From April 6-8, thousands of school board members and other education leaders gathered in New Orleans for NSBA’s Annual Conference and Exposition.

During her remarks on Day One of the conference, NSBA Executive Director and CEO Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs spoke about the past and looked to the future. “Five years from now, I envision NSBA not just surviving but thriving financially,” she said, “allowing us to better serve our mission and support the needs of our member school boards and state associations across the nation.”

Day One highlights included a pre-show performance from the Belle Chasse High School Marching Cardinal Band from Belle Chasse, Louisiana; a musical medley from the Eagle Theatre Company from Rowlett High School in Garland Independent School District in Rowlett, Texas; and a conversation between McCotter-Jacobs and civil rights icon Ruby Bridges.

Eagle Theatre Company students performing at NSBA's Annual Conference

On Day Two, NSBA’s 2023-24 President Kristi Swett addressed the audience at Sunday’s general session for the last time as president. Swett, pictured below, recounted her travels around the country during her year as president. She also mentioned the NSBA board’s work seeking out partnerships and grants while changing the “old” ways of doing things. As a result, she said, “We emerged with a new, vibrant energy and environment that will make us stronger and better for the future.”

NSBA President Kristi Swett delivers remarks at NSBA's Annual Conference

Other Day Two highlights included student performers from High Tech High School in Secaucus, New Jersey; videos from the three Magna Award Grand Prize winners; remarks from keynote speaker Tim Shriver; and appearances by some special school board superheroes—NSBA’s Board of Directors, pictured below.

NSBA's Board of Directors wearing capes on stage at NSBA's Annual Conference

On Day Three, the importance of showing up, the power of stories, and the future of NSBA were the focus of Donald Hubler’s first speech as NSBA’s 2024-25 president on Monday. Hubler, a board member for Michigan’s Macomb Intermediate School District, noted that school board members “continue to show up because we know it matters.” Sharing stories about our school communities “reaffirms our commitment to our students’ success and compels us to keep showing up in pursuit of excellence and equity in education.” As for the future, Hubler, pictured below, praised NSBA not just as an organization but as a community of “passionate advocates, visionary leaders, dedicated educators, and parents who believe in the power of transformative education.”

NSBA President-elect Donald Hubler delivers remarks at NSBA's 2024 Annual Conference

Additional Day Three highlights included a performance from Schoolyard Rap, led by Brandon “Griot B” Brown. The program delivers uplifting educational content and curriculum through the lens of history. Brown was joined onstage by the Famous Singing Pirates of Park Forest Elementary Creative Sciences and Arts Magnet from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Our closing keynote speaker was Richard Montañez, Former Vice President, Multicultural Sales & Community Activation, PepsiCo North America; Author and Philanthropist. Montañez, who rose from a childhood on a migrant farm workers camp in Southern California to the corporate suite, reminded attendees that “sometimes you have to revisit your past to understand your future.”

As NSBA Executive Director and CEO Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs closed out the conference on Monday, she sent a heartfelt thank you to attendees and a reminder that she and the NSBA Board of Directors commit to the work needed to support children, commit to supporting NSBA members, and appreciate members’ commitment on behalf of children. She also shared these powerful words: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. This work sets my soul on fire. We will continue to fight for children every single day.”

NSBA Executive Director and CEO Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs delivers closing remarks at NSBA's 2024 Annual Conference

Around NSBA

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