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Keynote Speaker


Author of

Zen and the 
Art of 
Public School Teaching

“I am always leery of bringing someone to present to our staff when I have never heard them speak. However, after talking with some of your references, who all provided glowing recommendations, I took a chance. Wow! Asking you to keynote our district conference was one of the best “chances” I have ever taken. You engaged our entire staff of over 3,500 people including secondary, elementary, and support staff—which is a challenge to say the least. Our twitter feed for the conference was buzzing with insights gained from your talk. (I use the word “talk” rather than presentation, because you created an incredibly personal connection with each person in the audience).

Fabulous… Phenomenal… Inspirational… Funny…

That’s just a few of the words my colleagues said about your keynote.  Thank you so much for the gift of inspiration you gave to each of us. 

Monta Akin
Asst. Supt. Leander ISD, Leander, Texas     (512)-570-0205
     Thanking John Perricone for his inspiring presentation to our entire faculty opening day in August of 2013 doesn’t begin to express our gratitude. We had read about John’s abilities while searching to begin our new school year in a manner that might best restore the spirit of our staff. We had never met him nor heard him speak but decided to take a chance on him based upon his references. He did not disappoint in any way. His presence and presentation spoke directly to the heart of teaching. He helped rejuvenate spirits and restore hope among a staff grappling with a host of seemingly stifling state mandates, contentious union bargaining issues, and an erosion of positive public perception. 

     We were able to all come together once again as a team of professional educators, confident that our joint mission to help all children succeed is noble and worthy of all our efforts. Teachers and administrators present that morning were unanimous in their opinion that John Perricone delivered wisdom and inspiration to help us take our next steps toward a better today and many brighter tomorrows. Many are still working to put his wisdom into practice. Our entire school system is a better educational institution because John Perricone spoke here. Feel free to contact me anytime for more reference information.

Matthew Bolduc, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development
Bellingham Public Schools
60 Harpin Street  Bellingham, Massachusetts  02019     Tel: 508-883-1706 x110

A New Review of Zen and the Art of Public School Teaching
(June 2013)

     John Perricone's book may appear simple judged by its size and tone, but it is deceptively so, standing in fact as one of the most important books on the complex topic of teaching meaningfully in perhaps the most challenging realm in our society – namely the trenches of our secondary schools. In clear, concise, honest and earnest prose, John Perricone provides profound insights, guidance, and philosophy (at times through practical exercises) into the very soul of what it means to truly inhabit the identity, acumen, artistry, and passion of being a teacher. 

     It is not a how-to guide. Rather, it is so much more, asking the reader to understand and better themselves as a function of their true ability to teach (and learn) more effectively, fostering student development towards goals much larger than grades. The book is only surpassed by John’s presence and the manner by which he speaks and lives his principles, and in turn, truly inspires. 

     For the sake of what we do as educators, don’t just read this book; sincerely engage its ideas.

C. Michael Elavsky, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Communications
The Pennsylvania State University

     "It is with great pleasure that I recommend Mr. Perricone to speak at your school or any educational forum. He has moved our staff in ways that I have not seen in my 31 years in our school district. I am usually reluctant to have someone come to speak to our staff if I had not previously seen him/her in person. However, based on the testimonials I read on his website, I felt confident it would be worth the risk. There was no risk! At the end of his one hour and 45 minute presentation, where he challenged our staff to reflect on their personal philosophy about education; and motivated and inspired them to realize how lucky they were to be in a career where they can have a positive influence on the lives of youth every day, he received a standing ovation. My overall response was simply...he delivered! For days and weeks after his presentation, staff still thank me for bringing him to Phillipsburg. It was truly a positive experience, and we were honored to have him. 

Marian Trapani, Ed.D.
Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Phillipsburg School District, Phillipsburg, New Jersey                          


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Past, Present, and Upcoming
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Professional References

John Perricone Biography

Book Summary

Articles by John Perricone:
No More Carrots

Too Much Self Esteem?

The Man Who Inspired Me  
to be a Teacher

Comments on the book
Zen & the Art of Public School Teaching