Thank you for attending the 2016 JRNC! Check back to this page in the coming days to see resources from this year’s conference, including powerpoint presentations from the breakout sessions.

Renaissance Anthem

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Presentation Powerpoints


Michael Allison

The Principal’s Role in Improving School Culture

Participants will engage in discussion of factors impacting school culture and share best practices to develop a positive student-centered focus for their school. Connections, collaborations and community create the stage. People make the difference and principals matter!

Barnes, Dana

Dr. Dana Barnes

Going Full-On Renaissance – Completely Changing a Culture

Do you need ideas on how to bring a culture of excellence to your campus?  This session will demonstrate how we completely changed the culture in our building within one year using the Renaissance model.  Participants will receive detailed strategic plans of our implementation, pictures and videos of our events, and a showcase of our incentives, shirts and social media branding.  Tons of ideas will be shared so that you can begin your Renaissance program or get new ideas for your existing program.!

Bell, Keith

Keith Bell

Recognition: Renaissance Style

Renaissance recognition offers a different approach to recognizing students: to identify, recognize and reinforce the actions of students demonstrating character, kindness, academic excellence and academic improvement – all qualities of Renaissance students and staffulty. This session will cover VTW (Visible, Tangible and Walk-aroundable) recognition, Renaissance honor cards with achievement levels and low-cost rewards, and other proven ways to acknowledge more students for earned accomplishments. You will come away with a variety of recognition and implementation ideas to impact students on campus throughout the school year.

Biddle, Larry

Dr. Larry Biddle

Renaissance: From Origins to Legacy

Learn about Renaissance from the beginning at Conway High School where we began our #1 Initiative on January 20, 1984!  Jostens Sales Representative Mike Carroll helped launch our quest to revolutionize our entire community.  Learn to assess where your school is so you can broaden and deepen your influence community wide by implementing solid Renaissance principles. Come experience “Biddleisms” collected from my life as an educator and business leader.  Come grow with Renaissance Eagleship from the first nest.

Bloomquist, Melinda

Melinda Kaye BloomQuist

If Walls Could Talk: How Your School Building Can Speak Renaissance!

Create a stunning visual representation of your Renaissance program throughout the school building.  People believe what they see, and if they see Rewards, Recognition and Respect, you will see Results! Get greater buy-in to your program, increase participation, and connect the five R’s of Renaissance through murals, banners and other visual strategies to let your walls do the talking for you.

Infusing Recognition in School Culture

Embed every aspect of school climate and culture with these powerful recognition strategies.   Learn how to incorporate recognition throughout the school with these simple and effective ideas.  Keep students and staff motivated, increase participation in your program and create a culture of appreciation with recognition everywhere and in everything you do.

Bollar, Steve

Steve Bollar

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas 1 on 1

Over 15 years of the best Renaissance ideas used in schools, explained in detail.  Ask questions, share ideas, get help developing ideas, or soak up new ideas from others.  This is an expansion from the Ideas, Ideas, Ideas general session.

Branch, Holly

Holly Branch

Recognizing and Rewarding Students with a Renaissance Card

Every Renaissance program is unique to the climate and culture of its own school, but one classic idea that can be used anywhere is the Renaissance Reward Card. We will walk you through a step-by-step explanation of how to create, distribute and use these cards as incentives.  If we have time, we will also discuss more of our successful reward and recognition ideas.

Renaissance: Behind the Scenes

Take a more in-depth look at what it takes to pull off the type of Renaissance program that every administrator, staffulty member and student wants to be a part of. We’ll break our program down and give you a sense of all that is involved in creating a climate that gives our stakeholders that warm, fuzzy feeling about Musselman High School. In this session, we’ll share how you can take Renaissance from a program to a personality, from a cliché to a climate.

Bush, John

John Bush

Renaissance: A Philosophy, Not a Face

Have you thought about what would happen to your school’s Renaissance Program if you were to move, get a promotion or retire? If you haven’t, you need to, because sooner or later one of these is going to happen.  All too often, programs have one or two “movers and shakers” that really make the program run.  When these key people leave, the program wanes or disappears all together.  In this session, you will be challenged to consider and plan for the legacy of your program to ensure its relevancy so that it stands the test of time.  We will discuss shared leadership strategies, systems of sustainability and messaging strategies that will ensure the longevity of your program.

Campbell, Phillip

Dr. Phillip Campbell

Begin Your Jostens Renaissance Legacy with “The Look”

What is the “Look” of a Jostens Renaissance school?  When you walk into your school, what do you see, hear and feel? Is it contagious?  If your walls could talk, what story would they tell? Your walls are a blank canvas waiting to tell the story.  This session will give you the power to go back to your school fired up to make a change!

Show Me the Money!

So you’ve got all of these great ideas, but how are you going to pay for them? This session will provide a plethora of ideas for how to raise money to fund your program. Join us as we share ideas to fund large projects as well as cost-efficient ways to recognize and reward your students and staffulty!

Campbell, Tara

Dr. Tara Campbell

Show Me the Money!

So you’ve got all of these great ideas, but how are you going to pay for them? This session will provide a plethora of ideas for how to raise money to fund your program. Join us as we share ideas to fund large projects as well as cost-efficient ways to recognize and reward your students and staffulty!

Your Image Matters

Every school has a story. Who is telling yours? In a world where negative story lines dominate, it is time we take matters into our own hands when it comes to building a positive public relations image within our communities. Jostens Renaissance is a perfect way to reward and recognize the great people and things from your school in a very public way. This session will give you ideas on how to do just that!

Carter, Dwight

Dwight Carter

Connecting with Today’s Students: Understanding Generation Z

Renaissance schools have one main thing in common: positive relationships with students! However, today’s students are just a bit different so we must learn more about them in order to create the desired connections with them to recognize, reward, and reinforce the behaviors we want to see. In this session, we will discuss the characteristics of Generation Z – what they like, how they learn, and what they want in schools today. The more we know our students, the better we can create the conditions for them to reach new heights.

New to Jostens Renaissance for Educators

Kick off your conference experience with insights from two inspiring educators and longtime Renaissance leaders.  This “New to Renaissance” session will provide you with expert perspective on Renaissance overall and tips for making the most of your JRNC experience.

Chen,Kathleen Ann

Kathleen Ann Chen

Started from the Bottom…Now We’re Here

Is this your first year starting a Renaissance program at your school? Come join us as we show how we laid the foundation for the Renaissance program at our elementary school. We will share how we built our program from the beginning by creating the foundation, planning,  implementing, building a community of support, choosing a theme for the year, celebrating success for all, and hosting pep rallies while making memories that will last a lifetime. This session is guaranteed to provide you with practical and “ready to implement” ideas, activities and much more!

Cowey Catalli, Sara

Sara Cowey

Leadership Lessons to Educate, Enlighten and Empower Student Leaders

Why do we need to start with a foundation of understanding and connectivity? The Renaissance Leadership Class atmosphere needs to be welcoming and engaging. Inspiring change becomes a reality when you share your story. Why do you do what you do every day? As Simon Sinek claims, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” We will share several leadership lessons to educate, enlighten and empower your student leaders to take action and fulfill the Renaissance mission! Examples include the self-definition speech, personal mission statement, peer lessons and goal setting.

Duston, Jennifer

Jennifer Duston

Dream Big. Work Hard. Find Balance.

“Dream Big. Work HARD.” This has been my mantra for my first 15 years in education.  It wasn’t until this past year that I realized that I could do both of these things and have some balance in my life. Much like most of you, I am an over-achiever and when it comes to kids and my school I will do pretty much anything. I will be sharing my secret to success in my new journey of work life balance as I continue to dream BIG and work HARD. We will discuss “how do I fit it all in” (a question I get asked DAILY!), prioritization, time management and relaxation strategies, and, most importantly, working FUN into everything we do! These will also be great strategies to take back and share with your staffulty! I promise, the time you take to attend this session to focus on yourself and your productivity practices, you will get back ten-fold in effectiveness and a happier you!

Ellspermann, Jayne

Jayne Ellspermann

Student Empowerment: Leadership Matters

The key to school success is empowerment of students. In this session we will explore how students use their time to enhance learning and student leadership, and what teachers and administrators can do to ensure student empowerment leads to students being prepared for college and careers after graduation.

Ganze, Jean

Jean Ganze

All Aboard! Gather Your Crew for a Leadership Adventure!

As a school rich in tradition, it is easy to get stuck in the day-to-day grind and be reluctant to try new strategies. However, at LaSalle-Peru High School, we encourage our student-run Renaissance program to create new incentives designed to help engage and recognize our students and staffulty for all of their accomplishments, big and small. Whether your school is new or a veteran to Renaissance, join us as we share how we have built our Renaissance program into a community name during the past 10 years. Gather your crew and come for giveaways, fun and proven ways to support and fund your Renaissance program.

Finding the MONEY TREES in Your Community

Do you need money for your program? We will show you how to enlist your local government and community to build your program. There are many benefits to schools and local government working closely together, and Renaissance groups are a natural connection point.  We will discuss how LaSalle-Peru High School and the County State’s Attorney started working together, how our partnership serves the community’s interest, and ways we work together to generate community interest, support and money for the school and its students. It takes a village!

Grimes, Samantha

Samantha Grimes

Making Renaissance Happen

Every school can make Renaissance happen. We will show you over 50 cheap ways to celebrate students and staffulty success. From Renaissance rallies and People’s Choice Night to honorary diplomas, there is something in this session that can be implemented in your school.

Harris, Bill

Bill Harris

Commitment to Graduate® Ceremony at the Beach

Five years of collaboration and teamwork have created an extraordinary Commitment to Graduate program at Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach.  Find out how we started and how we got to where we are now – an invigorating and inspirational annual program with standing room only attendance.

Jones, Janee

JaNeé Jones

We’re Engaged! PBIS and Renaissance

Positive Behavior Interventions Systems and Renaissance are two of the leading programs proven to transform schools. Why not marry the two? As a year-two Renaissance school and a year-one PBIS school, we’re ready to show you how to take the next step. Learn more about the path to a school’s happily ever after through the steps of engagement, relationship building, focus, commitment and celebrations.

Ladner, Rhett

Rhett Ladner

What a Renaissance Principal Looks Like

Ever wonder what a Renaissance principal looks like? Just look in the mirror. Find out everything you need to know to be a phenomenal Renaissance leader. We will discuss how to get it started, fundraising, the barriers you will face and above all how to change the lives of your staffulty, students and your own. Leave with the knowledge to fly with the eagles.

When Bulldogs Sprout Wings and Fly

Come learn how the World Famous Vancleave Middle School implemented the soaring eagle philosophy of Renaissance in one year, from implementation to raising $6,000 in three nights to fund the program. Leave with realistic ideas that impact student achievement and staffulty morale. This won’t just change your school’s climate, it will change its hemisphere, and we have the data to prove it.

Lindsey, Melanie2

Melanie Lindsey

How Renaissance Class Leaders Can Influence Your School’s Climate and Culture

Get creative with the leadership positions in your Renaissance class. Create roles that reflect the needs on your campus, and don’t be afraid to get crazy and creative. For example, we have a Bad Day Director in charge of identifying the Bad Days on campus that must be endured and then brightening them.  Our Take Flight Commissioner focuses on the 22% of students who haven’t achieved Renaissance status and seeks ways to help them achieve academic success.  Learn more about creating these roles together and how students can own them.

Motivation by Appreciation

Does your staffulty need a morale boost, a little feel-good? Based on The Five Love Languages, Motivation By Appreciation offers a way to be more directed and thoughtful about staff (and student) appreciation. This is about celebrating who they are, not just what they have achieved.

Nichols, Tom

Tom Nichols

Begin Your Jostens Renaissance Legacy with “The Look”

What is the “Look” of a Jostens Renaissance school?  When you walk into your school, what do you see, hear and feel? Is it contagious?  If your walls could talk, what story would they tell? Your walls are a blank canvas waiting to tell the story.  This session will give you the power to go back to your school fired up to make a change!

Most Valuable Player

What if school employees were as highly valued in our schools as rock stars and professional athletes? All school personnel should be our sports stars and treated with due respect. At North Stafford High School, we work very hard to treat all our employees equally to reinforce the belief that it would be impossible to educate our students without all of us. We do not have a staff and faculty; we have a staffulty. Find out a great way to start the year and set the tone to show your staffulty just how appreciated they are.

Peeples, Dawn_Group

Dawn Peeples

The Middle R.O.A.R. S. – Changing Your Culture One R.O.A.R. at a Time

Educators all want our students to embody traits that mirror Responsibility, Outstanding Citizenship, Academics, Resilience and Service. Since we have developed and successfully implemented the R.O.A.R.S. program, our school culture has changed dramatically for the better! We designed R.O.A.R.S. to develop important attributes a well-rounded middle school student needs in order to be successful now and in the future. In this session, you will learn about our R.O.A.R.S. brand and how we have incorporated it into the middle school setting. Key elements include mentorship, school pride, focus on academics and behavior incentives. You will leave this presentation with ideas of how you can begin to design and establish a culture-changing program like this in your own school.

Peppard, Darrin

Darrin Peppard

Begin Your Jostens Renaissance Legacy with “The Look”

What is the “Look” of a Jostens Renaissance school?  When you walk into your school, what do you see, hear and feel? Is it contagious?  If your walls could talk, what story would they tell? Your walls are a blank canvas waiting to tell the story.  This session will give you the power to go back to your school fired up to make a change!

The #RoadToAwesome Legacy of Rock Springs High School

Want your school to be on the road that leads to awesome? This session will share insights from a 10-year Jostens Renaissance school. What do leadership, recognition, climate and culture look like on the #RoadToAwesome?  See for yourself and start building your Jostens Renaissance legacy.

Postlewaite, Ann

Ann Postlewaite

Student Engagement

Raising Student Voice & Participation (RSVP) is a student engagement program sponsored by National Association of Student Councils (NASC) a program of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), featuring a series of three student-led, school-wide summits that give students a chance to speak out and take action on issues in their schools and communities that are important to them. Using RSVP, all students in the school are asked what they care about, what proposals they have for school and community change, and, in cooperation with adults, what actions can be taken now to implement their ideas for positive change.

Rossi, Steve_Sharnnon took from Web

Steve Rossi

Cultivating “Renaisources”

In this session, we will talk about your staffulty and making connections with others. It’s important for a school’s Renaissance program to have a multitude of different talents. Here you will find ways to cultivate relationships and involve more of your staffulty in your Renaissance program.

Rudnesky, Frank

Dr. Frank Rudnesky

50 Great Things Leaders Do: Let’s Get Fired Up!

Looking for that magic? “Ta-Da!” You can soar like an eagle or cluck like a chicken – the choice is yours. Use any one of these leadership qualities to make you a better person and a better leader.

It’s Climate and Culture with a Does of #LeaderShip

When you connect climate and culture with Jostens Renaissance, an amazing leadership picture will appear. You will take away strategies you can use immediately to give your school that WOW! factor.

Schlosser, Tim

Tim Schlosser

Franklin-Simpson HS: Building Culture and Climate with Renaissance

Franklin-Simpson High School is one of the top performing high schools in Kentucky. Its success has been built around the positive culture and climate developed by the students and staff led by the FSHS Renaissance team.

Stewart, Christina

Christina Stewart


Starting a Renaissance program can be overwhelming and downright daunting. Join Pocahontas Middle School as they share ways to incorporate the online video series The Harbor into their weekly instruction and school culture. Pocahontas will also share how they have “Renaissancized” their building, rewarded staff, recognized students and planned rallies this year. This session is so jam-packed with #unlimited ideas, nothing will be able to hold you back!

Strickler, Jessica

Jessica Strickler

Tell Your Story or Someone Else Will!

Come learn from Pocahontas Middle School how to successfully implement social media platforms to share your school’s story with the world! From the organization and planning stages through posting and managing, we will fast-track this process. Don’t wait for the world to write your story – start telling it today!

Thomas, Gerry

Gerry Thomas

Harnessing the Leadership Already Found in Your Buildings: Implementation and Utilization of Student Groups K-12

In this session, we will describe how we created Renaissance groups in each of our buildings.  We will describe the application and selection process, the students targeted and their responsibilities in our buildings. We will also describe the impact the groups have had on elementary, middle school and high school levels.  Students will be present to describe their experiences and to answer questions.  Great information for schools new to the Jostens Renaissance experience!

Tromsness, Ashley

Ashley Tromsness

Erie Elementary: Taking the Crown

Can Renaissance make a difference in a rural elementary school with a small budget?  It sure can!  We’ll provide ideas, tips and tricks that we’ve used to make our Renaissance program successful.

Whitaker, Gina

Gina Whitaker

Tackling a Rally: Planning from Start to Finish

Are you the one crazy enough to want to plan and coordinate a rally? That’s just the first step.  Does it seem like you don’t know where to start with all those neat ideas for rallies that eveyone talks about? Come to our session for a timeline of how to get it all done, shortcuts and ideas to make it go smoother, and how to put it all together. This session includes rallies for middle school AND elementary level recognitions.

Whoa! It’s True! We’ve Recognized 100% of Our Students for 9 Straight Years

Best session ever, geared toward both elementary and secondary buildings. See examples of  little, medium and “go big or go home” ideas that can be adapted to all grade levels to recognize all students in a school year.

Williams, Steve

Steve Williams

Connections: The Secret to Educational Success!

Education is an ever-changing challenge; the one constant is the need for fruitful teacher-student relationships. During a very energetic, lighthearted and down-to-earth presentation, we will share our story about how the culture of Randall High School was successfully changed by prioritizing connections.

Woolf, Steve (option 1)

Dr. Steve Woolf

Heart 2 Heart Teaching: Building an Enduring Legacy in the Lives of Our Kids

Renaissance educators change lives!  The most powerful impact we can have on our kids is FREE!  If you are ready to make a powerful, lifelong impact on the students in your school, come ready to laugh, cry and learn as we go straight to the heart of our students.

New to Jostens Renaissance for Educators

Kick off your conference experience with insights from two inspiring educators and longtime Renaissance leaders.  This “New to Renaissance” session will provide you with expert perspective on Renaissance overall and tips for making the most of your JRNC experience.

Purple Cows and Sneezers!

It is time to unleash the Power of the Purple Cow! Sounds crazy but running with the Purple Cow strategy to tell your Renaissance story and market what you do is exactly the direction to go – we’ve done it!  Add “Sneezers” to the equation and your schools and Renaissance programs will never be the same.

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