TAMPA– Over 360 school board members, superintendents, and education leaders attended the Florida School Board Association (FSBA)/Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) Annual Summer Conference for three days of leadership development, networking, and training.
The theme of the conference, ‘Centered on Students’, featured AJ Crabill as the keynote speaker. Crabill’s presentation was guided by the idea that student outcomes do not change until adult behaviors change.
Drawing on his intimate familiarity with the triumphs and terrors of America’s safety nets for children, Crabill has devoted much of his life to advocating for the well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. AJ currently serves as Conservator at DeSoto, Texas Independent School District; Education Faculty at the Leadership Institute of Nevada; Director of Governance at the Council for the Great City Schools in Washington, DC; and has served as Board Chair for the Kansas City Public Schools and Deputy Commissioner of Education for the State of Texas.
The conference also featured a legislative session review and legislator Q&A which included: Representative Chris Latvala, Representative Rene Plasencia, and Representative Fentrice Driskell.
The panel conversation focused on the new student assessment bill that passed in the 2022 legislative session. They discussed the intent behind the legislation and how the addition of progress monitoring will benefit Florida’s students, while ensuring districts continue to meet students’ needs.
In addition to the keynote presentation, legislative session review, and breakout sessions, the associations also conducted annual business meetings. Melisa Jahner, Chairperson of the Okeechobee County School Board, attended the event and the following breakout sessions: The Fight for Educational Talent, Using Your Compass to Navigate the Instructional Materials Storm, and Improving Student Outcomes: The Board's Influence on Culture & Climate.
“It is critical for school board members to obtain professional development so they can better serve their districts and committees,” commented FSBA Chief Executive Officer Andrea Messina. “This event also provides valuable collaboration between and among school board members that results in the sharing of ideas, programs, and processes. Board members took seriously this year’s theme, Centered on Students, and spent time seeking ways to ensure all students learn at high levels.”
Jahner reflected on the session, ‘Student Outcomes Don't Change Until Adult Behaviors Change’.
“It led me to reevaluate our Vision statement: Together, Achieving Excellence. Putting Students First,” said Jahner. “Our focus should be and IS on student outcome and Putting Students First. TOGETHER we as parents, teachers, school district and our community is to ensure that our student outcome of EXCELLENCE is achieved. Adult Behavior Change comes in to play by cultivating the perfect climate, analyzing where our students are and if we are on track with their expected outcome. If not, then something has to be changed.”
The mission of the Florida School Boards Association is to increase student achievement through the development of effective school board leadership and advocacy for public education.