Keynote Speakers for the Arkansas Safe Schools Conference
The 13th Annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference will feature an impressive assortment of Keynote Speakers you don’t want to miss!
Founder and Executive Director of the Megan Meier Foundation
On October 16, 2006, Tina Meier’s life took a devastating turn when her 13 year old daughter, Megan Taylor Meier, took her own life after being cyberbullied by an adult neighbor posing as a fictitious boy named “Josh Evans” on MySpace. In December of 2007, Tina Meier founded the Megan Meier Foundation, a non-profit organization that proactively addresses issues of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide in today's world. Since its inception, Tina and Foundation staff members have reached over 270,000 students, parents, and educators in 35 different states. Tina worked closely with Senator Scott Rupp and Governor Matt Blunt’s Internet Task Force for the State of Missouri to help pass Senate Bill 818, which went into law on August 28, 2008. Representing the mission of the Foundation, she has appeared nationally and internationally on many network television stations, news magazines, and syndicated talk shows speaking about the issues of bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. She was a consultant for the 2011 ABC Family movie, “Cyberbully”, and appeared in several documentaries, two of which were in 2015, Discovery ID’s “Web of Lies,” and the story of Lizzie Velasquez “A Brave Heart.”
Tina has received numerous recognitions and awards on behalf of the Foundation for her bullying prevention efforts, from being selected as Teen Line’s Humanitarian of the Year for 2009, to her acceptance of a presidential invitation to attend the White House Anti-Bullying Conference in 2011, being honored by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights with the Judge Arnold Krekel Trailblazer Award in 2013, and being a Women in Leadership honoree in 2015 by Tribute to Success. Today, Tina continues to travel throughout the country educating youth, parents, educators, and professionals on the consequences associated with the harmful effects of bullying and cyberbullying with hopes to inspire others to "Be Megan's Voice... Be the Change!"
Arvada, Colorado Police Department
Sergeant DeAndrea was an Entry Team Leader at Columbine High School on the first sweep of the building and a Team Leader during the Bulldozer Incident in Granby, CO. Sgt. DeAndrea helped devise and execute the tactical plan for the Hostage Rescue at Platte Canyon High School in September, 2006. Again in 2006, he was the Team Leader during an Officer Rescue where a deputy was pinned down by gunfire. The officer was rescued without injury. In 2007, Sergeant DeAndrea was the Patrol Supervisor and Patrol Entry Team Leader during the Youth with a Mission (YWAM) active shooting.
Sergeant A.J. DeAndrea has been with the Arvada, Colorado Police Department since 1993 and is currently assigned to the Community Response Impact Team. Sergeant DeAndrea has received 5 Medals for Valor, 3 Medals for Distinguished Service, 2 Medals for Meritorious Service, and 2 unit citations and numerous commendations. From 2006 to 2010, A.J. was honored as the “Police Officer of the Year” through the Primo Awards. In 2007, he also received an Honorable Mention for Police Officer of the Year through the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Parade Magazine. In 2013, he spoke in the Kennedy Caucus Hearing room in Washington, DC and participated in a conference call with Vice President of the United States Joe Biden. In 2014, A.J. received the John Kolman Award of Excellence from the National Tactical Officers Association. Also, in 2014, A.J. received the Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award. He was recently recognized as a Subject Matter Expert on Active Shooters by the U.S. Department of Education.
ERIC LANDERS, Ph.D.
Special Education Department of Teaching and Learning Georgia Southern University
Dr. Eric Landers earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida with an emphasis on children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD). He has worked as a classroom teacher for students with EBD, as a professor at West Virginia University and Georgia Southern University, and as an independent consultant for supporting school-wide behavioral systems.
Dr. Landers has expertise in the areas of bullying, responding to challenging behaviors, teacher job satisfaction, and school-wide positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS). He is director of the Southeast Conference on Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports and the Co-Chair of the National Youth-At-Risk West Conference.
KARK 4 Today Crew Co-host
D.J. Williams is a former standout tight end who played for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2008-2011. He was long considered a competitor for the 2010 John Mackey Award which is awarded to the nation's most outstanding tight end, along with Lance Kendricks and Michael Egnew. On December 9, 2010 it was announced that DJ was the 2010 John Mackey Award recipient at the 2010 Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet show on ESPNU. He also won the 2010 Disney Spirit Award as college football's most inspirational player. DJ was named to the 2010 1st Team All-SEC squad by the coaches and the AP, after amassing 54 receptions for 627 yards and 4 touchdowns for a Razorback team that finished 10-3 after a loss to Ohio St in the Sugar Bowl. Arkansas won the Liberty Bowl over East Carolina in his junior year of 2009, finishing with a record of 8- 5.
After college, he was recruited by the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Williams would also go on to play for the New England Patriots and then the Jacksonville Jaguars. DJ joined the KARK 4 Today Crew in February 2015 and is currently a vocal advocate for domestic abuse victims and shares his personal story with audiences throughout the state.
It’s not too late to register for the 13th Annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference. This year's conference is an exceptional opportunity for participants to receive training on best practices in school safety, security, intervention/prevention, and emergency preparedness planning. REGISTER TODAY!