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Pre-Conference Day- It All Begins!

Feb 15- Pre-conference day is here. I got in yesterday and enjoyed an afternoon and evening on the Riverwalk, which reminds me of a lazy river full of restaurants! I did take a 30 minute boat tour to learn more about it- try it, it's fun.

A bit more down to business today. A colleague of mine, Beth Cobb, Essex-Westford SD in VT, was presenting on a panel as part of the Center for Educational Leadership/ Washington University pre-conference session on a deep dive into equity. The session, led by Michele Mason of the University of Washington's Center for Educational Leadership, was interactive and informational all at the same time. The conversational tone, sharing of ideas, meeting of others all culminated in new ideas and approaches for me. This is an incredibly difficult topic- how to lead an equity based district in a community that is not able or ready to embrace inclusion and acceptance for all. Thank you to the presenters and the participating audience for this session.

Receptions also began this evening. As a New England superintendent for 17 years, my heart rests with the New England Association of School Superintendents (NEASS) and I attended the wonderful NEASS reception sponsored by LifeTouch. Seeing my neighboring colleagues and introducing new ones to the crowd is always a pleasure. I also had the opportunity to attend the reception for PeopleBench, a new company that helps district leaders focus on the needs of their people.

As I peruse the agenda for tomorrow, I try to build in time between sessions to go to the marketplace and meet vendors. Over my career, I have been fortunate to build relationships with so many vendors who help us serve students. The bookstore is also a draw for me. I am amazed how many education leadership books are written by my colleagues, such as Jeff Porter, NEASS, who just published It's 2 am in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Case Studies in Leadership.

Enjoy every bit of the conference- both the learning and the networking!

Michele Mason, CEL, opens the session on a deeper dive into equity leadership at AASA NCE
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