This year’s conference includes an exciting lineup of general session speakers. We welcome each of these speakers and look forward to hearing from them throughout the conference. Each person has a heart and passion for North Carolina’s greatest commodity – our children!

Nic Sturdifen

Opening General Session
Monday, November 13, 9 a.m.

Nic Sturdifen is President of Life Push, LLC, a multi-tiered human services company that services K-12 students, college students, and transitioning adults to achieve the highest levels of success in their lives. Nic leads his team to provide community based, educational, prevention, and intervention services to hundreds of at-risk youth and their families in the K-12 sector. He believes in taking an intentional and direct approach to confront challenges like truancy, drugs, gang presence, and unhealthy home dynamics that are negatively impacting the effectiveness of our learning facilities today.

Bill Daggett

Second General Session
Monday, November 13, Noon

Bill Daggett, Ed.D., Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education, is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move preK-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. For 25 years, he has crisscrossed our nation, as well as the industrialized world, to lead school reform efforts to effectively prepare students for their future.

Jason Griffin

Third General Session
Tuesday, November 14, Noon

Jason Griffin is the 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. He serves as principal of Perquimans County’s Hertford Grammar School, a Title I school, where nearly two thirds of the 400-plus students are from low-income families. Hertford Grammar achieved a school grade of “B” for the first time last year. The school, which enrolls third through fifth graders, was also just one of six elementary schools in the state’s northeast education region to earn at least a B while also exceeding their targets for academic growth.

Lisa Godwin

Closing General Session
Wednesday, November 15, 7:30 a.m.

Lisa Godwin, an Onslow County kindergarten teacher, is the 2017 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Godwin is now in her third year teaching at Dixon Elementary School in Holly Ridge, where she returned to the classroom in 2014 after working as an assistant principal for four and a half years in Onslow and Lee county schools. Godwin is a mentor teacher at Dixon Elementary, supporting new teachers, and serves on a number of Onslow County Schools groups, including the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, the Every Student Succeeds Act Committee and the district’s Quality Council.

Ramona MillerSpeakers