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Distinguished Speaker Series welcomes alumnus Richard Lavoie in March

Posted 12/19/14

Rick LavoieCelebrated educator, consultant and Fitchburg State University alumnus Richard Lavoie will present “Strategies that don’t work with kids who struggle, and some that do” when he is featured at the university’s Distinguished Speaker Series on Wednesday, March 11.

The Distinguished Speaker Series, now in its ninth year, draws hundreds of area educators annually for an inspiring and informative professional development opportunity. The program is designed for superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, special education directors, teachers, parents, graduate students, higher education faculty, and other interested school administrators and educators. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 11 on the Fitchburg State campus.

Lavoie, a 1972 graduate of Fitchburg State, serves as a consultant on learning disabilities to several agencies and organizations including Public Broadcasting Service, The New York Times, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Girl Scouts of America, Child Magazine and WETA. He is a member of the Professional Advisor Board of the Learning Disabilities Association.

Lavoie has delivered his message to over 500,000 parents and professionals throughout North America. He has the distinction of having delivered keynote addresses for all three of the major special needs advocacy organizations in the United States: the Learning Disabilities Association, Council for Exceptional Children, and Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

He has held administrative positions at residential programs for 30 years. These experiences at residential schools have provided Lavoie with a “living laboratory” in which he developed and refined his methods and philosophies related to the education of adolescents with special needs.

Lavoie’s address will look at numerous techniques that are frequently and extensively used despite the fact that these strategies are ineffective (such as follow-along reading, time out, classroom competition and punishment). This presentation will demonstrate these strategies and explore the reasons why they simply do not work.

The second half of the presentation will outline 12 unique and field-tested techniques that can be used by parents and professionals to modify and improve children's behavior and performance.

“As caregivers, we must consistently evaluate the strategies that we use with our students,” Lavoie said. “As FDR cautioned us, ‘Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, do something else.’”

Educators who attend the Distinguished Speaker Series will:

  • understand the ineffectiveness of common “time out” strategies and learn effective alternatives to this technique;
  • learn effective alternative strategies to replace common but faulty language arts techniques;
  • master 12 behavior management techniques that can monitor and modify children's behavior at home and in the classroom

The deadline to register is Tuesday, March 3, but registrations received by Friday, Jan. 30 will be entered into a drawing for free admission.

The registration fee is $150, which includes the presentation, luncheon and professional development points (PDPs). The program offers four PDPs for educators. Payment can be received by check, credit card or purchase order, and teams of three or more within the same school district will be charged $125 per person and must register by purchase order.

For more information and to register, visit fitchburgstate.edu/gce/speaker.

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