KSBA’s annual conference offers great speakers, hot topics
By Jennifer Wohlleb
If you’re a board member looking for a “hootie-hoo” attitude, KSBA’s 77th annual conference, Feb. 22-24, is the place for you.
What is a hootie-hoo attitude? Dr. Dale Henry, the opening speaker, will explain it all during his talk about how to become a better team member and be more valuable to an organization.
Kerri Schelling, KSBA’s director of Board Team Development, said this year’s conference features one of the best lineups of keynote speakers and workshops the association has offered.
“All three keynoters come very highly recommended, they have experience working with school board audiences and they understand the unique role that boards play in education,” she said. “The opening session will be all the humor that our members have come to expect. Being a Tennessee native, Dr. Henry understands Kentuckians and has a really distinct style of humor that makes you want to fall out of your chair laughing. It will be a great way to kick it off.”
Scheduling Saturday’s plenary session speaker, Wes Moore, was a coup, Schelling said, since his international speaking schedule made him hard to get. Moore, an Army officer, Rhodes Scholar and White House fellow, will speak about the transformative power of education.
“He’s a very powerful, engaging speaker,” she said. “His story is so compelling that it is almost impossible not to listen to him. I think he has a very powerful message.” Moore is the author of The New York Times bestseller, The Other Wes Moore.
Roger Crawford will close the conference Sunday with his message about the importance of positive attitudes. Crawford lives his message by being a Sports Illustrated-caliber athlete with a physical disability.
Schelling said a number of pre-conference workshops and regular workshops were included this year based on the feedback board members have given after past conferences.
“Our pre-conference workshops are among the ones most requested,” she said. “We also have quite a few workshops that will be presented by districts. We really enjoy being a showcase for them to share the good things that they’re doing. We know some of the best places boards get information is from other boards, so we are very pleased to have districts and board members as speakers this year.”
There also are some timely subjects featured among the more than 40 workshops being offered.
“For example, the kindergarten readiness screener: We have two workshops that will focus on different aspects of that,” Schelling said. “The workshop by Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen is going to be extremely timely. We hope he will have some recommendations that he can share with boards.”
She said there will be a number of finance-based workshops for board members.
“There is a new session on the types of information board members need in order to provide efficient and effective oversight,” she said. “Not just what they need to know, but how they get it – a real hands-on session, not just acknowledging the problem of ‘Oh, you need to have more oversight,’ but how do you find it, where do you get it, what does it look like, what do you need to be asking.”
Several other areas of the conference have also been changed based on the evaluations from previous conferences. Schelling said there will be fewer workshops on the third floor of the Galt House, although not all could be moved. Exclusive time to visit the trade show has also been worked into the schedule.
“One of the things we’ve heard from members in the past is there just isn’t enough time to go through the trade show because there are always other activities going on,” Schelling said. “So we’ve arranged for some time, to give people the chance to visit our vendors or just to have a little more time before they go to their next workshop.”
Schelling also encouraged board members to keep an eye out for the five student performances scattered throughout the three-day event. “It’s always a highlight to showcase the various talents of Kentucky students from around the state.”
— Click here for additional information or to register online.