Articles tagged with NSBA annual conference

New Orleans hosts NSBA’s 74th Annual Conference


Welcome to New Orleans! The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is thrilled to be back in the Crescent City for its 74th Annual Conference, held April 5 to 7.

The conference will draw more than 7,500 attendees, exhibitors, and guests representing nearly 1,400 school districts. This conference will feature distinguished speakers as well as hundreds of workshops, presentations, and other events that will help you develop your leadership skills, boost student learning, and improve your school districts’ operations.

The Louisiana School Boards Association has taped a welcome video that shows why New Orleans is one of the world’s most unique and celebrated cities. Lee Meyer Sr. and John C. Smith, president and past president of LSBA, respectively, are tour guides and they have plenty of recommendations. “The food, music, and more is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds,” Smith says.

Keynote speakers include New York Times columnist and bestselling author Thomas L. Friedman; basketball legend, entrepreneur, and public school advocate, Earvin “Magic” Johnson; author and technology guru Sir Ken Robinson; and leadership expert Simon Bailey.

Once again NSBA’s mobile app holds a wealth of information about the conference as well as handouts and supplementary materials. The app allows you to create a schedule, review session descriptions and locations, access handouts, and search for exhibitors right from your laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Go to You can also download the online conference planner at NSBA’s Annual Conference website.

Don’t forget to read highlights of all the day’s major events in Conference Daily, which is again available online at and through the NSBA mobile app.

If you are using social media, the official conference hashtag is #NSBAConf. Be sure to share the knowledge you gain this weekend with your colleagues and community.

To ensure that you get credit for attending educational sessions, we are using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Wear your badge to all conference events to get credit for your attendance, then go to the Continuing Education Credit desk, located in Lobby E, for a list of all the sessions you attended. You may also access a report through the mobile app.

The conference also uses a QR code, found on page 40 of the conference program book, which will allow you to download handouts directly to your Smartphone or tablet.

The ever-popular Exhibit Hall is now the Exposition Campus. More than 260 companies will be exhibiting and there will also be dozens of “Study Hall” sessions (formerly Learning Lounge). These are interactive 30-minute mini-sessions with the latest knowledge on hot topics, led by experts and their school district clients. We’ve more than doubled the number of Study Halls held from 2013 and will offer sessions during exclusive hours. Check your conference program book for a complete schedule.

The Exhibit Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Annual Conference even has movies this year. On Saturday and Sunday, NSBA will show The Freedom Writers Foundation’s new film, “Stories from an Undeclared War,” which tells the personal stories of the 150 at-risk students once considered unteachable who were inspired by teacher Erin Gruwell. The movie will be shown at 1 p.m. in the Lounge at the back of Hall E.

NSBA will also be holding a special screening of “12 Years A Slave” tomorrow evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel’s Versailles Ballroom. NSBA has partnered with Fox Searchlight Pictures, New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute this important film to high schools in the United States this fall.


Joetta Sack-Min|April 4th, 2014|Categories: Leadership, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , , |

2014 NSBA Annual Conference to focus on transformative leadership

Ac14Logo_lgThousands of school board members, administrators, and educators will convene in New Orleans to take part in the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) 74th Annual Conference, April 5-7, 2014.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Transforming Leadership,” and will focus on inspiring and equipping school leaders to become agents of change in their districts toward creating more dynamic and empowering public schools across the country.

More than 250 programming sessions will be featured highlighting timely education topics, including: school governance and executive leadership; innovations in district management; legal and legislative advocacy; professional and personal development; school board/superintendent partnerships; student achievement and accountability; and how technology is transforming schools and learning. Special programming will focus on providing essential skills and insights to new board members.

“The 2014 NSBA Annual Conference fosters growth to help school  leaders move education forward for America’s schoolchildren,“ said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “School leaders can then take back to their communities the leadership and education strategies they learned to improve school district management and advance student success.”

Keynote speakers at the General Sessions will include:

  • Thomas L. Friedman, best-selling author of The World is Flat” and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times,
  • Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world’s leading experts on creativity, education and the arts, and
  • Simon T. Bailey, leadership catalyst and author of several books on personal growth and organizational excellence, including, Release Your Brilliance: The 4 Steps to Transforming Your Life and Revealing Your Genius to the World.

Expanded education technology programming will include site visits to the National World War II Museum, St. Charles Parish Public Schools,  Southeastern Louisiana University’s Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, and the Holy Cross Project Visitor Center. The meeting also includes the “NSBA Campus,” one of the largest K-12 educational expositions in the nation. More than 260 companies will showcase their innovative products and services for school districts at the 40,000 square-foot conference exhibit hall, which will be transformed to create a “back-to-school” experience.

Alexis Rice|February 13th, 2014|Categories: School Boards, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , , , |

Massey reflects on “adaptive” year as NSBA President

Adaptive leadership was the theme of C. Ed Massey’s presidency this year, and in his final address as president of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), he reflected on the changes this leadership has brought about.

“We have adapted by selecting our new executive director and by creating the New NSBA,” he said at the Sunday session of NSBA’s annual conference.

Massey, who is a member of Kentucky’s Boone County school board, will become NSBA Past President Monday as NSBA President-elect David Pickler of Tennessee’s Shelby County school board takes the leadership role.

Massey reflected on his travels during his presidency; he made it to 26 states and two countries – Finland and Estonia. In those places, he said, he met many people “with a passion for public education and the interest of children.” And while Finland may top the U.S. education system in some ways, “they can’t match us in creativity,” he said.

He talked about his efforts to advocate for local control and mentioned the Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act, a measure proposed by NSBA. The bill, H.R. 1386, is designed to protect local school district governance from unnecessary and counter-productive federal intrusion from the U.S. Department of Education.

He stressed the importance of advocating for school boards and public education at the state and federal level, suggesting that we tell our members of Congress, “we put you in office and if you don’t support public education, we’ll take you out.”

Now that his presidency is coming to an end, Massey said he will “continue to fight the fight for public education.” He is dedicated to continue to be “a lifelong learner to be an advocate for public education.”

Massey illustrated his adaptive leadership philosophy with a quote from John F. Kennedy: “Change is the law of life. Those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

He closed by telling the audience, “I hope I have made a difference in your life.”

Kathleen Vail|April 14th, 2013|Categories: Leadership, Legislative advocacy, NSBA Annual Conference 2013|Tags: , |

Watch inspiring speeches by NSBA leaders on YouTube

Videos of NSBA’s leaders’ speeches given during NSBA’s 2012 Annual Conference, held April 21-23 in Boston, are now available on NSBA’s YouTube channel.

Mary Broderick, NSBA’s 2011-12 President, detailed a letter to President Obama she had written during her term as president, calling for a greater focus on nurturing children’s desires to learn rather than an emphasis on testing.

Speaking at the Second General Session on April 22, Broderick cited examples of federal and state policies stifling children’s motivation and learning through an overemphasis on standards and testing. She called for more focus on motivational research on students, and she also emphasized the need for public education systems to attract and retain good teachers and administrators by giving them flexibility to do their jobs.

Broderick’s letter to President Obama elicited several news stories and hundreds of Twitter “tweets.”

NSBA President C. Ed Massey also engaged attendees with a speech on adaptive leadership and ways that school boards can position their schools to adapt to a constantly changing world. Rethinking the ways the system has operated can improve students’ learning, and ultimately, the nation’s economy, he said at the Third General Session on April 23.

Massey called on national leaders and school board members to “commit to public education as a civil and moral right” and to make education a top priority in policy and budget discussions.

The NSBA YouTube channel also features videos of speeches by leaders and presenters at previous NSBA conferences.



Joetta Sack-Min|June 22nd, 2012|Categories: Teachers, NSBA Annual Conference 2012|Tags: , , , , |

Kentucky’s C. Ed Massey starts term as president of the National School Boards Association

School board leader C. Ed Massey of Kentucky’s Boone County Schools has become the 65th President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) at the association’s Annual Conference that took place April 21-23, 2012 in Boston.

David A. Pickler of Tennessee’s Shelby County Schools was elected President-elect and Anne M. Byrne of New York’s Nanuet Union Free School District was elected Secretary-Treasurer by NSBA’s 150-member Delegate Assembly.

Massey has served on the Boone County Board of Education for 16 years and is a former President of the Kentucky School Boards Association. Massey was first elected to NSBA’s Board of Directors in 2008, serving as a Central Region Director representing school board members in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In 2010, Massey was elected Secretary-Treasurer and in 2011 was elected President-elect.

In the one-year term as President, which began on Monday, April 23,2012, Massey plans to focus on NSBA’s service to its state associations.

“My goal as NSBA’s President is to find new ways to serve our state associations, which will enhance their work with our local boards in promoting student achievement,” Massey said. “I’m honored and humbled to serve as the President of NSBA and I look forward to serving as a national voice to promote public education through local school board leadership.”

NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant praised Massey’s dedication to school board governance.

“Ed Massey is passionate about the children we serve, and he brings not only that passion but the understanding of the importance of school boards working with their state associations,” said Bryant. “As a local school board leader, former state association leader, and now national President, he understands the synergy and power of the connection between the local school board, state association, and NSBA.”

NSBA’s Delegate Assembly also elected the following school board members as regional directors:

  • Miranda A. Beard of Mississippi’s Laurel School District was re-elected as a Southern Region Director;
  • Judy R. Lair of Kansas’s Woodson School District 366 was re-elected as a Western Region Director;
  • Kristin A. Malin of Maine’s Georgetown Central School elected as a Northeast Region Director;
  • S. Scott Mueller of Rhode Island’s South Kingstown School District re-elected as a Northeast Region Director;
  • John S. Payne of Indiana’s Blackford County Schools re-elected as a Central Region Director; and
  • Frank C. Pugh of California’s Santa Rosa City Schools elected as a Pacific Region Director.

Serving as NSBA ex-officio directors will be: Sandra J. Jensen of Nebraska’s School District of Omaha as the Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education; Paul H. Chatman of California’s Ocean View School District as Chair of the National Black Caucus of School Boards; Mike DeLaO of Arizona’s Safford Unified School District as Chair of the National Hispanic Caucus of School Board Members; Elizabeth Eynon-Kokrda of the Nebraska law firm of Baird Holm, LLP as the Chair of the Council of School Attorneys; Dr. Edwin Dunlap, Jr. of the North Carolina School Boards Association as the Chair of the Organization of State Association Executive Directors’ Liaison Committee; and NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant.

Alexis Rice|April 24th, 2012|Categories: Governance, School Boards, Announcements, Leadership, NSBA Annual Conference 2012|Tags: , , |

Big names, big moments, all a part of NSBA annual conference

DSC_43591-e1271009270864-199x300Let me preface this blog with a confession: I missed Wynton Marsalis’ speech at NSBA’s 70th Annual Conference last weekend in Chicago. I’ve since heard that his speech and performance was one of the best in recent memory at an NSBA event, and we’ve had some pretty darn good speakers in recent years (Bill Clinton, Sydney Portier, Sandra Day O’Connor, to drop a few names).

For me, the most important speech of the conference wasn’t a General Session headliner, it actually took place in a jam-packed room on the fourth floor. But I believe what Diane Ravitch had to say was pretty close to revolutionary in the 15 years I’ve covered education policy. My former NSBA colleague, attorney Tom Hutton, called it a “watershed” moment in education reform.

My second confession: I hadn’t read Ravitch’s new book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” before listening to her speech. I had read lots about it, and how she’s changed her views on issues such as school choice, testing and accountability models, and free enterprise as a model for K-12 education reform.

Fortunately, Ravitch walked the audience through the chapters of the book and explained how she had changed her mind about a lot of the concepts she’d previously endorsed (there’s been a lot more research since the inception of standards-based reform in the 1990s and No Child Left Behind, for one thing).

It all started when she decided to have her home office repainted and had to pack up and sort through some 30 years worth of books, papers and memorabilia. It was then that Ravitch, who began her career as an education historian, served in the George H.W. Bush administration, and later became a conservative-leaning analyst, began examining the ideals versus the implementation of NCLB and current political climate.

Naomi Dillon|April 19th, 2010|Categories: Governance, Educational Research, Policy Formation, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

Negative narrative hounds education, despite evidence of good work, big challenges

Diane Ravitch speaks at 70th annual NSBA conference

Diane Ravitch one of many speakers at 70th annual NSBA conference

I came away from Chicago feeling much like I have after other NSBA annual conferences: inspired — and frustrated.

Inspired because, corny as it might sound, I really am impressed with the work that you — school board members and administrators – are doing. You know what makes a good school system and, if Chicago’s conference is any indication, are working diligently against difficult odds to improve the education of all students.

I could cite any number of examples, but will just mention one interactive workshop I covered at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday (well-attended, by the way), led by Rob Delane, deputy executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association, titled “What Makes A Great Workplace: The Board’s Role in Ensuring a Positive School Climate.”  If you had listened to the questions and comments, you would have heard board members who were intently focused on improving the climate in their schools and their communication with the public.

Naomi Dillon|April 14th, 2010|Categories: Governance, Educational Research, School Climate, Policy Formation, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , |
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