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California Dreamin’

California Dreamin’ has been running through my head as I’ve started thinking about the NCE Conference. It was 15 degrees in Kansas at noon and 45 degrees in Los Angeles, but weather aside, if you’ve not checked out the program for the AASA National Conference in Education, take a look on the website at You’ll soon find more to anticipate than a warm-up under the California sun.

Timely Topics

After several years, I’ve finally figured out it’s not karma that makes so many of the sessions relevant. They're relevant because education issues aren’t bound by state lines.

For instance, social emotional and mental health is at the forefront of challenges across the nation. Several presenters will share how they have addressed these issues in large and small, urban and rural settings. During a session last year, I learned of a program we’ve since implemented with outstanding results. NCE was instrumental in opening that door for our staff and students.

We’re working on improving support and encouragement to women leaders in Kansas. Not surprisingly, there are sessions on this very topic at NCE, including a “No-Holds Barred Conversation” on Friday. It’s time well-spent when the issue will be waiting on your doorstep as you step off the plane.

I predict limited seating in sessions that share ideas for better communication, especially as it pertains to social media and crisis management. I’m not going to miss the Roundtable Presentation on Friday titled, “Canary in the Coal Mine: Anticipating a Communications Crisis”. The title is intriguing, and I'm hungry to learn a better way to manage messaging.

Engaging Exhibits

Finally, I’m really looking forward to meeting with vendors. Two of this year's partnering sponsors are companies I learned about at last year's conference. One now provides student services in our district, and the other’s product is being used in our professional learning communities. That’s a significant return on investment. There are 187 exhibitors eager to share their products and services with the nation’s superintendents this year, and I’ve got proof it’s worth your time to check them out.

Yes, I’m enjoying this day of California Dreamin’ and can’t wait to be, “safe and warm in L.A.” See you in two short weeks!

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