Past Parent Camps

Dr. Joe Mazza - 2016 Parent Camp Keynote


KEYNOTE SPEAKER (8:30-9:15 a.m.)

Dr. Joe Mazza 

Dr. Joe Mazza ( is a lifelong learner, leader, and innovator. Joe currently serves as the Leadership Innovation Manager at The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In this role, Joe works with faculty, students, and alumni of the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. In addition to his work at Penn, Mazza is internationally recognized as a leader in family-school partnerships and engagement, including his service as an advisor on these topics to both the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) and just recently, his new business c64KID INNOVATIONS, was named official Digital Strategist for the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE). Prior to serving in these roles, Dr. Mazza enjoyed a distinguished career in K-12 public education as a teacher, principal, and district office leader. 

Mazza continues to extend his work in the areas of technology, innovation, and leadership into the business sector through c64KID INNOVATIONS. Joe established this innovative, community-based and service-oriented venture as a way to support small businesses seeking to grow their client base and extend the reach of their products, services, and resources. As an accomplished digital strategist with a proven track record of success, Joe provides social media coaching services designed to meet the unique needs of the clients he serves, equipping them with up-to-the-minute information, market research, and innovative (high and low tech) strategies they can use to maximize their productivity.

Mazza earned his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he earned a Master's Degree from National Louis University and a Bachelor's’ Degree from Pennsylvania State University. Joe and his wife, Lauren, live just outside Philadelphia with their children, Mark and Molly, and pit bull rescue, Oliver. 


SESSION 1 (9:30-10:15 a.m.)

Jim Cantoni, Realizing Dreams Founder

Twitter Handle: @MissionUSA2020

Room Location: A104

“Realizing Dreams: How to Meaningfully Engage Parents and Empower Students with Predictors of Success”

How do we engage parents and families in a real life application and very real and meaningful way? In this transformational hands-on session participants will complete the 7 Steps for EMPOWERING Your School-Family-Community Partnerships. You will receive materials that may even change your life too. Including, samples of Teamwork and FamilyPlay™ - a community building and national award winning collaborative game that was transformed into 7 Steps for EMPOWERING YOUTH: Self-Awareness Developing GRIT and a Growth Mindset. Both tools will equip you to give youth voice and choice in their lives. Using with Predictors of Success, you will learn how to engage and equip students to clearly see their path to successful futures; collect result-based data and empower students in identifying, setting and achieving GETTING SMARTER™ Goals; Invite students to make a declaration to realize their dreams in life; plus be part of a culminating activity showing how to engage students to make a promise to do the best in their lives, accept The United States of America Student Challenge, and sign their personal My Declaration of Independence™.

The active learning can be for in-school or after-school enrichment and family engagement where educators and parents wrap-around their learning and supports on what motivates students to take initiative in their learning and intrinsically inspires them to be the best they can be.

Amy Gold, 3rd Grade Teacher

Twitter Handle: @teach4gold

Room Location: B102

“Assistive Technology for Teachers and Parents”

Over the past 8 years I have worked with special education students in the general education classroom. As their General Education Teacher I partnership with the Special Education Teacher to implement and follow through with the modifications included in the students Individualized Education Plans (IEP).

I am currently working on my Masters Degree in Educational Technology and through my classwork have learned more about Assistive Technology and how it can help ALL Students feel successful in the classroom. We will share and discuss free apps and websites that can assist your child at school and at home.

Norma Francullo, Esq

Twitter Handle: @NormaFrancullo

Co-Presenter: Jeanne Tighe, M.A., CCC-SLP

Room Location: B105

“Interpreting and Leveraging Evaluations to Improve your Child's IEP”

Participants will learn how to read their child's evaluation, interpret data and advocate how to bring that information to the school to negotiate programming possibilities.

Shannon Costal, spectrum mom & advocacy blogger

Twitter Handle: @highfuncmomism

Co-Presenter: Joe Costal, spectrum dad, writer, Supervisor of English Language Arts

Co-Presenter Twitter Handle: @JoeCostal

Room Location: B108

“The Do-It-Yourself Parent Advocacy Discussion”

Learn how to effectively advocate for your own child! This session will provide a forum for discussion among parents interested in sharing resources, tips and tricks for special education advocacy. Share your own experiences and knowledge or pose questions to the group.

Beth Steinen, Davies Teacher, mother of 3 young girls, teacher for 11 years

Twitter Handle: @bethsteinen

Room Location: B113

"Balancing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation for Success"

As parents and teachers, we know the power of a piece of candy, Class Dojo points, or a trip to Five Below. Extrinsic rewards keep us sane and our children more on task. Yet, research shows that motivating people in such a way has negative effects on our work ethic, personality, and other character traits. This session will be a round table discussion to discuss, debate, ask questions, and perhaps find some answers on how exactly we should motivate our children.  

SESSION 2 (10:30-11:15 a.m.)

Deborah Lynam, Director of Partnerships & Engagement - AIM Institute for Learning & Research

Twitter Handle: @deborahlynam

Room Location: A104

“Dyslexia: What's Happening in NJ”

Who has first hand knowledge of the issues impacting families of students with dyslexia? Parents... that’s who! This parent led session will provide an overview of recent NJ dyslexia legislation, details on some statewide implementation activities and resources; as well as, a facilitated discussion on building community partnerships to help raise awareness, find resources and change mind frames when it comes to this common learning disability.

Sandra Paul, Chief Technology Officer

Twitter Handle: @spaul6414

Room Location: B102

“Girls in Technology and Engineering”

Even though the field of technology and engineering continues to become a vital area in our world today and for the future, the number of females that are working in the field are small compared to their male counterparts. In this discussion, we will explore how as educators and parents we can encourage more girls, our daughters, to be involved in technology.  

Jay Eitner, Superintendent of Schools

Twitter Handle: @iSuperEit

Room Location: B108

“The Sup's Scoop: we're normal too!”

In many places, the Superintendent's office tends to be cloaked in secrecy, when in fact, we are just like everyone else. Join a current South Jersey Superintendent in an interactive dialogue where you can ask whatever you wish and receive straight answers!

Kim Harris, President of African American Awareness and Development Organization

Twitter Handle: @krharris34

Co-Presenter: Anne Clark

Co-Presenter’s Twitter Handle: @jaurez_anne

Room Location: B113

“Cultural Competency: Culture and Behavior”

Five essential elements that contribute to a system’s ability to become more culturally competent

• Value diversity.

• Have the capacity for cultural self-assessment.

• Be conscious of the “dynamics” inherent when cultures interact.

• Institutionalize cultural knowledge, and

• Develop adaptations to service delivery reflecting an understanding of diversity between and within cultures.

SESSION 3 (11:30-12:15 p.m.)

Tatsiana DaGrosa, Parent Group Specialist, START project at SPAN

Twitter Handle: @Tatsiana_SPAN

Co-Presenter: Debbie Esposito

Room Location: Cafe

“Parent Group Advisory Café”

Parents, school district professionals and community stakeholders are invited to a meaningful, conversational exchange to about serving on Special Education Parent Advisory Groups (SEPAGs). Participants will engage in an authentic conversation that draws on the rich diversity of perspectives, experiences, and ideas to facilitate partnerships by implementing parent advisory groups. Particular emphasis will be given to explore a broad range of opinions and constructive aspects of developing and sustaining SEPAGs in order to obtain stakeholder input to improve practices and policies concerning family engagement in the special education decision-making process. Informal ambiance of the Word Café format of setting is particularly chosen to enhance authentic conversations and encourage questions that inspire and build appreciation for family-educator collaboration to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

Laura Aleszczyk, Special Education Teacher

Twitter Handle: @aleszczykl

Room Location: B102

“Mindfulness for Youth: Improving Stress Management, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Skills”

Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way and bringing awareness to a situation. The benefits of practicing mindfulness are increased self-awareness, emotional balance, impulse control, and focus. We will be discussing techniques and practices that youth in grades K-12 can utilize in various settings including school.

Joe Costal, Supervisor of English, World Language & Reading, Oakcrest High School, Freshman Transition Project District Coordinator, Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District

Twitter Handle: @OHSWelcome

Co-Presenter: Emily Rock, English Teacher & Freshman Transition Project Advisor, Oakcrest High School

Co-Presenter’s Twitter Handle: @erock

Room Location: B105

“Level Up! Academic and Social Success for Transitioning Ninth Graders”

Emerging research proves that a successful transition between middle school and high school may be the single most important arbiter of academic and social success for incoming high schoolers. This workshop will explore new, cooperative initiatives designed to ease and aid ninth grade transition, while also guiding parents on how to prepare their children for this pivotal change.   

Colleen Bretones, Supervisor of Early Childhood Education

Co-Presenter: Laurie Derringer, Master Teacher

Room Location: B108
“Hot Topics in Early Childhood Education”

Research indicates that attending a high quality preschool program clearly makes a difference in the future learning and outcomes in math and literacy in elementary school. If you would like to discuss preschool programs in our area, please join us for this session. We hope to discuss the importance of routines, reading to your children, and positive behavioral supports, in addition to ideas you may bring to this session.  

Paulina, Davies Student

Co-Presenter: Beth Stenein, Minecraft Student Advisor

Twitter Handle: @Bethsteinen

Room Location: B107


One of our student club administrators will be here to inform parents about Minecraft. She will discuss why kids love it so much, how it benefits them, and how you can be involved. There will be plenty of time for you to enter the Minecraft world and participate yourself. 

Hear the 2016 Speakers

Jay Eitner, Superintendent of Schools

Colleen Bretones, Supervisor of Early Childhood Education

Paulina, Davies Student

Beth Steinen, Davies Teacher, mother of 3 young girls, teacher for 11 years

Sandra Paul, Chief Technology Officer

Laura Aleszczyk, Special Education Teacher

Jim Cantoni, Realizing Dreams Founder

Norma Francullo, Esq

Joe Costal, Supervisor of English, World Language & Reading, Oakcrest High School, Freshman Transition Project District Coordinator, Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District  
Co-Presenter: Emily Rock, English Teacher & Freshman Transition Project Advisor, Oakcrest High School


KEYNOTE SPEAKER (8:30-9:15 a.m.)

Ms. Andrea Lawful-Trainer

Andrea Lawful-Trainer is an extraordinary Educational Consultant who has made broad impact on closing academic achievement gaps across the Delaware Valley. Her most notable results include providing leadership empowerment for students, leadership development for parents and professional development for teacher/guidance advisors for a suburban Philadelphia school district that reduced its reading achievement gap from 33 to eight percentage points in 6 months. Her proven model places her in partnership with school districts to effectively meet the specific needs of their constituents. Mrs. Trainer conducts tailored workshops and delivers motivational speeches in a way that engages and empowers. Demand for services of the organization she founded in 2003, Children And Parental Enrichment Services (C.A.P.E.S) has sky rocketed due to the success of her work.

The mother of two young boys in Abington, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Trainer became involved in the daily lives of children served by the Abington School District. Having been taught from childhood that education is powerful, she embarked on a journey to learn the educational system in a twenty week program called Parents As Leaders that teaches the importance of being able to advocate for children. She was so empowered by what she learned that she became a trainer for the program and began taking that knowledge to parents in other districts including Cheltenham, Springfield Township, Lower Merion and North Penn school districts as well as the Mastery Charter in the Delaware Valley.

SESSION 1 (9:20-10:00 a.m.)

Karen Stone, President of SoftStone Products

“Being A Parent Is Challenging: How Can We Survive With Dignity and Integrity”

Come and share your most challenging moments as a parent. Learn techniques that create an emotionally safe environment in which to demonstrate appropriate behaviors that help you and your children grow together in love and compassion. We can discuss techniques that inspire behaviors of empathy, motivation, controlling impulses, regulating moods, keeping distress from swamping the ability to think, persisting in the face of frustration and how to share and compromise in play. These techniques are simple and easy to implement on a daily basis. We will have a blast! Learning can be fun!

Amy Hogan, Lead Health Educator, Atlanticare Healthy Schools Healthy Children Program

"Building a Healthier School and Family One Child at at Time!"

Explore and brainstorm thoughts about what child health entails, what we as parents and educators should be striving for, and what small and large steps can we make to attain this in both the home and school setting. Next to the home, schools are the place that children spend the most time. Parents and teachers are both significant role models in our children's lives. How can we make a positive impact in our children's health and lives in an effort to ensure a healthier future for our next generation of parents, teachers, leaders, and community members?  Come to this session to find out!

Nina Stolzenberg, Ph.D., Director of Children's Services

"So Now What?  Living with ASD Diagnosis"

A discussion of issues in the world of work for individuals with a Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis: potential barriers, strengths, supports and strategies.    

David Furgione, Supervisor of Science, World Language, and Related Arts and Jason Brown, Supervisor of Math and Science

"Why Does My Child Need STEM?"

The jobs of the future that your children will be competing for will be in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) or will use STEM in some way. This session explores why STEM education is important and what you can do as a parent to get your child exposed and interested in STEM. It will also cover the Project Lead the Way Programs which are the lead STEM K-12 programs throughout the country.

Pat McCormick, Teen Driver Safety Officer

"NJM Teen Driver Safety Program"

This session will explore the NJM Teen Driver Safety Program, which focuses on the use of seatbelts and distracted driving. If time allows I will also talk about DUI, drowsy driving, and some of the current laws in place regarding cell phone use and other driving safety topics.  

Nathan Levy, Educational Consultant, Speaker, Author of more than 40 books, and Former Principal

"Powerful Strategies to Enhance the Learning of Gifted & Highly Capable Students"

This unconference explores numerous, proven ways to reach gifted learners in challenging ways. My objective is that you will leave with a variety of new strategies and specific ideas to help pupils become better creative and critical thinkers. A variety of successful teaching and parenting techniques will be shared. Bring your thinking caps and your funny bones.

SESSION 2 (10:05-10:45 a.m.)

Dr. Norma Boakes, Associate Professor of Education for Richard Stockton College of NJ

“Math - Fear + Fun = Success!”

Does your child struggle with mathematics?  Are you worried about them acquiring the math skills necessary to be successful? Or perhaps, you’re just looking for some new ways to make math fun!  In this session, we will explore how to build a child’s confidence and knowledge of mathematics, dispel math-associated fear and anxiety, and learn ways to make math enjoyable!  I will share some of my favorite games, puzzles, and activities that can be done at home or in a classroom. Feel free to bring your ideas too!  It is my goal that at the end of this session you leave with something you can do at home with your child to make them feel good about mathematics and build their skills! Who knows- you might even strengthen your skills and have some fun too! :)

Glenn Martins, Assistant Director Y.A.L.E. School

“A Practical Guide to Improving Behaviors in the Home”

This session will provide parents of all students a practical approach to improving their child's behavior. You will leave this session with techniques that will allow you to set priorities, establish goals, and track progress at home.  This session will conclude with a question and answer session where we can discuss and come to a higher understanding of how to improve behaviors in the home.

Dr. Jeremy Ng

“An Overview of Concussions”

This session will discuss the many facets of a concussion including:  what a concussion is, how it occurs, who is at risk, acute vs. chronic management, return-to-school, makeup work and academic accommodations, return-to-play, rehabilitation, state laws, and myths vs. facts of a concussion.

Kimberly Mattina, Technology Integration Coach & Social Media Advisor

“All Things Google”

Did you know Google offers many features other than just a search engine? It will allow you to have cloud storage, your own video channel, have a social media presence, email and calendar services, build a website and blog, offer an office suite to create and share documents and much more. In this session, we will discuss all of these apps and anything else Google!

Beth Steinen, 6th Grade Teacher and Parent

“A Parent's Role in their Learner's Schooling: How can you set your kid up for success?”

Your role in your children's schooling evolves as they reach each new level. How can you adapt? How involved should you be? At what point do you intervene? When do you back-off, or do you? How can you help set your child up for success in school at every level?  Come discuss these important questions as we learn about a parent’s role in supporting learners.

Valerie Furlong MA, LDT/C and Bobbie Travaline, Former School Principal

“Reducing the Stigma of Addiction- How can a Community of Parents, Schools, and Township Members Respond to the Epidemic and Protect its’ Children?”

I will share my experience as the mother of two sons, then age 11 and 15, (both high achievers) whose experimentation with drugs and alcohol quickly descended into addiction.  I will also describe the journey we travel now as a family in recovery.  Participants will be invited to join in a conversation discussing the following:  What are some drug related issues?  How can the community work together to address these issues and barriers proactively?  Where do we go from here?

SESSION 3 (11:20-12:00 p.m.)

Daniel Cartwright, Dad & Primary School Principal

“From the Bus to Bed”

The hours between the time our kids come home from school to the time they go to bed can be described as pretty crazy for most families. How can we manage the craziness? Better yet, how can we maximize the craziness and make it a great time of life with our kids? Join us in a discussion about what works to make the most of the time between bus and bed.

Kristin Santilli, Folsom Teacher of Talented & Gifted and Technology Engineering Design

“Using LEGOs to Foster Ingenuity and Imagination”

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."-Albert Einstein. Come discuss how LEGOs can foster ingenuity and imagination in your child. Learn how to explore and learn with your children through creative and imaginative play. What we consider "play" is actually education and can lead to a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career in the future for our children.

Jane Barrett, MSN, RN, CSN

“Conversations with a School Nurse”

Stop by and explore forms and policies to ensure you child is healthy and benefits from educational programs. Information on NJ Family Care will also be discussed. Together we can perform internet searches to find reliable health care information for school age children.

Mike Marotta, Assistive Technology Specialist

“Using Technology to Support Struggling Learners”

Come join in the discussion about technology supports for struggling learners. Assistive Technology can be a powerful support for students with Individual Education Plan (IEPs)- but those same supports can be beneficial for ALL learners. Areas we will discuss include supports for writing, reading, organization and executive function issues. We will explore all technology platforms including iOS, Android and Chromebooks. Sharing your own experiences may help someone else meet their needs!  

Karen M Zeltman, M.A., BCBA Program Director Association of Behavior & Curriculum Consultants, LLC at Rowan University

"The ABC's of Behavior"

Most children and adolescents misbehave at times, but increasing episodes of tantrum behavior, defiance, disrespect, arguing, or refusing to listen to adults can significantly interfere with family life, social relationships, and success in school.  Children with special needs are at greater risk for developing more intense problems such as aggressive and self-injurious behavior, as well as property destruction.  School-aged children who are disruptive, oppositional, or chronically avoid class, refuse to do homework, and skip school are at-risk for failure.  Even children with less intense but highly repetitive behaviors, or who engage in rigid patterns, rituals, or routines can become stigmatized and socially isolated or rejected.

Parents and caretakers will learn to understand the basics of why problem behavior occurs, how to avoid triggering it, and how to properly respond to it.  Easy-to-implement (and research-validated) interventions will be presented to minimize problem behavior at both home and school.  Discussion will also focus on how to determine if school-based behavior intervention plans and classroom-management techniques are providing quality supports are following “best practice” guidelines.

Phillip Golden, VALIC Financial Advisor

“Planning for College at Every Age - What You Need to Know”

In this session we will have a discussion about some of the ways we can be better prepared for our child’s college expenses. We will take some time reviewing various types of products available to us that could help pay for college. We will end our time together by discussing the financial aid process.

Hear the 2014 Speakers

Andrea Lawful –Trainer, Parent | CEO C.A.P.E.S

Amy Hogan, Lead Health Educator, Atlanticare Healthy  Schools Healthy Children Program

Pat McCormick, Teen Driver Safety Officer

Dr. Norma Boakes, Associate Professor of Education for Richard Stockton College of NJ

Kimberly  Mattina, Technology Integration Coach and Social Media Advisor

Valerie Furlong, MA, LDT/C and Bobbie Travaline, Former School Principal

Mike Marotta, Assistive Technology Specialist

Karen Stone, President of SoftStone Products

David Furgione, Supervisor of Science, World Language and Related Arts

Nathan Levy, Educational Consultant, Speaker, Author of more than 40 books and  Former Principal

Glenn Martins, Assistant Director Y.A.L.E. School

Beth Steinen, 6th Grade Teacher and Parent

Daniel Cartwright, Dad and Primary School Principal

Phillip Golden, VALIC Financial Advisor