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Email: ndseec.info@k12.nd.us

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Phone: 701.997.2210

Fax: 701.404.5366

Healthy Schools Summit

2021 Healthy Schools Summit | August 4, 2021

Our purpose is to create a culture of wellness by equipping schools with innovative tools to strengthen

the connection between healthy students and improved learning!

This summit is created through a partnership between the South East Education Cooperative, PartnerSHIP 4 Health,
Schoolsalive!, and Fargo-Cass Public Health.

2021 Keynotes & Breakout Sessions:


  • Innovating Healthy Schools: Scott Meyer - Vice President of University of Jamestown Accelerated Learning
    • Innovating Healthy Schools - An entrepreneurial approach to wellness can help schools quickly develop and test programs that improve the lives of their students. In this high-energy session, Scott Meyer will share a framework on developing, testing, and implementing innovative ideas. Come with your passions, leave with a path to make it a reality
  • Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child: Every Child Healthy!: Rob Bisceglie – Action for Healthy Kids CEO
    • As CEO of Action for Healthy Kids for 12 years, Rob Bisceglie, has seen a shift for their organization from just focusing on childhood obesity to ensuring all kids, especially those in underserved communities are supported with:
      • Sound and appropriate nutrition paired with physical education and activity
      • Safe, supportive environments where they can play and grow
      • Stable and nurturing relationships with adults
  • You Can't Pour from an Empty Cup: Heather Simonich – Nexus-PATH Family Healing, Trauma Sensitive Schools Curriculum Creator
    • Feeling tired? Less motivated? Join us for a brave conversation about managing the emotional toll of working with students and families who experience tremendous adversity. You will leave feeling less alone and more supported in your efforts to reach our most challenging students!

Breakout sessions:

  • Vaping: What Schools Can Do to Combat the Epidemic - Jason McCoy, PartnerSHIP 4 Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator & Melissa Markegard, Fargo-Cass Public Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator
    • Vaping has reached epidemic levels in Minnesota and North Dakota. No one feels the impact more than our schools. This breakout session will provide an introduction to vaping along with a show and tell on the latest vaping items on the market. The session will provide suggestions for free curriculums to be used in school, alternatives to suspension, youth cessation and also provide a model for peer education.
  • Local Approaches to Implementing Trauma-Informed Practices - Trisha Mariotti, Principal & Luke Anderson, Principal
    • Detroit Lakes Roosevelt Elementary Principal Trisha Mariotti will share their trauma informed initiative and the four strategies they’ve adopted to address childhood trauma in their school. She’ll be joined by teachers that are implementing the strategies.
    • Jamestown Gussner Elementary Principal , will share its journey in implementing Relationship Mapping: an exercise in which the school gathers perspectives from all school staff on relational bonds and the at-risk status of students (academically, socially, and personally). It provides a powerful visual snapshot of students who are in need of additional support as well as those that are well-supported.
  • Innovative Approaches to End Childhood Hunger - Nancy Carriveau, Great Plains Food Bank & Heidi Domier, Central Cass Treehouse
    • In an effort to provide students with additional access to fresh and nutritious meals while also reducing food waste, community partners collaborated on an innovative project to repack school lunches and distribute them through local school pantries. Join us to celebrate the success of the spring 2021 pilot and hear about plans to expand the project for school year 2021-2022! Also hear from the Central Cass Treehouse a non-profit that provides clothing, hygiene items, and food to Central Cass students in all grade levels. Every student is empowered to reach their academic goals through the alignment of support provided by the Treehouse.
  • Parent Engagement: Essential for Success of Students - Rob Bisceglie, CEO of Action for Healthy Kids, & Sean Wade, Director of Family-School & Family Connectors
    • Effective collaboration between schools and families is essential for the success of students. Join our keynote speaker, Rob Bisceglie, Action for Healthy Kids’ Director of Family-School Partnerships Sean Wade, and Family Connectors for a session about the role parents and caregivers play as advocates for health in schools and how schools can – and must – better engage families.
  • Relationship Between Oral Health & Learning in School Age Children - Bilquis Khan, Genelle Lamont, Munerra Hassan - MN Dept. of Health, & Toni Hruby, ND Dept. of Health
    • Do you know dental pain is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism and it relates to poorer school performance and children with poor oral health status were nearly 3 times more likely to miss school compared to other children who did not experience dental pain. Join the MN Dept. of Health & ND Dept. of Health to learn more about the association between oral health and learning in school-age children and potential strategies for implementation to reduce oral pain and improve learning.
  • Managing Food Allergens in School Nutrition Programs - 2020 National Food Service Director Annette Hendrickx Derouin, Food Service Director for Willmar, New London-Spicer & Montevideo
    • Managing food allergies is a challenge, and can be complicated at times. This session will focus on “The Big 8” food allergens, plus the addition of the sesame allergen which will be included in the next addition of the Food Code. Attend this session to become more confident with managing food allergens in your school nutrition programs!
  • health.moves.minds, Jenny Linker, Ph.D Associate Professor at NDSU
    • health.moves.minds is SHAPE America’s new social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and fundraiser! This K-12 service-learning program helps raise funds for your school, teach basic SEL skills, and provide students opportunities to give back to their community. This session will provide an overview and basic information needed to get your school started!
  • Advancing Health Equity in Schools via WSCC - Jamie Sparks, National School Health Program Manager for ETR, a National non-profit working to advance health equity
    • COVID19 has changed the world in so many ways, and the impact on education certainly will redefine educational priorities for years to come. SHAPE America Past-President Jamie Sparks will offer an in-depth perspective into ETR’s Health Equity Framework specifically through the lens of systems of power, relationships, and networking. Jamie will explain the importance of health and physical educators embracing the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) approach as a way to truly redefine the path for the profession moving forward beyond 2020. A whole child focus to educational priorities offers tremendous opportunities for more wholistic school accountability measures in the future: healthy, safe, challenged, supported and engaged.
  • Stand to Protect - Jessica Offerman, Impact Foundation, Director of Executive Operations & Stand to Protect Trainer
    • Child sexual abuse is a childhood trauma experienced by 1 in every 10 children. It’s at the root of much addiction, depression, anxiety and suicide. Stand to Protect teaches adults critical information about who abuses and situations that leave children vulnerable, helping adults be more vigilant. The program shares practical 10 Prevention Steps to diminish risk and build protection. It models conversations with children, and empowers parents to hear subtle cues that children use when struggling to disclose. This program was developed by Cass and Clay County agencies and includes resources to help schools, churches, child cares and youth organizations develop stronger safety policies.
  • ND Full-Service Community Schools Consortium: Supporting Schools to Improve Student and Family Success Through Integration of comprehensive Supports - Erin Oban, ND FSCS Consortium & CREA Director of Community Engagement, & Melissa Sobolik, President of Great Plains Food Bank
    • The ND Full-Service Community Schools (NDFSCS) Consortium exists to support school personnel in transforming the school to be a physical location in which students and families can access comprehensive support through an integrated approach. This session features one NDFSCS Pipeline Service Partner, Great Plains Food Bank. Learn how this potential partner can assist your school community in addressing food insecurity, regardless of Full-Service Community School implementation.
  • We’re in this Together: School Nutrition Professionals, 2020 National Food Service Director Annette Hendrrickx Derouin, Food Service Director for Willmar, New London-Spicer & Montevideo
    • The COVID-19 Pandemic has presented many operational challenges, with continued twists and turns, leaving many of us feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. This session will reiterate the importance of teamwork and focus on practices school nutrition professionals need to be doing going into the 21-22 school year.

2021 Keynote Speakers

Scott Meyer

Vice President of University of Jamestown Accelerated Learning

Scott Meyer is the VP of UJ Accelerated – a career-oriented education program from the University of Jamestown to help up-skill, re-skill, and certify skills for students looking to enter high-growth industries. Learn more about the program here and click here to contact Scott to collaborate. Meyer was previously the Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship at North Dakota State University. He founded The Nice Center, an entrepreneurship center promoting entrepreneurship for all with the goal of reaching 95% of ND high school and college students by 2025. More here.

Previously, Meyer founded 9 Clouds, an automotive inbound marketing agency based in Sioux Falls, SD, exiting in 2018. He also worked on political campaigns across the country during the 2018 midterms as a digital strategist. As a community leader and former city councilor, he founded TEDxBrookings, Creativity Week and 1 Million Cups in Brookings.

Rob Bisceglie

Action for Healthy Kids CEO

Rob firmly believes that health is a human right and that our country does not act on that principle, which is why, as CEO of Action for Healthy Kids, he leads an incredible team that works hard to innovate and motivate schools, children, and families to make healthier choices.

It’s unacceptable that an entire generation of kids may live a shorter, less fulfilling life than their parents, so our work at Action for Healthy Kids, where he's been since 2008, is vital to changing the tide. Rob wants to make the world a better place for kids, and he's held almost every job in the nonprofit sector and worked for many incredible domestic and international organizations that make a huge difference in people’s lives.

Heather Simonich

Nexus-PATH Family Healing, Trauma Sensitive Schools Curriculum Creator

Heather Simonich joined PATH in May 2015, after serving 14 years with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo and working as the Program Coordinator and Trainer for the Treatment Collaborative for Traumatized Youth. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She routinely provides trauma-informed care training and consultation to child-serving organizations across North Dakota. Most recently, Heather collaborated with the ND Department of Public Instruction to create a professional development curriculum for elementary educators that is now being provided to school districts across the state. Heather has published professional manuscripts on topics related to child traumatic stress. She is a 2012 Bush Leadership Fellow and a Licensed Professional Counselor.