KSBA’s 79th Annual Conference
“Kentucky Public Schools: The Courage to Lead
Feb. 27 - March 1 • Galt House, Louisville
By Jennifer Wohlleb
School board members, new and experienced, looking for training and inspiration as they start a new year will find it at KSBA’s 79th Annual Conference.
“This conference features the widest variety of workshop topics we’ve ever offered, and more workshops than we’ve ever offered before,” said Kerri Schelling, KSBA’s director of Board Team Development. “We have more ethics, finance and superintendent evaluation workshops than we’ve ever had. We will have several of those options available in each of the four concurrent workshop sessions.”
Schelling said because school board members are still getting used to those new training requirements in ethics, finance and superintendent evaluation, meeting those needs was a particular point of emphasis when planning this year’s conference.
“The bottom line is, there is more training in exactly the areas you need, as well as the topics you want,” she said. “However, even with all the offerings, we know that it’s impractical that every school board member in the state will be able to fulfill all their mandated requirements at this one event. One of the things they will be receiving with their conference registration form is a list of dates and locations of trainings that we are sponsoring regionally with all eight of the education co-ops. These will focus exclusively on the mandated topics and will give members the ability to earn hours close to home.”
In addition to those regional trainings
, Schelling said board members also can earn their hours at KSBA’s summer and winter conferences, or through in-district trainings or even self-study modules.
“We’re sending board members this information now so they can think about how they can spread this out over the course of the year in a way that is reasonable and that works best for them so they can earn their required hours by Dec. 31,” she said.
For board members interested in getting a jump start on the year, Schelling said several of this year’s three-hour pre-conference sessions, which are offered the morning of Feb. 27, cover the mandated topics. Attending one of those sessions would leave board members with more time during conference to attend sessions that appeal more to their districts’ specific needs.
“Two of these pre-conference sessions were developed from participant feedback,” she said. “All Together Now offers one-hour versions of all three mandated topics. It’s perfect for veteran members who only need one hour each. We debuted that at our Summer Leadership Institute, and it was so wildly successful that we’re bringing it to annual conference.
“The other session is the Fiscal Fitness Boot Camp, and that is three hours of finance. So it is especially convenient for first-term board members who need three hours of finance training.
They can get it in one convenient package and then focus on other topics they may want to take during conference.”
This year’s conference also features three dynamic keynote speakers who will help board members continue to learn and grow in their roles, but also make them laugh, think and cry.
“Our opening speaker, Patrick Henry, is very humorous,” Schelling said. “He plays guitar and makes up songs that are relevant as he speaks and he has experience in front of school boards.
I think he’s going to be extremely entertaining with his message.
“Mike Staver, the Saturday morning plenary speaker, is going to be phenomenal. His topic is Leadership Isn’t for Cowards, and it’s really all about empowering leaders to be successful. Whether you’re new to your role or have been a leader for a long time, there are things you can do to push it even further. You can do more and be more effective leading by example, and you need to understand your power and how to use that to get the right things done.”
Schelling encouraged those who have never attend the Sunday closing brunch before not to miss this one.
“Our speaker, Manual Scott, is incredibly inspirational – a perfect example of a student who had no success in school, was on a path to absolute tragedy and because of a caring adult who took a chance and intervened, he completely turned his life around,” she said. “Now, he’s dedicated his life to helping other adults be that change factor. I know there are kids like that in every district in Kentucky and I think it will send board members out into this next year of service feeling that compassion that brought them to board service in the first place. I think it’s going to be a very special Sunday brunch session.”
— For more information or to register online, go to our main page and click on “2015 Annual Conference.”