evolve in tandem with technological innovation.
Carlos Mark Vera is the founder of the "Pay Our Interns" campaign. He is a strong believer in the power of storytelling and using social media to bring forth change. While in school, he founded Justice for AU Workers, one of the largest student-led labor organizations in the country that advocates for service workers of color. He served as an intern at White House, European Parliament and the House of Representatives; his writing has been featured on Huffington Post, NBC Latino and The Hill.
A southern California native, Drew often finds himself in entrepreneurial roles that involve coming up with ideas, creating, and executing new programs. Currently, he serves as the associate director at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he focuses on launching new strategic initiatives. A proud community college graduate, Drew studied social work at Cal State Long Beach and continued his graduate studies in social work and public administration at the University of Southern California. In his free time, Drew is a Crossfit coach and mentors youth through an entrepreneurship program called BUILD.
Felix Yerace, PhD, teaches AP U.S. and Comparative Government and Politics, American history, sociology, and leadership courses at South Fayette High School in suburban Pittsburgh, where he serves as the graduation project coordinator, Interact advisor, and student government co-advisor. He is also president of the board of directors of The Global Switchboard in Pittsburgh and previously served on the NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee. He is a staff member of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils Advanced Gold Leadership Camp. A certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Typology Instrument and certified facilitator of the Kouzes and Posner Student Leadership Challenge, he has also completed the Leadership Education Academy through the International Leadership Association.
Karen Dawson spent 32 years as a high school art and leadership teacher and was also involved in service learning. She earned numerous awards during her career, including the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President George Bush for her work with Habitat for Humanity. In 2012, she received an award for a new weekly community outreach program she co-founded that provides a meal for those in need in St. Louis. For the past five years, more than 40,000 meals have been served and the program is being emulated in 54 communities.
Keesha L. Coleman
Keesha L. Coleman is a project manager at Georgia State University where she manages high-level initiatives centered around the university’s strategic plan as well as special projects for the office of the provost. Her current role allows her to engage with several of the university’s key working groups and programs, including the Council for the Progress of Cities; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and Women Lead, an undergraduate leadership program. Keesha is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all through public service and social engagement and considers herself a champion of bridging the gap.
Leigh Anna Hilbert
As an Associate Director, Leigh Anna Hilbert works with students through the Four Diamonds Mini-THON program. She has been with Four Diamonds since September 2014. Before devoting herself full-time toward the fight to conquer childhood cancer, Leigh Anna served Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, and Bristol-Myers Squibb in strategic business development, sales, and marketing capacities. Leigh Anna provides support to existing Mini-THON schools and leads the effort to bring awareness of Four Diamonds and Mini-THON to schools hungry for an effective leadership model and a way for their students to create great change.
Leonel A. Diaz is the coordinator of student leadership and engagement at the University of New Mexico. He is interested in mixing digital media with leadership development. For example, he is involved with development of a mobile app to help students track their leadership skill development through their involvement on a college campus. In his current role, he is working on creating a leadership center and a marketing campaign aimed at reducing sexual assault, discrimination, and hate bias.
Recently joining the Four Diamonds team, Madison serves as a Mini-THON School Recruiter. Although her time with Four Diamonds is short her background in philanthropic work is not. Previously serving as the Operations Manager for Spark the Wave, a non- profit that focuses on teaching youth leadership skills, she was responsible for the planning, organizing, and staff management of their week long annual leadership institute. Today, she can be found acting as a liaison to a school that is hosting a Mini- THON as well as advocating the importance of the leadership development and the service based learning that planning a Mini-THON can provide.
Nhi Truong is currently an English teacher lead and adviser at ARISE High School, a small charter school in Oakland, CA. Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, she worked with students in many different capacities. She has been a youth organizer, workshop facilitator, tutor, and residential adviser. Her passion for working with high school students stems from working with various youth organizations like College Summit and AYPAL. She is committed to working with students toward liberating their minds and fight for social justice by making positive changes in their own lives, communities, and the world.
Quinton Lampkin is the founder and CEO of an early stage education organization that leverages a network of first-generation students in completing critical milestones on their journey "to and through" college. Quinton holds a BS/BA in Business Administration specializing in International Business from the American University, Washington, D.C.; a Master of Sociology and Education (MA) from Columbia University’s Teachers College, NYC; and a Master of Politics, Development, Democratic Education (MPhil) from University of Cambridge, UK.
Tom Heethuis has been involved in advising student activities for 40 years. He has been a student council adviser, activity director, leadership camp director, and building principal. An award-winning adviser, he has been a presenter at numerous conferences and workshops. Through his workshops, attendees discover hands-on, practical leadership activities that they can take back to their schools and use with their students as soon as they return.