Opening Convocation

Early Learning Sensory Support 2018 Convocation

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Our Special Day Is Coming Soon...

Time is drawing near! It will soon be time to join together once again for our annual Opening Convocation.

August 14th, 8:00am-4:45pm: Day 1 of Opening Convocation for all ELSSP (Mandatory) at Holiday Inn Crabtree 4100 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC

August 15th, 8:00am-4:15pm: Day 2 of Opening Convocation for all ELSSP (Mandatory) at Holiday Inn Crabtree 4100 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC

ELSSP Staff 2017 Convocation

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Opening Convocation Day 1

Tuesday, Aug. 14th, 8am-4:45pm

4100 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC

This event is mandatory for all Early Learning Sensory Support Program (ELSSP) staff. Please see agenda below.

Opening Convocation Day 1 Agenda-August 14, 2018

8:00-8:30 am Arrival, Sign In and Materials Pick Up

8:30-9:30 Welcome and Introductions

9:30-10:00 Keynote Speaker, Keisha Spivey “Not By Chance, But By Choice”

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:00 Program Updates and Celebrations-Bethany Mayo and Ruth Anne Everett

11:00-1:00 “Listen, Understand, Communicate” Sharon Moore, M.A., CED, ITFS, LSLS Cert AVT

1:00-2:30 Group Pictures and Lunch

2:30-3:30- HIPPA Training Bob Martin, Public Health Program Manager, DHHS

3:30-4:30: Reporting Suspected Abuse and Neglect-Mandy Hice, Social Worker II & Intake Coordinator

4:30-4:45 Wrap Up, Feedback and Plus Delta

Infant Toddler Credits and CEUs Available

Meet Our Presenters...

Keynote Speaker...Keisha B. Spivey

"Instead of going for the big splash, every day, focus on making little ripples."

-Keisha B. Spivey

For over 20 years, Keisha B. Spivey has been a change agent with the assignment to educate, equip, and empower women to live their Best Life Possible. Using her gifts of speaking and writing to provide spiritual guidance, Keisha brings excellence and insight into everything that she does. Her messages are thought-provoking and inspiring, leading many on a journey of life-transforming change and self-discovery. Whether she is speaking at a conference or teaching at a workshop, Keisha enjoys speaking into the lives of women, encouraging them to Get Real with themselves and to pursue their God-given purpose and destiny. Her motto is, “Do the Max!”

As a teacher and coach, one of Keisha’s greatest satisfactions is watching people change the way they see themselves and begin to walk in boldness and confidence as they come to understand their value and significance in the earth. Keisha has a way of reaching her audience that transcends economic, gender, and racial barriers while at the same time, touching the lives of many around the nation.

Over the years, Keisha has conducted many seminars and workshops to help get people started on their journey to discovering their God-given potential. Workshops like Time Management Tune-Up and The Balancing Act teach women how to eliminate “life clutter” and focus on the tasks that truly matter. As an author, her book, entitled Get Real!...Are You a Superwoman or a Supermess?, forces readers to be honest with themselves about where they are in life and to develop an action plan to move forward.

Keisha encourages her audience to be good to themselves and often takes her own advice. When she is not teaching or inspiring others to become more, she enjoys reading novels, working out at the gym, or pampering herself with a massage. Her favorite pastime is enjoying a cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning, just before the sun

rises. This is her special time alone with The Father that sets the tone for her day.

In her hometown, Keisha serves as the Youth Pastor at Church on the Rise. She partners with area middle and high schools by serving as a facilitator for “Real Talk” sessions with students. She is a member of the Youth Pastors Coalition and serves as a Community Liaison for the Youth Theological Institute at North Carolina Wesleyan College. She also serves as a Bible Study teacher at Peacemakers Family Center of Rocky Mount. Keisha has a B.S. in Political Science from North Carolina A&T State University. She has also earned a Masters of Christian Leadership and a Masters of Divinity from Liberty University.

Keisha and her husband Eric are the founders of Ripple Effects Ministry and reside in Rocky Mount, NC. They are the parents of three remarkable children- Aaron, Myia, Victoria, and two dogs- Max and Toby, aka “The Fellaz”.

Sharon Moore, M.A., CED, ITFS, LSLS Cert. AVT®, NBCT received her BS degree and Hearing Impaired certification from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Masters in Language Development and Learning from Lenoir Rhyne University. She taught at the Central North Carolina School for the Deaf from 1985-1996. Sharon has worked as a resource teacher for Guilford County Schools in the Exceptional Children’s Program, the Central NC Early Intervention Program for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Resource Support Program with the Office of Education Services, and as an Educational Consultant with the NC DPI’s Exceptional Children Division. Sharon has her Birth through Kindergarten certification, K-12 Reading certification, C.E.D. certification, Infant-Toddler and Family certification, LSLS Auditory Verbal certification and National Board certification, as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. She also holds certification as a NC State Improvement Project Reading Foundations trainer and a national See-the-Sound: Visual Phonics trainer. Sharon is currently employed by the Department of Public Instruction, Office of Early Learning Division, as an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing with the Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Hearing Impairments. Sharon has served as a coach for the UNC-CH Children’s Cochlear Implant Center Institutes.

Mandy Hice, BS, ITFS – ELSSP Social Worker II & HI Intake Coordinator

Mandy Hice attended Western Piedmont Community College and Gardner Webb University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services. Mandy has worked with deaf children for 22 years. She has been with Early Intervention for 18 years as the Social Worker for the NC Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual and Hearing Impairments serving children ages Birth-5 across the state of North Carolina. Mandy serves as the intake coordinator for the hearing impaired program as well as numerous other duties across the program. Mandy enjoys baking and working with the children at her church as a teacher, nursery director, and Vacation Bible School director. Mandy lives in Morganton with her husband, Steve and 19-year-old daughter, Zabrina. She has a step-son, Richard who is 26. She is grandmother to Ashlyn & Richard's daughter, Charleigh, the sweetest granddaughter in the world. Mandy is also a grandmother to, Amelia, Zabrina's cat.

Opening Convocation Day 2

Wednesday, Aug. 15th, 8:30am-4:15pm

4100 Glenwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC

Opening Convocation Day 2 Agenda for August 15, 2018

8:00-8:30 am Arrival, Sign In and Materials Pick Up

8:30-10:00 HI Team “Autism in Toddlers and Young Children with Hearing Loss”

Wanda Pendergrass, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Ruth Fuller, Certified TEACHH Instructor and Autism Specialist

8:30-10:00 VI Team “CVI: What Works and What’s New” Presented by Susan Sullivan, APH CVI Project Leader

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-12:00 “Autism in Toddlers and Young Children with Hearing Loss”-continued

10:15-12:00 “CVI: What Works and What’s New”-continued

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:00 “Autism in Toddlers in Young Children with Hearing Loss”-continued

1:00-2:00 “CVI: “What Works and What’s New”-continued

2:00-2:15 Break

2:15-3:15 HI Team “Working with Adult Learners-(Applying Critical Thinking to Their Children”) Meg Locklear

3:15-4:00 “NC Teacher Evaluation Process and Rubric-Guidance for ELSSP Teachers of Infants and Toddlers with Hearing Loss”

2:15-4:00 VI Team “CVI: What Works and What’s New”-continued

4:00-4:15 Wrap Up and Plus Delta

Infant Toddler Credits and CEUs Available

Wanda Pendergrass is a certified teacher of the deaf or hard of hearing in the Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Hearing Impairments and holds credentials as an Infant Toddler Family Specialist. She holds degrees in Speech Pathology and Special Education. She has worked in the public schools as a speech therapist, a psychoeducational therapist with the Charlotte TEACCH Center, and as a private educational consultant. Wanda has presented at the UNCC Annual Child and Family Development Conference, NC Exceptional Children Conferences and has been a guest trainer for Childcare Resources, Inc.

Ruth Fuller is a retired after working for 38 years for the TEACCH Autism Program where she served as Clinical Supervisor at the Charlotte TEACCH Center. She started her work in Autism in one of TEACCH Autism Program's original public school classrooms. She later moved to the Charlotte TEACCH Center where she has served as an autism specialist for most of her career. She is a certified TEACCH Instructor and has been trained in using a variety of approaches, including the Picture Exchange System of Communication (PECS). Her interests in autism currently center on working with toddlers, adults and challenging behaviors, with a focus on supports for social and communication skills. She graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a degree in psychology.

Susan Sullivan is currently the CVI Project Leader at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated from Illinois State University with a teaching degree in Low Vision and Blindness and from the University of Illinois with a master’s degree in Early Children Special Education/Infancy. CVI has been her passion throughout her career and she is excited to share and learn through her work at APH.

Meg Locklear resides in Pembroke, NC with her husband, Dallas and son Clifton. She has been a teacher of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing since 1990. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University and her Master’s of Education from East Tennessee State University. In 1990 she worked as a resource teacher of the deaf in Tennessee, and from 1991-1998 as a K-8 self-contained/resource classroom teacher of the deaf in North Carolina. In 1998 she started teaching preschool for the Eastern NC School for the Deaf in a satellite classroom in Fayetteville, NC. During her time in that program she obtained her B-K add on certification. Following that she transferred to the Cumberland County Early In Preschool Program as a teacher of the deaf. In 2005, she began to feel the need for a change of teaching venue and found it with a job in the Eastern NC Early Intervention Program for Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, currently the Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Hearing Impairments. (No, the name has not become shorter with time.) She is trained in sign language and spoken language therapy for children with hearing loss. She has had training in working with children with sensory integration issues and children with deaf-blindness. She is working hard toward becoming fluent in Cued Speech and learning more about new hearing technologies and the LENA system. In her free time she volunteers at her church, loves crafting, studying the Bible and reading.


1. All ELSSP Bring Middle School Pictures

All ELSSP staff please scan and email one of your middle school pictures to your lead teacher by August 1st. We will be using these for an Icebreaker Activity.

2. Download PADLET onto your phone, laptop, and/or iPad and bring with you on Day 1 and Day 2.

****Most of you have downloaded this already (as we have used it before). This is just a reminder to double check your device and make sure it is still there. If not, please follow directions below to download prior to convocation.****

We will be using an online tool called Padlet again this year during our Opening Convocation. You will need to bring with you a device to the meeting in which you can access the internet. The device may be a lap top, tablet, or just your smart phone. Prior to the meeting please sign up for Padlet by following the instructions below:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Sign up
  3. Enter your DPI email address and create a password.
  4. Click Sign up

    Padlet is the easiest way to create and collaborate in the ...

    From your hobby to your career, your class notes to your final exam, your mood board to your runway show, padlets help you organize your life.


Friendly reminder to all VI staff...Please make sure to schedule a time with Starla to turn in folders while you are in Raleigh for convocation.


In addition to the restaurant at the Holiday Inn, there are numerous places to eat (within walking distance of the hotel). The hotel is located across the street from Crabtree Valley Mall. Food choices include: Big Easy, Brio, Cheesecake Factory, Chic Fila, Crabtree Ale House, Crisp Salads, Fleming's Greek Fiesta, Hwy 55, Kabobi, Kanki, Luciano, McCormick and Schmicks, McDonald's, Moe's, P. F. Chang's, Panera, Red Monkey, Sarku Japan, Seasons 32, Steak Escape, Thai Bistro, Torii, and Which Wich.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Office of Early Learning, Early Learning Sensory Support Program