2017 Annual Conference

Topeka superintendent tells how to close achievement gaps

To casual observers, Dr. Tiffany Anderson is that “boots on the ground” superintendent who wears white sneakers wherever she goes – school visits, board meetings, even as a specially invited guest walking the red carpet at February’s Academy Awards.

But to close followers of the education landscape, Anderson is equally as well known, and admired, for her success at improving achievement and closing achievement gaps for disadvantaged and marginalized students in rural, urban, and suburban public school districts. 

NSBA's new president delivers inaugural message

New NSBA president Kevin E. Ciak urged attendees at NSBA’s 77th Annual Conference in Denver to be inspired by the opportunity and promise of the Class of 2030 – those students who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2017. Ciak spoke at Monday’s General Session.

Wes Moore: There is potential in every student

Wes Moore was 11 years old when he first felt handcuffs on his wrists. But he ended up a Rhodes Scholar, a White House Fellow, a TV show host … and, on Monday, the keynote speaker at the final General Session of NSBA’s Annual Conference.

Moore’s story is well-known in public schools. His book, “The Other Wes Moore,” has been used across the country as an all-school read. In the book, he compares his path in life to that of another man – also named Wes Moore – who came from the same neighborhood and also had early scrapes with the law. The other Wes Moore is a convicted murderer.

NSBA Announces 2017-2018 President Kevin Ciak and New Board Leadership

Alexandria, Va. (March 27, 2017) — The National School Boards Association (NSBA) today announces its president and board leadership for 2017-18:  Kevin E. Ciak of New Jersey’s Sayreville Public Schools, President; Frank C. Pugh of California’s Santa Rosa City Schools District, President-elect; Beth Branham of South Carolina’s Lexington School District Two, Secretary-Treasurer. Miranda A. Beard of Mississippi’s Laurel School District will now serve as Immediate Past-President.

Pemberton: What happens when you take a chance

If Steve Pemberton’s life story weren’t real – and documented in his autobiography – you’d insist it were the work of a Hollywood writer.

But the inspiring, uplifting, and at times maddeningly horrific true story is a testament to the power of determination, advocacy, and the love of reading and education.

Sunday afternoon conference highlights

The John F. Kennedy Center Awards Lexington, South Carolina School Board for Its Support of High-Quality Arts Education

Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2017) - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced today the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees in Lexington, South Carolina, has received the 29th annual Kennecy Center and National School Boards Association (NSBA) Award.  The award, which includes a $10,00 prize, was presented on Saturday, March 25, at the NSBA's Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.  Read the entire press release here.

Arianna Huffington's advice to board members: Recharge

After years of fast-paced, high-powered living where being praised for burning the midnight oil and working 24/7 were the highest of compliments, entrepreneur and author Arianna Huffington converted to a different way of life.

In this approach, success is not defined by the traditional paradigm of money and power but by well-being and gratefulness.

Huffington talked about that transformation and its lessons for education during Sunday’s General Session at NSBA’s Annual Conference.

Use technology to spark creativity

One of the slides technology guru Steve Dembo presented during the Education Technology Luncheon on Sunday at NSBA’s Annual Conference in Denver showed school board candidacy lawn signs.

His observation: These are probably the last direct communication that the community ever gets from the school board members.

The next slide featured Lin-Manuel Miranda from the Broadway hit “Hamilton.” Out of his mouth was a word balloon: “Who tells your story?”


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