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KSBA joins 26 other states for inaugural COSSBA annual conference

COSSBA group photo

Kentucky School Advocate
May 2023

Staff report

Photo: KSBA members stop for an impromptu photo following a block of COSSBA breakout sessions.

Nearly 60 school board members, administrators and KSBA staff members participated in the inaugural Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA) Annual Conference, March 30 – April 2 in Tampa, Florida.

Approximately 1,500 participants from more than two dozen states convened for the conference. Attendees chose from 129 breakout sessions in addition to three keynote sessions, learning labs, a trade show, an annual business meeting of member states and networking events. KSBA staff and members served as presenters for several sessions on topics ranging from dealing with external media to considerations for state association board service.

This year’s gathering also featured an Urban Boards Alliance (UBA) Day, highlighting best practices to address and improve educational outcomes of students within challenging urban, suburban and rural environments.

“The sessions were timely, topics were relatable and conversations with colleagues across the country will help me be a better board member for my district and our students,” said Murray Independent board member Shawn Smee, who attended UBA Day. “Hunger, poverty, achievement and growth are topics important to me and I can’t wait to help my district implement strategies to better serve our students in these areas.”

KSBA is a founding member of COSSBA. KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling sits on COSSBA’s board of directors and Immediate Past President Davonna Page of Russellville Independent Schools served on the planning committee for #COSSBA23. Both were recognized at the conference for their leadership.

The event also served as celebration of an important milestone in COSSBA’s inaugural year.

“The dates of the conference nearly coincided with the one year anniversary of COSSBA’s incorporation,” Schelling said. “It’s hard to believe how far the consortium has come in 12 months’ time. A symposium, leadership conference, webinars, the appointment of an executive director and now a national conference – and this is just the beginning. COSSBA is already delivering on its commitment to support its members.”

Visit COSSBA.org for more information.

(From left) Madison County board members Samantha Burford, Lori Cobb, Brandon Rutherford, Beth Brock and Becky Coyle. Provided by Brandon Rutherford

(From left) KSBA Immediate Past President Davonna Page (Russellville Ind.), President-elect Pamela Morehead (Eminence Ind.), President Karen Byrd (Boone Co.) and Executive Director Kerri Schelling. 


Rowan County board member Scott Davison and KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling present a session on what board members need to know about serving on their state association’s board of directors. 


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