2016 Annual Conference

Incoming NSBA President: Give children hope

If people need evidence that public education can change a life, they need look no farther than to the story of Jaden Harris, the nephew of incoming NSBA President Miranda Beard.

“He cannot walk without assistance, speak with clarity, or use his hands to feed himself,” Beard told attendees Monday at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston at the final general session. Despite these physical limitations, however, “he has no limits when it comes to learning thanks to public education.”

Restorative discipline

Shortly after Sharon Contreras was named the superintendent of the Syracuse City School District in 2011, she received a subpoena from the New York State Attorney General requesting about 100 forms of data regarding student discipline.

Contreras described how the district reacted in a Saturday session entitled, “Shifting to Restorative and Equitable Schoolwide Discipline and Student Support: Creating and Implementing a New District Code of Conduct, Character, and Support” at NSBA’s annual conference in Boston.

The legacy of X

Before giving the keynote address at the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) luncheon Saturday, activist and advocate for children Ilyasah Shabazz was given a surprise performance.

A dozen young dancers, dressed in regal attire and representing the Queens Historical Society of Long Beach, California, introduced audience members to some of the royalty of ancient African matrilineal societies.

Creating a unified vision

Could education stakeholders in your state create a unified vision on how to educate every child to fulfill his or her potential? And could that help school leaders lead the conversation on improving public education?

Make your mess your message

Make your mess your message – that’s what Robin Roberts’ mother told her when Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly a decade ago. It was advice the co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America took to heart.

Roberts, the keynote speaker at Sunday’s General Session at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston, told the audience that she didn’t know if she wanted to let the public know about her cancer diagnosis. Her mother’s words led her to speaking out about the importance of early detection.

Lajvardi Recounts Underdog Robots Team Story

Arizona educator Fredi Lajvardi spoke at the Education Technology Luncheon at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston on Sunday, April 10.

Lajvardi’s high school robotics team was the inspiration for the movie, “Spare Parts.” It told the underdog story of the team from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix that won first place in a collegiate underwater robotics competition, beating out elite engineering colleges such as MIT.

New federal ed law offers 'renaissance' of local control

School leaders thirsty for knowledge about the new federal education law-of-the-land drank from the NSBA advocacy firehose in a standing room only clinic Saturday morning at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston.

Michael C. Zola, associate executive director for federal advocacy, equated the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed by Congress last November as “a renaissance for local school boards.

ESSA creates opportunities for local leaders

For nearly 20 years, the chief execs of NSBA and AASA (American Association of School Administrators – the Superintendents Association) have shared stages at their respective national conferences to discuss school leadership. This year, NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel and his AASA counterpart, Daniel A. Domenech, framed their Saturday exchange in light of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Both acknowledged some surprise that the replacement of the former No Child Left Behind Act has moved from Congressional wrangling to implementation planning.

Tuttle: We can do it

Traveling across the country and meeting with school leaders for the past year has been a “great and humbling experience” for outgoing NSBA President John Tuttle.

On his last day as president, Tuttle addressed attendees at NSBA’s 76th Annual Conference in Boston Sunday at the General Session and shared his impressions of the many school board members he met during his tenure.

It was a privilege, he said, to meet “so many dedicated people who truly want the best for our children—for them to have the opportunity to have the best public education possible.”

Wahl: Don't be afraid to fail

There’s growth on the border of chaos and order.

Erik Wahl, graffiti artist, author, and entrepreneur, gave attendees of the School Leaders Luncheon on Saturday at NSBA’s annual conference a taste of what that concept means. Wahl announced that as we strive to get away from standardized tests, keynote talks should no longer be standardized either.


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