Training & Events

PSBA, through its various programs, strives to provide the school leadership team with the tools they need to meet the responsibilities of school governance and leadership.

Leadership Symposium on Advocacy and Issues
Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA

Keynote Session
Speaker: Bill OBrien, Penn State Football Head Coach and Big 10 Coach of the Year

Humility, Drive and Will: Bill O'Brien's formula for leadership
Big 10 Coach of the Year, Bill O'Brien will address the conference on Saturday afternoon. Known as a tough, incredibly prepared coach who routinely shuns the spotlight, O’Brien will share his keys to the phenomenal success Penn State has enjoyed this season. Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly says it this way: "Into the teeth of the worst college football scandal in American history ... Bill O'Brien pulled off a football miracle: He made you forget Penn State was radioactive. O'Brien went 8-4 in the middle of nuclear winter... .He kept popping open umbrellas while it rained bowling balls. He made a numb town feel again."

Pennsylvania Legislative Overview
In 2013, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly will begin a new two year legislative session. Join State Representative Kerry Benninghoff as he discusses where Pennsylvania’s revenue growth is headed and the key policy challenges facing education funding priorities from key policy leaders.

First elected to the House of Representatives to represent the 171st District in 1996, Kerry A. Benninghoff is a leading advocate for government reform, spending controls, lower taxes and expanded access to high quality health care services.

As an eight-term Republican in the House — and former two-term Centre County coroner — Kerry currently serves as the chairman of the House Finance Committee and as a member of the Professional Licensure Committee. He also serves as chairman of the Rural Health Caucus.

The National Legislative Climate
During his first term in office, President Obama pushed for a more expansive federal role in education. The president offered waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act, promoted common standards, pushed for rigorous teacher evaluation and extended Race to the Top opportunities. Now in his second term, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan face new challenges including financial concerns along with battles between a Republican House and the Democratic Senate on education funding issues. Join G. Terry Madonna as he examines the first 100 days of President Obama’s second term and explores the issues facing educational legislation. From the fiscal cliff to sequestration, from Common Core Standards to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), discover how the national political landscape can impact your district.

Essential Skills for Strategic Leadership
School board members make tough decisions often casting a difficult vote that will have major, long-lasting ramifications. Strategic leadership is necessary for school districts to make effective, smart decisions in order to obtain long-term success. In this session, Colonel Stephen Gerras will lead attendees through a methodical approach to strategic leadership that will help them:

  • Discover the skills needed to exercise effective judgment to strengthen decision-making outcomes and improve organizational performance
  • Identify the barriers to critical thinking and how they can be addressed
  • Understand how to reduce decision biases and logical fallacies in the organization decision-making processes

Stephen Gerras is the General Matthew B. Ridgway Chair of Leadership in the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management at the U.S. Army War College. Colonel (Retired) Gerras served in the Army for over 25 years, including commanding a light infantry company and a transportation battalion, teaching leadership at West Point, and serving as the Chief of Operations and Agreements for the Office of Defense Cooperation in Ankara, Turkey during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Penn State University. His main areas of interest are strategic leadership, leadership development, and improving the judgment and critical thinking skills of leaders. He has worked on numerous projects for the Chief of Staff of the Army related to leader development. Steve has published articles in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Information Age Warfare Quarterly, and Military Review.

Secrets to Talent Management
Superintendent pay and pay practices and teacher evaluation were in the eye of the legislature in the 2012 legislative session and will continue to be in the media. With two laws enacted in school personnel practices, board members and their advisors need to get up to date now more than ever. In this session, attendees will learn to:

  • Avoid the scrutiny and glare that executive compensation packages have found themselves under
  • Deal with new evaluation and executive compensation policies and practices

Jeffrey T. Sultanik Esq. is a partner in the law firm Fox Rothschild, where he concentrates his practice in personnel and labor relations for municipal and school entities. In addition to his legal work, Sultanik has authored more than 130 articles on education and labor law. A frequent media source for these issues, he has appeared on NBC 10 and local affiliates for CBS, ABC and FOX. He has been cited in The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Legal Intelligencer, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the American School Board Journal, and the National School Boards Associations’ Inquiry and Analysis.

School Budgeting: Making Sound Decisions
With the economy struggling to recover, job growth stagnant and local revenues not rebounding, learn how to maximize your available resources, contain growing cost pressures and provide a sound, quantitative framework for making critical and increasingly difficult budget decisions. This session will cover:

  • Understanding and identifying your district’s fiscal risk and financial capacity in an unstable economic environment
  • How to oversee the management of the risk within the school entity
  • Developing and prioritizing critical fiscal success factors for the school entity
  • Establishing meaningful measures of effectiveness, fiscal processes and key performance indicators to accomplish the school entity’s objectives and track financial risk

Francis Xavier Ryan, CPA, is president of F.X. Ryan & Associates, which specializes in turnaround and lean management for companies in financial trouble. Frank has served on numerous boards of publicly traded companies and nonprofit organizations. In 2008, he was elected chairman of the board of Good Shepherd Center; he has served as chairman of the audit committees of two publicly traded companies, and is the current audit committee chairman of a major nonprofit organization in Maryland. He is an expert on Sarbanes-Oxley and lectures for numerous state and national organizations on ethics and leadership.

A retired Marine reserve colonel, Ryan was recalled to active duty in 2004 and served with Multi-National Force—Iraq until June 2005. Before retiring, Frank served during Operation Enduring Freedom and spent time in Afghanistan with the Joint Forces Special Operations Command. His personal military decorations include three Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the U.S. Army Commendation Medal.

7:15-8 a.m. — Registration and Breakfast
8 a.m. — Welcome and Announcements (PSBA President Dr. Marcela Diaz Myers)
8:10-8:45 a.m. — Pennsylvania Legislative Overview (Kerry Benninghoff)
8:45-10 a.m. — The National Legislative Climate (G. Terry Madonna)
10 a.m. — Break
10:15–11:45 a.m. — Essential Skills for Strategic Leadership (Stephen Gerras)
11:45 a.m. — Lunch
12:45-2 p.m. — Secrets to Talent Management (Jeffrey Sultanik Esq.)
2-3:15 p.m. — School Budgeting: Making Sound Decisions (Francis X. Ryan)
3:15 — Break
3:30-4:45 p.m. — Humility, Drive and Will: Bill O'Brien's formula for leadership (Bill O’Brien)

Group pricing is available for up to four members: $1,095 before March 6 ($1,295 after March 6) *Note that group pricing will be confirmed and billed to your school entity. Price will NOT be reflected with online registration.

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