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Behind the Scenes – AASA Exec. Committee & Governing Board

I've been a member of AASA for 8 years now, but it wasn't until the last two years that I have finally learned how the organization works! Before I got involved in the Governing Board and now the Executive Committee of AASA, I must admit, I was blissfully ignorant of all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make our association GREAT. But as is always the case, behind every GREAT organization there is a team of people working tirelessly towards a shared common goal! AASA is no different. From membership to governing board, to executive committee to officers and then on to our incredible staff everyone plays an important role. I will share a brief overview of each, but pay particular attention to TODAY'S Governing Board meeting and its importance! Here goes!


Our executive director and our staff are the embodiment of our organization's beliefs and values. We set the tone with our mission, with our philosophy and beliefs statements and with our legislative agenda, but they are the “worker bees”…the ones on the ground getting it done! And boy do they get it done! From our Executive Director (outgoing – Dan and incoming – Dave), to our advocacy team, to our financial team and everyone else…they are known as the team to go to for anything education across the country!

If you see them around the conference – be sure to say hi and THANK THEM for their work!


This is an easy one to explain – its ALL OF YOU! Your voices, your thoughts, your ideas, your energy is what makes this organization run. It is only through our strong membership that our organization is able to advocate as well as we do on behalf of students across the country. You participate in learning opportunities, you share your knowledge with others, you share your ideas and suggestions with members of the governing committee and executive committee. YOU are AASA.


The Governing Committee sets the policy agenda that our staff use to advocate on our behalf throughout the year. The governing board is made up of 135 members from our 7 regions, as seen below…

The governing board typically meets twice per year. Once in July and once in February as part of NCE. Today the governing board met and they worked on the following:

  • Accepted the audit/financial report
  • Worked on legislative agenda
  • Worked on positions/beliefs statement
  • Approved membership dues
  • Approved 2 nominations for president-elect
  • Discussed regional issues
  • Reported out to large group on regional discussions

It was a FULL DAY with lots of great conversations focused on best serving our children. Here's a few pictures to show just a little of how “the sausage is made”:

This picture was taken while individuals were being
nominated for the position of AASA President.
This image was taken as President Shari Camhi (NY)
opened the meeting this morning. To her right is
incoming Executive Director David Schuler, President-
elect Gladys Cruz, Past President Paul Imhoff, and
staffers Kat Sturdevant and Noelle Ellerson Ng.


This 21 member group meets to conduct the regular business of the organization between the two Governing Board meetings each year. The group typically meets 4 times per year, although sometimes more frequently like this past year. This past year the group's biggest job was to conduct the search for our new Executive Director.

This group also helps in organizing and facilitating conversations for the Governing board meetings. The picture below was taken at the conclusion of today's Governing Board meeting and includes our officers:


These are the folks that volunteer their time to work ceaselessly to support our incredible organization. Officers consist of:

  • President
  • Past President
  • President Elect


You can learn more about AASA Leadership and Governance by CLICKING HERE. Our organization represents public schools from across our country. Schools that are urban, schools that are rural, schools that serve affluent communities and schools that serve disadvantaged communities and everything in between. We represent all school Superintendents and we have INCREDIBLE PEOPLE behind the scenes making it all work starting with each of YOU as members!

As you walk through the exhibit halls, as you attend learning sessions, and as you participate in all that our National Conference has to offer – Take a moment and think about all the work that goes on behind the scenes to pull this event off and to pull off the daily work that is done at AASA on behalf of our students. Then, be sure to thank a staff member when you see them, and to seek out and introduce yourself to members of the Governing board and Executive Committees. AASA is an organization of its members…we are all AASA.

See you again tomorrow…can't wait to blog about my learning for the day…assuming of course I make it back alive from the rodeo and concert that the Maine contingent is planning on attending tonight. Wish us luck!

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