Keynote Speaker

Wednesday, June 7


Adam Shell is the creator and award-winning director of the documentary film Pursuing Happiness. The film chronicles Shell’s journey across America where he interviewed more than 400 of the happiest people in the country. His work has been featured on This American Life with Ira Glass and honored with over two-dozen awards across multiple categories around the world.

Adam’s goal is to help create positive change on a one to one level by engaging with people and sharing the many-many life lessons he was so fortunate to learn.


Keynote Speaker

Thursday, June 8


Jahana Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year, teaches history in Waterbury, CT at John F. Kennedy High School. But, the community is her classroom. Connecting lessons learned in school to real life is an integral part of her instruction. Hayes seeks to send students into the world not just academically prepared but as conscientious and productive members of society.

Hayes’ educational philosophy centers on the belief that all students can learn and have the right to a high quality education that is specific to their needs and provides a unique purposeful experience.

The 2017 Educators Connect for Success conference focused on empowering students and educators with this year’s theme: Embracing Hope, Purpose, and Joy in our Schools

This conference highlighted ways that educators can make connections among students, schools, and their communities and create a culture of hope, purpose, and joy. We explored the interaction and connectedness of:

  • Innovation
  • Culture
  • Student diversity
  • Leadership
  • School change
  • Teaching and learning

We owe it to our students to help them embrace their own learning. Together, we will create a vision for Embracing Hope, Purpose, and Joy in our Schools.



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