In the summit, we will explore boys’ physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. The summit will bring together science-based principles with practical solutions.

Michael Gurian 

Co-founder of Helping Boys Thrive® Summits

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Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight books published in twenty two languages. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Co-founder of the national Helping Boys Thrive Initiative, Michael travels to dozens of communities every year to help catalyze social change on behalf of children.In this inspirational, practical, and humorous presentation, renowned educator, marriage and family counselor, and New York Times bestselling author Michael Gurian (THE WONDER OF BOYS) focuses on helping boys thrive in our communities, schools, homes, and emotional life. Participants and audience members will learn a great deal about girls as well, since the lives of boys and girls are completely interwoven in today’s world, and gender develops in all human beings on a broad gender spectrum. Based on more than twenty-five years of science-based research, this keynote will trace the neuro-science of gender and child development, how boys’ minds and hearts learn and grow in particular, how acculturation influences boys and young men, and what best practices professionals can use immediately in their work with boys and men. Michael will present not only the developmental science of male life but proven methods by which to mentor and educate males so that they thrive. Michael has been called “the people’s philosopher” for his ability to dynamically combine cutting edge science with stories from people’s everyday lives. He was one of the first child advocates to name the developmental crises boys and men face in today’s changing and high-pressure world. This initial activism led to the founding of the Gurian Institute, a science-based organization whose innovations are used worldwide. As he brings this material and experience to life in this keynote, Michael will provide a new logic model for ensuring healthy male development in our Arizona communities. To learn more about Michael’s work, please click www.michaelgurian.com. To register for the Arizona Helping Boys Thrive Summit, click here.

Tim Wright

Tim_book shoot_2012_001 3 - Version 2Tim Wright has been a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1984. In 2005 he started Community of Grace, in Peoria, AZ. He’s authored five books, including his most recent–Searching for Tom Sawyer: How Parents and Congregations Can Stop the Exodus of Boys from Church, and has trained pastors and church leaders throughout the US and around the world. Along with Michael Gurian he co-created the rite of passage program: Following Jesus: A Heroic Quest for Boys. He and his wife, Jan, raised a daughter and a son. They are now happily investing their lives in their 4 grandchildren.

Workshop: Raising Boys into Men: Rites of Passage

Since the beginning of time cultures have understood that boys must be strategically trained to be men.  Called a rite of passage, the process varies from culture to culture but the purpose is the same: to take a boy through challenges, mentoring, adventures, and an ultimate test to begin to forge him into a good man.  More often than not, without a rite of passage boys grow up to become either passive men or violent men.  This workshop will look at how we can reclaim rites of passage for our boys in order to reclaim them for heroic manhood.

Vance Simms 

Vance Simms Photo 158x195Vance Simms is Founder / Executive Director of Father Matters INC. Mr. Simms is a Certified Life Coach, author, radio host and publisher of the Father Matters Tribune, a monthly electronic publication that reaches thousands of subscribers nationwide.  Mr. Simms has been acknowledged for his service to the community and dedication to meet the needs of families through increased collaboration and coordination with system partners.

Vance provides insight to community partners and organizations on how they can successfully engage fathers and create sustainable life changes in men.


• How to out reach specifically to fathers of all kinds
• Barriers to participation
• Providing topics and resources that are father specific, father friendly and culturally appropriate
• Wraparound care and support

Dakota Hoyt

dakota_hoyt 2Dakota Hoyt has been in education for 30 years as a teacher, math/science specialist, assistant principal, director of professional development, and as an educational consultant.Over her career she has experienced that there is no quick fix to complex educational problems.  Her approach is to have educational staff focus on what instruction is best for all students to be successful (results).  She does this by having the staff identify where they are currently being successful (data), identify the students that are falling through the cracks (data), and analyze possible underlying issues. With this critical information she helps the staff discover “new” strategies and tools (research) to redesign their best educational practices for all students.Dakota has been associated with the Gurian Institute since 2004 as a Master Trainer and became Executive Director in 2012.  Previously, she was also Gurian Institute Project Director, working with her mentor, Kathy Stevens, on a number of one to three year Gurian Institute training programs in schools and districts.Dakota’s keynotes and training work spans Early Head Start through college students and parent groups at the local, national and international level.What educators are saying about Dakota’s training:“The best thing about this training was the relevancy to all grades and to life/understanding of the opposite sex!” “Excellent presenter—very engaging and informed—lots of movement and good information and practical examples to use in my classroom.”

Workshop: Practical Strategies for Educating Boys

This session will give you common sense strategies for engaging boys that can be implemented immediately.  Most strategies can be adapted to work with boys from early childhood through adolescence at home, school, and in other youth related environments.

 Adie Goldberg

Adie-Goldberg-214x300 copyAdie Goldberg, LCSW, M.Ed, has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for more than 25 years. She has worked as a private practice clinician and an embedded social worker in both an OB-GYN practice and a large psychiatric counseling practice. As a professor of graduate and undergraduate social workers at University of British Columbia, Eastern Washington University and Portland State University, she has taught classes in individual, family and group therapy, diagnosis, case management and supervision. In addition to clinical and University teaching, Adie has supervised nurses, social workers completing clinical licensing hours, and therapists receiving advanced couples and family treatment certification at Gonzaga University. As a certified Gurian Institute trainer, Adie has integrated gender-based principles into both her teaching and clinical work, innovating new strategies for counselor effectiveness with both genders. Adie has co-authored two books with Michael Gurian, It’s a Baby Boy! and It’s a Baby Girl! (Jossey-Bass/John Wiley).

Workshop: Working with Boys and Men in Therapeutic Settings

Based on the Gurian nature-based intervention model, this workshop will focus on core therapeutic issues that counselors, school psychologists, social workers and other professionals encounter with males. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their current practice model, identify obstacles they have experienced with males, and apply new, effective strategies for their work with boys and men. Adie integrates theory and practice with self-deprecating humor as she recalls her own 20 plus years of “learning as I went” with males. Participants will leave the workshop ready to institute new strategies, communication techniques, and therapeutic options the next day.

Katey McPherson

Katey McPersonKatey McPherson is an Assistant Principal in the Gilbert School District and one of the Authors of the Book, Why Teens Fail: What to Fix.  She is a veteran school teacher with experience as a middle school guidance counselor and assistant principal. She is also the founder of the S.H.E. Forum (Sharing Healthy Experiences) forums that began this call to action regarding teens and families. She was motivated to start the forum and start a community dialogue about teen issues when a struggling middle school student brought a knife to her school and attempted to commit suicide. With four daughters of her own, she strives to bring solutions to parents and teens so they can survive and thrive in the challenging age of social networking and digital media. She also launched a bullying prevention program called BE THE ONE. Katey holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Secondary Education from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.

Workshop: Boys and Bullying: How To Raise Socially Competent Boys

One of the many challenges that our students face on a daily basis is the challenge of peer pressure, conflict, and resolving these issues in dignified ways at school and beyond the classroom and school walls including social media and the internet. In this workshop, participants will explore a practical approach  to creating a school culture where dignity is embraced, where social competence is welcomed and upheld, by both students and trusted adults. Specific strategies and interventions to use when relational aggression occurs will be presented.