Fortify Conference

Strengthening Teachers and Leaders

The Fortify conference is a unique opportunity for collaboration among PK-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 PK-12 and higher education in order to benefit both entities.

2018 Conference: "What if..."

Printable conference schedule is available.  Register and make plans to attend Fortify 2018!

Join us for a modern, fast-paced conference featuring micro-sessions and impactful participant conversation. Presenters will share in a narrative format and conference participants will have time to discuss the big ideas they hear. Each narrative presented will highlight a passion topic.  Take advantage of this rare opportunity for collaboration among PK-12 and Higher Education professionals.

Fortify 2018 is presented by the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation and sponsored by Edsouth.

The Fortify 2018 conference is TASL Approved for 6 hours of professional learning credit.  Please help us spread the word about this education conference by downloading and printing the Fortify 2018 Conference Poster.

Online registration for the 2018 Fortify Conference is now open!

Make Plans to Attend!

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

When:  Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where:  Lipscomb University's Spark Idea Center; Downtown Nashville, Tennessee
Schedule:  Download the printable conference schedule, or see below on this page.
Cost:  $95.00 per person
Theme:  "What if..."

What if everything about teaching, learning and the field of education were as it could be?  Let's ask bold questions, discuss powerful ideas and dream big.  Let's work together to transform ideas into impact!

Take advantage of this rare opportunity for collaboration among PK-12 and Higher Education professionals.

Register online.  Space is limited.  A light breakfast, lunch and parking are included.

2018 Program and Schedule

We are excited to announce some of our featured speakers for Fortify 2018!

  • Janet Ayers - President of the Ayers Foundation
  • Cicely Woodard - 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year
  • Dr. Jarred Amato - High School English Teacher and Project Lit Community Founder
  • Jerre Maynor - Director of Student Readiness, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Dr. Nicole Arrighi - Associate Professor, Tennessee State University
  • Sister Cecilia Anne Wanner - Ph.D. candidate, MTSU
  • Patty Thomas - Director of Career and Technical Education, Alcoa City Schools
  • Beth Wilson - 5th grade teacher, Red Bank Elementary School
  • Dr. Rachael Milligan - Managing Director, Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation

Our schedule for Fortify 2018 will include:  (Printable conference schedule is available.)

8:00 a.m. Registration & light breakfast
8:20 a.m. Morning program: including an opening session, micro-session/discussion periods and an interactive reverse-panel.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Afternoon program: including micro-session/discussion periods and a synthesis period.
3:30 p.m. Dismissal

Prior Conferences

Fortify: Strengthening Teachers and Leaders, Fall 2017

Conference Theme: Learning in the 21st Century

This conference focused on learning in the modern era and provided a focus on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

View Fortify 2017 schedule and session materials

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.

View Fortify 2016 schedule and session materials

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.

View Fortify 2015 schedule and session materials