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Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Academy for Exceptional Teaching
Master Class with John Hunter

January 29 - 30, 2014

Chicago, IL

The Academy for Exceptional Teaching has been designed to gather educators who are energized by the opportunity to engage in spirited conversation and out-of-the-box thinking. This two-day event will offer the opportunity to step away from the hectic pace and demands of school to hear from John Hunter, while also sharing the best practices and innovations in our own ISACS schools. Register yourself for an experience that will add fuel to your creative fires, or encourage a colleague as affirmation of a commitment to excellence in your school. Leave with new ideas, vision, commitment and energy.

The 2014 Academy for Exceptional Teaching will provide time to learn, share, consider, create, debate, and stretch thinking through engagement in a master class with John Hunter, creator of the World Peace Game. Also built into the schedule, will be time to reflect, rest, consider and converse with colleagues. 

This two-day master class with John Hunter will allow teachers to deeply investigate his World Peace Game, discovering what makes this game an engaging and relevant learning experience for students. Based on the learning outcomes that the World Peace Game targets, teachers will be led through a process to develop their own piece of engaging and relevant curriculum that allows collaboration, real world problem-solving and student ownership of the learning. John Hunter will share tools and stories from his thirty year of teaching that will support teachers in developing a collaborative and co-creative environment in their classroom.

Participants will enjoy a fabulous evening including dinner at Adobo Grill and will leave with new ideas and new perspective on professional practice and the possibilities that await back at school.

Goals of the Academy for Exceptional Teaching

  • To encourage, support and celebrate exceptional teaching
  • To gather like-minded educators to share expertise and innovations
  • To provide opportunities to learn from a highly respected thought-leader in education
  • To energize
  • To affirm
  • To inspire
  • To step away from the demands of the classroom and find time to reflect while considering new possibilities in teaching and learning

Wednesday, January 29 – Thursday, January 30, 2014

Click here for the Academy's brochure.

Schedule and Agenda
The Academy will begin at 10:00 am (registration at 9:30 am) on Wednesday, January 29 and conclude at 3:00 pm on Thursday, January 30, 2014.

Click here for the agenda.

  • Wednesday, January 29: 10:00 am-3:30 pm (lunch included)
  • Wednesday January 29: Dinner at Adobo Grill included in registration fee
  • Thursday January 30: 8:30 am-3:00 pm (continental breakfast and lunch included)

John Hunter
is an award-winning teacher who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. During his university years at Virginia Commonwealth University, he traveled and studied comparative religions and philosophy throughout Japan, India and China. It was while in India, the cradle of Ghandian thought, Hunter, intrigued by the principles of non-violence, began to think of how his profession might contribute to peace in the world by helping students become skilled, compassionate, globally competent strategic thinkers and leaders. This exploration has taken the form of a game where the problems of the world are laid out in a 5 foot tall, 4 tiered matrix where students compete to solve real world issues. Game participants have to work under increasingly complex social and political conditions and against unpredictable forces like the weather, arms dealers, financial crises, and a dedicated Saboteur.  As Hunter succinctly explains, “The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown” as he offers an innovative approach to learning that is grounded in the traditional and honorable relationship of student-teacher. John Hunter gave a TEDtalk in March 2011 which has been view by over 850,000 people and was selected by TED and the Huffington Post as the most influential idea of 2011.  Time magazine also named John Hunter as one of “12 Educators to Watch in 2012” for his innovative and impactful teaching approach.  World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements is an award-winning film by filmmaker Chris Farina which interweaves the story of John Hunter with his students' participation in the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood school to citizens of the world. The film has been screened at South x Southwest Festival; Bergen, Norway; Israel; Harvard; Georgetown; Aspen Ideas Festival; Google; the Pentagon, and at the United Nations in April 2012.

Dinner on Wednesday January 29, 2014
All registrants are invited to attend dinner at Adobo Grill; the cost is included in your registration fee for the Academy for Exceptional Teaching. It will be an opportunity to enjoy Chicago while mingling with your peers in a social setting. 

  • Dinner: 6:30 pm at Adobo Grill
  • Transportation will be provided to and from hotel to dinner. Transportation departs from the Swissotel promptly at 6:00 pm.

During online registration you will be prompted to RSVP for the dinner. You can select to attend dinner or not attend the dinner. Pre-registration is required. We appreciate your response so we can guarantee dinner reservations.  If you plan to register a spouse/guest, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 as there will be an additional charge.

Academy Location & Hotel Accommodations
The conference will take place at the Swissôtel, 323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL. Telephone:312-565-0565.

The Swissôtel, designed by Harry Weiss, is a triangular glass building – one of the distinctive features of the city skyline along the Chicago River. The hotel is within walking distance of the best attractions the city of Chicago has to offer like Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the theater district, and the Magnificent Mile. 

ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Swissôtel:

  • $142/night for standard king single or double occupancy for the nights of Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29.
  • The room rates above include complimentary Internet in the sleeping rooms and complimentary access to the health club.

Please call the hotel directly to make a reservation at 1-312-565-0565 to reserve a room and use the group code "ISACS 2014 Academy for Exceptional Teaching".  Discounted rooms are still available. 

If you are having problems booking a hotel room at the discounted rate, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190 and the ISACS staff will assist you.

Please note that any reservation cancelled within 48 hours of arrival date will be charged one night room and tax. 

Directions and Parking

  • Click here for directions and parking information for the Swissôtel.
  • Special daily parking at the Swissôtel is $16 per day for the ISACS Academy for Exceptoinal Teaching.(Please obtain a voucher from the ISACS registration area to receive the daily discounted parking rate. Special overnight parking rates are $42 per night. If you drive a hybrid car, the Swissotel provides a discount.

Registration Fee

  • $425 Member Fee
  • $500 Non Member Fee
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $25 discount
  • The Academy includes two lunches and one continental breakfast on Friday
  • Registration also includes dinner at Adobo Grill on Wednesday evening January 29. (Pre-registration for evening event is required)

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund. 

Questions? Please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.





Member Cost: $425     Non-member Cost: $500


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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