Safe Schools and Communities Presenters' Bios and Session Descriptions

Kids Deserve Better: Fostering Language and Behaviors that Create a Safer School Climate
Peggy Moss, J.D.

Peggy Moss an award-winning author of Say Something and Our Friendship Rules has worked to eradicate bullying for more than a decade, first as a prosecutor with the Department of Attorney General in Maine, and later as an educator and curriculum developer with the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence and the Cromwell Disabilities Center. Moss now works with schools and camps to prevent bullying and teasing. Her extensive background enables her to describe the devastating physical and emotional impact of bullying, harassment, and hate violence through the voices of students who have been targeted and also through the lens of educators, parents and law enforcement personnel working to prevent violence from occurring in the first place. Moss has provided workshops to students and teachers from Kindergarten to the college level in Maine, Tennessee, Toronto and points in between, helping students and educators create school environments that feel safe for everyone.

She has published several pieces on the topic of bullying. Empowering Parents featured Moss's work in response to press reports on Girl Violence, as well as pieces on how to address Relational Bullying, and how to combat Cyber Bullying with kids. She has been interviewed for bullying articles in the Boston Globe and Discovery, among others.

Moss holds a juris doctorate from Washington College of Law at American University, where she was head of the Juvenile Justice Association.


Take This: A Tool Kit to Combat a Culture of Bullying and Teasing
Peggy Moss, J.D.
This will be an interactive workshop building on the topics raised by the keynote, but focused on ensuring that participants have concrete, appropriate tools for addressing bullying and teasing in their school environments.  We will discuss the language being used in your schools and the incidents that take place in your schools.  We will address real-life scenarios and talk about the best (and worst) approaches to dealing with difficult issues.

There will be unpleasant language in this workshop and we will talk about troubling situations. There will also be levity and collegiality as we learn from each other.


Cyberbullying: Essential Components and Mental Health Issues Related to the Bully and Victim
Patricia Calabrese, APRN, BC
This presentation will cover the essential components of bullying and mental health problems related to both victims and bullies.  Also, issues related to the internet, smart phones and texting and how they relate to children ages 2-17, with emphasis on strategies to teach parents will be addressed.

Patricia Calabrese has more than ten years experience in psychiatric nursing and behavioral health. She has held positions as psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric clinical nurse specialist and program director for adult/child and adolescent services. She has been responsible for treatment of children and adolescents in an outpatient psychiatric clinic using medication and psychological interventions and teaching and consulting in behavioral health. Calabrese is currently a psychiatric nurse practitioner with Forrest General/Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and has completed some doctoral work in nursing.


QPR (Question Persuade and Refer) – A Suicide Prevention Program
Johnny Hansell, M.P.H.
This session will provide a brief overview of what Mississippi is doing about youth suicide and an overview and explanation of the QPR Suicide Prevention Model.

Johnny Hansell is a Mississippi youth suicide prevention coordinator for DREAM of Hattiesburg Inc./Mississippi Department of Mental Health where he is responsible for managing and coordinating statewide trainings and certifications in the Question, Persuade and Refer suicide prevention model; coordinating data collection and reporting processes for federal evaluation; and providing technical assistance for certified QPR trainers. Previously, he was regional master trainer where he functioned as the regional expert on the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) supporting the development of capacities related to the SPF SIG at community and program levels, spearheaded technical assistance and capacity-building to community mental health centers and the Department of Mental Health Certified Freestanding Programs, developed and provided SPF SIG training and educational materials to be used at community and program levels and assisted in the development of community-based needs assessment processes. Hansell is a certified prevention specialist by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium-Mississippi Association of Addiction Professionals. He holds a Master of Public Health Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health Sciences/Health Promotion from The University of Southern Mississippi.


Bullying Prevention - Everyone’s Responsibility: What Professionals Can Do
Jody Manning, B.S.
This presentation will cover the  steps to intervene in bullying behavior, how to encourage students who witness bullying to take action, the role of the school, and laws and policies with a particular focus on children with disabilities who are 2-3 times more likely to be bullied.

Jody Manning has been with the PACER Center for eight years where she currently serves as the parent training and information center coordinator. She presents workshops to parents and professionals on a variety of topics, coordinates a number of projects including dropout prevention, and works individually with parents of children with special needs to help them understand how to advocate on behalf of their children. Manning has a background in psychology and nursing and has worked in the fields of nursing and social services prior to her work as an Advocate. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN. She is the proud parent of a son with special needs who is currently a thriving college student.


If You Really Knew Me Movement
Nathaniel Rios, B.Th. and Sheila W. Burbridge, M.Ed., M.S.
This session is designed to cast vision about the life experience events for students that help them deal with life moments on and off the school campus by using practical and action teaching moments in the school setting. Also, we will be discussing the role of the educator and their partnership with community people to support our students.

Nathaniel Rios is co-founder and president/CEO of the If You Really Knew Me Movement. Prior to this post, he served as youth minister in churches in Mississippi, Texas and California. Rios has more than 15 years of experience working with youth and young adults. During this time, he spearheaded a fundraising campaign that raised over $63,000 for a youth center renovation project; developed young musicians; within 18 months, developed a strong community relationship and celebrated a friends day service with over 91 students present and a strong committed core; facilitated the launch of a Jr. High Ministry, within six months of connecting and building relationships; provided a weekly service to over 100 high school and college students and oversaw 35-40 Jr. high students and launched a College and Career Ministry to facilitate the specific needs of the maturing young student.

Sheila W. Burbridge has served as principal for Columbia High School in Columbia, MS for 11 years. Prior to that, she served as assistant principal and science teacher in schools in the Pine Belt. Her professional honors include Columbia School District Administrator of the Year; Teacher of the Year, Hattiesburg High School and Teacher of the Year, Prentiss High School. Burbridge is member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Mississippi Association of Secondary School Principals, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and Mississippi Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. She received a Masters of Education Degree in educational leadership and administration from William Carey College, Masters of Science Degree in science education from Jackson State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology and chemistry from Tougaloo College.


Cyber Bullying Can Be Controlled if Educators and Parents Know What to Do
Hani Morgan, Ph.D.
Although the technology boom has created many opportunities for educators to enhance teaching and learning, it has also allowed students to attack others. Cyber bullying can be more dangerous than bullying others with the use of technology, and this presentation discusses the reasons this new form of bullying can be more harmful and also, offers suggestions for parents, teachers, and administrators for preventing this problem.

Hani Morgan is associate professor in curriculum, instruction and special education at the University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, he has taught a variety of courses including Foundations of Multicultural Education, Social Studies Education in Elementary Schools, Management and Organization of Diverse Classrooms, Problems in Educational Research, and High School Curriculum. Prior to coming to Southern Miss, he held posts as assistant and associate adjunct professor at several colleges in New Jersey and as a teacher in grades three-eight in schools in Florida and New Jersey. Morgan has authored more than fifteen published articles in peer-reviewed journals. Some of the articles include "Using Skype for Exciting Projects," "Malicious use of Technology: What Schools, Parents, and Teachers Can Do to Prevent Cyber Bullying," Creating Videos Can Lead Students to Many Academic Benefits, What Teachers and Schools Can Do to Control the Growing Problem of School Bullying and Using Handheld Wireless Technologies in School: Advantageous or disadvantageous? Morgan graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with two postgraduate degrees and from Rutgers University with a doctoral degree. His first master’s degree from Columbia’s Teachers College was in curriculum and teaching, and his second was in international education. He specialized in foundations of education when working on his doctoral studies at Rutgers.


Gangs and Project Safe Neighborhoods
Joel L. Lee, B. S.
This presentation will focus on the U.S. Justice Departments Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and the PSN impact on street gang enforcement. PSN is most effective when the community and the industries that serve the community all work together for the sake of safe neighborhoods.

Joel L. Lee is resident agent in charge with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Gulfport Field Office.  Joel has more than 20 years as a criminal investigator supervising and investigating gangs. Currently, he supervises ATF criminal investigators and support staff as they enforce federal firearms, explosives and arson statues in and around southern Mississippi.