“Xerxes is more than a motivational speaker, he is an inspirational human being. He believes so strongly in ideals that we all can relate to on a personal level and lives and speaks to them in an approachable and authentic way. You leave his talks compelled to go make a positive difference in your life and those you have the ability to affect. I know I did, and from the hundreds of testimonials I have heard since his visit, so did my students.”
Keith C Russell, Ph.D.
Professor and Coordinator, Recreation Degree Program
Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation
Western Washington University
Xerxes Whitney is a dynamic speaker. He will inspire a breakthrough in your audience’s attitude and passion with his authentic message.
Born with a mild form of cerebral palsy which affects muscle coordination, Xerxes has embraced his challenges and spiritedly encourages others to do so as well. He has a unique attitude which he applies to turning his ordeals into great opportunities.
Fifteen years ago he faced considerable resistance attaining his dream job as a college tennis coach and pledged to himself not to let prejudice and discrimination get in his way.
Looking for answers, Xerxes started writing and sharing his poetry about his internal and external challenges. And in 1999, Xerxes self-published his first book called “What’s Your Name?”
He discovered that the more he shared about his vulnerabilities, the more he gained a sense of control and power over his life. He was owning his circumstance and life started to blossom.
“He really knows how to connect with his audience – he was a hit!” Elaine McHugh
Xerxes was hired at Windsor Middle School in 2000 where he has taught physical education to more than 2,500 students. He spearheaded the building of a climbing wall at their gym and has been named Teacher of the Year and High School Tennis Coach of the Year in the Sonoma County League.
He is an avid runner who has completed five marathons.
Xerxes’ presentation is honest, funny, and engaging.
“Xerxes will touch your heart, your mind, your spirit and his words will take permanent residence there” Julie Hanna
List of Speaking Events:
- Helen Lehman Elementary School Assembly Speaker
- Santa Rosa High School Tolerance Day Keynote Speaker
- Tomales Elementary School Assembly Speaker
- Nevada Union High School Staff Development
- Bolinas Elementary School Assembly Speaker
- West Side Union Elementary School Assembly Speaker
- Sonoma County of Office of Education “Kickass Keynote Speaker”
- Gargiste Tasting Room, “Being Authentic and the Attitude of Gratitude”
- Windsor & Healdsburg Rotary Clubs
- Nevada Union High School Assembly Speaker
- National Adapted Physical Education Conference Keynote Speaker
- California Human Development Keynote Speaker for Annual Fundraiser
- Cal Poly PEACH Keynote Speaker
- NICE Conference Keynote Speaker
- Book Release speaker Tobys Art Gallery Point Reyes
- Book Release speaker Pallette Art Cafe Healdsburg
- Sebastopol Rotary Club
- Benicia Middle School Assembly Speaker
- Healdsburg Rotary Club
- Cal Poly PEACH Conference Keynote Speaker
- Cal Poly PEACH Conference Breakout Speaker
- Sonoma State Teacher Credential Speaker
- Petaluma High School Assembly Speaker
- West Marin School Assembly Speaker
- UC Santa Cruz Graduation Commencement Speaker
Multi-year Speaking Engagements:
1999 – 2018: Environmental Traveling Companions Make a Ripple Fundraiser, Featured Presenter
2004 & 2005: California League of Middle Schools Speaker
2008, 2012 – 2016: Sonoma State speaker, Adapted PE Class
2013 – 2017: Western Washington University Keynote Speaker, Speech & Communication Class Presenter
2014 – 2018: Sonoma Academy High Assembly Speaker
2014 – 2016, 2018: Meadow Elementary School Assembly Speaker
2015 – 2018: Piedmont Middle School Assembly Speaker