Two nationally prominent speakers, content-rich learning labs focused on school solutions and two days of education sessions highlight the annual PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center from Oct. 18-20. Each fall, the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association host this conference to promote public education and advance student achievement through effective governance.
More than 800 school board members and school administrators representing about 300 entities across the state will converge on the convention center in Hershey. As board members, these unpaid volunteers come together to learn how to be better stewards of tax dollars and to strengthen their governance skills so they can collaborate with school administrators and teachers to enhance student achievement.
Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera will kick off this year’s annual conference with opening remarks followed by a panel of education experts, many of them former secretaries of education. Panelists will discuss their time in office, challenges they faced and what they see as the future of education in Pennsylvania. Panelists include Dr. Eugene Hickok, former secretary of education (1995 – 2001), Dr. Gerald Zahorchak, former secretary of education (2006 – 2010), and Amy Morton, former executive deputy secretary and deputy secretary for elementary and secondary education (2010 – 2013). PSBA Acting President Michael Faccinetto, board president of Bethlehem Area School District, will moderate the panel.
On Thursday, Oct. 19 during lunch, award-winning White House Correspondent Paul Brandus will address attendees. He is the author of the acclaimed Under This Roof: A History of the White House and Presidency (published in September 2015 by Lyons Press) and is an award-winning, independent member of the White House press corps. He founded West Wing Reports ® in 2009 (Twitter: @WestWingReport), and provides reports for television and radio outlets around the United States and over-seas.
Closing this year’s conference will be Nadia Lopez, the founder and principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She was a finalist for the 2016 Global Teachers Prize. Nadia shot to national recognition when the popular blog Humans of New York profiled one of her students, Vidal Chastanet. Asked to name the most influential person in his life, Vidal named Nadia. After the blog post went viral and was shared 145,000 times, Nadia was featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, NBC News and much more.
In addition to the keynote speakers, attendees will have more than 40 featured educational sessions on topics such as budgeting, board engagement, community relations, virtual learning, using data, legal updates, technology, positive behavior support and handling a school crisis, to name a few. Attendees will learn from industry experts who will provide valuable education and best practices on a variety of topics.
A feature of this year’s exhibit hall will be the Wall of Technology, which will debut state-of-the-art products and services.
For the fifth year, the conference will feature a Student Showcase highlighting the best and the brightest performing arts talent from public schools across Pennsylvania. The showcase will include eight performances including bands, choirs and a percussion group. This event will take place Thursday, Oct. 19 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Chocolate Ballroom.
Members of the media are welcome to attend educational sessions for informational purposes. Contractual agreements with the conference general session speakers (Lopez and Brandus) do not allow for broadcasting. For a complete conference agenda or for more information, please visit https://www.paschoolleaders.org/ or contact, Steve Robinson, PSBA’s senior director of Communication.
PASA is a professional organization whose mission is to develop, support and serve successful school leadership through advocacy, professional development, support, sustainment of high-quality school administrators, and a state-wide collegial network.
PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA was the first school boards association established in the United States.