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Leading Champions Educational Virtual Summit

By Dr. Sharon H. Porter | July 3o, 2023 | 1:24 pm ET


Simené Walden Presents Leading Champions Educational Virtual Summit on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at 7 PM ET.


Speakers for the event include:


Dr. Johni Cruse Craig

A transplant from North Carolina, Dr. Johni Cruse Craig, affectionately referred to as Dr. J. Le’Ray, currently resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband, Marvin Craig. She is a published author of several scholarly journals and op-ed articles, a nationally sought-after educational trainer and workshop facilitator, as well as a topical teacher of spiritual matters in life coaching series. Dr. J. Le'Ray is a spirit on a journey serving in many capacities to complete her divine assignments as she walks in her divine calling as a "Shifter". A former elementary and middle school science educator, she presently serves as the national project director for two educational programs (Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign – DTEC and Teacher Advocating to lead Great change – T.A.G.) of the Delta Research and Educational Foundation in collaboration with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. These programs exist to train educators on evidence-based pedagogy as well as equipping them to advocate for a quality education for all around the belief coined by Dr. J. Le’Ray – Education: It’s A Heart Matter!®. She believes with a strong conviction that EVERYTHING is a heart matter and founded Heart to Heart Services, LLC on this premise where she serves as CEO. Additionally, she is an Engagement Counselor for a national research program focused on improving health care disparities for everyone, an assignment that allows her to connect with community leaders to lead grassroots efforts. Dr. J. Le’Ray has many passions that include teaching others, helping others, cooking, serving as an education advocate and working to engage communities around specific topics. Her goal is to unite, empower and equip each soul along the journey as she SHIFTS mindsets and perspectives. Lastly, Dr. J. Le’Ray enjoys doing life with her son, Ja’Quez, her twin grandgirls, their mother, Kayla, her mother, siblings, friends and a host of other family members.


Dr. Levatta L. Levels

Dr. Levatta L. Levels is a 30 year veteran educator in which she has been an elementary teacher, assistant principal, principal, bilingual specialist, director, assistant superintendent and superintendent.


Currently, Dr. Levels is the Chief Executive Officer of Higher Levels Educational Group, Adjunct Professor, Author, Advocate, and Professional Mentor. As the CEO, Dr. Levels provides professional development and mentoring throughout the country.

For the inaugural implementation of the Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign, Dr. Levels served as an Academy Facilitator, in which she served as an online instructor for the Teacher Efficacy Academy – TEA I and TEA II. She managed participants in the TEA-assigned region strengthening teacher effectiveness. She furthered her work with DTEC by collaborating with the Texas Team advocating for the implementation of the Every Student Succeed Act across the state.


Working with the Texas Education Agency, she provided training and mentoring to principals throughout the state of Texas over the last 10 years. Known for her “leadership abilities” she has worked with many schools towards improving student academic achievement and building principal leadership capacity.

Dr. Levels has served many professional and civic organizations, including Delegate to the Texas Democratic Convention representing Senate District 23, DeSoto Chamber of Commerce Board, Leadership Southwest Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters Southern Region Board, University of North Texas Exes Board, and the University of North Texas Advisory Council.


She is active with the Texas Association of School Administrators, National Council of Negro Women, Parent Teacher Association, UNT Trailblazers, Texas Counseling Association, Texas Association of Black School Educators, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, and the Zeta Eta Alumnae Association.


Dr. Levels earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education with a focus on Education Administration from the University of North Texas and completed the Superintendent Certification program with the University of Houston-Victoria. She is most proud of her two children Leah and Lofton and granddaughter London.


Dr. Karen Hills Pruden

Dr. Karen Hills Pruden is a Certified Human Resource C-Suite Executive with 20 years of progressive human resource and operations experience acquired through various organizations at the corporate and field levels. Trusted advisor and dedicated business partner to C-suite level.


He business partners have included leaders within the following business units: Information Technology, Finance, Security & Safety, Landscape Services, Transportation, Facilities Management, Museums, Historic Sites, Education, Tax Industry, Retail, Hospitality, and Charitable Giving among others.


Dr. Essie McKoy

Dr. Essie McKoy is proven and award-winning educator, author, motivational speaker, coach, and entrepreneur with 30+ years of experience in public and higher education. She possesses several licenses, qualifications, credentials, skills, and knowledge in the field of education and leadership in North Carolina and Virginia.


Dr. McKoy has had the opportunity to function in a variety of educational settings making it easy to adapt to new situations and the ever-changing accountability mandates. She created constructively changes and took on challenges to produce positive results. Her extensive experience has been noted in the following: working in highly impacted schools, leading a federal School Improvement Grant School, serving a former elementary Priority school and a Priority Middle School/School of Transformation, serving as an administrator in an Early College/Middle College setting and serving as a Professor at three different colleges and universities. In addition, she aligned strategic and comprehensive programs, partnerships, and initiatives to produce sustainable results transformed schools impacting the whole culture, increased family and community engagement, impacted teacher retention addressed parents and community concerns, managed large budgets, served as a public relations liaison and most importantly, possessed the vision to lead and the heart to serve!

Isis Spann

Isis Spann is the CEO of FUNdamentals of Learning, LLC, and creator of Kindergarten Kounts ®. Previously, Mrs. Spann spent twelve years teaching elementary school in South Carolina. She is a proud first-generation college student that earned her bachelor's degree from Johnson C. Smith University, her master’s degree from Grand Canyon University and is now pursuing her doctorate degree at GCU with a specialized focus in organizational leadership and special education


Mrs. Spann is a dedicated mother of four and wife to her number one fan Terry Spann Jr. & they all reside in South Carolina. She believes that every child is a genius, every family is an asset & every educator has an opportunity to plant seeds of hope in children.


Isis strives to change the CULTURE of education by narrowing engagement and racial gaps in the classroom and beyond.


Dr. Sharon H. Porter

Dr. Sharon H. Porter has over 30 years of experience in education serving as a classroom teacher, Instructional Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Test Development Specialist, Regional Instructional Specialist, Leadership Development Coach, and Principal in Maryland and North Carolina.


Her research interests are leadership development and principal preparation. She is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Executive Director of the Next In Line to Lead Aspiring Principal Leadership Academy (APLA) and The New Principal RoundTable , which provides professional development to assistant principals and first-year principals from across the United States.


In addition to serving as an educational leader, Dr. Porter is owner, and Editor-In-Chief of Vision & Purpose (V&P) LifeStyle Magazine and Media, a bi-monthly print, and digital publication and broadcast studio, president of SHP Enterprise Inc. the umbrella entity for Perfect Time SHP, LLC, The GRIND Entrepreneur Network, Write the Book Now, SHP Media and Broadcasting, and Vision & Purpose LifeStyle Magazine and Media, LLC.


She is the host of The I Am Dr. Sharon Show, a LIVE in-studio interview show which broadcasts on the FAM TV + Network on RokuTV.


Dr. Porter is a founding partner of The What Now Movement and WNM Ventures, LLC, where she serve as Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, and Media Coordinator.


She is an Official Member of the Forbes Coaches Council, ForbesBLK, International Association of Women (IAW), American Business Women's Association, Black Girls In Media, and Black Women Education Leaders (BWEL), National Association of Black Journalists, Black Podcasters Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc (Gamma Phi ,Spring 1990).


Dr. Porter serves on the Board of Advisors for the Women of Prince George's and Envision, Lead, Grow.


About the Host, Simené Walden



Simené Walden helps to establish and maintain a positive professional working relationships with school leaders, principals, assistant principals, colleagues, students, and families. Her presentations and workshops are targeted to increase retention rate among staff, improve attendance and behavior among students, and boost the culture and morale of schools and organizations.

Simené is compassionate about dismantling the school to prison pipeline and speaking to youth about gang prevention as her best friend and tatted author died in Duke Medical Center awaiting his compassionate release from Federal Prison on January 3, 2022.


She helps to establish and maintain a positive professional working relationships with school leaders, principals, assistant principals, colleagues, students, and families. Her presentations and workshops are targeted to increase retention rate among staff, improve attendance and behavior among students, and boost the culture and morale of schools and organizations.


Simené is compassionate about dismantling the school to prison pipeline and speaking to youth about gang prevention as her best friend and tatted author died in Duke Medical Center awaiting his compassionate release from Federal Prison on January 3, 2022.


She is a Top Youth Speaker, Trauma Informed Educator trained in Adverse Childhood Experiences, and a Certified Youth Mental Health First Aider from The National Council for Mental Well Being. She is a Social Emotional Learning Specialist and speak to at promise youth about overcoming adversity, gang prevention, and making good choices in spite of up their bringing or trauma.


Simené has provided platforms to others that has allowed over 300 women and men to speak and share their message of life and encouragement. Simene' helps new and novice speakers to cultivate their stories after years of being silent and she can assist you with publishing your story either through written or verbal communication. She speaks to change lives and the same transformation that she saw inside the classroom is the transformation she now sees outside of the classroom.


Register HERE for the Leading Champions Educational Virtual Summit, happening Thursday, August 10 at 7 pm ET.


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