Fortify Conference 2017

Strengthening Teachers and Leaders

The Fortify conference is a unique opportunity for collaboration among K-12 and higher education professionals in Tennessee and beyond. This annual event combines expertise, experience, and knowledge from both arenas of education; strengthening the practices of both. At Fortify, we seek to build bridges between K-12 and higher education in order to benefit both entities.

2017 Conference: Learning in the 21st Century

Online registration for the 2017 Fortify Conference has now closed!

View the conference schedule and breakout sessions.

Make Plans to Attend!

Topics relevant to current-service, pre-service, and higher education teachers and leaders.

When:  September 13, 2017 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where:  Lipscomb University Campus; Nashville, Tennessee
Theme:  "Learning in the 21st Century"
Registration:  (Lunch meal and snacks included.)

  • $125 / professional educator
  • $25 / education student

Conference schedule and breakout session descriptions.

Online Registration


The vision for Fortify is to be a highly anticipated event that brings together K-12 and higher education faculty for authentic collaboration focused on topics relevant to both groups, including state or federal policy changes. We are student-focused, practical in nature, and innovative in our offerings. The conference is driven by choice of participants and provides not only networking opportunities, but also reflection time, and research sharing.

Fortify: Strengthening Teachers and Leaders, Fall 2017

Conference Theme: Learning in the 21st Century

Don’t miss this great opportunity on September 13, 2017!

Fortify: Strengthening Teachers and Leaders, Spring 2016

Conference Theme: Ensuring Rigorous Instruction for All

This conference focused on the need for increased rigor at all levels of instruction, and included an instruction-focused strand and a leadership-focused strand. Peggy Greene, Tennessee’s Principal of the Year, 2016, delivered the keynote address, and various speakers presented in breakout sessions throughout the day.

Fortify: Strengthening Teachers and Leaders, Spring 2015

This conference centered on the use of Ayers Institute's free, online resources at the K-12 and Higher Education levels. Participants engaged in discovery of INVEST and MOOC resources and collaborated on the effective use of those resources.

Advisory Board

The Fortify advisory board guides all decisions regarding the conference, and appropriately consists of K-12 and Higher Education representatives. The Ayers Institute would like to thank this year’s advisory board:

  • Lauren Bauer, Assistant Principal, Williamson County Schools
  • Terri Sue Fanning, Lead Faculty, Instructional Technology, Lipscomb University
  • Kim Finch, Educational Leadership, Cumberland University
  • Machel MIlls, Director of Professional Learning, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Alesha Northcutt, Director of Satellite Programs, Freed-Hardeman University
  • Vicky Smith, Assistant Professor, Austin Peay State University
  • Jimmy Sullivan, Principal, Bedford County Schools

Watch the events page on our website for session dates and registration links.