Who's the Brain Girl?
Brenda McKinney, CEO of BrainVolution, is known for her wealth of practical classroom experience and examples. Brenda brings her winning style to a wide variety of brain based and health/wellness topics. She is a popular presenter because of her ability to motivate, make things fun, and teach practical techniques for the classroom that can be used immediately.
Brenda is a former teacher who is focused, passionate, and mission driven. She has over 30+ years experience at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level. This extraordinary classroom experience that will provide you with the tools you need to empower yourself.
Her work in the area of brain research led her to receiving a National Certification in Brain Based Research with Eric Jensen (Jensen Learning), an international spokesperson for neuroscience and education. She has been connecting research with practical classroom applications for 20 years. Brenda continues to read hundreds of books and articles on the subject of neuroscience and searches for the answer to success for every student.
Brenda’s passion on the topic of motivating at-risk kids/and those in poverty led her to write and produce her own documentary, Teaching the Back Row, about an amazing group of seniors, all with multiple risk factors, who achieved "rock star" success in her district. Brenda will bring you her personal stories of success and failure. She will make her students come alive and offer you the tools you need to take your own teaching to the next level.
- Professional Brain Based Certification (Jensen Learning)
- Masters in Language Arts (Washington State University)
- Reading Specialist (Washington State University)
- Bachelors of Arts (University of Washington)
- Certified in all subjects for all grade level
When you bring Brenda to your school or sign up for a workshop, you bring wisdom and experience. She understands the problems teachers are encountering in today’s educational settings. She continues to bridge the gap between research and practice for teacher who wants to use the latest findings to create high-achievement classrooms.
- Speaker National Middle School Conference: Quiet or Riot? Motivating Students to Read
- Speaker Regional NCTE Conference: Quiet or Riot? Motivating Students to Read
- Speaker State Middle School Conference: Quiet or Riot? Motivating Students to Read
- Keynote Speaker Eastern Montana Educators' Conference: How the Brain Learns, Teaching the Back Row
- Writer, producer documentary: Teaching the Back Row
- Trainer/in-service presenter
- Vancouver School District
- Portland School District
- Kirkland School District
- Yakima School District
- Longview School District
- Montessori Schools
- Christ the King Academy
- Winlock School District
- Key speaker, Eastern Montana Educator's Conference
- Facilitator/instructor pilot program for at-risk incoming 9th grade students-5 years
- Teacher of 7th-8th reading, 9th literacy, English grades 9-11, psychology, human behavior, literacy classes for grades 11, 12
- Classroom teacher all grades 6-12 including: AP, Honors, regular and at-risk classes
- Teacher, creator, manager of “The Starbucks Project” – pre-college seminar that met at Starbucks
- Adjunct professor Heritage Institute
- GIS Courses for 5 years
- Workshops for 12 years
- Creator of “Japan Days” a cross curricular unit for an entire grade level
- Creator and facilitator “Community Literacy Project” (Community volunteers and students reading together)
- District committee member for developing HSPE curriculum, study skills implementation for secondary students, textbook implementation grades 7-12, grant writing for remodeling of media center, grant writing for funds for at risk classes
Awards / Recognitions
- Teacher of the Year, 2009, Vancouver School District
- Elsie M Johnson Acorn Award for Excellence, Vancouver School District
- Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (nominated 11 times)
- Nominated Disney Teacher Award, student nomination
- Selected for District video on authentic engagement
- Selected for District video on Excellence in Education (representing grade 12)