2023 NAPDS Conference Jacksonville

March 23-25, 2023

Preconference, March 22
Anti-Racism Summit, March 25

Keynote Speaker

Ricki Gibbs II, Ed.D.

About Dr. Gibbs

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change; I am changing the things I cannot accept,” Angela  Davis. 

This quote has been the driving force behind Dr. Gibbs’ passion to change lives through the  power of a great education. Dr. Ricki Gibbs earned his B.S. in Elementary Education and M.Ed. in  Administration and Supervision from Tennessee State University. He then went on to earn a Doctor of  Education degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Change from Lipscomb University. He  started his career teaching 3rd grade at Paragon Mills Elementary in Nashville, TN for four years. He  served as an assistant principal and principal in Metro Nashville Public Schools and now has the honor of  currently leading the transformation work as principal of Warner Arts Magnet Elementary. In 2020, Dr.  Gibbs was named Elementary Principal of the Year for Metro Nashville Public Schools. 

Dr. Ricki Gibbs’ work was featured in season 2 of The Promise, a podcast produced by Nashville Public  Radio that received the Peabody Award for most compelling and empowering stories released in  broadcasting and streaming media in 2020. Under Dr. Gibbs’ leadership, Warner transformed from one  of the lowest performing schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools to being the first and only Metro  Nashville Public School to be recognized as a Blue Ribbon Beacon School in 2021.  

Dr. Gibbs attributes much of the schools’ success to their adoption of trauma-informed practices for  classroom management with their non-profit partner, BeWell. At Warner, teachers utilize mindfulness,  movement, and breathing to help students develop emotional self-regulation strategies. His passion for  student centered discipline is personal: as a child growing up in an inner-city Miami community similar  to the East Nashville community where the majority of Warner’s students live, Gibbs struggled with  anger management and was often suspended from school for fighting. He credits mentors and educators for making the difference in his life, and seeks to “pay it forward” for the students he serves at Warner.

Keynote Speaker

Jonathan Eckert, Ed.D.

About Dr. Eckert

Jonathan Eckert, Ed.D., is the Lynda and Robert Copple Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. He taught outside of Chicago and Nashville for 12 years. After completing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he served at the U.S. Department of Education in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. He has won multiple teaching awards in higher education and is the author of Just teaching (forthcoming), Leading together, The novice advantage, and numerous articles. He has written and presented white papers on Capitol Hill and the National Press Club and has been invited to present all over the U.S. and as far away as Muscat, Oman at a G8-Broader Middle East Summit for education ministers. 

We welcome you to join us at the NAPDS 2023 National Conference in Jacksonville!

This premier PDS conference brings together school & university partnerships from around the country and abroad to address the challenges we face meeting the needs of students, PK-12 educators, and university faculty.