2016 School Behavioral Health Conference


In order to respond to the growing need for trauma-informed education, the Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston is hosting its first annual conference, Educator Strategies for Addressing Student Trauma on Friday, October 21st at the Region IV Education Service Center. Registration, breakfast and a community exhibition begin at 7:30 a.m., with programming from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

The conference is designed to offer educators ready-to-use resources and strategies to create trauma-informed classrooms and schools, but others interested in children's behavioral health are welcome to attend. Attendees hear two keynote addresses from two nationally renowned speakers, and will choose from 16 breakout sessions. Breakfast and lunch is included, and 6 CEUs are available to teachers, administrators, social workers, counselors, LSSPs, LPCs, and nurses. Registration is $35. Sign up here today.

For more information, contact Betsy Blanks at (713) 523-8963 x 231 or bblanks@mhahouston.org.




Dr. Marleen Wong, Associate Dean and Clinical Professor, serves as Director of Field Education at the USC School of Social Work overseeing the field placements of all Master of Social Work students studying at five academic centers, including the Virtual Academic Center with students based all over the United States. In addition to her work in field education, Wong is an internationally recognized mental health expert. Called one of the "pre-eminent experts in school crisis and recovery" by the White House and the "architect of school-safety programs" by the Wall Street Journal, Wong has developed mental health recovery programs, crisis and disaster training for school districts and law enforcement in the United States, Canada, Israel and Asia. Frequently consulted by the U.S. Department of Education to assist schools impacted by violence, shootings, terrorism and natural disasters, she has lent her expertise to the recovery process from her prolific experience. She has traveled across the world to speak about school mental health and crisis intervention issues in schools located in the United States, Cuba, Europe and Asia. She has also advised teachers’ unions, as well as school and government officials on the effects of psychological trauma on school children and adults after devastating earthquakes in Japan, Taiwan and China.

Steve Graner is a ChildTrauma Academy Fellow and has recently retired from teaching English at Erik Ramstad Middle School in Minot, North Dakota after thirty-three years. He grew up in Bismarck, ND, received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Sioux Falls, and completed his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Minnesota State University Mankato. Throughout his teaching career, Mr. Graner has also coached cross country and track and field, receiving Coach of the Year honors in ND for both high school and middle school cross country. Mr. Graner is best known for his creative approaches to teaching and coaching and combines a love of the arts and sports with the passion for pedagogy.


A Trauma Informed School for Refugee and Immigrant Newcomers

  • Dr. Jodi Berger Cardosa – Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work & Sarah K Howell – Social Worker, Las Americas Newcomer School

Classroom Strategies for Addressing Student Trauma (One session for elementary, one for secondary)

  • Tina Cardona – Behavior Specialist, Pasadena ISD Behavior Response Team & Linda Rodrigue, Ed.D - District Coordinator of PBIS Multi-Tiered System of Behavioral Support, Pasadena ISD

Coaching the Brain: How a new understanding of brain development can lead to better athletic performance, more ethical coaching, and healthier kids for a lifetime

  • Steve Graner - ChildTrauma Academy Fellow

Culture and Trauma: Engaging Minority Families in the School System

  • Roberta Leal – Visiting Professor, University of Houston – Clear Lake & Mirla Lopez - FACE Program Coordinator

Dealing with Our Most Difficult Kids in a Connected Way

  • Arnold Lee Valdez - Program Coordinator of Recruitment and Training, DePelchin Children's Center

Infusing Restorative Practices into a Campus Culture

  • Bryan Reed – School Director, YES Prep Northbrook High & Anita Wadhwa – Restorative Justice Coordinator, YES Prep

Keeping Kids in School: Strategies to End the School to Prison Pipeline

  • Charles Rotromel - CEO, Houston: reVision

Nurturing Resiliency in Trauma Impacted Classroom

  • Ritasha Taylor – Owner, SOAR Family Resources & Stephan Simmons - Elementary Instructor, Spring Branch ISD

Sexual Abuse and Its Impact in the Classroom

  • Melissa Goldberg – Staff Psychologist, The Children’s Assessment Center & Diane Vines – NMT Program Coordinator – The ChildTrauma Academy

Student and parent consumer session

Trauma and bereavement informed "best practices": School-based assessment and intervention

  • Julie Kaplow – Associate Professor and Director, Trauma and Grief Center for Youth, University of Texas Health and Science Center

Trauma Informed Education

  • Kelly Sopchak – Senior Psychologist, Houston ISD

Trauma in Victims of Human Trafficking Panel

  • Panelists TBD

Understanding the Educational Impact of Trauma for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

  • Mandi Adydan - Post-doctoral Fellow, TRIAD Prevention Program, Sarah Beebe - Supervising Attorney, Disability Rights Texas, & Latashia Crenshaw – Director of Educational Support and Advocacy Services, Harris County Juvenile Probation

Yoga Off the Mat: Quality and Evidence-Informed Yoga-Based Self-Regulation in Schools

  • Elizabeth Reese – Founder/CEO, Yogiños: Yoga for Youth & Director, New Territory Montessori School




Speaker (s): Marleen Wong, Keynote and Steve Graner, Keynote

Organizer :

The Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston
and Region 4 ESC.  Generously underwritten by Houston Endowment.

For more information or questions, please contact:
   *  Betsy Blanks at bblanks@mhahouston.org or 713.523.8963 x 231
   *  Clynita Grafenreed at cgrafenreed@esc4.net or 713.744.6345


Fri, Oct. 21, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
(GMT-0600) US/Central


Region 4 ESC
7145 West Tidwell
Houston, TX 77092


Conference Cost:

Registration Ends
12:00 AM
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Who Should Attend
Professionals, parents interested in improving student behavioral health, teachers, coaches, principals, assistant principals, district administrators, nurses, counselors, school social workers, LSSPs, and more.

Credits Available:
(6) Contact Hours, (6) CPE, (6) TSBEP