September 8-10, 2019

Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center
3405 Lenox Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30326


The Psychology of Productivity

Melissa Gratias

Monday, September 9, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.


SPEAKER BIO:  Melissa Gratias, Ph.D., is an international speaker, coach, blogger, and author. For more than 20 years, Melissa’s coaching and consulting work has improved productivity for multinational, billion-dollar companies as well as individual solopreneurs. She creates workable systems so people can accomplish their professional goals in less time and with less stress. As a result, thousands of business owners, CEOs, and other overwhelmed professionals have become more focused, effective, and balanced in their lives and work. Melissa’s expertise helps people thrive, and according to her clients, she is knowledgeable, approachable, and “ridiculously fun to work with.”

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Melissa as she presents The Psychology of Productivity. Getting organized at work is an emotion-laden journey for many people. In this one-hour keynote, Dr. Gratias describes five case studies of clients whose experiences and results will resonate with and inspire you. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is your own brain.

Leading for Student Success – from the Classroom to the Superintendent’s Office

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.


SPEAKERS BIOS: Dr. Curtis Jones, Jr. is the 2019 National Superintendent of the Year and Superintendent in Bibb County Schools. Dr. Jones developed the Bibb County School District’s strategic plan, “Victory in our Schools,” which drives the district’s continuous improvement efforts through shared accountability for all stakeholders and resource alignment. Before his educational career, Dr. Jones served in the United States Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Tracey Pendley, a fourth-grade teacher at Burgess Peterson Academy in Atlanta Public Schools, is the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Pendley graduated from Furman University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and religion and completed a master’s in teaching in 2009 through the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program. She has been a classroom teacher in Atlanta Public Schools since 2012; prior to that, she taught in the Chicago Public Schools.

ABOUT THE SESSION: Join Curtis and Tracey as they present Leading for Student Success – from the Classroom to the Superintendent’s Office. What does it take to be a leader who can impact students’ lives? National Superintendent of the Year Dr. Curtis Jones and Georgia Teacher of the Year Tracey Pendley, in conversation with Georgia Foundation for Public Education Chair Ann Cramer, will share stories and insight from their careers, and help you take the leaders in your district – from classroom teachers to the district office – to the next level.

50 Informative Breakout Sessions! Track descriptions are below.

Culture of Success

These sessions will highlight innovation and best practices from schools around the state in curriculum, classroom instruction, and school climate. You’ll hear from colleagues who beat the odds and guided their schools to success despite challenges.

Educating Georgia’s Future Workforce

This track will focus on partnerships that create high-quality Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education experiences for students. Learn how to partner with businesses in your community to create courses that lead to jobs for your graduates.

School Climate and Safety

A positive school climate directly impacts indicators of success such as increased teacher retention, lower dropout rates, decreased incidences of violence, and higher student achievement. Come learn about the four major categories that shape perception of school climate: safety; teaching and learning; interpersonal relationships; and the institutional environment.

Teacher & Leader Development

This track will focus on identifying, developing and retaining your best teachers. It will also focus on the effectiveness and development of other leaders within your school or district.

Business and Operational Management

These sessions are designed for CFOs, Finance Directors, and other members of your district’s business office. Network and share best practices with other professionals within your field.

Tentative Schedule

Sunday, September 8, 2019

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Registration Open

We hope you will take advantage your time away to relax and be refreshed around the beautiful Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel! Click here to see things to do in the area.

Monday, September 9, 2019

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Registration Open

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Exhibits Open

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Opening General Session
Kickoff remarks by Richard Woods, State School Superintendent

9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Breakout Session

11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

General Session, Lunch, Keynote Speaker – Melissa Gratias

12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Breakout Session

2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Breakout Session

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

7:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Exhibits Open

8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Breakout Session

9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Breakout Session

11:15 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m.

Special Luncheon Address
Leading for Student Success – from the Classroom to the Superintendent’s Office

The Institute will feature music provided by students from Peachtree Ridge High School, Gwinnett County Schools



Online Registration Closed

The online registration portal is now closed, but we will be accepting on-site registration at the event. Please bring the Registration Form (see below to download) with your method of payment to the institute.

Please make your check or purchase order payable to:
National Center for Youth
PO Box 22185
Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185

QUESTIONS?? Contact NCYI at 866.318.6294 or email or

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no refunds after August 18, 2019. All cancellations before August 18, 2019 will be refunded less a $25 handling fee. The institute is not responsible for and cannot give refunds due to problems beyond its control such as weather or school closings.

Make Hotel Reservations Early! Limited Availability!


Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center

3405 Lenox Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326


The Atlanta Marriott, the Institute’s host hotel, has a rate of $148 per night, plus tax, which remains valid for reservations made by August 23, 2019, while rooms are available.


  • CALL:  (404) 261-9250 or (800) 228-9290. Please be sure to tell the hotel that you are with group “GA Leadership Institute (GELI) 2019″.
  • REGISTER ONLINE:  Go to the Marriott website.

In the evening, make sure you take time to relax and enjoy the surrounding area. Click on the images to see the things to do around the beautiful Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel.

Visit the Lenox Square, across the street from the Marriott! Or go to Phipps Plaza, just minutes from the hotel.

GELI participants can receive 50% admission to the Center for Civil and Human Rights by presenting their conference name badge when purchasing tickets onsite. Thank you to the Center for Civil and Human Rights for your support of GELI 2019!

On the second Sunday of each month, the High Museum of Art offer free admission for all visitors from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and special programming from 1 to 4 p.m. Enjoy art-making activities, tours, performances, and the High’s collection and special exhibitions. For our September 8 Second Sunday, explore our special exhibitions in their final days at the High: The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children and Of Origins and Belonging: Drawn from Atlanta.

You can sit back and relax at the many restaurants at the Lenox Square, such as California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Cousins Maine Lobster, and True Food Kitchen, along with others.

At Lenox Square enjoy shopping at Ann Taylor, Anthropology, Apply, Bloomingdales, Coach, Forever 21, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Williams and Sonoma, and many more!

Phipps Plaza has an AMC movie theater, so you can finally watch that movie you have been wanting to see.

At Phipps Plaza enjoy shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstoms and dining at Davios and Johnny Rockets!

We hope this conference will educate and equip you to do your job well, and we also hope you will take advantage of the wonderful ways you can relax and be refreshed!