"The greatest public servant in the country" - The Jefferson Award

Keynote Topics

Stacey Bess is an inspirational educator and author who speaks on the importance of service, mentorship and leadership, and overcoming adversity. Drawing on her fascinating and inspirational personal story – teaching homeless children in a small shed known as The School with No Name – she offers powerful insights and lessons that audiences yearning to make a difference can apply to their community or organization.

Through ups and downs and many personal struggles – including a battle with thyroid cancer—Bess taught kindergarten through sixth grade for 11 years at The School with No Name, an experience that effected a profound change in the teacher as well as her students. During that time she discovered that, by teaching and modeling love, self worth, personal power, and courage, she could reach children with no homes and little hope, children who had previously been labeled “unteachable.” These children grew into living proof that Bess’ methods work. To inspire and motivate others with a passion for service, Bess penned the memoir Nobody Don’t Love Nobody, which was adapted into the April 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Beyond the Blackboard starring Emily VanCamp.

After she published her first book and gained the support of the Utah community, Bess gained international recognition for her unusual success with “hopeless” children. She has won prestigious land national and International awards. A highlight came when she was honored with the esteemed National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service along with First Lady Barbara Bush, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackman, and Ambassador Walter Annenberg.

Stacey Bess earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Utah and continues to be a leading advocate in the nation for the educational rights of impoverished children. A dynamic and powerful speaker, she engages groups large and small, sharing the story that changed her life as she taught and nurtured hundreds of underprivileged children. Her story continues to change lives as her audiences are inspired to become more involved in their own communities.

Keynote Speaking Topics

Be a Mentor, Change a Life

In this presentation, speaker Stacey Bess offers three powerful lessons that can change the life of a child, build and empower a family, and improve a community. She shares these lessons by recounting stories as seen through the eyes of underprivileged children.

  • Lesson one: Follow through with what you commit to. Bess tells this story through the eyes of Zachary who needed just one person to teach him it was okay to trust.
  • Lesson two: Don’t hide behind your credentials – get down on the floor and be a human being. Bess shares this story through the eyes of Alex and an NBA basketball star.
  • Lesson three: We are a product of what has been given to us. Bess tells this story through the eyes of Sarah, a homeless woman on the streets who used an angry demeanor to protect herself. By simply giving her a coat, Bess was able to change Sarah’s outlook and take her into her community, helping Sarah learn that when you are part of a community, you willingly give back to it.

Overcoming the Odds: Lessons from the School with No Name

Powerful and dynamic, speaker Stacey Bess engages groups by sharing the story that changed her life as she taught and nurtured hundreds of underprivileged children. She speaks on the importance of service, mentorship and leadership, and overcoming adversity. Drawing on her fascinating and inspirational personal story – teaching homeless children in a small shed known as “The School with No Name” – she offers powerful insights and lessons that inspire audiences to become more involved in their own communities.

From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Leadership Lessons for Women

All women have a story to tell. Speaker Stacey Bess engages her audiences by sharing her personal story of triumph over all odds to create a school for underprivileged children. She challenges her audiences to use their own trials and triumphs to make a difference in their communities. Bess teaches women that it is important to commit to what you believe in: don’t be afraid to stand up and make a difference!

Building Powerful and Caring Communities in the Work Place

Through the eyes of at risk populations Stacey teaches her audiences the importance of building a stronger community. She emphasizes trust, follow through and commitment. She believes that in order to build trust, we need to listen more and act with courage and accountability. Stacey also expresses through her stories of triumph and tragedy that our accountability to ourselves and others defines our character. Audiences laugh and cry as they recognize that they are capable of building strong connections to the people they serve. They leave this presentation inspired to make that difference and with the tools necessary to begin today.


What are you going to be today?
Leadership is not about you .. Its about you serving.
Adaptability is the greatest gift you can give to others.

Beating Thyroid Cancer: Use your Trials and Triumphs to build a bridge with those that you serve.

On Service: What Do We Owe Each Other?

When we invest in a child, we lift their family and change our communities for the better. This is a call to action in behalf of all children regardless of economics.

Toughen Up & Reach Them: Making a Difference When No One Else Will

Can you change a child’s life?

Let Stacey take you on a journey into her world and you will leave wanting to be a volunteer in the schools.

Book Stacey

"Stacey, a huge thank you for sharing your beautiful and inspiring story with us at TCEA 2012! I think it was the perfect way to close our conversation—and it was very well received. Your philosophy of loving all children and giving them back their power is such a strong, important, yet simple message that unfortunately can get lost in the shuffle of modern-day life. I am happy to know you are sharing your approach with others and encouraging teachers to follow your philosophy. We need more like you!" -Texas Computer Education Association

"It was a pleasure for our campus to host the Midwest premier of Beyond the Blackboard. It was an inspirational movie and our community and campus audience were treated to a great evening. Beyond that, Stacey appeared in several campus venues with students and faculty. She is an effective communicator of the values and techniques of great teaching. She has been where the toughest educators labor, and did it with skill and passion. Southern Nazarene University would welcome her again as she shared values of genuine care and concern for students that we try to teach. I highly recommend her to any audience who wants to understand the challenges of education today, and who wants to hear from a person who knows how to get it done, even in the most difficult circumstances." -Southern Nazarene University

"What a treat it was to have you as our keynote speaker at the Federal Women’s Luncheon! I have served in the capacity of Federal Women’s Program for eight years and you were the most outstanding speaker we have had the privilege to hear. The impact you had on the audience was one I have seldom seen." -Hill Air Force Base

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