As the first school board association in the nation, PSBA was created for the purpose of informing school directors on educational issues and legislative decisions affecting schools. Decades later, PSBA continues to empower school boards to succeed by providing vital tools, superior training and powerful advocacy. The association represents more than 4,500 locally elected school directors who dedicate themselves to providing the best education for every child.
As 2019 came to a close, PSBA was eager to celebrate 125 years of service to our members. PSBA launched the the 125th anniversary website, highlighting an online collection of photos, documents and memorabilia from 1895 – present day. This collection was also housed in a museum in PSBA's Mechanicsburg headquarters. Unfortunately, members were not able to experience the museum in person, but a video tour of the museum can be viewed below.
In March 2020, COVID-19 began to spread throughout the United States, and PSBA began operating remotely as a precaution. As it became apparent that the pandemic would not cause just a temporary impact, PSBA pivoted as an organization to proactively provide members with the services they needed in a virtual and unpredictable environment.
As schools shuttered, PSBA, in partnership with CM Regent Insurance, provided all school district, CTC and IU members the opportunity to access an Education Enterprise level Zoom license, which provided entities with a 100-person capacity for holding public board meetings digitally. In subsequent months and in supporting our members as they navigated the transition, PSBA realized that many school entities had a need for higher capacity than the 100-attendee limit for specific meetings or community town-hall events.
To address this need and continue to support our members as they held public meetings, PSBA negotiated a solution to offer members limited access to higher capacity meetings — up to 1,000 attendees in a Zoom webinar.
In April, PSBA launched the first six-week Keynote Webinar Series for members to hear world-class keynotes address topics of interest, from the comfort and safety of their homes. Due to the response to the Keynote Webinar Series, PSBA offered a second series focusing on the increase of technology in the learning landscape. In Keynote Webinar Series II, experts in technology, data and innovation shared knowledge on using technology wisely and responsibly to enhance student learning and achievement. Recordings of these sessions can be viewed by members on myPSBA.org.
During each of these session, one district from attendance was selected to receive a $1,250 scholarship that the district's school board could award to a graduating senior. This scholarship was in honor of PSBA’s 125th anniversary and was made possible by the generosity of the 1895 Society sponsors.
1895 Society Sponsors
In October, PSBA hosted the 2020 PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference virtually and at no cost to members. Members heard from keynote speakers Principal Baruti Kafele and Dr. John Hodge and attended education sessions addressing timely topics. Both keynote speakers also made an appearance on Keystone Education Radio. Listen to Principal Kafele's episode here and Dr. Hodge's episode here.
As the anniversary year came to a close, PSBA completed Celebrating 125 Years of Leadership & Legacy, a full-color book outlining key moments and individuals throughout the association's history. This book was made possible by the donations of the 1895 society.
As the educational landscape continues to change, PSBA will continue to be proactive and adaptable to serve our members far into the future.