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Friday Mainstage: Expand

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Mainstage

Friday, December 4, 10:00–10:30 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Hamish Brewer  
Melinda Doolittle  

Join all conference attendees in this energetic session focused on expanding your thinking, good practice and your education community with award-winning middle school principal and school turnaround expert Hamish Brewer! Stay tuned for a performance by “American Idol” star, singer and author Melinda Doolittle.

Topic: Reimagining learning


Hamish Brewer, Fred M. Lynn Middle School

Hamish Brewer, known as the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding principal from Northern Virginia, isn’t your normal principal. He calls on students to “be relentless,” has a reputation as an educational disrupter, and is a school turnaround and school improvement specialist, working with some of the most at-risk students in the U.S. Brewer turned around one of the toughest middle schools in the state of Virginia, and the elementary school he previously led was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Title 1 School. Originally from New Zealand where he earned a degree from the University of Auckland, Brewer is currently a doctoral student at Virginia Tech University. He’s also the author of Relentless – Disrupting The Educational Norm. Brewer previously served as the federal relations coordinator for the board of directors of the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, and is currently the lead fellow of NAESP’s Center for Innovative Leadership. He was highlighted as a Hometown Hero by Fox 5 in Washington, D.C. With more than 32 million views, his story has become a viral sensation through the Freethink docuseries “Relentless.” Brewer has earned a number of honors, including being named the 2017 NAESP National Distinguished Principal of the Year, Virginia Principal of the Year, Northern Virginian of the year by Northern Virginia Magazine, Principal of the Year by Education Dive, Prince Willam County Public Schools Principal of the Year and Omega U’s Principal of the Year.

Melinda Doolittle, American Idol

Melinda Doolittle is a singer, author and former star of “American Idol” where she was the third place finalist in season six. Prior to her “American Idol” fame and solo career, she worked as a back-up singer for Michael McDonald, Aaron Neville, BeBe and CeCe Winans and Alabama, among others. Doolittle has participated in several episodes of the blogtalkradio show "Moments With Melinda" and contributed to the book Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. She’s also the author of Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life's Next Level. Doolittle has dedicated significant time to philanthropic efforts, including a trip to Zambia alongside First Lady Laura Bush. Her solo album, “Coming Back To You,” includes covers of vintage blues and early R&B standards.

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