• Keynote Speakers

    Dr. Mike Longoria

    Dr. Mike Star photo


    Mike Longoria, a.k.a. Dr. Mike!, has a Ph.D. in early childhood education and has 25 years of early childhood experience in the capacity as a Pre-K, kindergarten, PPCD teacher, Head Start administrator, University professor, independent consultant, curriculum developer, and recording artist. Dr. Mike has keynoted early childhood conferences nationally and has conducted staff development for childcare providers, Head Start, PreK, and kindergarten teachers throughout the country. His innovative and original approach to integrating music and movement in the classroom will allow you to experience the joy and excitement it brings to learning while creating new neural pathways in the brain, “building muscles in young brains”. Furthermore, research supports that movement is the preferred style of learning for “fidgety”, “overactive”, “restless” children. This form of teaching not only makes learning fun and exciting, but more importantly, it meets the needs of ALL children. Early childhood professionals leave Dr. Mike’s keynotes and training excited, motivated, and aware of the importance of integrating music and movement within their instruction for the student’s cognitive, linguistic, physical, mental, social, and academic benefit. This form of “brain-base teaching” promotes accelerated learning and longer retention while bringing JOY to education.


    Julie Kurtz

    ATYC Julie Kurtz


    Julie Kurtz is an author, national speaker and expert consulting and training on trauma and social-emotional skills. She promotes the concept of optimal brain integration to maximize the human growth potential. Julie is the Founder and CEO for the Center for Optimal Brain Integration.


    She is a co-author of: 

    • Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children.
    • Culturally Responsive Self-Care Practices for Early Childhood Educators (Spring 2020).
    • Trauma Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Creating and Sustaining Healing and Engaged Organizations (2021)
    • Trauma Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Family Engagement with a Strength-Based and Trauma Informed Lens (2022)


    Julie Kurtz is the creator of the phone/tablet Application (APP) Trigger Stop: Sensory and Emotional Check-in designed specifically for children ages 3-8 years to promote sensory and emotional literacy and to support self-regulation.


    In 2011, she was named as one of the most 100 Influential Woman of Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

    Julie is also a licensed marriage family therapist providing counseling and consulting services throughout the United States.


    She travels to Thailand each year working with youth who have experienced refugeeism from Myanmar (Burma), supporting the students emotionally and through college scholarships by way of the Brackett Refugee Education Foundation.