Celebrating NSBA Leaders at the 2023 NSBA Summer Leadership Seminar! 

In the heart of scenic Salt Lake City, Utah, education leaders converged at the 2023 NSBA Summer Leadership Seminar (SLS), igniting a journey of discovery, collaboration, and advocacy. Following a heartfelt welcome by NSBA President Kristi Swett to her hometown, participants delved into vital state association leadership topics and essential core competencies. The seminar, a two-day convening developed to examine essential state association leadership topics and core competencies, drew national participation from member state school board associations, including presidents, presidents-elect, rising officers, executive directors, and NSBA Board members.


A Collective Impact

Through both general sessions and table work conducted in small groups, the 2023 NSBA Summer Leadership Seminar highlighted the importance of collaboration, open discussion, and the drive for educational equity and excellence. Participants' collective dedication not only improved their leadership skills but also contributed to national progress and educational impact. The goal of the SLS programming was not only to provide valuable insights into leadership concepts and skills but also to catalyze collective agreement on NSBA's 2023-2024 Advocacy Agenda. This imperative agenda-setting exercise, driven by seminar participants, forged a ranked list of advocacy priorities:


  1. Behavioral Wellness Health: Prioritizing Student Mental Health

  2. Support/Retain Staff: Advocating for Increased Funding for Staffing Needs

  3. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Championing Funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

  4. Title Funds: Encouraging Increased Funding for Staffing and Broadband Expansion

  5. Digital Access (AI): Promoting Digital Equity


Keynotes and Collaborative Endeavors

The seminar resonated with thought-provoking keynotes, including the extraordinary Steven Nelson of The Piano Guys and the insightful Stephen M. R. Covey. These visionary speakers shared leadership strategies and inspiration, setting the tone for introspection and discovery.

From enlightening discussions about adolescent mental health led by Grace Brown of The Cook Center and a candid student panel, to addressing urban and rural leadership challenges with representatives from AASA, NAESP, NSPRA, and PDK International, seminar participants engaged with the myriad facets of modern educational leadership.


Enriching Experiences and Expressions

Local leadership, including Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Dr. Sydnee Dickson (Utah Superintendent of Public Instruction), lent their voices to the dialogue, and author Julia Lyon generously donated and signed her children's book.

Amidst meaningful discussions, the seminar came to life with vibrant showcases. Student talents shone brightly through performances by the Northridge High School Junior ROTC, Kayden Denny's powerful hoop dance, and the Highland High School Jazz Band. The Superintendents of Rock took center stage with an exhilarating musical performance that resonated with all in attendance.


Continuing the Journey

Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs, NSBA Executive Director and CEO, offered insights into NSBA's transformation into a performance-based organization. The seminar's discussions will continue, promising further educational leadership engagement, discourse, and resource-sharing as preparations continue for the upcoming 2023 CUBE Annual Conference and 2024 Advocacy Institute.

Get a glimpse of the excitement through photos in the 2023 Summer Leadership Seminar Smugmug Album.

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