Keynote Speaker

Dr. John Draper
NSPRA National Consultant

Piercing the Legislative Fog—Educating, Simplifying, Motivating

“EDUCATION CUTS NEVER HEAL” Four words that tell a story. It’s a simple, unexpected, and concrete story. It juxtaposes two images that make us cringe—children and blood.  It connects our hearts with our brains. Contrary to what many believe, the heart is the gateway to the mind . . . and stories get to the heart. Most legislators are good people who want to be good stewards for their constituents. But they are surrounded by a mental whirlwind of facts and forces that create a thick, legislative fog. As educators, our minds are motivated by the facts because the stories of our students constantly swirl within our hearts. If we hope to pierce the legislative fog, we must first learn how to craft and simplify our stories to educate and motivate elected officials. To reach our legislators, we must first touch their hearts with our stories.


John Draper has energized audiences of educators, school leaders and community members in 46 states.  His presentations are marked by thoughtful analysis, engaging narrative and a refreshing passion for the mission of public schools. He makes research fun!

As the CEO of the Educational Research Service in Washington, DC, Dr. Draper spawned conversations among school leaders nationwide on engaging staff and communities in active support of our schools.  His presentations are known for getting to the root of the research and translating it into focused, proactive leadership practices. He now serves as nation-wide leadership trainer for the National School Public Relations Association.

He is one of America’s strongest advocates of quality public schools.  “Education is, by nature, much too reactive,” John shares, “we must become fully engaged in determining the future of public schools in America.”  John lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife, Kathy. They have three grown sons.