I have a Polaroid photo on my desk—a picture of me. I don’t keep other photos of myself on display (unless my sons are in the picture). But this Polaroid is special: It was taken on my first day on the job at NSBA.

On that December morning, 25 years ago, I was excited and nervous. I had been a newspaper reporter for several years. But my dream since college has been to work for a magazine. And here I was, starting as an assistant editor to American School Board Journal.

Many things were different then, of course. We hadn’t heard of the internet yet. The publishing industry was robust. I joined a large staff of editors and writers, and we produced two magazines each month: ASBJ and the now-defunct Executive Educator. I’d covered education as a reporter, and I was thrilled with the chance to delve more deeply into education issues.

Through the years, my job changed and grew. I’ve met countless dedicated and innovative school board members, administrators, and educators through interviews, school visits, and conferences.

At first, I was happy to focus on writing and reporting articles. As I gained knowledge and experience, I wanted to influence and shape the whole magazine. I was named managing editor in 2007, and I became editor-in-chief in 2013.

I am privileged to write for school leaders and to work for an organization in whose mission I believe. With every issue, my goal is to provide you with the insight and information that will help you do your jobs, which in turn helps your students and community.

I keep the Polaroid on my desk to remind me of that hopeful first day a quarter of a century ago. I remain hopeful, and I’m sending that hope out to all of you for 2020.

Until the next issue. . .


Around NSBA

A graphic displaying kids shouting into a megaphone, giving a thumbs up and shouting, with the text "It's Time for a Great Idea!" displayed

It's Time for a Great IDEA!

Originally signed into law in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the main federal statute governing special education for children. Today, IDEA protects the rights of over six million students with disabilities (approximately 13.5 percent of students) to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment. NSBA urges the federal government to modernize and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Act. We've recently launched a new initiative to highlight this critical need and help ensure our country’s students with disabilities receive the access and supports they need to succeed.

Portrait of Stuart Chip Slaven

NSBA Names Chip Slaven Chief Advocacy Officer

NSBA today announced that Stuart “Chip” Slaven has joined the association as Chief Advocacy Officer. Slaven will lead the Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Slaven is a government relations veteran who brings passion and extensive experience to drive our vision for public education forward.