Keynote Speaker Bios

Phyllis L. Fagell, LCPC

Phyllis is the school counselor at Sheridan School in Washington, DC, a therapist who works with kids and families in private practice, and an author and journalist. She's the author of “Middle School Matters” and a frequent contributor to the Washington Post. She also writes for Psychology Today, Working Mother, U.S. News & World Report, and Your Teen, and her ideas have been shared in outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and NPR. Phyllis lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and three children--two teens and a tween. 

Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover and Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen

Michelle Icard (pronounced IKE-urd) is a speaker, author, and educator who helps kids, parents, and teachers navigate the complicated social world of early adolescence. Her latest book, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen guides readers through the fourteen essential conversations parents need to have with their kids before they start high school. Her first book, Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years, is a primer for the social and emotional changes parents and kids navigate when mid-life meets middle school under one roof.

Michelle is a member of the TODAY Show parenting team and NBC News Learn. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, Time, and People Magazine. Her middle school leadership programs, Athena’s Path & Hero’s Pursuit, have been implemented at schools across the country and she speaks around the globe at schools and parenting events.