Rise Up and Shine, VPOST 10th Annual Conference

Monday, September 30 2019, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM [EST]

310, South England Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, United States


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Event Information

Monday, September 30 2019, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM [EST]

About the Event

Drawing upon the national conference theme, from The National Afterschool Association (NAA), Rise Up, our 10th annual conference is themed Rise Up and Shine. It is a call to action for OST professionals to be seen and heard by the greater community. Our event aims to elevate and illuminate OST programs in Virginia by offering participants proven strategies and innovations in the field. Now at our 10 year milestone Rise Up and Shine will be the most expansive, informative, and inspiring conference in VPOST history!


This year's keynote speaker is Chic Thompson. Chic’s passion is inspiring professionals and children to be “curious first… critical second” while engaging in creative problem solving. His latest creative adventure is founding WagiLabs, a global, social innovation incubator for kids’ ideas. He is a two time author of books, What a Great Idea!  and Yes, But… . During the last 30 years, Chic has given over 4,500 presentations and has teamed up with talent ranging from Tony Robbins and Stephen Covey to Cirque du Soleil and Second City Improv.



Come see our vendors with products or services to help your program shine even brighter! 



  • Afterschool Alliance
  • Anthem
  • Astro Camp Virginia
  • Caron Treatment Centers
  • Child Care Resources
  • DimensonU
  • E Cybermission
  • Edible Education
  • Girls Who Code
  • No Kid Hungry Virginia
  • PBL Project
  • PBS Kids (Virginia Public Media)
  • Virginia State Parks
  • WagiLabs




All participants are responsible for arranging lodging. The deadline to book reduced-rate lodging at the event venue and it’s sister property has passed.


Event Location

About the Organizer

The Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time is a state-wide network that promotes access to high-quality out-of-school time programming.


Event Speakers

Chic Thompson
Founder, WagiLabs

Chic’s passion is inspiring professionals and children to be “curious first… critical second” while engaging in creative problem solving. His latest creative adventure is founding “WagiLabs.” A global, social innovation incubator for kids’ ideas.Chic is a Batten Fellow of Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School and adjunct faculty at the Brookings Institution and the Young Presidents’ Organization. His first book, “What a Great Idea!,” published by HarperCollins, was a main selection of the Executive Book Club. In 2001, Harvard Business School released a case study on the speaking career of Chic entitled “What a Great Idea!.” His second book, “Yes, But...” was a guide to overcoming the bureaucratic language that stifles continuous innovation. He wrote this book after consulting with GE to help design their continuous improvement process called “Work-Out.” Chic worked in new product development and marketing for: • W.L. Gore and Associates (Gore-Tex®) • Johnson & Johnson • Walt Disney During the last 30 years, Chic has given over 4500 presentations and has teamed up with talent ranging from Tony Robbins and Stephen Covey to Cirque du Soleil and Second City Improv.

Ben Bache
Manager, PBL Project

For the past 16 years, Ben has been the owner/manager/content-creator of the PBL Project, spending most of his time tinkering with his website (www.pblproject.com) and creating Problem-Based Learning scenarios and Critical/Creative Thinking exercises. On a personal note, Ben lives with his wife and five children in Greenville, South Carolina, which is about halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta. Ben's hobbies include... well, with five kids, he plans to get back to "hobbies" sometime in the distant future!

Ryan Barton
Manager, Community Preservation and Development Corporation

Ryan Barton is the Manager of Volunteer Capacity Building and Leadership Development at CPDC (Community Preservation and Development Corporation), a non-profit affordable housing developer in the Washington, DC, region. Previously, he was the Manager of Community Impact Strategies at Stony Brook in Alexandria, VA.

Jackie Burgeson/KoniGarofalo
Trauma and Resiliency Specialist/Child Development Specialist, Child Savers

Jackie Burgeson, ACSW, is a Child Development Specialist for Trauma informed and Resiliency Services at ChildSavers in Richmond, Virginia. Jackie has more than 40 years of experience working in all aspects of child welfare which include prevention, training, supervision, education, curriculum development and treatment services. Koni Garofalo serves as a Program Specialist at ChildSavers in Richmond VA. She has a M.S in Early Childhood Studies specializing in Teaching Adults. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology and Theology. She has experience working with young children from as a classroom teacher with infants through fifth grade.

Tina R Harte
Informal Education Specialist, Task Lead; NASA Langley Reseach Center

Tina Harte is Task Lead for NASA Langley Science Directorate Education Team, serving as GLOBE Informal Education Specialist. During 2019, she piloted “NASA Goes to Camp” working with camp directors to incorporate GLOBE explorations. As a former middle school teacher, she understands the value in connecting classrooms with afterschool opportunities.

Kia Martin/Tameka Martin
Supervisor, Arlington Public Schools Extended Day Program

Kia Martin is in her 20th year as a Supervisor with the Arlington Public Schools Extended Day Program at Williamsburg Middle School. Kia couples her enthusiasm of reality TV cooking competitions with her knowledge and passion for working with middle schoolers, to successfully plan and implement fun and innovative culinary competitions and activities into her program. As a 2017 APS Connect With Kids Champion, Kia is passionate about empowering students and exposing them to new and diverse opportunities. Tameka Martin is a Supervisor with Arlington Public Schools Extended Day Program and currently works at Swanson Middle School. Tameka diligently coaches her staff on how to engage middle school students to be curious and creative with culinary activities in her Afterschool Program. Giving all youth the opportunity to “Rise Up and Shine!” is a top priority for Tameka.

Christopher R. Mathews/Anna Heywood...
YAV Teaching Artist/ Chief Operations Officer, Young Audiences Arts for Learning Virginia

Christopher Mathews is 4th grade teacher with Norfolk Public Schools, YAV’s 2019 Educator of the Year, and most recently joined YAV’s Teaching Artist roster. Prior to his role as a classroom educator, Chris spent 9 years working with various YMCA childcare programs in South Hampton roads. Each school year, Mathews makes a point to share one of his biggest passions with his students: his music. Anna Heywood Green is currently the Chief Operations Officer for Young Audiences Arts for Learning Virginia (YAV). Coordinating and managing artists, teachers, and staff, Anna has produced arts integrated programming with YAV for over 15-years. She continues to be inspired by how the arts fuel self-expression and personal development. As the daughter of two successful visual artists, she is a lifelong arts advocate and enthusiastically supports her 8-year old daughter's foray into arts education.

Dr. Christopher Pendergraft
Assistant Principal, Stafford County Public Schools

Dr. Chris Pendergraft is an 18 year veteran of education. He spent 15 years as a Marketing Education teacher and for the past three years has been the assistant principal at a middle school. His Bachelors in Business is from the University of Mary Washington as well as his Masters in Secondary Education. He earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Capella University. Dr. Pendergraft has also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington.

Meredith Scott Lynn
Founder & CEO

Meredith is the founder and CEO of WRiTE BRAiN WORLD. Launched in 2014, the company has since seeded in almost 50 states with curricula for learners of all ages. She has presented for thousands of educators nationally. An award-winning storyteller in childhood, and a recognized actress (producer/writer/director), she understands the value of stories and self-expression.

Meeta Sharma-Holt
Vice President, Programs and Strategic Partnerships, Techbridge Girls

Meeta has created quality systems of out of school time programs for over 25 years. She now serves as the Vice President of Programs and Strategic Partnerships at Techbridge Girls. Meeta believes in the power of out-of-school time programs to support youth from underserved communities to reach their best selves. As an immigrant and granddaughter of freedom fighters in India, Meeta is compelled to bring about change for large numbers of girls through high quality programs and services.

Michelle Simpson
Youth Development Specialist, Alternatives Inc.

Michelle is currently a Youth Development Specialist for Alternatives Inc. She was a founder of Inspiring Minds Youth Development and Childcare Center where she served the City of Hampton for over 20 years. Her work include serving as former City of Hampton Neighborhood Commissioner for Non-profits and Big Brothers Big Sisters board member. Michelle is the recipient of accolades including the National NUSA Notable Award, A Phi A Fraternity Community Service Award and the Brandon 40 Developmental Assets award.

Katherine Spinney
Katherine Spinney Coaching, Founder and President

The past twenty years in youth development has taught Coach Kat that we need to take care of our staffs as much as we do our students. It is her great joy to combine her education, training and experience as a teacher, social worker, supervisor and life coach to support OST professionals in giving our students the very best we have to offer.

Sarah Steely/Maggie Parker
Senior Program Manager, No Kid Hungry Virginia/ Maggie Parker, Child Nutrition Programs Manager at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), Office of School Nutrition

Sarah Steely is the Senior Program Manager with No Kid Hungry Virginia. In this role, Sarah liaises with statewide stakeholders, coordinates team communications and goals, and develops data-informed engagement strategies to increase awareness of and access to the federally-reimbursed school nutrition programs. Sarah formerly served as a contractor for the United States Marine Corps, where she developed policies and enhanced coordination between DOD installations and their host communities. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) and spent her high school summers serving summer meals in her Pennsylvania hometown. Maggie Parker is the Child Nutrition Programs Manager at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), Office of School Nutrition. In her role, she oversees the administration of the Summer Food Service Program and At-Risk portion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program across the Commonwealth. Maggie has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Programs for over six years, in both state agency and nonprofit capacities. Through these various roles, she has developed a passion for ensuring children and teens have access to nutritious food year-round. Maggie has a Master of Social Work in Administration, Program Planning, and Policy Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ariel Simons/Carmen Ortiz
National Geographic

Ariel is the Manager of Online Learning at National Geographic Society. In this role, she oversees National Geographic's Educator Certification and works with 50+ educator leaders who provide mentorship and support in this course. Ariel's prior experiences include serving as a middle school STEM teacher, teacher trainer, and afterschool educator. Carmen is the Project Manager for Afterschool Education at National Geographic. She coordinates the afterschool initiatives across several National Geographic education programs to engage out-of-school time educators and youth. Passionate about education outside of the classroom, her earlier experience includes museum and afterschool education.

Scott Hodne
6 Crickets

Scott is a Business Development Specialist/Regional Manager for 6crickets. As a former middle school teacher, he has a passion for education that extends to the out-of-school-time space and a mission to help bring the best enrichment to every child, no matter their socioeconomic status. A believer in the power of these programs to transform students’ lives, he works at 6crickets with schools and districts to support learning and growth beyond the traditional classroom by making after-school enrichment programs easier to manage.