The Penobscot River Educational Partnership is hosting a professional development day this Friday, March 19, for approximately 1,400 area educators. PREP is a collaborative partnership organization focused on improving student learning by providing high quality professional development for educators. PREP has 27 members including 23 school districts in the Greater Bangor/Eastern Maine area and four higher education partners including the University of Maine, University of Maine Augusta at Bangor, Husson University and Eastern Maine Community College.  

March 19 is focused professional development on social, emotional, and equity learning including student and staff wellness. These topics have been a priority for PREP over the last several years and have become even more important over the last year while educating and caring for students during COVID. There will be 117 different presentation sessions throughout the day from wonderful organizations such as: Bangor Public Health and Community Services, Bangor Region YMCA, Community Health and Counseling Services, Acadia Hospital, Northern Light Primary Care, Cross Wellness, Maine Multicultural Center, Maine Department of Education, Maine and County Teachers of the Year, Bangor Police Department, Maine School Safety Center, Inner Light Wellness, EMCC, Husson University, UMaine Augusta at Bangor, University of Maine and several school district internal leaders.

Three book talks are included by some amazing authors:

Joanne P. McCallie, award-winning coach, speaker, author, mental health advocate — known as CoachP — is a highly acclaimed leader with an award-winning career as an elite NCAA head basketball coach spanning more than 30 years at Duke University, Michigan State, University of Maine and Auburn University. She also led Team USA to Gold Medals at the Olympic Games.

Her book “Secret Warrior” is a compelling memoir following her mental health journey through the realities and challenges within the sports world. Using the recurring theme of “faith over fear” to reduce the stigma associated with impaired mental health and encourage those suffering from mental health issues to reach out-to coaches, student-athletes, and to all people across the world-Joanne offers real direction, experiences, and personal stories to teach and reassure those adversely affected by the dynamics of the mind and body experience.

Dr. Lauren Holleb is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at Husson University. She provides consultation to a local school district, evaluation services for Child Development Services and is a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy provider.  Her book “Healthy Friendships: Your Questions Answered” was published in February.  It is an accessible book for adolescents and young adults that explores what friendship is, why it is so important to well-being, and provides practical suggestions for those who wish to experience deeper, more meaningful friendships.

Shirley Hager is a retired associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Currently, she serves with the Friends (Quaker) Committee on Maine Public Policy and chairs its Committee on Tribal-State Relations. She is the author of “The Gatherings”, along with 13 Wabanaki and non-Native co-authors.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Greta Peay, founder and CEO of Diversity Matters, LLC. Dr. Peay joined the Clark County School District in 1987, following eight awesome years of service within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System, Charlotte, North Carolina. She has dedicated more than 39 years of service to the education profession. Her career is best described as a change agent and an advocate for social justice and equitable opportunities. Additionally, Dr. Peay is a bilingual speaker.

Dr. Peay is nationally known for her professional development skills to educate others about best practices in the areas of literacy, language acquisition, cultural responsiveness, equity, diversity and inclusion.  She retired from the Clark County School District as the chief instructional services officer.

For March 19 she has designed two sessions for all educators. The first session is Equity Matters:  The Why. This is a prerecorded panel discussion hosted by Dr. Peay. The panel includes noted thought leaders and educators, who have been doing equity work in their school districts.  During the second session educators will join Dr. Peay in a synchronous ‘live’ presentation entitled, Educating for a Changing World:  The Importance of an Equity Mindset. 

PREP is looking forward to a great day of learning from many outstanding presenters.

For more information contact Betsy Webb at