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Positive School Culture Through Wellness: A Conversation with Ed Leaders

Tuesday, July 30, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Mental Health and Wellness Week

Presented by Dr. Avis Williams, Superintendent, NOLA Public Schools (LA); Dr. Mindy Milavsky, 2023 NJPSA Visionary Principal of the Year, 2023 NASSP New Jersey Principal of the Year, and Principal, Lawrence Middle School, Lawrence Township Public Schools (NJ); and David J. Heras, Ed.M., Principal, Conerly Road School, Franklin Township Public Schools (NJ)

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A school culture where wellness is a priority yields a positive environment for educators and students. How can we create an environment where teachers feel more effective and students are more engaged in their learning? In this edWebinar, school and district administrators will share their feedback and advice on how to help:

  • Support a culture of wellness and build connectedness at the district and school levels
  • Encourage an environment of belonging
  • Promote positivity throughout the academic day

This presentation is the second edWebinar in edWeb’s Mental Health & Wellness Week, a series to help drive awareness and support for educator and student wellness.

This edWebinar will be of interest to PreK-12 educators, counselors, and administrators who want to learn more for their own self-care and for the mental health and wellness of their students. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Avis Williams

About the Presenters

In March 2022, Dr. Avis Williams became the first woman permanently appointed as Superintendent of NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) in New Orleans, known for her commitment to Equity, Excellence, and Joy. Born in Salisbury, NC, Dr. Williams overcame humble beginnings and enlisted in the Army after high school. She later pursued higher education, earning degrees from Athens State University, Alabama A&M, Jacksonville State, and the University of Alabama. Dr. Williams has held various educational roles, including teaching, coaching, and serving as a principal at different school levels. She is a member of Chiefs for Change and has completed notable programs like the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy. Before NOLA-PS, she was Superintendent of Historic Selma City Schools, where she focused on equity and mental health initiatives. Dr. Williams also serves her community as the immediate past board president of ASCD and a board member for Foundations, Inc. A proud mother and “dog mom,” she enjoys running, writing, and community service, continually advocating for educational excellence and inclusivity.

Mindy Milavsky

Dr. Mindy Milavsky, Principal of Lawrence Middle School in Mercer County, NJ, has dedicated her career to fostering a school environment that promotes compassion, empathy, and kindness. As an educator for over 30 years, Dr. Milavsky has made great strides in providing students with an educational experience that complements high standards in all academic disciplines with a focus on developing students’ social and emotional competencies. This initiative has led to innovative curricula, community service programs, and peer leadership experiences. Since becoming Principal, Lawrence Middle School has received 10 Promising Practice Awards from the Character Education Partnership and has been identified as an NJ State School of Character. Beyond the school day, Dr. Milavsky serves as an instructor for the Foundation for Educational Administrators’ nationally recognized NJEXCEL program, inspiring future administrators to lead with heart. In 2023, Dr. Milavsky was honored with the titles of NJPSA Visionary Principal of the Year and NASSP New Jersey Principal of the Year, affirming her commitment to empowering students both academically and emotionally.

David Heras

David Heras has over 25 years’ experience as an educator in the Franklin Township School District in Somerset, NJ. David spent 15 years as an English teacher at Franklin High School, where he was known for his innovation and passionate approach to teaching. David then spent eight years as a language arts supervisor, and currently, he serves as Principal of Conerly Road School. David has worked on several state committees with the New Jersey Department of Education, including the Achieve New Jersey Advisory Committee and the New Jersey Bias and Sensitivity Assessment Review Committee. David believes in holistic education, creating an emotionally supportive and inspiring culture for learning that makes students want to learn. David and his wife live in Rahway, NJ with their two college-age children.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Mental Health and Wellness community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Mental Health and Wellness Week


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