2015 Annual Conference

Ron Clark: Help your best teachers

Ron Clark speaking at Magna

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch Photography

Schools are like buses. Some teachers are runners; others are joggers and walkers. Then there are riders. “The true problem is the people sitting on the bus,” said Ron Clark. “They drag everyone down.”

Clark, former Teacher of the Year and the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, spoke at the School Leaders Luncheon Saturday at NSBA’s annual conference in Nashville. During his presentation, he moved constantly throughout the room, jumping up on empty chairs and making eye contact with the audience.

NSBA, AASA execs worry about board member, superintendent turnover, impact on districts

When Tom Gentzel and Dan Domenech have a dialogue, it harkens back to the movie, “Holiday Inn.” That establishment opened only on holidays, but it was worth being there when it did. With a collective 62 years working with school boards and superintendents, NSBA Executive Director Gentzel and Domenech, his counterpart with American Association of School Administrators, gave a Saturday clinic audience a wealth of stories mixed with experience-based insights. It was a refreshed conversation they share twice each year, most recently at last month’s AASA conference in San Diego.

Delegate Assembly approves advocacy marching orders

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch Photography

NSBA’s Delegate Assembly approved the association’s “advocacy marching orders” at its business session Friday in Nashville. The meeting was held right before the start of NSBA’s Annual Conference, which opened Saturday.

“These resolutions form the basis for NSBA’s advocacy effort throughout the year,” said NSBA 2014-15 President Anne Byrne. “The delegates also voted on Beliefs and Policies that become part of NSBA’s enduring beliefs.”

The annual resolutions are in three core areas:

Luncheon speaker advice on understanding urban youth

Michael Eric Dyson, author, radio host, and professor of sociology at Georgetown University, assured the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Luncheon attendees Saturday at NSBA's annual conference in Nashville that he was there to be a cheerleader for them, and to discuss how they can help themselves, help their boards, and ultimately help their students.

In a lively talk heavily laced with music references old and new, Dyson shared some suggestions for board members faced with the challenge of governing urban school districts.

Pauley reinvents life after 50

Remember the board game Life? It begins with school and ends in retirement. In real life, as broadcast journalist Jane Pauley said, “It’s a different world.”

Pauley was the keynote speaker at the first General Session Saturday at NSBA’s annual conference in Nashville. She talked about her career and how baby boomers and Gen Xers are redefining the meaning of retirement, using the time to reimagine their lives after 60.

“Retirement used to be like an exit sign, the way out,” she said. “Now it’s more like a door that swings out to something else.”

Boards and student achievement connection

A common misconception in communities around the country is that board members and superintendents do not have an impact on student achievement. Do boards and superintendents really matter? According to Ivan J. Lorentzen, professor at Flathead Community College, and William P. McCaw, professor at the University of Montana, the answer is not only do they matter, they matter a great deal.

The gift of public education

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch Photography

The nation’s first Native American woman elected to a statewide office brings a passion about public education to her job as Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. And that passion poured forth Saturday during her luncheon address to the National Caucus of American Indian/Alaska Native School Board Members.

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