Annual Indiana School Health Conference


Conference Speakers

KEYNOTE: Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields
is a social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, activist, poet, cultural curator, hiphop enthusiast, husband and father, and educator who loves to create and build with purpose. A product of a single mother-led household, he is a native of Chicago and was educated at Grambling State University, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College of Maryland, and La Universidad de Coahuila in Mexico.Dr. Shields is a gifted and highly sought after lecturer who has spoken at the White House and the Pentagon. Additionally, he has appeared on NBC, ABC, CNN, and FOX News to share his insight on issues including public education, hip-hop and politics, parenting, leadership and youth development. Dr. Shields has also shared his research and commentary with private and public organizations from community centers, religious institutions and schools to conferences, festivals, and executive board rooms of corporate America.As a Special Advisor to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Educational Equity and a recipient of the 2015 Social Innovator award, Dr. Shields has been studying, writing about, and implementing change in schools and non-profit organizations for years.

In his new book, What I Learned in the Midst of KAOS: The Making of an Ubuntu Teacher, published by Full Circle Press and co-authored with Dr. Marina V. Gillmore, Dr. Shields crafts an educational narrative of timeless complexity and significance. Full of messages that are simultaneously universal and deeply rooted in a sense of place and time, this groundbreaking new book takes the reader on an emotional journey from the South Side of Chicago to the West Lawn of the White House and from the halls of an HBCU in Louisiana to the beaches of Puerto Rico.

The book reveals specific strategies that Dr. Shields and his team have been using to motivate, uplift, and empower boys of color for decades, including how to tap in to their natural competitiveness and peer-sensitivity to how to structure rituals that mimic their instinctual need for hierarchy and brotherhood and how to empower educators, especially our largely white female teaching force, to find points of connection and relevancy relative to both academic achievement and socialemotional competencies.

In addition, this book is in part a coming-of-age story about how Dr. Shields responded to the chaos in his life, first as a young man and student growing up on the South Side of Chicago, then as a college student and community leader, and finally as a man who became an Ubuntu teacher. The stories also juxtapose his years as a high-risk male, growing up in gang territory, and being expelled from school with his years as a Teach for America corps member and classroom teacher. They also chronicle his journey to becoming a social entrepreneur, fighting for academic and social equity for urban youth.

The connection between Dr. Shields’ evolution as a teacher and the brotherhood that defined his teenage years is a tight one. His strong brotherhood helped navigate the segregated and gang-ridden streets of the South Side of Chicago and the racism that governed his high school.

As the Co-Founder and Senior Director of Education and Innovation at the Cambio Group, Dr. Shields has dedicated his life to inspiring adults and youth alike to pursue a higher purpose, achieve sustainable value for long-term success, and cope with adversity in order to create opportunities in their personal, professional and spiritual lives.

FEATURED: Jamie Sparks
will speak about implementation of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model in Kentucky and the opportunities and challenges as Indiana works to implement.With a Bachelor of Arts in Health Education and Physical Education from Morehead State University and a Masters of Arts in School Guidance Counseling also from M.S.U., Jamie Sparks began his career as an elementary health and physical education teacher in the eastern region of Kentucky.In August 2010, he began as the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Tobacco consultant at the Kentucky Department of Education. In March 2011, he assumed the role of Project Director for the Coordinated School Health initiative that was funded by a federal grant through the Centers for Disease Control. In 2011, the Kentucky Board of Education was one of seven states funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the National Association of State Boards of Education. This obesity prevention grant created the state’s first state board of education health subcommittee that was tasked with reviewing the states policies for nutrition, physical education and physical activity. Jamie continues to chair the health subcommittee, which includes a wide range of stakeholders from state-level agencies, advocacy groups, and the state Chamber of Commerce. The health committee works alongside an internal working group within the department of education that is made of staff members from all offices, representing each associate commissioner. Together, they work to enhance the state’s process of evaluating schools’ implementation and compliance with school wellness initiatives. The committee works to align their policy work with the KDE’s College/Career Readiness accountability measures via the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach.Since July 2013, Jamie has served as Kentucky’s grant co-lead for the state’s CDC grant, State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health (“1305 Quad Grant”), that was awarded to the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Kentucky remains the only state to name a department of education lead to the primary leadership role for 1305 funding. Also in 2013, Sparks was chosen on the inaugural training cadre with Let’s Move Active Schools for the national Physical Activity Leader program. In addition, Jamie has served on various roles with the state board for the Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD) and is currently is the President for the state association. Nationally he is on the board of directors with the American School Health Association, where he serves on both the advocacy and the professional development committees. Jamie recently joined The Society of State Leaders for Health and Physical Education to chair their communication and social media committee.In his free time, he enjoys being active and the continuous adventures with his three children: Ross (13), Hannah (10) and Ray (8).

is a presenter, contributing author, parent, teacher and former school principal. He has over 40 years experience in education and has taught everything from pre-school through graduate college classes.

Ken has worked with educators in over 265 Michigan school districts and in 10 other states. He is a frequent conference keynote presenter who has worked with groups from 15 to 4,500. He is well known for his lively style, keen sense of humor and ability to translate brain research into readily understood terms. Ken and his wife Barb, live on a small picturesque lake just outside the Lake Michigan community of Muskegon.

He will lead a general session and a follow-up breakout session on the teen brain.


The Governor & Cheri Daniels School Health Award is presented each year during the ISHN School Health Conference. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and dedication to promoting school health and wellness activities in Indiana schools.

This year's award winner of the Governor & Cheri Daniels School Health Award is Dr. Jim Roberts, Superintendent of the Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) since 2007.  Dr. Roberts has been in education for 29 years, 23 of which have been as an administrator at BCSC.
Dr. Roberts is passionate about promoting health and wellness for students, staff, and the community of Batesville. He has implemented programs and policies for the employees and students at BCSC that have resulted in a culture that emphasizes health and wellness.  This culture is fostered by having each school building form a Healthy School Team that reports to the corporation's Coordinated School Health Council, reviewing the Council's activities each month at the public meeting of the corporation's Board of Trustees, and requiring an annual review of the corporation's Wellness Policy and Healthy School Improvement Plan.  He has founded innovative programs, such as Team Batesville, CHOICES, and the Coalition for a Drug Free Batesville that have impacted the community of Batesville in immeasurable ways.  He exemplifies wellness in the way he lives his own life and constantly strives to educate others about the benefits of staying healthy.
Dr. Roberts is highly respected in the health community around the state and the nation.  He speaks regularly at state and national conferences and is routinely called on to testify on Capitol Hill regarding safe and healthful foods.  Please join us in recognizing Dr. Jim Roberts as a Hoosier health innovator, leader and role model.