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KSBA News Article

New sessions, energy for 2023 Winter Symposium

Winter Symposium

Kentucky School Advocate
November 2023

While KSBA’s Winter Symposium each December traditionally represents the last in-person school board training opportunity of the calendar year, the event also tends to set the tone for the next 12 months.

Hundreds of school board members, administrators and other education leaders will join KSBA for its 2023 symposium, Dec. 8-9 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Attendees can once again expect two days of informative sessions, networking opportunities and the contagious energy that accompanies association conferences – but this year’s event may feel a little different.

In her first year as KSBA’s director of Board Team Development – charged with executing the association’s plan for state-mandated board training opportunities – Debra Webb has sought to increase the opportunities for members to earn their hours in mandated topics. This allows the association to offer more electives at conferences to broaden board members’ understanding of the people and programs striving to move public education forward.

“Our members typically go above and beyond the minimum training required by the state, and they have shared with us the desire for more offerings that are new and different,” Webb said.

The average school board member in Kentucky doesn’t approach state-mandated training as simply checking boxes, but as a valuable means of learning about best practices and discovering new ideas, she said.

KSBA is dedicating the first and last session blocks of this year’s Winter Symposium to showcasing agencies that partner closely with school districts to help meet the needs of all students. Attendees will have opportunities to participate in sessions from the following state-level agencies:

    Department of Workforce Development
(Ky. Education and Labor Cabinet)

    Governor’s Scholars Program

    Ky. College Coaches Program

    Ky. Educational Collaborative for State Agency Children

    Ky. State Police (Safe Child Program)

    Ky. State Police (adolescent drug intervention)

Members who still lack hours in the state-mandated topics of ethics, finance or superintendent evaluation needn’t worry. Eight sessions will be offered on these topics during the symposium.  

Keynote presenters will zero in on the importance of school board service. During Friday morning’s Opening Session, a panel of school board members will discuss their motivations to pursue public service, how those motivations have changed over the course of their time in office and the keys to success they’ve discovered along the way.

Approximately 30 exhibitors will set up shop in this year’s sold-out trade show, including several new vendors. From early Friday morning, until mid-morning Saturday, attendees can network with education industry leaders in architecture and construction, finance, energy management, insurance, curriculum resources and more.

This year’s symposium also serves an important role in the transition of the association’s leadership. A selection committee, appointed by KSBA’s president, will conduct in-person interviews to fill four at-large vacancies on the board of directors. Those selected by the committee will be put forth for ratification before association membership during the KSBA’s annual business meeting in March. To review information on KSBA’s board of directors, and to access an online application for director-at-large, visit ksba.org/BoardofDirectors.aspx.

The state’s Local School Board Members Advisory Council will convene on site on the eve of the symposium, Thursday, Dec. 7. The meeting is open to the public and is facilitated by KDE. KSBA’s Board of Directors will convene for its December meeting on Dec. 9.

For a complete symposium schedule, session descriptions and access to easy online registration, visit ksba.org/KSBAWinterSymposium.aspx.

Members who are unsure of state-mandated training sessions/topics they still need to complete for 2023 can visit KSBA’s member portal resources page to login and check training hours: ksba.org/PortalResources.aspx. Members may also email questions to [email protected].

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