Learning Forward 2015 Conference

December 2015

Learning Forward’s 2015 Annual Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. on December 5th- 9th. This conference provides educators with outstanding content and valuable tools to bring the most powerful forms of professional learning back home to the educators with whom they work. Just ASK is proud to once again be a conference Silver Sponsor. Stop by Booth 209 to take a look at our wide range of professional development resources and to chat with Paula Rutherford, Brenda Kaylor, Julie McVicker, and Linda McGinley about how we can partner to develop and implement your professional learning initiatives.

Bruce OliverMaria EckBruce Oliver, Just ASK Senior Consultant, and Maria Eck, Principal of Poe Middle School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia, are leading a session titled Closing the Engagement Gap at Learning Forward’s Annual Conference. In their session, participants will discover how colleagues are orchestrating learning environments that are alive with productive activity and excited student voices. They will explore innovative strategies and approaches that captivate attention and promote curiosity, originality, and collaboration and learn how to build capacity to move colleagues and students beyond initial excitement to mastery of performance standards and application of 21st century skills in rigorous and relevant ways.

VASCDDecember 2015

Just ASK is once again a sponsor and exhibitor at the Virginia ASCD Annual Conference December 3rd – 4th, 2015, in Williamsburg, Virginia, where attendees will explore the meaning of deeper learning and return to the school setting with new ideas, practices, resources, and motivation.

October 2015

The Greater Rochester Teacher Center Network

invites you to

Just ASK’s

Three-Day Institute

Mentoring in the 21st Century®

with Brenda Kaylor

October 13,14, and 15, 2015

Register at: 





March 21-23, 2015 

Just ASK exhibited at the 70th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Houston, Texas. Attendees stopped by BOOTH 517 to chat with Brenda Kaylor, Julie McVicker, and Paula Rutherford and learned how to partner with Just ASK to refine and expand personal, school, and district professional development initiatives and collaboratively build in-house capaASCD exhibit hallcity.

Attendees submitted their entries  for the drawing to win multiple Just ASK resources including The Principal’s Library, Teacher Leader Essentials, and more!





February 24-25, 2015


Just ASK Publications was once again a proud sponsor and exhibitor at the 10th Annual Illinois New Teacher Collaborative (INTC) Induction and Mentoring Conference in Springfield, Illinois. Just ASK donated several door prizes consisting of the The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook, Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?, and Collegial Conversations DVD. This is the fourth year that Just ASK has sponsored the INTC mentoring conference.


December 2014

Brenda Kaylor, Julie McVicker, Linda McGinley, and Mike Rutherford represented Just ASK at Learning Forward’s 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville.


Learning Forward 2014



 December 2014


Bruce Oliver, Just ASK Senior Consultant represented Just ASK at the 2014 Virginia ASCD Annual Conference in Williamsburg. Bruce also led a session titled, Closing the Engagement Gap! Just ASK is proud to be a continuing sponsor of the Virginia ASCD Annual Conference. 


 Just ASK Texas


October 2014
Just ASK exhibited at the Texas ASCD 2014 Annual Conference on October 26 – 28 in Houston. Over 40,000 educators in Texas have copies of our books and over 200 of our Mentoring in the 21st Century Resource Kits and New Teacher Professional Development Kits are being used in Texas districts. 



July 2014
Julie McVicker
represented Just ASK at the Colorado Association of School Executives’ (CASE) 45th Annual Convention in Breckenridge, Colorado. There she exhibited and spoke with colleagues on Creating a Culture for Learning and Leading the Learning.


July 23, 2014

Brenda Kaylor, Just ASK Senior Consultant, led sessions on Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners at Omaha Public Schools’ 9th Annual Best Practices Summit.


NJ Capstone ConfMay 16, 2014
The Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Teacher Education Program at New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) hosted a Capstone Conference at New Jersey City University. Ronni Reed, Just ASK Associate, led a session titled Active Learning and Engagement Strategies for CTE Teachers. Based on the book, Active Learning and Engagement Strategies, this workshop also helped teachers build capacity to move students toward mastery of the Common Core State Standards. NPTNJ offers a statewide alternate route teacher preparation program for candidates who already possess a Bachelor Degree and Certificate of Eligibility. Learn more about the program:


Institute flyer 2-11-2014:Layout 1.qxd

Just ASK hosted a Mentoring in the 21st Century® Institute April 9-11, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The goal of Mentoring in the 21st Century® programs is to assist educators in building their capacity for supporting new teachers in ways that help them to be fully qualified and fully satisfied.

This institute was led by Paula Rutherford, Just ASK Consultant and author, whose books on teaching, learning, and leading have sold over 600,000 copies. The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook and Why Didn’t I Learn this in College?are the primary texts for this institute.

Mentoring Institute collage

Active LearningThe Greater Rochester Teacher Center Network hosted our four-day workshop series Closing the Engagement Gap.

This series, led by Paula Rutherford, focused on student development and use of 21st century skills through active student engagement. Participants explored over 60 strategies that will help them build strong core instructional programs that meet the needs of diverse learners. All participants receive a copy of Paula’s book Active Learning and Engagement Strategies.

Educators from the following New York districts are participating: Greece Central School District, Pittsford Central School District, Webster Central School District, Brighton Central School District, Kenmore Town of Tonawanda UFSD, Brockport Central School District, East Rochester Central School District, Wheatland-Chili School District, York Central School District, Dansville Central School District, Victor Central School District and Palmyra-Macedon Central School District.


rutgersThe Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at Rutgers University hosted a conference at Rutgers-Busch for over 250 teaching candidates. Ronni Reed, Just ASK Associate, led a session titled Closing the Engagement Gap: Active Learning and Engagement Strategies. Based on the book, Active Learning and Engagement Strategies, this workshop helped teachers build capacity to move students toward mastery of the Common Core State Standards. The alternate route program at Rutgers program is a non-traditional teacher preparation program designed for aspiring teachers who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program at an accredited college or university, but wish to obtain the necessary training to become a NJ certified teacher.

Learning Forward New JerseyRonni Reed, Just ASK Associate, led a session titled Connecting Student Growth Objectives (SGO) and Active Learning Assessment Strategies with Chantal Simonelli, Holmdel Township Schools, at the 2014 Learning Forward New Jersey Conference. Each participant received a copy of Active Learning and Engagement Strategies by Paula Rutherford. Ronni is a past president of the Learning Forward New Jersey and is on the Board of Directors of the Learning Forward Foundation.


Bruce Oliver, Just ASK Senior Consultant, made the keynote address titled Creating a Culture for Learning at the mini-summit of educators who work in the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice in Richmond, Virginia. In the afternoon Bruce worked with all those in administrative positions. Each principal and assistant principal received The Principal’s Library, our seven-book collection that provides administrators resources that enable them to use the same language and concept system with all stakeholders.

The Tech Effect Empowering KidsMike DiSalvo, Just ASK Associate, made a presentation at the Virginia Society for Technology Education’s (VSTE) 2013-2014 Annual Technology in Education Conference, in Roanoke, Virginia. The session title was The NETS-T Tech Effect. In this session Mike explained the NETS-T process and benefits to participants and to their students. A program overview was provided and synchronous and asynchronous tools were demonstrated.

2013 Annual Conference

The Dynamic Duo, Theresa Doherty West, Just ASK Consultant, and Maria Eck, Principal of McNair Elementary School in Fairfax County Public Schools, led an all-day concurrent session on Monday, December 9th at the Learning Forward 2013 Annual Conference in Dallas. The session, Leading the Learning in Turnaround Schools, investigated successful strategies and practices used to turn around a school under sanctions. Improvement methods including collaborative team meetings, multiple pathways to professional learning, fostering teacher leaders, and addressing and changing a culture of low expectations were explored. The session included tools and templates as well as a protocol to develop a plan for leading difficult conversations that can dramatically shift a schools culture.

Learning Forward AlabamaHeather ClaytonHeather Clayton, Just ASK Associate, presented the keynote titled Priorities, Practices, and Possibilities: Reaping the Rewards of the College and Career Ready Standards at Learning Forward Alabama’s Annual Conference on November 21, 2013. She followed up her keynote address with a session titled Promoting Rigor and Relevance: Lifting the Level of Student Learning. This follow-up session explored various classroom routines and practices that boost the rigor of instruction and increase the relevance of the learning while encouraging student problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Participants learned concrete strategies to use during instruction, viewed examples of student work, and explored specific teacher language that will increase expectations for student learning.

VASCDBruce Oliver, Just ASK Senior Consultant, once again represented Just ASK at the 2013 Virginia ASCD Annual Conference in Williamsburg by leading a session and exhibiting. Bruce’s session was titled Performance Assessment: A Rigorous and Relevant Learning Experience. His 2012 session was titled What Great Teachers Know and Do. Just ASK is proud to be a continuing sponsor of the VASCD Annual Conference.



Bruce Oliver’s Professional Development Institute (PDI), Making Assessment a Learning Experience, was perfect for teachers who are tired of the “teach, test, repeat cycle” and who want to embed effective assessment practices in the instructional process. In this workshop, participants engaged in “taking the mystery out of mastery” by examining and discussing a wide variety of assessment practices including pre-assessments and research-based best practices as well as using assessment results to make instructional decisions.

AFT Pre-TEACH PD Network Conference Agenda 2013Theresa Doherty West, Just ASK Consultant, led an interactive keynote presentation titled An Active Learning Approach to Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners at the 2013 AFT Pre-TEACH Professional Development Network Conference in Washington, DC on July 22, 2013.



Omaha Public SchoolsBrenda Kaylor, Just ASK Senior Consultant, led sessions on How to Differentiate and Still Have a Life! at Omaha Public Schools’ 8th Annual Best Practices Summit. Educators from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska attended the summit on July 17-18, 2013.



theresaTheresa Doherty West, former principal of McNair Elementary School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia, and a proven school turn-around specialist and Just ASK Consultant shared her thinking and experience around approaches to take when you don’t have the support of all stakeholders at the 2013 VAESP Annual Conference. Theresa believes that in order to create a culture where all students experience success, we need to make sure that each and every adult is committed to the success of all other adults. Sometimes, getting everyone on the same page involves difficult conversations. In this session, participants had the opportunity to learn about the ASK Construct, review guidelines for difficult conferences, and practice an upcoming difficult conversation. They left with tools that will help them facilitate difficult conversations around issues that are blocking an effective culture for learning.

Many visitors stopped by the Just ASK exhibit at the VAESP Annual Conference in to chat with Theresa about how she used Just ASK’s common language and concept system as important resources in her work at McNair.

ACSAPaula Rutherford was proud to be a member of the 2013 ACSA Principals’ Summer Institute faculty for the 17th consecutive year. She once again kicked off the week-long institute. Her presentation this year was titledLeading the 21st Century School. Institute participants received copies of Creating a Culture for Learning and Active Learning and Engagement Strategies. Quiauna Scott was the winner of The Principal’s Library; Quiauna is principal of Carquinez Middle School, John Swett Unified School District, which is located in the San Francisco Bay area. During the institute, participants also worked with Mike Schmoker and Kim Marshall.

CTEReadinessRonni Reed, Just ASK Associate, led a workshop on using active learning strategies in career and technical education classrooms at the New Jersey Statewide CTE Conference held at The College of New Jersey. Each participant received a copy of Active Learning and Engagement Strategies by Paula Rutherford. According to the conference website, the careers of today and the future require CTE teachers to have a robust set of skills, including strong academics, technical skills, innovation, problem solving, and critical thinking.



RonniReedJust ASK was represented by Ronni Reed, Just ASK Associate, and past president of Learning Forward New Jersey, at the organization’s annual conference held at Rider University. Ronni’s session titled Active Learning and Engagement was based on the Just ASK publication, Active Learning and Engagement Strategies. Ronni reported that the session was full to the brim and that the participants thoroughly enjoyed the active learning strategies they experienced and were very pleased with their complimentary copies of Active Learning and Engagement Strategies.

SDHSAJust ASK Senior Consultant, Julie McVicker, presented at the Head Start School Readiness Conference in Pierre, South Dakota. Her featured session was on Creating a Culture for Learning. This exciting, interactive session laid the groundwork for the conference by examining what is already in place in programs to support a vision of positive outcomes for young children. The session explored building a strong culture of learning for staff, children and families.


Lord FairfaxBruce Oliver, Just ASK Senior Consultant and author of Just ASK’s e-newsletter Just for the ASKing!, led summer seminars on Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners™ for the Warrenton Educational Consortium and Lord Fairfax Educational Consortium in Southwest Virginia.

CFISD Conference

Paula Rutherford was a keynote speaker at the Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships Leadership Conference hosted by Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Cypress, Texas. Her presentation is titled Creating a Culture for Learning for Adults and Students. Other speakers at this annual conference, which is attended by over 1,200 educators from 50 Texas school districts, included Tom Many, Debra Pickering, Todd Whitaker, Willard Daggett, and Joseph Renzulli.

MTN Institutes

Just ASK recently hosted a Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners® Institute in beautiful Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. This institute, led by Paula Rutherford, author of Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners, focused on ways to recognize, respect, and respond to differences in learners with practical and research-based approaches that scaffold and extend learning.

 MTN Institutes Collage

NJ Capstone Conf

Ronni Reed, Just ASK Consultant Associate, led a workshop using active learning strategies at the Capstone Conference, Career and Technical Education Alternate Route Teacher Education Program, Mercer County Community College, New Jersey. New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) offers a statewide alternate route teacher preparation program for candidates who already possess a Bachelor Degree and Certificate of Eligibility.

VASCDJust ASK Senior Consultant, Bruce Oliver, presented a session titled Making Assessment a Learning Experience at the Virginia ASCD Southwest Regional Conference in Abingdon, Virginia. Bruce explored the design and use of pre-assessments, task analyses, and student self-assessments. He also provided intriguing insight into the power of growth-producing feedback and the use of classroom assessment results to make instructional decisions. Bruce guaranteed that repertoire will be expanded with several new strategies to provide students multiple formats and opportunities for demonstrating and applying their learning.