President’s Perspective: KASB annual conference will be exciting

by C. Patrick Woods
KASB President
Topeka USD 501

Greetings fellow school board members. I hope the first nine weeks of the fall semester wrapped up well and you’re enjoying the fall weather. In addition to many fall concerts, football and volleyball games and countless other activities that take place this time of year, the KASB Fall Regional Summits have wrapped up.

During these meetings, KASB staff members hit the road and met with board members, educators and community members in each region of the state. They discussed the issues and trends shaping the context in which we work as public school officials. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss everything from school redesign, to school finance, to the various legislative issues that could arise in the coming year. The Fall Regional Meetings were a valuable opportunity for board members to make their positions on the issues known and advocate for their districts and they served as a “warm up” for the KASB Annual Conference.

The KASB Annual Conference is the largest gathering of elected school board members and district leaders in Kansas.

Attendees can expect to experience many relevant break-out sessions, world-class speakers, and the vendor exhibits/tradeshow, with suppliers and manufacturers of educational equipment, products and services.

I’ve attended the past nine annual KASB Conferences, and while it will be difficult to top last year’s conference, celebrating 100 years, this one promises to be as exciting as ever.

The 2018 KASB Conference will take place in Overland Park, at the Sheraton Hotel and Overland Park Convention Center on Nov. 30-Dec. 2. It features speakers such as Garrison Wynn, speaker and author of works concerning leadership and Dan Meers, the face behind the mask of KC Wolf.

We’ll recognize the winning proposals for the Westar Energy STEM Awards, celebrate the graduation of the current class of Leadership for Tomorrow (which is, of course, following in the footsteps of the “best class ever,” which was the LFT class of 2009) and discuss the 2019 legislative platform for the association, prepared by the Legislative Committee.

Probably what is most beneficial for leaders in education are the opportunities to network and share experiences with other leaders and districts from around the state.

As you all well know, our work as education policymakers is not easy, even though it is incredibly rewarding. Having the opportunity to discuss the most difficult issues of the day – everything from finance, to students’ social and emotional development, to eliminating the achievement gap – is often the most valuable learning opportunity for board members who are working through the task of making sound policy. Hearing from other Kansas leaders about their experiences with these issues, whether in break-out sessions, in large group format or in casual conversation, is what truly makes the KASB Annual Conference invaluable.

So, I urge every board member to attend the annual conference. Bring your superintendent, your district leadership team and your top classroom educators and join the conversation. I can assure you, you will find no better developmental opportunity for your district than the KASB Annual Conference.

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