Join Us VIRTUALLY September 9-10, 2021 for ION's Annual Power Up Summit- the only statewide conference dedicated solely to out-of-school time.

About the Summit: Our conference is for those who run programs or offer services that youth may access out-of-school: summer, afterschool, camps, or even online. Our theme this year is "Build Up!"

Join us online for an inspiring 2 day conference that will 'Power' you up! The Summit is IdahoSTARS approved.

You should have received a link in your email with the password needed to access these recordings. If you did not receive the email, please email and I can send you the password. These recordings will be available through November 1, 2021.

Thursday, September 9, 2021
(subject to change)

8:30 am - 8:45 am- Opening Welcome, & Youth Speaker: Sequoia Solmorales
8:45 am -10:45 am- Y4Y: Social Emotional Learning
10:45 -11:00 am- Door Prize Drawings!!
11:00 am - 12:15 pm- Keynote: Sheldon Eakins
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm- Break
12:45 pm - 1 pm- Idaho Out-of-School Updates & Think Make Create Labs
1:00 pm - 2 pm- Dennis Johnson -Sort Sol Group

Friday, September 10, 2021
(subject to change)

8:30 am - 9 am- Welcome & Afterschool Champions
9:00 am - 10:15 am- Legislative Panel - Moderator: Deni Hawkins
10:30 am - 11:30 am- Keynote: Don Ortman
11:30 am -11:45 am- Open Arms Dance Project
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm- Y4Y: Assessing Program Effectiveness
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm- Break
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm- Y4Y: Practices and Procedures for Including Students with Disabilities
2:30 pm - 2:40 pm- Boise Rock School & Youth Speaker: Kamryn Swenson
2:40 - 2:45 pm- Closing ceremony

Sheldon Eakins Ph.D.

Leading Equity

Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D. is the Founder of the Leading Equity Center and host of the Leading Equity Podcast. With over 11 years in education, he has served as a teacher, principal, and Director of Special Education. Dr. Eakins has a passion for helping educators accomplish equitable practices in their schools. He has earned a B.S. degree in Social Science Education, an M.S. degree in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in K-12 Education.

Don Ortman

Inspire Harmony

Don Ortman is the Oprah of Social Emotional Learning. Mr. Ortman is a life long learner, teacher, school principal, coach, choir director, and was the leader in starting a preschool, afterschool program, and community health center in his community. He is a National Distinguished Elementary School Principal, Iowa's Character Counts Administrator of the Year, and Iowa Reading Administrator of the Year. Don aspires to inspire before he expires!

Boise Rock School

Since its inception in 2008, Boise Rock School has been led by the belief that the best way to get individuals excited about learning music is to have them play in a group. They believe the band setting, coupled with a strong curriculum and student-chosen songs, achieves better results than any other teaching method.

In addition to helping students achieve musical excellence, the band setting also encourages essential life skills such as group problem solving, compromise, and the value of positive social interactions.

Boise Rock School is so much more than just a place where students learn to play their instruments. They teach their students how to play songs (cover tunes of their choice in all genres and originally penned compositions), how to record those songs, how to perform those songs at a gig, and how to use those songs as an inspirational and exciting tool to contribute to our community.

They believe giving every student at Boise Rock School the opportunity to perform and share their musical accomplishments with an audience is a valuable and rewarding experience for everyone. In short, they develop the total musician.

From proper technique to creativity and songwriting, from music theory to listening and problem solving skills, they help students — both kids and adults — not only become better musicians, but better people.

Deni Hawkins

Co-Anchor | CBS2 News This Morning

Deni Hawkins co-anchors CBS2 News This Morning with Bryan Levin. She has been with CBS 2 since May of 2013, and has worked in several different positions at the station during her time here.

During her time at CBS 2 News, Deni has worked as multimedia journalist, weekend anchor, and as a weather anchor. She loves telling people's stories through her work in reporting. Deni enjoys sharing the personal side of stories that matter to those in the Treasure Valley community. She loves connecting with viewers in and outside of work, and is thankful to be part of such a wonderful, vibrant community.

Deni was born and raised in Boise, and graduated from Timberline High School before moving north to Spokane, Washington to get her degree in Broadcasting and Electronic Media at Gonzaga University. (Go Zags)! From there, she quickly found her way home, and has been falling more in love with this growing city ever since.

Deni loves Idaho and all of the outdoor opportunities it has to offer, regardless of the season. In the winter, she spends time skiing on Idaho's mountains and searching for other snowy adventures. She also loves hiking, backpacking (occasionally), running and playing volleyball or tennis. Deni is a huge Gonzaga basketball fan, and Boise State football fan, so will often find time to watch her favorite teams play, even if it means sacrificing a little sleep here and there. More than anything, Deni loves being close to family and friends, and enjoys being involved in the community she grew up in.

Ericka Rupp

Program Manager | Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Senator Janie Ward-Engelking

Committees: Commerce & Human Resources, Education, Finance

Born in Caldwell, Idaho; attended Whittier College; B.S. from Idaho State University; master’s degree from Boise State University; classroom teacher for 33 years; active community member, trainer and facilitator for College of Western Idaho; spouse: Kay Frank Engelking.

Kelley Packer

Executive Director | Idaho Association of Cities

Kelley Packer has over a decade of experience as an elected and appointed official.  She served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2013-2018 and on the McCammon City Council from 2008-2012. Beyond serving in an official capacity, Kelley has taken her responsibility as a citizen of her communities seriously, as she co-founded the Marsh Valley Education Foundation and served as its president from 2011-2013 and formed a beautification committee for her hometown in 2010.

Kelley led the Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses under Governor Brad Little, an agency which serves more than 73,000 licensees and registrants and 28 Boards and one Commission and played a key role in the Governor’s initiative to reduce barriers for people who want to work in Idaho while ensuring public protection.  Currently, Kelley serves as the Executive Director for the Idaho Association of Cities which provides advocacy, training, and research on behalf of Idaho’s 199 cities.


Representative Steve Berch

Committees: Business, Education, Local Government

Bachelor’s degree in marketing from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.B.A. in management information systems from the University of Minnesota; worked for Hewlett Packard in Boise for over 35 years as a computer programmer, marketing manager, strategic business planner and global program manager; owner of Steve Berch Consulting LLC, providing business planning and process consulting for local companies; vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Greater Boise Auditorium District; former vice-president of the West Valley Neighborhood Association (WVNA); spouse: Leslie, for 35 years; daughter: Katie, attending Boise State University.


Andrew Fletcher

Treasure Valley Family YMCA

Andrew Fletcher is the Associate Executive Director of Child Development for the Treasure Valley Family YMCA. He supports 29 early childhood and school age programs throughout Treasure Valley. He is also the Chair of the Idaho-of-School Network and has been involved with ION for the past 6 years. With a M.Ed in Educational Leadership and 12 years in the out-of-school time field, he is passionate in helping youth learn, play, thrive, and grow. His favorite thing to do is run, read, and kitchen science activities with his two boys.

David McConnell

Lead Training Specialist, You for Youth (Y4Y)

David McConnell is the Lead Training Specialist for the US Department of Education’s Youth for Youth (Y4Y) Team.  David provides training, technical assistance, and out-of-school time (OST) resources for afterschool and summer programs. David has five years of experience in OST learning, primarily focused on student activities and youth programming.  Prior to joining the Y4Y Team, David worked in educational publishing at Macmillan Learning; his work at Macmillan involved developing training materials for educational software and providing in-person and online trainings for teachers and administrators. David holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Education from Rowan University, as well as a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Dennis Johnson

Sort Sol Group

Dennis Johnson, MBA, CGT, PCC, ORSC, CTT, CDWF, brings more than twenty-five years of experience in the academic, corporate, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors to his coaching and consulting work. He has strong skills in organizational development, planning, and facilitation with in-depth experience in engagement, governance, leadership development, individual and organizational learning, project management, strategy, and strengths-based, talent systems.

Dennis is Managing Partner of Sort Sol Group. He is a Principal of Leadership Architecture & Design, a boutique, strategic consulting practice with emphasis on executive coaching, leadership development, strengths-based organizational design, and team development. Dennis also is Host of Fulcrum Men, has served as a Mentor in the Professional Coach Certificate Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, and is past Adjunct Faculty at the University of Wisconsin Schools of Business and Human Ecology and Edgewood College. Dennis is a Hogan Personality Assessment Assessor, a Certified Transformation Tools Consultant with Barrett Values Centre, a BoardSource Affiliated Consultant, a Certified Administrator in The Leadership Circle Assessments, and a Certified Facilitator in TCC Group’s Core Capacity Assessment Tool. He is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and coach trained by Gallup, Coaches Training Institute, Center for Right Relationship, Team Coaching International, Potentials Realized, Gottman Institute, and Brené Brown’s Education & Research Group. Dennis is a member of Association of Change Management Professionals, Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, BoardSource, Consultants for Organizational Reflection and Effectiveness, Forefront, International Coaching Federation, Social Enterprise Alliance, and the Social Transformation Project.

He holds his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska’s Gallup Leadership Institute and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Don Ortman

Inspire Harmony

Don Ortman is the Oprah of Social Emotional Learning. Mr. Ortman is a life long learner, teacher, school principal, coach, choir director, and was the leader in starting a preschool, afterschool program, and community health center in his community. He is a National Distinguished Elementary School Principal, Iowa's Character Counts Administrator of the Year, and Iowa Reading Administrator of the Year. Don aspires to inspire before he expires!

Jenn Conner

Lead Education Specialist, You for Youth (Y4Y)

As the Lead Education Specialist for the US Department of Education’s Youth for Youth (Y4Y) Team, Jenn supports OST programs through the design and delivery of professional development.  Jenn’s experience includes engaging Philadelphia Youth, both in OST settings, where she managed grant and state compliance records, and traditional schools, where she served as a teacher, Instructional Coach and Administrator. During her teaching tenure, Jenn was the founding member of two schools – one an accelerated middle school for over-age adolescents: the other, an innovative school with project-based programming.  Jenn holds a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Chestnut Hill College and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Temple University. She is a certified Pennsylvania Teacher.

Thank You To Our 2021 Sponsors & Partners!

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