Join Us for the 2017 Blueprint for Excellence National Conference

2017 National Conference Presentations


Over 70 professional development sessions for all grade levels and administrative structures featuring best practices from National Blue Ribbon Award Winning Schools.

Meet national and international educators and administrators who have made positive improvements in their classrooms and schools. Come prepared to learn and share.


2017 Conference Schedule at a Glance


Keynote Speakers 

   Ron Suskind                             Dr. Barbara Jenkins                           Kerry Gallagher

Ron Suskind is a pulitzer prize winning author of six best-selling books, the most recent of which — Life, Animated, A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism — documents his family's two-decade struggle with regressive autism. Using a technique called Affinity Therapy, the book recounts how the Suskinds broke through to their autistic son Owen by exposing him to Disney movies, which Owen memorized and used as a pathway to communication. READ MORE - Ron Suskind

Dr. Barbara Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she was appointed a director on the board of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of Great City Schools, is a member of Chiefs for Change, a national education policy and advocacy transformation group, is a member of the Florida Council of 100, and is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. She was named the 2017 Florida Superintendent of the Year and is one of four finalists for U.S. Superintendent of the Year.  READ MORE - Barbara Jenkins

Kerry Gallagher, J.D. is a Digital Learning Specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. She’s also the Director of K-12 Education for and an EdSurge Columnist.  Kerry received the 2014 Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission on the use of mobile devices for a paperless public school classroom. In 2015, she was a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, the Family Online Safety Institute recognized her with the Outstanding Achievement Award. READ MORE - Kerry Gallagher 


Pre-Conference Workshops

Make the most of your conference stay by taking advantage of one of two pre-conference workshops to be held Tuesday, November 28th from 1:00-5:00.


Disney Institute - For over two decades Disney Institute has been helping transform organizations through custom solutions grounded in the time-tested success and insights from The Walt Disney Company. Based on examples from within the businesses we operate, we offer a collaborative approach from insight to implementation.  Discover how to bring elements of Disney leadership to your school.  Cost:  $429/person

Teaching All Kinds of Minds . . . Using a Neurodevelopmental Lens - This workshop is an introduction to using the All Kinds of Minds Neurodevelopmental Framework for Learning (NDFL), along with a strengths-based approach to working with students, to better understand students’ unique learning profiles. Participants will explore how to adapt instruction, create more effective learning tasks, and design accommodations and interventions based on eight neurodevelopmental constructs.  The workshop methodology includes hands-on exercises, case studies and guided practice. Workshop handouts/materials will be provided to all participants. Cost: NONE - Pre-register 

Gene Thompson-Grove has been facilitating All Kinds of Minds courses for educators K-12 for ten years, and has taught classroom teachers, child study team members, and administrators to use the AKOM tools, processes, beliefs and content to create more effective accommodations and interventions for struggling students.

Register Today!

Hotel Reservation & Ticket Information

Special rate of $214/night at Disney's Yacht Club Resort.  Book reservations by calling Disney Group Reservations at 407-939-4686 or by using the online group website at 

NOTICE: Resort space is full. Keep calling for cancellations


Hilton properties at Disney Springs are a short cab or Uber ride each day. If you are driving, there is free parking at the host hotel.  Rates Start at $115 plus $30 Daily Resort Charge will be added to the room rate and includes: Guest internet access; Disney shuttle; 2-16 oz Starbucks coffees; 2-16 oz bottles of water; DVDNow rentals; 10% off in gift shop with $30 buy; $5 off tickets sold at concierge desk; local/toll-free/credit card calls.

Address1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Phone(407) 827-4000

 OR:  Check with Expedia, Priceline, etc. to find excellent hotel options close to the conference at reasonable rates. 

CONFERENCE THEME PARK TICKET INFORMATION:  Use this link for information about park tickets during the conference.  Note the After 5:00 ticket option.  

Conference Participants

Interested in Presenting at the 2017 National Blueprint for Excellence Conference at Disney?

Please complete this Concurrent Session Form.  

Your proposal will be reviewed for its content, format and relevance to the conference theme.  We encourage sharing best practices and techniques in the classroom and in the school community.  Deadline for submitting proposals for the 2017 National Conference is October 31, 2017



Donate or Sponsor Educators and Students

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence is a 501c3 Organization and your donation is Tax Deductible.

Federal Tax ID 30-0151472.

If you are sponsoring a specific individual, group, or an activity, please specify or all donations will be used to support the entire event.

Eventbrite - Summer 2015 Educator & Student Leadership Institute

2017 Conference Schedule at a Glance





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