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Professional Development

JOin Bookbag Tours for the first annual PD at Sea


December 27th- December 31st, 2018

Join these amazing presenters on a cruise to a lesser known country, Cuba! 


Dr. Krissie Butler - Keynote

A native of Kentucky, Krissie Butler received her BA in Spanish from Asbury University and her MA and PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of Kentucky. Her studies have taken her on many adventures to places like Mexico, Spain, and Cuba. She has taught Spanish language and Hispanic literature and culture at several universities, including Asbury University, Indiana University, and Furman University. Cuba has played an important role in both her studies and professional life. While her doctoral work focused on cultural representations of Fidel Castro and masculinity, her current research takes a more general approach to gender and the Cuban Revolution. When she is not teaching, you can find her either reading or spending time with her husband, Mark, and daughter, Avery.

Kayla Delzer

Kayla Delzer is a globally awarded 3rd grade teacher and technology champion in North Dakota. In fact, The New York Times named her "one of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States". She has ten years of teaching experience in second and third grade.  Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Dakota. In September 2018, she will be receiving the University of North Dakota Sioux Award, the highest honor of achievement offered by her University.  Governor Doug Burgum has recognized Kayla for her contributions to education in North Dakota, and assigned her a chair on North Dakota's Innovative Education Task Force.  She has been recognized by ISTE as an "ISTE Influencer". 

Kayla frequently travels around the United States and other countries as a featured and keynote speaker. She has delivered well over 100 keynotes, one of note being at Twitter Headquarters. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners.  Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide, and she was recently selected as a recipient of the Global Hundred Award, designating her as one of the top 100 innovative educators in the world. She is currently writing a book about classroom learning spaces and flexible seating, titled FlexED: Flexible Seating for Flexible Learners, set to release during the summer of 2018. She is also a co-author of the best-selling book Education Write Now, published in December 2017.

You can connect with Kayla on all social media platforms @topdogteaching, and her student led social media accounts @topdogkids.

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Jen Jones

Jen’s 23 years as an educator, she has taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th & 8th grades. She is trained in Reading Recovery, Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures and Common Core for ELA. She is a K-12 Reading Specialist, has a Bachelor's in English and a minor in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a Master's in Reading Education from East Carolina University. She taught in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District in California and at PK Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida. Before she stepped into Hello Literacy full-time, she was the RTI Coordinator, Marzano Trainer and Intervention Director for her school as well as the Literacy Coach and School Improvement Chair at Lake Myra Elementary in WCPSS, the largest school district in North Carolina. Since 2012, Jen travels the country providing positive, engaging and relevant professional development to teachers in schools and districts in 21st century literacy instruction. She is racking up miles in California, Nevada, Idaho, Arkansas, Kansas, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and New York. She writes for the International Literacy Association and Parent’s Magazine. She is a champion of Donors Choose and Facebook Live. Jen has a TpT store called Hello Literacy, where her mission is to create products that make kids think and make teachers better teachers. Jen is on social media at @hellojenjones and online at She currently lives in Raleigh, NC, with her husband and two daughters.

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Bethany HumphreY

In 2012 Bethany Humphrey, the face behind Teaching and so Fourth, began her teaching career in a 6th Grade classroom in Olive Branch, Mississippi. After Mississippi, Ms. Humphrey relocated to Las Cruces, New Mexico where she taught Kinder, 1st , and 2nd  graders in a multi-age classroom. Currently she resides in Las Vegas, Nevada teaching 4th graders. Teaching has taken Ms. Humphrey from the Southeast to the Southwest, with one constant, her passion for using musical strategies as a means to help students learn. This passion has not only created a positive teaching and learning environment but produced definitive results in the classroom. Now, Ms. Humphrey shares her passion for breaking the traditional mold of instruction through district, regional, and national professional development seminars. Ms. Humphrey’s mission and methodologies allow her to reach the highest point of student engagement.

David Jones

Dr. David WW Jones grew up on a wheat and barley farm in Washington State. David earned his B.S. & M.S. in Agricultural Education at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo. He taught agriculture for eight years at Atascadero High School and then returned to Cal Poly to teach Agricultural Education. He attended the University of Florida and graduated in May, 2006 with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Education with an emphasis in leadership development. In 2006, he was hired at North Carolina State University where he developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership and leadership
development. He led the development of the Agriculture Science Degree focusing on leadership development which has earned national recognition. In 2017 Dr. Jones left NC State to pursue opportunities in the personal coaching and private business consulting arena. Dr. Jones has presented to over 100,000 people and in 2013, received one of two USDA Excellence in Teaching Awards for a New Teacher. He has been recognized as a Fellow by both the National Association for Career and Technical Education and American Association of Agricultural Educators. Dr. Jones is most proud of his 2009 “Most Inspiring NCSU Professor” student nominated award. In July of this year, Dr. Jones left NC State to pursue his own leadership consulting business, Split Second Leadership, and to assist his wife in her business as a literacy consultant for her own company, Hello Literacy Inc. David is married to his college sweetheart, Jennifer and they have two daughters. David enjoys spending time with his family, flying kites and hosting friends.


                     Majesty of the Seas - Royal Caribbean

We will set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas.  Our ports of call will be, Havana, and Nassau. 

Ship sets departs on December 27th at 4:00 PM and returns to Ft. Lauderdale on December 31st at 7 AM. 

Hotel in Fort Lauderdale can be booked with a special rate at the links below.

Embassy Suites

Holiday Inn Express and Suites

Pier 66

Riverside Hotel


                                         School Children in Cuba

                                     School Children in Cuba

Day 1 -  At Sea

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM -

Registration/Welcome Reception  

 6:30 - 7:30 PM   - Keynote Speaker - Dr. Butler

¡Alfabeticemos! A Look at Cuba’s Revolution in the Classroom

 8:00  - 8:50 PM - Session 1 -  Kayla Delzer

Reimagining Education: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners

 9:00 - 9:50 PMSession 2 - Jen Jones

Getting Them All Inferring with Picture of the Day


                          Interior shot of the Majesty of the Seas

                        Interior shot of the Majesty of the Seas

Day 2-  In Havana

10 AM

Education Tour of Havana with Dr. Butler

4 Hour Walking Tour of La Habana Vieja (Old Havana)

Highlights include:

Museo de José Martí (Cuba’s Father of Independence)

Historic streets and plazas with stunning examples of Colonial and Baroque architecture

Museo del Ron

Iglesia del Espíritu Santo

Hotel Ambos Mundos (Hemingway stayed here for long periods of time from 1932-1939)

El Floridita (the birthplace of the daiquiri and another one of Hemingway’s favorites)

*possible lunch at Bodeguita del Medio (favorite of many artists, including Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole and famous Hispanic poets and writers)

 Limited to first 40 to register!

Day 3 - At Sea   

10:00 - 10:50 AM - Session 3 - Kayla Delzer

Flexible Seating and Classroom Redesign

    11:00 - 12:50 PM -  Session 4 - David Jones

 "You Mean I Have To Work With These People"

     2:00 - 3:50 PM - Session 5 - Bethany Humphrey

Engagment through Music!

     4:00 - 5:00 PM  - Session 6 -  Jen Jones

Picture Books As Mentor Texts: Every Standard’s in a Book

     7:00 PM - 9:00 PM-  Pirate Party!


Day 4- Free day in Nassau

Shore Excursions Available


Day 5- Return Home

All rooms are Ocean View and price includes all fees, including Gratuities.

Prices start at $1191 per person, based on double occupancy!  (Airfare not included)  We also have blocks of hotel rooms available if you arrive the night before sailing.  Shore excursions cost extra, except the tour with Dr. Butler in Old Havana (but this tour is limited to the first 40 to register for the tour).

Registration Deadline is March 30th. Hold your spot with a $300 deposit by registering below, or you can pay in full.   Final payment due by August 24th.  If you like, we will help you with all travel arrangements.  Once you register we will send a list of hotels with special rates should you choose to arrive on December 27th.  Space is limited, so reserve you spot today!

Register Today for PD at Sea
from 300.00

Non-refundable deposit - unless trip is canceled

PD at Sea Option:
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
— Nelson Mandela