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Keynote: Jamie Vollmer

Welcome to the Great Conversation: Building public support for public schools one community at a time.

Jamie Vollmer is an award-winning advocate of public education. He has worked for the past twenty-five years to help schools and their communities remove the obstacles to student learning, both in and out of school. His goal is to uplift his audiences and praise their success while showing them that they have the power to create a community-wide climate that supports rising student achievement.

His keynote builds on the themes presented in his book, School Cannot Do It Alone, proclaimed by the American School Board Journal as “One of the top ten books of the year.”

Jamie reviews his transformation from public education critic to ally by retelling the popular “Blueberry Story.” He talks about his life-changing experiences working as a teacher’s aide. He discusses his discovery of “Nostesia” – the mental affliction that locks Americans in old notions of “real school.” He uses what he calls his “magic list” to expose the public’s lack of understanding of the mandates that have been placed upon America’s public schools. And he shows his audiences how they can “connect the dots” and make the case that everyone in the community benefits when they support their local schools.

At each stage, Jamie employs humor, logic, and statistics to encourage teachers, support staff, administrators, and board members to build a new conversation that increases community support for their schools. He concludes with an inspiring story that makes it clear that the people working in our schools are heroes, and this is public education’s most hopeful time.