NYSAEYC 2015 Annual Conference
2015 Annual Conference Keynote and Featured Speakers

Thursday, April 9th, 7:30pm, Oneida Room

Opening Kenyote
Patti Digh
Patti Digh is the author of eight books, including a Fortune magazine best business book for the year 2000 (Global Literacies), one of five finalists for the prestigious “Books for a Better Life Award” in 2008 (Life is a Verb), and finalists for the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Association “Book of the Year” award in both 2008 and 2010 for Life is a Verb and Creative is a Verb. Patti is a Southern-born master storyteller whose stories are full of humor, poignancy, surprise, pain, and knowing. Her award-winning blog,
37days.com, brings together readers from ages 12 through 95 across the globe.

Love, Live, Let Go, and Make a Difference: Four Practices for Transforming Your Life and Work

Both in your personal life and as an educator, you have immense capacity to make a difference with your life. Are you tapping into that creative, brave, generous energy? In this keynote address, Patti will outline four practices for transformation: Loving Well, Living Fully, Letting Go Deeply, and Making a Difference. Her stories and truths will help you reimagine your role as an educator – and as a person.


Friday, April 10th, 8:30am, Oneida Room

Plenary Session
Dr. Rebecca Isbell
Dr. Rebecca Isbell is a Professor and consultant in early childhood education. She served as Director of the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN where she was honored as a “Distinguished Teacher”. Isbell has been a director of a lab school, teacher of young children, supervisor of early childhood students, and team leader. She is the author of twelve books and numerous articles related to: environments, play, literacy, creativity, music, and child development. Isbell has presented Keynotes and professional development throughout the United States and internationally including Denmark, Singapore, Beijing, and Canada.

Putting the Pieces Back Together: Nurturing the Whole Child and the Creative Thinker

Today’s headlines scream that creativity is declining in the United States. This is happening as we are focusing on the separate parts of the young child: learning, language, social, emotional, and physical development. Although each domain is important- It is time to put the pieces back together and recognize that young children develop holistically while participating in integrated experiences. Discover how the skills needed in the 21st Century can be supported in Young Children. Gain insight into ways to design a classroom for young children that will inspire their learning in holistic ways while encouraging creative thinkers.


Saturday, April 11, 2015, 3:00pm, Oneida Room

Closing Keynote
Gigi Schweikert
With 18 published books, in three languages, and 25 years of experience, Gigi Schweikert is a highly demanded, internationally known, subject matter expert and thought leader in child care and early childhood education. Her best-selling book series, Winning Ways for Early Childhood Professionals, has changed the field through innovative ideas about leadership, business strategies, and customer service excellence.
As the working mother of four children, Gigi’s practical ideas and realistic perspective on child care will have you laughing and learning. Gigi’s an international keynote speaker, recently in Malaysia and New Zealand, and headed to Uganda. She’d love to come to your program, no matter where you are. She’s on the advisory board of KidReports and believes technology can keep us connected. Follow Gigi on Twitter @gigischweikert and checkout her website: www.gigischweikert.com for speaking engagements.

The Power of One Positive Person

Have you ever thought about the incredible power you have to make a positive difference in the lives of those around you? The positive choices you make each day, the ways in which you help others, and even your smile can change the course of a day, and in some situations, the course of a life. Join us for this informational and humorous keynote session that will renew your spirit and affirm your commitment to working with young children and their families. One positive person does make a difference. Is that positive person you? It can be.