Dr. Christopher Thurber
Dr. Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. He earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997. A dedicated teacher from a young age, Chris has taught elementary school French, undergraduate courses in psychology, and swimming and sailing to people between the ages of 8 and 80.
Chris has shared his youth development expertise on the Today Show, Martha Stewart, CBS Morning News, NPR, FOX, and PBS. His research has been featured in Time, Newsweek, USNews & World Report, Smart Money, Parents, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, Family Circle, Men’s Health, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and many local newspapers and magazines.
In 2007, Chris co-founded ExpertOnlineTraining.com, which quickly became the internet’s most popular and respected educational resource for youth development professionals. For more information on Chris, go to CampSpirit.com.
J. Alison Bryant, Ph.D. – Head of Research & Curriculum
Alison has more than 15 years experience researching and developing cross-platform media content. Prior to founding her company, PlayScience, Alison was head of digital research and strategy for the Nickelodeon Kids & Family group. She has developed curriculum and conducted research on every platform for properties such as Sesame Street, Blues Clues, Dora the Explorer, Wonder Pets, and Juno Baby. She has helped develop a dozen virtual worlds and over 100 online and mobile games and websites. She has also authored numerous books and articles about kids, families, and media. For more on PlayScience, visit PlayScienceLab.com
When it comes to reading Michelle knows her books! As a National Board Certified teacher Michelle can usually be found talking with students about their next great book. Reaching and teaching students to overcome their challenges with reading is more than a job, it is her passion. In 2007 Michelle won the Dwyer Award for Teaching Excellence for Special Programs and in 2009 she received her Master’s Degree from Florida Atlantic University in Reading Education. She can currently be found at Pine Jog Elementary teaching just outside 135 acres of pine forest in West Palm Beach.
Wynn began her teaching career in 1998. She has taught kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grades. She served as a master teacher in the Milken Family Foundation’s Teacher Advancement Program and as a curriculum coach for grades 3-5. She is Nationally Board Certified in Literacy: Reading and the Language Arts.
Wynn is the president of Bee Sharp Educator Training Associates, LLC, Her company inspires and empowers teachers to reach children with authenticity, joy, and success through keynote speaking, professional development, and yearly teacher retreats. Wynn also works with McGraw-Hill Education as a consultant for the effective implementation of Everyday Mathematics. Visit her at www.BeeSharp.us.
Columbian born, award winning guidance counselor Luz Williams has worked in the Palm Beach County School district for almost two decades. As a bilingual and minority guidance counselor, her primary goal is to implement a classroom guidance program to help students learn more effectively and efficiently. She received her Master’s in Education and ESOL Endorsement from Florida Atlantic University. She has also received extensive training in Family Literacy and has been a finalist for Palm Beach County’s Hispanic Teacher of the Year and nominated for Teacher of the Year at Medellin Montessori School.
Luz also developed and implemented the PACT program – Parent And Child Together time, a program which promotes future success through early intervention.
Dr. Pamela Buchanan
Dr. Buchanan has been in the education profession for more than thirty years, including 12 years as an elementary school principal in Palm Beach and Sarasota counties in Florida. Prior to becoming a school administrator, Dr. Buchanan had a wealth of other educational experiences including serving as a classroom teacher for 16 years, a resource teacher in drug education, and as a supervisor of state and federal projects at a district level. Dr. Buchanan holds a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University, an M.Ed. from Stetson University, an Ed.S. from Florida Atlantic University, as well as an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Buchanan is highly respected for her leadership to significantly close the achievement gap at the schools in which she has served as principal.