for schools

speaking engagements, keynotes, & interviews

I bring my approachable, comedic, deeply personal and anecdote-driven style to all events, big or small. From formal keynotes to intimate events, I tailor my delivery & message to effectively address the scope and scale of your needs.

Drawing from my performing arts background, and sixteen years in education, I thrive when connecting with audiences to deliver my passionate yet practical approach to addressing academic pressure & authenticity, mental health, substance abuse, and parent relationships. 

featured in:

Educator self-care 

Intentional steps to prevent burnout 

Creating emotional balance as a whole person 

When, how, and why to seek mental health care
Understanding shame and its impact on addiction 

Managing direct and secondary trauma as an educator 

No Lifeguard on Duty


I offer a keynote address for large conferences, professional development for schools and districts, assemblies for students, as well as community engagement events.

Identifying student wellness needs 

Creating an environment of grace and trust 

Understanding current mental health stressors and conditions in students
Understanding appropriate and mandated action steps 

Understanding the 4.0 Mask and other optical illusions employed by students to evade care 

hidden in plain sight

The art of parent collaboration 

How to appropriately communicate concerns 

How to collaborate with outside mental health professionals 

Understanding levels of care within mental health treatment 

Implementation of school wide protocols to cross check student wellness 

Integration of mental health screenings into school culture 

Supporting students without means to afford care 

Connect to Catch 

Warning signs of mental health conditions and addiction 

Understanding impact of technology on mental health 

Understanding current trends as it relates to social media, drugs, alcohol, and nicotine 

Parent Workshops

book me for your next speaking event.

buy the book

RECOVER[edu] is a conversation-starter, a communication-driver, and an awareness-builder. We talk a lot about “talking about” mental health, but that’s often where the conversation ends as the tone of discomfort surrounding mental health often leads to silence. Business-as-usual is no longer an option and changes must be made. School communities have both the opportunity and moral obligation to face the adolescent mental health crisis and RECOVER[edu] is the perfect place to begin! This book is a solution-oriented guide for addressing mental health in schools. It clearly outlines common blind spots, approachable methods of correction and welcomes communities to work less fearfully and more collaboratively.

this should be required reading.


Oh. My. Goodness. This should be required reading for every school administration, faculty, parents, and anyone else concerned about the amount of pressure our children are under these days. The author not only presents and analyzes the problem plaguing society today (RE: teenage anxiety), but also provides personal insight and solutions, that are practical and doable by the rest of us. We so needed this book today, and I am glad it has finally been written."



Finally, a book that acknowledges the reality and challenges of educators addressing mental health concerns amongst students. Daniel's book beautifully presents eye opening cases, recommendations and thought provoking content in a how-to-approach for helping today's youth balance academics and well-being. A must read for all educators, psychologists and parents in public and private school settings.



In the words of Patterson, “let’s start the conversation.” Every educator in America should have this book. Every educator should know the signs and have the tools to support teenage mental health. Time to remove the stigma and be part of the solution to make our teens’ lives less stressful and more happy. Most educators go into their profession with a passion both to teach and to make a difference in lives. This book offers solutions that will make a difference and will save lives.

I've authored of The Assertive Parent (2018), a road-map for building autonomy and resilience in teenagers; and RECOVER[edu], a communication guide for addressing mental health in schools (2020). I've spent over twenty years in secondary education, serving as an English teacher, tennis coach, student council advisor, and high school assistant principal. Currently, I'm the director of education for a therapeutic high school in Los Angeles.
I've been a featured voice on NBC News, The HuffPost, The Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Entrepreneur Magazine, Thrive Global, MSNBC, She Knows, Bustle, and elsewhere. I've been a guest expert on Fox News, TedX, My Dad Pod, The Bruce Cook Show, No Bounds Podcast, Tell Your Story, and Lasting Learning. In addition, I've been a keynote speaker at school, recovery, and parenting conferences. 

i'm dedicated to bringing awareness and transformational programming to mental health, substance use, and authenticity within education. 

kamloops thompson
teachers association

Keynote + Workshop 

hidden in plain sight + no lifeguard on duty

arril 2024

palos verdes school district

parent enducation series

academics, mental health and substance use 

october - may 2022-23

hacienda la puente
school district

multi-day staff training

student mental wellness

fall, 2022

Permian Basin Mental Health Conference

Keynote + Workshop 

"Hidden in Plain Sight"

Jan 2022

el segundo usd

student body keynotes

peer-to-peer support

spring, 2022

Get Your Teach On National Conference

Keynote + Panelist 

"The Power of Trauma & Loss" 

summer, 2021

TESPA Growth virtual Conference


"The Art of Recovery" 

february 2021

Teachers for Good Trouble virtual Summit


december 2020

Back to School Reimagined (virtual)


"No Lifeguard on Duty" 

september 2020

Get Your Teach On Regional Conference

Breakout Room Keynote + Workshop 

"Recover Out Loud" 

january 2020


book me for your next speaking engagement.


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