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John W. Hodge

National Level Speaker and Educator

Dr. John W. Hodge is president and co-founder of Urban Learning and Leadership Center (ULLC), an organization focused on student achievement and reduction of the achievement gap. He has served as a reading teacher, English teacher, AVID teacher, Assistant Principal and Associate Director of AVID Center Eastern Division. He served as Director of An Achievable Dream Academy, an inner city school that piloted many of the interventions used by Urban Learning and Leadership Center. An Achievable Dream Academy is a high performing, high poverty school that has received numerous national awards. Dr. Hodge is also the author of You Can Get in the Way. Prior to his career in education, Dr. Hodge distinguished himself in the service of our country with the 7th Infantry Division of the United States Army.

What sets Dr. John W. Hodge apart in the field of education is his well-documented ability to put research and theory into everyday practice in rural, urban and suburban schools. He has served as an inspirational speaker at national, regional, and statewide conferences across the United States. His presentations are often “the spark” for schools in their quest to meet and exceed state/federal accreditation standards and implement strategies for continuous improvement.


's Sessions

The education of America’s youth is a challenging prospect when one considers the many burdens faced by impoverished children and their families. Research indicates that poverty need not be a barrier to academic excellence. As co-author of the book Standing in the Gap, Dr. Hodge states, “Across the nation, schools are demonstrating that it can be done: That students can reach high standards, that all children can succeed, that the gap between white and minority students, poor and affluent, can be closed.” More often than not, one caring adult can make all the difference in the world. This presentation will encourage all of us to BE THE ONE.


Resilience has never been more important than it is right now in America’s schools and communities, many of which have been ravaged by risk-factors associated with Covid-19. Today and in the near future, schools must be purposeful in their efforts to foster resilience in students and staff. In the book, You Can Get in the Way, Dr. Hodge defines resilience in the following way: “Resilience refers to the ability to avoid, navigate, bounce back from, get through, get over, go around, or survive adversities of all kinds.” This session is the perfect way to inspire your school district, schools and/or community stakeholders to take action. In this session, Dr. Hodge provides an overview of the book along with very practical solutions to help buffer the risk-factors that traditionally hold kids back. It’s the perfect launch for a new school year, or a needed boost during the tough months that follow. After being shared with over 800 educators in a state-wide conference, this session has already been described as “life-changing” by many of those lucky enough to hear it.

Throughout the nation, schools are seeking best practices in school improvement to increase student achievement for all students as we meet the demands of NCLB and the newly emerging Common Core National Standards. Successful schools have determined that highly engaging instruction with a standards-aligned curriculum focus, driven by meticulous data analysis, are the keys to success in this high stakes testing environment. The development process for the ULLC school action plan is a six-step model:

  1. Data Capture and Reporting
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Goal/Objective Setting
  4. Action Step Development
  5. Monitoring and Adjusting
  6. Communicating the Plan

S.A.M.E. stands for Social, Academic and Moral Education. It is a holistic approach to creating and sustaining academic excellence in today’s schools. S.A.M.E. provides a research supported, holistic view of school improvement by addressing all of the components of school and district culture which must be addressed if lasting school reform is to be attained, i.e. the Social Domain, the Academic Domain and the Moral Domain. As the rigor of state accountability measures increase, schools must focus their efforts to achieve and sustain academic excellence. Come learn how this approach has been particularly successful in schools serving high-poverty populations.