Events &

Hello, 2021. We're ready for you.

When OAESA chose this conference theme in 2019, little did we know how relevant it would become. If there has ever been a time to celebrate all we’ve been through and all that we’ve learned, 2021 is that year. You were up to the challenge, and now, it’s time to take a deep breath, reflect on all of your experiences, and celebrate the fact that we’ve survived, we’ve thrived, and WE’RE UNSTOPPABLE.

Celebrate all you've accomplished, boost your successes, and enhance your best practices with colleagues from across Ohio. Hear from education's leading voices, including powerful keynotes by Hamish Brewer, Sayantani DasGupta, Jimmy Wayne, and William Blackford.

NEW: Click here to view the OAESA 2021 Professional Conference Brochure!



Morning Keynote: Thursday, June 17, 2021

Hamish Brewer, the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding principal in Northern Virginia isn’t your normal principal. Hamish is high-octane, constantly calling on his students to “Be Relentless.” Brewer has become known as an educational disrupter who transcends the status quo and typical educational norms.

Brewer was recognized in 2017 as the NAESP National Distinguished Principal and Virginia Principal of the Year. He has also been recognized as the 2016 VAESP School Bell Award and ASCD Virginia Impact Award. In 2018, Brewer was named a Northern Virginian of the year by Northern Virginia Magazine, the 2018 Principal of the Year for the national publication, Education Dive, and Prince William County Public Schools 2019 Principal of the Year. Under his leadership, his elementary school was recognized as a Nationally Distinguished Title I School, and Brewer has since gone on to turn around one of the toughest middle schools in the state of Virginia.

Brewer serves on the Board of Directors as the Federal Relations Coordinator for the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. He is a school turnaround and improvement specialist, working with some of the most at-risk students in the United States. Brewer was highlighted as a Hometown Hero by Fox 5 in Washington, DC. His story on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt became a viral sensation with more than 32 million views. Brewer is also being featured in a skateboarding humanitarian documentary, Humanity Stoked.
Afternoon Keynote: Thursday, June 17, 2021

Sayantani DasGupta is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed, Bengali folktale and string theory-inspired Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond books, the first of which—The Serpent’s Secret—was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Best Middle Grade Novel of the 21st Century, and an EB White Read Aloud Honor Book. Sayantani is a pediatrician by training, but now teaches at Columbia University. When she’s not writing or reading, Sayantani spends time watching cooking shows with her trilingual children and protecting her black Labrador retriever Khushi from the many things that scare him, including plastic bags. She is a team member of We Need Diverse Books, and can be found online at and on Twitter at @sayantani16.
Morning Keynote: Friday, June 18, 2021
Jimmy Wayne is a former foster kid turned award-winning country music artist whose songs and story highlight his mission to raise awareness for children in foster care. Jimmy’s hits include “Stay Gone,” “Paper Angels,” “I Love You This Much” and “Do You Believe Me Now,” which earned BMI’s prestigious Million-Air Award for receiving one million radio spins in America. In 2009, Jimmy toured with Brad Paisley and recorded “Sara Smile” with Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame duo Daryl Hall and John Oates.

In 2010, Jimmy walked halfway across America (from Nashville to Phoenix) to raise awareness for kids aging out of the foster-care system. In 2012, Jimmy helped get legislative bills passed extending the age of foster care to 21 in California, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Ohio. In 2014 he released Walk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way, a three-time New York Times bestselling memoir which — in just 18 months — crossed the 100,000 print sales milestone.

In 2016 he received the prestigious Points of Light Award from President George W. Bush (41), and in 2017 he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from William Woods University and in 2018 he received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Cal State University San Marcos. Jimmy has performed on the Grand Ole Opry 223 times. He lives in Nashville and continues to work tirelessly on behalf of at-risk foster youth by performing, writing books, and keynote speaking. For more on Jimmy and his awareness campaign for foster children — Project Meet Me Halfway — please visit:

William Blackford, IV
Afternoon Keynote: Friday, June 18, 2021

William McKinley Blackford IV is a Senior Consultant for FranklinCovey International and Education Division. As a Senior Consultant he empowers educators and administrators to create systems that enable greatness through The Leader In Me Process. The Leader in Me is a school-wide leadership development process for both students and staff members—of which The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a foundational piece. It integrates timeless leadership principles into school culture, driving transformational results.

He has been partnering and consulting with school systems for the past 20 years to inspire and motivate students to achieve. His passion has afforded him the opportunity to train and develop individuals across the country and around the world. Students and educators describe him as sincere, powerful, energetic and soul stirring. With his expertise, sense of humor and ability to connect, he quickly creates a climate for transformational development.

OAESA's conference is a favorite of Ohio educators!

“Great conference with exceptional keynotes and sessions!” "I came back re-energized with loads of reflection and ideas!!  "I truly left saying it was the best conference I have attended!"