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UEA Professional Learning Series

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The 2020 school year is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Join UEA and NEA for a series of workshops designed to support professional excellence and student learning in this new teaching environment. 

All participants must pre-register to join the following webinars.

  • Click on the date and time to pre-register
  • Click on the webinar title for a workshop description

Nearpod for Improved Engagement in the Virtual Classroom (UEA)*

     - Wednesday, November 4, 5 p.m.

How to Teach Effectively in a Virtual Classroom (UEA)*
     - Thursday, November 5, 4 p.m. 

Social Emotional Learning in a Virtual Space (NEA)
     - Monday, November 9, 5 p.m.

Mindfulness for Mind Full Educators (UofU and UEA)*
     - Wednesday, November 11 & 12, 4:30 p.m.

Assessments: Formative and Summative from a Distance (NEA)

     - Monday, December 7, 5 p.m.

Organizing Institute 2020 (UEA)

     - February 3, 4 and 10,11; 4:30 - 6 p.m. each day

* NOTE: Re-licensure points are available for participation in UEA-sponsored webinars

The following UEA webinars have been completed. Check back for future dates.
  • Best Practices for Blended Learning with Canvas
  • Differentiating Instruction in a Virtual Classroom
  • Practicing Mindfulness
  • Strategies for Self Care
  • Trauma Informed Instruction in the Virtual Classroom
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience
  • Student Supports
  • SafeUT Mental Health Supports for Students and Educators
  • Social/Emotional Learning: Tools and Strategies for the Classroom
  • Video Tools for Effective Teaching in any Classroom


SafeUT Mental Health Supports for Students and Educators

By Cathy Davis, Will Leavitt, Amanda McNab, Ashley Pistello and Marnie Saunders.

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the SafeUT app and how students and educators can use the app to connect with master’s level clinicians. Professional presenters will also discuss strategies for educators on maintaining good mental health as well as strategies to assist their students in maintaining good mental health. 

Cathy Davis, M.A.Ed. has served as the Suicide Prevention Education Specialist for the Utah State Board of Education since 2015. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology Composite Teaching and her master’s degree in Educational Counseling.  Cathy taught at Murray High School for 18 years prior to her assignment at USBE. She is certified with the American Association for Suicidology as a School Suicide Prevention Specialist.

Will Leavitt is on the SafeUT Marketing & Outreach Team as well as the point of contact for higher education schools and the Utah National Guard. As a suicide attempt survivor, adolescent suicide prevention is his lifelong goal and passion.  He believes that SafeUT is the best tool available for our young people and an excellent example for a national model of crisis prevention and school safety.  

Amanda McNab, LCSW, EMDR is a licensed clinical social worker with the Crisis and Diversion Services Department at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. She is currently the Clinical Staff Development Educator and Supervisor of the Safe Care Transition Follow-up Program. Amanda has worked in the field of social work for over 14 years.

Ashley Pistello is a Project Administrator for SafeUT and also works as a liaison with the Utah State Board of Education. She was a high school math teacher for four years before joining the SafeUT Marketing & Outreach Team in January 2020. Her primary role is to oversee the SafeUT SuperUser Grant Program, but she also assists with K-12 outreach. 

Marnie Saunders has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is a former Granite School District educator and has 13 years of experience working in Behavioral Health at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. Marnie enjoys her role as a Project Facilitator on the SafeUT.

Best Practices for Blended Learning with Canvas

By Annie Grappone.

Tackle blended learning with Canvas! This webinar will feature best practices and tips for organizing your Canvas class and using modules to help your students pace themselves in class whether they are learning in-person or from home. It is recommended that participants are currently using Canvas in their classes and have a basic understanding of the main features of the program. 

Annie Grappone has been an educator in Utah for nine years in the South Summit School District. Originally from New York City, Annie currently works at Silver Summit Academy, a blended learning school in Park City, as the Blended Learning Coordinator and a High School ELA and History teacher.

Social/Emotional Learning: Tools and Strategies for the Classroom

By Hillary Emmer

Keep hearing SEL and wondering what it is? Or perhaps you’ve heard it a million times and you’re groaning inside because you just can’t do one. more. thing?! This workshop will teach what SEL is and what it isn’t and will provide some easy strategies for you to use (Hint: you’re probably already doing them!).

Hillary Emmer is the president of the Utah School Counselors Association and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from USU and her Master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of Utah. She began her education career as a choir teacher and is currently a school counselor at Copper Mountain Middle School in Herriman, UT, which is in the Jordan School District. Being a school counselor has been Hillary’s dream job since she was a high school student.

How to Teach Effectively in a Virtual Classroom

By Kent Thompson

Explore the perspective of a teacher and a successful online learner as we start the year in remote learning. 

Kent Thompson is a middle school educator, former Air Force pilot and a musician. He teaches Digital Literacy and CCA to 7th and 8th graders in the Salt Lake City School District.

Differentiating Instruction in a Virtual Classroom

By Dari Thacker

The first objective for this webinar is to provide a variety of ideas on how to easily differentiate lessons and activities for diverse learners without increasing the load on you, the educator. The second objective for this webinar is to provide ways to meet the diverse needs of your learners despite the location of their learning. 

Dari Thacker has taught grades K-5 in a blended learning school for the past four years at Silver Summit Elementary. She currently teaches a combined class of two grades (4th/5th). During the past four years, Dari has had students working 100% remotely, 50% remotely and 100% in-class.

Video Tools for Effective Teaching in any Classroom

By Tammie Hansen

Whether you’re teaching face to face, from a distance, or somewhere in between, video is the way to go. Learn how easy it is to create and use video in your classes with user-friendly tools like WeVideo, Screencastify, EdPuzzle and YouTube.
Tammie Hansen has been teaching junior high for 14 years. She loves using technology to enhance her teaching and then sharing the best tools with other educators. 

Nearpod for Improved Engagement in the Virtual Classroom

By Sarah Jones

Every educator in Utah now has a five-year paid Nearpod account through the CARES Act, so let's learn how to use this amazing tool. While you may be familiar with using Nearpod for in-person or asynchronous learning, this webinar will teach you the necessary skills to use Nearpod for engaging synchronous lessons.

Sarah Jones is an instructional coach for the Davis School District and is passionate about supporting teachers. She's worked as a Spanish and English teacher in both Utah and Nevada and believes that what happens in classrooms has the potential to create a more just and equitable world. 

Practicing Mindfulness

By Jason Basinger

Jason Basinger is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist in Salt Lake City School District with a focus on special education evaluations and interventions. He has many professional interests, including autism evaluations, telehealth, mindfulness, and crisis response. He is currently a board member for the Utah Association of School Psychologist and is a Trauma-Informed Trainer for UEA. He likes to spend his free time running or playing with his family.

Strategies for Self-care

By Bethany Baker

Bethany Baker is a special education teacher coach in Canyons School District. Her professional interests include social-emotional learning, all things special education and teacher development. She is a Trauma-Informed Trainer for UEA and enjoys spending time with her four kids and husband, travel (social distancing is KILLING her), true crime and listening to various podcasts and books.

Trauma-informed Instruction in the Virtual Classroom

By Caren Burns. 

Caren Burns is a teacher at Beehive Elementary in the Granite School District, a Trauma Informed Trainer for UEA, and a Utah Fellow with the national Hope Street Group. She is currently teaching sixth grade but will be moving to second grade next year. Her professional interests include:  trauma informed instruction, making more inclusive spaces in schools, community involvement and social justice in education. Outside of teaching, Caren loves to spend time with friends and family, read, travel and ride her bike.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience

By Lelia Pollett and E. Theresa Stanton

Lelia Pollett teaches English Language Arts and ACT Reading at Beaver High School. Her professional interests are working with at-risk youth, advocating for social justice and writing poetry. She is a trauma-informed trainer for UEA and works with the after school program that assists immigrant populations and supports at risk students. Lelia enjoys mountain biking, hiking, writing poetry, yoga and contemplating theories of language and communication. 

E. Theresa Stanton
is a 6th grade teacher in Cache County School District. Her professional interests include trauma-informed instruction, social-emotional learning, individualized instruction and behavior interventions. She is a trauma-Informed trainer for UEA and serves as the President of her local Teachers Association. She is a lifelong learner and enjoys spending time with her family, reading and making art.

Student Supports in the Virtual Classroom

By Grace Blair

Grace Blair is a fifth-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School in the Provo City School District and a trainer for the UEA trauma-informed instruction team. She has been teaching for four years and, though fairly new to the profession, has worked to be involved in leadership capacities at her school and in the UEA. She is dedicated to helping students and families working through trauma in Utah. Grace hails from Kansas City and has a love of kitties and carrots!

Social Emotional Learning in a Virtual Space


How can you create meaningful relationships with and between students in a safe virtual space? This webinar seeks to answer this question with “already tried it” practices. Learn about different strategies, exercises, and activities that put SEL at the forefront in an intentional and transparent way.

Assessments: Formative and Summative from a Distance


We will demonstrate how popular EdTech tools can be leveraged to collect formative assessment and inform instruction in an asynchronous environment.

Mindfulness for Mind Full Educators (UofU)

By Jana SillElizabeth Porter and Eric Dooley-Feldman 

During these trying times, feelings of burnout among educators is likely higher than ever. Mindfulness practice has proved as a successful resource to help lessen stress, increase awareness and management of emotions resulting in better coping mechanisms and improved mental wellbeing. Come and enjoy two 60-minutes mindfulness training sessions that will deliver practical information on educator’s stress and burnout and real-life mindfulness practices that you can apply in your personal life and within the classroom (see more).

PLEASE NOTE...Research Opportunity: Currently, Mindfulness training programs for educators are usually implemented through eight-week courses, which is often not feasible to many. However, the benefits of Mindfulness programs cannot be ignored. Thus, after registration, you can choose to participate in our research that aims to analyze the effects of short mindfulness-based training on educator’s stress, burnout, and overall wellbeing. Drawing of several fabulous prizes will be available to those who complete the study. 

Jana Sill is a former school counselor who is currently a graduate student in the School Psychology Educational Specialist program at the University of Utah. In addition to her graduate studies, Jana is also a member of the University of Utah Technology in Training, Education, and Consultation Lab, directed by Dr. Aaron Fischer. Her role includes collaborating with schools to implement positive behavior supports, consultation with teachers to improve classroom management and provide mental health-related services to students in a day treatment program. 

Elizabeth Porter is a current undergraduate researcher at the University of Utah Honors College. Elizabeth will graduate in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in both Operations and Supply Chain, and Health Society and Policy. While volunteering for various research labs, Elizabeth discovered the University of Utah Technology in Training, Education, and Consultation Lab, directed by Dr. Aaron Fischer. Working as a research associate at the UTTEC lab, Elizabeth hopes to increase knowledge and access to mental health supports for the entire educational system. After graduation, Elizabeth wants to continue to learn more about mental health supports both in and outside the classroom.

Eric Dooley-Feldman
 is entering his third year in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Utah. He is also a member of the University of Utah Technology in Training, Education, and Consultation Lab. Within the lab, Eric collaborates with local schools to provide structured mental health and social-emotional services for students, as well as tailored programming for teachers and parents. Prior to enrolling at the University of Utah, Eric was living and working in Southeast Asia- consulting with international schools in the design and management of outdoor leadership and global citizenship curriculums. On a personal level, Eric re-charges by escaping to the mountains for whatever form of adventure he can find- skiing, trail-running, mountain biking, or climbing.