Amazing People

Network with like-minded professionals to exchange information

Expert Talks

Gain new insight about character research from respected world-class scientists

Applicable Workshops
Practice new and innovative ways to infuse character development into your work


The Educator Summit is an annual event, hosted by Character Lab and Relay GSE, designed to give teachers the knowledge and skills they need to help all students develop character.

It features keynote speeches and more intimate workshops with the scientists and educators who champion this work.

Taken together, the Summit is a unique chance to learn about character research from world-class scientists, network with peers, and practice new ways of infusing classrooms with character.

$250 Early Bird Price

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  • Susan Cain
  • Jeff Duncan-Andrade
  • Howard Fuller
  • Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Allyson Mackey
  • David Yeager



Thursday, July 11th

Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab, & Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

Susan Cain, Bestselling Author, Chief Revolutionary, Quiet Revolution

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor and Vice Chair of Psychology, University of California, Riverside

Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab, & Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

Naama Wrightman, Assistant Dean, Relay GSE

What signals kindness and caring to students? How can teachers set up systems to model, celebrate, and enable kindness in the classroom? This workshop will explore these questions and more in the context of elementary schools. Participants will leave with new ideas for promoting kindness and caring, especially across lines of difference.

Rebecca Good, Founding Dean of Relay Connecticut, Relay GSE

What signals kindness and caring to students? How can teachers set up systems to model, celebrate, and enable kindness in the classroom? This workshop will explore these questions and more in the context of secondary schools. Participants will leave with new ideas for promoting kindness and caring, especially across lines of difference.  

Kari Feinberg, National Dean of Regional Leadership Programs, Relay GSE, & Vernon-James Riley, Associate Dean of Regional Support, Leadership Programs Team, Relay GSE

Teachers can help model, celebrate, and enable kindness in the classroom. So if the whole school is the leaders’ classroom, how do they signal kindness and caring to the entire school community? This workshop will explore these questions and more in the context of school leadership. Participants will leave with new ideas for promoting kindness and caring, especially across lines of difference.

Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab, & Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

David Yeager, Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Texas

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Associate Professor of La Raza Studies and Education, San Francisco State University

Angela Duckworth, Founder and CEO, Character Lab, David France, Founder and Executive Director, Revolution of Hope, & Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

Jennifer Gomes, Vice Provost of Campus Affairs, Relay GSE

"Rigor" is one of the latest buzzwords in education. The Common Core State Standards have been developed to "increase rigorous content" and ask our students to apply "higher-order skills." Rigor is all the rage, but what does it mean to have a rigorous classroom? How does rigor connect to growth mindset? In this workshop, participants will learn how to curate rigorous tasks and frame them in a way that inspires students to choose academic challenge.

Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

Want to implement the science of growth mindset in your school? The first step is a catalyzing lesson from the National Growth Mindset study, but the bigger challenge is sustaining that lesson with a shift in language. In this workshop, participants will learn to incorporate the crucial, sustaining language of growth mindset into individual educational contexts.

Kari Feinberg, National Dean of Regional Leadership Programs, Relay GSE, & Vernon-James Riley, Associate Dean of Regional Support, Leadership Programs Team, Relay GSE

Teachers want to cultivate a growth mindset in their students, but how do school leaders do the same for faculty and staff?  In this workshop, participants will explore how leaders model growth mindset language in their day-to-day work with teachers and will walk away with new tools and ideas for inspiring teachers to develop their own growth mindset. 

Friday, July 12th

Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab, & Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

Howard Fuller, Distinguished Education Professor, Marquette University

Allyson Mackey, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab, & Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE

David France, Founder and Executive Director, Revolution of Hope

Using principles from the lives of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa, this seminar will discuss how to empower student artists and musicians by helping them develop a basic philosophical framework for arts-based social change projects. Using a simple matrix, participants will learn how to walk anyone through an easy-to-use model that will both inspire artists and provide the foundation for a more detailed plan of action.

Katie Carroll, Research Analyst, Brave Enterprises, & Crista Samaras, Founder and CEO, Brave Enterprises

Have you ever met anyone who wanted to be less brave? This session will explain how fear prevents people from trying hard things, and will then deconstruct the process of becoming more brave and identify three ways to do it.  In a very active session, participants will learn and practice the fundamentals of brave thought and brave action, experiencing both the rigor and reward of an expanding comfort zone. All participants will leave with access to a Brave Toolkit, which includes activities to use and implement in their schools, programs, and with their teams. 

Mayme Hostetter, President, Relay GSE, & Sarah Marder-Eppstein, Director of Educator Summit and Assistant Professor, Relay GSE

Dr. Allyson Mackey’s 2017 research highlights the benefits of curiosity in the classroom; This workshop will explain how to put that research into practice. Participants will learn to analyze instructional delivery methods and better understand how to draw students into a lesson through awe and curiosity. 

Alhassan Susso, Teacher, International Community High School

Authenticity is the key to a courageous classroom. But it is difficult to discuss authenticity without addressing the issue of vulnerability. The fear of being perceived as weak hinders our students' ability to take risks, tackle challenging tasks, or simply learn. The path to vulnerability is empathy. In this session, participants will learn methods of empowering students to cultivate a culture of empathy, compassion, and learning in the classroom. 

Brendan Chan, Program Manager, CS Education, Google, & Matthew Dawson, Program Manager, CS First and Applied Digital Skills, Google

Computer science - or coding - is used in many industries - from graphic design, engineering to even business, but did you know that coding is also a form of creativity? Coding can be used to express oneself, create art and even used to tell stories. Many educators even use coding in their English or Science classrooms as a creative way to learn core educational concepts. Attend this session to learn more about how other educators are using coding to spark creativity in the classroom - no coding experience required!

K.M. DiColandrea, Teacher, Achievement First

In our polarized political climate, it is more important than ever that students—especially those who have been systematically silenced because of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion—feel empowered to speak up and defend their beliefs. In this session, we will review the basics of how to incorporate debate strategies into the classroom to help students develop critical thinking skills and improve their confidence. The resources and strategies will be geared primarily toward high school educators but can be easily adapted for K-8 classes. 

Dustin Peterson, Founder & Lead, Proof Leadership Group

Identifying and living congruently with your purpose can lead to more meaningful work, higher satisfaction, and increased engagement. When individuals are clear about what drives them, they are more resilient in the pursuit of their goals. Yet, many people—educators and students alike—may not have articulated their purpose or intentionally integrated it into their day-to-day lives. This session will help participants develop a personal purpose statement and learn specific strategies to help others articulate their own. 

Travis J. Bristol, Assistant Professor of Education, University of California, Berkeley, & Shannon R. Waite, Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Graduate School of Education, Fordham University

In the last decade, there have been a number of initiatives on the local, state, and national levels focused on increasing the number of teachers of color (TOC) in the field of education. This session will discuss the growing body of research aimed at addressing the unique school-based experiences of TOC.  Participants will also learn concrete strategies for developing and supporting TOC. 

Kevin Feinberg, Senior Program Director, New York, Facing History and Ourselves

How can we engage students intellectually, emotionally, and ethically? What does it take for humanities curriculum to be rigorous and relevant? How can we use rich, primary source documents rooted in historical case studies to help students reflect on democracy, civil rights, human rights, and civic engagement? Facing History and Ourselves has been supporting educators for more than 40 years, helping teachers wrestle with these questions. This workshop will use classroom-ready primary documents from historical case studies (U.S. and global) to model how history can be used to prompt student reflection on their own choices today. The resources and strategies will be geared primarily toward middle and high school educators. 

Katie Fielding, Instructional Technology Coach, Prince William County Schools, & Allison Mollica, USA Director, AppsEvents

Technology is transforming what’s possible in schools—enabling innovative solutions to learning’s biggest barriers. In this session, you'll learn how you can use Google tools to inspire your students to think outside of the classroom walls and facilitate a collaborative, intelligent, connected and creative learning space.

Toni Barton, Dean of Special Education Leadership Programs, Relay GSE

An inclusive culture exists when every student is provided the opportunity to reach their maximum potential, there is a school-wide approach to providing academic and social-emotional supports and services for ALL students, instructional environments foster student independence and connectedness amongst peers and adults, and every student is a valued member of an integrated community.

This is where the leader comes in. Leaders must work to intentionally build such a culture and work to design systems grounded in a set of inclusive values necessary to drive academic and social-emotional outcomes for exceptional learners. Doing so will allow schools to meet the needs of all of their students. In this session, you’ll examine five inclusive values and see how they come to life in a school through systems and adult behaviors. You will identify where you need to grow to bring these values to life in your own schools.

Sarah Westbrook, Director of Professional Learning, Right Question Institute

A good question can fuel creativity, empathy, and innovation. Yet, it is rare that the skill of question formulation is deliberately taught to all students. How can cultivating students’ curiosity and questioning lead to more equitable, engaging learning? The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) is a simple, powerful strategy to teach students to ask and work with their own questions. In this hands-on, active-learning session, participants will work collaboratively on a relevant challenge using the QFT process and explore classroom examples and student work from across the country. This session is open to educators and school leaders working in all subject areas and grade levels. 

Caren Baruch-Feldman, Clinical Psychologist, Certified School Psychologist, Harrison Schools

Are you a psychologist, counselor, or social worker who is eager to bring character education to your school, but don't know where to start? This workshop will explain how one elementary school psychologist worked with teachers, using videos, literature, and activities to bring the character strengths to life. You will leave with lots of resources and a clear plan to implement the character strength of your choice.

Jeff Li, Teacher, KIPP NYC

How would the culture of your classroom or school change if students were not only responsible for their own learning, but also for that of a peer in need of tutoring? This session will delve into a case study of how peer tutoring transformed the practice of one veteran teacher’s classroom, driving powerful academic results and re-framing students’ conceptions of themselves as active teachers rather than as passive learners. This method drives both character and academics in a true dual-purpose endeavor—breaking the all-too-common paradigm teachers feel when trying to balance the teaching of academics versus the teaching of character. This is a way to do both—simultaneously and powerfully. 



The 2019 Educator Summit is being held at the Philadelphia 201 Hotel.  We have secured an exclusive group rate of $169 per night. Book a room by June 19th in order to take advantage of this group rate.

Philadelphia 201 Hotel
201 N 17th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

By Car

Take I-95 South to Exit 22. Proceed on Highway 676-W to the Broad St Exit. This will take you to 15th St. Continue 0.5 blocks to Spring St & turn right. Proceed 1 block & turn right onto 16th St. The hotel is 0.25 blocks further on the left.

By Plane

The closest international airport is the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), which is is located approximately 8 miles from the hotel. This hotel does not provide shuttle service. The estimated taxi fare: 25 USD (one way).

By Train

The closest stop to the Hotel is the Race-Vine subway station. This station is served by the Broad Street Line on the SEPTA. It is only 0.5 miles NE from the Hotel. The fare zone associated with this station is the Base Transit Fare.


We welcome anyone interested in character development! Content at the Educator Summit is tailored for K-12 educators and school leaders. However, we’ve had researchers, higher education faculty, and education non-profit staff join us in the past.

Expect amazing keynotes by Susan Cain, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Howard Fuller, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Allyson Mackey, and David Yeager, and three hands-on workshops of your choice that will prepare you to implement character development in your classroom.

Registration for the 2019 Educator Summit will open on Monday, January 14, at 9am EST. Reserving your spot for the 2019 Educator Summit is on a first come, first serve basis. The number of spots at the Summit is limited by the venue's capacity, so we highly recommend that you register as early as possible.

We are committed to making the Educator Summit affordable for our attendees. The current registration fee is $450. 

Yes, we offer scholarships to cover the cost of the registration fee. To apply for a scholarship, please fill out the registration form and select “yes” to the question “Would you like to apply for a scholarship to cover the cost of Educator Summit?” If you receive the scholarship, we will reimburse you the event registration fee. Applicants will be notified of scholarship decisions by Friday, June 28th.

If you cannot commit to paying a registration fee, please follow the "pay by check” option. When our team follows up with an invoice, you can let us know that you have applied to receive a scholarship.

Educator Summit Refund Policy

  1. If a registrant is unable to attend Educator Summit for any reason, they may substitute, by arrangement with the registrar (
  2. If a registrant is unable to attend, and providing the conference registrar ( is informed in writing by July 1, 2019, the fee will be refunded to the participant.
  3. Where the registrant is unable to attend, and is not in a position to transfer his/her place to another person, and does not notify the conference registrar in writing by July 1, 2019, the registration fee will not be refunded but may be applied to the 2020 Educator Summit.

Registration includes breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception on Thursday, along with breakfast on Friday. Dietary restrictions will be accommodated.

The Philadelphia 201 Hotel is a valet-only property with a daily parking rate of $42 plus 22% service fee per the city. Educator Summit attendees will receive a 20% discounted rate for parking.

For drive-in guests, you can pick up parking passes at the registration table. For overnight guests, the parking will be billed to the master account on each reservation with the discount reflected.

For affordable self-parking in the area, we recommend the Gateway Parking Garage which has a rate of $18 up to 10 hours and $22 up to 24 hours.

Yes, we will offer a lactation room, Salon 7, at the Educator Summit. Please stop by the registration desk to receive the keys to access this room.

Over the years, we’ve had keynotes from amazing speakers such as: 

David Brooks, New York Times Columnist

Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone
Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO, Character Lab
Dan Heath, New York Times Bestselling Author

John B. King Jr., President and CEO, The Education Trust, 10th United States Secretary of Education

We have our program complete for the 2019 Educator Summit, but if you’d like to join us as a speaker or workshop presenter for the 2020 Educator Summit, please fill out this form and our team will get back to you if we are interested in having you.

Character Lab Research Network Convening Sessions are for school partners who are part of the Character Lab Research Network (CLRN). During these sessions, school partners will dig into the latest science currently being conducted on the network and learn how to interpret and communicate findings with stakeholders. This is also an opportunity to connect with one another to share best practices. Participants will walk away ready to facilitate and improve CLRN activities at their schools. These sessions are by previous invitation only.

CLRN school partners will receive registration and travel instructions directly from Character Lab.

Character Lab is a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that character strengths are as important as are IQ and socioeconomic status to academic achievement and well-being.

Although character strengths are known to be malleable, surprisingly little is known about how to cultivate them intentionally. To help teachers do that, Character Lab facilitates better research and creates proven teacher resources, called Playbooks. Co-designed by educators, designers, and scientists, Playbooks bridge scientific research and daily classroom practice so that teachers can help today's—and tomorrow's—students.

The Relay Graduate School of Education is a nonprofit institution of higher education with the mission to teach teachers and school leaders to develop in all students the academic skills and strength of character needed to succeed in college and life.

Academics are important, but they represent only one dimension of a child’s development. We encourage teachers and principals to adopt a strong focus on personal character strengths that will help their students grow up to be happy, responsible citizens who show grit, love, integrity, and respect for others.

At Relay, we give students unparalleled opportunities not only to learn the techniques that will make them more effective but also to practice with faculty and peers. The feedback they receive helps them refine their practice until they’re ready to perform with confidence in the classroom.

2018 Highlights

Character Lab CEO Angela Duckworth on strategies for self-control that can help students more effectively fulfill their wishes.

Harlem Children's Zone president and social activist Geoffrey Canada argues that courage is an essential character strength for great educators.

Professor Gabrielle Oettingen explains the development and science behind WOOP, a strategy to increase self-control

Professor Anders Ericsson outlines the key principals of how to practice effectively in order to achieve mastery.

Professor Chris Hulleman on why it matters for students to value what they learn and how to increase perceptions of value.